Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Last week I saw this invitation to write about bravery. About you being brave, and facing a fear. (more thoughts on bravery here.)

And you know what, I doubt many of us would consider ourselves 'brave'. We might look at someone else, and think, man, THAT person is brave, but not me.

Well, right now I am claiming the bravery title.

Three years ago today, I lost my third pregnancy. There was no explanation, his heart was no longer beating. I found this out at week 16 1/2. You might think the following hours were a bit blurry for me, but they are very clear in my memory. Of course I fell apart in the exam room. I didn't know where my husband was at the time, and the doctors were trying to find him for me. It was taking some time, and finally I just went out to my car, keeping myself together for the five or so minutes it took to leave the clinic in the hospital and get to my car. It was decided, between myself, my husband (a Physicians Assistant), and my doctors that I be induced and deliver the baby. We made arrangements for Superhero and Blondie to be taken care of overnight, and the next morning, as soon as they had a bed, we went to Labor and Delivery.

Before I go any further, I want to say that my doctors and nurses were truly amazing. Perhaps they were extra nice to me considering my situation. I know there are many out there who have terrible experiences with military health care providers, but that has not been my experience. I don't know how we've gotten lucky each time that our family has needed to be in the hospital, but we just have.

They induced me, and I'm not sure why I didn't figure this out, but at that point in development, there is no need to dilate to a 10. It took some time to get me to a 5, and at that point I was asked to start pushing. This was the only time I have ever delivered a baby vaginally. As well as without pain medication. After I delivered, they put him on a warmer, as I tried to emotionally and physically recover from what I just went through.

About an hour later, they asked if I would like to hold him. I did. My husband did not.

Later that night, while talking on the phone to my best friend, I seemed very calm. I was calm. In fact I had this sense of peace that I knew was not coming from myself. I can't describe it any other way.

They kept me overnight, to make sure there was not bleeding. They sent me home the next day, with a box of things. They had dressed him in a small blue outfit and had taken pictures of him, and the outfit, as well as a few other things provided by organizations for situations like this had donated or made. That hour of peace was no more, and in pretty much every aspect, I was a wreck.

My milk came in the next day, which was a nightmare. They had said it wouldn't, but boy did it come. Having milk with no baby to give it to was....um.....don't really know the right word for this, but maybe you can try and imagine.

I recovered, and eventually found some peace with what happened, and with that peace was able to move on.

Fast forward two years, (and two moves and a deployment) and I found myself pregnant again. Just a few months after my husband had come home from deployment. We kept it to ourselves for many weeks. Things were going well. One Thursday, I started to feel these odd pains. I know that when you're pregnant, things hurt sometimes, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. I told my husband, and we both figured it wasn't a big deal. Saturday, right at about my 16 week mark, in the afternoon, those very same pains became a much bigger deal. My uterus was contracting. I drank massive amounts of water, put my feet up, and prayed the contractions would stop. They did not. My husband, somewhat in denial about what was really happening, didn't think I needed to go to the hospital. I felt a pop in my cervix and my water broke. He took me to the ER. I also remember this very clearly. I won't go into the details, but once they got things mostly taken care of, my uterus wouldn't stop bleeding. They decided to do a D&C to try and get it to stop. They got some blood ready just in case they needed to give me a transfusion. And then blessedly I was knocked out and got to forget what was going on for a little while. I ended up losing about a liter of blood, which really takes you out for a few days. I couldn't walk without some help, could barely keep my head up. I have never felt so exhausted, even after my c-sections.

Obviously, I was a disaster yet again. Thankfully, this time around I had a therapist already, and went to her as soon as I could. I didn't have that feeling of peace like I had the first time. Perhaps it was because of the pain meds. And yet again, there was no way to know why this had happened. The two incidents were so different, there was no way to be able to know. It really messed with my head. One good thing was that my milk didn't come in. That probably would have sent me over the edge.

After these two experiences, I was unsure as to what my next step was. Should we try again? Should we call it quits? What the heck was wrong with my body? Why was this happening? As I was having the contractions I told my husband that I just couldn't go through this again...and then he watched me go through it all over again. As I was recovering after my D&C, one of the first things he said was that we should just try adoption. Me, in my medicated and lacking a liter of blood state, could barely focus on having a conversation let alone try and make a decision. But of course he had been wide awake and thinking for the entire time I had been under.

