Monday, May 4, 2015

Waiting for our rainbow. Part 2. Charlotte Celeste

After having McKay our hearts were broken.  We were carried through the hard times by a LOT of love and support and by our faith in our Savior and the knowledge we have that families can be together for eternity. 

3 months after Mckay was born, our Doctor told us we could once again try to get pregnant.  J and I talked and prayed about this and we decided that we weren’t giving up.  We would try to conceive another baby.  The doctors thought what happened was just bad luck and it wouldn’t happen again.  We didn’t have any reason not to believe them.  We talked very seriously with our doctor about future pregnancies.  I told him that with my next pregnancy, I didn’t want to see other doctors in the practice.  I wanted to see MY doctor and ONLY my doctor.  I didn’t want 4 different doctors to have small pieces of my story.  I wanted one doctor to have the entire picture.  He assured us he would be the one to see us, and in case of an emergency we would have one back up.  I also explained that I would be neurotic and a pain in their sides because I would call if I hiccupped funny.  He also agreed and understood. 

Another miracle happened and we got pregnant quickly after. I still can’t believe our luck.  We were due to have another baby May 4, 2015.  I thought this was a very tender mercy from God; I would have a sweet baby to hold in my arms on McKay’s first birthday/angelversary, May 31.  I also felt that McKay was happy for us.  He didn’t want me to be sad and not try to have a brother or sister for Lincoln.  I imagined he was with his sister up in heaven telling her that she was coming to a special family.  A family that wanted her more than anything else and he told her how we would take such good care of her and smother her with hugs and kisses and more love than she could imagine. 

The Pregnancy:

I was SICK.  I’ve been sick with every pregnancy but this was the worst. Being so sick made it difficult to picture the end result, a beautiful baby.  I didn’t get a baby after being sick with McKay.  I got through it a day at a time, but it was a challenge.   I did go see the perinatologist or high risk pregnancy doctors when I was 10 weeks and they did an ultrasound and then told me that they thought very highly of my doctor and that I could continue to see him.  If there were any complications he would send me back to them.  I now had a second opinion and they thought everything would be fine too so we blindly believed them.  They also guessed with an 80% surety that I was going to have a girl!  Later, at 13 weeks and 5 days my doctor texted me and confirmed we were having a girl and told us everything was normal chromosomally.  I could breathe a little easier knowing my baby was healthy.  You don’t take ANYTHING for granted after losing a baby! 

I made it through the first trimester and during the second trimester at 16 weeks, I began going in weekly or bi weekly for ultrasounds to measure my cervix to make sure it wasn’t shortening.  My doctor was concerned that with Lincoln’s birth, when my cervical septum tore it may have damaged my cervix making it weak. When a women’s cervix isn’t strong enough to hold a baby in, it dilates and shortens early, this is known as incompetent cervix aka IC.  My Dr. told me that the most dangerous time for a woman with IC is between 18-22 weeks so they would monitor me closely.  He also advised me not to do anything strenuous and to be very careful.  I was told if you have IC you don’t feel pain as your cervix dilates and often women go to the doctor and it is too late at that point, they are dilating and their bag of amniotic fluid is coming out or “bulging”.  He didn’t have to tell me to take it easy!  I was going to do everything I could to keep my baby safe, I also didn’t feel well enough to do much haha. 

My doctor and I had some long conversations.  He talked about giving me a vaginal cerclage, which is a purse string like stitch in your cervix that keeps it closed, if he saw my cervix beginning to shorten.  He was concerned about giving me a cerclage because putting something into my cervix could introduce bacteria which is how infections begin, and also how I lost McKay.  I couldn’t stop worrying.  There were so many things that could go wrong. 

As a side note I feel that I have learned more medical terms than I ever knew I would.  Have you ever heard of: IC/incompetent cervix, PPROM, chorioamnionitis , subchorionic hemorrhage, bicornuate uterus, septate uterus, uterine didelphys, endometriosis, placental abruption, funneling, hourglassing, TVC, TVCIC, TAC,  cerclage, p 17 injections, placenta previa, perinatologist, bulging bag of water, inclusion stitch, the list goes on and on.  Well now I can explain what each of these terms mean.  I know that a baby is considered viable at 24 weeks but there have been some babies that have survived a few days before that.  Now NICU’s can do a great deal for micro-preemies and their lungs but that their biggest concern is actually the brain.  I’ve learned so much on this journey, more than I ever thought I’d know or need to know. 

