The Story of Sam

Friday, August 1, 2003 I found out I was pregnant. First person to know was my shrink…I was crying; maybe it wasn’t true, maybe the test was a false-positive…I couldn’t be pregnant. I had spent the last 8 months planning my divorce! I ‘knew’ that as soon as our bills were paid off, I was leaving. There was no way my marriage was going to work.

There it was though, in my hand, a positive pregnancy test.

EH and I both knew the marriage was over. He had significantly changed the ‘rules’ without any care about what it would do to our marriage and the three children we brought into our marriage (his two from his first marriage, and my Bug).

Well, over the course of the weekend we knew we had no choice but to make this work. We now had a baby coming.

Monday night I couldn’t sleep. I don’t know why. All my babies had nicknames while they were in-utero and I knew I would not sleep until I came up with a name for our new baby. We talked about nursery themes, plans for telling the kids, dreams, fixing our broken marriage.

Baby Looney Toons was chosen for a nursery room theme. We then decided that Yosemite Sam was going to be who we named our baby after until it was born. This was about 4:00 in the morning when we both finally fell asleep. I was at peace, my baby had a name; welcome Sam.

At work the next morning, I was there less than an hour and noticed some spotting. I called EH (we worked at the same place) and we went to the ER. My doctor was just coming in for the day so he saw me in the ER. I was given a speculum exam and was told that it was minimal spotting, the cervical os was still closed, and spotting in early pregnancy is common. He told me to go home and rest for the day and resume my normal activities the next day. I went home and crawled into bed…woo hoo…nap time!!

A lifetime later, Sam’s lifetime…I woke up from my nap. In a pool of blood and my baby. I called the doctor, told the nurse what happened and was told to bring in what I passed. I did as I was told…my child, my baby…in a Rubbermaid food storage container.

The lab report came back a few weeks later…products of conception…I hate that label, spontaneous abortion; I hate that one too. No cause, no reason…no answers.

I’m sorry Sam. If love could have saved you…I’m so sorry.

Baby Jordan

Seventeen years ago today I lost my second pregnancy. Bug was 14 months old. I had been away from her extremely abusive father for a month already…I didn’t even know I was three and a half months pregnant.

I named the baby Jordan Kelly because I wanted a unisex name. Over the years Jordan has taken on a female gender. I would guess this has mostly to do with the fact that EH’s daughter’s name is Jordan. My Jordan became “Baby Jordan.”

I remember even then, although insanely sad that I had lost the baby, I was thankful that I would not have to explain to two children why their father wasn’t in their lives. I believed, even then at the very beginning when I realized I was going to give birth, that God knew what he was doing. My baby had lived exactly as long as she was meant to live…14 weeks…

The story of her birth I am not ready to share here, and very few know it…I will say it was one of the most traumatic things I’ve ever dealt with.

Tonight, I will release a balloon for her birthday…maybe I can go pick up the boys and take them to the cemetery. The other day Bubba and Bum were talking about our Angel’s birthdays and Bum said he wanted to write on a piece of paper and tie it to a balloon to send to the babies. We do that a few times a year…we write little notes, roll it up like a scroll, tie it to the ribbon of the balloon and send them to heaven. I told him Baby Jordan’s birthday was today and that we could do something together. Maybe I’ll even buy cupcakes to take out there…we can have a picnic. It’s a beautiful spot and today the weather is perfect.

I love you baby girl.

I have hope because I had Faith

WARNING GRAPHIC DESCRIPTIONS/PHOTOS MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL AUDIENCES

July 9, 2009 at 1823h was the last time I was pregnant. Faith was born at 8 weeks, 5 days gestation. While not yet completely formed, there were eyes, ear buds, a tiny nose and mouth, webbed fingers and toes on the end of her arms and legs.

Pregnancy was again taking it’s toll on me. Morning sickness had kept me confined to the couch with a puke bucket for nearly a week at this point. The ultra sound showed an anomaly which may have been a second gestational sac. Faith’s heart had been beating strong and she measured perfectly for her gestational age.

