5.11.2011

Closure.

I don't want the title of this post to be deceiving to you all, since I am far from feeling 'at peace' with our loss. It's not like the grieving process is over but I feel like I'm working towards closure, starting to see what some of the lessons learned should be.

As far as physical healing goes, I'm on my way along with the emotional healing. Last Friday, 10 days after our bad ultrasound (and 4.5 weeks since the baby actually died), my body was still holding onto the baby without any signs of miscarriage. I requested one final ultrasound to wipe away any false hopes that this baby was somehow still alive, that my dates might have been off by weeks, or that there was some kind of miracle going on inside me. The ultrasound that day was not emotional for me since I was prepared to see our little bean curled up and lifeless, and again the baby measured exactly 6w0d without any changes. I needed to see that last image on the screen in order to move forward and I'm glad I got the peace of mind that indeed, my baby really was gone.

Right after the ultrasound my very compassionate doctor placed four Cytotec pills vaginally, a drug very similar to the Cervadil I had during my two night of laboring Truman, in order to 'ripen' the cervix and get the bleeding started. She promised an 80% chance of the drug working but also scheduled a D&C for the following week at my request, in case my body wouldn't budge. We came home feeling a little better just knowing we had done something to initiate the process, praying that the awful waiting for the inevitable would go quickly.

I won't go into details about that evening's events but let's just say the medicine worked like a charm. And let's also say that anyone who tells you a miscarriage is just like a 'heavy period' has obviously never gone through this nightmare. I think it's better compared to actual labor as far as the pain, true contractions, and insane amount of bleeding goes and of course when you add the emotional aspect of losing a human life to the mix of this madness, it's exponentially worse than any period or any labor could be.

Since Friday I've had good and bad days, sometimes bleeding so heavily I can't do anything but hang out in the bathroom and sometimes I feel almost back to normal. I know that my body will need time to rid itself of HcG, the pregnancy hormone, and I pray that I will return to my 'normal' cycle very soon. Also, in the back of my mind, I am worried that somehow my body didn't get rid of all the 'conception products', as they are called---isn't that the saddest pairing of words ever? I do not want to go through a procedure to remove everything after going through this miscarriage naturally. I'm praying my body to do what it's supposed to do, hanging onto some sort of faith in it after a few weeks of skepticism.

Which brings me to the lessons I feel I must learn through this loss. The first is patience, one of the toughest concepts for me to grasp even before the miscarriage. I am not a patient person. I like to have things done my way, immediately, without wasting time. The word 'wait' has been on my tongue and heart more times in the past 2 weeks than ever before and I must admit that I hate it. I was supposed to be 11.5 weeks pregnant right now. But instead of that concept, now I feel like I will be waiting FOREVER just to get a period again. Just to be able to try again. Just to see another positive pregnancy test. I don't want to wait and although I know time is my friend, it seems like an enemy more often than not. If only I could snap my fingers and magically be at the place when I'm pregnant again----or better yet, holding our healthy baby number two. Isn't that the ultimate goal? Not just to get pregnant, but to have a second child. And yet, I know I must work through my grief and my emotions before getting pregnant and my body must physically heal as well. As I let my ears listen to God more and more, I truly believe He is teaching me patience through this loss. Not that I have to like the lesson, but I get it.

Another lesson of mine is that it is wrong to envy others, it's wrong to 'compete' and compare situations with other women around me. I'm not going to lie: it's difficult to have three of my closest friends due within a month of my lost due date. It's hard to read pregnancy blogs and not automatically feel like, 'Why can't this be me?' I'm obviously thrilled for my friends because they deserve the happiness of pregnancy, and they've been incredibly supportive of me as well. It's just hard to feel so far behind, set back from the rest of the group. Just typing this out it sounds so awful because having children is NOT a competition. The person that has the most babies the quickest isn't a 'winner' and where my friends are in their family time line should have absolutely nothing to do with our personal family plan. But I am being completely honest when I admit I have had those fleeting jealous thoughts and I'm fully aware that I need to move away from that mindset. God is definitely helping me out with this one, too.

The last lesson I have begun to grasp is one of gratitude. It's so easy to focus on the 'have nots' in life, spending so much time and energy on obtaining things we don't yet have in our possession. But how about being content with what we DO have? I'm not trivializing our loss by saying this but we are so grateful to have Truman in our lives. If anything, losing this baby has made me love Truman even more somehow. Being surrounded by my amazing family, including my husband, who love me more than I realize, is the most precious gift out of all this pain. Having friends who reach out to contact me, even weeks after our sad announcement, shows me that we are incredibly blessed in this life. We have reasons to be happy and content while living in the moment, not focusing on the future, and it's hard work to allow that sense of peace into my heart. But I'm trying and that is what matters.


A few people mentioned that it helps to name the baby you miscarried, in order to place significance on the pregnancy and make it seem more 'real' and important. I couldn't agree more, although naming this baby was hard and felt a little weird to me. But then, the more I thought about it, I knew exactly what we will call this baby.

