Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How it feels . . .

This is something I wrote close to three weeks ago. It was a bit of what I was feeling at the time. When this was wrote I had no intention of sharing it with anyone, it was just a way of venting at the time. Someone told me I should share it more, so here it is.

I can't imagine this is just how "I" feel, or felt at the time. I think anyone who has suffered a loss too early feels a lot of the same things.

"You know when you leave the hospital after giving birth to a baby who God took way too soon they give you lots of information. The doctors and nurses, and even well meaning friends and family say lots of different things. The fact is though, no one seems to say it all, or know when to leave well enough alone. People mean well, but if they've never been there they don't get that sometimes the best medicine is a hug, and knowing that they care. Even if they have been there, their three losses doesn't make this loss of yours hurt less. The fact that their mother's sister's cousin's stepfather's monkey lost two babies doesn't make this loss any easier to take.

They tell you that you are going to bleed, you just gave birth. The nurses are as compassionate and as kind as they can be as they give you the pads and tell you that you might have a period for the next six weeks - to expect what seems like a lot of blood for awhile. They don't tell you that sometimes you wish there were more pain to go with the blood, that maybe that pain, physical pain, would hurt less than feeling this pain coming from everywhere in you, and everywhere you look. The nurses tell you to take motrin for the cramping, it will make it a little easier. Don't they get that you want to feel pain, physical pain would be so much easier to deal with. You want a pain that would take your mind and spirit off of the pain that seems to be ripping you apart, one tiny piece of your heart at a time.

They tell you that your body has to go through the natural birth process, and the bleeding is part of that. What's natural about a baby leaving this world before he ever came into it? What's natural about losing a child? What's natural about them telling you that there is no choice, it's either the baby, or you and the baby? They don't seem to understand that sometimes you wish it had been both of you, because at least then you'd be with him. At least if you'd gone with him then your arm's wouldn't be aching to hold him knowing they never will. At least then you could see him open his eyes. At least then your heart wouldn't feel so far away.

Another thing that they share with you is that there is a strong chance that your milk is going to come in. They tell you what to do, wrap up your chest tight, take cold showers, don't let running water run over your chest, don't allow your nipples to be stimulated. The nurses don't warn you that your body doesn't know you've lost the child you've been dreaming of. No one tells you that you'll have to walk through a Target store to get a sport bra, to hold your boobs tightly, to help keep your breasts from hurting from your milk coming in to feed the child that isn't there. The nurses don't tell you that hearing a baby cry will make your chest ache in a way that it's never ached before, a way that is just one more reminder of how you failed your child.

Another thing I've noticed is that everyone wants to know how you are doing; you as in the mom. No one seems to ask how daddy is doing. No one seems to understand that watching dad go through this pain is worse than going through it yourself. Nobody realizes that you would give anything to be able to take that pain away from him. There isn't anyone out there that warns you that you'll forever wonder if dad would have been better off never knowing, never loving, and never having you in their life, because without all that, this pain would not be there for them. They don't seem to understand that you know that without you, he wouldn't have to be hurting this way.

When people ask, and people call,
They ask if I'm alright.
No one seems to notice, or remember
He too lost a child that night..

When you lose a child people don't warn you that you'll feel lost in places that you've been a million times before. No one tells you that you'll never feel so lost, so scared, so hopeless, or so claustrophobic in your entire life. No one warns you that you won't be able to breathe, that the world suddenly will have no air left in it, and you won't be able to move. They don't warn you that all the sudden every store has baby stuff everywhere, and that every single woman everywhere you go is going to be pregnant. Suddenly you feel like the only person out there who isn't pregnant or doesn't have a baby in their arms. Everywhere you look will be a reminder of the child that should still be inside of you, the child that should still be with you.

No one warns you that starting each day is like being shocked awake after a nightmare. That every morning when you begin to regain the ability to think it's like having the nightmare of the past come rushing in all at once. They don't tell you that every morning the pain feels fresh, like it just happened. Each day starts out with tears that you can't stop and you wonder why and what the point is of even waking up each morning. You end up laying there in bed reliving each and every moment all over again, wanting and wishing that the baby that should still be in you was still there. Your hand moves to the round belly thats suddenly flatter, wishing you could feel the kicks and flutters just one more time.

