Brooke: What a perfect day.Do you think I’ll be a good mom? Julian: You’ll be an amazing mom.I’ll be grouchy and old. Brooke: You’ll be wonderful.We’re gonna adopt a baby. –One Tree Hill
Friday I received the results from my MRI. They came back negative. What my doctor had seen as a septum on the hysteroscopy turned out to be a very small fibroid, which my doctor informed me wouldn’t have affected my pregnancy with Roo. I’m skeptical. I feel like something had to have caused me to go into labor suddenly at 19 weeks. Roo was fine-there was nothing physically wrong with her. She was developing on schedule. There had to be a reason I was bleeding heavily for two weeks before having her. But I know my doctor was thorough, and ran every test that she could, and for that I’m grateful.
So we are back to square one, with no answers. My doctor said when we are ready to start trying again I’ll be followed by her and the specialist we met with before. I guess that’s reassuring. But we’re both left feeling a little bit unnerved. Here we thought we had the answer, and not only that, but the solution. It made the idea of a future pregnancy seem less scary. I’m happy to know that we’ll have a great team who will monitor me closely next time around. But we’re both absolutely terrified that this could happen again.
Match was so supportive when I told him what the doctor reported. He was as disappointed as I was, but he was encouraging too. He said we can try again, and we can also look into possibly adopting. We don’t care how a child comes to us; we just want to have the opportunity to raise one or two. I love that he’s so understanding, and so willing to try other venues, no matter the challenges they bring, when we are ready to try for our family again. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive partner.
Joey: Ross, did you really read all these baby books?
Ross: Yup! You could plunk me down in the middle of any woman’s uterus, no compass, and I can find my way out of there like [snaps fingers] that.-Friends
Wednesday was my hysteroscopy. I was so nervous when I got to the doctor’s office. My hands wouldn’t stop sweating, wouldn’t stop shaking. I was so nervous I couldn’t even pee for the urine sample! If you know anything about me and my tiny bladder, you know this was a big deal.
The procedure itself was pretty painful. Just know when a doctor tells you there will be “slight discomfort” it means it will hurt like a BITCH. At one point I was wishing I’d signed up for online life insurance because I was convinced I was going to die. The worst part was when the CO2 gas they pumped into my uterus caused extreme nerve pain. It felt just like my back labor. All of the pain was centered into my back.
I was distracted by my awesome team. My OB is really personable, and my nurse is hilarious. They kept me pretty distracted, and then once the camera was inserted, I was fixated on my uterus. “It’s not everyday you can say you looked at the inside of your uterus” my OB joked. I told her how I’m a bit of a science nerd, and I’d been researching pictures of uterine abnormalities. So when the camera passed over it, I recognized it for what it was. “Is that a septum?” I asked her. “You are a science nerd!” She’d replied. She couldn’t confirm it with absolute certainty, but she said she was fairly certain that’s exactly what I have.
She attempted to do another type of hysteroscopy, where they insert saline into the uterus to get a clearer image. By that time my pesky bladder decides now is the time to be full, so it was causing pain. The saline was also super painful, as was the pain of the gas leaving my body. It causes shoulder pain and pinching, and the cramping in my uterus and bajingo were intense. So finally, when I was whimpering with tears streaming down my face, she called it a day. She referred me to a specialist, and said she’s pretty sure he will agree with her findings.
So what does all of this mean? Well, it means potential answers. My doctor’s theory is that my placenta attached to the uterine septum, and didn’t get a proper hold. This eventually caused a gradual placental tear as Roo got bigger. It would explain the bleeding and then ultimately the preterm labor. If I do have the septum, then a simple surgery could remove it. I’ve been reading up on this uterine abnormality, and the success rate of the surgery is really encouraging. Many women go on to have NORMAL pregnancies. How amazing would that be?
I came home to a yummy homecooked meal from Match. He had prescription motrin ready for me, and my comfiest pajamas and gave me backrubs while I complained of the residual cramping pain. We talked about the doctor’s findings, and the ray of hope it has given us.
