Sunday, January 29, 2012

"I'll try again tomorrow..."

14 Days...

It has been 14 days since I was told that I was going to lose my little baby...everyday I wake up, and I think about this gift that is inside of me, a little baby who's heart beat is still hanging on. My morning thoughts have pretty much been the same for the past 14 days...I wonder if today will be the day that I have to say goodbye...and I wonder how I'm going to do it. I don't know how many more days there will be when I have to wake up and ask myself that question but part of me is okay with it, because then that means that I don't have to say goodbye to this precious life that I carry inside of me...but I know that she needs to go home to be with her Heavenly Father.

It has been 20 days since my doctor first saw something...never did I think that that little check up would lead us to where it has today...

It has been about 105 days since we found out that our little family was going to be expecting a new little bundle of joy...and it has also been about that many days since we saw that little flicker of light on the ultrasound screen...a little heart beat...a heart beat that has forever changed our lives. I think about those days a lot...I remember the happiness I felt when I saw those two little lines, and when I heard that tiny heart beat. It has been quite the journey.

Yesterday, I finally got around to checking my voice messages, and I had a message from Dr. Brar's office saying that they have to cancel my appointment (it's tomorrow, Monday) because I have been transferred to Loma Linda hospital...I was very confused and shocked. I thought to myself, only people in serious conditions usually have to go there (unless there insurance is originally there of course)...and that can't be me! Of course I couldn't even call my insurance to figure out what I needed to do, and the maternity clinic was closed, so that meant that I'd have to wait...I was fine with the doctors I had, I was okay with the plan that we had for me, I was even more okay with delivering at St. Mary's because it's 5 minutes from Grandma and Grandpa's house where Hunter will most likely be, and it's where I know my surroundings and feel comfortable. Luckily, I got a lot of comforting and encouraging words from a lot of wonderful people, which gave me some peace, yet I still have fears. We are now going to get a second opinion and I'm worried that it could be different, and although we are ultimately in control, I don't want to be confused or have to make any different decisions. As the days pass, I wait for my Monday morning appointment, and tomorrow we would have been able to find out, first thing, whether or not her heart had stopped and if our loving Heavenly Father had decided to take her home. I've decided that that's how I want to find out...I don't want to all of a sudden go into labor, or start bleeding, or possibly have my water break, etc. Who knows where I would be when any of those things could happen, Michael could be down the hill at work, I'd most likely have Hunter with me...etc. So, ya, if you can't tell, I'm kind of scared about how everything's going to happen, so I wait and wait for my ultrasound and I really hope I'll be able to get one tomorrow.

I can honestly say that I've never felt so broken down in my whole entire life, but somehow I make it through each day, and everyday I discover something today I realized while I was taking to a very dear friend, that because Heavenly Father knows what you are about to go through, He will prepare you. Today, I had questions for my dear sweet husband, and while I asked through all my tears if maybe we are going through this because we need to be prepared for something else, he replied, "Or maybe we are going through this because we are strong enough." Although I don't feel strong enough, I've been able to do some soul searching that I never would have done if it wasn't for this trial, and I have to remind myself and realize that I am getting through there has to be some strength in there somewhere.

I am still waiting for when, "This too shall pass..." and although I have many fears and worries, I will always know that time will always move forward, and we have to move forward with it.

Yesterday, I saw the picture below...and it sums up everything right now...tomorrow I shall try again, because as of right now, that's all I can do, get through this day by day. For the first time in my life, I've really had to think about what makes my first I thought crafting and creating could help...and then it didn't...and then we went out for sushi (I've always felt like sushi can cure anything) and I was ready to go home before I was even done eating...I watched American Idol...I just kind of fast forward through...I've been able to teach a little bit...and it helped a little...I've thought about Disneyland, or taking a trip, which can always make me happy...and even the thought of it doesn't really help. This is honestly a very, very sad time for me...but I hold tight to the gospel and my family, I constantly listen to hymns and uplifting music, and I find courage to endure through this trying time.

Once again, thank you for your kind words, thoughts, prayers...I have been amazed by those who have taken the time to really reach out to me. Thank you doesn't seem like enough, but know that I am sincerely grateful for you.

Love, Rosalie, Michael and baby Elle

Monday, January 23, 2012

Day by Day

Monday January 23rd

Early morning appointment with Dr. Brar...on our way to the doctors Michael and I talk about how it was only one week ago that we found out that we were going to lose our baby. Usually, weeks go by pretty quickly, but I can honestly say that this has been the longest week of my life. Time just seems to be moving so slowly, but a part of me is grateful for that, because it means that I get to hold and carry my sweet daughter for just that much longer. On the other hand, at first I thought that time would help me to cope and get better...then I started realizing, more and more, that the more time passed, the closer I was getting to the inevitable...I have often asked myself, how does a mother endure this torment?

