Saturday, July 16, 2011

Our Butterfly

Ask, and it shall be given you;
seek, and ye shall find;
knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
¾Jesus of Nazareth

I've always heard there was a relationship between butterflies, angels, and signs from above.  It's funny because as I was lying in my hospital bed, there were a few occasions that my eyes were drawn over to the large window, covered in blinds...and I could see what looked like a large butterfly fluttering and dancing around outside.  I didn't get up and try to look out the window because I knew it would be gone, but I took note.  I keep thinking back to those visions of the butterfly shadow and in that moment thinking to myself, "What if....?" and I'm positive I even smiled.  

Last night, I was talking to Doug about how everything reminds us of Andrew and what happened...the stories are everywhere, visuals, sounds, etc.  Doug had agreed and had actually been the one who brought up the subject.  Me, being the ever-observant one, never thought he would be feeling the same way I did on that one.  Something just made me ask him if he had seen the butterfly outside the hospital window and he was almost excited when he said, "Yes!  I did!"  It's almost as if he subconsciously found a message in the butterfly as well because he was so overtaken by my asking.  He never got up to look out the window either, just watched the shadow dance across the blinds.  Just days before I had been reading up on signs from angels, and I wonder if this was ours.  It's crazy that we both not only saw it, but NOTICED it and REMEMBERED it.  How often does one take note of a butterfly?  Maybe it was OUR butterfly...

Not five minutes after our conversation, we were watching a tattoo show and a lady came on with a request for a butterfly tattoo.  As her story was told, she was a grieving mother who had lost her baby two days after he was born.  In her quest to help others in similar situations, she had begun drawing pictures of loved ones and butterflies for grieving families, and this was the purpose of her tattoo.  It was beautiful.  The next show we watched showed a lady who had seen horrible things...with a tiny butterfly stitched on her shirt.  It could be a coincidence, sure, but maybe....just maybe....

Don't weep at my grave, 
For I am not there, 
I've a date with a butterfly 
To dance in the air. 
I'll be singing in the sunshine, 
Wild and free, 
Playing tag with the wind, 
While I'm waiting for thee. - Many people reported receiving a sign which affirmed that their deceased family member or friend had survived physical death and continues to live in another dimension of existence. We call these symbolic ADCs or ADC signs. They are a relatively common type of after-death communication.
Some people are sent a sign spontaneously as a gift, while others ask or pray to receive one. Depending on their belief system, they may ask their deceased loved one to give them a sign, or they may pray to God or the “universe” for one.
Typical symbolic ADCs include butterflies, rainbows, flowers, many different species of birds and other animals, and any number of inanimate objects. Whether a sign comes immediately or takes days or weeks to arrive, most people intuitively recognize their sign right away and feel it was intended just for them.
ADC signs provide much hope to those who are grieving deeply, especially bereaved parents and the widowed. But because they are a symbolic form of communication, the receiver must interpret his or her own experience and assign personal meaning to it.
In the first four accounts of symbolic ADCs the experiencers received a butterfly as their personal sign.
The butterfly is the most frequently mentioned ADC sign. It is a spiritual symbol for life after death because of its metamorphosis, or transformation, from a caterpillar that crawls on the ground to a beautiful, almost ethereal creature that flies through the air. It has also become a symbol for personal growth and spiritual rebirth.

Feeling better...

I actually was able to eat a little bit yesterday and started to feel better.  It was a stressful day, mainly because the three girls that were coming over to go to the swim park with Hayley backed out, or so it seemed.  Doug and the kids were about to head to the wave pool when one of the girls contacted her and said she could go.  Hayley cheered up and was so excited, which made me happy, too.  They go to pick the girl up and her mother knew nothing about it!?!  Mom did let her go swimming, but she was not able to spend the night.  THEN, the waterpark ended up closing two hours after they got there for a private party!  They took the friend home and came home, were changing, and the doorbell rang...another of the friends had shown up to spend the night!  So, it worked out that the waterpark closed early after all! :)  Hayley was excited, and it was nice to hear her in there having fun.  They even included Trevor for a few hours, so he was happy and having fun, too...until they kicked him out. lol  Now, we are waiting on the cousins to come over whom we rarely get to see, so Hayley is excited about that.  I am feeling more, so I'm hoping my luck is finally changing and at least physically I can start healing so it will be a little easier to heal emotionally, as well. The light at the end of the tunnel is getting a little brighter every day.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Party time...I can do this...

