Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's Not Your Fault

Yesterday, as we were driving towards the highway from the hospital and I was having a good cry at realizing that, sans a piece of nylon in my whoohaa, I would have gone into labor with my two perfect babies, Peter said, "I know you still do, but I hope that this proves to you that it was nothing you did... That you did everything right... That this wasn't your fault."

I think that, whenever a pregnancy ends prior to full term or without a live, healthy baby, we mothers do feel like we failed. What if I'd done this... Not done that... Done this instead... If only I'd... I can't lie and say that thoughts dont haunt me still. Was it that? This? What didnt I do? God, what did I do?

It's hard when we see people mistreating their bodies and harming their unborn child(ren). (Have I mentioned my brother and his knocked up girlfriend, who smoke and drink? Who rarely get prenatal care and havent popped a prenatal vitamin?) Those of us who struggled to get pregnant (or even didnt struggle) and had losses... Who did "everything right"... Who never missed taking a vitamin or making a prenatal appointment... It has to be us. We have to blame ourselves. Who else is there to blame?

Truly, I try to remember that we did what we could with the knowledge that we had at the time. My cervix always looked good. Always. Heck, 2 weeks ago, it looked great! Little liar... I dont know why it is screwed up. I'm adopted and, although I dont think that I was exposed to DES in the womb, I suppose it is possible. I was born premature, so perhaps my cervix never strengthened as it should have even though it developed normally. I dont know. I'm not sure that focusing on the why it doesn't work right will ever be helpful. Something that this pregnancy proved is that bedrest wont work. Nothing but God's will and the stitch will stop my cervix from going from perfect to a disaster in moments. Thank God for letting our paths cross with Dr Bailey. I said a prayer yesterday for him. I cant express how grateful I am for his compassion and care.

In spite of having "goals" set of 26w, 32w, and 36w, I'm still not thinking of them like that. I know those are Dr B's goals for the safety of the babies. But, even today, I still have that feeling of, no matter when, they are safe... loved... okay. And, in spite of my pissed off-ness that my cervix is failing to cooperate and my sorrow at hitting this point much earlier than I had hoped, I am enjoying that we are here... Today... This day... With Bobby and Maya. Tomorrow will deal with itself. I have them today.

It was hard going to the doctor yesterday. At 17w4d in Nicholas & Sophia's pregnancy, also a Wednesday, we were going to the MFM doctors with only Sophia in utero. That appointment caused a lot of bleeding afterwards... Contractions began on Friday, my water broke Saturday afternoon, and she was born that night. I have no doubts (now) that the infection had already started and was running its course, even with no outside symptoms, and that the appointment did nothing to hasten Sophia's entrance into the world. But it wasnt that way for a while. And it was quite a bit unnerving to have another appointment on that same day. But it was also reassuring in a way. It was with Dr B and not a complete stranger. It was, overall, a really positive appointment, not one with the overtones of "we dont even know why you are still pregnant... are you sure you dont want to abort?" (We ended up at a different hospital because it was the one that we were transported to after Nicholas, so they scheduled Sophia's follow up there).

Sitting in Dr B's office yesterday, I heard two things that broke my heart. One was a woman who had just had her 10w ultrasound... And saw that her baby had died around 7w. She said to the woman at the desk, "I need to schedule a D & E." Which, perked my ears up and made me cry inside. As she continued talking and accepting the nurse's condolences, she shared that this was her 9th pregnancy and that she has 2 living children at home. Peter just clutched my hand. There werent words. It just hurt too much. The next was that I overheard Dr B on the phone, telling another patient how sorry he was. That sometimes we just dont know why a pregnancy looks good and ends in miscarriage. How, if she needed to talk, to not hesitate to call him. It reminded me of the notes he sent us after Nicholas & Sophia and Alexander were born, and the note of congratulations he sent us after we notified him of this pregnancy. He really does care about his patients. Why arent all doctors this compassionate?

In fun news... I am posting from my new laptop! Peter worked on getting it ready last night and this morning before work. (I slept after dinner last night and didnt get up except to go to the bathroom, so he worked on it for several hours then). I still have to update files from the iMac that are on my thumb drive, but so far, it works great!


Amanda said...

I too have felt the same way. WHY ME? And others seem to have it so easy. There is no explanantion for that I just tell myself that it will make me a better mother in the end. All of my babies were so loved and wanted!!! But once my rainbow baby makes there entrance into this world (which I hope is this one) I feel my joy/love etc will overflow. ((HUGS)) and its always nice to remember our little ones...

Debby@Just Breathe said...

The "what if" is always going to be the direction that everyone goes to in situations of death.
We all have a tendency to live in our little world. Now that I am blogging I see the world in such a different way. There is suffering that I knew existed but didn't really know. God has taken me to a place that is full of sadness and given my heart a whole new direction. Other then my aunt who lost a baby when I was just a toddler, I haven't really known how large your circle is. I feel so heartbroken for all of you. I just want to take each and every one of you in my arms and hug you until the pain goes away. God knows all and we have to put our trust in him and stop asking "what if." Take care & God Bless.

Mon said...

Your dr. seems to be great !!

Barefoot said...

I am so sorry you had to witness so much heartbreak in the waiting room, particularly at such a tough time for you.

I am so, so relieved that the cerclage is doing what it's supposed to do. I'm sending lots of prayers your way.

djordan said...

I totally struggle with questioning what I did wrong, that's so hard.

Sounds like you have a GREAT Dr. I'm glad everything is continuing to go well!

Juliet said...

I lost my little boy 10 weeks ago, and I just wanted to let you know that I'm reading your journey and thinking of you and your family.

Amanda said...

I've written this very same post time and again. I intimately understand that feeling of self-blame. As for looking for answers, I've been there too. I'm not adopted and I know I wasn't exposed to DES or anything else that should give me such a crummy cervix -- it's just what I have. Sometimes there are just no answers.

As for bedrest not helping, it is. Though you've funneled to the stitch, the combination of the cerclage and the bedrest will do wonders for your pregnancy. I know it feels discouraging now, but hang in there. It was at 25 weeks with our Gracie that I was told I'd funneled and completely effaced and that the only thing holding my cervix closed was that little stitch. I stayed pregnant and in that state for 11 more weeks and had to be induced (and had to have aggressive dilation assistance) at delivery time at 36 weeks. This cerclage absolutely can hold, and my prayer for you is that it will.

On another note, I now have the transabdominal cervicoisthmus cerclage. It's a cerclage that's placed above the cervix among the tendons in the isthmus of the uterus. When we were researching it before placement, I remember reading about a rescue placement done during pregnancy at 25 weeks along. I absolutely credit the TAC for this nearly normal bedrest-free pregnancy I'm having right now. A TAC placement might be something you consider for future pregnancies. Dr. Haney in Chicago would be considered the expert, but some local perinatologists/MFMs also place them. Your doctor could help you find information if you're interested, or I could. Also, there's an excellent support network on Yahoo groups called Abbyloopers. Loads of info there.

Hang in there, and be encouraged. God is faithful, and He is mighty to save. Here is a scripture I rely on: "He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the Lord." (Psallm 113:9)

Mommy (You can call me OM) said...

Oh, Michele. You amaze me. You truly inspire me to be a better person. I hope you know how incredible you are. :)


Annalien said...

I am praying so hard that the cerclage will hold and that you will have your two lovely babies to love here on earth.

I can relate to the feeling of guilt and failure with regard to loss. I have suffered one miscarriage and I remember feeling that I had failed the baby, that I could not keep it safe.

May God's peace be with you.