This hope is of course bittersweet. If only we could have found about this before Roo, then maybe I’d still be pregnant. But the truth is most uterine septums aren’t ever detected until after a pregnancy loss. So maybe Roo’s purpose was to help us learn about my abnormal uterus, so that her future siblings can be born. I like to think that she was happy to help.
We are heading to a wedding this weekend, and I have nervous butterflies over it. It will be the first time I’ve seen any of our friends in “The Group” since we lost Roo. We’ve been growing apart from some of them for awhile. They’re just not in the same place as we are. A lot of them love to party it up and drink every weekend, while Match and I prefer mellow nights at home. They’re not looking to move forward and grow up, while Match and I can’t wait to start a family.
I’m worried about how I’ll be, and that I won’t be fun anymore. Losing Roo changed me to my core, and I know I will never be exactly the same as I was. I don’t wish to be either. I just hope I still enjoy being around the group. I can’t wait to see Chandler and Monica though. Monica has been so supportive, even all the way in Scotland. We’ve talked about everything in detail, and she’s been an ear to listen. Tahoe Couple on the other hand…well we didn’t even hear from them when everything happened, and they live just an hour away from us. I talked to her yesterday and she didn’t mention our loss once. She just talked about mundane, superficial things, and all I wanted to do was hang up the phone. I know some people don’t know how to react to tragedy, and like to pretend it didn’t happen. I just don’t know if I care to spend much time with those people.
So wish us luck. The wedding is for Chandler’s older brother. It’s so nice that they invited us, even though we’re not that close. It’ll be good food, drinks, and probably some dancing. I’m hoping to get into the spirit of things. I love a good wedding, where it seems like you fall in love with your partner all over again. I think we’ll have fun, and we’ll dance and enjoy ourselves. But I don’t think we’ll be getting hammered, or playing drinking games until the wee hours of the night. I’m pretty sure we’ll head home early for some snuggle time and a comfy bed. Now that sounds like a good time to me!
My girlfriend Couple Wife gave me this gift in honor of Roo. It was so perfect, because I had been trying to come up with something I could wear. A necklace, a ring, something that would be a way to carry her with me every day.
The necklaces are made by Michaela Hagenow from www.metalstampedmemories.com who went through a similar situation. She channeled her energy into making these keepsakes to help others honor their angel babies. I absolutely love it and I wear it every day. It even has a clear bead to represent her diamond birthstone. It was such a thoughtful gift and a perfect way to keep Roo close to my heart always.
What I do know is that you love this baby, our baby. –Angel
This may be a hard blog post for some people to read, but I really need to tell Roo’s story. I feel it would be unfair to her if I didn’t record it. It was the worst day of my life, but it was incredibly important.
As some of you know, I went into the ER on April 7th. I was having bleeding and cramping, and I was so afraid for Roo. The doctors reassured me that everything was just fine with our baby. That week I continued to bleed, and I continued communicating with my doctor. Then on Friday I started having back pain. It was coming in waves, and I had a feeling it might be labor. I knew it was way too soon, as I was just 19 weeks that day. I told myself that if I could sleep through the night, then it wasn’t labor. It seemed to go away by Saturday, and it got better as I moved around.
Match and I had a great Saturday. He did things around the house for me, helping me clean, tidying up. We put up drapes in the living room, and we nested together. Then we went out for dinner and enjoyed a great date night. That night the back pain started getting worse. I powered through it, because everything else was the same. I wasn’t bleeding any more than normal, and I wasn’t cramping. Match fell asleep, and I laid in bed, silently pleading with Roo. I knew I was in labor, but I kept hoping it was false. By 2am I couldn’t take the pain anymore. Match woke up to me doubled over the bed moaning. My back contractions were 4 minutes apart.
We drove to the ER and they saw me right away. The doctor checked my cervix, and said it was very slightly dilated. I tried not to panic, because I knew there must be something they could do. I had read about countless women who started dilating and how doctors were able to give them medicine, stitch them up, and they delivered healthy babies. Then the doctor told us that my water had broken, and that there was very little amniotic fluid. They sent for an ambulance, as our hospital doesn’t have labor and delivery. Match had to leave me and drive ahead. It was so awful being separated for that 30 minute drive to the other hospital. I did my best to stay positive, and I even cracked jokes with the paramedic.