I opened the urn this morning.  I had my moment, but it is perfect.  It's not a typical urn, but a figurine of an angel sitting with a baby at her feet...Andrew.  I just need him home now so I can close this chapter and try to begin moving on. I am still feeling weak, exhausted, and emotionally and physically hungover.  I am feeling better though, so I'm hanging on to that. Doug has been busy cleaning the house and fixing things that needed to be fixed before Hayley's birthday weekend.  They still have to go to the store and get a few last minute things, but he's playing Mr. Mom quite well and I am so thankful to have such a great husband.  Of course, the fact that he loves his Hayley to pieces may be more of a contributing factor than fulfilling my wishes, but that's okay. :^).  She deserves it.  I think staying busy helps him cope, anyway.  Hopefully, this weekend will help her cope and be the escape she needs.  Next week, when I am able to move around again, we are going to have a make up day.  She and I will go shopping, and have a mom and daughter day.  I can't wait.  This summer has been a bummer for everyone.  Three months of me lying in bed, sick, and then this outcome...we have a lot of catching up to do.  Sad thing is, this is two summers in a row that happened that way.

I am still getting an outpouring of support and caring from everyone and it just makes me feel so blessed to have such great friends and family.  My blog has been viewed over 500 times in one week, which means that my getting out there and everyone knows of him.  That was a closure I never got with my last miscarried angels, and although they were different and not quite as hard as this one, they were devastating nonetheless.  They never existed to anyone but Doug and I.  I wish that all babies were treated the way Andrew was and that everyone was afforded the closure that we have gotten this time around.  It is hard beyond belief, but to leave the hospital and still carry on Andrew's name, instead of leaving empty and everyone acts like it didn't happen...that makes a world of difference.  I am thankful I was able to deliver him, hold him, say my goodbyes, and somewhat come to terms with it, instead of being put to sleep, only to wake up and be sent on my way, empty, with nothing to validate the baby that was growing inside me and was so immensely loved.  My previous 14-week loss was just that and I never had closure.  Luckily, I was blessed with Trevor not long after, which helped fill some of the void in my heart and arms.  My previous 9-week miscarriage, which was at home, also gave me the chance to say goodbye since I was able to retrieve her and have that closure as well. She was genetically fine, so I really chalked it up to the SCH (subchorionic hemorrhage) that started the day that I jumped and twisted the wrong way...a sonogram the day before showed no bleeding at all, so I know it started the moment I felt the sharp pain after twisting.

Now that I have had three miscarriages in a row, I am in a really high risk category for several reasons...three in a row, 2nd trimester losses, over 35, etc...  I am still holding on to the hope that I will have answers.  My desire to have a baby is so strong and has been for so long.  The fight, pain, and depression I have endured for the last three years is because that desire is so strong.  If I don't get answers, I don't know what I'll do.  I cannot go into another pregnancy blind and wonder what will happen.  Pregnancy is so hard on me and my body to begin with.  My body, my mind, my family...cannot endure any more of this horror.  I just don't know right now....I have hundreds of questions and not a single answer.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Physically, mentally, emotionally....exhausted

