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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Remembering our precious baby

Remembering Baby Lee...

On my sister's Wedding Day
April 1996

When I met my husband, I was a single mother with three young kids. My oldest daughter, Ashley was 9 years old, my son, Kapono was 6 years old and my youngest daughter, Saphire was 5 years old.  We got engaged after going steady for 1 year, then were married 3-1/2 months later.

On our Wedding Day
April 1997

We agreed to wait till Saphire, the youngest was in her last year of elementary school to start trying to have a baby. The wait was almost 3 years.

When we started trying I was so excited. I longed to have a baby with my husband from before we were married. I knew it was what I wanted.

The months went by and no pregnancy.

All of a sudden, everyone around us was getting pregnant and having babies.

After years of charting, spending money on ovulation kits, pregnancy tests, infertility drugs, and then one round of Intrauterine Insemination, Five years after we were married, we finally got pregnant. I took a pregnancy test at home and was a little confused because the line was so light. But it was positive. I got right on the computer to type up some scriptures and poems in a letter to my husband to tell him the great news. I sealed it in an envelope with the positive pregnancy test.  

I remember the look on his face and he softly mumbled the words, "are you sure?".  I gave him the envelope when he was barely awake.

We were spending that day with friends and family.  There was a movie and trimming the Christmas tree to follow at our house.  When we went to the movie, we handed everyone the letter I gave to my husband for them to receive the news that way. Everyone was so excited.

When my dad read the letter, he started to cry.  He said he knew how much we wanted a baby and how long we had tried.  It was such a touching moment I will never forget.

The following weekday, I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers at work.  My mom had ordered flowers to congratulate me on the baby.  It was big and colorful and it sat on a file cabinet between me and another co-worker.  No one really knew what it was for because no one said anything.  My co-worker always got flowers from her husband so everyone just thought it was another special occasion for her.  Eventually everyone in the office caught on and was so happy for me.

Early on, I started having some cramping.  Then I started spotting lightly.  I knew deep down inside something was wrong.  My doctor said everything seemed fine.  Because this was an assisted pregnancy, we knew pretty early on that I was expecting.  At about 5-1/2 weeks we went in to check the heartbeat, there was nothing.  Doctor said to wait a few weeks and he would check again.  So we went back in, nothing.  So he scheduled an ultrasound in radiology at the hospital.

As soon as I got into the room, I suspected the worse.  My heart sank and I was so scared.  On the back of the door was a chart.  A chart which maps out the way baby grows and how big baby is at certain stages of the pregnancy.  I knew... baby was not as big as the baby on the picture even at the 5-1/2 week scan.  I mentioned to my husband about what my thoughts were about the chart and why we were there.

The technician came in, started the scan, asked me, "How far along did you say you were?"  "I'll be right back, I'm going to call the Ob/Gyn on staff and will get her to try to find the heartbeat".

Still no heartbeat.

The Doctor came in, started to scan, asked me again, "How far along are you?".

How many times are you people going to ask me this??!!!  Isn't it on your paper???

The Doctor explained that sometimes, it's hard to see and sometimes the dates get mixed up.  We'll try again in a week.

It was Christmas Eve.  I had a horrible holiday.  All I could think of was something was wrong and I couldn't concentrate on anything else.

A week passed, it was New Years Eve.  We went back in for our scan and the same Doctor came in to do it.  She said there was no heartbeat.  She called my Doctor and said for us to head up to his office so he can explain things to us.  

When we got to his office, I was kind of in shock.  I knew what was going on but not really at the same time.  We sat down and he told us that there was no heartbeat.  I didn't understand.  He told me I had what is called a missed miscarriage.  I had never heard of it before but I heard miscarriage loud and clear.

I was devastated!!!  He explained that it was a missed miscarriage.  The pregnancy just stops and you don't notice till pregnancy symptoms start to vanish and when they do scans, the baby has no heartbeat and stops growing.

I couldn't stop crying.

I chose to let baby expel naturally because I could not willingly choose to terminate my pregnancy by allowing him to do a D&C to remove my pregnancy from my body.

