A New Beginning

::This story first posted on October 15, 2011 – it was so good, we just had to repost it::

Well here we are…a few days before delivery…and so many thoughts are swirling through my head.

I am so blessed to be Meagan’s mommy. I think this has been meant to be for a long time.

Last Fall I remember feeling funny – Maura was still nursing, so I had no “typical” signs of being pregnant, but I just had a feeling. I took a test and sure enough, positive!  I was so excited – I didn’t really have an exact number as to how far along I was because of the nursing, but, I had a good idea.  I had very low progesterone with my previous pregnancy, so, I decided to call my doctor. She said to come right in so they could draw my blood and check.  They dated the pregnancy – I was due in early June 2011!

I remember a few days later getting the results – my Beta numbers (pregnancy horomone) was fine…but my progesterone number was abysmal.  I was immediately scared and worried.  She put me on progesterone supplements right away – but my blood draw two days later told me all I needed to know. My progesterone had not recovered – and now my Beta numbers were dropping.

I was going to lose this pregnancy.

I started to think – “How can this be happening?” I had three great, fairly “uneventful” pregnancies…and this was all new territory for me.  The worst part was the waiting – just knowing it was going to happen, and then waiting for the inevitable.  Knowing I’d never meet the life inside of me – not in this world.  It was such a hard week.

Being a musician, one of my “outlets” has always been music. Stressful times, sad times, disappointing times…they were always made better by me practicing and putting my emotions into that music.  Ironically, that next weekend, I had our Fall concert with the Symphony…all I could think about is “Oh no…what if I start to miscarry that weekend?? What will I do?

Sure enough, the Saturday of our concert, October 15, 2011, I started to bleed. I didn’t know what I was going to do, or how I would get through it.  I remember being at rehearsal – seeing all the smiling faces of my fellow musicians…hearing them laugh/joke around because it had been a while since we’d all seen each other. And all I could think about was my baby leaving me.  It was the hardest weekend I’ve ever had.  I had to sit there and play – and no one knew what was going on. I was not up for saying anything – it was all so raw.  Being pregnant, whether surprised or not, is natural. It’s what women are built for. Having the baby and not being pregnant anymore is also natural.

But being pregnant, knowing my baby was inside, and then knowing my body was shedding it – was just devastating.

On top of everything, Maura suddenly stopped nursing that weekend as well.  She would still nurse about 4 times a day…and in the previous days I had loved it even more. It brought me comfort in such a sad time. But suddenly, when I actually started to lose the baby, she would start to eat and then immediately pull away screaming.. or make faces like she didn’t like it anymore. My only guess was that the sudden change of horomones had also changed my milk and she didn’t care for it.  So the same weekend I lost the baby, Maura also quit nursing. It was a low blow emotionally.

After 9 days of bleeding, 2 weeks of cramping, and several emotional breakdowns, my miscarriage was “complete”…such hollow words.

No baby.

No due date.

No new baby items.

No nothing.

Brian and I did name the baby – it was still our baby – and was still alive in me – even if only for a short time. We always felt it had been a boy – and I had even dreamed of a little boy… so we named him ‘Jack.‘  There is not a day that goes by where we don’t think of baby Jack. The girls know about him – they know there was a baby in mommy’s tummy.. who went straight to heaven. They know they have a saint in heaven in baby Jack. They know that our goal for our children is to get them to heaven.. and.. baby Jack got called early by God.

