For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
Tomorrow is July 3. For us here in the Friesen household, it will always be a day we remember. Two years ago, on July 3, we officially lost our first pregnancy.
Here's the brief story.
After battling infertility for awhile, I finally got pregnant. We started telling everybody around 8 weeks or so. Nope, we hadn't heard a heartbeat yet, but I wasn't having any typical "miscarriage symptoms" either. We thought it was all probably O.K. Nope, it doesn't always work that way.
So, on June 25 of that year, we found out there was no heartbeat. I was most likely on my way to a miscarriage. My dr. told us to wait. Hopefully, my body would shed everything on its own.
By July 2, nothing was going on. The waiting was horrendous. Finally, after some "whacky" bloodwork, my dr. decided to do a D & C the following day as well as some exploratory surgery. He wanted to check for some things since my bloodwork was weird.
Early in the morning on July 3, Marc and I went to the hospital for a final sonogram -- just to completely be sure that baby wasn't living. I WAS SO THANKFUL for that sonogram. I knew for a fact nothing living would be terminated. After the sonogram, we went back home for a few hours. Finally, we got the call that there was nothing on the sonogram and to go on to the hospital. I checked into the hospital. They took me back for surgery around 1:00 or so in the afternoon. The surgery was supposed to take an hour to an hour and a half.
When I woke up, the very nice nurse told me I'd been in surgery for three hours. When my doctor visited me in the recovery room, he explained to me he had to actually take out my right ovary. It wasn't attached properly to the tube. The right fallopian tube was blown apart, and there was a build-up of scar tissue from my ovary down to my bowels. WHAT A MESS!!!!!
At that point, I was able to remember (even while still coming off of anesthesia)that when I was 22 years old, I had some SEVERE pain on my lower right side. At that time, my dr. (a different dr. than now) diagnosed it as a really bad urinary tract infection. It eventually got better with heavy doses of antibiotics.
After this surgery and seeing what was inside, my dr. thinks I probably had a cyst rupture and cause all of the damage. The nurse practitioner (who assisted in surgery) later told me that a ruptured cyst is extremely dangerous. I possibly could've died. I've since read that as well. So no, I never had that urinary tract infection, most likely.
So, I'm extremely thankful that my body fought all of that mess way back when I was 22 years old.
After a night in the hospital and a few visits from friends and family, we went back home. For the next couple of weeks, some wonderful people from church brought us meals and took care of us.
The physical healing from all of this wasn't too bad. Yep, I was sore from the surgery. I really disliked how the anesthesia seemed to mess my sleep up for awhile. But, all in all, it wasn't that bad.
The emotional recovery from a miscarriage (as well as finding out about my messy reproductive system) was a bit more of a challenge. I think that the world kind of "blows off" miscarriages. They're treated as no big deal. They are a big deal. I was a mess for awhile. I still, to this day, get sad sometimes about it.
Fortunately, the surgery did help, I think, with the infertility. I was able to get pregnant with Luke fairly quickly. Almost a year to the day later, Luke was born (July 21 -- one year later). How amazing is that?????
Now, I don't want to use this blog as a debate about abortion. Quite frankly, I believe there is no debate. But, I've heard some pro-choicers say that an unborn child may not have a purpose anyways.
I FIRMLY believe that our child we lost had a purpose. Had it not been for that child, we never would've been able to figure out what was going on inside of my body that wasn't originally allowing me to get pregnant. I had previously had all kinds of fertility tests. NONE of that mess inside of my body was showing up on sonograms, x-rays, etc.
That little unborn baby, the way my body didn't lose it naturally, and the whacky bloodwork (as well as my dr's concern for the whacky bloodwork) all helped correct some things that needed to be corrected. I sincerely believe that we wouldn't have Luke had it not been for that unborn baby.
I also believe that some things in my heart needed to change before we had a child. Things in my heart like not working so much, putting family first, learning what my purpose as a mother is, etc. I believe that our miscarriage taught me about some of those heart issues.
I do often wonder if that baby would've been a boy or a girl. I wonder about his or her personality. I guess I'll just wait until heaven to find out :)
Miscarriages, unfortunately, are all too common. I don't know completely what God's purpose was for our miscarriage experience, but I believe I do know what I believe that baby's purpose was.
About 4 weeks after my surgery, Marc and I took a trip together. We flew to San Francisco and rented a car. In the span of a week, we drove up the entire coast from San Francisco to Portland, OR. Then, we flew home from there. The trip was planned before the surgery, but it was the BEST thing for us at the time. We just needed to get away. We still have such fond memories of that trip.
Here are a couple fun photos from that trip, just to lighten up this post a bit.
Right outside of Sacramento, CA, we visited the Jelly Belly Factory. They don't charge for tours (if you're ever out there, we recommend it). On the tour, you have to wear a hat. Here are our goofy photos.
On this trip, Marc found a race to run (go figure). It was on the coast a few hours north of San Francisco. It was a 50 Km run (31 miles), so it took him a few hours. I didn't mind a bit because the scenery with which I sat in front of was phenomenal. There's nothing like reading a good book in front of the California coast while your husband is running in a race. This was far enough north where everything was COLD. So no, I didn't play in the waves.
Here's a photo of Marc at the starting line of this race. He's the one with the red bandanna on.
Marc actually WON this race that day. YEAH! Here's a photo of him at the finish line. The funny thing was that the wind kicked up fairly strong right when he was finishing (remember, we were on the coast). So, the finish sign was blowing down as he was finishing. Some of the race organizers were quickly trying to put it back up.
**Marc has since said that next to running through the Grand Canyon, this was the prettiest race he's run in. Perhaps we'll go back someday :)
**And, another side note. I had unexpected lower abdominal surgery on July 3, 2007. I then had unexpected lower abdominal surgery on July 21, 2008, since Luke was born via C-Section. So, my goal for this month is to go a July WITHOUT surgery. I think my body needs a rest from surgery. Believe me, this is not something I'm proud of. It just worked out that way.
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