Well meaning people tell you "at least you were able to get pregnant" they tell you "you'll have another baby". They don't seem to understand that this baby, this child, isn't replaceable. It's not like a broken watch that you can just go out and buy a new one - even if this baby never took a breath of air he was a baby. This baby was a person, your child, and you can't just forget him, or switch him out. A new baby might be in your future, but that new baby won't take away the hurt of losing this one. Being able to get pregnant isn't the same as bringing a beautiful life into this world, raising them and watching them grow. All it means is you can get pregnant, it doesn't mean you can bring a happy healthy child home to his nursery, and be there for their first cuts and bruises. They don't seem to understand you don't want a replacement, you don't want another baby, you want the life that was lost.

All of the sudden people don't know what to say when you are around. All of a sudden conversations stop when you get close. Friends who used to call every day suddenly don't. People avoid talking about your baby after you've lost them. What no one tells you, and no one seems to understand is that you wish someone would talk about your baby. People are going on living their lives like nothing happened and all you want is to know that you aren't the only person out there who is going to remember your child. You baby was alive, and real, and you loved him, and it hurts that people won't bring him up. They think they are saving you the pain of remembering him, and yes it does hurt, but at least you know someone else remembers him too. Your baby may not have been here on this earth very long, but he was here. Your baby made an impact on your life, and changed you, how is it that no one else seems to see that? How is it that no one else realizes that someone lost their life, and that someone deserves to be mourned, and praised. Just because he wasn't around very long does not mean he didn't change the world. Sometimes it seems like you and your husband are the only two people who even knew this baby existed, the only two people who will ever care that he was here and is gone. Just so you know that you and hubby aren't the only two people who are feeling this loss.
Sometimes you just wish someone would mention his name just so you know he was real.

No one warns you that you might feel guilty for laughing, really laughing. They don't warn you how when you do finally laugh for real, for the first time, that it hits you like a ton of bricks how long it's been since you really did laugh. No one seems to understand that it's okay to tell a joke, it's okay for them to be happy, you need to see the sun shining now more than ever. Your world feels like you are in the middle of a thunderstorm that's never ending and you need nothing more than that little ray of light.

No one out there can give you the words to explain how you wish you could find yourself doubting God. They don't warn you that doubting God's existence would be easier. While you can't find it in you to doubt God, while you can't find a way to pretend He didn't exist, there were times you wish you could. It would be so much easier to view the taking of this tiny life as an act of nature, than an act of God. It would be easier to say that it "just happened" than to try to figure out why God would allow this to happen. What reason could God possibly have, what lesson could be learned, from bringing a life into this world to take it away before it has a chance to live? You've spent years of your life worshipping God, praising Him, offering Him your life to do what He may, and He chose to take your child? What could possibly be the lesson here? You know that God gave His only Son up for you. At the same time Christ lived, and lives. God was able to see His Son grow, God was able to see Christ no matter what or where He was, because God knows and see's all. God was able to call Christ back to Him, you don't have that option. The only time you've had with your child was the time they spent inside of you. Your child was not even given the chance to live. God brought His Son to Him, God took your child from you. People will tell you that God did not take your child from you, that was Satan trying to pull you from God, and Satan chose to take your child's life. Then you think of the Bible saying that nothing can happen to you that does not go through God Himself. So why would God then allow this? Despite the fact that you wish you you could doubt Him, you wish that you could find it in yourself to pretend God wasn't there, you can't. All that's left for you to do is accept. All that's left is for you to hold God to His promise, that you will see your child again in Heaven. All that's left is for you to continue living your life for God, knowing that God will not lie, and that He keeps His word. People mean well when they tell you "He's in a better place", what they don't know is how you long to be there too. People mean well, but they don't know that sometimes all that keeps you going is knowing that God has promised you a place in Heaven, and it's only there you will see your child again.

Everyone tells you "this isn't your fault". How is this NOT your fault? How do you get over the fact that it was your body that let this child down? How are you supposed to get through the day knowing that it was your body that killed your child? It was your cervix that wouldn't hold on tight enough. It was your cervix that opened too soon. It was your body that let this happen. It was your body that kicked your baby out too many weeks too soon. They tell you that there was nothing you could have done. How do they know? How could you not know that something was wrong, it was your body after all? How come you couldn't feel that the baby's life was in danger. It was your job to protect this child, to grow this life, to bring this baby into the world ready to go. It was your body that let his life be put in danger. It was your body that caused his life to end early. Nobody tells you that if there was anything in this world you felt the need to apologize for it would be the fact that you failed your child when it mattered most.

~Tammy Doern~"

Monday, July 27, 2009

The future...

First, I want to thank everyone for the support you have given to both Kelley and I. While we may not take everyone up on the offers to talk, or for whatever else we need, it means a lot to us. Just knowing that there are people out there praying for us, thinking about us, and there if we need them makes it easier to keep going. It's sort of like a fisherman and the coast guard... they hope they never need the help of the coast guard but it's comforting knowing they are there if they do.

