Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What This Pregnancy Looks Like

When we lost Noah over a year ago, I immediately just wanted to be pregnant again. It is (obviously) devastating to carry a child for 31 weeks only to lose them. When I got home from the hospital I felt one thing. Empty. So very empty. I just wanted to fill that void of emptiness. Thankfully I have a husband who knows me well enough to know what I can and cannot handle. I never imagined we would wait over a year to start trying to have another child. I went through a few months of not knowing if I could really even handle being pregnant again. To know that it wouldn't be Noah...that was so tough. Would I be able to love another child and not be thinking, "I wish you were Noah"? It was all very scary. That is why we chose to wait. David and I both needed time to heal. We needed time to grieve our loss of Noah. We know that many who have lost a child chose to get pregnant right away and I think there is no right or wrong when it comes to timing. I think each family knows what is best for them. For us, we needed the time to heal.

Before we tried to get pregnant we wanted to know what to expect with another pregnancy. We needed to understand exactly why Noah died and how to help prevent it from happening again. I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden (the "V" is a "5"). Noah died because blood clots formed around the placenta eventually slowing down the passage of blood and oxygen to him (which caused my blood pressure to rise). And Noah died because God had His reasons...many of which I do not understand...and some that I do now. We were told that I would need to be on blood thinners if I got pregnant again and they also told me I probably need to be on baby aspirin for the rest of my life.

So Lovenox is a blood thinner injection that I take every single night in my stomach right before I go to bed. And no...I don't like needles. It took me 45 minutes to get up the nerve to give myself that very first injection. But when you picture your child safe in your arms...you'll do whatever it takes. And really....it's not so bad. It is so frustrating to know that something as simple as a daily injection could have saved Noah's life. The day they trained me on how to do these injections I broke down. I couldn't believe it could have been so simple had we only known. I will have to take an injection every day of the pregnancy and for 6 weeks after delivery.

This pregnancy has not been without it's share of drama. Thirty minutes after I took a pregnancy test on July 24th, I started bleeding. We never got our hopes up. We assumed it was a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage, but went to the doctor for blood work anyway. On July 27th they took my HCG levels and the next day, we were told they were 55. They asked me to come back on the 29th to test again. We were shocked on that Friday (when I was still bleeding heavily with cramping) that my levels had gone up to 175! It wasn't a feeling of joy or hope at that point. It was total fear. I thought for sure it was an ectopic pregnancy. They did an ultrasound and we saw nothing on ultrasound. Nothing. I continued to bleed. On August 5th I was still bleeding and I went in for a 3rd check of my HCG levels. They were 1905. They were going up appropriately. More fear. It had to be ectopic. Finally on August 10th we went in for another ultrasound. By then I was 6 weeks along and we were hoping to see something. To our absolute shock and amazement, the baby was there....in the uterus...with a beating heart. WHAT?!? I had heard of women spotting while pregnant, but to bleed heavily for 16 days straight with cramping and there still be a healthy baby in the uterus???? We couldn't believe it. David and I stood in the room together and just hugged and cried. God had already done a miracle.

I finally stopped bleeding and things started to become normal. I started going to both my regular OB and to the high risk doctor regularly for visits. Then on August 29th David and I were at church getting ready for Sunday morning. I was in the sound booth at 7:30 while the band practiced. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain. Then another. I excused myself and went to the restroom and was totally derailed when I found that I was pouring blood. POURING. I ran and got David and we went to the ER. We were so devastated. We couldn't believe I had made it to 9 weeks and after everything God was going to allow this to happen. I told our friends as we left the church that I was miscarrying and to please pray. I don't think my friends accepted that. I don't think they prayed what I meant for them to pray which was for peace for us to accept what was happening. They were praying for the baby to live.

