Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To Tell You About Hannah

Is to tell you about the loss of innocence, mine. The innocent ideal that once pg, nine months = baby, the naivete that there is any "safe" point.

Hannah was my second loss. My first one had been so early and so unexpected, I dealt with things somewhat pragmatically. I didn't entertain the thought it would happen again - these things happen. That was what they told me - and at this point in my life, it was easy to believe them. I was told to "get pg again right away - all would be okay" and while my heart ached, I still believed them. Something so sad, so wrong, could not possibly happen again - could it?

I was elated, though hesitant at first. We did the things we had to do to conceive - the charting, the clomid, the timing and we succeeded. I held the secret close - not wishing to tempt fate, waiting to pass the "safe point". And then I was past that and I felt more secure and I divulged my secret, not thinking that I shouldn't, not thinking that all was not going as it should, or wouldn't. I believed, I hoped, I had that confidence that only comes from not knowing otherwise.

During the weeks I was pg, I felt the smallest, sweetest presence - but I never took it to be the baby I was carrying. I often felt as though someone was following me constantly, someone little, and if I turned around quickly enough - I would catch sight of whoever this little someone was. I never did.

The day I lost Hannah was like any other day - I got up, I got dressed. I dressed and fed my toddler. My college friend from out of town visited with her toddler. We enjoyed talking, some games and then we discovered a shared yen for something sweet - for French Toast. So we went to the store. As I walked out of the store back to the car, I felt a gush - an "uh oh" sort of feeling that can't be ignored. When I checked - I was bleeding. I phoned my doctor, was given vague instructions and told to "come in" in the morning. I was so completely unprepared for the night ahead.

As I put my son to bed, I prayed over his head "please no, please no, please no - hold this baby safe." I had no more bleeding from the initial gush and I took that to be a good sign. I went to bed and could not sleep.

Constant pains overtook me. Cramping - regular and hard, contractions. I thought it could not be, I was only 12 weeks, but yet, this felt very similar to the early labor I had had the year before when my son was born. I wandered back and forth from bed to bathroom - contracting, spotting, not understanding fully what was happening - while everyone else slept. During the final hour the pains increased and the pressure became overwhelming. In the bathroom - so very early in the morning, and to my complete shock - I delivered her. My water broke in a small gush of fluid and then there she was. She fit in the palm of my hand and looked like the pictures I had seen of the babies in utero, the ones around 10 weeks. For two weeks she could have been gone and I had no idea - me, who was to be her mother. For all I knew her more than anyone else, I hardly knew her at all. I sat there on the floor of my bathroom stunned, relieved, amazed. Her umbilical cord was so tiny - but it was her little lifeline. Somewhere along that line - her end, or mine, something had gone very wrong. I saved her for the doctor, I went to sleep.

I would like to say my doctor was compassionate and understanding. He was cold and factual. The information he gave me was far less than I needed. He thrust a tri-fold pamphlet on Miscarriage at me, and pointed to the pie graph on the middle page. He said "this is where you fall" and pointed to the wedge marked "Unexplained Causes". Though, I don't think there would have been enough information that would have answered my most pressing question - why? Because I only delivered the fetus, I had to have a d&c for "retained products of conception", the placenta, in this case. I was given the option of being asleep or "awake", I chose asleep. I could not bear the thought of being awake while the rest of my pregnancy was scraped from my insides. I had already been awake when my baby left my body.

The nurse tending me post procedure tried to be compassionate. It was clear, she didn't understand. She meant to be positive and encouraging. She meant well - everyone always meant well. She asked how old I was. When I answered, she replied "Oh, you're young! You could still have a dozen more babies!" I wanted to tell her I didn't want a dozen more babies - I wanted that baby.

The next morning when I woke up - the little presence I had felt for more than two months was gone and all I could do was cry.

My sweet Hannah ~i~ September 20th, 1995

19 comments:

loribeth said...

Thinking of you & Hannah. (((hugs)))

(P.S. Looks like we were blogging at the same time tonight, lol.)

Mrs. Spit said...

Thinking of you both.

I am the ressurection and I am the life. . .

Jaymee said...

what an amazingly open post. (Hugs)

you both are in my thoughts.

ILCW

CLC said...

Thinking of you and your sweet Hannah!

Pasifik said...

Great article!

Keep posting,


MESOTHELIOMA UPDATES

MrsSpock said...

I can't imagine giving birth to such a tiny baby girl. So sorry your doctor was cold and unfeeling.

Rebecca said...

Oh god, how horrible to have to go through that on your own! When I had my miscarriage I chose to have a D&C immediately as I didn't think I could deal with my body doing it naturally. Of course, it didn't happen quite so fast for me so I had some time. I really wish they could tell us why it happens, it would give us some peace of mind.

Martha said...

I am so sorry, you and your family have been denied so much with the loss of your daughter. ((Hugs))

Cassandra said...

Thanks for sharing Hannah's story. Loss of innocence is exactly how I think of my first M/C.

Hope that you have a quick recovery. Take care.

Sweet Georgia said...

Thank-you for sharing your experience, and sharing Hannah with us.

ILCW

nancy said...

I'm remembering Hannah as you just introduced her. ~hugs~

ICLW

Marie said...

That post made me deeply hurt for you. I do not know what that feels like and have not experienced it but the pain I just felt was enough to know that no woman should ever have to go through this.

My thoughts are with you and your family today.

Photogrl said...

Thank you for sharing beautiful Hannah with us...

{{HUGS}}

...ICLW

Searching said...

Oh, how horrible! To be so alone during all this that night, and then to have her tiny little body in your hands far too early... I wish I had been there to hold you and cry with you. I'm so sorry. Thinking about your sweet Hannah.

I'm so glad you are at home and well!

CappyPrincess said...

Thank you for sharing your story of Hannah. I know it wasn't an easy story to share.

Mom on a coulee said...

Thank you for sharing, I have three beautiful children and then in the last two years I've had two miscarriages. They have been the hardest most devestating events in my life because I feel like I planned their whole lives from the moment they were conceived and it was utter shock to lose them. I miss them daily. It is nice to read someone like you who has continued on despite all the loss and you have 6 beautiful children with you while your others are in the arms of the Lord. I know my little Jack and Rose are in the arms of our Father but the pain is always there.

Amy in Ohio said...

Thank you for sharing your story with me.

Lori said...

What a moving post.

Remembering Hannah with you.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

This was a heartbreaking story to read. I can't imagine living it. Thank you for your honesty and courage in writing it.