Saturday, July 29, 2006

Baby Charlsie Grace

In my last post I mentioned that I had not posted in awhile and that there was a good reason for that. Tonight I feel like sharing that reason.

I will start from the begining so you can get the full story. Several months ago I became extremly sick. So sick in fact that we got blood and urine tests done. They came back and all our Dr./midwife could tell from them was that I had a virus. We were not too worried until I discovered all of my symptoms linked to an illness called Cholestsis of Pregnancy. One of the risks with this sickness is stillbirth of your baby. I became concerned because I had not felt the baby move as much as normal plus I was itching like crazy which is one of the main symptions of this illness. We had a mission team down at the time so I tried to take it easy as much as possible.

When the team left we prayed and decided that I should head to the states to monitor the baby and just make sure everything was ok. We decided this on a Sunday and I flew out by myself the next day, Monday. On Tues. I had an appointment with my OBGYN. I was admited to the hospital for testing. They looked for a heartbeat but were having trouble finding it. Then they brought in an ultrasound machine. They hooked me up and after a few seconds the technician looked at me and said, "I am so sorry there is no heartbeat." I could not believe that my sweet baby was dead. I started to cry and asked if they were sure. There was also no amniotic fluid. The worst part is that I had just felt her move the day before.

They were very kind and super concerned for me at the hospital.I called Michael and he and I cried over the phone together. He then went to work getting a flight booked for himself and the kids. They were set to arrive that same day at 4pm. I called my wonderful grandmother and she agreed to come pick me up and meet them at the airport. My cousin Annie and her son also came down, they were such a blessing! After the hospital I drove myself to my brothers. I enjoyed the time to myself. I was able to screem and cry all I wanted to.

At one point that day I saw a newborn with his mommy and it took everything in me not to burst into tears. When I saw Michael at the airport we just held each other tight and cried for a few minutes. I was so glad he was able to come so quickly! We had lots of decisions to make and we needed each others support.

We decided that we would be induced and settled on that Fri. the 16th. In between that time we made funeral arraingments and spent quality time with the kids. My worst fear was that someone would ask about my pregnancy, but thank God no one ever did.

Thursday the 15th of June we left the kids with some good friends. It was nice having someone we trused to leave them with. Then we drove to a hotel in San Antonio since we had to be at the hospital early.

When we arrived at the hospital and before they induced me we were told that I had contracted Hepatitis A and that I also had Cholestasis of Pregnancy. The Cholestasis we believe lead to the stillbirth. They then induced me and said it would probably take about 12 hours for the baby to be born since I was only 32 weeks along. We started the process and I was scared to death, I mean I have done natural childbirth with the other two but I was at home and I let it happen naturally, but I had heard so many horror stories about induceing that I was really scared. God was so good to us though, we got a wonderful Christian nurse who printed out information on Hep. A for us, reasured us and was just a true comfort. I was really feeling sorry for whoever had to help us, because no one wants to deliever a dead baby, but she never made us feel badly. The contractions started coming and with in 45 minutes I really had to concentrate through them, I told Michael and the nurse that they felt like transition contractions, but I thought that could not be so since so little time had passed.

We had decided in advance that I would take a sedative for the pain since it would not affect the baby because she was already gone. I asked for the sedative and three minutes afterwards I felt the urge to push, well I told the nurse this but did not think it was real since it had only been an hour since everything had been put into motion. Well she checked and sure enough the baby was ready to be pushed out. I barely pushed 2 times and out she came. I told Michael that through this short labor and easy pushing I really felt that God loved me, I think I had doubted it since the day I had found out our baby had died.

Baby Charlsie Grace, as we decided to call her, was truly beautiful. She was 3lb. 2oz. and 18 in. long. We named her Charlsie after my grandmother and myself. We had decided on that name even before I got pregnant with her. And Grace because it was only by HIS grace that we got through this horrible situtaion. We held her for awhile and then a wonderful lady came in to clean her up and dress her. This sweet lady suffered a loss herself and so now makes it her mission to help out with stillbirths whenever she is on duty. I was so blessed by her act of kindness. I did not think my baby woudl be treated like all the rest but she was, she was cared for, talked to, and made beautiful by this kind woman.

My brother came bearing breakfast taco's, thank you Pete dear! Hospital food really is as bad as they say it is. And my cousin Annie and her son came too. I was so happy for their presence. Michael and I spent some more time with our baby girl, and about 6 hours after she was born we said goodbye to her and went to our hotel. I was glad to be out of the hospital, but I missed our baby girl, my arms ached to hold her.

The next day we went back to Kerrville to get the kids. That Sunday we burried our little girl on top of my grandparents property in Hunt. She is under a tree in a beautiful spot. Michael carried her little white cofine and laid her in her grave, I thought it was fitting since she was daddy's little girl.

We spent the next week doing family things. It was a wonderful time to reconect and spend time together.

We still miss our little girl very much but, God has been faithful in giving us peace and grace, and I do not know how we would have gotten through this time without all of the prayers of our friends and family.
Well I know I have left some parts out and this is very very long but I want it written down for myself and for those who wish to know.
In memory of Charlsie Grace, I love you baby girl!

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's Been Awhile

Well it has been a while since my last blog, but there are good resons for that. I will post about them soon. But for now I just wanted to show a picture of hubby and I when we went out on a date last night. Our summer staff watched the kids for us and we got all dressed up and went out on the town for some much needed couple time. My good friend Christa picked out my dress for me, after Michael asked her to at the last minute, for my birthday. I love it! We went to our favorite restaurant, La Toscana, and had wonderful adult conversation, without any interuptions except when the waiter brought more delicious food!