About Me

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I am a 29-ish yr old married mother of 8. My family is my life and I wouldn't have it any other way. My darling husband is my very best friend and together we are raising 8 of the best kids in the world! They are Rose(12) Sarah(12) Ammon(10) Malachi(8) Gabriel(7) Hannah(5) Maggie(4) and Abbie(3) We currently own 2 dogs, 1 bird, 5 chinchillas, 1,000,000 rabbits, 1 cat, 4.5 horses, and one ferret. We just purchased a home that is definately a "fixer-upper", with land and room for the kids to roam. Our goal is to run a mostly self sustaining farm and live in peace as we grow as a strong family unit. We have seen our fair share of hardships, but we are thankful for the many blessings the Lord gives us on a regular basis!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

David's Story

In a conversation I recently had with a cousin of mine I confessed that I hate to tell people that I have 8 children. Why? Eleven years ago I was 21 1/2 weeks pregnant with a little boy. A little boy that would never grow full term. He died in-utero some where around 17 weeks. The delivery, or lack there of is something that I think I will never quite be able to get over in this life time.

With in 2 months of being married at the age of 18 I found out I was pregnant. It was one of the happiest moments of my life. I remember my knees going weak and sitting on the bathroom floor as I saw that second line form on my pregnancy test. I cried and then laughed. Then I did both at the same time.

The weeks went by and my belly began to punch out a bit. Right at 16 weeks I felt the oddest feeling as I lay on my stomach. Some people refer to it as little bubbles or even butterflies. For my it didn't feel like that at all. First one quick poke and then four, tap-tap-tap-tap, right in a row. For several days I enjoyed my after noon activity of sucking on a jolly rancher and then laying on my belly about 15 minutes later. There it would be the sudden sugar rush never failed! Tap-tap-tap-tap...tap-tap...tap! It was like my little baby was spelling things out in Morse code. I loved it! Then half way through my 17th week, it stopped.

There were no taps or flutters. I called my doctor. The nurse assured me that every thing was fine. "It's common to feel the baby move for a while and then stop for a few days." she said. "You're still really early"

I tried to listen to her but my instinct told me that she was wrong. A few weeks later I was 21 weeks. I had an appointment with my doctor and went in as usual. It was the same slew of questions "Movement?" "Morning sickness?" "weight gain?" Every answer was a negative. At this point I had convinced myself that nothing was wrong. I was glad the morning sickness had stopped. I was sure that I would start feeling the baby again when I was further along and I was glad not to be gaining to much weight.

When the doctor tried to hear the heart beat and couldn't my heart stopped. Once again the dread from just a few weeks before slammed my body. My doctor, a 72 year old slime ball who I later found out was in the throws of 4 lawsuits with other patients, looked at me as though I were some pathetic puppy. He told me he was going to order an ultrasound... for the following week! He assured me once again that I had no reason to worry. He told me that sometimes babies "just move" and "hide" because they don't like the doplar.

I went home again. I was to naive to know that I could insist on more care... BETTER CARE!

then it happened. A sharp unyielding pain. One that to this day I cannot describe. In all of my subsequent labors and miscarriages, I have never again experienced this pain in my lower abdomen!

John rushed me to the hospital. A couple of things stand out in my mind about this first hospital visit: the ultrasound and the diagnosis.

I tried to watch the ultrasound, but the technician turned the screen almost immediately after he started the ultrasound. He called to an associate. There were lots of whispers and head shaking. No one looked at me. Then a doctor was called in. Then another. I heard bits and pieces... "not a 21 week fetus"... "no movement"... "atrophy"

The doctors left the room, as did the tech and his colleague. Another tech (this time a female) came in. She was very teary. She kept telling me she was sorry. She told me that my doctor would be in my room in a few minutes. I was numb. There were no tears. I hated every one at that very moment. The pathetic puppy feeling didn't bode well with me.

Enter slime ball doctor: He was up beat speaking quickly and expressed how silly it was that they had called him in from his office. "Well it looks like were looking at the DOP."

I gave him a confused look.

"DOP. Death of Pregnancy"

"What?" my emotions were still frozen I wasn't able to feel anything. There was no sorrow in my voice. This surprised me a little, honestly. Even more surprising was his response.

Smirking he turned to the nurse and said. "Did I mumble?"

The look of shock on her face registered in my memory.

