August 1 we woke up to 3" of water in the basement. The "anytime" plumbers couldn't come till between 1 and 3. So we all had to leave the house for several hours since we couldn't use any water at home - it just kept ending up in the basement. Luckily we had some family reunion plans to keep us busy for the morning. I took the boys to the train station with my aunt and cousin and 12 other little kids. Almost everyone else ages 10+ went tubing down the Weber River with Weber Tubing - Sam's new business he started this summer. Sam went to help with the tubing trip. We were all supposed to meet for lunch, but there was a big wreck up the canyon - I'm talking a tanker truck carrying milk rolled, started a fire (which was put out by onlookers with the spilled milk), and closed the canyon till 9 pm. None of the tubers could get down the mountain the way they went, and most ended up going down through Salt Lake and we didn't see anyone. I hurried home to catch the plumber at 1 only to find they came at 12:30 and I missed them. I tried calling and they said someone could come out on Monday morning. I cried. It had been a long day already. I finally got ahold of Sam who called and got someone to promise to come out between 6 and 8. But Sam was up the canyon and couldn't get down since the road was closed. So we waited again for the plumber. Sam finally got home about 6:30 and we took turns taking trips to the bathroom - making sure someone was always here to meet the plumber. About 8:30 we called the plumber and found out he was busy. He called us at 9:15 saying he was stuck on another job and wouldn't be able to come till morning. Sunday morning I took 3 boys to church by myself while Sam waited for the plumber - who was, once again, late. By the time we got home from church the plumber had told Sam that to fix the plumbing that day would be $500. And to wait till the next day was $50. So we packed everyone up and went down to my mom's house for the rest of the day.
I kept the boys down there on Monday (8/3) and Sam came back with the plumbers on Monday evening and got everything fixed. I got a call on Monday that the doctor I was supposed to see Thursday had something come up - and could I come on Tuesday (8/4) at noon instead? So I drove us home, called a friend to watch my boys and left them all here with a dirty house and went to a doctor's appointment I felt strangely nervous about. I knew I should feel excited to see our new baby's heartbeat again at almost 11 weeks, but I just felt like I didn't want to go at all. I couldn't explain why, I just didn't want to go. When the doctor started the ultrasound she mentioned the baby looked small. She said that last time too. But 4 weeks ago there was a strong heartbeat and this time she couldn't find one at all. It was a horrible moment. I suddenly realized I didn't want to be alone. But it was kinda too late then. Sam was up the canyon (working Lifetime kayak stuff) and I couldn't even reach him on the phone. The doctor was kind and reassured me that it wasn't my fault. She tried to tell me the options but I knew I was just too emotional to make any decisions. She told me I could call any time I was ready to make decisions and ask any questions I had.
I texted a friend who just lost her own baby (due just days after mine) a couple weeks ago and the friend watching my boys. I called my mom and cried. And I wished I could even just call Sam. But he was out of cell service for the rest of the day. I drove home in shock. My friend watching the boys stuck around for a while, which I was grateful for. Sam finally got home about 6:30 (I had been able to finally call him about 5:30) and we cried together and tried to explain to our young boys what was wrong. They didn't really get it. My friend brought a pizza for dinner. We cried a lot that night.
Wednesday (8/5) I cancelled everything we had planned. I called the nurses to schedule a d&c for the next morning. It's awful to explain that over and over again on the phone. Even when it's nurses and doctors who likely have to have these conversations weekly. I couldn't tell anyone. I just couldn't say it again. My parents came and got the boys on Wednesday night. I cried because I missed them. Sam and I went to visit the bishop - we weren't quite on the same page with what we thought we should do. I wanted everything to be over and try to avoid a trip to the ER like we had last time. I think Sam was still holding out hope that the doctor was wrong. Our bishop lovingly counseled and gave Sam a blessing and that was the first time I saw Sam comforted during this whole thing. We went home and cried more. All day I'd been able to see a sweet little face in my mind. A little round face with lots of blond hair. A little boy. I'd already been certain this baby was a boy. I said we wouldn't find out the gender till baby came because I didn't want people to tell me they were sorry we were having another boy. But I just knew it was a boy. And now I was certain. He seemed to keep telling me not to worry about him, that he would be just fine.
Thursday (8/6) morning I suddenly decided this little baby needed a name. For some reason it was important. I decided the day before that I would plan roses for this little one. And every August I would celebrate his day with roses - they are in full bloom right now and well, flowers just make me feel happy. I decided I needed a purple rose for this little one who was supposed to be born in February. Either that or a dark red rose for a Valentine's Day baby. His due date was the end of February, but all my other kids have been early. I started making a baby blanket for him a few weeks back. It's grey, cream, and red. I called him my Valentine's Day baby. But I wanted him to have a name. And we hadn't agreed on any names, really, yet. We were still kind of in shock that we were expecting another baby - ok, I was still a little in shock. I never planned to have kids as close together as Gavin and this baby would be. I was just getting to the point where I wasn't trying to deny it. Every time I even just thought about this little boy I could see him in my mind. It was like one of those pictures from Harry Potter that moves, but isn't really the real person. He was standing next to a little girl (much bigger than he was) - but she didn't really move - more like she was a part of the background. I assume it was Lily holding her little brother's hand. He's very real to me. And to his Daddy. So we decided to find a name for him. We discussed (in a minute) about every name we'd thought of to use this time around. None seemed right. And suddenly I was thinking of my grandpa (whose 90th birthday we celebrated with the family reunion stuff before the plumbing problems last week). And suddenly I knew what his name should be.
