Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Life's lessons

Amanda has told me a couple times that I need to blog about my "life lessons" of late. I don't have a problem talking about them really but I don't know why I feel weird Blogging it out there. I guess it is safe to say my family may be the only ones that ever read our blog so maybe this is just therapeutic for me......

I have been pregnant 4 times...Cody and I have had 4 losses.... The first time we found out we were pregnant was in July of 08- we went to 4th of July breakfast with my fam (minus my mom, who was in the hospital :( and my out of state family). Cody and I weren't sure when we should tell everyone, what with pregnancy etiquette and all, so we decided that we would make a little birthday video for my niece, Sydney, and at the end of it say Love, Aunt Kaka Uncle Coco Zandt coming in March 2009. That baby never came. He was due on my birthday. Most babies don't come right on their due date so sharing a birthday would not have likely been an issue. I was pretty sure he was a "he", although we did not have any testing done to find out.
I was nervous about the pregnancy after "spotting" at 6 weeks. After an ultrasound, I felt better but was still nervous. Our first official dr appt was in August- I was 10 weeks and we saw our baby with all little limb buds, a hand waving at us, and a strong little heart beat and a little face looking right at us. He looked perfect, right size and all. We got several pictures of him which went right on the fridge. I was pretty sick and very tired. All good signs. I felt little cramps here and there but thanks to the internet, I learned that most people have those. Nothing ever really sounded good to eat but I COULD NOT eat chicken. It is weird because I really like chicken generally. I can only describe the experience as what it must feel like to have amnesia. I knew I used to like chicken but for the life of me, I could NOT eat it. Other meats were fine and I actually craved fish- a common off limits food for preg women. Prenatals daily, lots of water, eating right- the works. Sept 14th I woke up in the middle of the night and went to the bathroom. There was a tiny bit of spotting but not enough that I would have ever noticed except I was overly cautious from my 6 week scare. The day before we has been out all day, gone to a movie, went swimming and I was a little crampy all day. I figured it was from all the activities and maybe I was dehydrated. I woke Cody up and told him about it. He asked if I wanted to go to the ER and I said I thought I was fine. He fell back asleep but I just kept thinking about it. I wasn't stressed or even very nervous but I just couldn't sleep. I woke him back up and said that maybe it would be less busy and a shorter wait going in the middle of the night rather than in the morning. We joked around about the dumb nurse saying my weight out loud so Cody could hear it as we waited for the ER dr to do an exam. Blood work, fluids and an ultrasound and we waited. I thought even still at this point that the dr was going to say I just needed to drink more water and take it easy the rest of the weekend. As she came in to our little room, she said she was very sorry and that the baby had stopped growing. The fetal size was only measuring 9 weeks now, even though I was 14 weeks pregnant. My womb was measuring 12 weeks so the best they could guess was that we lost the baby somewhere between 9 and 12 weeks. Devastated and very confused, Cody and I sat and cried. It wasn't real. It could be. They gave us a few minutes and then discharged us from the hospital. As we were leaving the hospital Cody stopped at the window and just stared out for a minute watching the sunrise. "One day",he said, "We will be back here when our baby is born and I am going to look out this window at the sun knowing that we get to take our baby home". They next day was a long sad one. We slept a lot, cried a lot and zoned out to old Friends episodes. That was a good distraction. Every time I would wake up from falling asleep I would realize, no this was not a dream and I had lost my baby. I kept praying and praying that I would not pass the baby on my own. I don't think I could have handled that. The Lord blessed us- I was not uncomfortable and I did not see anything. I was scheduled to have a D and C the next night. My regular Ob dr postponed leaving on vacation so that she would be the one to preform the surgery for me. I love her. Cody and I felt amazingly blessed through this that we were never bitter or wondering why this would have happened to us. We were sad, devastated yes, but not mad or bitter. We realized more than anything the importance of God's will, not ours. A lot of people have said that we will have the chance to raise the babies we have lost- after this one, I really did not feel like we had lost that baby for good, just that he wasn't quite ready to come down yet.

The second miscarriage happened at 5 weeks and the third at 6 weeks. After our first loss, she put me on progesterone to help my lower levels. For both, my levels were sufficient- the timing just wasn't right. Each one, a little more perplexing and sad....wondering are we supposed to have our own children?? What is the lesson to be learned here??