I figured I would let everyone know what the tentative plans are right now.

This blog is going to keep going. When I started this blog it was going to be the story of my pregnancy, bringing my son/daughter into the world, and the ups and downs of raising our baby to be a happy, healthy, caring person. No one could have seen in advance the turns that took place during the pregnancy, or ending the pregnancy. As far as the future, I hope the blog will go the same way, the story just isn't going to be as quick and concise as we'd hoped.

Kelley and I still want a child. Whether that child in the end is borne from me, or we adopt, we will at some point have a child in our lives. Kelley and I have both decided that we would like to try again for a baby when we can. The doctors have given me the time frame for when we can try again, and when we are mentally and physically ready we will.

As far as the reason we lost Christopher, it was due to finding out I have an "incompetent cervix". What this means is that my cervix simply is not strong to hold a baby in. Basically the cervix starts opening and your body cannot hold the baby in. Based on what I've read, and heard, more than 25% of second trimester losses are attributed to incompetent cervix. That number they believe should be much higher as too often babies are lost without them knowing why - and the only way to be sure it's the IC is to do ultrasounds of the cervix. I've also found that about 2% of all pregnancies deal with an incompetent cervix - which to me is a pretty high number.

There has been a ton of research done on incompetent cervix, ways to prevent it, what causes it, and how to tell if a woman is going to deal with it. Research has found precious little information. They have yet to find anything that can prevent someone from having IC, and they have not found any way of telling in advance if or when a woman will deal with IC.

What does this mean for a future pregnancy? What this means is that if/when we become pregnant again I can look forward to many many more doctor visits. From what I've heard I will have at the least bi-weekly ultrasounds checking my cervix, and possible twice weekly visits.

They have something they call a "cerclage" that will be put in place between weeks 12-16 of the pregnancy. A cerclage is basically them tying or stitching the cervix closed so that it cannot open early, it's a small surgery. When I reach weeks 36 plus in the pregnancy at some point they will go in and take out the cerclage. There are quite a few risks to having a cerclage done, but it's positives outweight those by far.

What are the risks? Having the cerclage put in can cause infection, and it can also a miscarriage. I could also go into preterm labor just having the cerclage put in. Later during the pregnancy if I start having contraction that can cause serious problems with the cerclage - and could even cause the cerclage to rip my cervix. So often the woman is given medication, shots or pills, to take if she thinks she is feeling contractions to prevent this.

Depending on how the pregancy goes I may have no limitations extra compared to a "regular" pregnancy, or I could end up on bedrest for most of the pregnancy. It all depends on God, my body, and the baby.

Thank you again for your thoughts and prayers, it's heartening to know that so many people care about us.

Saturday, July 11, 2009



performed by MercyMe

You're in a better place, I've heard a thousand times

And at least a thousand times I've rejoiced for you

But the reason why I'm broken, the reason why I cry

Is how long must I wait to be with you

I close my eyes and I see your face

If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place

Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Help me Lord cause I don't understand your ways

The reason why I wonder if I'll ever know

But, even if you showed me, the hurt would be the same

Cause I'm still here so far away from home

I close my eyes and I see your face

If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place

Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

In Christ, there are no goodbye

And in Christ, there is no end

So I'll hold onto Jesus with all that I have

To see you again

To see you again

And I close my eyes and I see your face

If home's where my heart is then I'm out of place

Lord, won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

Won't you give me strength to make it through somehow

I've never been more homesick than now

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pictures of Christopher Allen

Here are a few images we have of our son. I ask that anyone choosing to look please remember that Chris was just barely 1/2 way through a normal full term pregnancy. Christopher is very small and is bruised from the delivery. These pictures may be upsetting for some people to look at, even if you feel that you were prepared to look at them.

The first set of images are of the things that were in the memory box provided to us by the hospital. There will be a large break between the memory box items and the photographs of Kelley, Christopher, and I.

You can also view all the photo's at:
(You can also view every image we have of him there including tummy shots and the ultrasounds)

"The true measure of a life, and love, is not measured by how long the flame burned here on Earth; it's how long the fire burns in your heart." - Tammy Doern


everything in the box
Everything that was in the memory box.

Chris' foot and handprints
Christopher's foot and handprints.

gown and hat provided to us by 'minutes of gold'
The hat and gown that were given for Chris to wear.

record of Chris' heartbeat
Three minutes of Christopher's heartbeat on paper. The very low dips are during the contractions that I was having at the time.



