…then ends abruptly.
I had wanted to write a poetic post depicting the changes of life, as Aria transitions fully into toddlerdom with her first birthday, and my little baby is a distant memory, but at the same time a new life was beginning. On Aria’s first birthday I knew I was pregnant. I didn’t have confirmation yet, but I just knew.
I had wanted to be pregnant so bad, and had that nagging thought in my mind for a long while… in fact, more than I had wanted to be pregnant the first time, as I now knew what I was asking for.
I think the first time I had the craving was my first day back to work after maternity leave. I was walking in and I thought to myself, ‘I wish I was pregnant.’ That could be explained away by the fact that the last time I had been to work I had been pregnant, so it was rather a comfortable feeling, unlike the newly empty belly and breast pump bag thrown over my shoulder, which became my travel companion for the next year.
The next time I felt it was when I finally fit back into my regular clothes and was putting away all of the maternity clothes. Funny, they had grown loathsome to me because I had a limited wardrobe and everything had started to rub or pinch or be too tight or was tiresome to look at anymore, and I couldn’t wait to be rid of it.. but when I was folding it all neatly away I thought to myself, ‘I can’t wait to wear these again.’
As soon as I got the green light from my doctor, when Aria was nine months old, I started trying again. Because of the c-section I was not allowed to try before then, so as soon as that day came I went off birth control. I had my first period in such a long time, and when it went and another came I didn’t let myself get discouraged, that was just the first try. Then another came and went and this time I was a little sad, but didn’t worry about it. Finally, the next period did not come. It was my hope that I could tell Eric, on our anniversary, that I was going to give him another child. However, the test came up negative, and I was super depressed and violently moody, and knew that I was pregnant anyway, screw the stupid test and its wrongness.
I had scheduled an appointment to see my doctor because I’d had some weird cramps and pains in my lower abdomen, and when I showed up my period still had not. They asked some questions and when it was discovered that I was a couple weeks late they gave me a test there, and sure enough, it was positive. All of the procedures to determine what was wrong with me went out the window, as now pregnancy was more important. I think my doctor was a little miffed at me, as she basically said, “well now we have a lot of work to do..”
I went and had the necessary blood work done, and was told to wait a little bit longer for the ultrasound so that there would be something to see. So I did, waiting until I was roughly nine weeks along to go in. It was Eric’s first day back to work, so I went alone, but I had done so many of these before that I was completely ok with that, and I was thinking to myself that I would make him come when we hit the 20 week mark and could see what gender it was.
The only thing that was different was that this time I had to have an internal ultrasound, because of the earliness of the pregnancy. It was a little uncomfortable, but I still got to see the delicate and beautiful little heart beat, and learned that based on the size the baby was actually a few days shy of eight weeks, which bumped the due date to early April.
Aria has my sister’s birth month, and this new baby would have mine, 21 months apart. I was going to have my sister and myself. I was a little giddy.
She gave me my sonogram picture with the word “Baby” written on it and I went home to work from there. It was Friday.
Denise had been watching Aria, so as I walked in I announced to her, “happy Friday!” and showed her the picture. She was happy but didn’t seem too surprised. I told her it would be ok to tell family, but that was all, as it was still so early.
So she did; she went home and told Mal, who then told everyone that I think he determines falls into the category of “family.”
That night I had a little spotting and some mild cramps, but was not too concerned as there had been an internal ultrasound and that seemed like a normal consequence. Plus I had been having mild cramps on and off throughout the entire pregnancy so far.
Saturday that pattern continued, until the evening came. All of a sudden the spotting became brighter.. and heavier.. and the cramps a little more pronounced. By 10:00 pm it was bad. Bad bad. I was scared. And in a lot of pain. Eric convinced me to call the on-call doctor, who told me to come in if the bleeding was excessive (not going to go into details) and told me to go into the office first thing Monday morning.
That night I didn’t really sleep, and Sunday I just writhed around in pain from what felt like really intense period cramps, and was pretty useless all day long.
