Monday, April 9, 2012

And Just Like That...

Sweet little Dash-3's heart stopped beating.

I don't know why, or exactly when.  We were just starting to pick it up consistently on the doppler last week...maybe Monday or Tuesday we heard it and it was great. Super strong.

We've not been able to hear it for the past couple of days, but just felt like it must be moving or it was still too early.

Surely, it was fine.

I'm good at being pregnant, right?

Guess we can strike that one from my list.

We went for our 1st trimester screening this morning at Dr. Sweeney's.  I knew as soon as the sonographer said, "This baby is all curled up like a little ball," that something was not right.

This baby was a wiggler.  A mover and a shaker.  It was NOT a curl-up-like-a-little-ball baby.

She kept trying to get it to move, but she knew.  Then she turned the heartbeat thing on and off very quickly.

No blood flow.  No movement.  No heartbeat.

Another dead baby...this one still inside of me.

Curled up.  Like a little ball.

I don't know that I'll be able to get that picture out of my mind.  It breaks my heart.  My baby curling up to let its heart beat for the last time...and I am powerless to save it.

I want to ask, "Why?" but there's no answer good enough, so I won't even bother, and really, would appreciate it if I wasn't offered any explanations.  As I've said before, knowing God has a plan and knowing WHAT the plan is are two different things.  I don't think anyone on this earth is qualified to tell me the latter, so I'll just ask that everyone refrain from telling me the former.

Someone asked me if I was just blindsided by this.

No.  Sadly, I'm not.  I've come to expect that the worst will happen, and when it doesn't, I am overjoyed and thrilled beyond thrilled.  I told John last week, "Well, at least if we hear bad news next week, it'll be at Dr. Sweeney's office, thank God."

Absolutely, thank God.  I cannot imagine finding this out anywhere else.

I don't need anyone telling me about my pessimism or any of that jazz.  It's not pessimism.  It's wisdom.  A good friend shared with me that wisdom is built on and from life experiences.  Revelation of how to live and deal with life experiences comes from God.  My wisdom is that my babies can (and do) die.

The revelation is that I survive.

When people say, "I can't imagine," it's really because they truly CAN'T seems impossible to survive the death of a baby, much less babies.

It sort of feels impossible.

But I know it's not.  I am doing it this very second.  We were going to visit Matthew today after we had a great ultrasound appointment.

Instead, we'll visit tomorrow after a D&C.

And I'll survive.

More, I'm still grateful.  I've said that even if I knew what would happen with Matthew, I'd do every.single.thing again, and didn't regret a second and I mean that.

I also mean it with this little lost life.  I am so grateful that I have been able to carry this baby for 12 weeks.  I am so grateful that I have been able to experience the sheer miracle that is conception and the viewing of a precious little heartbeat.  I was filled with joy watching it wiggle and move all over the screen two weeks ago, and I will forever be thankful that God chose me, yet again, to carry a precious little soul...even if just for a little while.

I have been reflecting on three IVF cycles...all three successful...three pregnancies...ONE carseat in the back seat.

One car seat more than I ever, ever, ever dreamed I would have.  How can I not be grateful beyond words for that precious car seat?  For three tests that have been POSITIVE?  For three opportunities to share our jubilation and joy with everyone we know?

For an infertile woman, that's more than I could ever have imagined.

And I am grateful.

My heart is full of sorrow, though.  I wanted this little one so much.  I was so excited about a first holiday season.  I even bought him or her a "My First Christmas" outfit a few weeks ago.

Like I said, no one needs to talk to me about pessimism.  I think buying a Christmas outfit for a baby who is only 7 weeks in utero is pretty positive.  I bought an awesome double stroller too.  Positive AND expensive.

Realistic though.  I sort of felt like the odds of something catastrophic happening after Matthew were sooooo much smaller, and that sort of made me feel a hair more secure about something happening to Luke.

But this was a different ball game.  Not back to back tragedy.

Just more tragedy to already wounded hearts.

Yet I know that unbearable grief and extravagant joy coexist.  That sweet boy of mine has been such a help to my heart today.  I was so blessed by the support at Dr. Sweeney's office.  I was able to immediately pick up the phone and call my wonderful Dr. Shonekan and she didn't hesitate a second to bring me in and take care of me.

We are surrounded by support and by God's providence and though my heart is just broken right now, I am able to see it in very tangible ways.

To be honest, I'm not sure what to expect with a D&C, and I'd rather not have one, but do not want to risk anything happening on its own while I am alone with Luke.  I have a good friend who waited to miscarry naturally, and her life was endangered because she'd lost so much blood.  While my personal preference would be to allow my body to naturally miscarry...I just cannot take chances with Luke.  This grieves my heart, but I feel like it's the best decision to be made in a situation with no good outcomes.

Thank you friends for all your thoughts and prayers.  Please know how much I truly believe they sustain us.  Know that we are doing ok, though obviously heartbroken, and continue to lift us—especially John.  Dads, and especially tough Marine dads, don't ever seem to get the support that we women do.  I guess some of it is simply the difference between how men and women function and relate, but I promise you that my husband's Daddy's Heart is broken and I wish I could do something about it.  So please, just pray for us, as you have already told us you are.  We cannot thank you enough.