Through it all I was enjoying my precious time with my daughter and I tried not to take one second for granted.  We had a really fun gender reveal party!
Here is the video of it:
Each day with her was a victory and I wanted to celebrate each milestone and week that passed.  I wrote in my journal each week about the changes, challenges, and joys of the pregnancy. 


At 15w and 6days I started feeling some cramping but it wasn’t frequent, and by 17w 6d, I was having all of the same symptoms I was having before I lost McKay.  On Dec 1st, I was 18 weeks, I called my doctor and they wanted me to come in to check my cervix.  It had shortened from 3.8cm to 3.2 (the caution zone is under 3, the DANGER zone is under 2.5cm, so I was close but ok) in two weeks and because of the pain/contractions I was feeling they sent me to triage.  They monitored my contractions which were pretty uncomfortable and after a few hours they sent me for another ultrasound to measure my cervix.  The tech wouldn’t tell J and I the length so we started worrying that it was bad news.  We immediately became emotional, I can’t even describe the fear and feelings we had.  It was all happening again! 

J and I hadn’t been to triage since my horrible experience losing McKay.  It took me over 30 minutes just to get up the courage to walk through the front doors again.  It was post-traumatic stress for sure! And now I was 18 weeks with my baby girl and I had been 18 weeks and 2 days when I lost McKay.  The timing couldn’t have been worse!  Thankfully my best friend Angie came to visit and she helped distract me while I waited for the u/s results.  The nurse eventually came and said that now my cervix was measuring at 5.2 which would be fantastic but how did that happen in a matter of hours??  How was there such a huge discrepancy?  Was my doctor’s office wrong or was the hospital incorrect?  I was anxious to say the least but I felt like this was the beginning of a long and scary road.  I was RIGHT.

At my next doctor’s appointment my doctor explained to me that during the ultrasound at the hospital I was contracting which changes the length of your cervix, so the ultrasound tech actually got measurements ranging from 2.7 to 5.2cm.  He told me to begin taking ibuprofen if I felt anything and if that didn’t help they’d prescribe me something else.  Ibuprofen however, can and will damage the babies kidneys which can reduce the amniotic fluid, so I would continue to be monitored closely to make sure fluid levels stayed at a normal level.

He also explained that I was no longer a candidate for a cerclage because cerclages are for women having painless dilation.  If We couldn’t stop the contracting with the meds, they’d have to admit me to the hospital and put me on magnesium aka mag.  I was really discouraged, because I know mag is a MISERABLE drug and now I wasn’t a candidate for the cerclage either. 


I started bedrest and ibuprofen.  I was still feeling crampy but not horrible.  I never knew if I should continue to bother the doctors with every detail.  I did text my doctor pretty regularly though. At 20 weeks I had been to triage twice and I was taking  P17 or progesterone injections and ibuprofen around the clock, along with the Rx drug nefedipine which made me hot and gave me headaches and just made me miserable.  But the good news was my cervix hadn’t changed.  I got so hung up on the length of my cervix, I thought that was the only indication that something bad would happen.  I was so ignorant!

Exciting news was that I was feeling my daughter move.  It is the best feeling in the WORLD!!!  Justin even felt her move on December 17.  On Friday Dec 20th, I had an u/s and tey told me my fluid was low/normal so they told me to come back Tuesday and if the fluid level drops again I’d have to go off the ibuprofen which was the only medication that really seemed to stop the contractions.  However if Charlotte, my daughter, wasn’t producing enough urine because her kidneys were damaged then the fluid level would be low and babies have to have amniotic fluid for a variety of reasons.

