Friday, November 16, 2012

My Worst Nightmare - Take Two

Throughout this pregnancy, I have been an anxious, fearful mess.  My biggest fear:  Having another miscarriage.  Well, I am learning that worrying about things fails to protect you and prevent your fears from coming to fruition.  I have actually been wondering what the point of worrying is anyways.  It really does not help in any way - at all.  It only seems to add more stress and chaos to life.

I woke up on one particular Friday morning, following my regular routine.  Made my way to the bathroom and discovered upon wiping that I was lightly spotting.  My first thought was "Oh  no, I am having another miscarriage!"  I dreaded that my biggest fear was coming to life.  Here we go again.  I instantly started bawling my eyes out.  I don't think I could have stopped it even if I wanted to.  

I ran to my husband in the other room to inform him, between the sobs, that I was spotting and asked him to pray.  I was also praying as tears were streaming down my face.  Pleading with God that our baby would be okay and hoping with everything within me that this did not mean my biggest fear was coming to life.

As soon as my doctor's office opened, I called and spoke with the PA.  She attempted to ease my fears with comments such as, "Some women spot throughout their pregnancy" and "It doesn't necessarily mean you're having a miscarriage."  I tried really hard to allow her words to comfort me, but as I thought about our past experience and faced the reality before me, her words felt empty.  The spotting, plus the fact that I wasn't experiencing some of the "typical" pregnancy symptoms I had in the previous pregnancy exasperated my fears all the more.

As evening arrived, the spotting was no longer pink, but red.  My fears continued to increase, but I was trying not to dwell on what may be and instead keep pleading with God for everything to be okay.  When Saturday morning arrived, I noticed there was more bleeding than before, and [Warning:  Semi-graphic content] as the day progressed blood seemed to pour out of me every time I sat on the toilet.  Then, later in the evening, I saw a couple of large dark masses that seemed to just plop out of me.  This was the scariest thing yet.

I knew very well that what I was experiencing could be a miscarriage, yet I was still clinging to the hope that things could be different.  So I kept praying.  I prayed for the bleeding to stop.  I prayed and I cried and prayed some more.  The next day the bleeding was much lighter.  I was optimistic that things may have actually been getting better.  However, I still felt unsettled.  

Since my first miscarriage was a "missed miscarriage" that resulted in a D & C, I was a little clueless about what experiencing a natural miscarriage was like.  Throughout the weekend, I had been "googling" various symptom, terms, and topics in hopes to find some answers.  During one particular search,  I happened upon a discussion that talked about different women's experiences with miscarriages.  I saw one post that was similar to how far along I was in the pregnancy (a few days shy of eight weeks) and what she described was very similar to what I had experienced.

Reality set in.  I began facing the fact that I truly may have already experienced a miscarriage.  My prayers changed.  I began to ask that God would prepare our hearts for the truth we would discover on Monday.  I asked that He would give us what we needed to make it through this again.  Having been through it once before gave me hope we could get through it again, but it also made me very aware of the emotional pain that was to come and honestly, that scared me to death.  I claimed God's goodness, faithfulness, and His love for us, and His ability to heal our hearts.  

On Monday, I called my doctor's office to fill them in on the events of the weekend.  About an hour later, my husband and I were on our way to her office.  By this time, they had gotten the results of my blood test from the previous week.  The PA confirmed that based on my HCG levels from last week's blood test and the symptoms I had over the weekend that we had indeed had another miscarriage.  Although, they had confirmed the miscarriage, they sent me to the hospital for one more blood test so they could have a comparison number for my HCG level.  Later that day, I received a phone call informing me that my HCG level was continuing to drop, confirming without a doubt that we definitely had another miscarriage.  

I had attempted to get some sleep that day - wanting desperately to be able to forget, even if just for a little while, about what we were going through.  However, except for a few brief twenty minute periods, I was unable to.  Everything seemed so surreal and I felt completely numb.  Although, I knew firsthand that there were painful days ahead and many more emotions to come, I clung to the Truth that God is trustworthy, that He is good, that He is faithful, that He loves us, and that He is able to heal our broken hearts.  So here we go again...yet, tightly clinging to the truth that He can and will bring us through this since He carried us through once before.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Emotional Roller Coaster

For the past two weeks, I have been analyzing my body and emotions, almost daily, attempting to determine whether or not we are pregnant again.  And for the record, when I analyze, I do not just analyze, I over analyze to the point that I have convinced myself that I am pregnant even though it may not be so.  So as you can imagine, I have been anxiously awaiting the time that I can actually take a test and know for sure.

Well, on Sunday, since I could not wait any longer, I decided to take one of those tests that are supposed to be able to predict whether or not you're pregnant days before your period is supposed to start.  After meticulously following the test's instructions, I stood over the stick anxiously awaiting a plus or minus sign.  Well, the minus sign never turned into what I was hoping for.  It was negative, thus beginning my emotional roller coaster.  My heart was broken.  Tears streaming down my face.  I thought to myself, "You have to accept that this may not happen in your timing" while simultaneously thinking, "It's okay.  You're testing early.  It could be wrong."

Then along came Tuesday, the day my period was supposed to arrive.  I woke up that morning with no signs of my period.  The day continued to progress and still no sign.  I know from my consistent cycle that it typically arrives prior to the evening hours so my excitement and anticipation gradually began to build.  Then the evening arrived and still no period.  So what did I do?  Take another test, of course!

I found myself in the bathroom yet again, hoovering over the test waiting for a response to appear.  This time the faintest plus sign you've ever seen appeared.  I took another one to make sure.  Another faint plus sign appeared.  I showed them both to my husband.  He confirmed that they were indeed plus signs, although so faint I honestly thought it was possible it was a figment of my imagination.  But he said he saw it too so I guess that means we can celebrate, right?  Excitement, happiness, and peace filled my heart until....

Less than an hour later I went to the bathroom and saw that I was spotting.  It was not anything to freak out about, but when I wiped I saw pink so my thought now was "I am not pregnant.  My period is starting."  I did not have any spotting with my first pregnancy so to me it automatically implied that something was not right.  Enter heartbreak and disappointment all over again.

The spotting progressed until the following evening and disappeared the next day.  So the following day I decided to take another pregnancy test.  This time the plus sign appeared again.  Although still faint, it was darker than before.  And after taking another test to confirm, I finally felt like we could celebrate yet again.

Five days.  Five pregnancy tests. One negative result.  Two faint positives.  Two more convincing positives.  So I guess that means, it's true.  We're pregnant again.  We're super excited, but incredibly fearful all at the same time.  Again, we find ourselves, our baby, our future in God's hands.  Acknowledging that we have no control, but praying and hoping our fears and worries will not come to fruition.  Only time will tell.

In the meantime, however, I am thankful for this verse that God has given me to help me fight my fears and anxiety...
"See, I am doing a new thing.  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).
Our life has felt like both the wilderness and a wasteland since our first loss four months ago, but I am clinging to God's words that He is doing a new thing.  He has blessed us with another child.  This is our child, whether or not we will hold him or her in Heaven, he or she is ours and no one or nothing will ever change that.  Thank you, Jesus, for this gift of life.

[NOTE:  This post is a reflection of events, thoughts, and feelings that occurred in September 2012.  Story to be continued.]