***** Many of you have been able to semi-follow the roller coaster these last few weeks have put us on... but for those who didn't or couldn't... I knew I was going to have to blog about it. I'm sure I'll be glad I did someday, but I had to put it off for quite awhile for many different reasons, so I apologize for that. I am not promising this will be the best written piece in the world, because I am now preparing myself to type through tears... but here it is. Some of the following has been saved on my computer because some of the following I was able to write during the right timing, but could not post it to the blog because it was supposed to be a surprise. Other parts of the following I will have to fill in with my best memory. The rest of the following is going to be types today, a week later. It is the first time I've been able to even consider typing it all out, so here goes...
READ AT YOUR OWN RISK
Walter has the day off today, and we’re cleaning my mom’s house and babysitting Michael. I’m on day 43 of my cycle and starting to get nervous again. Will my period ever come?! Why can’t I get on consistent cycle?! It’s so frustrating! However, I’ve been having pre-period symptoms for awhile now, it shouldn’t be much longer. I took a pregnancy test a little while ago and it was negative so I'm just hoping at this point I won't have to go back on medication to help me start this month's cycle!
Whew, Thank God! Late today there was spotting, so I’ve finally started… just may be off to a slow start.
I’m confused. There was no bleeding all night long…? I’m having really bad cramps, and have slept in. I need to get up and moving, painful as it is, and get over to help mom with Thanksgiving. As I got moving, the pain lessoned… or it could have been the couple glasses of wine I had for Thanksgiving! ;)
Seriously painful cramps all day long. Late at night, around 11pm, it was so painful I felt like I should be in labor or something. By midnight I was screaming in pain trying everything to make it better. I tried sitting down, I tried laying, I tried walking, I tried getting in a warm tub, I tried Midol... When I went to the bathroom, I had a huge gush of blood. Maybe my period is just being strange this time due to it being so late...? With my luck, it's a holiday weekend and there's no way I'm going to get ahold of my doctor!
Then I get to thinking… am I having a miscarriage?! I took a test earlier this week that was negative, but maybe I’ve missed something! I did drink a little yesterday, I did do some heavy lifting last week… oh my gosh, what am I going to do?! I do some quick internet research, and with every word I read I am more and more positive I am... or was... pregnant!! ...and I’ve done these things… why did I do this?!! This is the first month I haven’t tracked like crazy to know my fertile time and I'm so confused on what is happening! There is no way I’m going to be able to sleep. I am blaming myself constantly for possibly murdering the only child I will ever be blessed with and thinking of the baby he/she could have been. My heart feels to be caving in.
Still awful cramping, but the feeling of guilt is worse. My mom came by with a heating blanket and massaging pad to try and make me feel better and it helped a bit. She tried to cheer me up saying, “Well now we know you CAN get pregnant!” and it helped a little, but the guilt was still just overtaking all emotions.
We called the on-call doctor and since I needed to have an HSG (where they shoot dye through your tubes to make sure they are fully open) this week anyways, they decided to just schedule that and see if there’s anything else that needed to be needed at that time. “Most miscarriages this early take care of themselves” the woman said, "but it's possible you'll need another procedure called a DNC to help flush your body of the miscarriage- which is what we're thinking has happened."
We skipped church. To be honest, I said I wanted to sleep in… but I think I wanted to hide from God. Sounds silly, but at that time I thought I possibly could. I'm not sure if I was more mortified of being the mother that didn't know she killed her child, or if I just wanted to die right then myself.
Called the doctor to explain my symptoms and get an appointment for the HSG. Cramping is gone, guilt still there. The HSG has been scheduled for Thursday, on Walter’s day off. She told me to take a pregnancy test at home, or they could take one the day-of just to make sure I wasn’t still pregnant. "Just as a precautionary" the nurse tells me. I didn’t want to take one here. It was just a waste. I couldn’t see the negative sign knowing it could have been a positive… I couldn’t take anymore heartbreak!
Just tried to run some errands today, but felt paralyzed. Just was in an awful mood and didn’t want to do much. So I didn’t.
Walter and I ordered a pizza after he got home from work so we could go to communion at church… but as the night when on, I chickened out. I told him I couldn’t go, but that I would commit to going back Sunday. I was feeling awful, the emotional toll this has taken on me was just too much.
We stayed up late, played video games and...
