Some answers to questions that I have been asked frequently lately:
Are you feeling okay physically?
I have felt really good for the last couple of weeks. The delivery wasn't difficult because Maggie was so small. So, my recovery was relatively quick. My biggest struggle is that I am dealing with the same physical changes that happen when any woman delivers a child. I sometimes don't know if the sadness I feel is grief or postpartum.
My biggest challenge right now is sleeping. My doctor prescribed me some sleeping pills, which I have been taking pretty religiously since I was in the hospital. The other night I tried to fall asleep without taking one but it was a miserable night. I woke up with the sweats and had horrible dreams about unborn babies. I will spare you the details but I decided I was going to try 1/2 pill for awhile before I stop cold turkey.
Did you get Maggie's autopsy results back? Do you know what happened?
Her general autopsy results came back about a week after her delivery. The general tests (if she had any viruses, infections, etc.) came back negative, which is good news. We are still waiting for the genetic test results to come back.
Dr. Eck was not exactly sure why Maggie had died. Because of her small size and low weight, it was obvious that she hadn't been growing for awhile before she died. The only area that looked somewhat abnormal was the placenta (sorry if this is gross for some of you). Some of the tissues did not look healthy and she thinks that the placenta could have separated from the uterus so that Maggie wasn't getting oxygen. There is really no way of knowing this is happening and no way to really stop it. So I know, cognitively, that I couldn't have done anything differently. However, in my heart, I still wonder if there was something I could have done differently. My mind sometimes goes crazy if I think about it too much...
I shouldn't have had that Coke that one time...
I shouldn't have tried to get that box down off my classroom shelf...
I should have drank more water....
I know that there was nothing I could have done to change things. However, I can't help but stop wondering.
How is work going?
The first day back at work was hard. When the kids arrived they didn't know what to say or do (much like adults don't know what to say or do). Many of them would not even look at me at first and, instead, just looked down at my belly (I didn't disappoint- I kept my muffin top there for them to look at.). P.S.- One girl even poked it. That's right. I was her Pillsbury Dough Boy for a split-second. She's lucky she still has all of her fingers.
Thankfully, my sister had her spring break so she spent the day with me at school grading papers and trying to help lessen the load of kids' questions and she also helped me talk with the kids about Maggie.
Like I said earlier, I am not going to be winning any awards for "Most Effective Teacher" (apologies to parents of students or my administrators) but we are hanging in there. I have talked to my class about Maggie and what happened and they know that I will be sad for awhile. They know that I think it is important for them to ask me questions and talk about things. They have asked a few questions, but not a lot. I'm sure it's nearly impossible to get your 10-year-old brain wrapped around the idea of death, especially the death of a baby. I mean, we as adults have a hard enough time with it.
But, my coworkers have been super-super supportive and have been very patient as I try to get back to normal, whatever that may be. I couldn't ask for better people to work with. I have gotten gifts, gift cards, and meals. But, I think more than any of those, their prayers, kind words, hugs, and shared tears have helped me more than anything. So thank you to my HES peeps.
Are you going to have more kids?
This is a difficult question. I wish I could say, "Yes, we are going to have kids as soon as possible." I wish I could say for sure that we will. I pray and hope that we will have more kids. However, many of you know that this pregnancy did not just come the moment we hoped to have children. It took us several years to conceive, even with the help of specialists. So...
Yes, I hope we can have more children. I would love to go through the whole pregnancy/birthing experience the way it should be. I want to have a happy ending. We will try again at some point when we get the okay from our doctors. And, if necessary, we will use specialists to help us (as much as I completely dread that right now).
This has been one of my biggest struggles with this entire situation. Maggie's death seemed completely unfair. It didn't seem right that my daughter died. However, it didn't seem right especially because Maggie was so, so wanted and prayed for. She wasn't a "We'll see what happens" baby. She was completely planned. She had been an answer to several years of doctor visits, inconvenient trips to Wichita, lots of doctor's bills, pills, and shots at midnight. She made all of those inconveniences worth it. Life finally seemed fair and right when she came along. And then, life seemed completely, completely unfair. It has felt like we can't catch a break- How can others can just think about having kids and they are pregnant while we have to rearrange our lives and budgets every month just to have another let down?
I worry that this was my one and only chance.
I worry about having to go through all of this again just for another heartbreak.
I worry that the doctors won't be able to help us.
I worry that even if they can I will have to grieve the loss of another child.
I worry that there could be 2 graves out in that pasture instead of just one.
But, I worry even more that I will never see those 2 pink lines again.