The Bomb dropped:
December 23, my birthday, is when everything turned upside down.  Justin had taken the week off of work and he went in with me to my doctor’s appointment.  I was just grateful to be out of the house since I was on bedrest and since it was my bday.  Justin and I both felt confident that everything would be fine.  I had tried hard to space out the ibuprofen and to not take it unless I really needed it.  That morning I hadn’t even needed any meds, I was feeling good!  They had also put me on a antibiotic and J thought maybe that had cleared up any bacteria that could cause contractions.  The weekend had gone fairly smoothly, except I had felt one small gush of fluid and I had immediately texted my doctor.  He told me if I was concerned at all to go in.  Well I was STUPID and didn’t go in.  I had so much fluid when my membranes ruptured with McKay that I was sure it couldn’t have been my water.  I thought if it continued to happen I would go in, but it didn’t happen again so I waited for my doctors’ appt. 

The BIG problem was the besides contractions my biggest symptom with Charlotte and McKay was that I had a lot of discharge/wetness constantly.  I later learned that this was my cervical mucous that every women has to protect the uterus.  Without the cervical mucous bacteria ascends and causes infection.  It was hard to tell if I was leaking any fluid because I was always wet down there anyway! (I know this is TMI and I debated leaving it out, but I thought if I could help anyone in a similar situation to understand this ISN'T normal, than it would be worth it!)

They began my ultrasound and the tech called in a doctor which they normally don’t do.  They told us that we needed to go to triage immediately, there was very little fluid.  In my mind this just meant that now I’d have to go off of the ibuprofen completely and probably eventually end up on Magnesium.  I was scared but was willing to do anything.  The doctor told me that it was possible for the amniotic fluid level to rise if they gave me IV fluids.  I asked if I could run home and grab some things and kiss my son and they advised us to go straight to the hospital.  I knew this was serious but I thought my fluid could just replenish once I stopped the motrin.

At the hospital I had to walk through those horrible doors of the maternity entrance again.  I once thought that going to triage was always a FUN and exciting event.  I wish that were the case, I dreaded being there!  The nurse asked J and I if anyone told us what the fluid level was.  No one had, she informed us it was a 1, and she wasn’t sure if they used zero.  There was NO fluid at all.  Even when my membranes ruptured with McKay I had 2.5, now I had 1 or none.  What was going on? 
They ran another test where they test the fluid to see if it is amniotic fluid.  Sure enough, the test came back positive, my bag of water had ruptured.  We were beyond devastated.  They admitted me but it didn’t look good.  Babies need amniotic fluid to develop their lungs and for the muscles and bones to grow correctly.  There was a small chance I could remain pregnant and carry Charlotte, and if I could they would deliver her at 34 weeks at the very latest because without the bag of water the question isn’t if I would get another infection it is WHEN will I get the infection.  And remember, the infection can get bad FAST and cause sepsis, organ failure and death within hours. 


I was admitted to antepartum where they try to keep women pregnant.  My sister and amazing friend Danet came and decorated my room so beautifully with the most beautiful, white Christmas tree.  They brought 2 special ornaments for my angel McKay and we called it my angel tree.  (My friend Tory Bolander lent the tree to them, but months later she allowed me to keep this special tree.  I believe the white is symbolic of my 2 angel babies.  I will put up this tree every year.  I love it!)  The nurses all loved it and commented on it every time they came in the room.  They knew I was very loved! 

On Christmas eve I got up to go to the bathroom, which was the only time I was allowed up, and there was a puddle of blood underneath me.  My wonderful OB had come to the hospital to check on me and he came in and told me that it seemed like my body was starting the process of labor and that it probably would happen that day.  He talked to us about inducing or waiting.  Waiting could be risky due to the infection, but we decided to wait.  Our baby girl was still alive and I didn’t have a fever yet, I couldn’t induce.  She wouldn’t survive. 
This is when Justin and I thought it was over.  We decided to name her Charlotte Celeste, Celeste meaning heavenly. 

Christmas day came and I was still pregnant.  It was a Christmas miracle in our eyes!  The bleeding slowed and I was one happy girl!  They started talking to me about sending me home at some point until I reached 24 weeks, since there was nothing they could do for me in the hospital that I couldn’t do at home.  They had finished my rounds of antibiotics and I wasn’t on the miserable IV anymore.  After a lot of prayer J and I decided I would go home for a week or 2 and spend some time with Lincoln, and then I would return and hopefully be in the hospital for 10 weeks, until I reached 34 weeks. 

