Monday, March 19, 2012

An angel. . . wearing scrubs. I will miss you. . . .

I haven't been the same person since I heard of your passing. . . and my heart breaks for what we have all lost in your death. To all who had the joy in knowing you, we have lost such a special, peaceful, compassionate doctor, friend, and loved one. You were living out your calling and touched so many lives - I am so thankful that I was one of them.

You are so loved and will be missed by me for the rest of my life. I find peace that I will have pieces of your legacy in my life each day - their names are Hannah and Joshua - and I will never, ever forget how much you touched my life the last nine years as my doctor and as a fellow mom in the trenches with three kids. I will miss our talks and your ability to relate to me as we would catch up at my medical visits. I always wished for more time with you. . . .

You will never be replaced and I know that I will never have another doctor like you. I thank God that He led me to you at a time in my life when I was lost and needing someone to help me. You held me up and led me through the dark times. . . and I will never forget the moment that you placed Hannah on me right after she was born after months of so much uncertainty on my part that I would ever be a mother again. You had faith for me when I was full of fear and doubt - and I will never forget your compassion and peaceful spirit. It was my lifeline for so long. What a precious gift....

You delivered my son three years later after helping me face some new health challenges; my heart remembers your face as you delivered my kids - you rejoiced in the birth of my children as if you were my older sister.

I remember knowing that you would take care of me; I had full trust in you, even when going in for my surgery two years ago. You had the ability to put my mind at ease and I will never be able to express just how much you have played a soothing, positive role in my life.

Shannon - I will never forget you and I will always celebrate your care for me as a doctor on the birthdays of my children and the date of my surgery. Your spirit will live on in the lives of those you touched with your beautiful work and dedicated service.

As your 40th birthday comes next month, I will again remember your life and your beautiful smile. Thank you for caring for me and giving me my life/health and my two youngest children. You were such a blessing to me.

Many prayers and much love to your family and friends, especially your mom, dad, sister, husband, and beautiful sons.

I love you - and may we all carry you in our hearts forever. You are my angel.

Monday, January 9, 2012

10 years ago today, right about this time. . . .

It was a sunny, crisp winter day as I prepared to go in to have my first ultrasound done with this pregnancy - - and I was so excited.  Married just 2 months before, this new miracle was our honeymoon baby, God's blessing to us upon our new union as a family of three, Randy, Katelyn, and me. Because Randy had to work, I would have to go in alone, but that was OK.  I planned to share all of the details with him later.  Maybe I would even have a picture!

It almost didn't seem real at the time that I had been so blessed by God.  After going through an abusive first marriage, a divorce, and the life of a single mom, God had been so gracious to restore what the enemy had fought so hard to take from me.  As I drove to my appointment, with a bladder so full it was bursting, I remember having such a sense of peace and joy.  I remember looking at the clouds and the lacy leaves of the trees as I walked from my car to this unfamiliar office building.  I remember thanking God for it all, both the good and the bad that He had brought me through.  I almost cried from joy I was so happy and thankfulness was welling up within me.

I couldn't wait to see my first glimpse at our new little one.

I met the technician - a young man - and I felt a little strange that he was going to be the one to share this special moment with me.  The two of us. . . strange pair indeed, but I was just anxious to use the miracle machine to peek into this special place where God was forming my little one.

I remember knowing immediately that something was wrong.  I saw a sac, the technician measured it to be 6 weeks, I believe, although I was already considered 8/9 weeks pregnant.  He didn't say a word to address that, but asked me to use the restroom and relieve my bladder to prepare to have a vaginal ultrasound " to have a better view" - 

I couldn't breathe.  I could barely move.  I felt so alone and numbly walked to the restroom.  I started shivering in that cold, heartless bathroom.  Every movement echoed through the stalls.  The toilet flushing made me wince.  I looked at myself in the mirror as I washed my hands. . . and I looked lifeless.  

I don't know how long I stood there. . . water rushing over my hands and down the sink.  I set my face like a stone and walked back into the room where I was asked to remove my clothes and cover with those inadequate paper napkins. . . . 

Eventually with the proper equipment in place, the technician worked hard to get a good look again at the "baby" and sac.  It was a black circle still, nothing inside.  Just like the hole that appeared on my heart at that moment.  

I don't know how I managed to breath from that moment on.  I felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach and I started shaking some.  I know that the technician or I had to have said something to one another - - -but I can't remember anything from that moment on.  Grief overcame me like a deep, dark, heavy blanket, and all I could do was hold it all together.  I wasn't going to cry in front of a perfect stranger, a man, a medical professional.  I wasn't even sure what my next step would be, but somehow I dressed and left that place.

I somehow drove, talked with Randy about what happened, and called my doctor for an appointment the following day to "discuss our options" with the missed miscarriage or blighted ovum, the new label give to my pregnancy.  

Randy came home and just held me as he cried.  I know that I cried some too.  I didn't know how to feel, How to process what had happened.  I was so scared about what was going to happen next.  Katelyn was 3 at the time and I knew that she needed mommy as much as mommy needed her.  After dealing with the initial shock, we spent time with each other that night rather than go to church, I think (it was a Wednesday).