…at 1:30AM I was getting ready for bed. I had to pee (for what felt like the 100th time that day) before I crawled in bed. As I walked to the bathroom I remembered a pregnancy test we had left. We bought the things in stock, and I figured I might as well take it. At least I could cry in the comfort of my home instead of the doctor's office when I saw the negative. Sixty seconds have passed and I see one line. Not pregnant… then I see a second line faintly. My world automatically begins to spin! I start yelling “Babe! Babe! Babe!” The tone of my voice must have told him to get a move on it because instead of the usual “What?!” or “Hold on ONE minute…” I heard him running towards the bathroom. I show him the test and we’re both looking at TWO LINES!!! He looks at me, on the verge of tears and says “It is faint babe…”. I nod. We are so used to the disappointment we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. With another glance we see the second line as dark as the first, as if God is making it react to our concern! Both lines are now clear as TWO lines can be! I start bawling. Walter looks at it, and he does too.
But wait. Thinking of my research a few nights ago, I remember you can still show a + after a miscarriage for up to 2 weeks… Thinking a "more expensive" test will tell us, we both dash to Wal-Mart right away and get a digital test. We’re both laughing about how we’re “that couple” that rushes in at 2AM for a pregnancy test and rushes out… We were having the time of our lives laughing and so excited. We are on a pure high. I had been craving veggie pizza, so we pick up the ingredients for that as well. Our lives have forever changed.
The digital screen says “YES +” like it’s laughing we even took a second one.
I lie down at 3:30AM feeling like I’ll never get to sleep, but instead, I go right into a peaceful sleep and I dream of having a child all night long.
In the morning I jump out of bed, and wake Walter. I call my doctor and explain everything to her. She cancels my HSG appointment, and tells me to go have blood work done at the nearest lab. Blood drawn at 11AM, and we must sit and wait a few hours until the doctor can call us with the results.
3hours passed… for anyone else that might have been speedy, but we were watching every clock in the house like our lives depended on it. I finally call at 3PM, I can't wait a second longer, and a nurse calls me back at 3:30PM to tell me the results.
“You’re hCG levels are high, it looks as if you are definitely pregnant.” Walter is sitting across from me and I see his eyes start to water and a huge grim appear on his face, mine must have been doing the same. “Your levels are very high. Anything above a 5 is considered pregnant, and your levels today are… 2,139. You may be further along than we all think, or it could be multiples.” My heart is going crazy, my mind can’t believe it. “Just to make sure, we would like you to do bloodwork again on Monday. Being pregnant, your levels should double everyday, so by tomorrow you should be over 4,000. But let’s do another test on Monday and we’re hoping to see at least 4,000. At this rate, we wouldn't be surprised to see 6,000 or even 10,000 though.” I hang up the phone. Walter and I are hugging and crying, hugging and crying every moment of the day. He immediately drops to his knees and kisses my tummy. "I love you baby, thank you for being here" he says. We hug and cry some more. :)
We're getting phone calls like crazy from my mom, my aunt, and his mom wondering how my HSG went. We knew we wouldn't be able to contain ourselves, we wouldn't be able to lie. At 5:30 we meet his parents at their house and tell them they are going to be grandparents! His mom cries a bit, and his dad smiles (which is HUGE for him! lol). 6:30pm we have plans to meet my parents for dinner. My mom cries and my dad is on the verge. The dinner is like a dream. I'm so excited to be a mommy!!!
When Walter wakes me up to leave for work he kisses my forehead (like usual) and pulls off the blankets and I feel him kiss my tummy before the door closes. I can't stop smiling.
Soda has already been cut out of my diet. I'm eating healthy food I don't feel like eating for the baby. I want a Coke and pizza... but the baby is getting yogurt and water (TONS of water) and orange juice and fruit.
I know I should wait, but hey NO ONE can tell me how to do this... this is MY time (and the baby's and my husband's of course). After talking with him, I decide to call Connie. "Grandma Connie" we've already coined for her. After all the grandparents know, we can't help ourselves. After getting the okay from each other, we tell about 5 friends each within the course of the day. "We're going to be parents! We're going to have a baby! The best thing in the whole world has happened!" Absolutely nothing can bring us down from our high. I have a shopping trip with my the girls I teach in Fusion planned for the night, and it is killing me not to share with everyone I see! But, because of the silly superstition I do my best to keep quiet.
