July 15th (Friday)
Today was our first appointment in two weeks. Wednesday I was officially 18 weeks. We got to the office and there were quite a few people there. They called this one lady up and told her they didn't actually have her scheduled for an appointment. We started panicking because the office called me last week (when I wasn't suppose to have an appointment) and said I did. What if I was scheduled last week not THIS week. We worried for a bit. Actually, I had downed an huge glass of apple juice before leaving (this helps baby be more wiggly for ultrasounds) and it was making me VERY sick. I went to the bathroom even to throw up. We never got called up to be told to leave. We were finally called back. It was a different tech than we'd had every single time we've been (in retrospect, I'm a little sad. I liked her). We went in and as soon as she put the wand thing on my belly and we saw her, I knew this was it. My heart just kept sinking as we watched her look around but we saw no movements. I reached for Keith's hand (I was already crying by this time). The tech switched it to pick up/look for heart beat. Nothing... Keith asked if that meant she was gone. She said she wasn't positive but it didn't look great. She finally told us she couldn't find anything and was going to get our doctor. She left the room and we both sobbed. Ada was with us and Keith told her baby was gone and sweet tender Ada started crying. The tech came back in with Dr. Peterson and they tried again. Still, nothing.... He addressed us and told us she was gone and to come back to his exam room and we'd talk about what happens next. I got cleaned off and we went back to his exam room. He came in and talked about the next step. They would call the hospital and set up a time for me to go in and be induced. He said that because it was so early the body would take a while to respond so it could take up to a day to deliver. He told us it was up to us, but he recommended that we take some time with her after she is delivered. We would be able to hold her and take pictures, but that she would look different. The hygroma around her neck and her intestines would make things look even stranger, but that it still helps to bring closure if you take time together. This of course had been our tentative plan. He said they'd call me in the next little bit to let me know when to head to the hospital (we wanted the next available). I feel a bit bad that I said I wanted the next available so we could "be done." I didn't mean that I don't care and just flippantly want to move on, but I've been under incredible emotional stress for 2 months and I just can't stand the thought of dragging it on more. I just want closure and be able to heal and stop aching! He was very kind and told us that technically he is not on duty this weekend, but that he would come in and still deliver her and be with us. He has been so caring and compassionate. I'm grateful for his kindness and thoughtfulness on our behalf. We made it out and to the car. I just couldn't stop crying. Somehow my handsome husband was holding it together and taking care of everything.
We started driving and I could try to process. I was somewhat shocked. For weeks now I've been struggling with thoughts and feelings that Penny would make it. I had many thoughts of what life would be like once she was born and what would we need to do. I was so confused by this, as I also had still felt peaceful at the thought of her not making it. It was SO emotionally exhausting. This week I decided to pray specifically for help. I prayed that I might be guided to feel/know better. I had expressed that it was too hard going back and forth and that I needed some sort of direction to look to. I almost felt like I was hoping that things would happen sooner so that we could have some answers, but these thoughts of life with her her kept coming and I resisted. It truly scared me to think of what life would bring with her here. It scared me all that we would have to do and how different and challenging it would be. I feel guilty, but it truly scared me. I have the one friend with the Turner's little girl who texts me every so often. She texted and I had explained my fear of how to handle life. She sent me to a link of a General Conference talk called Special Lessons by Elder Ronald Rasband. I'd avoided listening because I was worried it would sway me towards thinking she would make it. A few weeks ago I'd finally started to really think that maybe she would. I told Keith that I was thinking maybe she was going to make it. Wednesday when we were out at my parent's house I told them I was thinking maybe we would make it. Thursday morning after I read scriptures I just prayed and prayed about what was I to think and do. I'm just so overwhelmed. I don't remember some answer, but I do remember thinking about happy things connected to having her here, not just bad/scary things. All day I continued to think about this talk and my old roommate send me a link to a song called "His Will Be Done" that continued me thoughts about this talk. I decided finally to listen to it (even if it made me cry) while I was making dinner. It was perfect! I felt like it was written just for me to tell me it was going to be ok. It was going to be ok to raise her and to accept this challenge and not fear it. It finally felt like I was really ok with it. I was going to accept this calling and figure out how to raise her, challenges and all. This morning while getting ready for our appointment I wasn't grumpy and depressed (as I usually am before my appointments). However, while getting dressed and getting the kids ready I kept thinking, make sure we all look somewhat nice in case we have to deliver her and this is what the kids wear for the only pictures we will have of her. This was so strange to think because I'd finally accepted that she was going to make it. Why was I thinking like that when I'd finally made it to the acceptance of her making it. As we drove home today I reflected back on this and asked, "why did I have those thoughts she would make it?" The thought came to me, that Heavenly Father wanted to see if I would accept and be willing to take this on. That I would give up my selfish fear and be willing to accept a new calling in motherhood. It wasn't that she was suppose to make it; I was suppose to be willing to accept it. This brought me peace as we drove home.
To be honest, the rest of the day was awful, and hard. The kids got home and went off and played while Keith and I sobbed and shared in a grief that we've never had to face. We spent most of the day together crying and holding to each other. The doctor did call and we are scheduled to be induced 3AM on Sunday. Dr Peterson has that day off, but he will come in and be there with us. The kids will stay the night Saturday with Keith's parents (as we will have to go to the hospital in the middle of the night). We don't know how long it will take and I don't even know what to expect. I don't know what we will do after, I don't know when we will be home. I don't know anything, other than my heart ACHES, but still feels peaceful.