  1. I'm so very sorry for your loss. My heart is aching for you and your family.

  2. <3 and so many prayers to you, Luke, John, Matthew and Dash-3. Let us surround you with our love and prayers while you grieve, grow and find comfort in your strong family.
    Jenn Rockman

  3. Oh I am so incredibley sad for your loss. Will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. <3

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. Many, many prayers being sent your way. I'll be checking back in on you daily.

  5. Lori, I am so very sorry... there are no words. Holding you and your family up in prayer.

  6. Oh girl. Shedding tears for you and your little one. I'm so sorry. I will be praying for you. This is such sad news... I am just heartbroken for you.

    I have had two D&Cs, and for me, it was a painless procedure, and I was fine the next day. I pray for the same for you.

  7. Praying Praying so much , I know there are No Words. I remember how after every loss we had the toll it took on him my hubby , the hurt that I couldn't fix. Holding you all so close to my heart. xxoo

  8. I am so sorry to hear this Lori. I have been reading your blog since you were pregnant with Luke and have gone back and read it from the beginning.

    Nothing I say or anyone for that matter is going to make you feel better. Just know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.

    xo, Nicole

  9. words! Sending you hugs and prayers!

  10. Lori...
    I feel sick for you and for John. I am so very sorry for the loss of little Dash :(
    Even sicker that I just literally sent you a self-pity email literally SECONDS before I saw this heart breaking news :(

    My heart is broken to pieces for you. You know there are no words of wisdom in a time like this. Just words of compassion to say how much I love you and how much I will be praying for you all.

    The only thing I will D&C with Jack and Ethan was physically bareable. Emotionally...breaking. I would say from hindsight that I had asked for our children's remains...whatever there may have been. That is something I regret in hindsight. I never knew I COULD ask!

    My dear sweet friend...I am just so stunned and broken for you. I am here for you always. Here for you in any way I can over the miles. My prayers will be covering you all!!

    I love you! And I am praying for you!!!!!

  11. =''''''''''''''''''''''''''''((((((((

    I cant...i just cant understand this!!!! this post should NEVER have been typed by those sweet heart is shattered with you...that wiggly baby will always be in my so sorry empty as those 'sorrys' sound after so many..i truly am...and I just wish i could wave that magic wand over you to protect you from grieving yet another baby.

    i dont know what a d&c is like, but I do know some stories of them, and I hope the physical part is as gentle as can be so you can began to heal emotionally.....sigh...again....

    You have always been an inspiration to me, and even in this post your courage stands before that fear....i love you always!!!!

    I sent you an email as well with my phone number....xoxo...use it when you need to!!


  12. Much love and continued prayers for you, dear friend. I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet little one.

  13. Dear Lori and John

    I am so very sorry for your loss and broken dreams for your little baby.
    Some things are just too difficult to comprehend- why do those things happen ?

    I will pray for healing and hope for you both.
    Sending you and little Luke lots of love .


  14. holding you, John, Matthew, Luke and little Dash-3 in my heart, thoughts and prayers. wishing things were so very different. i am so very sorry Lori </3

    Jen Paterchak (from RR)

  15. (((Lori))) Heartbroken and crying with you.

  16. Lori - I am so sorry to hear this heartbreaking news.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.


  17. I have no words....just prayers and thoughts being sent to you and your loved ones. Your courage and faith continue to amaze me. Wishing you only peace and continued hope in the days ahead. Love you. <3

  18. I too have no words to comfort. Just that my prayers are with you and John.

  19. I found your blog on Lindsay's blog and my heart aches for what you are going through. I so completely understand the feelings of not being surprised when things like this happen. It seems to be the way it is with us as well. At times I feel as if I lay waiting for whatever comes next. You will be in my prayers and I hope that you can find comfort in the knowledge that even though we cannot fathom why things happen the way they do, we will see our babies again one day.

  20. I'm so sad to read this, sweet friend! Just send up some prayers with your name on them and am sending you a big hug.

  21. Dash-3 brought hope, excitement, and happiness to so many....what we wouldn't give to have had it be for much, much longer for you. I hope no one ever questions how 110% grateful you are for all that you have. Luke is certainly "enough" - but that doesn't mean "more" wouldn't be so incredibly sweet...especially after getting a taste of it.

    (From Gibran's "The Prophet" may not see it in the same light, but to me, it has spoken to life's often bittersweet nature of which you've written: "And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears. And how else can it be? The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives? When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again into your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight. Some of you may say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay sorrow is the greater." But I say unto you, they are inseparable.")

    Yes, you'll survive - you have the perspective to know that. But a loss is a loss, no matter when it occurs. While the fundamentals are the same, the specifics are so different this time. "Expecting the worst, hoping for the best" may brace the heart but can't protect it, really. What can, when it comes to your children? Love to you and John as you walk this new-ish path. Will be thinking of you tomorrow.

  22. My heart aches for you Lori.


  23. Lori, I just came from Ann's blog. I wanted to send you love and hugs in this sad time.

  24. Lori.oh.....<3...wish I could literally (((((HUG))))) you through the computer screen.

    Praying for you and yours....

  25. Heartbroken for you....much love to you all xxxooo

  26. I'm so sorry, Lori. Sending prayers to you all.

  27. Lori I am so sorry. Many prayers for your family.

  28. I am just so incredibly sorry. Followed your FB button and sent you a message. Praying for better days, for peace, and for hope. ~Lindsay