Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Thoughts of Late.

"Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me?" -Anonymous

Baby "Half Pipe" Griffin lost 1/29/2011, Baby "Short Stack" Griffin lost 4/2/2011

2011 has not been very nice to us so far. I'm not sure what we did to it, but it seems to have a "beef" with us. Our most recent heart break has been the loss of a second baby in less than three months. As I relayed in early February, we lost a baby at seven weeks gestation on 1/29/11. This was also the same time we were mourning the loss of my grandmother, as I started to miscarry the evening I arrived in New York for her funeral.

Much to my surprise and delight, I found out a month later that I was pregnant again! I was not expecting to get pregnant immediately after my miscarriage, but I was overjoyed to see another positive pregnancy test! As the pregnancy continued, I had the normal signs of a healthy pregnancy (i.e. morning sickness, body aches, etc...) and thought this baby would make it. Though after losing the last baby, early pregnancy became daunting and I tried to keep myself from getting excited until my first prenatal check up, which was scheduled at about the 10 weeks mark.

Very sadly, we didn't make it to that mark. On the evening of April 1, I started having horrible pain in my abdomen. Hoping that it was just painful gas, I stayed awake most of the night in agony, taking medicine and sipping peppermint tea. The next day, the pain started to move up into my chest and it became harder to breathe. I felt dizzy and faint, unable to move or lay down because of the pain. I finally decided to go to the E.R. at about 1pm that day. After an ultrasound, it was discovered that I was severely bleeding internally from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I had emergency surgery, which started out as laproscopic, but resulted in a 4 inch horizontal abdominal incision due to the amount of active blood loss. I was given 4 units of blood, as there was about a liter of free flow blood in my abdomen. The baby did not survive.

The recovery has been very painful, physically and emotionally. I'm finally getting enough strength to be up for more of the day and play with my 15 month old daughter. I've had several breakdowns and many tears. It's all the more difficult to recover from a back-to-back miscarriage when I'm recovering from surgery as well. I've also had several encouragements over the past week, from the surgeon who bowed her head to pray for us right before my operation, to the friends who have sent flowers and stopped by with a coffee, to all the people (especially Karen) who have helped to babysit Anna. And my husband has been so patient and loving as I've recovered, despite starting a new full time job this week as well.

Again, God has proven faithful to us. Besides the fact that my new health insurance coverage started the day before my surgery, God also took care of my body in miraculous ways! The original diagnosis was very bleak, as I had ovarian cancer two years ago, where I lost my left ovary and fallopian tube. When initially diagnosed as a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, the surgeon told us that it was likely for me to lose my remaining fallopian tube. This would leave me unable to have future children, unless I decided to do a surrogacy.

When she looked at the ultrasound, she was quite surprised to find that the baby had come through the healthy fallopian tube just fine and had implanted at the base of the already damaged fallopian tube! The surgeon said this happened in .02% of ectopic pregnancies. There was still the potentiality of having to with go a hysterectomy since the point of bleeding was actually in the uterus. Thankfully, for the situation at hand, I had the best of outcomes, resulting in a successful surgery and the ability to try (and hope) again. We are to wait a year before trying again.

Over the past week, I've reflected a lot about the past few months, as well as the past few years. We've gone through many sorrows. I am so thankful for my healthy toddler and my loyal husband. I wrote while pregnant with Anna:

Her name will be Anna Elise Griffin... both first and middle names are Hebrew of course, as her daddy is an Old Testament scholar! Anna means "Grace" and Elise is a derivative of Elizabeth meaning "God has made a covenant." So together, our little girl's name means, "God has made a covenant of Grace." What could be better, theologically and etymologically?

After recent events, I see her more and more as my little grace child. Her pregnancy was so smooth and easy after my scary bout with ovarian cancer, and she continues to be healthy, happy and active. We're so very blessed to have her.

Though I hadn't heard this song in a couple years, the lyrics to Avalon's song, "You were There," suddenly came to my mind the other day and I wanted to share it with you. He has always been there, even when we don't understand the whys. Even when we don't understand Calvary.  By the way, after my vertical incision from my cancer surgery and my horizontal incision from my ectopic pregnancy surgery, I'm left with a very distinctive cross on my belly, right over my womb. God is with me always.

"We didn't have to look into your eyes to fall in love with you. We didn't have to hear you cry to know you loved us too. We didn't need to hold your hand to cherish you for always. We shared our hearts, you touched our souls. You gave us memories we'll always hold dear. Our hearts ache since you departed too soon. But a parent's love does not end with death. For you are "our child". Forever our love is yours."

Our Family, minus two, March 2011.

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