I speak to the doctor, I am having awful cramps again and have to talk to my doctor on call. My doctor is out of town. "That's why I can't get a dammed ultrasound appointment!" I think to myself. She connects me to Dr. Amber Cooper, who has taken over my doctor's patients while my doctor is out of town for a conference. Although I am talking through the pain, Dr. Cooper does make me feel so much better about things. However, we do talk about the same pains I had a week earlier when I thought to have had a miscarriage. "It is possible there were multiples and you may have lost just one..." something I had been shoving to the back of my mind comes to surface. I had been thinking the same thing. "Okay, so let's talk about what's happening here. According to your pain, I'd say it's a 1%-3% chance it's an ectopic pregnancy. Maybe a 5%-10% chance you're having another miscarriage. So 90% chance it's just cramps. Some pregnant women get them and never know why." Her voice is calming, and I'm starting to feel better already. Sigh. I'm already an overreacting Momma! :) "Take two Tylenol and if it doesn't get better in an hour or two call me. I'll be in and we'll figure it all out." I do. The pain is better. I laugh at myself, and go to bed happy.
The baby and I spend the day with daddy. We snuggle and Walter is already talking to our little one. I've started a journal for the baby for when he/she is here and we're talking nursery. We know we're only 5-6 weeks... but we just can't help it! Our Little One has come!
This is a day (thinking back now) I don't remember much about. I know we didn't go to church, we spent the day together, and that night we went to Fusion. The topic was about forgiving others who have hurt us. The meeting was a blur. Before we start talking about people who have hurt us and if we've forgiven them, I wanted to help the girls feels safe in sharing... "Okay girls, I must remind you... whatever is said tonight stays between us and we do not talk about it outside of this group. Does everyone understand?" The girls are gabbing and so I force their attention my way and repeat. They don't understand and are wondering why I've said this (I can tell they didn't pay attention to the message beforehand...) until one of my girls calls out... "You're pregnant!! Aren't you?!" I look at her in shock. I can't believe this! By this moment all the girls are squealing in delight and I feel the smile stretched so tightly on my face. Sigh. So much for silly superstitions! :)
"The earlier you get to the lab, the earlier you get the results. So try to make it to the lab at least before noon if you want the results..." I remember the nurse saying. I get my cousins off to school that morning and am at the lab 7minutes after it has opened and I can't wait to give them blood!
I spend the rest of the day cleaning, but being careful not to pick up anything heavy or eat anything too unhealthy... I think about my baby every moment and before making a single decision I think of him/her. (To be honest, Walter and I have already guessed it's a girl)!
I journal for her, and we just sometimes lay on the couch and talk to her. When I get in the car, I sing loudly. "She may hear me!" I'm thinking singing so loudly to "Just the way you are" by Bruno Mars in the car.
The results aren't in yet today, but that's okay. I am anxious about nothing. I am going to spend every day of this pregnancy loving it.
The results of the new hCG still aren't in first thing in the morning, and my mom is being antsy enough for us all. "It's not s problem" I say. However, I'm starting to really just want the results to get away from the phone calls. Finally, my husband calls in and gets the lab to give me an answer. It's the day before my birthday and we'd like to tell the rest of the family at my birthday dinner. (Another honesty moment? We're still hoping for super high number for possible multiples!!). Finally around noon the nurse gives me a call back. They're worried. She breaks the news that my levels are only 3,900something (can't remember the exact number anymore) and she tells me I must have an immediate ultrasound. "The baby may be in distress!" she says hangs up. I should be expecting a call in just a short while. It's then my mom calls. I'm bawling. I tell her. I call Walter. No answer. I text him. "911! 911! 911!" My mom calls again, she's on her way. The doctor calls. My appointment is in an hour, hopefully sooner if I can get there. Walter calls back, "Come home! You have to come home now!" I scream. I tell him about the levels and the emergency. He calls his boss and he's on his way. He and my mom pull up to the home within minutes of each other. We all pile into her car, I'm bawling, and we make our way to the office.
I'm propped up and finally getting the ultrasound I've been so excited for... with my mom and Walter at my side! Things are just the way I dreamed of it to be!
...However I've seen enough ultrasounds to knew something was immediately wrong... my uterus is empty. No sign of our little one. I start crying. My mom and Walter, still confused, look on. I can't tell them, but I notice Walter is starting to look at me and understand without words. My mom is still looking, full of hope, until the ultrasound technician finally says the words out loud. "I see an ectopic pregnancy".
