In the fall of 2008, we found out the exciting news that we would be adding an addition to our already family of three. We had a precious three year old baby boy that we were over the moon in love with, but knew that we were hoping for a family of four. We also wanted a girl! A perfect little family of four, with a big brother and a little sister, a boy and a girl.
I also had plans of my own. My plan was to have all the baby making out of the way by the time I was thirty! I had given birth to Garrett Cinch when I was 25, so I would be done when I was 28. I was stoked that my perfect life was working out so well.
In addition, I was blessed with the most amazing step-daughter in the world, who quickly became my friend and family. She was thirteen when Ryan and I got married and she told me that it kinda sorta made me like a mom! I love her like my own flesh and blood.
So my point is that life is great and I’m on top of the world.
At this point in my life I had not yet learned that “fear is a lair”. And at this point, my biggest fear was loosing a child! You might ask, why would you even think of such a thing when everything seems to be going so great in your life? Well, my mom had lost a baby, my aunt had lost a son, my grandma had lost a daughter….it was real, it happened and I didn’t think I was strong enough of a person to survive it.
This was my real fear. I even had crazy thoughts like “what if I get stretch marks and then I don’t have a baby to show for my sacrifice”…sounds insane doesn’t it! It was crazy talk in my head, but it was real. Silly and trivial, but overall, I didn’t think I could handle loss on any level.
So, it was early on, I was eight and a half weeks along and we hadn’t even made it to the doctor’s appointment yet. I had scheduled it, but I wasn’t in a hurry. I had been working out and eating healthy. We totally planned this pregnancy! I was a school counselor and we had a planned due date of May 3. Perfect for maternity leave over the summer. Everything was going to be just perfect.
I can remember it like yesterday. I left work to go to a visitation of a family friend in the neighboring town. My parents, Ryan and Garrett Cinch would meet me there. It was a great visitation, you always see people you haven’t seen in a while.
The Day My Heart Sank
We were all in separate cars, so I had to drive myself home. We had just gotten on the road a few miles down the road, when there was a gush. Mind you I am by myself with my parents and Garrett in the truck in front of me and Ryan behind me. I grabbed a napkin and too my shock, it was dark brownish red fluid. Immediately, I did a u-turn and headed back where I had come from, because there was a hospital there. I called Ryan and my parents and let them know what I was doing. Ryan followed me.
They took me in quickly. There was a lot more blood, an IV and then they told me they couldn’t help me there. They needed to transfer me to a bigger Emergency Room.
Once we got to the bigger hospital, they ran tests and did exams. They came and told Ryan and I that I had had a miscarriage, and that I would need to follow up with my regular doctor. They said, go home and try to do your normal activity. I already had a doctors appointment the next week, so next week I would see the doctor.
That weekend was tough. I felt like I was in a daze, just num inside. I tried to focus on Garrett and even went and watched him in the annual four-wheeler rodeo, but I was kinda dying inside. How did this happen?
But I was a counselor, what would I tell someone in my own shoes. God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle. Right God, I’ve got this! Picking myself up now…
The Doctor’s Appointment
An early Monday morning I went in chipper to my doctor’s office, ready to move on and find out when we could start trying again. When asked how I was doing, I thought fine, I had picked myself up! I told him all about what happened and how I thought I was dying, but really it was going to be okay. It was just a bump in the road, “so when can we start trying again?” I asked.
Well, he said “We need to get you over for an ultra sound” and “I don’t want to get your hopes up, but we didn’t find any fetal parts in the samples they tested at the hospital. Now that doesn’t mean they weren’t there before you were able to get the test, which is why we need an ultra sound.” Or he said something like that! Very, very close!
I couldn’t get in for the ultra sound for like four and a half hours!!!! So, I sat in my car and cried. I rode on the four-wheeler with Garrett this weekend, what had I done?? My brain was spinning! I thought I had had a miscarriage. I might still have a baby inside me, but I might not. The hours went by so slowly.
The Ultra Sound
She wasn’t legally allowed to really tell me anything…my nerves are shot! What little I knew about ultra sounds from my previous child, I was pretty sure we had a child. We had a child!!!!! A baby was still inside me!!! Relief, panic, crazy talk, I don’t even know what I was thinking.
I am a high risk pregnancy. My doctor told the baby may or may not make it. I would need to go to a big city for part of my pregnancy, but my doctor could still be my doctor too. I had started bleeding at 8.5 weeks and continued to bleed internally until 26.5 weeks. The high tech ultra sounds were able to detect that I was the one bleeding, not the baby. That was a relief, I would handle me bleeding.
We decided not to tell people I was pregnant. We weren’t sure how long I was going to be able to carry this child. Plus, I would bleed into hytoma and then I would bleed it out. So some days I looked a little prego, but most days I didn’t.
I believe it was 16 weeks we had another ultra sound, which we had a lot of, but this time was to find out the sex. Was this going to be our little girl we had dreamed of? Ryan went with me and sure enough, there were three little white lines, which meant it was a girl. This was our little Loreena Rein!
It’s A Girl
I’m elated that it is a girl! I’m also tired, I’ve been bleeding for eight weeks now. They have me on all kinds of vitamins and extra iron. I feel dizzy and light headed a lot. I’m lacking energy at my job. They put me on modified bed rest.