Being home was wonderful.  We celebrated Christmas a little late with our son and family and they even made me my favorite dinner to celebrate my birthday.  I had a wonderful girls night with amazing friends from my ward, and I was feeling hopeful and optimistic.  There was a group on fb called PPROM (preterm premature rupture of membranes) and it gave me SO MUCH HOPE, which is all I had at that point.  Some women did stay pregnant until 34 weeks, some had babies born at 23w5d that lived, I HAD HOPE.  I was already beating the odds and I had faith.  I believe in miracles and I had already seen some.  I was getting closer and closer and each day our Charlotte was getting stronger.  

On Saturday, January 3, my sweet friend Corissa came by and we visited for a while.  When she left I realized I couldn’t remember the last time I felt Charlotte move, which wasn’t at all uncommon because with no fluid the babies are very cramped and they don’t move much.  After Corissa left, I used my sisters Doppler and I searched for the heartbeat, but that is also hard to find with no fluid. 

Not again:

This picture was taken as we left for the hospital, Jan 3.  My last pregnancy picture with my Charlotte.  23 weeks
After trying for 30 min I called Merri who came by even though she had plans.  She searched for an hour with no luck.  She looked sick.  She told Justin and I that we needed to go to triage and that we should take my bags.  I said that it was fine, we could go but I wasn’t taking any bags because we wouldn’t be staying.  Everything was FINE, my Charlotte was FINE and I wasn’t happy they were talking this way.  Justin agreed with Merri however and gently told me we needed to take my things.  I was angry and in denial.  I knew what Merri and Justin thought and I didn’t agree. 

Back to those horrible doors again.  First a nurse came in and couldn’t find a heart beat with their Doppler, but this again wasn’t unusual and she didn’t try for very long.  The doctor came in next, who I had seen in triage once before during this pregnancy and we hadn’t had the most positive interaction, and she brought the u/s machine.  I wish it was any other doctor.  She hadn’t taken me seriously the last time I had come in nor had the nurses.  They chalked me up to being nervous because of my prior loss.  HECK YES I was nervous, but I had every right to be.  SOMETHING WAS WRONG but no one took me seriously!

My heart sank, as soon as she put the wand on my belly I saw my daughters heart, it was still.  There was no flutter like there should’ve been.  She had died and I don’t even know when it happened.  I bit my lip with all my might.  I wanted to SCREAM as loud as I could to let the WORLD know I was suffering.  I wanted to YELL at that doctor, I wanted to BLAME someone and she was an easy target!  I clenched my entire body to try to control myself so that I wouldn’t scream and let it all out.  Now I wish I had, there would’ve been NOTHING wrong with that!!  How could this happen?  We had JUST been here a short 7 months before! 

The doctor tried to talk to me, to tell me what we would do next but I couldn’t hear a word she said.  I was trying not to lose control.  They sent in a second ultrasound tech to confirm, and seeing it again and hearing that she was dead for a second time was just … cruel. 

J and I sat in silence as the tears flowed.  I couldn’t contact our families - I couldn’t do anything but let it sink in.  I was prepared to go into labor, I was prepared for infection to set in, but no one had prepared me that her heart could just STOP.  HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?  Why didn’t I know this was a possibility?  I had hoped that even if I did go into labor I would give birth to a living baby girl.  I wanted to have some time with her before she died.  My opinion had completely changed since having McKay.  I can’t put into words why I felt this way.  I just wanted time with my daughter, my little girl.  I wanted to explain to her that I had given it my all.  I was sorry my body failed her.  I loved her more than life itself. 

At 7:27pm on Jan 3, we texted our family, and said: “Hello dear family, Thank you so much for your prayers and love throughout this pregnancy.  We just found out moments ago that our sweet daughter Charlotte has also returned to her father in heaven to be with her brother McKay and other family members on the other side of the veil.  Please continue to pray for us to have the strength to endure this.  We love you all.  Justin and Natalie”
I remember trembling the entire time I typed this text.  My heart honestly felt completely shattered.


There were many tender mercies along the way, and one was that our dear sweet friend Dara was working that night in L&D.  They asked if I’d like her to be my nurse.  There was no doubt I wanted her by my side.  She actually adopted 2 babies from my younger sister.  We were connected in a unique way. 

