Monday, August 22, 2011

What Happened to Chase?

I realized that many of you probably don't know the details about what happened with Chase, other than I had him too early for him to survive. While this is true, I would like to share the details so you can all know what really happened.

On April 19th, Greg and I went to have our big ultrasound - the anatomy scan where we found out we would be having a sweet little boy! That evening, I had some spotting, so I put my feet up and parked it on the couch for the entire evening while Greg made us dinner, etc. I wasn't too concerned because I was going back to the doctor in the morning for a regular check up.

The next morning, I had some more spotting, so I told Greg and we decided I should mention it to my doctor. I did while I was there and she decided to check to see if I had an infection called bacterial vaginosis. This is when she stopped and looked at me and said "Don't freak out (I immediately start freaking out), but you're dilated and I can feel your bag of water right here." She then went on to tell me she was calling an ambulance to take me to the hospital for an emergency cerclage (a cervical stitch to close my cervix and hopefully prevent me from going into labor). From that moment on, I wasn't even allowed to sit back up to redress myself - I had to lay on my back.

We made phone calls to our families while waiting on the ambulance, then I was on my way to the hospital. I found out from the EMT in the ambulance that I was 4cm dilated - then I really started freaking out. How could I NOT know that I'm 4cm dilated?? A few hours after being at the hospital, I had surgery to have my cerclage placed and my doctor was successfully able to place it and we hoped for the best.

However, as soon as I woke up from surgery, I had contractions. I was on Magnesium Sulfate to help stop my contractions and it also had the great side effect of making me extremely hot and really sleepy. I could barely keep my eyes open for more than a few minutes over the next 30 hours or so. But since we still hadn't announced if we were having a boy/girl, we did it at the hospital that evening. I made Easter eggs (Easter was that coming weekend) and there were pink/purple ones and blue/green ones that everyone was supposed to pick a boy/girl color based on their prediction and open it to find out if they were right or wrong. Somehow, I had put all the 'correct' ones in the pink/purple eggs and the 'wrong' ones in the green/blue eggs. There was a moment of confusion when everyone opened them and started saying "it's a girl!" and finally I was like "no it's not - it's a boy!!" There's that wonderful "baby brain" for ya!

Most of the next day, I hardly remember any of until that evening when my contractions really started picking up and I kept thinking I was peeing on myself, but I had a catheter, so that wasn't possible. My amniotic fluid was leaking. I told the nurse this repeatedly and for some reason, she either didn't seem too concerned or didn't believe me. Finally after my contractions were coming about every 10 minutes, then every 5, did the nurse finally call my doctor and they confirmed my amniotic fluid was indeed leaking.

They moved me to another room - what I didn't know at that moment was that it was a delivery room. I asked Greg to tell our families what was happening. I think he understood much more than I did what was about to happen because he sent them a 911 text telling them to come ASAP, even though they had all just left the hospital a little over an hour before. The next thing I remember was waking up and my doctor telling me there was nothing else we could do, she was going to start "reversing what we had been doing," and she asked if I wanted an epidural. My heart broke right then and there. I asked her if there was nothing else we could do and she told me unfortunately, no.

I'll spare you the details, but she removed my cerclage and they induced labor and my sweet Chase was born only about an hour or so later. I remember him being born, then passing back out and the next time I woke up, he was in my arms. I had no idea how long it had been (1-2hrs since he was born), our entire family was standing around us and I looked down at my sweet little boy. I asked if he was cold and when no one answered, I touched his sweet little hand and fingers. He was cold, but he was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen and I was surprised at how much he already looked like a little person. He looked so much like Greg - his jaw, mouth, his knees and legs. The only thing I know for sure he got from me was my nose. I wish I had more time to study and look at him, but I asked Greg if he'd held him and I passed him off to Greg and quickly passed out again. The next time I woke up, he was gone and I didn't get the chance to see him again until the day we had his funeral. I had insisted we have some time before his funeral for us to see him and take some pictures of him, since the only ones we took at the hospital were on a cell phone. Unfortunately, no one had a camera that night. I wish so much I had better pictures of him, but I know I will never forget his sweet face and his will be the first face I look for in Heaven after I meet my Savior.

The condition that I have that led to my cervix dilating prematurely is called Cervical Insufficiency or Incompetent Cervix. In all future pregnancies, I will have a cerclage placed around 12-14 weeks during pregnancy to hopefully hold my cervix closed until I'm full-term. This is not a perfect fix and sometimes, the cerclage can fail and you can dilate anyways or your membranes will rupture. Please be keeping Greg and I in your prayers as we continue to grieve and as we start thinking about trying again. It took us 5 yrs to conceive our sweet little Chase, and it's so hard knowing that we should be becoming parents next month. Instead we have to start all over again.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

You know you're emotional when...

