Say Something I'm Giving Up On You

November 27, 2013

Obviously I was in the hospital and on bed rest for five weeks so I'm a little behind on "pop" culture.  I recently heard one of the top tens called "Say Something I'm Giving Up on You."  I cannot stop listening to it, almost turning it into a prayer.  My entire life I have walked as a Jesus follower but for the first time in my life I didn't feel His peace and presence when I was alone in that horrid hospital room the night they had to break Jude's water.  Thousands of prayers for a miracle.  Thousands of begs to God, cries for help, cries to heal, cries to heal me and my baby.  Silence.

To be transparent, I struggle to pray right now.  My faith has clearly been shaken.  The only things I can mutter out are thanking Him for giving me Darren and asking Him to tell Jude and Brinly about us-what we are like, how badly we wanted them, how deeply sad we are they are gone.  I ask God that He tells them what we look like, what kind of people we are, and how we are getting by.  The other prayer I can sometimes whisper is asking Him to "say something."  I'm so broken, so rock bottom.  We will do whatever we feel He asks us.  If adoption is the route, tell me Lord, make it obvious.  Say something. We are seriously considering surrogacy.  Say something.  Do I dare try again myself?  Say something.

The only book in the Bible I can stand to read is Job.  In no way am I comparing my story to his as everything he had, including his health, was stripped away at God's permission.  But, the one thing I have in common with Job is I haven't done anything so horrible to deserve this.  I can relate to his questioning of God's goodness and his wishes that he had never been born.  I can relate to the unfair suffering that sneaks up on you out of now where and knocks you to the ground.  My study Bible pointed out in James 5:10-11

"As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered.  You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about.  The Lord is full of mercy and compassion."

Although I feel so "betrayed" by God, so ditched, I refuse to accept that this is the how our story ends.  Deep in my heart I know this is not His nature and we live in a messed up world where bad things happen to good people.  The words "finally brought about" is all I can cling to in hopes that He will redeem and give back. 

So back to the song.  I will never "give up" on God.  I'm 100% "in" that He is good and His ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts higher than my thoughts.  I will never ever deny that.  However, the song is so perfect for where my heart is.  Just say something God.  Here's the song, I wrote some of my "thoughts" next to the lyrics.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
I'll be the one, if you want me to. (I feel like here is the surrender, I will do what you want)
Anywhere, I would've followed you. (I've been 100% faithful in my Christian walk)
Say something, I'm giving up on you. (Oh God, speak to us)

And I am feeling so small. (I have never felt so small in my life)
It was over my head
I know nothing at all.

And I will stumble and fall.
I'm still learning to love
Just starting to crawl. (I cannot wait till I feel like I can even just crawl again)

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you. (I wish I would have felt you with me)
Anywhere, I would've followed you.
Say something, I'm giving up on you.

And I will swallow my pride.
You're the one that I love (I still and forever will love Him)
And I'm saying goodbye.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
And I'm sorry that I couldn't get to you.
And anywhere, I would have followed you.
Oh-oh-oh-oh say something, I'm giving up on you.

Say something, I'm giving up on you.
Say something...

Memories from Birth Suite 315: My Little Sister

November 25, 2013

*I've been working on a memoir and I'll use this for it.  It's one of the many memories I have from the birth of my son and it's a sweet story of the power of family and my younger sister Heidi. 

I slowly woke up from surgery, my world a fog.  Was this a horrible nightmare?  Am I magically in my bed and it was all a bad dream?  I see surgeons and nurses surrounding me.  I black out again.  Then I remember seeing Darren standing over me.  “Did you see him?” I ask.  I hear my voice echoing every word I said.  “I held him,” he replies.  “Did he look normal?” “Yes.” Although I don’t remember it, Darren told me we had this same conversation over twenty times and that each time he said my reaction was the same.  I would hold his glance and smile and say “ya?” in a really soft, surprised, and happy tone.

Before I was fully awake, they brought my dream, my hope, my love to me wrapped in a tiny white blanket with blue strips.  His face was perfect.  His 1 pound 3 oz body was cold, but everything was there.  I held his hand. I stared at his face.  I saw my husband in him and I saw me.  My biological child that we had endured over 11 fertility treatments for, that we had prayed for, that we had celebrated and rejoiced for.  Dead, yet overwhelmingly beautiful.
I know all moms feel the same.  They look at their creation and admire and "ew and ah" and are convinced their child is perfect and cute and wonderful.  But Jude was.  Yes, he is my son, but yes, he truly was the most precious little face I had ever laid eyes on.  Different family members visited throughout the day and some held him while others handled the situation the way I would-out of respect they took a peek at Jude who lay lifeless in his cradle; but holding him wasn’t the right choice for them.  I would have responded the same way.  His little body quickly turned red as 21 week year old infant’s skin is still transparent.  Death is ugly and uncomfortable.  I was okay with how each family member responded in their own comfort zone.