Note to self: Be really ticked off at this guy later... survive now!

That was it. They could "clean me out" then or I could go home and "wait to miscarry." I'm not sure who really made the choice but I went home to wait. I was probably still holding on to hope that this was all just a really bad nightmare or a mistake.

It all unfolded for me that night. I was staring out the window of our tiny apartment. I had done that so many times before, while imagining my sweet baby playing on a blanket in the grass next to the small grove of trees. It seamed ironic to me at the time, the same weakness I had experienced when I found out I was expecting came flooding back when I realized it was over.

I laid on the floor crying while John stroked my back. The anger and hate I had felt earlier were gone. Now there was sorrow. Piercing and deep. No one can truly understand it unless they have lived it. The tunnel that you fall into, with with air that is thick and heavy, is a place that no one can climb in with you, let alone pull you out.

At some point that night I sat down in the shower. I watched the water fall on my slightly raised abdomen. Once again tears poured out. They didn't stop until at some point I fell asleep. I woke up because the water had gone cold. John had gone to bed. I look back now and wonder how he survived because the strength he drew was not from me.

The next day was business as usual. John went to work and I was going to take time off to regroup. I was cramping at this point but it wasn't severe. I drew a bath and relaxed a but. I felt odd not being at work because I truly felt okay at this point. When I was done I drained the tub but didn't get out. I think I had let my mind wander because I was pretty dry, and so was the tub for that matter, when I started to get up. But as I sat up I notice blood. It had started. I was miscarrying.

I will skip most of the graphic details. But I will say that there are certain pictures that are etched in your mind forever. Miscarrying a 17 week baby after it has been dead for three weeks is one of those pictures.

Not knowing what to do, I called a close friend who came to my apartment. I was still in the bath tub, frozen with fear and grief. She helped clean me up and put the tissue in a plastic grocery bag. Then she got me and her 2 month old baby down to her car and drove me to the hospital.

John met us there as soon as he could get home.

I labored for nine hours. I would wake accasionally and hold my friends tiny little baby. I would stare at him an cry, then fall back asleep. Finally Dr. Slimeball. Decided I needed a D&C.

It was over. That was it. My baby was gone. I was no longer pregnant. The following day I was released and John took me to his parents house. They were very kind but there was no cure for the pain I was in. A couple of sisters came and cleaned my house. What else can you do to help a woman who's just had a miscarriage? Life was still going on but my world had stopped. My mother called to tell me she was sorry, but that was the extent of family involvement. No one really helped me work through it...Except John and the Lord. There was no burial because there wasn't that much of a body left, and I was told it wasn't necessary. Which still makes me angry!

John and I named our little boy David Michel I'm sure he would have been beautiful.

All of my children know about him. We tell them they have a big brother waiting for them in heaven. I am so thankful for the gospel, the temple, and the opportunity to have our families live together in the next life... forever. I don't know why the Lord called me to that particular mission. Why does he allow any of us to live with our trials? Why are some things so difficult for some of us and hardly a bump in the road for others. I don't pretend to know any of these answers. I am sure it will all be worth it in the end. I can only hope that one day the Lord will great me on the other side and he will say "Well done my good and faithful servant!"


Stephanie H. said...

I remember you telling me about David a few times through the years. I'm sitting here crying for you and your loss all these years later because I'm sure it was hard for you to relive the experience through your memories. And I agree both doctors were slimeballs!

Cali and Travis said...

I am not downplaying your story at all, believe me to someone who hasn't been able to concieve her own children it's very touching. I find it interesting though how "common" (I use that word cautiously because I can't think of a better one) it is for women to miscarry their first child. Both of my sisters who have children and my mom did. As did one of my best friends, Amy. (Come to think of it, my best friend from high school, Jenni G. did too.) A co-worker who became a dear friend lost a baby after he was born at 38 weeks. Full term and he still only lived a few moments.

As someone who will never know what it's like to conceive a child, to feel it growing and moving inside you, to not have the opportunity to feel your body used for the purpose that God intended it for, I can't imagine how devastating that loss must have been. It would probably kill me to go through something like that.

Darryl and Cindy said...

Erica, I never knew. If I did I would have held you. Thank you for sharing your story and feelings.

Melissa said...

Erica, I'm so sorry. I wish I had been there, not that it would have made it easier, but I could have given you a hug, or even just a shoulder to cry on. I appologize.