At the hospital I got signed in and as I wrote the date "8-29" I remembered that this was the day 6 years ago that we found out we were pregnant with our twins and 5 years ago to the day was when we found out we were pregnant with Ethan. "Not this day, God...please...not this day". We waited 30 minutes before they took us back. They hooked me up to an IV and took 6 tubes of blood. After 2 hours of sobbing they finally took me back for an ultrasound, but wouldn't let David come with me. The ultrasound tech was so very sweet. She told me she couldn't tell me anything, but would do the ultrasound quickly and then the doctor would tell me the results. But as soon as she put the wand on my tummy, she turned the screen to me and there it was...that little beating heart. The baby was fine. I had (and still have) a subchorionic hemorrhage. It increases the risk of miscarriage, pre-term labor and stillbirth. Wonderful. That's just great.

I only bled that one day. As the weeks have passed and we've had more ultrasounds, the doctors believe the hemorrhage is going away and will have no effect on the baby whatsoever. That is very comforting! I am now 13 weeks and 2 days pregnant with this little one and David and I are so in love with this baby already. We have truly come to understand what a miracle this child is.

So what does this pregnancy look like? Well, it's a lot different from the other 5 pregnancies. We know what we're up against (the Factor V). We are filled with joy while we still grieve. I have had extreme morning (ahem...all day) sickness this time around and I have to take injections every night. I fear every appointment will bring the news that the baby no longer has a heartbeat. But more than in any other pregnancy...I trust God. I know he is in control. I know there is freedom in surrendering it all to him. It's difficult...I won't lie. But I know it is in His hands and I trust Him....no matter what he chooses to do with this little life. I'm trying to learn to pray that God will do whatever will bring Him the most glory (and that is not an easy thing for me to pray and really mean it!)

For our extra peace of mind we purchased this fetal heart doppler. It will definitely keep the worry to a minimum. I have already blown up my doc's cell phone with texts and calls through this pregnancy! Trying to learn to stay calm!

It has helped me so much to see so many of you fellow bloggers have your rainbow babies...safe and healthy. I know that the emotions I am going through now are normal and are to be expected. I'm still very sensitive about certain things. I don't want people to mistake this as my "second child" and that Ethan will "finally be a big brother". Noah was our second and Ethan is already a big brother. I guess I just don't want Noah to be forgotten and I don't want people to think that this baby will make everything all better. Having all 3 here would make it all better. Well...Jesus returning and taking us all to Heaven would really make it ALL better! :0)

Anyway, thank you everyone for all the prayers and support that you have already given us and I know you will continue to give us. We know we are so very blessed to be able to carry another child as we know so many are still praying and waiting to carry their own. Please continue to keep my brother and sister-in-law in your prayers as well.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Another Miracle

We are excited and scared and filled with joy and trying to push aside fear....we are pregnant with our 3rd little miracle.

I will fill you all in on the details soon.

I will tell you that I have a lot of anxiety with each doctor's visit (which is ever other week between my regular OB and the high risk doctor). Every time they do an ultrasound, I am just anxious to see the heartbeat. At my last appointment it looked as though the baby looked right at me (unfortunately David couldn't be there) and the baby started waving frantically as if to say, "See Mommy! I'm here! I'm ok!"

Monday, September 20, 2010

Keep praying

So many of you have been praying for my brother and sister-in-law and their struggle with infertility and I thank you so much for keeping them in your thoughts. They have had some difficult news to deal with this week so I would ask that you continue to pray for them. If you haven't read Esther's latest blog post, you can read it here:


We are hopeful for the future and know that they are seeking God's will for their lives.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Great resources

Going on the same thought from my last post...I hope that any of you who are directed to my blog won't just stick around here. There are many women on my blog list that have been through the grief that you may be experiencing. Most all of these are Christian women who will also be a great source of encouragement to you!