Bug and Bubba were on vacation in Canada at Grandma and Grandpa’s. It was just Bum and I at home. EH (formerly known as Mr. Ex) and I were separated at the time (his first mid-life crisis) but he had been staying at the house as I had been so sick.

July 9, 1800h he came in from work and went to have a shower. I was watching TV. I sat up to get something and passed what felt like a large clot. I had a partial abruption when I was 12 weeks and 2 days pregnant with Bum…I got up, yelled at EH to get something (I knew we would have to take whatever it was into the hospital when we went). Of course this was at the exactly moment he was covered in soap. When he got out, he grabbed an empty wipes container and I slowly emptied the contents of my underwear into it as he ran to get dried off.

I now know what it sounds like when you hear people saying they could hear somebody screaming only to realize it was their own voice.

Bum, only a year and a half old at this time, came running in to the bathroom as I stared at my baby, perfect in a way only a parent can see…and she waved at me. What I had felt turned out to be the entire gestational sac, intact. As I looked and what I had thought was a massive blood clot it rolled against the side of the container exposing the clear membrane, allowing me to see my daughter wave her final goodbye.

When EH reentered the bathroom I screamed at him to go get the camera. I don’t know why I needed him to get it THAT minute…but I was ANGRY and he went to get it. Of course this was after I nearly shoved the wipes container towards him screaming “LOOK” in a very accusing tone.

After I calmed down a little bit, I called my doctor, told him what happened and he gave me the option to come in or stay home. I decided to stay home. As a nurse, I knew what to expect, what to watch for and when to go in, he respected that.

I placed Faith in the fridge…my sense of humor taking over for the shock and grief…she was “…chilling in the fridge…” I told the owner of the local funeral home when I called to get some advice on how to preserve/protect her until we made burial plans.

For three days Faith was kept in the fridge in a sealed baggie to slow decomposition. Several times a day and often at night I would visit with her, talk with her.

We bought a small prayer box at the Hallmark store, purchased some miniature pink roses, a magnifying glass and some two-part epoxy.

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Faith July 9, 2009

I knew we would have to work swiftly, so I set up an area in our living room with a white sheet as a back drop. prepared the flowers, and then it was time. I broke the water and held my baby in my hands for the first time. It was so surreal. I was being so careful as I knew just how fragile she was and to touch her or move her too much would mean disaster. Faith measured less than an inch long.

Her umbilical cord was long…I remember thinking how amazingly long it was for her age. I cut her cord…the final blow to this mama’s heart. I placed her on a bed of mini pink rose petals, she fit perfectly. I used the magnifying glass to examine every part of her tiny body. I took over a hundred pictures of her. I knew it would be my only chance. I held her hand…I saw her tiny mouth open for just a second…what perfect lips she had. I swear she smiled at me…

I laid her on a bed of soft pink rose petals and covered her with one as a blanket (with one arm over the edge of blanket as if she fell asleep like that).

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Finally, all my babies together

When it came time for burial, I placed items from all four of my angel babies in that casket with her. There was a stuffed Taz for Baby Sam (Aug 5, 2003), Peanut’s pregnancy journal (March 16, 2007), a letter I wrote to Baby Jordan the day after she passed and her Christmas tree ornament (July 16, 1996), and of course Faith. The boys each put in a ring from some Sponge Bob cupcakes we’d had early that week and two of their hot wheels, Bug wrote a letter to all four of them. This way, all four of our babies would be together. They would rest in peace in one place.

Right now I just can’t write anymore…thank you for letting me share.

Happy Angelversarry Faith Hope W. I hope you catch your balloon that I send to you after work today. I love you.

“God…because I could not hold her in my lap and tell her about you, would you please hold her on yours and tell her about me?” ~Unknown

It’s That Time of Year

First; HAPPY VICTORIA DAY WEEKEND to all my Canadian friends and family. I love and miss you more than I can write.

We are nearing Memorial Day here in the USA and here is something I wrote a couple years ago.

I Did Not Lose a Pregnancy

I did not lose a pregnancy; I lost a child…four  of them. I lost hopes, I lost dreams, I lost innocence and watched the  innocence of my children be taken from them as they struggled to  understand what happened and why.
I lost four first steps, four first solid foods, four baptisms, four kindergarten graduations, four confirmations, four weddings…So much more than just four pregnancies. I am at peace as much as I can be with these losses as each one shaped me a little more, helped me to enjoy the children I am blessed to have a little more.

