I had so looked forward to writing a different blog post about our baby. I had planned out exactly how I was going to announce it-- a pumpkin patch picture! I had even texted pictures back and forth with one of my best friends, Beebs, of different ones that I'd seen on Pinterest that I wanted to possibly recreate. Considering a couple of Thursdays ago would have been the 12th week mark where we'd officially have entered the "safe zone" it stings a little worse knowing that I am writing this post instead.
But, despite the deepest pain that I am feeling, I feel an ever bigger sense of wanting to honor this baby that we lost by remembering and sharing as much as I can about the 8 weeks and 4 days that I spent carrying that precious little one.
It was also a Monday night when I found out that I was pregnant. Monday, August 11th. I honestly did not expect to be pregnant. Kyle and I had planned to officially start trying in August but ended up getting an earlier start than anticipated ;) But, no way on earth did I think I would actually get pregnant right away. I was convinced that it would take months because of my autoimmune issues and, to be honest, a lot of my friends recently have gotten pregnant on their first try, and I just didn't think I would be that lucky.
I think that the first sign of pregnancy for me was the my skin just got horrible right away. Like way worse than when I was a teenager. My mom told me after she found out that she was definitely suspecting that it might have been from a rush of hormones--and she was right! I also started feeling really weird--like feverish at different times, lack of appetite (but craving Asian food), super emotional, and feeling super tired/sluggish. I still just knew that my period was coming, and I was even thinking that I was having period cramps. But, it never came.
|Farmer's Market--We took this picture two days before we found out! I remember feeling so "weird" that whole day. Oh the bliss--we didn't know for sure, but we had so much excitement about our future.|
Because I hadn't been expecting to be pregnant I was not in any way ready to break the news to Kyle in the way that I had planned. Kyle and I had joked that he wanted me to think of some creative way to tell him like he'd had to do when he proposed--a "have a baby with me" proposal of sorts! I knew I had to wing it, so while he hopped in the shower I scrambled to write him a letter telling him that I was pregnant. I still remember sitting on my closet floor writing that letter. I was so full of hope!
I placed the letter on his pillow and waited anxiously for him to finally spot it after a few awkward encounters where I tried not to make eye contact as I continued doing my jobs to get ready for bed. He finally spotted it (I'm pretty sure I was brushing my teeth) and came into the bathroom and hugged me. I showed him the pregnancy tests. I think there was a big grin on his face the whole time. I wish I remembered more about that night. What a blur. I do remember making us take a ton of selfies with the pregnancy test, none of which were very flattering considering I had yet to straighten my hair and had no makeup on. But, we do have that picture, and it is now one of the most cherished pictures that I own because it is the only picture of both Kyle and me during the pregnancy. I thought we'd have plenty of time--9 months to take as many photos as we wanted.
|Not our best picture, but like I said, it's our only one, which makes it beautiful to me.|
|I had started taken weekly photos-- even though there was no bump to show yet|
Kyle and I ordered onesies from Old Navy that said "I love my grandpa" and so on to give to our families. The funny thing is that I don't think Kyle and I told one person at all both together in person. We did make a video and sent it out as a group text to my cousins, which turned into one of the most hilarious group text conversations ever. We had every intention of doing so, but things just got a little crazy. We found out that his grandmother's health was declining, so Kyle ended up going to New York for Labor Day and sharing the news with his parents and grandparents that weekend. I know that it was such a special day for him because right before he went he found out that they were going to move his grandmother to hospice. I got to talk to her on the phone after she found out. It still breaks my heart knowing that she passed away thinking that she was going to be a great-grandmother. But, at a time that was so sad for his family that news brought so much joy.
|Our precious baby.|
|Kyle came home from New York to this surprise. My mom and I spent the whole day cleaning the house, doing laundry, and cooking him his favorite meal. This was my delayed "baby proposal" for him. He cried!|
|Card to my grandaddy. First time and only time we signed "Baby A" on anything. My Grandaddy told me after the miscarriage that he will always cherish this card and is putting it in a special place.|
|Group text with the cousins. It was like a game of telephone ;)|
|This photo was taken the day before we found out we'd lost the baby. My brother, Bryan, and his fiancé, Hanna, had already been told, but this was the first time we got to see them in person. :)|
Except the baby had no heartbeat. I have never experienced a silence so deafening as the one I experienced when I was having that ultrasound. I could see the baby. But I heard nothing. I had a sinking feeling right away, but the technician just kept going, and I tried to convince myself that maybe the sound was turned off. But she confirmed my worst nightmare, and I immediately just started sobbing. My mom came to wrap her arms around me and we were ushered into the next room. It is a day that I don't want to remember but will never forget.