I remember the ride home.  I was crying so hard and was just so depressed.  I didn't want to talk to anyone.  I asked my husband to get me some chicken strips from a drive through and some juice.  It was the only thing that made me feel better when I was nauseated from the pregnancy.  We went home, crawled into bed and just cried.  It was so hard.  I remember those feelings as I write this.  Eventually we both fell asleep.  When we woke up we knew we had to tell everyone.  Our kids, I worried what they would think.

At that time we found out we were going to lose our baby, I was 9 weeks pregnant.  I carried my baby inside me for another 2-1/2 weeks.  The whole time I just prayed that it wasn't true, that God would intercede and my baby would be fine.  It was hard.  I went to work and my friends were consoling me.   I explained to them that I didn't have the miscarriage yet.  It was so confusing.

I remember the day it happened.  It was January 12, 2004.  It was like I was in labor, the pain was so unbearable.  I was at home with no medical staff at a few days away from being 3 months pregnant.  No one told me it was going to be like this. It was excruciating.  The entire event lasted about 6 hours.  I was so sad.  Grieving for my baby who I had dreamed about, planned for, had dreams and hopes for.

We did not know the sex of our baby.  My husband likes to think it was a son.  On this, what would have been our baby's 7th Birthday, my husband gave me a name.  He said to me "this is what I want baby's name to be"

Brandon Keoni Siu Luhng Lee

My heart melted.

We had never talked about it before.  All these years I thought I was being too emotional about it by remembering baby's memorial day and birthday and always talking about it every year.  I have come to realize that our baby is on his heart, always has been.

I will never forget.  It has gotten easier to deal with but some days are very difficult.

As the years go by I wonder what our baby would be doing if not for being taken so soon.

I do have a better understanding and compassion for those who have suffered from miscarriage.  For that I am grateful.  I know God is using me in a way he wouldn't have been able to if I had not personally gone through this.  It has hit close to home because my oldest daughter also suffered a missed miscarriage early in her pregnancy.  I was a help to her because of what i went through.  We both comfort one another when our babies anniversaries and birthday's come around.

God has truly blessed my husband and I because since this tragedy, God has blessed us with 3 daughters.  All with their different stories which I will share with everyone at another time.

Thank you for sharing with me in remembering our baby.

All my heart,


Kimberly Kay said...

Thank you for being so brave to open up & share your story with us. I can't imagine your heartache and wish I could just hug you. Enjoy your family and take care.

Lacee said...

Oh Salena this REALLY touched my heart. My 1st pregnancy ended in a miscarriage as well. I still have trouble opening up about whole experience and I wonder also what my life would be like if my baby was here. Thank you for being so brave to share your story. Hopefully one day I'll be brave enough to share mine too. ::HUGS::

Katie said...

Salena, how courageous to share this with all of us...I cannot even begin imagine the emotions surrounding you and your family.
I'm sending X's and O's your way!

rach. said...

you are such a strong woman - thank you for sharing this.

love, rach.

Salena @ A Little Piece of Me said...

Thank you for all your kind encouraging words. I am so touched by your comments.

Lacee: I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage. It is so hard to share for some but one day maybe you'll be in a place that it will be okay to open up. By sharing my story it helps me and I know it helps others. Hugs to you. :)

Sarah {the fontenot four} said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Today we are remembering our two babies - one stillborn at 24 weeks and the other miscarried at 8 weeks. Those were two of the most difficult seasons in my life. It is helpful to know that we are not alone in our experiences. Hugs to you my friend!

Laura Funk said...

Wow! Your story is so touching! I too have suffered 2 miscarriages. One at 7 weeks and one very similar to yours. Baby died at around 7 weeks and I carried her to almost 14 weeks before I labored for 3 hours at home. Thank you for sharing your story...it truly helps to hear others stories.


Sarah said...

Thanks for sharing your story. I just lost a baby. I was only 6 weeks, but it was an ectopic pregnancy. I'm still recovering from surgery. It helps to read stories about early miscarriages.