Living Life Underwater

Part 5 in the series on Pregnancy Loss

Living life underwaterLife can be surreal when you are grieving. It’s like you’re watching it happen but you’re not a part of it. Your movements and interactions with the world are foggy and remote – like you’re trying to talk to someone underwater. I’d be in the supermarket walking aimlessly around forgetting why I was even there. I’d interact with the cashier but I wouldn’t be able to remember the conversation twenty seconds later. I felt like I was dead but I was very much alive and breathing.

I don’t know how long I lived in my little underwater home but eventually God pulled me out because I never gave up crying out to Him and through the love of beautiful friends and my amazing husband I got some emotional CPR and began to live again.

John and I had this question we would ask each other almost everyday. It was ‘how full is your cup today’. A friend of mine who had sought counselling while going through a marriage break up had this advice given to her. It helped her when she received it and it helped us numerous times. Imagine a glass half full of stress. This glass represents the normal amount of stress you carry around with you in your everyday life. When you experience major trauma and or grief the ‘normal level’ of stress in your glass goes up. Imagine now that your glass is a couple of millimetres from spilling over. When something minor does happen your cup just ‘overflows’ and you find yourself reacting abnormally to a minor event. It took months and months and possibly years for our ‘stress levels’ to go back down to ‘normal’. In hindsight, I think God just expanded us into a glass that could hold more.

The one thing we gained from the second loss was a very clear diagnosis. I had what’s called an incompetent cervix. The cervix is a muscle that basically acts as a plug to keep the baby inside the uterus. My cervix muscle was weak and as soon as the baby started to gain weight it would push on the cervix muscle and it would just open up.  At the end of the second pregnancy I came to the attention of the head of obstetrics at the Mercy Hospital – Prof. Permezel. I used to call him “House’ after the American TV show because of his terrible bed side manner but brilliant mind. Despite his lack of sensitivity he was only Doctor I wanted on my team. When we did get pregnant again we went to see Prof. He literally sewed my cervix shut at 12 weeks.

One of biggest risks you run with having what is commonly known as the ‘stitch’ is that it can rub on the amniotic sac and wear a hole in it. Vomiting is not a friend of the stitch because when you vomit your stomach muscles contract pulling the uterus down causing the amniotic sac to rub on the stitch. Because of the excessive vomiting my waters broke at 17 weeks and two weeks later we delivered Drew John Warren. We had a quiet ceremony at home with a few friends.

As I write this account I get so sad for this person and then I remember that this is me. I want to remind you that no matter what it is you’re going through there is always, always hope. While my world got dark and cold at times there was always light somewhere in my life. God never allowed the darkness to swallow me completely. Somehow I just clung to Him and when I let go He clung to me. God never, ever  let me go. I let him go because I just didn’t have the strength to hold on anymore but He knew that and when I was weak He was strong. No matter how big your problems are God is bigger!

Over and Out.

Catherine xoxo

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