Merri also came as soon as we wanted her too.  She brought music and lots of love.  We all talked about what J and I wanted and how we wanted to do this.  They gave us the option of waiting and coming back at a later time, but we were ready to meet our baby girl and hold her sweet 23 week old body.  I knew that the longer she spent inside me, the more her body could deteriorate.  Looking back I wish I had kept her with me longer, but I also realize that I would probably never have truly been ready to let her go or to give birth to her if I had waited. 

Another crazy coincidence was as they guided us back to our room in L&D, Justin began to get uneasy.  As we approached room 15 he told me this was the same room McKay was born in which I didn’t know because I was to out of it when they transferred me there with McKay.  Dara asked us if we wanted another room.  J probably did but I said no.  It seemed fitting to me to have both of my angel babies in the same room.

I didn’t want any pain meds.  I wanted to be awake for EVERTHING and I wanted to feel it all.  No epidural.  It seemed fitting for the physical pain to match my emotional pain.  I texted my doctor who I greatly care for, and told him that I hate to ask or take advantage but if there was any way he could deliver my baby I wanted him to, especially because I didn’t like the doctor that was on call.  He told me he would be there and that was another tender mercy to me.

I remember a few moments sitting there waiting for the nightmare to continue, for my lifeless little girl to be born, and I thought, maybe sleeping through this agony wouldn’t be so bad.  Looking over and seeing the love of my life in such pain and so worried about me wasn’t something I wanted to be awake for.  I can’t describe it now, but I remember thinking I would be ok missing this.  This is HARD and painful, very painful.  I was so angry for sleeping through McKays delivery, and once or twice I thought maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing. 

They gave me the cytotec and if my memory serves me correctly it began working right away.  The contractions started and I wasn’t comfortable.  My dear in-laws came that night and sat with us and tried to distract me and they comforted Justin which he needed.  I could see the pain in their eyes and I was grateful to feel their love for us and for their granddaughter.  My sweet little sister Katie, who had also had a baby girl 2 or 3 weeks before also came and sat with us. 
When the pain began to intensify. Katie and my in laws left. 

The following is taken from my journal.  I apologize for all the detail, but this is my story and I didn't want to leave anything out. 

The pain was indescribable (any of you who have been in labor may relate).  It was manageable as I had a few minutes of a break in between each one but that break quickly got shorter and shorter. 

I think around 9:30 they started the meds to induce me and then at 1:30am, 4 hrs later Dara checked me and said I was at a 3.  I was having very painful contractions at this point but was having 3 or 4 minute breaks so I was hanging in there.  They texted my doctor and told him I was at a 3 and having good contractions and he responded and said, “Good, keep to the plan.” 

Merri reminded me that sometimes after delivery the placenta doesn’t want to come out so they have to push hard on your stomach, and she asked if I wanted an epidural and I still said no.  I was surviving because of the breaks in-between, but wow those contractions were so painful I couldn’t believe it.  Thankfully the horrible pain would pause, so I would just tell myself to wait for the relief. 

I recall that having a healthy baby makes this process much easier as you are eagerly awaiting a healthy bundle straight from heaven and so you can look forward to and focus on that during the pain.  I had an epidural with Lincoln since I didn’t know what would happen with his delivery, and now that I experienced natural childbirth (even if it was with a 12 oz baby) I wish I could do it again but with a healthy baby.  I know I can do it now, but I want a HAPPY experience.  I want the rush of happy emotions.  Not the emotions I felt rush over me, not the fear of a retained placenta, not the pain of seeing and holding my lifeless daughter’s body. 

The break between contractions eventually disappeared and I laid on my side facing Justin.  I gripped Justin’s hand as hard as I possibly could through each contraction (it was my nonverbal way of telling him I was having a contraction) with one hand and the other hand had a hold of his shirt and I would just grip it as tight as I could through each contraction.  J was close and would rub my jaw to help me relax it and he was all I needed.  If someone touched me anywhere else or if J tried to move I couldn’t take it.  The pain was too much and this was the only position that I could tolerate. 

I constantly moaning or saying owww because that helped me keep my jaw open.  The pain got to a 10 and then when my contractions weren’t at their peak the pain would be a 7 or 8.  Without that break I wasn’t sure I could do it.  I thought to myself that I must be in transition when labor is the hardest but no one was telling me I was so I didn’t know.  