(Here is a large space so you don't have to see them if don't think you can handle it.)
















Christopher Allen Doern - held by Tammy
Me holding Chris in my hand

Christopher Allen Doern
Kelley holding Chris

Christopher Allen Doern - Kelley's hand again
Kelley holding Chris' hand

Christopher Allen Doern - Kelley and I with Chris
Kelley and I with Christopher

Christopher Allen Doern - Chris and Tammy
Chris and I

Think you had a rough week?

There are quite a few people who are aware that last week was the "week from hell" for Kelley and I. There are a few who know the details, and many who don't.

Kelley has a smoker that he's used a million times before. He's smoked everything from salmon, to a whole turkey, to he's last item which was bacon. We decided Kelley would make some more bacon... what we've done before is he'll set it up and I check on it during the day while he's at work.

Tuesday Kelley started the bacon ... and we have a meat thermometer that you stick the probe into the meat, you set a separate thing up to what temperature you want the meat to be done at, and you get to watch the temperature of what you are cooking from where ever you are.

Now understand that the last time Kelley made bacon (with a slightly smaller pork belly in my opinion) it took seven hours to get to temperature with the exact same set up. It had been almost three hours and the bacon was 20 degree's from being done already. This sort of concerned me some so instead of going back to sleep I decided to take a shower instead.

I walked back into the bathroom to start my shower, had my shirt and shorts off, and smelled burning plastic. Wondering if I had left something to close to the smoker I decided to go check and threw on Kelley's heavy robe. As I'm walking around the corner the smoke alarm in the house goes off, and I look at the back porch and an entire wall of our porch is on fire. Yeah. Bad.

I call the dogs, grab the phone, dial 911, and get the dog leashes. I realize I don't have time to get clothes, or dressed, so I head out the front door to tie the dogs up somewhere. My house phone is STILL ringing for 911. (Yeah, talk about pissed).

I open the front door and there is a woman standing there with her cell phone out, I asked her to call 911 - which she said she already had - and was told that they had received multiple calls already. This woman was awesome and offered to hold my huge dogs while I ran back in to grab our cat. Which I found and was very glad that our bed was no longer on the frame or he would have been under it.

To make a long story short it was 110 degree's out, I'm standing out in the very very hot sun with no shoes and in a very thick robe with my house on fire.

We ended up very lucky and the fire only shattered the first pane of glass on our patio sliding door, and didn't get through the final bit of wall to the garage. We did end up with a lot of smoke in the house, and our power and water couldn't be turned on due to melting of the wires and pipes in the wall.

The patio is completely trashed. Our dogs can't stay here because of all the stuff in the backyard and chemicals from the fire. We also can't use our sliding glass door.

The good news? Turns out all it takes to get a maid here is to catch your house on fire. The insurance company is covering them coming in and wiping all of our house down, and the dusting. They also covered having every single piece of fabric professionally cleaned (yes down to the last washcloth).

That's the first thing.
Next, the problems with the baby, and finding out we have no way of keeping Christopher.
Our third - as I was being induced in the beginning and the contractions started getting really bad Kelley gets called down to the ER to find out his car had been broken into while he was at the hospital with me.

blog Hijacked

So I just wanted to Hi-Jack this blog momentarily to let people know that we are learning to live with this pain. Every breath is just a bit easier then the last. We have our ups and our downs. Sometimes more downs then ups but we have each other. The other night Tammy came to me and said "I wish you didn't hurt, but I am glad that it is you that is going through it with me." Honestly that is the same way I feel. I would do anything to take away the pain, to make things okay. But I can't so I learn to deal and I help my wife deal and she helps me deal. I love Tammy with all my heart and it kills me to see her hurt this way. So I try to make her smile (I succeed most of the time) and when I dont I hold her and cry with her. It's hard to describe how in what seems like a blink of an eye your whole world can change. I still see my son when I close my eyes, and sometimes when I am awake. I wish i could have gotten to know the man he would have become. I know God has a reason for everything that happens. I pray that some day I may know the reason why. But I trust Him and know that He does know best. Anyways, Tammy is out of the shower now so I need to hurry before my Hi-jack gets caught. Thanks to all those that keep us in your thoughts and means alot to us when we hear that. Most of all keep smiling, this was our first, but not our last. We have many more happy memories to make in the future :)


Sunday, July 5, 2009

Bad News

I'm going to apologize first for the fact that this is one big mass email, but this isn't something I have it in me to type up more than once. There are many of you that I would rather send personalized messages to, and who deserve it, but I just can't do it.