Randy and I headed to my doctor's office the next day, late in the afternoon.  I remember being surrounded by all of the women with big, healthy pregnant bellies and hearing all of the newborns crying.  I prayed and prayed that God would help me not become impatient, upset, or jealous of those women.  Each newborn noise made me get a lump in my throat and I placed my hands over my tummy, cradling the little one that was always going to be in my heart, although not in my life here on earth.

We waited for 2+ hours to be seen, in misery and confusion at our circumstances.  We both felt so alone in our pain, although we tried reaching out to each other through our gestures, our eyes, and our words.  I think there came a point that I walked up to the window and asked through choked back tears how much longer I was going to have to wait.  I was given no answers.

Once the last patient left the room and the sun started setting, we were called back.  The nurse practitioner met us, letting us know that Dr. C was at an emergency c-section and wouldn't be meeting us at all.  Ironic, definitely, but I quickly put that thought out of my mind, focusing on breathing and staying calm, choking back tears again.

With a curt and business-like demeanor, the NP started warning us about letting me pass the remains of the pregnancy naturally, citing issues like sepsis and hysterectomy that would undoubtedly take any chances of my having the chance to have another baby someday.  We were stunned all over again.  We were coming in, hoping to hear that we could wait a little while, having some bloodwork done, maybe even another ultrasound in a few days to check my dates and hold on to hope that the baby was too small to be seen perhaps. . . . 

She started talking about moving towards the D&C that I would need ASAP.  She was hoping and pushing me to start getting the suppository inserted in my cervix that moment to start prepping me for the surgery the following day.  I couldn't speak, could barely breathe, but my husband told her that we were leaving and that we would be back when we could meet with Dr. C. the next day.

Another night spent waiting, thinking, wondering what I had done to not be a good pregnant mommy.  So many questions, but no answers to be found.  Family, friends, and those I knew pulled back from me.  All I had was Randy and Katelyn. . . and I was reminded again how precious and how fragile life really is.  With a heavy heart, we went to sleep, knowing that it was our last night with our "first pregnancy" and our innocence.

We talked with the doctor and reluctantly agreed to the surgery later that day.  No other options were given to us.  The doctor was compassionate and kept saying he was so sorry, but he still pressured me to have that D&C.  He inserted the suppository to "ripen" my cervix for the surgery and sent me home to rest and prepare to come back to the hospital later.

We sent Katelyn home with my dad and his wife sometime that day.  I remember lying on the couch, cramping and crying throughout the day, Friday January 11, 2002.  Nothing else really stands out to me much from then on.  I think I disassociated myself from my body and the situation.  I remember the hospital, saying goodbye to my husband, and trusting my doctor - - - but wanting to go back to the place that this wasn't happening.  I wanted to change my mind and hold on to that pregnancy as long as God intended.  I was so scared either way - but I wanted more than anything to have a miracle, my baby miracle, my pregnancy again.

I woke up in recovery, in tears.  I literally woke up sobbing.  The nurse was so worried about me because I was truly broken-hearted and she kept telling me over and over that everything was OK.  I don't think I had really cried deep tears of grief until that moment.  I felt so empty, so broken, so violated, so sorrowful.  My child was dead, gone, and never to return.  That realization was so heartbreaking, but I didn't have the closure of seeing, naming, and honoring that child.  That child became medical waste.  I had a thought about how I know what it feels like to have an abortion and a dream ripped from your life.  

I didn't stop crying until Randy came to me.  I needed every ounce of strength and support he could give me.  Sometime that evening, I was released to go home, feeling like a shell of myself, fragile, empty, and vulnerable.


Our child was conceived in November 2001 and taken from us before January 9, 2002.  My due date was August 12, 2002, three days before Randy's 32nd birthday.  That little one would be over 9 years old today - and there isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of them.  Although we didn't know the sex, we named that child Wesley Randall Weeks.  

I've been in many places with my grieving in this journey with my miscarriage.  Today I felt led to write some of what I remember in that time of my life, exactly 10 years ago.  

I praise God that HE has been with me, carrying me through every storm, every loss, and each moment when I felt like I couldn't make it another breath or heartbeat.  And, I have an awesome LORD who has restored to me what the enemy does try to steal - I have been blessed with two more beautiful children, a girl (2003) and a boy (2006).

We have the HOPE that although we are separated her on earth, my child is in heaven and will be there when it's my time to go.  I do remember the special dates of the pregnancy - finding out I was pregnant (Dec 5), having the ultrasound (Jan 9), the surgery (Jan 11), and my due date (August 12).   I have a bear that sits on my dresser, with an August birthstone, to celebrate my little one who will never be forgotten.

Because of HIM, I can face my tomorrows and remember my yesterdays - and seize today.

To Him be the GLORY and praise, forever, Amen.


Friday, January 6, 2012

New Blog - New Focus

I am not sure why God has impressed upon me to start this new blog today - but I know that I am in need of a place to write out the story of my life, in bits and pieces, sifting through each experience, and opening my heart and soul to the Healing that can come from being transparent with God and my fellow sisters in Christ.

Today, again, I am reaching for the Hem and yearning for more of my Lord.

All because of Grace.