I figured I couldn’t do this for hours longer, so I eventually asked for an epidural.  No one said anything, they just ignored me, except I think J may have said it’s probably too late.  So after a few minutes and really thinking about it after trying so hard to tough it out, I asked again and Merri and Dara said I was almost done, she was close to coming.  That helped me a little but I also knew they didn’t really know that since they hadn’t checked me.  I was lying on my side covered with blankets, no one was monitoring my contractions or checking me, they were just reading my body language.  It is a completely different experience than having a living baby.  They didn’t need to monitor the babies heartbeat because there was none. 

Dara did check me a second time, I think I had told them I felt a little pressure and it was just a few minutes later and I was at a 5 and she could feel Charlotte’s foot and other parts presenting.  That’s when she texted my dr and he headed in.  They knew she was coming and it could happen fast.  My doctor told them not to have me push and that it was better for my body to do all the work.  Especially since Charlotte was breech like McKay, we didn’t want her head getting stuck so he told them to let my body do as much as it could on its own.

I remember laying there on my side in indescribable pain.  It was constant and as soon as the most severe pain would end and I’d have a few seconds before it was bad again I would cry out tears of emotional pain rather than physical pain.  It was re-living a nightmare. 

I was so afraid of Charlotte falling out onto the bed.  I started feeling pressure and I told Merri and Dara and no one did anything.  I was shocked again.  Why weren’t they getting me ready to deliver her, she was obviously coming.  I think I even recall telling them that I didn’t care if my doctor was there or not, we could just do it without him, I didn’t think I could wait for him (and I know he doesn’t live close to the hospital).  

I told them a second time that I felt pressure and that is when Dara told me that my Dr. was in the hallway and she could hear his voice. I kept my eyes shut tight. J held my hand and we were forehead to forehead.  His poor back must’ve ached as he leaned forward to comfort me. 

When my doctor entered the room he came in and touched my knee and said something, that I don’t remember.  Then he immediately got gowned. Merri told me they didn’t want to roll me on my back or have me ready because they knew Charlotte would just come out.  I don’t remember anything except being in tremendous pain and holding Justin and crying out, and being relieved Wilson was there FINALLY.  As soon as Dr.W  was gowned, Merri and Dara rolled me onto my back.

I don’t remember the details that well or the order of things but I do remember pushing.  They had me hold my knees (which I didn’t feel I had the energy to even get into the right position, my entire body hurt and I couldn’t control my body enough to move it) but they helped me and I held my knees and chin to chest and I pushed. 

Justin told everyone while I was pushing, with a firm and protective voice, “NO BASIN!” He knew the pain it caused us both when the doctor presented McKay to us in a plastic tub.  J is my protector and I felt very safe and loved when he said this.  They assured us there would be NO BASIN! 

Merri told me that my Little Charlotte was born feet first.  I remember being in the MOST HORRIBLE pain I’d ever experienced and I didn’t know how a body could endure this for long, and then they rolled me onto my back, I pushed, and then I told everyone that the pain was gone.  I wasn’t feeling it anymore.  It was a miracle, I know it was!

She was BORN, but I didn’t hear a cry.  They didn’t place her plump and wet little body on my tummy like they had done with Lincoln.  I had my eyes opened at this point and I was looking down trying to get a glimpse of her and I couldn’t see her.  It felt like an eternity before they presented her to me.  She wasn’t living, why did they have to do ANYTHING to her?  Why couldn’t I have her NOW?  I felt VERY impatient and just wanted her in my arms. 

The doctor asked if J would like to cut the cord, but he couldn’t bare it.  I completely understood. Merri did it for us.  It seemed fitting.  She had been there for Charlotte and McKay and had helped us through our darkest hours. I was grateful she could do that.

She was still warm.  I tried to enjoy holding her body while it was warm, I knew it would never be warm again.  I let myself imagine that she was living for those moments while her body was still warm from being inside me.  

Time seemed to race by.  I held her and looked at my baby girl.  MY DAUGHTER.  My ONLY DAUGHTER.  Oh the pain in my heart.  Then the pain started picking back up in my abdomen and the contractions were back.  HOW CRUEL.  How could I have to deliver the placenta and be in more pain while I held my dead daughter?  It was beyond unfair.  I had ALREADY lost my baby and NOW MORE PAIN. 