...your therapist asks if you are taking hormones! She didn't mean it in a bad way and I didn't take offense to it, because honestly, I was surprised by how emotional I was yesterday during our therapy session. Yes, Greg and I have been seeing a therapist. No, I'm not ashamed of it. It has been a good way for both of us to express ourselves and how we're feeling because otherwise, we may not have said a lot of our feelings out loud to each other. I didn't want to become shut off from the world and unable to cope after losing Chase. It has obviously been the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but I wanted to be able to "recover" from it and not find myself stuck in a deep depression or suppressing my feelings and not dealing with them. I wanted to be able to feel the hurt and pain...and to deal with them. I think both Greg and I have done a good job at this. Men especially can be emotionally hard to read after something like this, but Greg has been great. He has cried with me, held me, talked to me, listened to me...he hasn't minimized our loss as a way to move on at all. He misses Chase as much as I do and he was crushed just as badly as I was by losing him.

In regards to my being so emotional - I'm guessing it has to do with a few things. One of which is that we just started my first cycle of "officially trying to conceive" again. I am on my 2nd day of the medicine, so we are just barely starting, but it still brings up a lot of emotions. We should be becoming parents next month, not just trying to get pregnant. We should be bringing our sweet Chase home from the hospital and be sleep-deprived, but happy. Instead, we may be starting our next round next month or possibly getting a positive pregnancy test. Exciting, but I so wish we were going to be bringing Chase home instead.

Also, there are a few people I knew who were also pregnant and close to me, one was my cousin who was about 5-6 weeks ahead of me and the other was a co-worker of my Mom and sister's who's about 5-6 weeks behind me. Well, my cousin just had her baby boy a few days ago and it hurts so much to know they're at home now with their little boy and I'll never get to have that with my sweet Chase. My Mom and sister's co-worker posted a picture of her pregnant belly on Facebook a few weeks ago and I nearly lost it. I haven't seen her since before she got pregnant, so it was so hard seeing her big belly and knowing mine would be like that too by now. I never really got to the point where I looked "pregnant." My family and friends could probably tell my stomach had gotten larger, but to most people, I'm sure I just looked fat (still). Another reason I'm extra emotional is probably because I'm on my period right now, so I'm sure that's making me extra emotional and hormonal.

The thing about grief is that it can be so unexpected. There have been certain things that I thought were going to be really hard for me and they turned out not to be and other times, I'm completely caught off-guard by the sadness. I have felt guilty for feeling too "ok" sometimes, so sometimes it's nice to feel the pain again. The pain is a reminder to me of how much I love and miss my sweet Chase and that his loss was real...that he was real.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


Some days, like today, I find myself in a 'funk' and I don't feel like doing anything other than staying at home and confining myself to my little bubble. To be completely honest, I would really like to stay in bed all day, but at some point I normally force myself to get out of bed. It's days like today that are the hardest for me. I always think about Chase all day, each and every day. But on days like these, I allow myself to wonder what my day would be like instead, if I were still pregnant with him.

I would be 33 weeks pregnant right now and I can't help but thinking what that would be like. I'm sure by now, I'd be complaining about the horrible heat here in Houston, how it is even worse since being huge and pregnant. I'm sure I'd be feeling body aches and I'd be having trouble sleeping, most likely heartburn as well. But I would also be feeling my sweet little Chase kicking, punching, hiccuping, squirming and moving around inside of me. I got to feel his little kicks and movements for 2 glorious days before he was born. I remember feeling him kick for the last time right after they moved me into my delivery room. After that, I think I was too drugged and unconscious to recall if I felt him after that.

I would give anything to feel those sweet movements inside of me again. I can perfectly recall what they felt like and I miss them so much. It makes me sad that Greg never got to feel Chase kick from the outside - he was just too small. But I know by now, Greg would be able to feel him kick and probably see my stomach moving while he did it! I am so sad that there are a lifetime of memories we will miss out on with our sweet Chase. We will never see him as a full-term baby, cut his first tooth, takes his first steps, go to kindergarten, play sports/a musical instrument, get in a fight with his best friend, go out on his first date, experience his first heartache, graduate high school/college, get a job, get married, have his own children...the list could go on exponentially.

A couple weekends ago, my brother proposed to his long-time girlfriend. I am so happy for them that they are finally at this point and they can start planning their lives together. But at the same time, it is sad for me, because I realize that everyone else's lives are still continuing on, as if nothing ever happened, meanwhile I feel like my life is at a stand-still. I don't expect everyone to quit moving on and remain focused solely on us losing Chase, but Greg and I are still at that point.

We are going to start trying to get pregnant again this coming month, and while I'm very excited and nervous, I'm not able to plan anything yet. Even once I am able to (God-willing) get pregnant again, I'm not sure how long it will take me before I'm able to dream and plan for our future again. I am so scared of planning for another baby and envisioning our future together, just for it to be cut short, as it was with Chase. I want to trust in God and know that everything will be alright, but the truth is, I don't know what he has planned for us. Just because we already experienced infertility and lost Chase doesn't exclude us from having another heartache. We don't know what God's plan is for us and what His ultimate purpose is for us, Chase, and our future children. This is what scares me the most. I do know, however, that I will have to rely solely on God to get me through another pregnancy.

"The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD."  - Job 1:21