Wednesday, November 8, 2017

our holy little soul

(Disclaimer: this post contains terminology pertaining to the female reproductive system, if that makes you uncomfortable, please read no further.)

On the feast of All Saints I discovered I was pregnant. 2 days later I began to miscarry.

About a week before I took that pregnancy test Joseph announced at lunch that "mommy has a baby in her belly!", and since I had just finished the bodily functions that women receive to confirm that they are not pregnant only a week prior to his little announcement, I did not think it necessary to take a test. Clear that bodily function was something else entirely, but I didn't know that at the time.

All Saints' day came and all the kids were sick so we had to cancel plans with friends for that day. I had slept terribly and complained to Mike that I was waking up with a bad headache every single day. That day I had another one, so I medicated with my typical Tylenol/caffeine cocktail and drank tons of water, but something else was going on-- the coffee smelled and tasted awful, I could not stop running to the bathroom to pee, I felt nauseous and no food sounded good to me whatsoever.

After everyone had gotten to Mass, and I took the kids for a special McDonald's feast day lunch, I got the boys in their beds for naps and collapsed into mine for one. But then I had to pee again-- I had literally just gone right before I laid down so I decided I would just grab one of the tiny pregnancy test strips from my huge Amazon prime collection and take it. I actually said these words to myself right before I took it: "only the Blessed Mother just finds herself with child, you do not need to worry about that happening to you."

I know the Creighton fertility method well, and had been (lazily) charting signs for months and had known with "confidence" that my extended nursing of Fred was keeping me infertile (I was having anovulatory cycles, I had seen my doctor about it and he said it was normal). Plus, I had had a cycle only 9 days before I took this pregnancy test. There was simply no way it could be positive.

And then it was. Very positive right away. WHAT?! HOW!?!? I ran down to tell Mike who had not yet left for work meetings and we just stared in shock at each other, and laughed, and celebrated. And I worried. I knew it couldn't be right-- what was that cycle? I took another test.

Positive.

I went to the store that night and bought one of those super expensive ones that says the word on it and...

 Right there.

That night I cried with Mike about my worries-- the first of which was how on earth I had just had a cycle and then gotten so many positive tests. I read online that that can happen with ectopic pregnancies, so I slept fitfully that night and got to the doctor asap the next day.

That day was the longest day ever, but by the end we were reassured that they saw nothing ectopic on the ultrasound but nothing in the uterus either. They said that my levels indicated I was very early along and so maybe they just couldn't see anything for that reason. I was scheduled to go in 48 hours later for more blood work to see if my levels were going up. Naomi wrote me this sweet note while I waited to ultrasound results:

For the next 24 hours I hoped so much that everything was just ok, we talked about the baby, hoped that he/she was growing and the kids even started to name him/her. But by the afternoon of Friday I started spotting and knew it wasn't ok. The tests the next day confirmed what I already knew and this sudden, expected joy was gone as soon as it had come to us.

One thing I struggled with initially was why God even had us find out-- or why not find out once the miscarriage started so that all of our hopes wouldn't have gotten up so high? And I immediately felt the answer strongly in my heart: God wanted us to know about this little soul for as long as we could, He wanted this person to be rejoiced over and loved and accepted and welcomed into this family, even for just a few days.

I know I don't need to blog about everything, and maybe to some people this seems like something I should keep quiet, or hide in my heart, and I am in many ways- there are many details I will not share here. But this loss as well as my first miscarriage have been something I've felt so strongly that I need to write about. I think it's partly because they happened so fast, their little lives were here and then gone in the blink of an eye and I am left wondering whether it was all real: did that little person exist? Was it all a terrible dream?

They did exist, their little lives started the exact same way my 5 other childrens' lives started but for some reason, which I won't know until I get to heaven, they were cut extremely short.

The other reason is that I don't want to forget. I know it will fade and this pain that I feel will fade and all the details will meld into each other in my mushy mom-brain and I want to have as many down on paper as I can. I want this little person to be documented in this place along with her brothers and sisters.

Naomi and Bernadette were both Saint Agnes (one of Rome and one of Assisi) for All Saints' day and Lucy was Maria Goretti, so we named our little one Agnes Maria. Mike and I were also married at Saint Agnes parish, which was my home parish where I grew up. We entrust our little soul to Saints Agnes of Rome and Agnes of Assisi, and to Saint Maria Goretti and ask for their prayers for us.

Saint Agnes of Rome and Assisi and Saint Maria Goretti, pray for us!

18 comments :

  1. Oh, Ana. I'm so very sorry for your loss. It is a beautiful and holy thing to celebrate that life, no matter how short. May he or she now be interceding before the throne of God for their family here on earth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Ana I'm so sorry to hear this 😔😔😔 Praying for you guys!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss! Praying for peace and comfort!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I'm so so sorry to hear this. Prayers for all of you!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Praying for you in your sorrow 🙏🏻 May your little Agnes Maria comfort you from the arms of the Heavenly Father 💗

    ReplyDelete
  6. Ana I'm so sorry to hear about your baby - I'm sure it hurts no matter how early, and I'm really grateful God gave you that couple days to celebrate her life. <3

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am very sorry for your loss. Praying for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I truly believe it is always better know. All of creation is good, therefore (and I mean truly, therefore) we are better for knowing. So sorry for your loss.

    ReplyDelete
  9. So we'll written, Ana. You're all in our prayers, Sweetie.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I’m so sorry. St Agnes, pray for us

    ReplyDelete
  11. So sorry for your loss :( I had an ectopic pregnancy and the same symptoms. It didn't make sense that I was pregnant on day 10 of my cycle. I woke up and started hemorrhaging, so didn't know I was pregnant before I miscarried. It's such a hard thing to go through, prayers for you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. So, so sorry. It's such a bittersweet feeling to have your own personal intercessor in heaven. <3

    ReplyDelete
  13. So sorry to hear this! Be assured of my prayers.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I had an early miscarriage after really short irregular cycles at the beginning of this year and I wondered similar things - why did God let it happen if He was just going to take him/her back so quickly. My four year old named the baby Rose and we are due at Christmas time with a little girl that we are giving Jane for a middle name, the patron of forgotten people.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Oh, friend. I am so, so sorry. And I can relate so much to this post. I love her name, though!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I'm so terribly sorry. We had an early miscarriage before our firstborn, long ago. It's so horrible. You and your family will never forget your sweet child. And your baby will never forget you, either.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm so sorry. Your post brought me to tears as we have had 3 very early miscarriages, and I have been through the same emotional rollercoaster of at first wondering why God even let us find out ... and then being reassured that it IS important to know and celebrate and pray for this little life. It's also been helpful to me to realize that the deepest desire of our hearts as parents is for our children to be with Jesus, and these precious little souls will never know any pain or heartbreak. But we will always miss them and wonder who they would have been. Prayers for you and your family.

    ReplyDelete