There is nothing like going through the loss of a pregnancy… it is not only a sad feeling, but, a completely EMPTY feeling. It is an emptiness like no other – the emotions came in waves. The only ‘saving grace’ for me is that I know Jack is in heaven…My doctor (who was wonderful)  told me it was out of my control – because it happened naturally…babies who are meant to be born go to term… and babies that are not meant to be born, have something wrong with them – and our bodies know it – so God calls them to heaven early…I still have trouble with the phrase “naturally” though…I know my body failed my baby… but it just isn’t natural to have my baby ripped from my womb. It’s not natural for a mother and child to be separated… I will always feel empty for Jack because even if I have more children in the future, he was unique. He was the only baby Jack there will ever be. And I will always hold him close to my heart in everything I do.
Fast forward to Christmas time 2010…Brian and I talked, and we were ready to try again.  I remember being scared – everything in those first weeks was pins and needles now.  I took a test in late January, and I just “knew” I was pregnant. The test results were VERY light, but, I knew we had another baby on the way.  Of course this time I immediately called my doctor again. She brought me in for a progesterone draw – this time, my Beta numbers were fine, but my progesterone was very low – again.  She put me on supplements immediately, and we had to wait. I was extremely worried this one would end the same way as the last – but luckily, two days later, my second blood draw showed that my progesterone numbers had gone UP! Thank God — this looked like it was going to be a baby that stuck around! Even a better sign, I thought – was baby’s due date. After my initial appointment, my doctor said…ok! Everything looks good so far – looks like we will be having a baby on October 15th, 2011.
I remember being taken aback – October 15th?? Oh my… same day I started to miscarry last year. I started to worry and all the emotions flooded back. But then I also remember thinking
“Thank you Jack – thank you for giving me something to look forward to – so I could have a good memory on that day.”
The first trimester was nervewracking anyway – even after we saw the heartbeat, there was the fear. Then when we neared the 13 week mark and I could stop taking my progesterone, there was the anxiousness that my body would take over properly once the supplements stopped. It was a very nervous time.  I remember seeing the baby for the first time in such an amazing way at my 13 week scan. The baby was wiggling all over – two arms, two legs, body, head, facial features — baby was PERFECT! We were so elated, and relieved!
We pretty much carried this excitement into our 20 week scan. We were so glad to be past the “scary part” and on to what was a successful pregnancy. All the worry of miscarrying had pretty much left us, and we were so excited for that mid-way scan.  We decided to not find out the sex (we had 3 of our 4 be surprises and loved it).  We went in for our scan – and I remember the doctor going over everything with us – how perfect baby looked…all parts present…etc…and then the words…
“Baby has fluid in the brain – we are going to have to send you to a Specialist.”  My heart sank – not in disappointment about the baby or what could be wrong with her – because we would accept any child… but more in a way where all my emotions from the previous October came flooding back to me.
“Please Lord, I cannot do this again – I cannot lose the baby again.”
Now as I sit here ready for delivery, even with all we’ve been through, all Meagan’s issues, and all the uncertainties we have in the future with her…I finally realize why I was meant to only have Jack inside for eight weeks.  Because Meagan was meant to come to us – to our family.  She needed a lot – she had a lot of struggles, and God must have thought she needed to be with us.  This could have never happened without us going through the loss.  I realize now that the pain we endured last Fall was so Meagan could come be with us now – because we were meant to be her family.
I titled this post “A New Beginning” because it really is in so many ways.  We have a new beginning with a new baby after our loss last year.  We have a new beginning with Meagan’s journey – it’s not the end of a pregnancy, but, the beginning of Meagan’s life. We have a new beginning of an unknown chapter of Meagan’s journey…and we have a new beginning as a family with a new little girl to care for. It is also a new beginning emotionally – as we take all the emotions we felt when we went through with the miscarriage…all the emotions we have been through with Meagan’s diagnosis…and try to focus all that energy on carrying for Meagan and helping her develop to her greatest potential.
Baby Jack – watch over your sister and help her come to us safely.  Stay by her through surgery – and hold her hand while she is in the NICU recovering. 
We will always be your mommy and daddy. We look forward to meeting you one day in Heaven. We miss you and love you – but now we realize you are meant to be Meagan’s little Saint…
and we know you will be a great big brother to her.
Meagan – we cannot wait to see you. We are now just days…hours away from seeing you.  Know you have a lot of people praying for you – two parents here waiting to hold you…four beautiful sisters here waiting to smother you with hugs and kisses.. and one very special big brother who will be with you all the times we can’t.
**Molly can be found writing at Priceless Little Pearl, where she will take you on the journey of their newest daughter Meagan’s in-utero diagnosis of Fetal Hydrocephalus, through birth and going strong. In a world that is quick to abort at the slightest little inconvenience or medical hurdle, their story will touch your heart.**

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