They started off with an ultrasound at Dr. Brar's office...Michael is able to see all the images and he said that even after one week, he sees more cysts around her body, the ones she already had were bigger and the swelling was worse. He said that it was hard to even make out any images of what a normal baby would look like...somehow her heartbeat is still normal...the nurse told us that there was more fluid around her heart. When she asked if I wanted to look, all I could do was cry, and I quickly said, "no". Next week, I'm going to prepare myself to look, and I kind of wish I had today. The doctor predicted that she could pass anywhere from days to weeks from now. I will now be monitored weekly...

A few hours later we went and saw Dr. Moneke for the first time since we found out. Bless my doctor and his compassionate heart... He listened so intently and we could really tell that he cared. We told him our decision to let our daughter pass in our Heavenly Father's time and he told us that he will stand by whatever decision we make. When I asked him if he had seen other cases like this, he said that he had, but the majority of the mothers had decided to terminate. He was very good about answering all my questions and I'm so grateful that he will be there to help deliver my baby. Unfortunately, he will be leaving the country for two weeks in February, but I hope that he will be around when I need him. One of my fears right now is having to go through all mother's know, it's not easy, and although I wouldn't be delivering a full term baby I do not look forward to experiencing any physical pain...the pain of having Hunter was very worth it, because in the end I had a baby to take home...when I asked about an epidural my doctor said "Absolutely, why should we make you go through pain when you don't need to." That eased my worries a little bit.

Once again, I would like to thank all those who have sent their condolences, prayed for us, and just told us that they are thinking about and love us. I've had some mothers share their stories with me, and that has meant a lot. I have been amazed by the compassion of not only long time friends, but people who have only known us for only a short time. I know that I am very quick to tell someone that I am praying for them, or thinking about them, and never did I think that I would be on the other side. Thank you for your empathy...After today, we feel a little bit closer to the light at the end of the tunnel, yet nothing about this feels easier and there isn't anything that will help us to feel peace except to stay close to our Heavenly Father and have faith in His plan.

Sincerely, Rosalie, Michael and baby Elle

Friday, January 20, 2012

My Days of Carrying Baby Elle Carmela

Monday January 9th
18 week appointment with Dr. Moneke…I was told that he only gives ultrasounds 15 weeks and earlier and wasn’t planning to give me one (at this point I had already had 2 and the baby was perfectly healthy). I asked him if he would give me one so he could try and identify the gender, and I’m sure that he could see how anxious I was because he kindly agreed to give me one. He wasn’t able to see the gender, but he noticed two large black circles behind the baby’s head, and he was also a little concerned about how large the baby’s legs looked. He told me to get it checked out ASAP and a few hours later I received a more detailed US, once again the gender wasn’t determined, but the US tech saw the same thing he did, but we’d have to wait for the final results…

Wednesday January 11th
Consult with Dr. Moneke to receive my results…he reads them under his breath, I hear him say something about cysts…but that was about it. I anxiously waited for answers, questioned him the best I can, but am only told that I needed to go see a specialist. He said that he didn’t trust results, and didn’t want to tell me anything…I am told that I needed to get looked at ASAP and being that the Dr. that he wanted to send me to was only in the office on Mondays, meant I’d have to wait for a few days to get more answers.
In the meantime…I’m not too worried…the baby was very active, had a strong heart beat and by the looks of it, it didn’t seem like we had anything to worry about. When Dr. Moneke was giving me my US I felt the baby kicking where he was pushing, and it felt so good to feel the baby inside of me. Everything seemed okay…

Monday January 16th
A day I will never forget…I receive an US from Dr. Brar…although he was speaking so fast, and using so many words I didn’t understand, I was able to understand when he said that our baby’s heart will fail…It all seems like such a blur, and Michael was much better at internalizing the information while I sobbed and wept over the bad news. I tried my best to understand, but the large circles behind the baby’s neck are pockets of fluid connected to the baby. They baby is absorbing the fluid which is causing the body to swell, and soon (I say soon not really knowing a real timeline) the fluid will reach the heart which will cause it to fail. We are told that baby most likely won’t survive much longer, and that if it makes it to term, the baby would only be able to survive for a few days.
I replay the doctors words in my head, and although I know it’s a reality, there’s still a part of me that doesn’t feel like it really happened and that we are really living in the reality of losing our baby…