I never did get to see my daughter yesterday.  I ended up staying the night again thanks to having a dose of ephedrine during my surgery (D&C).  I woke up feeling like I was going to go crazy, and I swear I wasn't far from it.  When my doctor finally came in I told her that I was having trouble breathing, I was anxious, my heart was pounding, I couldn't be still and couldn't get comfortable...I was going to lose it.  I told her I just felt agitated.  That's when she explained the ephedrine.  No wonder!  I can't even do caffeine!  SPEED!!??!  It was horrible for about 5 hours and finally started to ease up a bit.  I was finally able to get some rest and got some sleep, which helped.  Now I feel hungover and still a bit anxious, but I feel like I will survive now.  I need a few more days to recover, but overall, much better.  I can actually see a pinhole of light at the end of the tunnel...FINALLY.  I am so ready to get this IV out, take a shower, see my babies, and go home.  I hope I am up to Hayley's birthday stuff this weekend.  There are just so many things going through my head.  I'm not up to phone calls just because I am THAT tired and just don't have much to say right now.  I hope nobody takes that the wrong way, I love you all, but talking takes it out of me, too.

2:30 p.m. - we made it home around 10 this morning.  The ride home was rough and it was hard not to panic and go back to the hospital, but once I got home, got in bed, and rested for a while I started to feel settled in. I think I'm actually going to start feeling "normal" in a few days.  I finally have a little hope.  I'm so exhausted but it's so hard to sleep because my head won't shut down and let me sleep.  I keep asking myself all the what if's, the why's, the how's.  I keep hearing that damn Kenny G-inspired Brahm's Lullaby playing throughout the hospital every time a baby is born and it haunts me.  As luck would have it, my room in the ER was right next to a newborn baby that kept crying...and all I could do was the same.  It's just so unfair.

...and finally, Hayley got to open her presents and tell me about her birthday that I missed.  She got emotional...I got emotional, but we both held it together.  I swear she is so awesome in so many ways.  It was so good to see her, hug her, and smother her with kisses.  At least she's not too old for private, anyway. :)  It was good to see my little man also, although he was ticked off we picked him up so early and granny had to wake him up....before he had even had a granny breakfast.  He huffed and puffed all the way home.  Anyway, at least things are moving on now.  I am hopeful that there will be no more complications.  I will get caught up on my rest and let my body and mind recover, and then I can figure out where I go from here.  With so much support, I know I'll get there.

8:30 p.m.  Just when I thought I was going to make it through the day, the baby's urn just arrived.  What little breath I had was knocked out of me.  I'm not opening the box right now, I just can't bear it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What a difference a week makes...

It's Hayley's 11th birthday.  We were supposed to have a fun filled day with family and go see the baby on 4d ultrasound, find out the gender together, and celebrate.  Things didn't quite work out that way.  Now, I'll be lucky if I get to see her at all on her birthday.  More than anything, it kills me that she has to have this experience, and I feel so guilty for that.  Yes, I know I shouldn't, it's not my fault, etc. etc, but I am her mother and I want life to be perfect for her.  She deserves it.  AND, I am her mother.

I am back in the hospital again.  One week ago I was here to give birth to my tiny angel.  I was admitted through the ER last night after my hemorrhaging started again.  The bleeding that my doctor said just seemed worse to me because of what I had been through...the contractions and cramping that just seemed so much more painful to me because my emotions were so raw...basically, that it was all in my head.  After an ultrasound was done, there actually are things in there that should not be.  Not everything passed as my doctor was sure it had.  Just a gut instinct, I guess, because she's that good...or not.  She was wrong again.  Luckily, I went with MY gut and quit trying to talk myself out of how horrible I felt because I was being told that I, MYSELF, didn't know how I felt.  Now, I'm sitting here waiting to go back for a D&C.  I'm thirsty, I'm exhausted, I'm starving....c'mon 2:00.  I already felt horrible, but now having to be so hungry on top of it just magnifies it by 100.  I am scared to death of being put to sleep for surgery, I would rather feel the pain, but I guess I have no choice.  I just hope everything goes without a hitch, for ONCE, and there are no complications.  How can I ever try to move on when the BS is neverending?  Seriously...enough already!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Obituary for Infant Andrew Douglas Cannon

Infant Andrew Douglas Cannon

  • Born: July 6, 2011
  • Died: July 6, 2011
  • Location: Garland, TX

Anderson-Clayton Bros. Funeral Home

1111 Military Parkway
Mesquite, TX 75149
Tel. (972) 285-5489

Tribute & Message From The Family

Survived by parents Doug and Amanda Cannon, brother Taylor, sister Hayley, brother Trevor paternal granfather Doug Cannon Sr, grandmother Debra Cannon, maternal grandparents Barbara and James Horton.