But, there is a memory etched in my mind that will never ever leave me.  It involved my sister.  Heidi has always been my best friend and I adore her.  Often times in this infertility struggle we can’t talk much about it-she has a beautiful son and was careful during her pregnancy to treat me tenderly.  Many times my sadness is too much for her to bear and hear and she herself shuts done in sadness for me- while other friends can allow me to talk about things forever and discuss it.  It hurts Heidi too much so we don’t go there often in our conversations.  But what she did the day Jude was born was the most meaningful gesture anyone could have ever done.

Upon hearing the news of his delivery, her and her husband rushed to the hospital.  I was in my bed, in the room with my parents and Heidi came bursting through the doors, almost in a sprint.  Many people had tried to offer me their condolences, tell me “how sorry” they were, touch me, check in with me.  But not Heidi.  Without question she went up to my child and picked him up like he was a normal baby.  She carried him to a chair and held him close to her face and stared at him through sobs.  “He is perfect” she cries.  Since he was so young and fragile I had been treating him like a piece of glass.  Not her.  Heidi flopped him around like he was her own child, a real child,  and cried over him.  “He is my nephew,” she cries, “he could have been mine.”  Heidi was loving Jude with her whole heart as I carefully watched from my bed.

Anyone who is a mom understands the high one gets when someone else compliments your child.  All moms want their child to be loved and adored by everyone.  Here I am, completely desperate, rock bottom in a sterile hospital room with a stillborn and my sister, who hasn’t even acknowledge me yet, is in the corner, loving my son.  She wasn’t scared of him.  She wasn’t distant.   She wasn’t weirded out by his small red body.  She held him close and admired him in a way that I knew was purely from the heart.  As Jude’s mom, this did wonders for me; although is time with us was cut way too short, for the first time in my life I got to experience that feeling moms live for-someone to praise your child. I got to feel pride in my son.  I got to feel the high of someone else telling me he was wonderful.  To me, my child is beautiful.  To me, he is not scary.  He is not just a dead body, he is my son-and Heidi expressed that to me in a stunningly way.  Her whole visit wasn’t about poor Holly, it was about the loss of a beloved baby. She didn’t attempt words of encouragement or stories of people that overcame this.  She just loved him. After crying, she laid him back in the crib and left, still without saying anything I remember to me.   I have never loved her more.

I keep replaying so many scenes from that wretched day that my healthy baby boy was forced to be born.  There are so many things that happened that no mom should ever have to hear, see, decide, and experience.  I’m haunted by the horror of what went down; but then the memory of Jude’s aunt, her tenderness, her untamed cuddling, her tears of genuine love and deep sorrow over my son?  I will never forget that.

In Loving Memory Of Brinly and Jude

November 23, 2013

Quick update: miraculously my stomach has almost returned to normal (I can wear normal clothes and no one would dare ask, and I'm only 5 pounds over my pre-pregnancy weight) but my milk is still down pouring.  My poor chest is in the cycle of being bound, double sports bra, ice packs, cabbage leafs, and nipple pads.  Yesterday it leaked all over my clothes.  It will be nice when that dries up, but many women have warned me that a new wave of sadness may come with that too.

During this pregnancy, Darren and I documented SO MANY joyful occasions in hopes of making a video for Jude and Brinly to show them someday.  We have video footage of me with the positive pregnancy test, telling Darren's grandma we were having triplets, a hidden camera of my parents reactions when we got to make our so-longed-for announcement, ultrasounds, and our gender reveal party.  Because of the fear I will NEVER document a future pregnancy at this level (or at least till I'm 24 weeks) but we didn't want to just delete all those happy moments we were allowed to experience. 

This little video shows all those moments, and then has pictures of us with Jude at the hospital.  I made it for myself and Darren and family and friends, but wanted to share clips of this journey with followers that have been praying for us too.

Are You Pregnant?

November 20, 2013, 84 hours after the fact.

*little disclaimer, part of grieving advice is journaling.  Obviously this has been my place to do that.  I can spit out the emotions and it helps me cope and move on.  Although we are rock bottom I cannot secretly hope that this is not how our story ends.

For people that have been following me for awhile, they knew that I HATED people telling me "how small" "how teeny" "how I wasn't even showing." For someone who is tall and pretty flat stomached, I thought I looked super pregnant but it seemed like everyone wanted to ask "are you sure you are carrying twins?" From 9 weeks on I was carrying a present in my purse, a Starbucks card, for the first stranger who asked me "Are you pregnant?" in public.  Well, it didn't happen.  My water broke at 17 weeks and I have been on strict bed rest for the last 5 weeks-not leaving my home or the hospital.  17 weeks to 21 weeks is a huge "growth spirt" in pregnancy and although I didn't realize it, I began to look very pregnant at this 5 month mark.

