Saturday, March 16, 2013

Baby Celis #2

It's March 16th. This is the date I associate with the loss of our second baby, even though she was still technically alive a year ago today. It's been a sad, sad day for this mama, and since I've been reliving the whole awful experience since I woke up (all month, to be more accurate), I may as well share with you the story of Baby Celis #2. I owe it to her anyway.

I've mentioned this before, but I always refer to Baby Celis #2 as a girl, even though we could never verify this because the testing we had done later came back inconclusive. I've seen her in my dreams, though, and I bought a ladybug Halloween costume for her (she was due October 29th) long before she was even conceived. My gut tells me she was a girl, and that's all the proof I need.

After our first loss, Danny and I took a small break from trying to conceive. We were just too damn broken. During this break, everybody we've ever met either announced their pregnancy or had a baby, and it was brutal. The first month we decided to try again, I knew we'd succeeded. I would have bet my life that pregnancy test would read positive on February 17th, 2012. And it did. I hadn't missed my period yet or anything—it was too early for that. Like with all of my pregnancies, I just knew.

I contemplated holding off for two days before actually testing, so that I could tell Danny on the 19th—his birthday, but I didn't for two reasons: I was too excited to wait, and I didn't want to forever tarnish his birthday if something were to go wrong with the pregnancy. It's so sad that I was already programmed to think this way.

When I told Danny the news, he was happy, of course, and he fell in love with our baby right away, but he was as reserved as I was. We didn't let ourselves talk too much about Baby Celis #2. (She's all I thought about, though. How could I not imagine what she'd look like, what her laugh would sound like, what her favorite color would be?) We didn't buy anything for her because we didn't want to have to find a place for it later, if things went wrong. We just focused on making it to March 12th, the day of our first ultrasound, the first time we'd see the flicker of her heartbeat. Then, we would really celebrate.  

When I woke up on March 12th, I was overcome with a sense of doom. I had no reason to feel this way. My hormone levels were "twin-high," according to my doctor. I hadn't had any spotting, and everything seemed normal. There were no physical signs that anything was amiss. Plus, the chance of me miscarrying again was only 13%. But I just couldn't shake the skepticism. 

During the ultrasound, when the tech said, "Baby does have a heartbeat. It's 78 beats per minute..." I cried immediately because I'd researched fetal heart rates enough to know that was at least 22 bpm too low for our baby to be okay. Danny cried because he was so happy that his baby's heart was beating. That's what destroyed me the most—his hope.

A tiny little cloud in the gestational sac, measuring 6 weeks instead of  7.

My OB told us things could go either way at that point, and to come back in 4 days for a follow-up ultrasound. In the meantime, we were to go to work, live our lives, and interact with people—you know, act normal. She told us not to lose faith, but my heart, my gut, my intuition, something told me we wouldn't be taking our ladybug home with us in October.

What kind of mom would I be if I just gave up like that, right off the bat, though? What kind of wife would I be if I didn't lay awake at night with Danny, rubbing my belly, begging that weak little heart in there to beat harder? I hoped with everything I had that our baby would survive, but mostly, I hoped and prayed that Danny would be okay when he learned that she was gone. Those 4 days are a blur.

On March 16th, 2012, that tiny heart was barely beating. The tech let us listen to it, and I'll never forget the sound. Beat, beat, beat...pause...pause...beat, beat...pause. So sporadic. My OB told us it was definitely over, that the heart was giving out, and that we should come back in 3 days to make sure it had completely stopped—and we would schedule a D&C.

All miscarriages are horrendous, but this one was exceptionally gut-wrenching. Danny and I spent 3 days praying that our baby would give up, so we could officially say goodbye to her and start trying to move on. What a shitty position to be in, to beg your baby to pass away. We held each other close. We sobbed and rubbed my belly, willing that sick, itty-bitty heart to stop. We felt the same kind of sorrow we felt after our first miscarriage, only this time, we were met with fear, too. The fear that something was wrong with one of us, the fear that we'd never be parents. 

Our next ultrasound was March 19th, and it confirmed that our baby had no heartbeat. She was really gone. The D&C was a breeze compared to my first miscarriage, which happened at home. Emotionally, though, I was a mess—and I was for a long time.  

I don't feel as broken as I did then, and I definitely don't feel as hopeless—but I do think about my lost babies every single day. I still cry for them, especially on days like this. It infuriates me that anybody thinks I can replace these babies with a healthy one. I know people think this because they've said it.

A friend shared an article with me, "How a Man Handles a Miscarriage," which I found beautiful and very well written, and this line really stood out:

"That [lost] child will always be autonomous in your thinking. A separate being. And should always be thought of that way."

You always will, Baby Celis #2. Sweet little baby, I wish I would have outwardly celebrated you more. I wish I would have bought you all the presents you deserved, no matter how painful it would have been to find a place for them later. I wish I would have told the world about you, so they could have celebrated your short life, too—and then cried when it was over.

But I've cried enough tears for a thousand people. And I love you enough for a million. 


paisleybaby33 said...

So much love, my sweet, sweet friend. Your sweet girl will always live on in my heart.

Colleen Garvin said...

(I don't know what happened with my original post, luckily my phone saves my posts on google and fb)Amanda , You and Danny have been through so much. She is looking down from heaven watching you both. I am so sorry for all of the pain you have been through - after the rain comes the rainbow. The clouds that once hung are clearing, the sadness is going to be replaced with laughter. That void in your heart-though not forgotten, will soon be filled with overwhelming love and happiness!Nobody will forget your beautiful angels in love them as much as any mommy and daddy could! God bless you both. You are such lovely people xoxo

Heather said...

(hugs), friend.

Nicole said...

Your baby girl must feel your love because I can from the words on the page...

jessica dukes said...

I agree with nicole. no words just prayers for you friend.

Anonymous said...

Your words have helped me deal with my loss. You are lucky to have each other and support each other.

Erica said...

I know I'm not the world, but her short life was celebrated. I hoped so desperately that she'd hold on and I cried when it was over. She knows you love her and would have wanted to make things as easy for you as possible. She doesn't need things to know she always has a place in your heart.