Friday, March 19, 2010

Piece Of My Heart

It's amazing how many things people can deal with and go through and still keep a smiling face for others to see. It makes me wonder what goes on behind closed doors.

I have a story like that.
About me.
And Chad, of course, but this is my perspective and how my eyes saw it and how I dealt with it.

I've never written this story down. I've never even told anyone in detail how it felt and what I did to get through that day. Because that's how I am. If you don't say or write it out loud, it's somehow less real.

So here goes....

March 19, 2008.
A day I will never forget.
Two years ago today, I lost a baby.
And I hid it from everyone I saw that day, except for Chad.

Just typing those words makes me cry again. Because now the memories of that day come flooding back. And the horror. And the helplessness. And the defeat. And the stress of remaining "normal".

But let me back up a little and tell you more.

The month after Maddox turned 1 year old, Chad and I started trying for another baby. It had taken me no time at all to get pregnant with Maddox, so when 3 months had gone by and I was still not pregnant this second time, I saw my doctor. He said, Don't worry! Be patient.

Well, okay. Three months is not long. And then, 6 months came along and I saw a new doctor. (This doctor, I love! So sincere, encouraging, and understanding.) He agreed with me that I was dealing with secondary infertility and told me my options.

Since I was starting to panic inside (and obsess daily) about this, I decided to start on fertility drugs. He put me on Clomid to make my body work properly and I thought....Ok, here we go!

Months went by and with each passing day I became more obsessed with reading about it, looking at the Clomid message boards on a baby site, and wondering what else I could do to up our chances. If you haven't dealt with this, then you will not believe the money that goes into this obsession. The pills, the ovulation predictor kits, the pregnancy tests (because you have to know NOW if it worked), etc.

I had told only 1 or 2 people that we were trying for another child. Neither of these people were family. I only told people who had no connection with my family or friends back home because I didn't want that pressure and wondering going on.

So, imagine my excitement, elation, giddiness, and thankfulness when finally, TWELVE MONTHS later, I found out I was pregnant!! I don't remember the day, but it was in March and we had just had a tragedy in our family and I was so excited that this happy news might overshadow that a little bit.

The morning of March 19th, I woke up and was all packed to go out of town. Maddox and I were going to visit my mother and some other friends for a long weekend. And most exciting of all for me, I was going to the Hotel Cafe Tour 2008 concert in Atlanta that night. Mom was babysitting for that. :)




Chad was about to leave for work, I was showering before we left, and Maddox was just waiting. And that's when it started happening. 

I got out of the shower. Shaking. I yelled for Chad and told him what was happening. And we just sort of looked at each other with these expressions like "Oh no."

I knew I couldn't lose my mind because I needed to just leave. I wasn't changing my plans. And I tried to tell myself that it wasn't real.
But I knew. 

And more importantly, I knew I had to be a mommy for the perfect little man THAT I ALREADY HAD. I kept looking at Maddox thinking - Remember, you have a child. You HAVE a child. Remember this. Keep it together. Be thankful.

I told Chad to go on to work and he did. There was nothing we could do. 

I started to drive out of town and just kept thinking about what was happening right then. And it made me sick to my stomach.

My nurse called and the sweet lady told me that she was terribly sorry, but I was miscarrying and there was nothing I could do. I asked her....what do I do now? She said, well you're early enough that you can try again this month. If you want.

I was not going to give up.

I had to get past this somehow, so she called in a new prescription for another round of Clomid so I would be ready the next time. Yuck. Another. round. of. Clomid. (If you've never taken it, then you don't know how awful the side effects can be.)

I got to my mom's house a few hours later and must have put on a good show, because not one person asked me if I was okay. I was totally pulled together, but inside my heart was breaking. 

I dropped Maddox with her, picked up my sister-in-law, Becky, and we headed to that concert.

Thank God for beautiful music and a place to get lost in it. 

There at Center Stage, Atlanta, was where I focused on the music, the moment, and the overwhelming thoughts in my head. 

Becky was exhausted from working at the hospital all day, so she was just happy to sit and rest her feet in a seat near the front. I'm so thankful for that also. I needed that concert alone that day. 

I walked up front and was about 3 feet from the stage. 
The music was beautiful. 
It was meaningful.
They made me laugh. 
The songs made me think of my love for Chad and Maddox and how I was so lucky.  
Even though this horrible thing was happening to me. Right there. 

It was a healing experience for me. I can't quite describe it. Too many emotions were swarming my mind, but music can help patch your broken heart. Even when a little piece is missing.

I stood there for 2 hours absorbing those sounds, choking back my sobs....but it was okay. I was alone in a sea of people and was able to really feel that moment. 