It wasn't till I got home from delivering Jude that I noticed.  I forgot that the uterus is a muscle and takes weeks to contract down.  I still look 5 months pregnant and I cannot express in words the HATE I feel towards my body.  I use to hug and admire and measure my growing belly and the miracles inside but now its just a cruel reminder.  And my breasts?  I have somehow, almost overnight gone from super flat to porn star boobs. My milk is coming in in full force and my chest is rock solid.  Darren has to bind my chest with tight bandage strips and I can't hug people.  Last night was the first time I have been in public since October 18.  I wore a loose dress that I  thought hid it well.  But then, as we all know murphy's law, I got asked the question I had so desperately wanted to hear a month ago.

I was at Bath and Body works, my eyes puffier and redder than ever but me composed looking at soaps.  An employee came up to me.  Smiled this super huge sweet smile, pointed to my stomach and said "How ya doing?" This was the moment.  I said "What?" She repeated it, pointing to my stomach.  "I'm alright."  Darren walks in and she tells him he better carry my bags.  All the sudden, I transformed from a confident woman to an insecure 7th grader and worked to cover my stomach with my purse the rest of the outing.  We ran to Target to try to get me some "in between clothes."  I can't stand to wear maternity clothes and I've mainly purchased tight, stomach hugging clothes.  We grabbed some huge sweaters and large shirts and went to the dressing room.  Then I saw it.

My body.  I was surrounded by mirrors where I could see my entire body.  My stomach looked bigger then ever.  My belly button is half out.  My chest was all loop sided wrapped in sport bras and bandages.  My back had a huge red mark from the epidural and was covered in red bed sores.  My thighs looked loose and gross and I've been sedatary for 5 weeks.  Every shirt was a no, it hugged me in the wrong spot or just made me look like I had some weird fat roll.  Finally we found a shirt that was loose enough to prevent people from asking.  I made Darren go through the check out line because I was using a "baby" Target gift card I got for my birthday. 

Then today we had to make the trip no mom should ever make.  Since the babies were born in Oregon and Brinly was born at 18 weeks and weighted 6 ounces, the hospital provides complimentary burial services; however any baby born after 20 weeks is a stillborn (legally) so we have no choice but to arrange funeral services for Jude (1 lb 3 oz).  I asked if we could pay a fee at the hospital for them to do it but that is not an option.  Our parents are taking care of the majority of it but we legally had to go to the funeral home to sign for his cremation.  There I was, sitting in a creepy room surrounded by tombstones and crosses and plaques with an incredibly obese funeral director asking me tons of questions (like the date of my last period-seriously??), bringing up sorry for the loss of 3 babies, going into details of the cremation process, and there was the folder that said "Jude Benson."  So sad.

On a lighter note, we are discussing next steps.  You would think that after this hell I've been through we would throw in the towel.  In fact the day before Jude's birth I was begging for a d&e but everyone (doctors and Darren) didn't love this because it could hurt my future fertility. Future fertility? I almost laughed.  Darren once worked with a  woman who was born without a uterus so all her life she grew up accepting/knowing she would never carry a child-I almost envied her because she had an answer.  I was convinced I was "done" as I was in labor and shaking from pain and crying.

But then Jude.  When Darren and I saw his face we both felt the same-our desire to have a biological child increased.  We want to meet Jude's siblings.  Whether we go the surrogacy route or I get the guts to try again (the water breaking was a freak accident not connected to our fertility issues), Jude's face is what told us to not stop. 

PLEASE.  I beg you if you know me to not just shoot out "why don't you just adopt?"  Why don't you just adopt?  (Maybe you did but most haven't). Adoption is a beautiful thing and I have see families created through it.  We are open to adoption if we truly feel that God is making it obvious that is His route for us and I'm 100% He will bring us to that point in His timing if that's His plan-but no doctor has told us we are done; at this point it would be wrong for us to adopt since neither of us feel that is the current route.  Plus, adoption in the US can be around $25,000 and that can fall through as well.  The other killer comment people say is "my friend's mom's sister's cousin's co-worker's daughter adopted and then they got pregnant!"  Statistically this only happens to 1% of couples.  If we decide to adopt we are not doing it to get pregnant.  Please don't judge us because we want to experience a biological child-upon evaluation of our "issues" our fertility doctor told us he thinks with time we could get pregnant on our own, we just jumped to IVF because we didn't want to take chances and were ready to start our family.  Again, we are open to adoption and always have been, it would just have to feel right, be the right fit,  and be clear-we are also open to it after a pregnancy to expand our family.  But in case you are wondering, we are not actively pursuing that -it could change as everything is fresh and we are praying for guidance with next steps. 

Goodnight My Angel

November  17, 2013

I had so many dreams in regard to being a mom and being pregnant.  One thing I couldn't wait for was feeling those "flutters."  Jude had been kicking up a storm.

Oddly enough, I have daydreamed often about being in the delivery room, Darren by my side coaching me, and pushing out our future.  Honestly movies, tv shows, and facebook pictures of pregnant women in the hospital room create a wave of anxiety for me because I automatically think "what if that will never be me."

