Stories of Strength: Polly’s Story, Part 2

When we left Polly last, she’d just seen her precious Gabriel in the NICU for the first time. Sadly, Gabriel was never able to come home from the hospital, like so many other babies born too early because of IC. Thank you again, Polly, for sharing what I know was the most difficult experience of your life.

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After effects of everything didn’t hit yet, until the ride home. It was a 2 hour trip to my dad’s house, a lonely drive alone. All I could think to do was call my best friend, screaming. She didn’t know, hadn’t read, all she knew I was screaming at her. Finally I was able to calm down just enough to tell her, the baby is dead. That is all I know to say. The baby is dead. All I heard from the other end was her screaming and crying. She wasn’t able to meet him. Something I regret so much, you would think my best friend would be able to meet our first child. Nope, she met him 2 days later. The first night was like a blur, all we knew to do was lay in bed and stare off into space. We cried, blanked out, and cried more. One of the worst Wednesdays of our lives.

Thursday is when everything started to hit home, the funeral home. We had to make it official that our son died. We had to choose between this design and that design, like we were picking out carpet color. It seemed so wrong, why are we acting as if this was a remodel? It seemed like hours upon hours being there. Finally we were able to finish things and leave. We were escorted out to where he would be laid to rest. It was a blur again, like a dream that wasn’t real. So many babies were there, just rows upon rows. Some dating back to the 70’s, can you imagine losing a child in the 70’s and still dealing with it? A fear/pain came over me: that is how I’m going to be. In 30 years I’m going to be here, dealing the same way. I’m going to be “that” woman, the one who lost her child. Never again will I be known as Polly, rather that woman.

Everything rushed to me all at once when we got back into the jeep. My first true break down, all I could do was ask why. Why did it have to be me, why did I have to lose my son after we fought for him? So many questions, but so few answers. Then Friday came, the day I will never forget. I was the first one there, the director asked me to come view him to make sure thing were to my liking. My liking? Again, making it seem like we’re remodeling our home. Walking through the far double doors I turn to my left and there he was. There was my son, in a casket. Going up to him, my heart beating, I started to sweat like I was in an incubator. Then I’m there, looking down at him. He is so big, handsome, and peaceful. My beautiful child, my miracle baby, the sole of my existence. All I could do was stare at him, stare at the life I created. The life that was taken away from me, the life that should not even be here right now. That should still be in my belly growing stronger. My baby should NOT be laying here!

The rest of the day was a dreamy blur. Hour after hour I stayed more outside. People coming and going. Giving me condolences, sympathy. The one phrase I heard most that day, “I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t imagine being in your situation.” It was one phrase I could not understand, why would you even consider being in my situation? It’s something no should ever have to think about, or even consider. Then it was time, time to take him to his final resting place. I had to come to terms, he was gone. I was about to let him go forever. I would never see my son again, after this day he would only be a memory in my mind or pictures I have. My son, a memory of the past. Damn it.

Walking to the resting place, it took everything I had not to fall. Not to just give up and fall down to the ground to beat it. We got there, Robby and I sat in the front row. I don’t even remember who we were sitting with. Only thing I can remember is digging my head into Robby’s shoulder. After the preacher man did his thing, we decided we wanted to do ours. We had a particular song that we wanted to dedicate to him. A song that helped portray what we felt, how we felt: Angel’s Son by Sevendust. How he was fighting every single day. . . . During the song, we did something the director said no other parents have done. We sat there and watched him be lowered into his resting place. During the song, he was lowered completely and the fake green sheet put over. My son was gone, there was no turning back now.

As we stayed back to take pictures, again so many came up to me. I don’t remember what most said after the lowering, really didn’t care. All I cared was to figure out how were we going to live? How are you to live after having such a love be taken away? At one point I looked off in the cemetery and wondered to myself, do I even want to? Where would I be at, could I be close to him? So many thoughts ran through my head. I never shared them until now. So many would had taken it so negatively and probably tried to interfere. I knew in my heart that I wouldn’t do anything, but the thoughts were there. Running rampant in my mind, what was the easiest way? Pills? Cutting? I knew that I wouldn’t use a gun; that scared me too much. I had so many scenarios through my head of what I could do, how I could do it, and what letter I would leave. The thoughts seemed so pure, like it was natural. The thought of not having Gabriel with me, never holding him, getting to hear his voice, never getting a kiss or hug from him was something that put the darkest shadow in my heart.