She goes and gets the doctor and I, full of sobs and tears, get dressed. "I'm finished! I don't ever want to try again. I'm done. I can't do this! She's alive! And they are going to kill her. I can't let them! I won't!" I know my protests are falling on deaf ears, and I know logically there is nothing I can do, but something inside me wants to attack anyone wanting to harm my baby. The doctor comes in and explains... "It's a good thing we've caught it now, another week you both would have been at risk, your tube could have burst." I have two options, she says. "We give a medicine, and 90% of woman with ectopic pregnancies go this route, that attacks fast-growing cells. It's a medicine they use for cancer patients, but a low dose attacks the pregnancy and you're able to pass it later" I am in a blank stare now. I feel dead. I feel literally like a dead person with eyesight. "... or we have surgery. In which we go in and remove the pregnancy ourselves. There is a chance of things going wrong, which we can talk about but..." "Let's do the surgery" I hear my dead voice say. I say it twice. She nods. "That's what I suggest as well for this specific pregnancy since it is far enough along that there is a heartbeat." I immediately think of the song I have been posting on my facebook page "I can hear your heartbeat... " the song sings. I loved posting that song and thinking of all the people in facebookland not knowing just yet. Our little one has a heartbeat? I saw it on the screen, and I knew it from the many pregnancy e-mails I had already signed up for... but when my doctor said it, it made it official. There was nothing I could say. I would helpless. I was hopeless. I just walked through the motions from this point on...
Within the hour I was being prepped for surgery. All the while trying to go through the motions, but saying goodbye to my little one inside my head. I felt like the world's worst mother. I have waited so long to be a mother, and I've failed my child within the first week of knowing him/her/them.
I say goodbye to Walter and my mom and am wheeled into surgery where I am strapped down to a bed and a mask put on my face. I know I am about to go to sleep. I am thinking of my little one. These are my last moments of being pregnant. I start to tear up, and my doctor takes off the mask for a moment... "You're going to make it, you're going to be okay. We'll work through this together..." she's reassuring me and looking at a screen over my head and before putting the mask on looks at me and says, "This is it! Do you want to go to the beach, or Europe?! Pick your happy place, and you'll be there soon!" I look at her smile and all I can think of is sitting on the couch in my living room feeding a baby in my arms while two other toddlers play on the rug in front of the TV...
I wake up to a woman taking my pants made of paper off to check for bleeding. A man is asking me about my tattoo. He's talking about something...? At this point I realize my baby (and my left fallopian tube) is gone. My sight is fuzzy, the beeping is loud, and I think I'm saying, "Can I just see my husband?" over and over again but no one is responding. My eyesight is getting a little better and finally they react to my pleading to see my husband. Next thing I know he and my mom and my dad are there. I am supposed to pass a list before I can go home. I am covered in iodine and stickers and they want me to go pee. I am supposed to clutch a pillow to my stomach and wheel the IV with me and try to pee in a bed pan. It is so painful, and when I look it is pure blood. I am sent back to bed with a Sprite and after another ultrasound am told it is not enough, I will have to try again soon if I want to do home. I down the Sprite, mostly because my new nurse if pregnant and I can't bear to look at her. I force myself to go to the bathroom, it is painful, and very labored... but enough. The nurses are shocked I've passed all the little tests to go home, since they usually have to keep women overnight, but they also understand that I want to wake up in my own home for my birthday. They get me into a wheelchair, and already are wiping down the beds and such. I get into the car and every bump is excruciating. We go to Walgreen's because I need to pee again. Every step is killing me and I am crying because I am so tired of moving. My mom fills my prescriptions while my husband waits outside of the bathroom to scoop me up again as soon as I open the door. We get home, I take a pill, and don't remember much else...
Happy birthday to me! :( Because of tradition, my aunt calls and leaves a message and I wake up to my dad calling me at 6:41AM (the time of my birth). Messages checked, calls returned and 'Happy birthday' sung I feel good that it is my birthday even though I am in large amounts of physical and emotional pain. Instead of tradition and spending the day with my mom shopping and eating out, my husband is by my side to help me with every painful and labored move. I received many messages from friends (who knew and who didn't know yet) and a visit from my in-laws with gifts and a gift from my sister-in-law and her husband... my mom called Walter almost hourly to check and my aunt did as well.
As in pain as I was, by late night I wanted to get out of the house so I decided to keep my plans for my birthday dinner. I was in much pain and it took me 4X the time to get ready, but I did it!
I was completely spent from the outing the night before.
A few more visitors came and many phone calls.
Walter had to go back to work, so my mom took the day off to help me move around when needed. She also did some housecleaning I couldn't do that was killing me and we sat around and talked all day. My aunt visited as well. It was very nice. I also say my maid-of-honor Mallory and our best-man Justin. Walter hid the pregnancy books around the home, the pregnancy e-mails, and all that could possibly send me into a fenzy to help me until I was ready. These items are still in a box in our office for now.