Kimberly wrote a great post today with links to several women's blogs and other sites that can help someone going through this grief journey. I hope you will take the time to look through some of the blogs she posted.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

For Those Who Now Walk This Road of Grief

I receive emails sometimes on a weekly basis from one friend or another telling me about how they have a friend or family member who has just lost their baby or just found out that they will most likely lose their baby. Just this week I've been told of 2 who lost their babies at full term and one couple who after trying for years to become pregnant now has a surrogate who is 36 weeks pregnant with their child and they found out today the baby has Trisomy 18 and most likely will not survive. The father of this child is at sea and will find out tomorrow about this devastating news. Friends ask if they can point these ladies to my blog or give them my email address to which of course I always say, "yes! absolutely!" I feel like that is a responsibility I carry since losing Noah...to help other women climb through this grief and up toward a Savior who is waiting to carry them in His arms. Finding so many of you bloggers who have lost children on here is one of the things that helped me through some of my darkest days. To know that others have actually been there and really understand...I hate it that you do, but I'm glad you have shared with me. I hope to be that same source of encouragement to women (and men) who walk this road behind me.

When you've been where we've been it suddenly opens your eyes to the grief all around you. I never understood the fragility of life the way I do now. It seems every day I am hearing about someone losing a child - through facebook, through friends, or on the news. And I've learned that just because you've been through one tragedy, it doesn't make you immune to another. That's a terrifying thought for me, but the good news is that I survived it once through God's grace and while I pray I never have to face tragedy again, I know I could survive it with Him (God, I'm not asking you to test this!!!).

If you have recently been directed here to my blog, I always encourage those going through loss to go back to last July when my loss was still new. I hope you will find an honest expression of my hurt, but also a true faith and hope in Jesus Christ...there is no greater healer.

It's been 1 year, 2 months, 1 week and 1 day since Noah left us. Last Thursday was the 1 year anniversary of his expected due date. Not a day goes by without my thoughts turning to Noah. Every song, every pregnant woman, every tiny baby boy, every family of 4 with 2 young boys reminds me of him. I still wear the necklace I had made with Noah's name, birthday, weight and length on it every single day. When you get to where I am, it does get easier. There are still difficult days, difficult moments....but I am reminded more and more that this life is but a breath and eternity is forever. It's temporarily painful, but in the end I get to be with Noah and with my Savior FOREVER. How crazy is that?!? FOREVER!!!!! :o) That knowledge brings me so much joy! I cannot imagine living without that hope!

If you are new in this journey and just need to pour your heart out to someone who may understand a little something about grief, please don't hesitate to email me at Lisacollinsworth@hotmail.com. It's a lot easier to get through the dark days along with others instead of trying to do it alone. You can be sure that my husband and I will pray for you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Angie Smith wrote on her blog recently about this book, "Radical" by David Platt. My accountability partner and I were trying to think of a book for us to read together and decided on this book (and don't worry...we read the Bible too!). We also invited a third person to join us in reading and discussing the book. If you haven't read it, I challenge you to get this book!!! I've only read chapter one so far and already my mind is racing! I believe God may ask me to do some big (and difficult) things over these next few months and I hope I won't fail to do them! Here is a short video with a little more about this book.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old Ethan Videos

I have tried and tried to figure out a way to save my old videos from xanga to my computer, but have given up. This post is more for me, but you are welcome to browse through the videos and enjoy! These are old videos of Ethan from when he was a baby. In no particular order....

Ethan saying hello to his "Mamaw" and "Papaw" when he was 21 months old. (Video shot on 2/23/08)

Ethan playing "Peek-a-boo" when he was 22 months old. (Video shot on 3/24/08)

Ethan playing with his basketball goal he got from Uncle Jason and Aunt Es for his first birthday. Ethan is 1 year old in this video. (Video shot 6/3/07)

Ethan's first steps (well, first time really walking a good distance on his own). He was 10 months old (Video shot on 3/19/07)

Here is Ethan when he was 2 years and 2 months old. He was learning words on flash cards. My smart boy!!! (Video shot on 7/2/08)

Here is a video of Ethan when he was just under 6 months old. I used to babysit my friend's little boy (Micah) who loved to make Ethan laugh! (Video shot 10/27/06)

Video of Ethan cheering on his team when he was 2 and 1/2 years old. (Video shot on 11/29/08)

Video of Ethan singing "God of this City" by Chris Tomlin when he was 2 and 1/2 years old. (Video shot 1/25/09)

Video of Ethan singing "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" with Daddy when he was almost 2 years old. (Video shot 2/19/08)