In blogs by my IF sisters who are now expecting, one recurring theme is how happy they are to finally feel their babies move inside them.  For me, there still have been no distinctive “kicks” or “flutters,” no “aha! that’s the kid!” moments.  You know those decorative marble balls you can buy and put in a bowl on your coffee table?  For me, I feel more of a “rolling” sensation, like one of those heavy decorative balls is rolling back and forth inside my abdomen.  It’s especially disorienting when the “ball” rolls in the opposite direction than I’m going.  Or sometimes I’ll be sitting perfectly still and suddenly I’ll have the sensation of my stomach dropping out, like when the rollercoaster suddenly dives down from the top of the track.  Although the sensations are getting more frequent, they’re still just a few a day.  I’m so jealous of women who feel those clear kicks and know without a doubt it’s their baby thriving.  Oh, how I can’t wait to feel more.

Early on, when the nausea was just starting to get really bad, I was assigned to work in one of our offices I don’t get to go to often, but always enjoy visiting.  On the way there I threw up in the car, getting some in my hair and on my scrub shirt in the process.  Fortunately, one of the sweet nurses at the office found me a paper lab coat to cover the stain, and I was able to rinse the ends of my hair out and roll it up into a bun.  Then she gave me that first hint of relief, a Zofran from her own stash, and encouraged me to call my doc the next day and get a script of my own.  She went on to share with me her joy, that she was also expecting, just two weeks behind me.  She was the first person in real life I’d met who was also expecting.  It was fastinating to see the differences in the way we viewed our pregnancies – she was so confident, so sure in her ability to have a baby, while I still felt like I was getting over a bad case of food poisoning.  I found it was fun to be excited with someone going through the same thing, though she’s never faced infertility.  She was the first to show me it’s ok to completely joyful while pregnant, even if I was too afraid to go there myself.

This Thursday was my first day to go back to that office since then.  I couldn’t wait to tell her how grateful I was that she introduced me to the Zofran (despite the insane constipation), to see how she was feeling, and to ask her if she could feel her baby moving yet.  Only, her reply was to tell me that at just 16 weeks, just three weeks before, her baby had been born, and had died.  The whole bustling office seemed to fade away in the background and suddenly it was just the two of us, linked together by an unimaginable loss.  She told me how she had started to feel ill, how she had been concerned because she had been spotting regularly throughout the whole pregnancy.  How she knew for sure what was happening when she began to have contractions.  The nurses in the ER told her they were just cramps, to go home and get some rest.  She told me she knew it was over when in the middle of the night, her water broke.  She was rushed to L&D, where she went through full labor, just like she did when her 1 1/2 year old son was born.  The only difference was that it didn’t take much pushing, her baby just kind of slid out easily.  She told me it was a boy, and he just fit in the palm of their hands as she and her husband looked over every inch of their perfectly formed baby.  Both of us had tears in our eyes as she told me how they cried together, how kind the nurses were, how special the pictures they took for them are.  She told me how she’d always wanted three sons, how excited she had been to have her second son on the way, how if felt to hold her second son for what felt like only a moment.  And all I could think and say was, it’s not fair, you had made it to the safety zone, out of the first trimester, they should’ve listened to you, why didn’t they do something sooner?  She seemed so calm as she explained thatt here probably had been a hole in the uterus from the beginning that led to the bleeding and allowed an infection to form between the uterine wall and the placenta.  Unfortunately the antibiotics didn’t work, so when the infection became too great, her body wanted to expel all of the contents of the uterus, including her son.

She seems to have made her peace with it, but I could see the flush cross her face a few times, the tears brim in her eyes, and I wish I could’ve done more than listen and hold her hand.  It doesn’t lessen what they’ve gone through, but I’m so glad they don’t struggle with infertility.  Now that one full cycle has successfully passed, they are already trying again, she’s confident they’ll be expecting again soon.  She seems eager to be pregnant again as soon as possible.

On the way home, I found myself crying, for her and for all she’s lost, and for all I’m afraid I’ll lose.  I’m sure it’s the hormones.  But I can’t help but think that one day, when she looks at the three children she plans for, she’ll still see a shadow between her first two, and there will always be a sorrowful yearning to know the young man he would’ve become.

I’ve never felt so grateful to feel the ball roll over in my tummy, or more jealous of those who feel more.  Oh, Lord, how I can’t wait to feel more.


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sweet G
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 07:32:44

    What a powerful post! Life is so unpredictable and even at 32 weeks I’m still very cautious and concerned. I’m sorry for your friend’s loss. It must have been incredibly devastating for her.