I recently found these videos on Youtube of the exact concert I was at that night. I watched them and whoa...that feeling in my gut came rolling back in and I remembered. It was hard. But I really wanted to share some of these amazing songs. Except for Keep Breathing & Sky, these videos are from that night. You can click on each song title to listen. These lyrics & melodies mean so much to me.

When you are looking at the stage, I was standing just to the right of Joshua when he was singing with Ingrid. I think there were 3 people in front of me. It was amazing.

Every time I hear each of these songs, I specifically think of what I was going through that day.

And that's okay. Remembering is good. :)



Lovely Tonight - Joshua Radin featuring Ingrid Michaelson

Closer - Joshua Radin


Super nice guy (Joshua Radin) with me and Becky.

I know this was long and I could share so much more from that day, but I won't. At least for now. It just felt good to share this today.

9 comments:

Tina said...

First I want to say I'm sorry for your loss, there is nothing worse for a mother's soul than to loose a child. Second I want to let you know I understand, we also went through a miscarriage after trying for sooooo long. It's been 5 yrs now and I can still remember that day, something that will always stay with me. And tears are streaming down my face as I write this. Thank you for your sharing your thoughts. Someone shared a quote with me in my time of sadness I wanted to share with you:
"The living righteous are changed 'in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.' At the voice of God they were glorified; now they are made immortal and with the risen saints are caught up to meet their Lord in the air. Angels "gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Little children are borne by holy angels to their mothers' arms. Friends long separated by death are united, nevermore to part, and with songs of gladness ascend together to the City of God."

Hanne Noel said...

It is devastating for sure. We were trying to get pregnant with my best friends at the same time. Had been debating it for awhile stopped birth control, started again. Got nervous. But then finally, it was on. Time to really do this!

I remember the positive test. Calling my girlfriend to come over and look at it too. Calling the doctors office like immediately to get the blood test. Telling Justin. SO excited! I told my family and all of Justin's family as soon as the blood work came back confirming the pregnancy, around 6 weeks. Something that I will never do again. I even snuck over to my parents house and hung a big sign on the garage of a stork. We were so excited. One day I was coming home from work, and there was a teddy bear on my garage that my mom had put there and it had a recorded message on it. "Mammie heard there is a baby on its way! Can I come and stay until that baby is ready to come out and play?". Writing that actually makes me tear up a bit.

I was at home. Stomach started cramping. Thought something was going on, but didn't want it to be. Didn't want to check. You know the rest. Called the doctor. Knew there was nothing to be done. Laid in bed with my feet up. Drank a bunch of water. Prayed and prayed and prayed. And cried. To date, I have never experienced loss like that. Only other mothers who have experienced it can understand that loss. I went into a full blown depression. Have never cried that long before or since. We are talking days. Couldn't go to work because i couldn't get it together. The hardest thing was having to go back and tell all those people that were also excited that it was over. Brutal. I kept that message on that bear for a long time. And only recently recorded over it and let the kids play with it. Like you say. I have a child now. I always kind of wonder what if. Boy or girl? And will we have all those babies in heaven? Mothers are amazing people. The onslaught of emotions are like none other. Thanks for sharing your story.

Lisa721 said...

Mandi,
I'm so sorry. I'm glad you shared how strong you are as a witness to others with their own personal struggles. I love you.

Lisa

baby Helena's mom said...

Amanda, thank you for sharing this.

Alisa said...

I am so, so sorry that you went through this, and I can only imagine the pain you experienced during your loss. Your family is truly blessed to have you, and you're blessed to have Chad, Maddox, and Magdalen. I love they beautiful, eloquent way you write about your life experiences, good and bad, and I am glad that you shared this experience with us. I love you, and I'm always here for you! (There's nothing like beautiful music to get lost in, is there?)

Ayesha said...

B R A V E!

Angela A. said...

What a beautifully heartbreaking story! I can feel your soul's pain and yet see that you found your "joy in the morning." Very inspiring, and thank you so much for helping me gain some perspective on a day I'm feeling sorry for myself. My prayers are with you!

kera said...

What courage it took to write this out.....I.CAN.NOT.IMAGINE. I'm sure this loss with never leave your heart but what beautiful children you have and consume you now!!! You probably have a weight lifted off your shoulders now by writing this out and sharing with ALL the people you wanted to tell but didn't.

M at Hidden Valley Simplicity said...

I came by to tell you, you won the Pink Chicken Dress from mamabzz and I need your mailing addy (you can email me at writer257@live.com).

While I was here, I read this post. It touched my heart. We have infertility. We've lost two babies, one a year ago this coming July 13th at almost 16 weeks in a ruptured ectopic pregnancy that almost took my life and did take my fallopian tube. It's a pain that never fully goes away--and won't until we hold our babies some day.

Hugs to you today

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