The forth pregnancy happened immediately after the third miscarriage. We did not tell anyone right away. It got to the point after so many hopes and failed pregnancies, that when we would tell people I would almost feel stupid saying that I was only 5 or 6 weeks along, as if they were thinking " why are you telling people you are pregnant with your history and when you are only a few weeks along". Maybe it is and maybe it's not what they were thinking but it's how I felt. We went to the dr immediately. She put me on injectable blood thinners as a precaution to make sure the blood was getting to the baby through the placenta well enough. Every day I gave myself injections in the stomach and weekly Cody gave me progesterone shots in my rear. Blood tests came back great for my hormone levels as well as the pregnancy levels. They were rising so dramatically that they even thought maybe we were going to get more than one this time! I was renewed and hopeful. I went for an ultrasound at 5 weeks- looked good. 7 weeks- beating heart and size appropriate. 9 weeks- the baby looked small to me. They said the dates might be off or maybe it is just measuring small for the age. I worked on Saturdays for this OB all the way through hygiene school and I knew that for 9 weeks, that is not what the ultrasound looks like. She said we would just wait a couple weeks and do another ultrasound. Around this time I had commented to Cody that I must be becoming tougher or something because my weekly shots were not hurting as much. Later, we found out that the pharmacy had filled my prescription incorrectly and I was getting half the dose of progesterone that I should have been getting. This news combined with the unsettling ultrasound, was putting me very close to the edge. A lot of prayer and a priesthood blessing from my very worth husband and father, helped put me at ease. The next ultrasound did show that we had again, lost our baby. I had to have another surgery to remove the fetus. I had told Cody that with the other three I had kept thinking for sure it is a boy. We already have a boy name picked out and I distinctly felt like it was the same little boy spirit coming down to us each time. However, with the forth pregnancy, I told him that I really felt like this was a girl this time and that maybe that is why we lost our little boy babies was because we were supposed to have a girl first. They did some testing on the baby and did in fact find out that our last pregnancy has XX chromosomes...a little girl.

I have been tested with every test in the book. They have done chromosome testing with mine and Cody's blood to make sure we are both normal and healthy. All test have come back 100% normal. I have been to a specialist and a genetics counselor- they all say the same thing. I am absolutely normal. It makes you realize how much of life we are not in control of. It doesn't matter how many drugs or hormones or precautions we take, when our Heavenly Father decides that it is time, we will have our baby.

Each pregnancy has been different and has certainly taught us a lot of things- things were honestly could not have learned any other time. I have learn that life has lessons. I think the most poignant lesson that I have learned is that it is not the trials that we are given in life that our truly our tests. It is how we handle the trial and the attitudes we have. Joseph Smith was in jail and asked the Lord how long the people would have to endure such trials before they could have joy and the answer was,
"My son, (daughter) peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well. God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" D&C 121:8

Well although my "foes" right now are pregnancies and making it to full term, I know with out a doubt that God has a plan, is in control and that nothing happens by chance. This is my lesson to learn. It is not an easy one- I hope I am not sounding flippant or nonchalant about our experiences. They are the very hardest trials I have had to face so far in my life. I am grateful for the lesson learn and grateful for the trust that God sees in me to give me such trials- I know we are only given what we can handle and it is humbling to know he believes in me and Cody enough to give us these trials.

I love my family. I am grateful for their support and love. I love my husband, I could not dream of a better, more worthy man.


Metta said...

Kate, I just don't even know what to say. I'm just blown away by you guys and your faith and your power house attitudes, and it was honestly so painful to read your story because I am pregnant for the first time (and emotional even without reading your story of loss). But I wanted to just write to say I care and am sending lots of love, even with my lack of knowing how to make you feel better. XOXO from your Hawaiian friend

TJ said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so proud of you and Cody for your faith and strength. You are an amazing example. I love you guys.

Tracie said...

And crying...You guys are amazing and have incredible faith...sorry you have to be an example of perfect faith...But Thank you. Love you both very much and you are always in my prayers

Ryan and Denyse said...

On your FB someone said something about your blog, so after I wrote on your wall I was determined to find it :) I know stalkerish.. I'm so glad I did...You really are so amazing, and such a great example to me. Thanks for sharing those experiences and how you are handling everything...honestly you make me want to be a better person! Love you!!

Michelle LeMieux said...

Oh Katie, you are so strong to have gone throuhg all that. I had no idea. I'm so glad you've decided to become a better person because of all that's happened instead of a bitter person. How lucky you are to have your husband to lean on through all of this. I'm here if you ever want to talk or get together (480)678-1818
Love you!