I’m holding our for week 24 when I’m pretty sure that they will have to try to save her, if she comes early. Apparently, with the kind of internal bleeding I have, early delivery is a huge risk. I’m scared but holding in there. God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.
It is almost time for the NFR and Ryan will be gone for three weeks. Just me and Garrett at home. Loreena likes to move around a kick a lot, which Garrett thoroughly enjoys. We bought a baby monitor system so that Garret could listen to her heartbeat anytime he wanted. Which was every night. I have to admit it was quite comforting to listen to her! So, that is what we did while dad was gone.
Having never actually delivered a baby naturally before, or having my water break before, I didn’t get too alarmed when I had some fluid get my sleeping pants wet one day. I just thought my bladder was getting pushed on. It wasn’t really that much anyway.
The Cat Is Out Of The Bag
Ryan finally made it home. We made it through Christmas, I was looking a little pregnant at this point. We were over 20 weeks. So, We decided to let the cat out of the bag! We were pregnant. I had been bleeding for over 12 weeks.
The bleeding seemed to pause! Could it be? Were things finally going to work out? We decided to go to the western market and look for products. I was tired but it was a good trip! Garrett was great and all the venders made over him.
We decided to go to Arkansas for the weekend, where Ryan is from and stay at his Grandma’s house.
She came with the storm
In the middle of the night, I awoke. There was more blood. I hadn’t bleed in two or three weeks. We had to leave Garrett and head to the city to labor and delivery. She was at 26 weeks.
We were immediately told that I had lost almost all of my amniotic fluid and that they were going to try to keep her inside me for as long as possible. It was Sunday. My brother went and picked up Garrett and they headed my way, including my mother. There was a terrible snow storm brewing. Fortunately, my brother had an apartment in town.
Early Wednesday morning, while the electricity was out and they had to bring in special equipment that ran off battery power, they ran more tests and decided that they were going to take her. That she had a better shot outside of me. Snow covered the ground everywhere.
January 28th, 2009
I gave birth to a beautiful dark haired, long fingered, 1 pound and 10 oz, 20 inch long baby girl. She didn’t like to be wet and she had the most perfect skin. Did I mention she had lots of hair. Everything looked great, they even talked to Ryan about special car seats and the special treatments they would do for her eyes since she was early.
Everything was going to be okay. God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.
They immediately had me start pumping, because they wanted her to have my milk. I pumped everything I could and they were feeding it too her. We would go to the NICU everyday to check on her, but the nurses wanted me to focus on my recovery too. I had been bleeding internally for 18 weeks. I listened, but wanted to be with her too. We had lots of visitors and people went down to see her. I gave birth to a baby girl ya’ll! I can’t tell you how proud I was of this beautiful little girl.
On the fourth day they released me and I had to move my things to the Ronald McDonald House. But, I was also going to finally get to kangaroo my baby, which means skin on skin. That evening we went down to get to kangaroo and they were running tests. They told us that her numbers were still in the normal range, but on the low end of normal so they wanted to wait til tomorrow.
I’m not going to lie I was disappointed. I talked to her and looked at her lovingly and longingly. Then we had to leave, but my collage roommates had made dinner for us, so we got to go to her house before headed over to Ronald McDonald.
The Day My Angel Was Born
In the middle of the night, we got a call. They had warned us about this. Sometimes we would have to come sign consents to do procedures, etc. We tried not to get to alarmed. We got dressed and headed over to the NICU.
Ryan pulled in and got me a wheelchair to make it easier. I wasn’t getting around well. When we got there, they buzzed us in. They were working with her. Lots of doctors, running tests doing different things. I started praying “Dear Lord please save my baby, please keep her safe with me, use her as a testimony as to what you can do” I begged God to save my baby. I knew it was bad.
They worked with her for two hours. There was a moment when I knew it was over, I just knew and I changed my prayer. “Dear lord please keep her safe in your loving arms.” Then her main doctor looked at me and said she needs you now. They quickly removed everything and handed her to me as I asked “Is she completely gone?” and she said yes. I kissed her so softly and told her “Mommy loves you, Mommy loves you.” God doesn’t give you any more than you can handle.
The hospital was wonderful, they took care of me when my blood pressure plummeted, they took pictures of us with baby Loreena Rein. They dressed her and got her hand print. The nurses helped us call family. They let us stay as long as we wanted.
I’m not telling this story so that you will feel sorry for us or my family, but in the hopes that our story could possibly help someone else. You are not alone and God doesn’t give you anymore than you can handle and I survived. You can too.
I was blessed with the most beautiful little baby girl who is now an angel in heaven. I will make sure that I get to see her again.
Not that it matters, but on the day after her funeral, the snow and ice started to melt. She came and went with the snow storm. My snow angel.
If you would like to share your story, I’m a great listener and hopefully soon I will post an “advice from an angel mom, for what it is worth”! Be looking for it if you are interested.
Always, Bridget – the cowboy’s wife and an angel’s mommy
PS If you want to share your pics I would love to see them! The hardest thing for me was wanting to share my beautiful baby and knowing people wouldn’t know what to say, because she was gone. Love ya’ll! Just like God says “Love one another”!