Thursday, November 17, 2011

About Owen part 1

I will permanently bear the mark of a woman who has lost her child.  Many of us are walking here - in the grocery store, at the neighborhood barbeque, at the movies.  We walk without necessarily recognizing each other, side by side and a million miles apart.  If you are one of these women, I want you to know that as I write these words, I am praying for you.  I am mourning for what you have lost in this life.  I am praying that God will  fill you as only He can, and that in time, you (and I) will be with our daughters and sons again.
-Angie Smith (from her book, I Will Carry You)

I realized, at some point this week that I went right into this blog without really explaining what happened to Owen...Everything was so sudden and unexpected that I'm not sure I even have a handle on it myself somedays.  This ended up being a much longer post than I thought it would, so I'll save part 3 of Spurgeon's sermon for next week.....

Owen Paul Marx was due August 23rd, 2011.   I never in a million years thought I would make it to my due date.  I was HUGE and both Braden and Addison had been early, although not by much.  I thought I would maybe be a week or so early with Owen.  He was my third so I thought maybe things would move along a little faster.  As I went into that last month, I felt great.... I even remember laughing when I was making those last several appointments and the receptionist scheduled me for an appt. on my due date and for the week after.  I thought, there's no way I'll be at those.  

Towards the end of the pregnancy I was having Braxton Hicks contractions like crazy....  Owen was head down and had been for some time.  Everything was ready.....  We repainted Braden's room because the boys were going to share.  We painted it a dark orange color, sort of like a basketball and I found sports stickers to put on the walls and he finally got his new curtains put up.  Braden was so excited.  I even found a super cool cribskirt that reminded us of a football.  I had the changing table ready and was having to remind Braden less and less to use it as a toybox  because we had to have room for baby brother.  I had all Owen's clothes washed and ready for him....they are still waiting for him in the dresser.  I don't know if I'll ever be able to take them out of there.  They are his.

On August 23rd, I went in for my weekly appointment.  My midwife was so suprised to even see me, she thought for sure I would have gone in by now.  My blood pressure was great, no swelling, good weight gain...I felt great.  We listened to his heartbeat.... it was 150...same as always.  I was still only 1-2cm dilated, which I had been for a couple of weeks.  Owen just didn't seem to be in a hurry.  I think he was my mellow baby.  I was so looking forward to that!  For any of you that know Addison, you would know why! HA HA HA  I love  her dearly but boy oh boy can she be something else.... she is our little princess, and she'll let you know it.

So, at that appt. on the 23rd, she said she would schedule me to have an ultrasound and a non-stress test on the baby for August 30th and if for some crazy reason I actually made it to that appointment we would plan on inducing me.  She said she didn't expect that I would make it to that appointment, everything was ready to go.  So, I left there figuring I would be going into labor SOON....

I went to bed nearly every night that week thinking I would be going into labor.  I was having contractions so frequently but as soon as I would lay down or change positions they would go away.  I was actually getting used to having them all the time, which is crazy :)    I wish now that I would have just enjoyed that extra week I had with Owen...if only I would have known that it would be our last week together.....

On Tuesday, August 30th, I was 41 weeks...  I was blessed to have an extra week with our baby.  Monday night into Tuesday morning had been hard.  I was having contractions from about midnight until 5:30am.  There were completely irregular. I would have a few... start thinking, this is it!  I should time these!  Then they would go away completely for an hour.  I would finally fall asleep and then I would have another one that would wake me up.  I would think... this is is!  I should time these!  Then they would go away....  this went on for a long time.  I was getting really crabby.  I couldn't wait for my appointment that afternoon.  I thought SURELY all these contractions have to be doing SOMETHING!  I got up at 5:30 or so and had to go to the bathroom.  Owen was moving around... I know it.  I remember him wiggling around.
That is really the last thing I can concretely remember about that day up until the ultrasound.  I know I felt him moving at 5:30am.

And now for that parts that I want to forget....

My appointment for the ultrasound was at 2:15pm.  I went in there kind of laughing with the ultrasound tech because we were talking about how big I was.  She was going to try and get a good gauge on Owen's size and make sure he was still in position.  The first thing she checked was his position.  She said, "that's good, he's head down...looks good".  Then she moved the wand up.  As she did that I remember getting a little panicky feeling because on the drive up to the ultrasound I had a fleeting thought that I hadn't felt him move in a while and I just wanted to see that heartbeat and see him wiggling around.  I was searching the screen for his heartbeat..I didn't know what I was looking for I was just searching and searching for it.  It seemed like forever, but it was probably only a few seconds.  In that same moment I heard those words that I wish I could forget.  She just blurted out... "Catherine....there's no heartbeat."    And I knew it.  I knew she was right....   Lord have mercy on us... I knew she was right.

Psalm 57:1  Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Psalm 22:19  But be not thou far from me, O LORD: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

Psalm 33:20  Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.

Psalm 38:22  Make haste to help me, O Lord  my salvation.

Psalm 40:13  Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me: O LORD, make haste to help me

Psalm 62:8  Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah.

The ultrasound tech was young....  I was asked later by someone if she was kind when she told me that there was no heartbeat.   What I remember is panic.  I think she was totally shocked and just blurted it out.  Then she ran to go get my midwife.  I remember asking her over and over again if she was sure...she checked a couple more times.  She was sure.  Owen was gone. His little heart was not beating.

The nightmare just goes on.  I went by myself to the ultrasound.  Derek was working and I just figured, if they had to induce me then I would just call him when that all got squared away and he could head over to the hospital then. I never dreamed something like this would or could happen.  Who loses their baby at 41 weeks?  Who?  Those things just don't happen.....  
All that naivete is gone now.

I had to call Derek and tell him the worst news of our lives.  I couldn't even talk.  I was bawling and not making any sense... my midwife took the phone from me and told him what happened.  My poor husband.... he was up on a roof when I called him and then he had to drive 20 minutes to the office.  Then I called my mom... she was watching the kids while I was at my appt.  Then I called one of my two best friends in the world... I couldn't even handle calling anyone else and asked her to do it....  horrible horrible horrible.......  a day  I want to forget.
When Derek finally came to the office I just remember asking him over and over again how we were going to tell the kids.  They were waiting for their baby brother.  How were we going to tell them??  What were we going to tell them?  We didn't even understand it ourselves.

Psalm 46:1  God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Psalm 30:10  Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. 

Psalm 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

To be continued in my next post.....


  1. Oh Catherine, I am so sorry...this life is full of so much heartache...I always keep Revelation 21:3-5 in my mind and heart...He will wipe away every tear. We cannot wait for that day! We think of you and your family often and we pray that God would continue to surround all of you with his peace and hope. I have no idea if this will help AT ALL but you said that no one loses their baby at 41 weeks and we have some close friends that lost their baby girl, Pennyann, at 41 weeks back in October of 2008. Penny is actualy buried on the other side of Ellersley. I am sure you have seen her stone. I know in my heart that all 3 of them are watching and waiting for the day that God says Let's go get them...we dream of that WONDERFUL day! : ) Thank you for writing...peace be with you...

    Nicki Deem

  2. Hey Catherine, I just wanted to tell you that we have been thinking of you guys and praying for you during this season. Christmas just does not feel the same...I saw Owen's stone yesterday, I love the verse. Perfect choice...Praying for you guys and that Joy would be yours this Christmas in spite of all of the pain...

    Merry Christmas,

    Wesley and Nicki Deem