Last night that was me, but it was all wrong.  Yes, I was getting strong regular contractions.  Yes, Darren was by my bed, in the delivery room holding my hand and coaching me through deep breaths.  But it was wrong.  Not supposed to be here.  We have been ttc for over 1200 days. We needed 21 more days for Jude to have  39% chance.  21 cursed days.  My body had other plans.

The other bitterend was the kicks that I had grown to love, over the last 2 days have brought me deep grief.  I detested Jude's so-longed-for kicks because they would remind me his is alive! He is healthy!  He is perfectly perfect playing in his sack having no clue that his heartbeat was about to stop.  It made me sick to stomach.

Although they couldn't pin point the infection yet, my body wanted something out.  After trying to stop the contractions with pain meds, at 11:00 I couldn't take it.  They gave me an epidural.  With one look at the cerclage the doctor pulled it out and felt inside. 

Our saving grace would be that Brinly's placenta was the infection and that my body would just pass that.  But with a click glance in the doctor looked at me and said "all I can feel is his bag of water, this has to come out first."  Silence fills the room.  She then says "do I have permission to break his water."  Images of Jude stretching so happily in the fluid my body rush through my brain.  That lack of water that killed Brinly and that I so wished I could provide.  His perfect water sack. "Is there any other way, can the placenta shift and deliver first?" I ask.  She sadly shakes her head.  And tells me she is sure I have an infection and doesn't want me more at risk "Just do it then I guess."  Before I know it I hear the sound of a gush and feel warm water on my legs.  My sweet baby Jude. "Oh God" I whisper in a half prayer, half question as to if He is still near?

The epidural kept the pain away and when it came time to deliver, the dr. had agreed to allow me to go to the OR and get sedated followed by a d &C to make sure everything is cleaned out.

They rolled me back and I touched my stomach one last time "see you on the other side" I whisper to my angel.  When I woke up, it was over but as they were wheeling me back to the room, Darren told me that he had held Jude.  I was so anti-seeing Brinly because I knew she wouldn't look like a baby at 18 weeks.  He looked normal Darren said.  Suddenly my fear left and the mom that I am (although the world will never know it) wanted to hold him.  And I did.  He was perfect as ever.  He was beautiful.  Everything formed, gorgeous face with a nose that looks like mine.  I held his hand.  I kissed his head.  I whispered "I love you." This just isn't fair.

I am very afraid of the grief and sorrow to follow.  I'm afraid that I will burn with memories when I see a pregnant mom.  I'm afraid the wrong turn down a Target aisle can lead me to unconsable tears.  I'm scared of how long this will hurt and the days and the months to follow.  What if I change?  What if I'm harder?  My daughter died just 3 weeks ago and my son?  This morning.

A few people have asked again"how are you doing?" and I almost snicker.  The typical American answer is  "ok" "alright" "hanging in there" "surviving"

You want to know how we are really doing?

Imagine the strongest physical pain you have experienced, mix it up with what you dread the most coming true, then throw in a death, and then another death, and then throw in the sound of your family weeping, and a young mom who just had 2 hearts ripped out of her as she literally holds her dream in arms that is truly beautiful yet hopelessly dead,  mix in seeing your strong father sob and your confident husband stare at you with eyes like you've never seen before-eyes of pain as you yourself cry out "I cant take this any longer" and all he can do is helplessly watch her suffer as she loses his baby and then add the taste of bitterness and antibiotics lingering in your mouth with doctors poking and proding and breaking water=that is how I am. 

Infection. Wake Me Up WHen It's All Over

November 16, 2013

Everything was good till Thursday night.  I started getting contractions and checked back into hospital.  My white blood cell count has go to a high level indicating infection.  I had to have an aminosentis (they took some of Jude's water) and a catheter shoved up to detect the infection.

Unless there is a miracle, I will be forced to deliver Jude today or tomorrow via an epidural or d and e.

The only thing we can ask for is prayer for peace and acceptance and healing for the cruel aftermath of grief that will follow. 

Jude's Kicks Keep Me Kickin

November 15, 2013  20 weeks, 3 days

No news is good news often times.  The scary thing for me is how quickly things can change.  I have one of the happiest moments of my life, our gender reveal party for my 30th where friends and family are rejoicing with us for FINALLY beating infertility where I literally cry out of sheer happiness, and just 12 days later I'm holding a piece of paper with my daughter's footprints crying out of the deepest grief I've even known.  All this in just 12 days.  We still have a long way to go till 24 weeks and 24 weeks is a horrible time to deliver a baby; that's just our short term goal and hope.

I have a huge picture above my couch of Darren and I walking down the stairs out to our get-away-car after our wedding reception.  It's one of my favorite pictures because it captures pure joy.  We are not "posing" or "trying to look good" we are just purely 100% happy and the photographer caught it.  I felt this same way about the moment my little world found out about Brinly and Jude.  I love this picture and find it beautiful in the sense it's so authentic- it's beautiful because it's real, it's us experiencing pure/true happiness caught in a moment. 

