Saturday, September 28, 2013

Losing Baby Blueberry

It's been quite a while since I've paid attention to my blog.  Honestly, putting things in writing make them more real.  And some things you just don't want to be real.  I've struggled for the last few days with sharing this story.  For many reasons, I just didn't want to.  But for many more reasons, I think I should.  I don't think I've physically been capable of typing this out until now.  And I want to do it before I'm not able to any more.

We found out we were expecting our second baby in July.  It was a surprise, but a pleasant surprise!  Yes, awkward timing, considering I was actively interviewing for jobs (a.k.a. unemployed) and we were living with Jonathan's parents (a.k.a. homeless) but we would figure it out.  :)  We told our immediate family in August along with just a few close friends.  At the time, the baby was the size of a blueberry, according to whatever app we had installed to track the pregnancy.  The name stuck with the family and Baby Blueberry was a source of pleasant talk in the midst of some trying times my family has had over the past month.  Blueberry represented hope, the future, good times to come.  If I weren't unemployed I'm sure I would have gone out and bought Blueberry an outfit or 2.....definitely some socks.

Two Sundays ago was my 12 week mark.  I felt great.  The horrible nausea that I never had with Arlis disappeared and I felt like I had a twinge of energy.  Then Monday morning I woke up and just felt off.  My stomach was upset, I thought maybe I was coming down with something.  Jonathan suggested that I rest a bit.  I went to the bathroom...and saw the blood.  My heart sank.  I screamed for Jonathan and burst into tears.  I didn't know but I knew.  After I composed myself I called and spoke to the nurse practitioner in the OB practice and she reassured me that it could be completely normal.  They would see me the next day.  But my heart was unsettled.  I didn't sleep that night.  First from the anxiety that was innately there and second from the cramping that gave me more anxiety.  The cramping became contractions and by morning I knew something was wrong with Blueberry.  I got in the shower and told God I simply couldn't do this.  I couldn't handle losing a baby.  I couldn't bear to hear them tell me it was dead.  I couldn't bear to see my dead baby on the screen.  We drove to the doctor in unusual silence.  Jonathan periodically tried to instill hope in me as only a good husband should do and I had maybe a teeny tiny speck of it left in my heart, but mostly there was dread.  

I was startlingly composed in the waiting room.  I had imagined all night that I'd be that hysterical crazy lady.  The one people would stare at and later talk about.  The one they'd have to call in psych for...or social services....or maybe even security.  After a short wait we finally headed back to the ultrasound room with the big screen television.  The tech (who is absolutely the most lovely person on the planet and was the same one who showed us our Baby Arlis) had problems finding Blueberry.  For a split second I thought maybe I never was pregnant in the first place.  And if I was never pregnant then I wouldn't have to lose Blueberry.  The mind plays so many tricks on you in times like these.  Then she found Blueberry and there Blueberry was.  I knew what Arlis looked like at this stage--full of life, waving his little arms and legs.  Blueberry was lifeless.  Floating.  Still.  She searched for a heartbeat.  Nothing.  There was a thick, flat line across the big screen television.  She didn't have to tell me for me to know, but she did.  There's no heartbeat.  I'm so sorry.  Based on her measurements, Blueberry had actually died a few weeks earlier.  I didn't scream like I thought I would.  I didn't ask for a sedative and for the psych unit to come take me away.  I just existed.  And we scheduled surgery for the next day.

I had a wonderful surgeon who sat down and talked to me before the surgery.  In our discussion she explained the statistics of miscarriage to me.  The logical part of my brain loved this.  What I never wanted to understand before (I mean what woman trying to have a baby wants to know miscarriage statistics??) was almost soothing to me now.  I'm not going to post them here because I know not everyone wants to know them.  Just know that it's common.  More common than you think.  And as I shared our news with just a few I realized how many people are affected by miscarriage.  It's painful.  It's isolating.  For me it is isolating out of my own choosing.  I have a wonderful, supportive family and great friends.  But having lost Blueberry makes me want to be all by myself when and for however long I want.  For me, that's how I can process it.  That's how I can figure it out enough to write this down. For others it may be isolating because it is so personal that they never share their experience or they don't have a doctor to explain that they really are not alone.  Either way it is isolating because you are going through it in that moment all by yourself. 

My woman-crush ;) Darlene Zschech wrote in her book, Extravagant Worship, about her experience with miscarriage and how on the way home from finding out that she lost her baby, God told her to sing....

Darlene wrote, “So after years of learning it is much better to obey quickly, I started to sing. My head didn’t sing, and I do not even know if my heart sang, but my soul sang.” The first song she heard coming out of her mouth was the hymn “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee, how great thou art....” Even though her thoughts were full of despair, the core of her being, her soul, was singing rather than her intellect. Next she sang a song she had written years earlier called “I Will Bless You, Lord.” 

I always remembered that part of her book, years and years after I read it.  I don't know why....but maybe now I do.  That night, after Blueberry was gone from me, my body could not even sing.  I couldn't speak much less sing.  So I pulled up the song I Will Bless You Lord on YouTube and I listened to Miriam Webster sing the song that I could not.  And in that moment I realized that Blueberry was with God.  Blueberry was being held by Jesus, playing with Jonathan's sister Emily's baby that she and Geoff lost 3 years ago.  Blueberry would never know us here on earth but Blueberry also would never know pain, never know sorrow, never be sick, never cry, never feel the loss that I feel.  And the loss I feel is temporary....

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison 2 Corinthians 4:17 

I don't blame God for taking my baby.  I cling to him.  I thought maybe I'd be mad at him.  More than anything I just want to be with him because he is PEACE.  It doesn't mean I'm not sad.  I am devastated.  I wake up in the middle of the night and cry for Baby Blueberry.  I wonder if Blueberry was a boy or a girl.  I wonder if Blueberry knows how much we loved and still love him or her.  I wonder if Blueberry can see us or hear us or know us somehow.  But there is peace in the midst of the storm.

Please pray for our family.  We are about to start a new chapter--move into a new home, start new jobs, start a new church.  All of these things are exciting and wonderful.  We did not expect to do them in the midst of grief.  Thanks so much for your support and thoughts and prayers.  We appreciate them so very much.