"He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm,
and carry them close to his heart, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isaiah 40:11

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

One year ago..

One year ago today at 10:50 am, I was having my routine 20 week ultrasound.  I couldn't remember the time at first and so I checked my calender.  Then, as I sat down to write, I noticed that the time on the computer was exactly 10:50 am. That was a bit of a shock for me.  I honestly didn't plan that at all....

My mind is going back to that first fateful day.  I had written some things in my journal later that day, but there are alot of things I didn't write - how I felt, what I saw, what I was thinking.  I think, at first, it was too difficult to write about.  But there are things I don't know if I can ever forget about that day... 

Walking in to the clinic - the same one where I had been with my two previous pregnancies, near the Cheesecake Cafe in Sunridge...

Watching a little girl playing with her doll in the waiting room.  I remember it was similar to one that Abigail had just received for Christmas.

Talking with Dave about our plans to grab some lunch to celebrate after....if everything was well.

Telling the Technician when I walked in to the ultrasound room that I felt nervous....She laughed and said, "Why would you be?" I know she was trying to put me at ease but it didn't work. 

Somehow I just knew.

I remember that the techinician was really chatty - and I found this to be helpful actually, by keeping my mind off what she was looking at.  The silence can be so deafening.  I don't think she was expecting to find anything out of the ordinary. She was new - she hadn't been doing this job for very long.  She had just moved to Calgary and we found lots to talk about.  But then her voice dropped off and she became quiet...

I remember thinking "I should ask if my husband can come in now..." because I was feeling very scared.  And alone.  And I was stealing myself to hear the bad news and I didn't know how or when it would come. I had received bad news in an ultrasound before and I was alone.  I didn't ever want that to happen again.   

I remember asking her - after a long silence - what was wrong with my baby.  I remember how hard it was to get those words out.  She said she was having trouble finding some of the babies' major organs and needed some help.  I asked if her brain was ok.  She answered quickly "yes, everything is fine." And then she left to go get a few other technicians.  She probably had no idea how to answer my questions and I don't know why I was asking them when I was so afraid of the answers.

They tried to talk quietly but it was hard because I was lying down right beside them.  It felt like a lifetime and I know that much of it happened without Dave there.  I think I was too anxious, too desperate for them to find what they were looking for - and I couldn't ask them to go get him. I know that doesn't make sense, after what I just wrote about not wanting to be alone.  But I can't explain it.  I had such a hard time getting my words out - my wishes etc...

I was certain that they were talking about my baby's heart but when I asked them to repeat what they had said (to each other), they wouldn't answer.  The head technician said to me that they didn't want to alarm me but they saw a cyst in the abdomen.  (I think this later turned out to be her spleen) Finally they did go get Dave, but by then it was too late... I had heard enough to know that nothing would ever be the same again.  The head technician said again that they were having trouble seeing some of the organs - the heart, liver, kidneys. They wanted me to do an advanced ultrasound.  I knew they weren't telling me the whole truth...but I was much too afraid to press them on it. 

And I remember thinking it was better that way - that maybe I needed two more weeks to prepare myself for hearing everything....

Then, they showed us our baby.  And Dave sat beside me, holding my hand. But we didn't watch with the same joy and excitement we could have had. I knew what that kind of experience was like - and this wasn't it.  We fell in love with her though.  We saw perfect little arms and legs, a spine.  They told us that even the whites of her eyes were developing.  I felt relieved about these things - simple, yet so incredibly complex at the same time.  She (although we didn't know it was a she yet) was on her tummy, with her bum up and her legs curled up underneath. 

I remember thinking that we should have bought the ultrasound pictures.  I had planned to but everything threw me off. Later in the car, I had this incredible urge for us to turn around and get them in case she died.  But we didn't in the end.  I remember glancing at the waiting room as we left - the last place I had been before our world was first shattered - the place where I had only my premonitions.  The little girl and her doll were gone - replaced by several obviously pregnant women.  I envied them even though I knew nothing about their pregnancies.

And I felt so numb, so shaken.  It was hard to walk out that door and into the world again.  It was like life had stopped for us, and yet we needed to get home and get our kids, relieve our babysitter so she could get on with her day.  I felt like I was jerked back into the world of reality and I wasn't ready for it.  But I had no choice.  I know that I wanted desperately for someone to watch our kids for us - and at the same time, I needed to be near them too....
I remember calling our family and our friends.  We couldn't say much so we waited to tell too many others.  I think after a few days, I even started to convince myself that maybe I was wrong about what I had heard the techinicians saying to each other.  I tried to tell myself to not get ahead of myself, to wait until we had the next ultrasound.  

The rest of the day is under a haze.  I can't remember any more.  

I read my journal too and it doesn't really make sense.  I think what I was saying was "God help." over and over in different words. 

God, be our help. 


Janet said...

May God continue to comfort you & give you all even more strength...The last reading of the in "Our Daily Bread"was.
Shall not He who led me safely
Through the footsteps of this day
Lead with equal understanding
All along my future way ?

GOD'S guidance in the past gives courage for the future..I saw courage in you as I read your blog in the past year..Jesus led you each day.He picked you up & carried you,when you felt you couldn't...You didn't always understand,BUT you knew that Jesus had Rachel in HIS care..Thank you Kendra for keeping us all posted & sharing your journey.We are with you in prayer.
Much love
Janet M

amandadahmes said...

My daughter went through 5 different ultrasounds (thought she had a CHD). It is soooo scary. She turned out to be fine but in your case it a mothers worst nightmare. Im so sorry that this has happened to your family.
I watch your journal every day and pray for you. <3 in our thoughts.

Carlana said...

I have so many memories of our conversations in those first weeks. So many fears, so many unknowns, so many emotions. I remember I couldn't share your story with anyone without crying. What a year it has been for you. It has been amazing to see how you allowed God to carry you last year. I know this year brings a new set of fears, unknowns and emotions. Praying you will continue to feel God's comfort every hour, every day throughout this year.

fiona said...

kendra and dave - i want you to know, that i read every blog entry you write and weep through many of them. i want you to know that i am far away but loving you none the less . . . and i wish i had some beautiful word, but it feels like often there are no words - just crying out for mercy and peace and love and hope for you as i let my tears flow together with yours. all these tears remind me of how so much of what 'seems' to be important in life may, in fact, not be . . . there is a lot of 'stuff' that i concern myself with that won't really matter in the end. what will matter is how i loved. may you continue to find that God pours into your hearts His love so that you can love each other and your children well.

fiona said...

those who sow with tears shall reap with joy . . . this verse is in my head as i sit here considering all this pain . . . may this promise fill you with hope.

Kathy and Carl said...

I can't imagine the jumble of emotions that day and the days following. As you share your journey, we continue to pray for you, for strength and for comfort.