Monday, January 16, 2012

baby boy ward

the last week has been full of pain. but, with pain comes comfort, growth and understanding. i have found a lot of peace and closure through talking and writing about this experience. this will be a long post with lots of details.

last tuesday, january 10th i dropped wesley and madalyn off at my mom's while i went to my 16 week prenatal visit. the visit was going to be quick. i just needed to weigh in, check my temperature and blood pressure, and hear the baby's heart beat.

i was visiting the same doctor who delivered wesley and madalyn. we had really been impressed with doctor steven robison. he was always very kind, great bedside manner, and never rushed us. and another interesting tid bit is that his father is the doctor who delivered me. i felt comfortable around him.

i was laying on his table for quite awhile as he searched for the heartbeat. normally this would really alarm me. but, i felt peaceful. before this pregnancy the doctors had never had any problem finding the heart beat. it had always manifested itself quickly. but, at my 12 week appointment with this pregnancy the doctor had a difficult time finding the heart beat and sent me in for an ultrasound. i was pretty worried at this visit. but, the baby was fine. measuring at exactly where it should be. the baby was just behind the placenta so it made it difficult to find.

so, as the doctor was struggling to find the heartbeat at this appointment i reminded him of our last visit. then he told me he wasn't going to charge me for this ultra sound but really wanted to make sure the baby was alright and sent me down the hall. i was still calm. actually i was a little excited. i thought that maybe could tell me the sex of the baby and i could surprise kevin with the news.

the ultrasound tech found the baby right away. i'm not sure why i didn't notice that the baby was in a ball and not moving, or that the screen was pulsing red but no blue. the tech was very quiet and just said that she was going to take some measurements. a few moments later doctor robison popped in and asked where she found the heart beat. she whispered, "there isn't one." and that's when a little piece of me died. the room was silent, aside from my sobs. i wasn't sure how i was expected to get out of that chair...let alone go home. i was a mess.

they moved me into a different room and asked me if i wanted to call someone. i tried calling kevin but got his voice mail. at this point, i'm sure they didn't know what to do with me. i told them i wasn't going to leave through the front door. i couldn't bear to walk past all the pregnant woman looking the way i did. so, doctor robison led me to his office where i could try to call kevin again and grieve in peace. they really tried to make me comfortable with water, kleenex, holding my hand, and one offered to call kevin but i couldn't even explain how to call him on my phone. i was a mess! i wasn't screaming or howling. i just couldn't function. shock, i'm sure.

a few minutes later i tried kevin again. no answer. so i called his main office and they tracked him down for me. as soon as i heard his voice i started sobbing and was only able to mutter "we lost the baby". i couldn't even tell him where i was. he finally hung up on me and some how found me a few minutes later in doctor robison's office (kevin works at mountain view hospital which is actually attached to the building i go to for my visits...such a blessing it only took him a couple minutes.).

we visited with doctor robison for awhile and briefly discussed what would need to take place in the following days. then, we exited through the back. we spent the next couple hours in the car...grieving. there is a little bit of disconnect that takes place between a husband and wife in this situation. kevin felt sadness. but i felt sadness, loss, grief, fear, pain in my heart, and heaviness in my stomach. it's different when you are the women. he explained that this must be harder on me and didn't know how to help me or make me feel better.

we went to my parents to pick up the kids. i was thankful to have my parents so close. to feel their hugs, love, and concern.

news traveled fast (SO THANKFUL FOR FAMILIES AND CHURCH FAMILIES) and my neighbor was picking my kids up so me and kevin could be alone. kevin gave a priesthood blessing which provided the strength, courage, faith, and peace that helped me through the next 24 hrs. i was surrounded with all the support and prayers that a person could ask for that evening. visits, phone calls, and messages.

before bed that night we told the kids what was happening. madalyn and wesley are still too young to really understand. but, owen was full of questions. we told the kids that heavenly father had decided that this baby needed to come back to heaven and so his spirit was in heaven now.

i hardly slept that night. my stomach felt SO HEAVY.

the doctor was supposed to call me the next day to discuss when we felt we would be ready to deliver the baby. we decided that night that the sooner the better and as soon as he could get us in we would be there.

the following morning (wednesday, january 11th) before owen left for school we explained to him that they would be taking the baby's body out of my tummy and talked about how our spirit and body are different and when we die our spirit goes to heaven but our body stays here. owen is so full of love, compassion, and understanding. he played a big part in helping our family to grieve and talk about what was going on.

they finally admitted me in the hospital a little after 1 o'clock that afternoon. kevin met me there. they told us to plan on being there for 6-9 hours. it was very surreal walking into labor and delivery with kevin. the only other times we had ever been there was to deliver our three healthy babies. this time would be much different.

they administered the medication around 2pm. this would cause severe cramping and allow me to dilate so i could deliver the baby and placenta and would hopefully allow us to avoid a d/c. they would administer this every 6 hours until the baby was delivered. we sat in that hospital room for 6 hours without much happening. just resting, talking, reading, and playing games. they administered the medication again at 8pm and it was around this time that i finally started cramping and bleeding. they gave me some wonderful pain medication that kept me comfortable. at 2 am they checked me and decided that they didn't need to administer more medicine and that it wouldn't be long before they could get the baby out. this is when fear set in for me. i wasn't sure i could handle what was about to happen.

