21 June 2015

Joy and Mourning

Tuesday morning, May 19, I woke up and remembered that I had bought some pregnancy tests a few days before. Why? Because I just felt like my body was changing shape ...and quite honestly, I take a lot of pregnancy tests. The only time I don't keep Dollar Tree tests on hand is when I am pregnant. I know, it's silly, but I believe God has healed me, and so I believe it is always possible.

But on that Tuesday, I felt like it was possible because I had only stopped nursing Maggie about 6 weeks before, and I was just ready for another baby. Did I really think I was pregnant? No ...not really. But I still remembered to grab a test before I went to the bathroom at 0- dark-30 while hubby was getting ready for work. And I took the test.... But ...I was just. so. tired! So without a word, I plopped the test on the counter without a word in front of hubby as if to say, "Check this when you get out of the shower because I will be sleeping..." and I went back to sleep.

So when I woke up to Maggie talking to me instead of Stan waking me to show me a pregnancy test, I just assumed it must have been negative. I got Maggie dressed and went back into the bathroom to get myself ready for the day. And much to my surprise, there was a "+" on the pregnancy test.

A "+" ...what?

So my rational side thought, "Surely it's a drying line. I took that thing more that 45 minutes ago. And that is SUCH a faint line." So I called Stan, who confirmed that he saw it too, within a few minutes of me taking it! Still, I didn't let myself get excited.

I went about my day, got my kids dressed, took Naomi to gymnastics, lunch together in the car, and grabbed a couple of extra pregnancy tests along the way. I bought a digital and a name brand just to keep it all legit and trustworthy. We landed that afternoon at Abigail's OT appointment, where I took the two tests as soon as Abi went back for her appointment.

Turns out, that first test was actually correct!

And so began pregnancy 6. Joyfully and with life!


Because I have had an ectopic (tubal) pregnancy, my doctors are always careful to check my HCG and progesterone levels early in pregnancy. My first two labs were good, but indicated I was very early in my pregnancy. So we did one more test, a week later. There was no reason to be concerned, and I almost forgot go have that last lab done. I was just not worried. So when they didn't call me with results, I just assumed all was well.

The following Monday, 5/25, was a holiday, and I started having some pretty intense pains on the same side I had the ectopic on. When I called the on-call doctor, they directed me to the ER, where I learned that the 3rd lab was not good and indicated a drop in progesterone and a slow increase in my HCG, which usually indicates that the pregnancy may be in trouble.

They did an ultrasound, which showed a very small gestational sac, and ran labs, which actually showed a good increase in HCG. So the ER sent be back home to follow up with my OB. She scheduled another ultrasound and round of labs for the following Monday with my first appointment to follow on Tuesday. What followed was a series of weekly ultrasounds that ALL showed a sac that was about the right size for a 6 week pregnancy but with nothing inside the sac. Very little growth. No yolk sac. No embryo.

You know how you can tell that things are not going well during an ultrasound? When they finish without giving you any printed pictures. I guess they assume no one wants to remember a baby they may never give birth to.

Who would want to see a picture of emptiness, a picture of death?

I will tell you who ...me. I know there WAS life in my womb. I know there WAS a baby conceived.

And so now, as I am supposed to be 10 weeks pregnant, I am here, waiting. Waiting for God to work a miracle. Waiting for my womb to cleanse itself. Waiting for something. I don't know which to expect, and I don't know what to feel.

Did I mention that I already look 6 months pregnant? That is totally not helping. My body is just continuing on as if everything is fine with this pregnancy. It's like a cruel joke.

How do I answer the question: "How far along are you now?"
or: "When is your due date?"
then: "What do you mean you don't know? How do you not know when the baby is due?"
and: "You ARE pregnant right?"

My answers have been: "I just don't know." "We have no idea." "It's really complicated."

If I took a pregnancy test right now, it would be positive. So I guess I am still pregnant.

My OB offered a D&C if I felt like I needed it, but I declined. Part of me is still hoping they're wrong and the baby is fine. And the other part of me just wants to do this naturally if the baby is indeed already in heaven.

The story of Lazarus tells me it is ok to mourn even if there is going to be a miracle. Jesus himself wept, knowing he would perform a miracle and raise Lazarus from the dead. So I guess I am mourning, and at the same time hoping for a miracle.