I have gotten so many emails, texts, phone calls, visitors with the same question: How are you doing?

Before I answer, I have to deeper explain the question to "how is Jude doing?" I talked about it in my last post.  Basically I feel like my sweet, perfect, healthy baby is in the middle of Iraq and all I can do is watch and hope and pray he survives.  He is flawless but his environment is hostile.  My body is not a wonderful place for him to be, but its his best bet.

Now, how are I doing?

The short answer:  If a 1 was the day I lost Brinly and a 10 was the day of our gender reveal party, I am 3.  I will stay that way until I reach viability.  If nothing changes (no labor/infection), every day will remain a 3 as I have to fight off my own demons of fear and worry that haunt me often when I am left to my own thoughts.

The longer answer: 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.

I refuse to fall into depression.  I am fully aware the world is full of pain and that followers of Christ are not exempt from suffering.  I am pressed on every side but I am NOT crushed.  I am perplexed beyond imagination but I am NOT in despair.  I feel so persecuted-but I know I am not alone.  I have never been more struck down and heartbroken in my life, but I am NOT destroyed. 

I am so grateful that there is an end-date to this horrible path.  March 31 is Jude's full term due date.  No matter what happens, this fire will be over by then.  So many people who are suffering with an illness, a bad marriage, a financial crisis, etc. have no clue when it will end. 

Obviously I'm not doing "bump updates" or pictures of my stomach-it's too hard to celebrate something so fragile.  BUT, I have a sweet story.  The night after getting home from the hospital, I was laying my own bed, talking to Darren about surrogacy as an option.  Although the doctors are convinced this has nothing to do with my body, I like to plan ahead.  Surrogacy sounds so nice because I'm terrified of pregnancy now that I've know the cruelest side effects it can bring-Darren tried to remind me that we are "not at that point" yet but I couldn't shake it-then I felt it again, a big strong kick from inside my body.  It was almost like sweet Jude was like "um, hello, I'm right here, I can hear you!!"  I loved it.  It snapped me back into reality.  I have a live and healthy son in my stomach.  Surrogacy is more of something we would consider if God-forbid something happens to Jude.  Darren is right.  In this moment, we are not there- and little Jude's strong kick reminded me of what I am fighting for.  "Where there is life there is hope."

In fact, in these long moments alone on bed rest, I often get lost in the haunting thoughts of flashbacks to that hospital room.  Or when my water broke.  I become paralyzed with fear of the deep, dark, scary unknown that lies ahead for me and this little boy.  I can handle the boredom, it's the deep reality of the grave situation I am in, it's the little white box I can see at the top of my closet with Brinly's blanket and pictures, it's the twinges and the bleeding that can drive me to insanity and sadness-but his kicks? They are random, but they are so life giving to me.  They bring me back to hope.  They make me feel insane love.  They remind me why we chose to fight instead of terminate.  They also make me more scared-how alive he is makes it even scarier that he is at great risk.

Tomorrow is my first check up.  They will check for infection.  They will try to determine why I continue to bleed (although they didn't have a clear idea last week when I left and nothing has increased/decreased).  They will look at Jude (I'm so begging for a 3d picture of him).  I'm a little nervous we might discover something bad, but have accepted the fact that they cannot do anything else to help us till Dec 9. 

Lastly, it I have to try to acknowledge the amazing amount of encouraging emails, funny gifts, and meals people have blessed us with: 

So many people sent flowers the first week and then Pat, our amazing secretary at UHS worked with other teachers to make me a hilarious and fun gift basket which included a Netflix account, all kinds of tasty treats, magazines, hand puppet tattoos, coloring books; special thanks to Stephanie Evans for the pumpkin bread and Hello Kitty coloring book at the hospital, and to Marg and Hanan and her for visiting me all the way out in Beaverton.  Kristen Franz sent me a beautiful necklace, Allysa Dillon sent me the sweetest card with a giving key necklace, Caroline and the book "I Will Carry You", and so many sweet words of love and encouragement.  People are bringing us a meal every other day and it's been such a blessing. Also a huge shout out to Tricia Shiply (co-worker who brought me an amazing meal yesterday) because she told me I was looking chubby and pointed to my stomach (music to my ears, highlight of my boring day Tricia:).  And for anyone I skipped, I thank you too.  These little notes, messages, gifts, meals remind me we are not alone and how Christ continues to remind me, through you all, that He is still here too. 

How Do You Pray?

November 7, 2013  19 weeks, 4 days

Last night we had a scary extra bleeding episode at the hospital.  The blood looked the same but it wouldn't stop for the first time.  By the time I laid down, my legs were shaking.  I know medically speaking we are in the best place we can be for our position.  Losing Brinly gives Jude a better chance at life, and praise God we did not have to make the decision of ending Brinly's life-He did it shortly after we declined.  I hate that we lost her but the doctors think that since the sac had burst, it was Jude's best bet.

The confusing thing for most of my friends/family/followers is Jude.  People are constantly asking "How is Jude?"

