Monday, March 23, 2015

The Here and Now

I would have been 24 weeks pregnant now.  What a great stage that is in pregnancy... feeling the baby move often, but not feeling exhaustedly huge yet.  Some days are a breeze, others are difficult.  I hope and pray for another baby, yet I also realize that I will always have the knowledge of the fear of losing any others.  Some days I see everything continuing around me and wonder if I am the only one who ever thinks about it, that my baby died.  If, since I am functioning well, then everyone else has forgotten about it. 

I have been reading a book I got recently called After Miscarriage by Karen Edmisten.  I have enjoyed her blog and was glad to see a book specifically for Catholic mothers regarding to miscarriage.  As it says in the book, mothers who are open to life are also open to death.  The more open to life we are, the more opportunity for being open to the possibility of death as well.  But also the greater the understanding of that child's eternal life in heaven.  The knowledge that your family has its own saint in heaven... I still haven't wrapped my brain around that yet, but I have prayed for Mary Karol's intercession, that she will beg God for us to give us peace and patience and another sibling for her if He wills it.  Our visiting priest who just did a mission at our parish, Fr. Luke, encouraged me to pray for our baby's intecession.  I am learning slowly how to do that and have considered starting a journal as well, where I can write "to" my baby.  If writing to dead people makes one crazy, then send me to the asylum!

I cannot bear to take the dead blooms off my hydrangea.  Maybe I should; it is probably better for the plant.  This hydrangea is for Mary Karol, and I am thrilled that I have kept it alive so that I can plant it in the yard once it stays warm enough.  Seeing it in my windowsill, watering it each time the leaves begin to droop, reminds me that she existed and the new little leaves springing up at the base and on the top are a hope in the knowledge that life goes on and that new life can exist, that I can hope in that.  It also helps me to remember that others have supported us and acknowledged her life, as I think back to getting this plant, to the friends who helped us out during the miscarriage, to my mother's help when she came when I was hospitalized, to the few cards we got that acknowledged the life of this baby.  The thing is, nobody can talk about it because nobody has any memories of this child.  It isn't like a child who was able to be seen and touched - nobody can say, "Remember that time when she..." because nobody remembers things that didn't happen.  Even me - I can remember how I craved broccoli and how I was exhausted, but I can't remember feeling movement, seeing a heartbeat, seeing my belly begin to bulge... none of that.  I still need to call the radiology department at the hospital and ask for an ultrasound image from before the miscarriage began, when they measured the baby and saw no heartbeat.  One more item that I can add to my very small collection.

I had planned for a homebirth with this baby.  Started considering a water birth.  Entertained the thought of pregnancy and birth photos and where I could find a photographer who was good but also who I would want at my birth.  After the miscarriage, I remembered seeing mention of a place that does belly casting - they make a mold of your pregnant belly, somewhere around 30 weeks or so, and then they turn it into a piece of pottery.  A belly bowl.  Then you can curl your newborn up in it and take a photo.  I love that idea and want it for the baby I lost, which I can never have, so I hope for the future.

My midwife referred me to a OBGYN that they use - who I would have seen about four weeks ago for bloodwork and ultrasound midway through the pregnancy - so I can get a (hopefully) compassionate and respectful response in my questions about my progesterone levels.  I have one symptom that can be a sign of low progesterone, and even though the other signs all look normal, I want somebody to take this seriously, because low progesterone levels can lead to miscarriages, and why would I wait to lose another baby before getting it looked into seriously if I am having a symptom?  My local OBGYN brushed off my concern - bye bye, $40 copay down the toilet.  So I am going tomorrow morning to the midwife-recommended doctor in Atlanta.  He fortunately could see me while I will already be there tomorrow.  Please pray that he will be receptive to my concerns.  If low progesterone is an issue, this is actually one thing they can address - most early miscarriages cannot be prevented in any way, but a woman whose progesterone is out of whack can be helped to get that normalized.  I have already been taking supplements since the beginning of the year that have vitamins that are specifically useful in helping the body to have normal progesterone levels.  If I can get a doctor who can listen and not scoff, then I will feel much better as a mother whose baby has died and wants to make sure all the bases are covered for when and if I get another chance.

After my appointment and a lunch date at Jason's Deli with my girls, and dance shoe shopping, and photo-picking-upping, and Trader Joe's shopping, I get to go on a dinner date with this sexy guy:
That is printer toner all over his hands and shirt because he hacked the printer.  Guy who can fix your technology problems = swoon.  Dinner should be fun; it is free and at Maggianno's!  A company who is a vendor for his company is doing a presentation over dinner.  I will listen to techie talk for an open bar and free Italian food, absolutely!!

And so with that busy schedule in mind, I need to get off to bed now.  Just needed to write a bit first.  Nut granola for breakfast, yum, and then we are off early for our all-day trip.

$11 of cashews, soaked and dehydrated, baby.  They became granola tonight with their friends the walnuts and pecans.  High protein breakfast for our busy day.


Carrie said...

I self diagnosed low progesterone after the second miscarriage in a row. Treated it with now naturals progesterone cream. I did tons of reading online and I had many of the symptoms of low progesterone including repeat early miscarriage. I continued using the cream after I was pregnant until about 25 weeks along or so. I was frustrated with doctors needing more to go on (perhaps even more miscarriages?) before they would start looking into anything and just calling them flukes.
I hope you can find someone who will be sincere with you and I encourage you to not delay in looking into it if you feel you want or need to already.

Unknown said...

Mary Karol will not ever be forgotten by her grandparents. This sweet soul is missed.