We waited for the doctor. This angel of a nurse, Kathy, coming in and just pulling my head onto her shoulder and just letting me cry. She told me that Kyle's grandmother was watching over our baby in Heaven. That is still one of the most comforting things that has been said to me.
The doctor said that there was no way to really explain it and that it was so common-- 1 in 4 pregnancies end this way, probably more. I knew this. I was very realistic throughout the whole pregnancy. But it didn't make it an easier pill to swallow. It hurt no less.
They let my mom and I walk out the back door, and we just got into her car where my grandmother had been napping (with the windows down--it was a colder, gray day), and the three of us just cried. The worst part was that Kyle still didn't know anything at that point, and I hated that I was going to have to make that call to him.
Kyle and his family immediately turned around to come home. I still remember him coming running up the stairs to me and that initial embrace.
Kyle's mom and brother got back in the car and drove through the night to get to New York. My mom and grandmother made sure we were OK before heading back home to give us our space. I still feel like it was such a God-thing that my grandmother was with my mom for that drive home. I know it was so hard for her to see my heart breaking. She was such a huge part of my pregnancy journey and has been an even bigger part of my healing--she is going to be the best Minki.
The next few days were awful. Kyle was truly my rock during that time. I never knew I could love that man anymore than I did, but it has strengthened in ways that I never thought imaginable. Because my body had not miscarried yet, I had to try to induce it with medicine. I was told that the pain would be similar to severe period cramping. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I got sick on my stomach 4 times and was shaking. I was up from 11pm to 6:30am.
And, it didn't even work. An ultrasound that Friday confirmed that.
The next step was to schedule a D & C for the following morning. The night before I felt like I was starting to naturally miscarry, but it didn't happen in time. I had the surgery, and I cannot begin to tell you the sense of relief that I felt that the physical part was over. I just had no clue how awful it could be.
Kyle's mom came up to help out during that time and was so amazing--she helped with groceries and laundry. We could not be more thankful for our parents during this time.
The days that followed were hard. I remember feeling like I would never feel happy again. I felt like pregnancy had been ruined for me and that I would never be able to enjoy or not be terrified if I was pregnant again. I felt foolish--I had literally just talked on the phone to one of my best friends, Beebs, for an hour the day before about it all. I had just told my best friend since childhood that she best be OK with me sporting a super pregnant belly at her March wedding. I had convinced myself that God would watch over this baby because how cruel would it be to have let Kyle's grandmother pass away thinking we were having a baby and then it not happen. I got so emotional thinking about all of the plans we had started to make and all of the special events in the upcoming year that I would either be pregnant for or that the baby would have arrived in time to be apart of. It still kills me that our baby won't be at my brother's wedding in June. It breaks my heart that on April 16th my cousin, Kathleen's baby, Edith, will turn 1 on the same day that our baby would have been due. Our babies would have been a year apart, just like Kat and I were. It was all gone. And we didn't even have a say in it.
We were so overwhelmed by the outpouring of kindness from our family and friends during that time and continue to be blessed by the way they have loved us, supported us, and grieved with us during this time.
Two weekends ago Kyle and I planted a blueberry plant at my parents' home in Wilmington. Our baby was the size of a blueberry. We each said what we needed to say, and it was such a healing moment for us.
But, we are still standing. And, I can honestly say that a month ago, I wasn't so sure that I would be.
One blogger said it best. She said that she had no physical reminders of the baby that once was--just scars on her heart.
Those scars will always be there. But my heart is healing every day.
I know that my story doesn't end here.