After that we go out with family members to try to start coping, it took our minds off a little bit but it lingered so much. When we got home, we tried to talk. Not many know how hard it is to talk even about the simplest things when you are so traumatized by an event. You don’t know if you want to cry, scream, smile, laugh, or punch the wall. We made it through the next couple of days, holding each other. Trying to be with each other as much as we could. We never knew just how much we loved or needed each other.

We had an OB appointment October 23rd, my birthday actually. We decided we wanted to give Gabriel a sibling. So many were against it, against the thought of us “replacing” Gabriel. Little did they know, you can NEVER replace that boy! That boy is my first born, my first love. Despite what everyone said, we went ahead with it. We got Provera to start my period, and Femara to start again. November came with my period, we were excited. Maybe soon we will be pregnant again, and Gabriel will have a sibling to look after. November cycle came and went, along with December. We were sort of hurt, but we knew it would happen. January cycle came and went. Then February cycle, I had a feeling this was it. I knew in my heart this was it. Amazingly, March 1st, 2013 we found out we were pregnant. I knew it! That was our cycle, we were so excited again. We went to the OB as soon as we got a positive pregnancy test, beta levels were 9. I caught it just after implantation! Progesterone was started, we knew this was it. A week later all symptoms stopped. I got worried, so I took another test. Negative. My heart sunk so far into my stomach I thought it was coming out. I decided that night, we’re going to ER. I told them the story, a u/s was done. Nothing. Nothing was there. Beta came back at a 2. I was no longer pregnant, the miscarriage already started.

It started all over again, the pain of losing another one. Most don’t think that you can’t have hurt feelings, you were only pregnant for less than 2 weeks. You don’t even have a chance to bond, but believe it or not you do. You bond with the baby as soon as you see the positive pregnancy test. That put a strain on me, what am I doing wrong? What is wrong with me? I didn’t take Femara that cycle, I let everything pass naturally. The worst feeling is when I passed a clot, I had a feeling that was it. That was my baby. My baby was there, in the water. I had to flush my baby away, I had to see another baby be taken from me. My heart got darker.

In April I went back to my OB that helped us get pregnant with Gabriel. He was saddened by the loss of Gabriel, and I was diagnosed with IC officially. He said he was determined to get us pregnant again. That I will have a baby, a living child to take home. So in the middle of April we started again. In May, I got another faint positive. Oh I was so scared. Then we found out, negative beta. First false positive. Another cycle down. June cycle came, another faint positive. Another negative beta. Second false positive. This crushed me so badly, I wanted to give up. The next few months, all negative. Cycle after cycle I started to feel more crushed and beaten. Every month, my charts showed ovulation. OPKS showed strong surges. Nothing at all. So many questions started to arise, what is wrong? In November, I decided to request another HSG be done. At first my OB was denying it, but after a careful talk finally got him to do it. First of January we were able to finally have one done, hoping for answers. All we got was more questions. My HSG was perfect, they said you could not ask for a better result. Tubes so clear the dye flowed so freely, uterus looking perfectly shaped. Crushed again. No answers to our questions. So we decided to try 2 cycles of Ovidrel a friend had sent me. It was a lower dose, so I wasn’t afraid of OHSS. January cycle we did it, nothing. The only thing I got was a very weird period, one I wasn’t even sure if you could call it one. Then we tried the second one, feeling hopeful. Nope again all negative. I thought for sure this was it again. Here comes my period, very heavy and clotty. Figuring it was from the weird one last cycle.

So here I am now, waiting to start using OPKS. Waiting to track ovulation to see if this will be another failed cycle. You would think that after everything, we would have a child by now. So now we’re deciding, when is it time to stop? When do you finally give up the last pill? Everything has had its ups and downs since October 2012. There are times that I go back to those thoughts, but I have to pull myself out of them. I started back to university August of 2013. I decided that I needed to give Gabriel a reason to be proud of me. Right now I’m in my next to last semester, I graduate December 2014 with my Bachelor’s degree in counseling. Even though I’m lost most days, I’m proving to myself every day that I’m stronger than what I thought the previous day. I hope by this time next year, I will have a beautiful child to love on. That I can hear them cry.