At this point, I was POSITIVE I never wanted to try to have a baby again. I was POSITIVE I wanted my other tube removed so this would NEVER happen again. My mom offered to pay for our first series of IVF. Walter and I were re-thinking of all our decisions we have made in the past and were thinking of IVF as a ray of hope. No tubes needed.
Walter was off again. We spent the day doing a little work around the house since I could move around a little better and was going crazy from living on a couch!
I decided to get out of the house a little bit and we went to The Cup in Edwardsville for cupcakes. On the drive there, I had panic attack after panic attack. I was afraid every person I saw knew about it and was going to ask me questions. We did some grocery shopping since I was getting better about being out and about.
My first day without someone. I was in the home alone, and really didn't do much. This was the first day I got on facebook to kind of let everyone know what was going on and to thank people for the birthday wishes.
Still hiding from church. I even hid from Fusion. I spent the say home, thinking of our baby.
Walter was off again. He made me breakfast (cinnamon pancakes- his specialty and my favorite!) and sang me happy birthday. This was my birthday with him.
I know I haven't said much about it until now, but this seems to be the most fitting time...
Through all of this I have fallen in love with my husband all over again a thousand times over. He is the most loving, caring, sweet... man I know. I could go on forever. How he's accepted me, and went beyond taking care of me... he's catered to me. And through it all, he has been heartbroken as well. He put his pain aside to take care of me, and I will never forget the intense love I felt for him. It was this day I decided that maybe I used up all of my "luck" getting the best husband in the world, that I may not having any luck left to have children.
We went to Chris and Lisa Wells' Fusion Appreciation party. It was the first time going out to see other people, besides family, and I knew I was going to be asked about it. I was, and answered, and have been fine. Almost like a peace, but I'm worried there is a wall built up inside of me. A wall that is holding back the floodgates and the anger of being without my little one. I'm afraid to poke at it, because even as I type this out now my eyes are dry. It's like I am writing a story, not about my life. I am afraid to pull down the wall... I am afraid this calmness I am feeling now is not peace about 'the situation'. I am afraid a little bit of me has died forever, and I am afraid to think much more about it...
I spend the day housecleaning and laying around. Going back and forth in between what I call 'living life' and 'remembering her'. When I spend time 'remembering' I'm not really thinking of the baby we have in heaven or the baby that could have been. It's almost like I'm flipping the switch into off and I'm recharging. Doing nothing. Thinking of nothing. Being nothing.
My birthday! My mom and I spend the day doing what we should have been able to do on my birthday. The house is clean and she helps me with a little more in the morning, around 8AM. I get ready, and we're out shopping from 9AM-12N. We eat lunch as Casa Gallardo, as always. (Why? Because 24 years ago I was almost born there! Yes, the one in Fairview. My mom was there and went into labor, progressed so quickly... it was close!). I tell my mom that Walter and I decided to NOT do IVF. No matter who is paying the cost, the cost is too much to pay. Although I am angry, although praying seemed forced and strained... God will give us a child. Naturally. We are going to try again. She nods, and says she understands but I know it's impossible because i still don't quite understand myself... After lunch we get a phone call, that my dad has fallen on the ice and hurt himself. She hangs up and tries to go on, but I tell her to turn around and go home. She wants to stay because it's "my day". My day to go on and act like nothing happened, to return to normalcy... but I know I never will. She drops me off like I tell her to and goes to him. My poor mother. Someday I want it to be HER day.
I get ready, for our small group fellowship/birthday party/white elephant exchange has been moved to tonight. I'm slightly nervous. the party was supposed to be last week, and that was the time we had planned to tell our so beloved small group we were expecting! Instead, the bad news has been e-mail and I spend a little time worrying about the questions that are about to come my way. I don't want to talk about it...
I spend the night laughing so hard, I love them all so much. I am so glad things are going well and I am having such a great time!
At the end of the night, everyone leaves. I am partly filled with great excitement from the great get-together and from successfully avoiding talking about our little one in heaven... and partly saddened I didn't speak with them all and tell them about our little one we loved so much in such a short amount of time...
Baby Wallheimer, our little one who lives in heaven, you will always be loved. Always. You will always be our first child, never ever replaced.
I am still a mother, my child lives in heaven. My husband is still a father. A father who found this explanation on why our little on was taken so early:
5 By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death: “He could not be found, because God had taken him away.”[a] For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. 6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
...and for now, that's all we have.