You see, before we had our horrible ultrasound we were having so much fun dreaming of names for this baby. Do you remember the hilarious YouTube video of the twin boys 'talking' to each other in the kitchen? One of the twins was named Wren (maybe spelled differently, but whatev) and I just loved it. I wrote the name down on our growing list and one night Nate spotted the name. He said it was a little odd, and I agreed but replied I would like it to be a nickname, something short for a longer name. Nate thought for a second and simply stated that we should name our baby Darren. Now, obviously, there is nothing wrong with that name but it's rather odd for a newborn baby born in 2011, right? Sort of like our name-holder 'Carlos' for Truman---nothing wrong with the name, but still hilarious in a way. So of course, we started calling the baby Darren and would die of laughter each time.

I knew I wanted to name this baby Wren because of that story, although it's dripping in sarcasm. I still like the name Wren and actually, the symbolism of this baby being a little bird who flew away to heaven before we could meet him is all too perfect. I wanted to get something to remember baby Wren and found this necklace on Etsy after much searching. An adorable baby bird (a wren, if you ask me) with eyes closed, sleeping soundly, and then a topaz birthstone for November--when the baby was supposed to arrive. I figure it's low-key enough that people won't demand to know what it means but special enough to me to keep close to my heart.
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We love you, baby Wren. Thank you for blessing us with your brief life in me. We'll meet again someday.

34 comments:

  1. I was just about to reach out to you on FB to let you know I was thinking of you. I am glad you're on your way to healing and that baby Wren gave you a new ppreciation for your family and loved ones. Continuing to pray for you all!

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  2. Ugh... tears at work. Such a sweet and personal way of remembering. Thank you for sharing.

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  3. That necklace is beautiful Julia. I think it's the perfect way to remember baby Wren.

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  4. I just wanted to say I'm so sorry for your loss, I can't even imagine the feelings you must be experiencing. I recently lost a loved on, and after reading "Heaven is for Real" by Todd Burpo, it gave me so much peace and and so much excitement about my loved one in Heaven, that it did make me feel somewhat better. Just a suggestion for when you're ready. It's about a little boy's journey to heaven and back, and the loved ones he met there, including a sister he had had no idea his mom had miscarried. It's a great book. You are in my prayers.

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  5. Julia, your strength never fails to amaze me. Your outlook regarding the "lessons" is just spot on and I don't think I had the maturity to reflect as well.

    I'm so glad that you chose to name Wren. There really is something about naming your baby, albeit not in the conventional sense. It makes it so much less taboo, Wren was your child, not just a loss, not just something to be waded through.

    Beautiful necklace, great choice!

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  6. Your story is so much like mine!! I am glad you shared it because as I found out, it does help to talk about it- both for you and for other women.

    There is so much I could say to you but I will keep it short. 5 weeks after my D&C my cycle returned and I got pregnant and am currently waiting for my little girl to come out (due next week). I know it always helped me to hear of the success stories =)

    I also got a little necklace and it meant the world to me and helped me grieve. I don't regret my miscarriage because it taught me many valuable lessons and has made me realize that the baby in my belly is the one I am meant to have.

    If you ever want to chat back and forth let me know and we can do so on FB or something. I have been reading your blog for quite some time but never posted until now!!

    I hope each day gets a little better. Thinking of you and your family.

    Nicole

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  7. I am sorry for your loss. The necklace and name are a very beautiful and significant way of remembering.

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  8. So beautifully written. The necklace you chose is perfect. Thanks for sharing...praying for continued healing.

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  9. Ugh, I'm bawling so good thing I'm not at work today, right?

    I'm just so sad for you. I wish you didn't have to go through any of this. The physical OR the emotional pain. ALL your feelings are completely valid and understandable.

    You will be happy again someday. YOU WILL. I know it.

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  10. Oh that necklace is beautiful. You have an amazing spirit. Thoughts a prayers sill with you.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your feelings. Your grace is amazing. I love the necklace you picked out in remembrance. It's perfect.

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  12. Oh sweetie, what a post. And what a beautiful way to remember your little baby.

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  13. I love the necklace and the name. Thinking of you and your family, Julia and keeping you in my prayers.

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  14. I can relate to all of these emotions hon. I also had a memorial necklace made for my losses. (((Hugs)))

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  15. Beautiful. We will continue to pray for you, your family and Baby Wren.

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  16. Well my dear...I know this is so hard for you to go through I love that you are expressing and honoring this baby's memory in such a beautiful way. I am so grateful that you are giving your pain a voice. You don't realize who you can touch when you share your STORY in a "walls down, here I am way". So proud of you and my heart aches with you. <3

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  17. Absolutely beautiful... I got goosebumps reading. Love the necklace and the name. Continuing to pray for you!

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  18. Beautiful post Julia. Thank you for sharing such an intimate story of how you plan to remember your precious baby.

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  19. Simply beautiful Julia. So raw in your honesty, but really exposes how precious life is. In this time may you and your husband be filled with comfort, healing, and a renewed mind. Praying for you during this time. What an impact baby Wren made in such a short time. Love & blessings.