Every year we go to the cemetery to place flowers…a wonderful American tradition I have come to LOVE…every holiday the cemeteries are filled with flowers. I had never even seen anything like it where I  grew up and when I first moved here I thought, “now THERE’S a waste of  money.” Now, as I tend to the final resting place of the loved ones I  have lost, I am filled with peace, I am filled a sense of love. I look through scripture to bring me peace, and to remind me of God’s promises.
I read poems that have helped to carry me through a grief so raw and often so private. This is one of my favorites.
I thought of you and closed my eyes,
And prayed to God today.
I asked what makes a Mother,
And I know I heard him say:
A mother has a baby,
This we know is true.
But, God, can you be a mother,
When your baby’s not with you?
Yes, you can he replied,
With confidence in his voice.
I give many women babies, When they leave is not their choice.
Some I send for a lifetime,
And others for a day.
And some I send to feel your womb,
But there’s no need to stay. 
  I just don’t understand this God, I want my baby here.
He took a breath and cleared his throat,
And then I saw a tear. 
  I wish that I could show you,
What your child is doing today,
If you could see your child smile,
With other children who say:
We go to earth and learn our lessons,
Of love and life and fear.
My mommy loved me oh so much,
I got to come straight here.
I feel so lucky to have a mom,
Who had so much love for me.
I learned my lessons very quickly,
My mommy set me free.
I miss my mommy oh so much,
But I visit her each day.
When she goes to sleep,
On her pillow’s where I lay.
I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek,
And whisper in her ear.
“Mommy don’t be sad today, 
I’m your baby and I’m here.”
So you see my dear sweet one,
Your children are Ok. Y
our babies are here in My home,
They’ll be at heavens gate for you.
So now you see what makes a mother.
It’s the feeling in your heart.
It’s the love you had so much of,
Right from the very start.
~Author Unknown
“…And then I saw a tear.” God feels my pain, he understands my pain…he lost a son once to.
“…My mommy loved me oh so much, I got to come right here…My mommy set me free…” Eventually I was able to set each of my babies free, I am satisfied that they are wrapped in the arms of Jesus who said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” (Matthew 19:14)

Do I still cry? Sometimes. Do I ask. “Why me?” Absolutely not. I am privileged to have been filled with love for each of these four babies. I am proud to be the mother to the three children I gave birth to who are healthy, I am proud to have opened my heart to my two step-kids who have blessed my life as much as the children I have birthed.

So as I make plans to go with the boys out to the cemetery next weekend to tend to the ‘garden on love’ we have created, I look forward with a smile in my heart. The lilies should be sprouting, and they will be even more beautiful this year than they were last year. Hopefully the Hosta also comes back as well.

Days

The last eleven days have, by far, been the most difficult of my life. My children are so close, yet so far. I have been doing my best to not allow the sorrow to swallow me whole and it is not always easy.

To hear my baby tell me he wants things “…back in order” was crippling. I could not tell him everything was going to be ok. All I could tell him was that I loved him and that I missed him too. I let him know when our next visit would be. I told him I was sad that he was sad, and how much I loved him. That’s all I could do. I could not bring comfort to the baby I spent 23 weeks on bed rest for. I could not take away the tears of my baby boy. I cried myself to sleep that night.

I started the new phase of this journey by posting “Day one: I feel _____ .” on my Facebook profile. People filled in the blank. Day two was I am: _____ . Each day has been a different sentence starter. The responses have been overwhelming and more often than not bring tears of happiness and heartbreak at the same time. It is so encouraging to know that my friends and family have my back through this all.

My kids are facing challenges that seem agonizingly insumountable. I can be confident that I have given them the tools to speak, the strength to cry, the security to question authority.

This post has taken me all day to write, and I am not even going to reread or edit it before posting. I’m just going to post it as it is.

Bug, Bubba, and Bum…I love you to the moon and back. I love you more than Skittles. I love you forty hundred and eighty seventy.