The funny thing is, Jude is perfect.  He has his own nice full water sac.  His heart rate is dead on.  In the hospital they did a couple ultrasounds where we saw him stretch, yawn, and put his hands in his mouth.  I felt him kick for sure for the first time and Darren was able to feel his son kick for the first time.  I cried.  Every time I hear his heartbeat (every day for the last 12 days) or see him twist and twirl on the ultrasound the risk of loving him increases.  There is no concern that something will go wrong....with him.  Allow me to explain.

The reason why there is such a risk to him is because my body is completely whacked out.  I had water break and went into labor.  I had an umbilical cord and a foot hanging out of my cervix which puts me and him at high risk for infection (which is why today was the 13th day of antibiotics).  There is a ton of debrie sewn up in my uterus: Brinly's placenta and left over sac, part of her cord, the first triplet we lost.  There is an uncontrollable chance that I could go into preterm labor again.  That's what people should be asking.  Signs of infection?  Are you in labor? (Okay, I guess those are awkward questions) but my concern and deepest fears are not in "is Jude okay?" Because he is and chances at this stage in the game of him having issues are very low and honestly not on my mind.  Brinly was good too until the water broke. 

I struggle falling asleep at night because my mind runs.  Flashbacks of the cord hanging out.  Flashbacks of hearing "I don't see a heartbeat."  Last night I had a vision of freshly caught fish that was on the shore, flipping around gasping for air.  I felt like that fish.

All my life I have served God.  I have been 100% faithful in following the Bible, loving others more than myself, following the rules and trying to treat people the way He would.  I fully believe in miracles.  There are several examples in the Bible where God simply had to speak the miracle and it was.  The blind were healed, the deaf could hear.  Jesus rose from the dead.

And here I am, a desperate fish gasping for a breath, struggling, suffereing, in a world of pain.  "God! Lord? WHERE ARE YOU?"  With one simple word He can throw me back in the water and save me.  But He is not, at least at this point.  I am not angry, but feel so forsaken, so abandoned.  I know He never leaves me and I accept that His ways are higher, but here I am, hour by hour flopping around desperate for Him to save me.  I told Darren that I no longer have the strength to pray.  Not out of anger, but out of speechlessness.  Over the last 3 years in our battle I have BEGGED God:

1.  to help me get pregnant
2.  to let IUI #1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7,8 to work
3. to let IVF #1 to work
4. to do a miracle in our first pregnancy and help my baby beat the odds
5. to let the frozen transfer to work
6. to give me healthy Triplets (yes, once I put in the 3 on IVF #3, I WANTED them all)
7. to protect to my twins
8. to save Brinly and fill her water sac
9. to not let me go into labor with Brinly (after her heart stopped) but that she would remain in my body till the end of term

Every answer: No.

I told Darren I just don't have the words.  The "let" and "help" have echoed into an empty cave. 

This is not to say He hasn't given me strength to face things I never could imagine.  This is not to say He hasn't given me an incredible passion for women who struggle with infertility.  This is not to say that I love my husband more than I ever imagined.  This is not say that I will have a crazy fierce love for the baby I hold someday (unlike those women I HATE dislike envy-to-death who practically just look at a pregnancy test and poof). 

Caroline, a sweet blog follower sent me a book today called "I Will Carry You."  I've only read the beginning.  The woman had three girls before she had to go  through the loss of her 4th (to be honest, it's hard for me not to judge "but she already has kids, it's easier", I know that's not fair).  BUT, I have already learned something.

The author points out that in several miracles in the Bible people did not say "Raise him from the dead" (Lazarus), or when Jesus turned the water to wine at the wedding, Mary did not say "Can you make some more wine" or "Can you LET there be more wine."  She simply stated the problem to Jesus "There is no more wine." And stepped back to see what He would do about the problem. 

I like this.  Although it's so easy (and not wrong by any means, bringing our requests to Him), but for me, where I am now, rock bottom, speechless before my king, I'm simply going to state the problem:

Lord Jesus, I love Jude so much.  He is at great risk.  We could get an infection.  My body is haywire.  I could go into preterm labor.  I'm bleeding a lot.  I am really really scared.

And release it to Him.  I'm going to step back and see what He does. 

Stick A 1000 Needles in my Eye and Updates

November 6, 2013    19 weeks, 2 days

So I officially get to go home tomorrow after my last antibiotic treatment scheduled for around 6:00 am tomorrow.  I have been on oral or IV antibiotics for 13 days. 

No amazing updates.  I continue to wake up bleeding but it usually tapers off.  The specialists are not overly concerned and assume the blood pools at night.  I of course hate it but obviously can't control it.

I haven't had much pain minus light cramps and burning/tingling thighs.  I can't sleep and often have to take two ambiene.  Hopefully my own bed will be more welcoming.

