Monday, April 11, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 2 - the part where I was forced to face my fears.)

There's nothing like 11 weeks of bedrest...

I know there are women who have to be on bedrest for much longer - but holy cow this felt like FOREVER!

So much happened in these 11 weeks, it would be impossible to tell you all of it. I do know, that sitting around your house alone for 11 weeks might not force you to go crazy, but it will force you to deal with some crap. At first I was pretty depressed and I slept almost all day long. It was so hard for me to be alone. I went from having a constant stream of visitors everyday at the hospital - to sometimes going days without seeing anyone except Chad. This is so hard for me. I am such a people person and I missed my people! As time went on, I stopped sleeping so much and started thinking more. I began having horrible nightmares. These nightmares kept me awake at night and haunted me all day long. In my nightmare, no matter what was happening, the outcome was always the same - I gave birth to a baby boy; a baby boy who was dead. It got so bad that I actually could never even picture Gabe without him being dead. It was awful. After weeks of this torture - I realized that if I wanted to give myself the best chance possible for the birth experience I wanted, I had to get rid of this ridiculous fear. As my due date grew closer, I knew I had to do something drastic and I sought the help of a phenomenal Hypno Therapist.

I am not dumb - I know this revelation will raise a lot of eyebrows and will most likely draw a great deal of criticism - and to that all I can say is, do your research and don't knock it until you try it.

I am so thankful that my two best friends - who I consider phenomenal christian women, recommended Kira to me. My therapy session was powerful and so healing beyond words. I want so much to tell you about it here, but there is no way to describe it adequately this way. What I can tell you is that I know now, that my fear of Gabriel dying was a product of years and years of miscarriages. Of 10 babies who I had knowledge of and fell in love with only to have them leave me. As time went on, and my family in heaven continued to grow, I truly began to believe that I just simply didn't deserve to have those babies. It was amazing to me that Gabriel had stayed in my belly so much longer than all the others - so it only made sense to me that since I didn't deserve the joy of having another baby, he too would die and leave me alone.

I can tell you now that a miscarriage breaks your heart. I can tell you also that it makes you feel physically broken. But I am happy to say, that the day I went to hypno therapy was the day I finally let all of my babies go to heaven. I felt and looked visibly relieved, and I was because you see I had been carrying those babies with me for all those years. That burden was big and it was heavy and letting it go was one of the most powerful experiences I have ever had.

Once my fear was dealt with, I was able to sleep and dream of the day I would give birth to my beautiful, ALIVE baby boy. I sang to my belly for the first time that night. I sang praise songs because I felt JOYFUL and finally excited about having a baby. The fear was gone - and now I could count down the days with anticipation. What a remarkable feeling...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The Story of Gabriel (part 1 - the part that scared us)

It has taken me a few weeks to process. We are definitely still adjusting. My family is adjusting to life with a sibling; a newborn. Meanwhile, I need to adjust to that and to the fact that my pregnancy has ended. I am chubbier than I would like to be; sleepier than I am used to and I have milk. Wow. The reality is, I have been absent from blogging from almost the entire 2nd and 3rd trimester of my pregnancy. What happened during those weeks - I still process daily. Little snipits are all I can handle. I am thankful though, that in a day that now is filled with nursing, and poopy diapers - I have moments when I can look back on a pregnancy that seriously changed EVERYTHING for us; a pregnancy that, for a while was the scariest time of my life; but a pregnancy that I believe, ultimately saved my life. Here's the story... I will pick up where the scary part started - December 30, 2010.

This was Christmas break for my kids and myself. We had a great first part of break. Lots of rest and lots of fun activities. It's what I really wanted since it was my last concentrated time alone with just the two of them. On this particular day - I felt really gross. I was totally lacking energy, had no appetite, and really just couldn't get out of bed. I had called my sister to come over so that I could sleep more. Later that afternoon, I pulled myself out of bed so that the four of us could head to Costco. We were getting ready to head out the door, and my spastic puppy Bailey kind of lunged at me. She hit me square in the belly. The impact of her made me feel gross - mostly just queasy, but nothing that caused me too much concern. We went to Costco. At Costco, I continued to feel gross. Nothing horrible, just really blah. After Costco we headed to our favorite Pho restaurant for dinner. As is standard, particularly in the last trimester - I had to pee. When I went to the restroom, I discovered that I was bleeding. Now, blood is never a reassuring sight at any point in pregnancy - so I made a call to my midwife. Long story short (too late, I know...) we ended up in the ER. They did an ultrasound and some blood work. My cervix was about 50% effaced and the monitors were picking up lots of contractions. I was admitted pending the results of the blood tests. The results came the next morning indicating that blood was swapped between me and the baby via a partial abruption of my placenta. The plan was for me to stay at the hospital until my bleeding and contractions stopped. Unfortunately, this didn't happen quickly. The reality was - I was 25 weeks pregnant and at risk of having a baby who really didn't have much of a chance at life. Chad and I were terrified beyond words. At that point, we made the decision to transfer my care from the hospital I was at - to an OB at a different hospital who is a dear friend of ours. I transferred hospitals on January 2nd. I remained in the hospital until January 12th. It was the longest, loneliest 15 days of my life. My heart hurt. My head was spinning. There was so much fear. It had taken me months to accept the pregnancy. I had just started to wrap my head around the whole thing. Did God really bring me all this way only to take this baby away from me? Was that a possibility?

My husband and my sister took turns sleeping at the hospital with me. There was one night when neither of them could stay. As I layed in my bed, waiting for my Ambien to kick in, I tried talking to God. It had been a long time since I had talked to God. I really didn't know what to say, so I ended up crying, those big silent tears you almost don't notice and just saying "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus..." until I eventually fell asleep.

On January 12th - I was discharged and came home to finish my pregnancy on bed rest. My mission - whether I accepted it or not - was to grow this person. Every day mattered. Every day that he stayed in gave him that much more of a chance. Let the bed resting commence...

PS. The picture of Hope and I was taken on one of our "family movie nights" while I was in the hospital.