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  20. I'm so glad you found such a beautiful necklace - I hope it brings you comfort. Thank you again for being so honest about how this experience has gone for you.

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  21. God bless you and Nate as you heal and move forward. And yes, you will have a glorious reunion with your sweet little Wren some day...

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  22. The necklace is really sweet.

    Thinking of you at this difficult time.

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  23. This brought tears to my eyes. The necklace is beautiful, and Wren is an absolutely lovely name. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. I've been trying to think of what to say since you first posted about this, and I still haven't figured it out. So I'll just say that I'm thinking of you, sweet friend.

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  25. Praying for you and your family. I pray that you will experience God's peace, comfort, and love during this trial.

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  26. I have a ring on my right hand that I wear every.single.day - my husband gave it to me the week of our due date, with the birthstones our baby would have had. We also named our baby - but there is just something about that daily reminder, understated enough that it's just you that knows the significance, but just there so you won't be afraid of forgetting.

    It's so hard, but you're handling this so well. Thinking of you.

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  27. I am very sorry for your loss. I got the same news just over 1 week ago at my 9th week scan and I am now still waiting for a natural miscarriage. It is devastating, yet I know that if God brings to you to it, he will bring you through it. Thank you for sharing about this! It seems to be something that is not talked about very much, despite so many parents having this experience, so thank you. Thanks also that you share what you have learned... I have learnt many things from this pain too, as I think that God can use every bad situation for the good. As for me, I learned that I am not in control, but that God is and that I can trust him, actually not just can trust him, but that it is the only way. I don't think this as a justification or as an explanation of why it happened, but "that our pain has a loving, wise, powerful purpose is better than any other view: weak God, cruel God, bumbling God, or even no God" (John Piper). It certainly made me think about life and death and my relationship with God a lot more intensely, and also revealed my dependence on the comfort from knowing that God is the most powerful, and that Jesus has conquered death as well. I also believe that our babies are now in heaven with God, and that we can one day meet them. May God be with you and thanks for listening to me too.

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  28. Julia,
    I have been following your blog for almost two years. I found it when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. I was searching for pictures of a fetus at 10 weeks and your blog came up because you had the fruit pictures to show how Truman was growing. I was instantly sucked in! We are right around the same age and you were expecting your first baby just a couple of months before I was expecting mine. We were both having a boy. I read your blog religiously for months...and when you had Truman...I couldn't wait to hear what your experience was like. I told my husband how excited I was for "my blog lady"...haha...needless to say over the past couple of years I have followed your blog feeling like our lives were in so many ways running in parallel. I never commented although many times I was close. I just always sort of felt like an intruder. Here you are on the internet sharing so much information and not knowing you...it just felt weird to comment. Rather, I let you pave the way for me. What you recommended for the baby I bought...I read about breast feeding, I read about sleepless nights, I read about first smiles and first steps, and it was so good to know that I wasn't alone with these challenges and celebrations.
    When I read about your recent posts...I felt so sad for you. And since I'm not a "commenter" this is way out of my comfort zone. However, I wanted to tell you that you are a guide and a resource and a friend to many people...I imagine more people than you know. Thank you for sharing this intimate and personal story. I was so, so sorry to read this...and even now I am all tears. But I had to say thank you and let you know that there is one more person out in this big world praying for you.

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  29. As horrific as this situation is, I'm glad you shared. I shared and it made the process for me to find closure, a little bit easier. I sort of cringed as I read the baby disembarking your body. That was so painful for me, I thought I was going to die. Keep hanging on Julia!

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  30. Reading this post is almost like I wrote it. Minus the baby boy and add one more furry baby. I lost my first preganacy at 10 weeks also and found out 4 days after my 30th birthday that it had been gone for about 2 weeks. I heard and saw the heartbeat twice before that. It was the worst.day.of.my.life. I also tried to wait for the natural miscarriage and unfortunately still had to have a D&C. Traumatic to say the least. Anyway, I feel every ounce of your pain, and I am so sorry that you had to go through that also. Thank you for writing about it. As I sit her crying my eyes out because it brings back my own feelings, it still helps to know that i am not alone. Everything from being jealous of your friends due around the time you should have been, to hating all the things people say thinking they are being encouragin. Thank you for sharing. God bless you and your family. xo

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  31. I am so sorry, Julia, that you and your beautiful family have had to go through this.

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  32. Thanks so much for your blog and all you have to say. I started following your blog last summer and have really enjoyed your honesty. Thanks so much for sharing your life.

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  33. I am going through this exact thing right now. I don't have the complications you mentioned, but after a horrible 24 hours in the ER the Ultrasound shows I still have tissue left but because I can't handle the drugs again, they are having me rest a week and checking beta levels in the hopes that I pass everything naturally.

    also, the part about jealousy. I feel that too. I see pregnant friends on facebook and I want to throw up or cry because we wanted our baby so badly.

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  34. Just wanted to say thank you for being so honest and transparent. I don't know how on earth I found your blog today, but clearly God had some words still left to speak to me about my recent miscarriage, and some of the things you said are spot on what I have been feeling, and your strength getting through your emotions is amazing.

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