The last 10 days have gone fairly fast in the hospital.  I'm a good self entertainer and Darren has been able to be with me 90% of the time.  He had to leave for work and went back to Vancouver on Sunday night and I cried like a little child getting left with the babysitter.  I started apologizing to him for any mean thing I've ever done to him in my life (starting when I was 20) because I feel so in love with him and so incredibly attached.  He laughed at my craziness but was really really sad to leave; specially with me crying and leaving me after being with me a week straight 24-7. 

Darren is a very solid, very stable man.  He doesn't often express emotions and usually after a deep sigh, he is good to go.  To see him mourn, to see him deeply sad really is a sad thing for me.  With previous failed treatments and early loses Darren was sad, but not like this.  For the first time I heard him talk a lot about it.  Stuff like "I lost my daughter." "My daughter died."  "I was so excited for a little girl." Breaks my heart as much as the situation breaks my heart.  He had to go home and pack up all Brinly's cute clothes I bought right before my gender reveal party; he did it alone. I wanted to get rid of them but he wanted to keep them.  I emailed Target and asked them to completely delete the registry my sister and I set up in celebration of 14 weeks.  We have to login to BabysRUs site and delete everything that is pink.  I cannot bare to see it.  It was just two weeks ago that we were so happily celebrating my 30th and registering away for our sweet babies.  How quickly things can change.

Lastly, my blog has always been my place where I can "vent."  I'm not a negative person but sometimes it's nice to blow steam into cyberspace and move on.

 Here's my rant.  It's titled "Some Nurses Are Not Nice." Lol.  So many are amazing but here we go.

  I got an IV placed in me on 10/29 when I arrived.  They have to replace it every three days.  Although not fun, it wasn't horrible.  By day 3 I was ready for a new one.  This time they called "IV Therapy" and a woman came that does it all day.  She was a little blunt and I swear she drooled on my arm, but she put it in a spot that didn't bug me.  No complaints, until last night:
I get IV meds every 6 hours.  Yesterday I needed a new IV so I convinced my nurse to let me have it out from noon to 6pm. 

At 6pm she came back with a nurse she was "training" on IVs.  Seriously?  (My mom describes this exactly as "mean, mean mean!") You have to pick me to get trained on out of this whole pregnancy labor and delivery ward?  Pick on a mom that just had a healthy baby.  They were really dramatic about getting the needle in, taking forever to find a vein, and then the trainee shoves it in without warning.  It KILLED.  I told her it hurt really bad, then she says "opps, I hit a valve"  she continues to try to get it in but eventually pulls it all the way out (which feels almost as creepy/horrible" and says "sorry" in a long annoying voice with a smile. She then went on to ask "do you need lab work because it would work for that, but not antibiotics?"  The whole reason I am still here is for antibiotics (imagine me doing an inner eye roll) So, they go again for a different vein.  I'm used to being poked cause of IVF but seriously?  So they did it again-all the way in with the IV and hit a valve (I've never had this issue).  Again the "opps."  I couldn't cry because I was alone but I looked at them and said "I know you guys are nurses and this is your job, but can you please call IV therpy?"  They did.  The IV therapy lady looked scary and seemed a little loopy.  She got it on the first try BUT put it in the bend of my hand.  Any movement killed so at midnight they removed it and woke me up for the FORTH IV at 5:45 am.  The forth one is fine and I only have 3 more treatments left.

My second complaint is about a person that meant well, but no joke, 48 hours of literally experiencing one of the worst things I could have thought of for this pregnancy this night nurse went into full-counseling mode.  We did NOT bring it up but for almost 30 minutes, with her beady hand on my leg, she told us:

how we need to be thankful for the 18 weeks we had her
how she brought us joy for 18 months
how she lived a perfect life and bonded with her brother (really?)
how this will hurt for the rest of our lives
how we need to get counseling

As mentioned I'm too nice to yell Shut the (insert mild bad word here) up and I knew she was genuinely trying to be kind.  But I just watched the clock and selected a time I would cut her off.  While she took a breath (I mean it was non stop rambling) I told her we are heartbroken over Brinly but are trying not to dwell on that for now since our son needs us.  I know it will hit me.  Probably again and again and again and again, the reality and horror of what just happened out of nowhere, but I'm so hoping and praying that it hits me while I hold her brother close.

Lastly, all the nurses have been so understanding because I'm so paranoid about everything.  Infection=game over.  So, when I got a yeast infection I asked a lot of questions.  My night nurse (I've had like 18 different ones total) brought me pills for the infection.  I was nervous and wanted to make sure A.  It wouldn't hurt Jude   B.  It wouldn't counteract with the antibiotics.  When I asked her those questions she looked really annoyed and was like "your doctor ordered these."  I guess her compassion level is low in my anxiety-ran mind but I know she hasn't delivered a stillborn.  Again, I'm forgiving but come on!

Rant over.

Everyone else has been amazing from nice moms to girls my age I would be friends with in real life.

So far Jude is looking perfect and his fluid great, but an hour could change everything so I will remain neutral and guarded (yet hopeful) till he comes out alive way past viability.