Through the contractions they had me push and the Dr.  was pushing very hard on my stomach while reaching up inside to get the placenta out.  The pain was tremendous yet I knew I could’ve endured it if I had just been holding my living girl. 

I cried out in pain hoping it would end.  But it didn’t.  Dr. W sat at my feet for about an hour trying to help it come out but it wasn’t coming.  He had the nurses’ call in the ultrasound tech that was at home and on call.  He also had the anesthesiologist come in to talk to him about what we should do.
As this all started I told Merri and J to take Charlotte from me.  I was in so much physical pain I couldn’t focus enough on holding my baby girl and keeping her safe.  They had to take her from me which wasn’t fair either.  I needed her and each second with her was precious.  I didn’t get to enjoy her warm body long enough.  

I felt 2 gushes of blood, they felt BIG to me and I was scared.  The bleeding wasn’t stopping and so Dr. W wanted to do a D&C to get the placenta out so the bleeding would stop. That meant going to the OR.

When Dr. W told us we needed to go have a D&C I asked him what the risks were.  He explained that there is a risk of perforating the uterus but that since it’s a muscle it usually is very easy to stitch up and fix and it heals well but occasionally the bleeding won’t stop and they have to perform a hysterectomy.  Dr. W reassured us that he fully expected us to leave the hospital with my uterus. 

J had to wait outside the OR while I got my spinal, don’t ask me why.  The room was VERY bright and harsh. There were many people in the room and everyone was covered up with masks and hats etc.   It was scary.  As soon as they wheeled me into the OR I didn’t just feel a gush of blood I felt blood squirting on my legs and knees.  My stomach immediately got sick and I was PETRIFIED for my own life.  I asked if Dara and Dr. W were in the room and they both responded that they were. I told everyone what I felt, they looked and things started moving at a feverish pace. 

It was time for the spinal.  They sat me up and I was contracting and I couldn’t move or breathe.  They wanted me to put my shoulders down, and my chin down and to curl my back which seemed impossible with how much I was hurting.  I asked Dara, “Am I going to be OK??” 
In that moment I was SO SICK and SO miserable and the pain was more than I ever thought a human could bare that I thought it might be ok if I died so that I could escape the pain, I just hoped it would happen soon and that I wouldn’t have to keep suffering.  Dara was perfect and quickly responded, with fervor, “Of course you are!”

Dara held me as I curled up for the spinal and I told her I was sick and that I thought I was going to pass out because I couldn’t hear anymore.  I didn’t know if I couldn’t see because my eyes were tightly shut.  I remember going limp in her arms because I couldn’t hold myself up anymore.  I had tried not to put all my weight on her but eventually I had to.  When I finally started coming back I had been laid on the table with my head in a special pillow to mobilize my neck and I started throwing up.  It was miserable because I couldn’t turn my head and my stomach still hurt and I was in GREAT PAIN.  EVERYTHING hurt.  Thankfully it didn’t take long for my legs to lose all feeling.

In the end they didn’t even have to do a D&C my doctor was able to get it out on his own once I relaxed. I did lose a lot of blood and they talked about doing a transfusion but the doctor decided in the end it would be best not to. 

I was taken back to my room and I slept while they took Charlotte for pictures and to make molds of her hands and feet. 

I still couldn’t believe this had happened.  I felt confused, lost, broken, and I didn’t know how to survive this.  Would I ever be happy again?  Could I ever feel whole again?  I didn’t know how to feel I was just existing. 

I can say that I have felt happiness and joy since this experience but I don’t know if I will ever be complete until my whole family is together again after this life.  I am very blessed.  I have an amazing, kind, loving, protective, and very attractive husband who is brave and strong.  I want to be just like him.  I have 3 beautiful children, 2 are already perfect and waiting for us in Heaven watching over their energetic older brother.  My Lincoln brings me PURE JOY every single day.  He is my ray of sunshine and I thank God for him with every beat of my heart. 

We have had some very tender moments where I believe Lincoln has been close to his brother and sister.  I’m grateful for the miracles I’ve seen.  I know my Savior loves me and because of him our family will be together forever.  I look forward to that day.  

Here is a link to Charlotte's memorial video: 

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