On July 4, 2009 at 12:51am, Kelley and my son, Christopher Allen Doern came into this world and left it.

For those who want to know, and know enough to understand what I'm going to say, here is what happened (it might be a little descriptive for some, and lengthy, but I'm detaching myself from it as I write):

Thursday morning I had bleeding and headed into the OB triage at the local hospital. The first thing that the doctors did was order an ultrasound - you may know that the ultrasound tech's can't tell you a thing, sort of like xray tech's have to have a radiologist look at them and a doctor or similiar give you results. While the tech was doing the ultrasound - you could tell something was wrong, and at one point she looked downright scared. After the ultrasound the doctor came in and let me know what they discovered: Christopher was breached (upside down to how they prefer), that my cervix had dilated to 3 - it shouldn't have been open at all. They also found that part of my amniotic fluid sac (the sac of liquid the baby floats in) had come through the cervix and was hanging out into my vaginal opening - very very bad, at one point it was completely outside of the vagina all together. The amniotic fluid levels that Christopher was floating in was measured at an 8. The time when the tech looked scared - Chris had kicked his foot right through my cervix.The lowest that a baby can survive in is a six. The best news that we were given was that the babies heart was beating at 160 - which is great.

The doctors here in Casa Grande immediately called a larger hospital in Tucson and several high risk OB's for more options. Basically the same thing was said all around - I should be induced immediately to start labor, knowing the baby wouldn't make it, because there is a huge risk of infection from the sac hanging out. The doctor there told me what they thought - it wasn't good enough of an option for me. So, I asked what we could do to give the baby and God a chance to try to fix things. We wouldn't allow ourselves to give up without giving God and Chris a chance for a miracle. We couldn't willing go ahead and induce knowing that Chris was too young, even with all the miracles and leaps in technology, to make it.

My question was if the sac had moved in so much, couldn't we try to give it a chance to go back in? The OB here, seemed surprised that I was willing to risk so much, and unwilling to just give up. She took a comment I'd made - that I would be willing to stand on my head the rest of the pregnancy to keep Christopher in place, and my question that couldn't we try to allow it to fix itself, so we would attempt to put my head lower than the rest of me, allowing gravity to pull the sac back into place. I wasn't allowed to sit up, stand, walk, or move very much, for risk of both breaking open the fluid sac (having my water break), increasing the chance of infection (by the doctors opinion it was already too high), or having the sac come even further out. Kelley and I spent the entire day praying for a miracle, and some good news.

The greatest thing at the time was that every single time they checked Chris' heart was beating strong, letting us know he was fighting for his life too. The doctors and nurses were all cheering for us at every check. Also, they were checking my temperature very often, and my white blood cell count, both things that would show if I had an infection - and things looked good.

Friday afternoon they did another ultrasound - and things had gotten worse. The amniotic sac was further out, even with all the fluid they were pumping into me there was even less fluid, I was at a 7 now. My white blood cell count had also risen - and my temp too.

My doctor at the time wanted to double check the comparisons to make sure, and make some calls. She spent probably four hours on the phone with other doctors and looking for anything new on the web.

The doctor came in later and let us know she'd looked everywhere and gotten second, third, and fourth opinions, and everyone agreed, we were gambling my life, and my chances to ever have children in the future. The high risk doctors were upset that they hadn't forced us to induce already. They offered to lifeflight me to Tucson for the induction, in case I would feel safer there, but Tucson would induce me the moment they got me there.

All we could do was accept the fact that there wasn't a choice. If it had been me or Christopher, even though I know Kelley wouldn't have approved of it, I would have given me for Christopher in a heart beat. That choice didn't exist, it was Chris, or Chris and myself. Without any other option we asked our pastor to
come, and a few friends came to the hospital as well.

Kelley and I had to then do the hardest thing either of us has ever faced, tell the doctors we were as ready as we were going to be for induction, knowing that our child, the miracle we'd been praying for eight years, Christopher, wouldn't live. We were going to start the end of Christophers life, and that heart beat we'd been so happy to hear each time would stop beating because of it.

So, as I said, at 12:51AM Christopher Allen Doern was born into this world, and God took him into His arms. Apparently as much as we wanted this child, God wanted Chris with Him more.

I am now out of the hospital. Kelley and I are doing as well as I think we can under these circumstances. I am not showing signs of infection as of yet. Unless I develop and infection I should be able to get pregnant again in the future.

For those who would like to know, we were allowed private time with Christopher, and we do have photo's, the hospital also took some, and once we can handle it to look at them long enough to download them, they will be posted on our baby blog. When that will be I do not know.