On a lighter note, I asked for an ultrasound 3 days ago for peace of mind.  The specialist did it and Jude actually looked directly at the screen and we could see his eyes move!  She pointed it out (I guess the eyelids are so thin you can see the lenses moving at times).  Darren got all excited and said it reminded him of a character off Batman.  Not exactly what an expectant mom wants to think of her sweet precious CUTE son (words normal people use to describe babies) but if it makes the dad feel happier thinking he looks like Batman character (in all honestly, I could see it, at this stage they look like little skeletons) more power to him.

Tomorrow I go home.  I'm happy but also scared.  Although I'm tired of my stay at hotel St. Vincent, it's nice to know I'm right here if something goes down.  One day at a time.

Darren told me there are all kinds of packages and cards for me at home which is so incredibly caring.  My friend "Mrs. Lost" Where is that bird? is going through IVF herself right now and went to look at her page I saw this image, so kind.  Thank you again to everyone.

Surgery and Other Updates from Birth Suite 310

November 3, 2013

Praise the Lord, the 24 hours after delivering Brinly were fairly uneventful.  I had a few contractions and was bleeding, but nothing that alarmed them and no sign of infection.

The nurse made us the sweetest memory box with her footprints/handprints (I wrote about it a little on last post) and then they gave a blanket that they had wrapped her in.  She will be buried in a matching outfit to the blanket.  I cannot believe how "big" she was.  I wasn't showing a ton but a 9 inch baby.  Her feet are so tiny but still shocking that she was just in my womb. 

On Halloween morning I woke up way before the surgery.  My brain/stress/worry cannot be overcome with their power sleeping meds.  They took me to the Operation Room and gave me a spinal.  I was horrified for the pain but it just felt like a shot.  My body went numb fast and I didn't feel a thing.

Since my case is so rare, every move is an educated guess.  The doctors literally went in and sewed stitches in my cervix.  This type of surgery is called a cerclage.  They usually do it on people with incompetent cervixes but in my case they thought it couldn't hurt.

One of the specialists told me they have had 5 of theses "cases"  in the last 5 years where one twin or
triplet delivers and then they give a cerclage.  2 have had successful outcomes (baby at the end).  The hope is it keeps out infection and reminds my body not to go into labor but there are no guarantees.

I cannot express in words the amount of emotions and mainly fear I  have experienced in the last week.  I cannot go to the bathroom without a "catcher" in the toilet because I'm horrified to simply go to the bathroom.  Every twinge, every spot, every ache can lead me to a panic attack.  I was originally told I would go home today (Sunday) but one of the specialist feels I need to be on antibiotics 7 days after surgery so it looks like my new "home" date isn't until Thursday.

Friday was the melt down day.  My back hurt really bad from the spinal, I realized we are so far from out of the woods.  I'm on an IV where they give me antibiotics every 6 hours-hardcore antibiotics to the point I'm getting a yeast infection.  I could see the box where Brinly's footprints, and blanket, and hat were and lost it.  I want this to be over so bad.  The infertility journey is enough for one person, then adding rare pregnancy complications?  I'm in so much shock.

I also went through a selfish cry period.  I've dreamed of being pregnant and FINALLY reached a point in my pregnancy where I could breathe and enjoy.  We didn't officially announce till 17 weeks-far beyond the "safe zone." I cried because the rest of the pregnancy is jaded.  Every day I will wonder if this is the day.  I will be scared to go to the bathroom. I will probably panic and think I'm going into labor the first time I feel sweet Jude move instead of laughing and smiling and "just knowing" he was okay.   I cried because I won't have a joyful baby shower-I only want one IF it works out (so sad I have to say IF).  I cried because the joy and excitement in "bump pictures" seems pointless, the nursery is on hold.   Of course, it will be worth it in the end, but I'm being honest.  I told Darren I feel like I just got a positive pregnancy test-4 weeks pregnant-and that I have to keep my mouth shut and emotions guarded till 12 weeks.  Maybe I can breathe again a bit once I hit 24 if God allows me to go that far. 

Lastly, the most painful wave of emotion I'm dealing with is the fact Brinly was perfect.  I HATE (insert every horrible bad possible word here) HATE that Brinly would have been alive if her water didn't freakishly break.  I HATE that after 3 years of infertility we were 41 days away...FORTY ONE freaking days of where she could have possibly survived.  If I knew something was wrong with her...anything...deformity, mental illness, etc.I could at least know that she was spared from a more challenging life. But she was perfect and I hate it.

Through the storm, we will praise Him.  I do not have one ounce of anger toward God.  I don't understand it, but I trust that He is good and that He sees things we don't.  I'm not angry-but I'm very deeply sad.  I'm sad at God.

Thank you all so much for the verses, encouragement, packages (Sarah and Suzanne), prayers, and crying with us.  Means the world and brings support.  Thank you.  Let the fight continue for Jude.

My Bucket List:

My Bucket List: