The Bed Rest Project

We’ve been given a diagnosis.

We drove four hours from Vegas, on pins and needles, because I had started to bleed again Monday morning. It is agonizing, that visualization that your baby is dying inside you and there’s nothing you can do about it. But, we slid into a parking space just in time for my OB to fit me in at the end of his day. We fidgeted in our seats and tried to entertain two car-weary kids in the waiting room in anticipation of what that ultrasound screen would show.

And then, there it was…the blip, blip, blip. We still had a heartbeat! And a subchorionic hemorage. After a visit with the high risk perinatalogist, the SCH was confirmed, as well as partial placenta previa. So, I’ve been prescribed complete bed rest for the foreseeable future. There is always the hope that the placenta moves and the hemorage heals itself, but until then, I will do whatever I’m told to keep this little one growing!

I’m almost 16 weeks and that’s the farthest we’ve made it since Bug. I’m counting everyday I get to feel flutters and hear that heartbeat as a giant blessing. I find myself still in disbelief that we might actually get to meet this one. We might actually get to smell that new baby smell and cradle a tiny little head again. It’s a strange space in which to live, straddling grief and joy. Guardedness and celebration.

The kids are excited. Chuck is sure I am growing a “Crystal Snowflake.” I haven’t the heart to tell her that, I am absolutely not going to be presenting her with either an exotic dancer or a recreational drug. Bug is sure it’s a boy and since the only sweet baby boy he knows is his auntie’s, he calls our baby by the same name. At least they will both be equally disappointed with our name choices!

They’ve been troopers with the bed rest thing. I keep reading blogs from women about how to stay sane on bed rest. They encourage things like, “finishing a good book,” or “catching up on episodes of Game of Thrones.” My favorite, though is “learn a new hobby like crocheting!” These people obviously have no preschoolers to entertain. I’m going to start a series on realistic activities to do from bed when you have kids. It will include things like, “learn to take the fewest steps possible to the bathroom to see what the two year old flushed. Again.” And, “try not to stress as you hear the entire contents of the top pantry shelf crash to the ground.” And my personal pick, “learn a new skill: interpret whether the silence is a blessing or worth investigating.” In the mean time, I’ve decided to document our daily bed rest diaries on Instagram under the hashtag #theBedrestProject. Check it out. Seriously riveting stuff, y’all!

Thank you for the prayers. I know I’ve asked for the reserves over the last year and a half. I’m reminded by those around me that this season (or decade) of life won’t last forever and soon enough, my prayers will be lavishly bestowed on others as theirs have been to us. I’m still waiting for the lesson in all this. Maybe there isn’t one, or at least one that we will know until that Glory day. But, I am thankful for today. So, so thankful for this life growing inside me.

Happy birthday to me

Today I turn 35. Anyone who knows anything about me knows that it’s been a great joy of my life to claim the whole month of October as my birthday month. However, over the last couple of years, this month has become bittersweet. Oct 14, 2014 was the day our sweet baby Mora, also known as “Blue”, was due. Ironically, October 15, my birthday, has been recognized as the international day of pregnancy and infant loss awareness. In July 2016 we lost our second angel, Dillon. Over the last year and a half we have gone on to lose 4 more babies; Anais, Cleo, Deene and Asha. Six. Six babies waiting to meet me in heaven someday. All had tiny beating hearts. All have names. All are loved and missed every day.

I struggled with how I should write this. I signed off facebook last year with no intention to return. We have grappled with devastating hurdles as a family over the last 18 month, in addition to losing our babies. Between deaths and health issues, a destroyed home and legal issues, I have been brought to a low I never even knew existed. I couldn’t bare my own burdens and the burdens of our broken world, together, daily. I’ve become very private. I don’t seek entertainment or affirmation, consolation or companionship like I used to. Brent and I have learned to cling to God far deeper than before. We’ve become entangled. I literally find myself wrestling with the God I love, because I know Him and I know He sees me, all of me. The ugly, snotty, hateful me. The ripped open, dying inside, barely hanging on me. And, on the good days, the grateful, still faithful, if only by a mustard seed me.

But, I’m here today, asking for a favor. We received the news this summer that we were, once again, expecting. We have been holding our breath since the first of August because, well, by now, we know how this goes. We wait. We enjoy the days, no matter how few we get to have with our baby. But, this time was different. This baby made it through each milestone and the tiny flicker was still there on the ultrasound. So, we settled into the idea that maybe, just maybe, this was our “complete.”

Friday night, the 13, we arrived in Las Vegas with plans to celebrate my 35th birthday for the weekend. That night, as I was getting ready for bed, I started to bleed. Panicked at the familiar visual, we called our sweet friends who came with us to watch the kids so we could race to the hospital. For 8.5 hours we sat in hard chairs in loud rooms, terrified, as I bled heavily. It was the most excruciating 8.5 hours of my life. Then, the light. One sympathetic soul of a doctor took my case and ordered an ultrasound. Thank you Jesus for this man. Because of him, we saw the flicker. Our baby still has a heartbeat! We can cling to that. We don’t know why I’m bleeding. But we know we have a live, bouncing baby in there.

So, today, on my birthday, as I lie in a hotel room on bed rest before tackling the four hour drive home tomorrow, I ask you for prayers. Prayers to heal whatever is causing the bleeding. Prayers for this baby to be able to meet us, face to face, here on earth, when the time is right. Prayers for our six other babies whom we miss everyday. Prayers for my husband’s gentle heart that has grieved more than anyone should have to. Prayers for our friends and my aunt and uncle who have taken our kiddos under their wings while I rest. Prayers for our kids who, wise beyond their years, are handling our painful season of life with grace. And most of all, prayers of thanks for that strong little heartbeat on the ultrasound screen. I don’t know what comes next, or how long I will get to feel gentle kicks from our ninth child, but I do know that the time is only better with more prayer. So, thank you for being here, even if I wasn’t for awhile. And thank you for the birthday wishes and prayers.