January 17, 2017.
I ran to babycenter.com because that's what you do when the little stick shows two pink lines side by side. I click on the "due date calculator" entered all the info to the best of my knowledge and clicked "calculate my due date" January 17, 2017, today is the day that my sweet baby # 6 should be here.
May 25, 2016.
I think I had taken at least three pregnancy tests by this point knowing that something wasn't right with me but was still getting negative reads. So in a last effort before my husband drove me to the dr. himself I took one more test. Shockingly this one was positive!! I realize after 5 kids I should just know. Well I don't and didn't at that time either. So I walk out to tell Eric that "guess what?! We are having a baby....again!"
I don't remember exactly but I'm pretty sure neither of us spoke for at least 5 minutes. I cried, and they were not happy cries. I was not excited, I might even say a little disappointed. I knew that the timing was terrible ,(as if there is ever a perfect time) I just knew I didn't want to be pregnant...AGAIN, I knew that Eric wasn't overly excited either, and as odd as it may sound I didn't want to tell people and hear the comments, you know the ones....
"Don't you know how that happens?"
"How can you afford all those kids?"
Or the ever so popular blank stare with wide
eyes and you can read their thoughts just by
looking at them.
So we kept it quiet. We continued with our scheduled events as though nothing had changed. That next day we were taking the kids to Disney just a few hours away from where we lived. At that same time we were also going to meet with the board of another church for an interview.
After the interview one of the ladies asked me "are you done having kids yet". It stopped me in my tracks for a second because I wasn't sure how to answer. It was at that moment the excitement filled me and I almost burst out "as a matter of fact no and we are pregnant now!!"I composed myself and just said "well nothing is permanent." I was excited...finally! To hear affirmation that it was ok to not be done having kids. We left to head to the hotel for the night and Eric and I were beaming with our five kids and one on the way. It was a good day!
May 26, 2016
We woke up, kids were so excited we were heading to animal kingdom that day! I hadn't felt great that morning but pushed through, had my coffee to kick start my energy and off we went. It was around lunch time that the pain in my stomach and back became more uncomfortable, I continued to push through. I remember telling Eric that I can't explain it but I just don't feel great. He asked me several times if we needed to leave but I said no lets keep going. "I can do this," I thought "we just have one more fast pass and then we can go." It got worse....
Before the kids went on the safari, our last fast pass ride, I told Eric to just leave me at the table and he can meet me back there after they were done. As I sat there it got worse...and worse...I remember texting Eric that I was going to find the bathroom. He told me to meet him at the front exit. I became disoriented, I couldn't find anything and I had been to that park at least 10 time in the last year I should know where I am. I gave up and sat down told him I was by nemo and he needed to come get me. I was at the back of the park.
As we are walking towards the front I had that feeling that I'm sure you all know well, the one where there is no time to find a toilet I'm going to vomit right now! So here I am hanging my head over the bridge in "the happiest place on earth" and my sweet brave husband oh so gently says "Angela, you need to move". Uh...I'm dying here! "There is a snake right by your head." Alrighty up I got and off we went.
Listen, if you know my husband at all you would know what a huge sacrifice that was right there, placing himself between the snake and I. He is deathly afraid of snakes!
As I continued to get sicker and sicker in the car, I finally gave up and asked him to take me to an ER. So with five kids in toe, two hours from our home I get taken in the back to be alone and he is left with the kids and no idea what is happening to his wife and unborn child.
I remember explaining that I should be about 7 weeks pregnant according to my calendar and that I'm having severe pain in my lower back and can not stop vomiting. They gave me what they could for someone who is pregnant to control the pain and wheeled me back for an ultrasound. It was quiet...the ultrasound tech never really spoke to me. I was nervous but to be honest I had no concern for my baby. I had five healthy pregnancies this one would be no different. I was 99% sure I had a kidney stone, my concern was that it may be stuck and because of being pregnant we wouldn't be able to do anything.
My suspicion was true...I had a stone but it wasn't stuck it was on the move. It was when the dr. said "we see a fetus...but its not 7 weeks" and in the same breath says "you may be wrong on the dates or you may be having a miscarriage"
As we left the hospital after 4 hours, I burst into tears sobbing to eric that I may be losing the baby but I don't know. The pain meds had worn off at that point as well and so the sickness continued all the way home.
The next week was crazy. I called the dr. made the appointment was told not to worry that I was just wrong on my timing. In the mean time we told some close friends and we told our parents. Thankfully this was the time that my in-laws come to stay with us for a month in the summer. While they were excited for us I think there was some concern. I had not wanted to tell them so soon but with the medical issues I was having I didn't want to wait.