Monday morning I had an appointment already scheduled, so I just went to that and they started with the usual pregnancy paperwork. I stopped them with, “what if there isn’t a pregnancy any more?” To which the shocked attendant responded, “oh.. ok let’s wait on this until you see the doctor.”
When I was taken to my room and my nurse came in, it started along the same lines, “let’s go over the usual questions, just like last time,” to which I tearfully responded, “I think I had a miscarriage.” She looked me in the eyes and said, “I’m so sorry,” to which I responded, “I’m sorry too” because she had just gone through one as well.. hers at eight months and my compassion for her was so much the greater because I had a glimpse of what she endured. I had learned about hers on the last visit – she had told me she was pregnant right before I had Aria, and I had remembered and had enthusiastically asked her how her baby was to which she had solemnly replied about her loss.
The doctor came in and started asking questions about what I had experienced. She was completely unconvinced I’d had one, which made me feel so weird inside. I was torn between sadness and a resolve to come to terms with the loss, and a hope that maybe it had just been a rough weekend and everything was ok. It was like my brain and emotions were warring and it was causing me to tremble because I was confused and unable to know how to feel or what to believe.
“Your blood work was perfect, the ultrasound was perfect, everything is right on track so the chances that you actually had a miscarriage are about 3%.”
She sent me immediately to get an ultrasound, at the same place I had just been three days before. She called over so when I walked in (right down the street) they were expecting me. The technician remembered me and asked what was wrong. I told her and then said, “I don’t want to see, if the baby isn’t …” She turned the screen away then we began. I lie there waiting to be told something.. all I could hear were the clicks of her taking her measurements on the computer, and the sound of the air conditioning.
Then she said, “ok, get cleaned up, and I’ll call the doctor.”
When she walked out of the room I started crying. I had to go wait in the waiting room for what seemed an eternity before the doctor called back. She advised me that it was all gone. My body had done all of the work of removing the pregnancy, and I didn’t have to go and have anything else done, except to go get blood work done to make sure my hormone levels were coming down.
I walked out to my car, and bawled. It was over. I drove to the other place, had my blood work done, and cried some more.
I went home and by then it was around 10:30 am, and Denise stayed until Aria was ready for her nap, then she left and I attempted to get some work done but ended up sleeping a good portion of the day.
I am ok though. I might catch myself tearing up when I have a thought, such as, “now I can drink, eat, or use whatever medicine I want without having to worry about anyone but myself…but I’d rather have the baby.” But otherwise I’ve been able to be myself during the day. At night is a little harder, because my mind has time to wander and I think about things like how much I wish there was a tiny baby lying next to me on the bed, snuggled up against me like my little snuggle monster had when she was itty bitty. Things like that set me off, but Eric has been so sweet, patient and kind during all of this and will just hold me.
I know it’s all part of God’s plan. I’m hopeful that He will let me have another baby, but for now this is where He wants me, and what He wants me to see and experience. And I’m ok with that. I do really want a baby, and I was really excited about that one, but something else is in store for me in the mean time, and He has given me strength to endure this, as well as the most adorable little girl I could ever ask for.
He’s also providing in the most unusual ways. Aria was sick last week with a really high fever. She’d never had one that high before and had no other symptoms. The pediatrician couldn’t find anything wrong with her and just said to keep an eye on her and make sure she had fluids. So Aria is outwardly just fine, besides the fever that first day, but ever since last Wednesday she has been so incredibly cuddly and clingy. I think if this had not all happened, I wouldn’t enjoy or appreciate her new found attachment to being held and carried. But now, I adore it. My little snuggle monster has reappeared, just slightly heavier and a little more vocal about her opinions, but has the most beautiful smile and can give me kisses now to tell me how much she loves me.
Thank you God for giving me your peace and comfort in trials, for surrounding me with more loving family and friends than I could have asked for, for one beautiful child already, and for using opportunities like this to teach me, grow my compassion, and for giving me an opportunity to be your light in the world.