Please pray that maybe we have an answer...

It's been one week since we found out Andrew had died.  I still can't believe it.  I still don't want to.

I finally stopped hemorrhaging last night.  Not sure if it is because I was lying down or I am finally catching a break, so I'm going to wait it out a few hours of sitting up and moving around and see if it has truly stopped or will start up again.  The doctor actually called to check on me (surprise!) and also informed me that she re-read the pathology report.  In the "fine print" it says there was a POSSIBLE placenta issue, perivillous fibrin deposition, to be exact.  Yes, she read it to me thinking it would roll in one ear and out the other...but then, she doesn't know me very well, does she? :-)  This is actually promising to me because it is related to antiphospholipids, which was a test I had done before this pregnancy, which came back on the abnormal side.  My doctor spoke with a hematologist (blood doctor) who wasn't concerned with the numbers and they gave me the option of taking aspirin as a prophylaxis.  (Of course, this is also something that could have occurred during the few days that my son had died and him being delivered.)  Because of my stomach issues and tinnitus, I chose not to take aspirin since my doctor really didn't think it was necessary, just more of something that I could do to feel like I was doing something.  Now, I'm wishing I would have and maybe things would have been different after all.  In any case, I hope this at least starts us on the right path to having answers.  I know it sounds crazy to be thankful that there may be something wrong, but to have an answer and a reason, especially since Andrew checked out to be a perfectly healthy little boy...I need it so bad.  To all my prayer warriors out there, please pray that I will have answers...oh, and that the hemorrhaging has stopped and I won't need any further intervention.  I am so tired from all this, physically, mentally, emotionally...just a small break, that's all I'm asking.

Monday, July 11, 2011

So far, so good?

Well, I just called the doctor's office (I will call her a doctor, for lack of a better word...yes, I'm bitter).  I asked if they had found out if the pathologist was able to perform an autopsy, or exactly what he was able to do, to help find a cause.  As we had assumed, there was no autopsy, being that Andrew was so small and fragile, but an overall check, where they examined everything they could see, came back normal.  He looked perfect to the pathologist, just as he had to us.  I'm not sure how I feel about that honestly.  I was hoping there would be an obvious reason, but so far, nothing.  I assume this means the placenta checked out as well, but then again, I don't know that for sure yet because I didn't specifically ask.  Now, we just wait on the chromosomal testing and hope there is an answer.  I don't know what I'm going to do if that comes back normal as well.  A perfectly healthy and normal baby, just gone???  There is no way to link this one to the last two miscarriages (we assume we know those causes and they were two totally different things), although maybe with my first miscarriage there is something???  I will probably have all the testing done again that has already been done in the past.  Maybe this time something will show up, maybe not.  At this point, I'm not holding my breath on that.  Also, my contractions finally stopped last night and I was able to finally get some sleep, although I kept waking up in a panic.  It's just so hard to go about being just me again...not making sure I'm laying on my left side...or forcing myself to stay hydrated...not waiting on Andrew to arrive...not counting down the weeks until I know he could survive if something did happen.  I never made it to that point, unfortunately.  Just eight more weeks and he would have had a 50% chance.  It seemed so close, yet so far away.  So unfair.

Update:  Found out that there was an autopsy done and everything looked just fine.  The placenta was fine also.  Should be good news, but it feels more like another blow.  Now we wait for chromosomes and if that was fine, then it was me, obviously.  Something to do with my body ended my son's life...I really hope it's chromosomes.

