Sunday, January 22, 2006

Time to get personal

I have a new blog challenge for those of you willing to do it with me.
Today in Relief Society (the LDS church’s woman’s
organization) we were handed a folder with a sheet of paper inside. This year we are going to work on writing a personal history. Each week the leaders will give us a new topic. Since I missed last week, I was given two topics in my binder.
So I am going to use the topic as the jumping off point for my blog each Sunday. Since I suspect the topics will be a little personal, I am not going to include the entire writing in my blog. But I will include some thoughts.
You mission, should you choose to accept it, it to write with me on the topics.
Again, I don’t need to see your entire entry in your blog, but I would love to see a few lines to get the gist of your personal history writing.
I have two topics today, since I missed last week. So you can choose which of them you wish to use. The topics are:
What is the most trying experience that ever happened to you?
Tell about the places you’ve worked.

I am going to write about the first one, the lose of my baby, Duncan at 18 weeks. But it is going to take me some time to formulate my thoughts and go where I need to go mentally to write it.
Good luck, everyone.

The story of Duncan

Okay, this is very long and very sad. I understand if you don't want to read it all. Believe it or not, this is the edited version.

After all the excitement we went home, I laid down on my bed for a nap and David went in to put Logan to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom then it happened. I heard a pop, and then felt the wetness, followed immediately by a sense of panic.
No, it didn’t happen. My water did not just break.
There was no blood. So everything was okay, wasn’t it?
It wasn’t.
Yes, my water did break. I had started the morning laughing with the doctor who was pleased because I had managed to get my blood pressure down. That afternoon I was on a gurney at the local ER waiting for a specialist to come and see what was going on. I was 15 weeks into my pregnancy.

My next doctor’s appointment was a nightmare. The waiting area was stacked to the rafters with cranky pregnant ladies. I was past cranky, I was terrified. I knew one of the couples in the waiting room from my church. They were due to deliver about a month before my due date. They were there to have an ultrasound and determine the gender of their baby.
We joked about baby names and had a great chat while I tried to keep my fear at bay. Eventually my husband threw a fit that I, who had been told to lie down, had been sitting in the doctor’s waiting room for over an hour.
They ushered us into an examining room where I reclined and studied the drawings of the fetuses in various stages of development. As I laid there I felt it, the tiny fluttering of movement poetically known as quickening. My baby was still alive and kicking. It is rather unusual to feel the quickening at 15 weeks, but I think the loss of amniotic fluid made it easier for me to feel the tiny little body flipping in my womb.
When the nurse came and took us into another room she told me a woman had been having a miscarriage, and she was so weak from loss of blood she could not get off the examining table.
So I sat on the table and noticed in the corner next to the trash can a clot of blood on the carpet. I knew, as I studied the stain, that I would be next.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I stayed in bed through that month of October. I watched the leaves turn golden outside my window. The course for the St. George marathon passed a block away from our home. I can remember the window to my room was open and I could hear the crowds cheering as each runner came down the hill, past the park. They were almost at the home stretch.
We went in for an ultra sound and I thought I saw something indicating my baby was a boy. I had wanted a girl, but, hummm, that sure looked male to me. But the ultrasound tech wouldn’t tell us anything, which is never a good sign.
I think it was the next day that I was in the waiting room again. I had been throwing up, and I was quickly losing hope that my baby would survive the ordeal with any kind of good health.
The nurses had decorated the waiting room for Halloween. I tried not to look at the grinning paper cut-out of a life-sized skeleton. It looked a little too much like my ultrasound pictures.
That afternoon I started having contractions. I dressed and knelt down to talk to Logan. I remember telling him that I was sick and I thought the baby was very sick. I told him I didn’t think the baby was gong to survive, but I thought I would be okay.
We went into the hospital and sure enough, I was in labor.
I don’t know how long it was before my baby was born. He was alive, he was a boy, He looked just like his brother, Logan.
David and I sobbed as the doctor came in and cut the chord, handed me my son, Duncan, then I handed him over to David who held him as he died.
I was given some heavy-duty medication. I don’t remember the pain. David was not so lucky.
We called the mortuary, owned by a life-long friend of David’s family, and made arrangements for a graveside service.
The nurses took Duncan away, cleaned him up, dressed him in a tiny donated gown, and had photographs taken.
I took the bow off the back of my wedding gown and picked out the stitches. It was a big bow, big enough to serve as an elaborate beaded blanket for my tiny little son.
Then I wrote a poem:
Born too soon,
My little one,
And too soon from me taken.
But you will always be my son,
My God has not forsaken.


Amy Sorensen said...

I've admired your blog and your 2peas entry for awhile now, but I don't think I've ever posted a comment! But I had to respond to this one.

First off, I love, love, love this idea and wish my ward would do it, too. In fact I am going to suggest it to our RS president. Especially since President Woodruff was SO invested in journals!

Second, I'm totally going to take up your challenge. Thanks for sharing it!

Wyo sis said...

I'm lmost too sad to comment. Thanks for being brave enough to write that. It helps me understand a little better.

Zoobies big sis said...

thank you so much for sharing this chalenge and your own story.I am so inspired, and as the Enrichment counselor for our ward, I see an idea forming!
-zoobies big sis!

Renee said...

I am so sorry for your loss, but truly admire your ability to write about it.

Dar said...

Such a terribly sad story and yet you wrote it beautifully. Sorry for the loss of Duncan. Hugs.

Wonderful challenge.

Barb said...

Alleen, you are a gifted writer. Your story has touched my heart in a way I cannot describe. I am so sad for your loss, and I cannot even begin to imagine how hard it was for you and your family. (((hugs)))

pudding for brains said...

You have an incredible ability to express yourself Alleen.
I knew some of the story of Duncan, some from you, some from David...I really admire the fact that you were able to write this, and I am so glad that you did, because through my tears I got to know you better...and admire you more. Keiauni

Amy Sorensen said...

I'm so sorry this happened to you. You're brave to write it down, but I hope that the writing helps with the ongoing healing.