Tuesday January 17th
A genetic counselor calls to give us the results of our amniocentesis test (where they draw fluid from the amniotic sac). We are told that our baby has Turner Syndrome…a few hours earlier I made the decision to know the gender of our baby…I knew that I wouldn’t be carrying this baby for much longer, and I wanted to try and be as close to my baby as possible. I hoped that this decision would give me some comfort or closure and at this point I was searching for any way possible to find even a little bit of peace…One of the first things the genetic counselor asked us was if we wanted to know the gender. I was not expecting this and how grateful I am to know that I was prepared to know whether or not we were going to have a son or daughter…sadly, Michael shook his head “no” but as the counselor proceeded to tell us that she will be able to better explain the defects he accepted the fact that we had to find out. Before I talk a little bit about Turner Syndrome, let me remind you that before our doctor even knew that she had TS he was able to predict our baby’s life JUST by her condition. Unfortunately, TS has caused life threatening symptoms which will cause our baby to pass and not have a life here on Earth…No…we are not God, nor is our doctor, we cannot know without a doubt what is going to happen, but through prayer, acceptance, the priesthood, and the reality of the situation, we know that our sweet little daughter will return to our Heavenly Father. I want you to know that I also have faith in miracles…they happen every day…but, I have to know that no matter what, our daughter is a miracle, me staying healthy and then being able to get pregnant again will be a miracle, Hunter is a miracle, and although she may not be healed to have a full healthy life here on Earth, she will still and always will be our little miracle…I’ve come to accept that sometimes we have to change what we want our miracle to be…There are females who have TS and are alive and living healthy lives, but every case is very different and unfortunately the cards that we were dealt don’t give us any hope of that being our case…If it was supposed to be that she had a chance, I’m sure that the doctor would have given us different answers.

Wednesday January 18th
Only two days had passed, and I felt like it was the first time that I was able to face the day with somewhat normal activities. With that being said…I want to tell you what my biggest struggles were…when we found out her life threatening condition at Dr. Brar’s office on Monday, the option of terminating the baby came up…this is something that as a mother you would never, ever imagine would even have to think about…then there was the option of possibly being induced very early…some other things that I had to think about was that after 20 weeks of pregnancy it is usually considered a still born, not a miscarriage, (I will be 20 weeks on the 25th) and then after 25 weeks you are required to bury your child and last of all…if we decided to wait it out, and go to term (38-40 weeks) how will my body be able to deliver? What are the risks with all these options? Is my baby in pain? How will I emotionally be able to hold on to my baby if she is strong enough to make it to term? I am in complete limbo. I cannot yet grieve the loss of my baby, so I continue to protect and love her the best that I can while she is a part of me. The hardest part of this all is that we don’t know what lies ahead…we just know that no matter what we will have to face it and get through it…

Thursday January 19th
We meet with our Bishop…after his counsel and guidance we feel that we should give our baby every chance to live that we can…we wait and let Heavenly Father take her when it’s her time…It is that night that I am blessed with health and we are told that our daughter will eternally be with our family.

Friday January 20th
Today…I wake up thinking about the decision that we made… this decision means that we would be about five weeks from knowing whether or not we will have to bury our sweet daughter. No parent should ever have to see the grave of one of their children…I’m still in awe and disbelief that this has happened to us. The days go by very slowly and I look forward to when “this too shall pass”. We meet with Dr. Brar and Dr. Moneke on Monday. It will be nice to get some more answers and feel like we are moving forward. Aside from those updates, I’ve discovered that creating (crafts), and being productive is helping me to cope. I’ve been able to get back to teaching a little bit…it helps take my mind off of everything…but I’m afraid that there’s going to be those days where I just won’t feel like doing anything…it’s hard for me to accept that not only has this tragedy happened, but I have to allow myself to figure out how to cope, grieve and find peace. I want you to know that I appreciate all the support that we have gotten so far. Parents of my students have been so wonderful and understanding, my close friends have been an amazing listening ear and have cried with me, our parents have been there every step of the way, I’ve had numerous people tell me that they are or already have put our names in the temple and our wonderful Bishop is going to ask the ward to fast for us this Sunday. This is a very tragic and devastating time, but we feel the prayers and love of everyone who is there for us. It means more than you know. I will do my best to keep everyone updated…Thank you for your sweet messages, and prayers.

Sincerely, Rosalie, Michael, and Baby Elle Carmela