Samuel Lee Robbins
My grandpa's dad was Samuel Lee Smith. His dad had the same name. My grandpa is Roy Lee Smith. I've always loved the name Samuel Lee, but I vowed a long time ago we wouldn't have two people with the same name in this house because that would make Mommy crazy. Sam has never wanted to pass his first name on to our boys - it just hasn't really fit as a middle name with the names we've picked. But this time, it was just the right name. And we both knew it. If he were here we would probably call him Sam. Such a sweet boy to be named after his daddy, and three of his great grandfathers. A lot of great men. And I'm hoping he got my grandpa's beautiful clear blue eyes. They are quite beautiful eyes. Handsome, I mean....handsome eyes.
We went to Smith's to buy a mini rose for our baby. We are still waiting to see if it is dark red or purple. But either way, it's his. I will plant it out front as soon as I am up to it. I also want to buy mini roses for all my kids. But for now, this was important. We headed to the medical center about 9:30. There was lots more explaining and I had to keep telling the doctor and the nurses I truly didn't want to hear it explained any more. I didn't want to hear it. It may have something to do with all the planned parenthood mess that's going on right now. It's just too descriptive. I remember being cold. They gave me socks and a blanket. And I was still cold. They did another ultrasound to confirm the baby was gone, but I already knew he was. The anesthetic worked fast. I remember being cold. Then I was waking up in a different room. It was hard, having two days to say goodbye. But it was a lot, LOT better than an awful evening in the ER like we did with Lily. I was out of it for a while. I remember crying because I wanted Gavin - I mentioned his cute cowlicks. I remember Sam trying to convince me the blankets were made of kangaroo fur - which I knew was wrong, but I couldn't figure out how he kept twisting my words. We got home around 12:30 and I was kind of out of it the rest of the day. Mostly I just kept missing the boys. My mom kept sending me pictures and videos of them.
Friends came to drop dinner off, and flowers were delivered. And we got a lot of phone calls and messages. Truly, on a week as bad as this, knowing people loved us and were praying for us felt amazing. It was the best thing, since there was really nothing anyone could do to make us feel any better. We watched the Avengers. For some reason that was the only movie I wanted to watch. We kinda lived in a haze that day. But I couldn't see my sweet baby's face in my mind any more. He is gone now, I guess. I wonder what he's up to in Heaven. Is he off having adventures climbing trees like most boys do?? Maybe he is super busy being a missionary or learning woodworking from Grandpa Fred or looking up all the angel babies I have held the past few years. There are about 25. I can see the background around where his little face used to show up in my mind. But he is gone. I have memories, but that is all now. I know he's ok. I'm sure he is busy and happy. I am not worried about him. I am worried about me, sometimes though. It is hard to say goodbye. It's not easier the second time. I don't know that I could say it's harder, either. It is different. And it is still hard. I think I am going through the emotions a lot faster this time, and I don't feel as angry with God. I'm not really angry with anyone. I am sad. Very sad.
Just a few weeks ago - maybe two weeks now - at church we sang "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" (originally a poem called "A Stranger and his Friend") and I was thinking about how sometimes we are the stranger "left beaten, wounded, nigh to death" and sometimes we are the friend who helps. At the end of that particular verse the friend says, "I had myself, a wound concealed. But from that hour forgot the smart and peace bound up my broken heart." I thought about the many many angels I have held over the past few years. There have been a lot. Those days I go, I am the friend. Every baby I hold reminds me that I have a baby who is in Heaven too. But I almost always feel peace healing my wounds. I prefer to be the friend. This week I feel like I got thrown back into being the stranger - needing the help of my friends to survive. Oh, I wasn't physically inches from death, but emotionally I feel beaten and battered. There is a new hole in my heart. I know it will be healed at some point in time. There will be scar there forever, but I know I will be able to keep going. I've done this before. It's not easy, but I know I can do it.
I cannot possibly express my gratitude for the visits, phone calls, messages, food, gifts, flowers, and prayers everyone has offered. It's still kinda hard to talk. But my heart is extremely grateful. We made it through a couple rough weeks with a lot of crying. We are hoping to kind of return to normal a bit more this week.
Sweet baby Sam, we miss you. I know, you don't want us to worry about you. We know you are ok. But we miss you. Our sorrow is not so much for you as it is for us. Some people say 11 weeks isn't enough to feel attached - but we feel very attached to you. We know you are part of our eternal family and someday we can kiss your sweet face (even if you try to wipe it off) and hold you and yes, we will probably cry. You are loved, little one.