Wednesday, October 29, 2014

35 Week Update

The past week has been quite uneventful (thankfully!). I've gone to my routine appointments and Peter has consistently scored 8 out of 8 on his ultrasound tests. Additionally, my bloodwork has been normal. We are grateful for an uneventful week and look forward to our c-section in a week and a half.

We're also in the process of planning Henry's memorial service to (likely) be held on November 11. I had no idea how difficult it would be to think about the details of the service. It's so emotionally draining, but I'm grateful for our friends and family who are helping with everything.

9 days and counting...

Sunday, October 19, 2014

34 Week Update

Today I'm officially 34 weeks along. This past week I've had two ultrasounds, labwork, and two dr.'s appointments. The doctors are keeping a close eye on Peter and he is consistently scoring 8 out of 8 on his biophysical profile tests. It's music to my ears every time I hear his sweet little heartbeat. Our high risk dr. has said that he is not worried about Peter's health and suspects that he will be delivered healthy.

The high risk dr. also said that he hasn't seen a case like mine in over ten years. Usually it's the smaller baby who dies, usually it's IVF babies, usually it's much earlier in pregnancy. He speculates that Henry may have died from heart failure. Perhaps his body was overloaded with blood/fluid from the shared placenta. We may learn more at delivery regarding the reason for his death, or we may never know. We're not going to have any special tests conducted to find answers. None of the answers will bring our son back.

My regular OB has scheduled a c-section for us on November 7 (the day after George's 4th birthday!). While this date could change if I go into labor sooner, it feels good to have a date to look forward to on the calendar. They aren't going to induce since both babies are transverse (lying across my body; neither head up or head down).

I had a great conversation this past week with the OB bereavement nurse at the hospital. She is helping us know what to expect in delivery and what arrangements need to be made in advance. She kept saying how unusual my case is because they don't often see stillbirths that have been allowed to stay in the womb so long.

David is meeting with a funeral home tomorrow to discuss our plans for Henry. We are starting to plan a small memorial service for our little guy too. I'll have two ultrasounds, two dr.'s appointments, and labwork again this week.

How am I doing? I'm asked this question all day long. The truth is: I don't know. I'm vacillating between sadness and peace and distraction. The past week and a half have been a blur. I've gotten better at holding in my tears in public, although I'm not sure if that's good or not. Just less embarrassing for me. I'm sleeping better too. This is just the beginning of our grief journey and I'm trying to balance normalcy with the kids with allowing myself time each day to think about Henry and cry. The Lord has given me peace about Henry's soul. We believe wholeheartedly that he is with Jesus in Heaven where there are no tears or sadness and one day I'll be reunited with my sweet son. I do grieve for my broken heart and for my family missing out on a precious little person whose life was over before he took his first breath. I wanted to know him. To nurture him. Tickle him. Smell him. I wanted so badly to be his momma on this earth. We have no idea why this has happened, but through the tears we rejoice in the fact that God is good. He is near to the brokenhearted. He puts my tears in his bottle. He has given us hope through Jesus. Death is not the end.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Our Darling Henry

It is incredibly difficult to write this. A post I never imagined I would have to write.

Our precious son, one of our twins, Henry Thomas Clark, is now in the arms of Jesus. We found out last Tuesday, October 7, during a routine ultrasound that he no longer has a heartbeat. Our surviving twin son, whom we've decided to name Peter, seems to be doing well so far. The doctors think that Henry passed away sometime between 30-32 weeks gestation. They do not know what happened. He was Baby A--the bigger one! The one we weren't concerned about. He was the star of all of the previous ultrasounds. The doctors were always concerned about the smaller one being too small.

The past week has been the longest, most miserable week of my entire life. After learning of Henry's demise, the doctors focused on monitoring Peter very closely. They would like him to stay in the womb until closer to 36 weeks. (I'm currently at 33 weeks.) I'm having ultrasounds (fetal biophysical profiles) twice a week, blood work weekly, and dr. visits weekly. Of course I feel like I want to get Peter out ASAP, but am trusting my doctors' wisdom and expertise. I am grateful that he looks fabulously healthy and is thriving as of now.

Even though we have great hope that Peter will be delivered healthy and happy, it does not negate the loss of his brother. Please never say "at least you have the other..." Henry deserves to be grieved and acknowledged. He is a precious gift from God. A unique soul. I will miss him every day until I'm reunited with him in Heaven. I know that someday I will throw my arms around him and the sting of his loss will be permanently erased from my heart.

Please pray for our sweet son, Peter, as we wait for him to develop a little while longer in utero. Please pray for us as we are just beginning to grieve and process this terrible news. We are so grateful for the outpouring of love, prayers, support, and meals from our friends and family--near and far.