June 5, 2016
This is our 12 year anniversary a day that we really hadn't thought about for the last two weeks because life had gotten crazy, just as it does in this circus of mine. We had planned to go to dinner to celebrate later, after all we had grandparents here we needed to utilize the free babysitting.
It was a Sunday, a normal routine of "hurry eat breakfast", "get dressed", "find your shoes", "why don't you have shoes on", "get in the car", "where are your shoes?", did you comb your hair?", "brush your teeth"...and I could go on for a long time of all the things that are shouted across the house on a Sunday morning while trying to make it to church on time. I hadn't felt great and was even a tad pale that day. I was scheduled to be in the nursery that day, if I'm being truthful I didn't want to. I didn't feel good, but no one knew so I went.
These two cuties would brighten anyone's day! I loved it they were both in a snuggly mood and to tell you the truth I needed some snuggles. I made it through and as I stood to walk out to the parking lot I knew something was terribly wrong.
Without speaking to anyone I found Eric and said "we have to go to the hospital now" It was from that point I knew in my head that it was the end. My heart just wouldn't let go.
As I went through a 3rd round of blood draw and another ultrasound, She saw the baby, she saw a heart beat, it was just very tiny and if I remember correctly was measuring the same size it had a week ago in a different emergency room, but my blood results were saying the complete opposite. I had never paid any attention to my blood levels until this pregnancy.
My head was pounding, my eyes were burning, we were hungry and my body was rebelling against me. I was angry, I was sad, I wanted to know why, and I wanted the drs to fix it. As I sat not speaking all of these things were going through my head.
"Don't they know what is happening?"
"Why are they not calling my dr.?"
"Shouldn't they be giving me something to stop this from happening?"
They sent me home with this conclusion:
"your blood test shows you're losing the baby, the ultrasound shows a heartbeat it really could go either way" and then we were released.
As we pulled into the drive way and I stood up out of the car that was it, it was done. Again my heart wasn't going to let go, so as I spent the next three days in and out of bed tiptoeing as lightly as I could trying to rest because I was going to save this baby. No one told me I needed to be on bed rest, no one told me I couldn't go out and about with my family, my instructions were to just take care of myself and keep my appointment on Wednesday.
June 8, 2016
Exactly two weeks since that positive test, I went to the final ultrasound to confirm that the baby was gone. As soon as I looked on the screen I knew. Empty. There was nothing there, no sign that anything had ever happened. My bleeding had pretty much stopped at that point and I felt like I had been in a terrible dream. I had to replay it in my mind a few times to make sure that I had not just made this all up. To be honest I hadn't seen the same person once during these two weeks, every dr, nurse, tech, I came into contact with I had to re-explain the history. I wondered if I had made it up but if I had, so had Eric. As I sobbed into his shoulder I kept saying "I'm sorry, I really did want this baby" I felt so guilty for even suggesting that I didn't want to have another baby. It took awhile to get over that guilt.
That night we told the kids that they had a baby brother or sister up in heaven. My little ones didn't really understand but my bigs....as their eyes filled with tears asking why, I tried to come up with something to tell them. I had nothing, no answers, no explanation as to why God allowed me to carry this baby for just a short time. We explained how neat it is that our baby is in heaven, and what an exciting day when we finally meet.
In the days and months following I healed...but my heart is still working on it. You see as a mom of five beautiful healthy children I feel almost guilty for hurting so badly. I have a precious friend who has had many losses, I know some women who have had to go to great lengths just to have a baby. Can I tell you though, when I speak to those sweet friends, they remind me that it doesn't matter how many living children you have, it was a life, a child. I am allowed to mourn that loss.
For the most part life goes on, I am happy, I have a great family. As a matter of fact we are officially known as the #skeltonfamilycircus that makes my heart melt. There are hard days, days when I see us all together and wonder what life would be like with a 6th, wondering what this one would look like, a boy or a girl, would they be wild, outgoing like Erin, stubborn like Nathan, independent Lily, or shy and reserved a quiet gentle spirit like my Aiden or a little mix of stubborn, and gentle like Gavin. I will never know but I'm so glad that for two weeks the Lord trusted me to carry this precious child.
I will never understand but I do know that it has changed me. It has shown me that these children are not mine to have that they are God's children in my care for only a short time. In that short time I am to love them, and lead them in the way of the Lord.
As for today, the birthday of our sweet angel baby I am holding onto the verse:
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
I'm going to rest in his peace today.
Happy birthday Angel baby!
( a drawing Erin drew for her brother or sister love boat was our favorite ice cream place)