    As to feeling the baby move, I didn’t have any real movement until between 24 and 26 weeks. Like you I had those sensations, or I’d feel slight little nudges or pokes. Now it’s very obvious when she’s moving around. Still weird and amazing at the same time.


  2. Pie
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 11:06:46

    Wow, what a sad story for your co-worker. That is so tough.

    As for the movement, rolling is surely the baby. Some are just more wiggle/rollers and others are more punch/kickers. Either is fine, and normal. Trust me, a roll can be better than a punch in the bladder. And it will get stronger and more frequent as time passes. I’m at 31 weeks, and in the last 2 weeks movement has become much more pronounced, I think because she is running out of room. So be patient, and enjoy the rolls!


    • iamstacey
      Nov 13, 2010 @ 21:05:36

      I love the rolls, even when they make me clumsy! It sounds like the ladies who are already feeling regular movement might just be a lucky few. Maybe I’m not as far behind as I thought I was. Maybe I’m normal! Thank you for telling me what it’s been like for you. Makes me feel a little more confident.


  3. Amber
    Nov 13, 2010 @ 17:31:11

    I felt really noticeable movement around 24 weeks but it was still on and off even then. I loved it when it became more predictable at 28 weeks. Best feeling ever and one I miss all the time!

    It’s crazy how linked we all are whether it’s through losses or IF or miscarriages. I had a nurse hold my hand before my D&C and whisper that she had lost a baby 20 years ago and that although she still misses that 1st baby, she went on to have a healthy daughter. It gave me such hope and I didn’t feel nearly as alone. I’m sure you gave that lady comfort.


    • iamstacey
      Nov 13, 2010 @ 21:10:52

      I hope so. My heart just broke for her and her family. I wish I could’ve done more.
      Sounds like I’ve just been expecting too much too soon. I’ll be 23 weeks tomorrow – maybe with a little patience, I’ll start feeling more rolls and kicks soon!


  4. Aisha
    Nov 14, 2010 @ 19:56:09

    That took my breath away. How painful. I’m so sorry for her- I wonder also why it has to be this way. Sigh.

    You handled it well, and kindly. You knew not to brush it away with an awkward expression, because of what you’ve been through. One of my most painful memories is many years ago, I had a similar conversation and learned similar news from an acquaintence that her child died at 18 weeks in utero- and I got so awkward uncomfortable and nervous I didn’t know what to say. Just “oh I’m sorry,” and I hardly knew what else to say. Its before I learned of this beautiful community and how you should respond in circumstances like that. I hope its of some comfort that you probably are one of the few people she knew as acquaintances (and perhaps people in general) that handled it as delicately and as compassionately as you could have.


    • iamstacey
      Nov 14, 2010 @ 21:19:55

      I hope so. It seemed like she really did want to talk about it, and I was so glad to listen. I hope she had good news the next time I get to go work there.


  5. athena
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 08:19:36

    oh that is so sad!!
    i hope you feel lots of kicks soon!


  6. katery
    Nov 15, 2010 @ 20:47:29

    ugh, heatbreaking. i hope you feel some sharper kicks and jabs soon, i remember the rolling and the first kicks i felt were like gentle taps, kind of like bubbles popping.


    • iamstacey
      Nov 16, 2010 @ 10:31:23

      It has really helped reading everyone else’s experiences. I think I just need to be more patient! Having the heartbeat monitor helps, too. 🙂


  7. linds
    Nov 17, 2010 @ 11:11:59

    HEy Stacey! i just wanted to take a minute to thank you for popping by my blog and wish me well on my IUI. Unfortunately i don’t think the timing is going to be good on this one, but what can you do? I am so happy to read after trying for so long that you are pregnant! That is fantastic news and gives me hope that it can happen for us too. 🙂 I’ll definitely keep popping back here to read your posts.


  8. Stacey
    Nov 19, 2010 @ 15:47:13

    Hey friend. That story brought chills down my spine and tears to my eyes. I’m glad she found a sympathetic ear and a person like you to share her story with.

    It’s good to check in with you and see that things are going well. I was so happy to see that you are more than halfway there now and that your last u/s was great, even though you’re making us wait to find out the gender. 🙂
    Hoping you’ll get to feel those baby pokes and kicks really soon! I started feeling them right at week 22. Don’t let people freak you out about feeling it a bit late!

    Thinking of you!


    • iamstacey
      Nov 20, 2010 @ 00:58:43

      I’m so happy you and baby Lily are doing so great! She’s just beautiful! Thanks for stopping by and saying hi, I know you have your hands full. 🙂


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