The Incredible Shrinking Krista

Thursday, December 13, 2012

God Knows What We Need

Sometimes it becomes crystal clear that God knows exactly what someone really needs to be comforted.

Last night I spent the evening in the ER with my baby girl.  She has pneumonia so we were getting paraded from her to the X-ray room, back to the treatment room.  I had this incredibly uneasy feeling all night in the ER because it was just 5 years ago tonight that I was admitted because our son had died and I was in labor and needed to deliver him.

Let me go back for those that don't know this part of my history.  We have 3 amazing children, and I am also the mommy to a baby in heaven.  It was our 3rd pregnancy, and though unplanned and unexpected, I was thrilled beyond compare when I discovered that I was pregnant.  It was definitely weird, as I had discovered my previous 2 pregnancies in late-October, and it was only Labor Day weekend.  The pregnancy was going along swimmingly.  We got to see our little baby wiggling, dancing and sucking his thumb at his 12 week ultrasound.  My dad was so enthralled with the images on the ultrasound, he was crowding out the ultrasound tech trying to get a better view of the screen.  I felt so blessed when I hit the 13 week mark and was so relieved that I would never feel the despair of a miscarriage.  Things were cruising right along, and the week after Thanksgiving, Barney and I took the kids to Disney World.  Though I was only 16 weeks along, it was glaringly obvious that I was pregnant in all of our pictures.  When you're only 5'2" tall, there's not much of anywhere for the baby to go, but out.  By the way, the overly sensitive sense of smell on a pregnant woman, at Disney at Christmas is torture.  That carousel you can see behind us is entirely edible.  It smelled of gingerbread deliciousness.  While we were at Disney Justin decided to taste-test the hand rails at the Magic Kingdom and found himself a good case of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease.  He was kind enough to share that virus with me.

Five years ago today, I woke up to work from home and found myself in a lot of pain.  Back pain to be specific.  I decided to work in my PJ's for the majority of the day and shower later for the sake of comfort.  I started to realize that the pain was coming and going at a very regular intervals, specifically every 8 minutes.  I became more and more uncomfortable, so about 6:30 I called my OB and let him know I was having contractions.  He told me I was too early for pre-term labor and it was likely a UTI and my uterus was irritated, thus contracting.  He told me to call back at 8:30 when the office opened and they would squeeze me in.  I had no idea that my life was about to fall apart.  I went in to the OB that morning around 10:15 or so, and he verified I had a UTI and just wanted to check on the baby.  He couldn't find the heartbeat and I jokingly said, "That's fine.  I was secretly hoping that the baby wouldn't cooperate so we could find out the sex of the baby for Barney's birthday tomorrow".  We went into the ultrasound room and my world shattered.  Still no heartbeat.  Internal ultrasound, still no heartbeat.  The doctor was flustered and sent me for an in-depth ultrasound with a high-risk doctor and in his haste, sent me to one that was closed for the day.  It was immediately evident when he did the ultrasound that our baby was gone.  He was so peaceful, no movement, no tell-tale flicker to indicate a heart beat.  I just laid there in shock, and cried.  I asked the doctor what was next and he said to go home and wait for my regular doctor to call.  I did.  Our pastor came over with some yummy cinnamon buns to pray with us, and while we were praying, my water broke.  A few minutes later the phone rang, and it was my OB.

Dr. Seidel told us what to expect, told us what our options were.  He cried on the phone with me, and spoke to Barney extensively.  Not long after that we headed to Duke Medical Center to have our angel baby.  I had had 2 previous c-sections and had been on blood thinners for the last 4-1/2 months.  All of these things meant that laboring could cause a ruptured uterus, and ultimately, my death, so we decided to err on the side of caution.  I fully intended to take advantage of any and all medications they would allow me to because the physical pain was NOTHING compared to the emotional pain.  How do you labor for 24 hours knowing that your baby is dead?  How do you maintain any level of sanity knowing that the baby you are in so much pain for is already gone?  How do you do any of this with and hint of dignity, knowing that you are about to deliver a dead baby on your husband's birthday?  Our precious Henry was born on Friday morning, December 14 at around 6:30.  We named him Henry James, after our paternal grandfathers.  He was perfect in every way save for 1, his missing heartbeat.  Henry weighed a little over 4 oz, and was 7-1/2 inches long.  I have never been so lost or felt so cheated in my life.  The doctors and nurses at Duke were unmatched in their care for me.  They were so peaceful, and accommodating in every way.    My parents and Barney's both came to the hospital and held our angel before they took him away.  Every year, on the 13th and 14th of December I am on the verge of a melt-down the entire day.  The slightest thing can set me off, from seeing a pregnant woman, to wishing Barney a happy birthday.  Last week I was completely unable to look at a friend's ultrasound pictures because it just reminded me all too much of what I was going through this time 5 years ago.  We have gone on to have Ella Sue.  She will never replace Henry, EVER, but it does make everything a little easier to cope with.

Being home with her today and tomorrow, due to her asthma, getting to snuggle with her, hug her, and spend time with her and Ada today has been exactly what my soul needed.  I don't feel as edgy today as I usually do on December 13th.  Tomorrow, she and I are going to make daddy some birthday cake/cupcakes, and spend the day together.  I know it's probably unfair, but I might take this day off from now on, just to spend it with my girl and not have to be anything more than her mom on this day.

I don't know if I'll make it to work out tomorrow, it'll depend on how she's feeling and if my parents feel comfortable watching her and all of her germs.  I would love to workout, but being her mommy is the best thing I can be tomorrow.

I know this is totally off the normal topic of my blog, but sometimes, for me, writing helps me to function and get things off my chest.  We'll be back to our regular programming with my next post, but I really needed to put this all down today.

Until next time.....

Henry's Mommy


  1. Love ya Krista n family and your not alone!!! This is beautifully written and whatever you need I'm here. My angel baby passed n my arms 13 urs ago at 5 wks old from a heart condition. <3

    1. I am so sorry that you have been through this. I remember when it happened the multiple cards I got from people telling me that they too had been through it. It is so awful!