Writing this blog has given me an outlet for what has been a very difficult few years. This Memorial Day weekend should have been a time for enjoying time with my family, and remembering the huge sacrifices our military families have made. Instead, I've spent much of the past two days in the hospital, crying my eyes out. If you are squeamish, please don't read this. This isn't "polite" conversation, and frankly, it is time that it changes. So common that hushed whispers and secrecy do not suffice.
After years of trying, Adam and I found out that we were expecting a few weeks ago. With so much that has gone wrong the past few years, this was something so right. Emma found out as well, and she was so excited that she told EVERYONE she talked to about it. She was having a sister, she said. We told her that she'd have to take what she got, because God isn't a short order cook. Four days ago, she asked me if the baby was going to die. I told her no, of course not. In retrospect, I started to feel "off" that day.
I woke up Saturday with my pants soaked with blood. The shock of it made me retch and almost pass out. My vision narrowed, my brow was sweating, and all I could do was yell for Adam. We rushed to the hospital, and I knew in my heart that it was over. I spent a few hours getting poked and prodded, only to get inconclusive results. I had to get an ultrasound, and Adam wasn't allowed to stay with me. My HCG levels were very low, and the ultrasound showed no gestational sack or fetal pole. The nurses and doctors were respectful of my emotions and were caring...but they told me that all we could do was wait and pray.
Sunday morning we told Emma that the baby most likely died, and that we would try again when we were ready. She was sad, and she held me so tight. We hadn't been to the fairgrounds to see if my pictures placed, so we decided to get cleaned up and get our minds off of it. Emma brought along her "BFF". Since the fence fell down, she has been close with the little girl behind us. Adam packed my scooter in the car, and off we went.
I was in a daze, and it seemed like every woman I saw was carrying a baby or was pregnant. Funny how things stick out like that. We found my photographs, and by surprise, I did place. I expected my photo of a mallard duck to place, and didn't expect to place in the portrait category. The result was actually the opposite - I placed third in portraits and didn't place in the animal category. Either way, that was good enough for me. I won a whopping $5.00 and a couple pretty ribbons.
We wandered around for awhile, and the cramping got worse very quickly. The girls wanted to shop, and instead of getting junk at the fair, we decided to take them to the Disney store at the mall. The pain went from bearable to something like being repeatedly punched in the gut just from scooting around the mall. After they spent their piggy bank money and we had some ice cream, we had to go home.
I crawled into bed, and the pain was horrible. I realized I was running a fever, and I knew that we had to go to the ER again. That was the last thing I wanted at that moment. I wanted my bed, I wanted sleep, and I wanted this to be over. We sat at Mercy for hours waiting for my lab work to come back. Every few minutes a young couple came in with a young child or baby that was sick, and I couldn't help but think about how this was ending for us. Their little cries made me cry. I love Emma so much, and more than anything, I want her to have a little brother or sister. I thought that after years of trying to figure out what was wrong with my muscles, and well over a year of trying to get pregnant, that this would last. This would be it. It would be real.
My HCG levels dropped from 117 to 80 instead of doubling like they should have. I didn't need the doctor to tell me. I knew what that meant. I knew that also meant that I'd have to wait for my body to let go of this pregnancy. The doctor also thinks that I have a bladder infection and possibly a pelvic infection. She gave me pain medication and antibiotics, and took some samples to culture.
Tomorrow is a holiday, and I can't call my doctor until Tuesday. To make matters worse, I haven't even seen this doctor before. I was switching doctors since my old doctor is too far away. I don't know what this doctor is like. Will she be caring and gentle like the doctors at the hospital were? Until then, I have to labor in a way that just shouldn't happen.
My heart is broken. Part of me died with that little soul that was inside of me. I used to volunteer by providing bereavement items for families at the local maternity ward. I never imagined that I would be in their place. I know that for us, we need to acknowledge this pregnancy. We need to acknowledge this little soul that was so very real to us. Since we'll never know, we decided to give this baby a name that works either way. Avalon is my great uncle's name, but it is also plays a pivotal role in the stories of the holy grail and King Arthur. So, Avalon it is. Our angel baby.
I wish I could have met this sweet baby. I know that someday, this will happen for us. We'll grow our family, by birth or by trying to adopt again. Please say a prayer for us.