After seeing my therapist a few times and talking to my husband, as well as praying and meditating on what the next step for our family should be, I came to a decision. I decided that I would try one more time. So, I knelt down and had a conversation with Heavenly Father. I told Him I would try one more time. And if it ended like the others, or somewhere in between, I would be done. And then at that point we would decide if we would try to adopt or be glad for the children we had and stop adding to our family. Five months later, I found myself pregnant again. I couldn't believe it. I went to the doctor that had done my D&C and asked if I was high risk. Believe it or not, I wasn't. But thankfully, she did agree to be my doctor. (Usually at a military hospital, you're assigned to a team of docs. And when you call to make your appointment, they put you with any of those docs. Luckily, she agreed to allow me to only see her so I didn't have to go through my history multiple times.)

She did a vaginal ultrasound to determine how far along I was (I practically knew the day it was conceived, but she wanted to make sure). I brought home the pictures she printed for me, and showed them to my husband. He made a comment that I will always remember. Usually when you look at ultrasound pictures, there is an excitement, a happiness. He talked about how looking at them, all he felt was hope. Hope that it would work out. Hope that I wouldn't have to go through a nightmare yet again. No excitement, no happiness. Just hope.

So, back to the whole reason I wrote this: bravery. So far, in my life, the bravest thing I've ever done is try and get pregnant for the 5th time. Some might say supporting my husband in joining the Army was brave. Or maybe going on a mission to France, or maybe moving our family overseas to Germany for the Army. Or even sending my husband off to deploy to Afghanistan. Nope. All those things were easier.

Being brave is so subjective. For me, trying this again was the biggest and bravest thing I've done.

And so far, it's been worth it. We are good, healthy, and doing lots of kicking. I still have anxiety. I still like to stop during the day and be still so I can feel him in there. My friend said at first that I was bonding to him....nope, I just need reassurance that he is still alive (maybe there is bonding, I'm just really concerned about him staying alive). I have moments of panic, where I think that now that I'm telling people, everything is going to go downhill. Or that now that I'm starting to accept and get used to the idea, it's going to go downhill. I think up to the moment that I hear him cry, I'll have that anxiety.

Not really sure how to end this, because this story doesn't have an end yet. My plan is just to get through this one day at a time.


  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences Terina! You are an amazing woman, and definitely brave!!!

  2. Wow! I really don't have words. This is a beautiful post!

    I hope for a happy ending.

  3. Found your post from a link on Chocolate on my Cranium. Just wanted to tell you thank you for sharing your story. You are definitely brave and this was a beautiful post! Faith and hope go together just continue to have both faith and hope in the things to come.

  4. That is so brave. I dont think I would survive going through all of that.

  5. My heart is aching for you and what you've gone through. You are brave! I'm praying for the best!

  6. That truly is brave. My heart breaks for you. I also hope all is well this time around and that you will be blessed with a much hoped for baby.

  7. Ha! I thought I should tell you that when I commented (came here from the blog hop by the way) that the word that came up for me to type in was "bunove" Bun in the oven! Ha!

  8. Having gone through 5 miscarrages, birthing 3 amazing little men, and finally a hysterectomy at the age of 34, I can feel your pain, but also your bravery.

    You are truly amazing and I admire your bravery. So glad you liked up and shared your story. Thank you.

  9. Love the post. Love you. You are brave in so many ways - and this is definitely one of them. And you're right, the story doesn't have an end...this 5th one is just beginning :)

  10. I am so overcome by the details right now. Having known bits of this story, but not all of it, I ache so much for you and the pain you've been through. I ache that you are still scared--- but of COURSE you would be. Of course. I agree- this is bravery at its purest, and I have you in my prayers my friend. When he comes, I will try my hardest to get there and celebrate with you through photos. Because this whole story is beautiful and you are in the middle of a miracle. Love you!

  11. So glad IO saved this post to read for night time - so I wouldn't cry in front of my kids and have to explain why I was crying. Your story is definitely one of bravery and giving yourself to God, and a new baby, and being willing to do it all with the risk of having your heart broken and torn again.

    Hope. It is such a beautiful word! Esperanza: hope in Spanish. The root word for it is espera: to wait. I pray your waiting, your hope brings you much joy!

  12. Yes, brave! Not only for for what you have gone through, but also for opening up and sharing it with us. Thank you for that. You are a very brave, amazing woman!!

  13. Words can't express how I feel at what you had to go through. I just want to hug you and say I love you.