Sunday, December 4, 2016

Joy and Pain and Everything in Between

Hey TrelleBlazers,

It's been a LONGG LONNNG LONGGGG time. SO much has transpired in this past year. Today's blog is a departure from fashion and all that good stuff and is a little uncomfortable and dare I say deep. I was reading a piece online this a.m. about stillborn deaths. And, it stirred up a bunch of emotions. I do share from time to time on social media, but I recognize everyone doesn't like sensitive subjects. Additionally, I've been hesitant because I'm truly not looking for pity or even likes. I want to share my story to help someone. Deep breaths.....And HERRRREEEE we go.....

I was young and a new bride in an unfamiliar city. Oh, and pregnant. About 4 months into the pregnancy, I woke up with the most intense need to pee that I've ever had in my life. I didn't make it to the bathroom and there was more urine than I'd ever experienced. Two days later, I woke up with the most horrible stomach cramps. It's amazing how your body innately knows something even if it's never experienced it. I said to Tyrone, "I think I'm having a miscarriage". Tyrone thought I was jumping the gun and I kinda agreed. I decided to call out of work and stay home and rest.  Two hours later, the pain was more intense and I felt like I needed to go to the bathroom. Please brace yourselves. Moments later, I looked down sensing something was terribly wrong. There were my daughter's feet. Scared out of my head, I jumped up. There was no way I was going to have this baby at home by myself. I quickly dialed 911. In my heart, I knew she was dead. But, a part of me held on to hope. The EMT's quickly arrived. And I asked, "Is she dead". The guy just said, 'let's just wait until we get to the hospital'. My heart sank.  We arrived to the hospital and I’ll always remember the ER doctor. He was rude and heartless. I was quietly crying on the stretcher and he said ‘dry your eyes. This is a blessing. You young teen girls have no business being Moms.”. I told him that I was a married woman and he quickly apologized, but I remember thinking what difference did that really make. I was laying here with a half delivered baby hanging out of me and this man was telling to suppress my mourning. And, that is exactly what I did.

Before this experience, I just assumed that miscarriages meant that you kinda just passed the baby with minimal pain. I quickly found out that because I was 16 weeks, I’d have to go through the labor process. I was moved to a room and the hours began. About 10 hours later, I had delivered a beautiful, already deceased babygirl. I couldn’t bear to see her or hold her. My husband described her to me. Perfect was the word he used to describe her.

Life went on and now settling into married life, we planned our next child. After just a few tries, we were pregnant. And, ecstatic. My pregnancy was high risk and my doctor put me on moderate bed rest. Christmas was approaching and I was too excited to put up the baby’s Christmas stocking. On Christmas eve, I went to my doctor’s appointment. My doctor was so excited. Everything looked great. She said to me “LaTrelle, congratulations, I think we are safe now. You can breathe easier”…22 weeks in. YES. The next morning, I was walking up the stairs, and my water broke. We rushed to the hospital. They ran tests. And the news I’d been dreading was confirmed. “Mrs. Chase, the baby is deceased”. While dealing with the pain of the news, we had to prepare for the pain of labor and delivery. 10 hours later, with Tyrone and 3 friends at my bedside, my son, already deceased came into the world. Again, I couldn’t hold him or see him. But, my husband and my girlfriend did. They both described him as perfect. The doctor told me if it had been 2-3 weeks later, his lungs probably would have been more developed and they could have saved him.

Life went on, but I grew more and more withdrawn. I started feeling the familiar symptoms of pregnancy, but each pregnancy test came back negative. I accepted a consulting job in Alabama. No real periods, but positive pregnancy tests. I was sitting at my desk and those tell tell stomach cramps started. I left work and immediately drove to the hospital. Explaining my symptoms and my history, they sent me away convincing me that I was just hyper senstivie because of all I’d been through with my stillbirths. I drove myself back to my hotel. 10 minutes later, my water broke. I drove myself back and the doctor said, ‘there’s no way’.  I was rushed to an ultra sound. And, staring back at me was a baby. Not just any baby. A live baby. With a heartbeat. The doctor said “Mrs. Chase, you have a decision to make. You’re in labor. So, we can deliver now, and there is a 99.9% chance he won’t make it 10 minutes outside of the womb. Or we can  wait”. So, I waited. I waited for my child to pass away because I couldn’t handle it. I often wonder ‘what if’. However, my mental state was so fragile, I believe I would have lost my mind. I’d been through SO much. And, I really never shared my pain with anyone besides Tyrone. I never wanted to burden anybody or make anybody uncomfortable. So, I put on a mask and I lived. Except, I didn’t live. I was a walking dead person.  And, at every turn there was some person saying  that is was somehow my fault. Maybe if I had done this. Or hadn’t done that. And, every comment was like a shot with an assault rifle.

And after years of existing, I gave up. I slipped into a deep depression. Religion made me pretend that everything was ok. As long as I looked the part, nobody questioned me. So I became an expert at mask wearing. I have to say that during this time, Tyrone hung in there with me. He encouraged me. Prayed for me. Listened to me. Took the brunt of my anger. Kept the house afloat. Kept me from drowning. I can’t remember when the turning point was, but I will say when I turned my back on religion, but opened myself up to Jesus Christ (and therapy), a change took place.

I don’t have it all together. Some days, I still cry. There are many times that I question God. However, I can’t change any of it. All I can say is that I’ve been through some stuff. That had the potential to make me lose my mind. And truth be told, I did lose my mind. But with prayer and a renewed will to live and a sense of purpose, I was able to find me again. And, I guess that’s the message in all of this. We all go through stuff. And some of that stuff pushes us to a dark and ugly place. But, then we have a choice. We can’t let it bury us like a corpse or we can realize that the dirt didn’t come to bury you, the dirt came to grow you. Because you’re a seed. Remember that TrelleBlazers.