I just got back from the doctor after getting really dizzy and worrying about blood loss.  The doctor got me in, did blood work, and tried to say that everything was basically resulting from my emotions.  The cramping and contractions seemed worse than they were because of my depression.  After all, my blood work was fine and my vitals were good. Until she examined me and realized why I was worried and said, "Oh.  That is more bleeding than I would expect being this far out.  I see why you were concerned."  Thanks for finally acknowledging that I'm not a complete headcase.  Now I have to go to Radiology tomorrow for an ultrasound to make sure there is nothing worrisome going on.  One foot in front of the other....right?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

One week ago...

Wow, how much things can change in a week.  At this time last week, I was sick, tired, and going about my day, as I had for the last three months...I was pregnant.  I had reached the 14-week mark, which is what some consider the start of the 2nd trimester; others think it starts at 12 or 13 weeks, but regardless...I made it to the "safe zone," the "honeymoon trimester."  This was the day that coincided with my first pregnancy loss, when I went in at 14 weeks and found my baby had died two weeks earlier.  If I could just make it through the day, I was ready to start relaxing and finally being able to enjoy the pregnancy.  I listened to the heartbeat before I went to bed, as I did every night, and was content that things were going to be okay.  I went to sleep, ready to wake up and really start BEING pregnant.  I've made it!  I can start enjoying it now...I am really going to have and hold my baby!

But then...I woke up the next morning and reached for the doppler.  There was nothing.  I tried for an hour to find the heartbeat, but couldn't find anything.  I tried to convince myself that he was just in there hiding since he had so much space to move.  Everything would be okay.  Don't panic.  This COULD NOT, WOULD NOT be happening again.  Not this far along.  I had completed all my testing that came back normal.  The baby was measuring fine at every sonogram...and there had been plenty.  We were safe now.  Calm down.  I tried throughout the day, and still nothing.  I went to bed, still almost positive that it would be okay.  I would not be in that less than 1% yet AGAIN...IMPOSSIBLE!  I would wake up tomorrow, find the heartbeat, and laugh at myself for worrying so.

I woke up the next morning, drank a cup of OJ, and was sure I would hear the heartbeat galloping away.  All this worry would be for nothing and I could take a deep breath and relax.  This little booger was just stubborn like the rest of us, that's all.  I started looking for the heartbeat and my stomach was so tender from trying so hard the day before, literally bruised.  Again...there was nothing.  I called the doctor, figuring with my past history that they would bring me in and set my mind at ease with a sonogram.  Instead, they told me to quit using the doppler and relax.  Stressing out was doing more harm than good.  I explained that I had heard the heartbeat every day, without fail, since I was 9 weeks...but the nurse kept pushing it on me that it is hard to find at such an early stage and I was probably hearing my own.  No, my heart does not beat at 170 bpm...I know what I was hearing, and the fact that I heard it EVERY DAY and now nothing for two days in a row should raise at least a small flag.  But no...

I tried to relax, but I couldn't.  Nor could I put the doppler away.  I called back and asked them again if I could just come in.  I was in a panic and I was scared that my anxiety would cause even more problems, but again, I felt almost I was being stupid.  I broke down, crying, and tried to explain how I have been through this before and this has been a three-year journey to get here, two miscarriages along the way, I was terrified...but still, nothing.  I decided to call my fertility doctor because she had always been so supportive and knew my history.  They actually were CARING people and maybe they would be a second opinion that would set my mind at, I just trusted them.  I was growing more and more sure that my doctor was pretty much incompetent.  I should have went with my gut in dealing with her weeks ago, but I didn't.  The fertility office told me that they WERE concerned that I wasn't finding the heartbeat and couldn't understand why my doctor wouldn't be!?!  They recommended I go to the ER.  Not what I wanted to hear.  I was expecting them to agree and say, "Oh happens.  I wouldn't worry."  I called my doctor's office back ONE MORE TIME and told them that if they would not see me then my previous doctor, who was aware of my history, had suggested I go to the ER immediately.  The doctor called me back and was very rude, asking why I was even listening to the heartbeat every day...that that only causes more stress than good because when you can't find it, you panic.  I tried to explain my fears, my losses, etc., but she obviously doesn't have kids and just does not understand anything but a textbook diagnosis and medical care.  No empathy, no caring, no humane response whatsoever.  She said that she would basically put herself out, go out of her way, and stay after her last patient so that I could come in.  This would be the only time she would do this, and after the sonogram, she wanted me to put the doppler away.  Huff* huff*.