i delivered the baby at 2:51 am. it was a boy. i asked kevin if i would want to see the baby. he said yes. i'm glad i did. he was very small. 4 1/8 inches and 20 grams. but, seeing that little body did provide peace and closure. kevin said that it was at this time that he REALLY felt the pain of our loss. i guess it provided us both with closure. i think this is the main reason they didn't just do a d/c to begin with.

they waited until 5am to deliver the placenta. i needed to dilate more in order for this to happen. this was the most painful part. a lot of digging and a lot of pressure. around 7am they brought in an ultra sound tech. this process was very annoying and uncomfortable. but they wanted to make sure that there wasn't anything left inside. they decided there was and that a d/c would be necessary.

they came and got me around 10am for the d/c. the anesthetist told me they would be giving me a drug that would cause some amnesia and allow me to feel no pain and that is the last thing i remember. :) guess it worked. my friend told me they call this "milk of amnesia" at her nursing school. i woke up around 11:30am. the hospital presented us with a grievance box and tried to provide any memorabilia they could. a local stake from the LDS church makes these boxes and provides them to mothers in my position. what a sweet thought!

this little teddy bear is such a special gift. we just knew that the kids (especially owen) would appreciate it. it measures about 1 inch smaller than our baby did...and really gave owen (and me) something to hold and cherish.

much to my surprise my sisters (who all live in utah) had loaded up in their cars that night and drove to idaho falls so they could be with me when i was released from the hospital. what wonderful news to wake up to!

i was out of the hospital by 12:30pm and off to my mom's. i spent the next few hours there. they fed me my favorite meal (my mom's lasagna)...and i was starved. i hadn't eaten since 11am the day before. they gave me a "basket full of comfort" which had all sorts of comforting items. we played games, talked, cried, and snacked. and then they had to leave.

melissa, katie, natalie, grandma manwaring, mom, me, and emily

it wasn't until the next day that i realized how inspired that quick visit was. they allowed me to feel peace and comfort so much sooner than i could have ever asked. i am so thankful that i was able to leave that hospital feeling so empty and come to a home so full of love, comfort, and support.

the following few days were very painful. lots of tears and heartache. but, i can't even begin to list all the many people who helped us to feel love, peace, and comfort. we were fed LOTS of food, received lots of phone calls, visits, messages, flowers, service, hugs, and prayers.

i still ache to be pregnant. i can't bear to put away my maternity clothes or erase the count down i put on my calendar. but, i am starting to feel more normal. i'm starting to feel able. and i know that writing and sharing this is allowing me to heal.

so thankful!

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happy new year!

happy new year!

we had some sickies at our house for new year's eve so we laid low. we tried to make it fun by pulling out our hats and putting up decorations. i even prepared some margarita glasses and set out some games so we could bring it in a bang!

BUT, we were much too tired. the kids were out by 9:30 or so and kevin and i rang in the new year alone. LAME. but, i guess a quiet one can be nice every once in awhile.

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kids didn't wake up until about 6:30 which is their normal wake up time. that was nice.

peeking through the sheet

we opened and played with our santa gifts until it was time to head to church. after church we came home, put on some new comfy clothes and opened the gifts from each other.

that night we enjoyed a delicious dinner at my parents house. it was a perfect christmas!

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santa came

i love the magic of christmas eve! the anticipation of santa's arrival.

we don't put any presents under our tree until christmas eve. we put out a few that afternoon but most of it we wait to put out until the kids go to sleep...and before santa comes. it seems to add to the magic for us.

he found us.

here is a picture with "the sheet" up.
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christmas eve

we had a very quiet christmas eve. kevin always likes to let the kids open a couple presents early in order to spread out the glee! here are the kids playing with their early spoils from grandma and grandpa ward.

that evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner at my grandma freidenberger's home. then it was back home to open and get into our new cozy pj's. one of my favorite things about christmas eve!

don't these kids look so cozy and adorable in their pajamas from grandma and grandpa manwaring.

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extra loose

here is owen on christmas eve showing us his extra loose tooth. he likes to wait until they fall out on their own, so they hang around in his mouth extra loose for quite some time.

i think it finally fell out a couple days later. funny kid!
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manwaring family progressive snacking

the weekend before christmas we did our manwaring family progressive snacking. i really love this tradition!

this year we were lucky to have the angeles family (kevin's sister, rosanne) join in the fun! we hope we didn't overwhelm them too much. it was fun to have them visiting for the weekend. natalie also was home from slc so we loved having her as well.

justin's house was first. rosanne and her family made the trek to blackfoot with us. we enjoyed a mighty filling spread at their house. multiple types of cheese, crackers, and meat. plus lots of little extras. it was yummy!

rosanne holding zoey and rafa at justin's house

then it was off to jarom's for bbq chicken sandwiches and lots of little extras as well. i know, this is some kind of "snacking" huh. :)

next stop was benjamin's for homemade chicken noodle soup.

then it was off to my house where all the overly full bellies could hardly manage to eat anything. good thing I was only serving a layered chip dip and margaritas.

natalie and dad

owen, carter, and ogden


rafa showing us how it's done...with the pinkie up.


tree admirers

ellie, anna, and halle

we also had a pinata for the kids to bash in the basement. no pictures, but they really enjoyed. madalyn helped me pick the little donkey pinata out at the store and was DEVASTATED when people knocked his head off with a stick. poor girl!

after my house we headed to my parents for a cookie/hot drink spread and had our christmas nativity.

it was a great night!

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