Once we got to the hospital, Match was pacing outside waiting for us. We were seen almost immediately by the on call OBGYN. She checked my cervix and did another ultrasound. She confirmed what the other doctor had found, and then dropped the bomb that not only did I lose too much amniotic fluid, but there was no way for me to get it back. She gently told us that the baby was coming and there was nothing they could do to medically intervene, and that the baby wasn’t viable. All they could do was try to make the delivery as comfortable for me as possible.
Match and I held each other while we sobbed. The nurses in the room cried right along with us, and even the OB teared up. Their hearts broke for us. Our little Roo was coming into this world, and there was absolutely no way we could save her. Match called his parents and asked them to get there right away, so that his mom could help me through the delivery. I will never forget the awful sound of his wail as he told her our baby was dying. My heart broke in a million pieces right then. Then I had to call my parents and tell them the terrible news. My mother was a wreck because she couldn’t be there for us. She couldn’t fix this. No one could.
The medical team was so good to us. They were so nurturing and kind. They reassured me that Roo wouldn’t suffer, and that even though the heart still beat, Roo wouldn’t feel a thing after delivery. They induced me, and they offered me an epidural to take away the pain. I refused, because I didn’t want the side effects. So instead they gave me pain medication to help take the edge off, and I went through the entire labor process. Once the inducement kicked in, the pain became unbearable. I could handle the physical, but the emotional was taking its toll on me. Every time they told me to breathe I would sob. This was not how it was supposed to be. This is not how Roo was supposed to come into this world.
Finally I couldn’t take the pain anymore and I asked for the epidural. Just as they were about to give it to me, Roo gave me one last gift and came into this world before they could administer the epidural. I didn’t have to push, and because she was so small she came right out, and I didn’t have any tearing. The nurses wrapped her up and handed her to me. Match told me she was beautiful. I was so sad, but I had to hold her. I had to see her for myself, and make sure she felt my touch.
The nurse told me she was a little girl. She was born at 10:39am and weighed 7.1 ounces, with beautiful long fingers and the sweetest little chicken legs. She was so small, but so perfect. They encouraged us to take photographs. I’m not sure we would have had the presence of mind to do so otherwise. In hindsight I’m so glad we did. I wish we had even more. I never want to forget her sweet little face, or the way her fingers were so long and graceful. I held her close and I hummed Safe and Sound.
The nurse asked me if we had a name. I said we did, but to me she would always be Roo. I just kept saying, “Oh Roo, my poor little Roo.” Match and I agreed that was the name we wanted on the birth and death certificate.
My in-laws arrived just after she was born, and they got the chance to say their goodbyes as well. After we’d had our time with her, the nurse took her away. I’ve never felt so empty in my life. Match crawled into bed with me and held me while we cried ourselves to sleep.
The doctor discharged me after just short of 8 hours, and allowed us to go home to mourn. We drove home and I began the painful process of calling all of our close family and friends. We wanted to rip the bandaid and tell everyone in one day. I didn’t want to repeat the story more than I had to.
Once we got home, Monkey could tell something was wrong. He curled up in our laps and we sobbed into his fur. He did his best to comfort us as only a beloved pet can. That night I barely slept. I sat in Roo’s nursery and wept for our baby. As the grief books said, saying goodbye to a child is like saying goodbye to your future. All of the hopes and dreams we had for her are gone.
It’s been a week today, and we are starting to heal. I have good days and bad. I have mornings where I wake up crying, and then other days where I make it the entire day dry eyed. I know it will be a roller coaster, and I know there will be ups and downs.
Roo gave us so much. I didn’t think it was possible to be any closer to my husband, but we are closer than we’ve ever been. I know that if we can get through this, we can get through anything. Match said that Roo gave him the gift of fatherhood. He knew he always wanted to be a dad, but now he has no doubts. We will always be Roo’s parents, but we will also one day get the chance to raise a child. She blessed us with her presence, no matter how short. I know that when we’re ready she will guide our future baby to us, and be its guardian angel. She was with us for such a short time, but she will always, always be in our hearts. We love you baby girl.