Luckily, Doug was on his way home and was able to meet me up there.  I cannot imagine had I had to go it alone.  I went inside and felt so stupid.  I know the nurses and doctor were rolling their eyes behind my back...just another panicking pregnant woman that won't listen.  We waited in the room for what seemed like forever.  I was hot, hungry and weak from not eating, nauseous, and pretty sure I was going to pass out at any moment from it all.  She finally came in and had the screen turned away from me.  She zeroed in on a heartbeat.  I assured her that it was mine...not the baby's.  She said it may have been mine.  Yeah, was mine.  Unlike you, I am perfectly aware of what my baby's heartbeat sounds like.  She pressed and prodded...not saying a word to me for another five minutes.  I tried to get things out of her, but she wouldn't say anything.  She finally took the wand off my belly and said that she was sending me to Radiology for confirmation.  Ummmm...what?  "So, there is no heartbeat?   The baby isn't moving?"  Her response..."Unfortunately...not at this time.  No."  Are you freaking kidding me?  If I hadn't been so in shock and about to pass out, I would have strangled her.  I just wanted to scream..."Don't freakin' worry, huh?"  

We went to the hospital and had to go through an hour of BS to get back to see the Radiologist.  When we finally did, it was confirmed...the baby was gone.  No heartbeat.  Once again, with no explanation....I have lost another baby.  I went back to my doctor's office and was told I would be induced to deliver the next day.   That was pretty much the gist of it.  Since the baby was dead, I could have any pain medication I needed because they didn't have to worry about harming the baby now.  See you at 6:30 a.m. in Labor and Delivery...(you know, the place where everyone else will be coming to have their babies and leave with them ALIVE, in their arms).

I just can't believe this is happening.  How does this happen?  How DID this happen?  How can I keep falling into the "it almost never happens" category, and each time it is seemingly unrelated to the last?  I have had every possible blood test, clotting test, exam, x-ray, you name it...nothing has shown even a hint that something may be wrong.  The fact that my body was not miscarrying is testament that my body is doing it's job...even after my sweet baby was gone, it wasn't giving up trying to maintain the pregnancy.  I just hope, if there is any form of justice, Divine Intervention, or whatever the hell you want to call it...I will, at least, have an answer.  At LEAST afford me that.  I am not a bad person.  I cannot imagine what I have done to deserve this AGAIN.

No one will ever understand the pain of giving birth when your body is not ready, having your body medically forced to birth a baby when it is not ready, and having to go through not only the physical pain, but the absolute torment of what we saw and lived through, unless they have been there.  Believe me.  To see our little one so fragile and limp, almost the size of a Barbie doll, so perfectly formed with everything in place, only imagining what he would have become in just a few more months...I just can't stand it.  Please...just give me an answer.  Don't leave me with endless questions and no closure, again.  In a way, I am glad for the pain that I am in, the contractions that won't stop, because it helps me focus on the pain and not the reality, as much.  I dread when the physical pain goes away,  actually.  The weakness has subsided a little and I can be active for a few minutes before I have to sit down, winded and dizzy, so I assume in a week or so, I will be able to function again.  I almost don't want to get to that point.  I don't want to feel normal because how DO I go back to normal after all this?  Obviously, with the way my normal is going, I don't want to be normal again, period.

Oh yeah, and how could I forget...I just looked at the calendar and realized yesterday marked the one-year anniversary of losing my little girl last year.  I'm so exhausted and tired...that's all I can say.  We will never forget you, my little babies.