May 5, 2014

A lesson in faith & peace

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This is another long one...sorry!

So I have said this over and over the past few days.  This child better be a GOLDEN child, because the drama and fear and heart ache I have felt so far in this pregnancy has been a little much for me!  It's all worth it though, if at the end of all of this I get to hold a happy, healthy baby in my arms:)

I have been on "rest" for the past 6 days, and I was too scared to write about what was going on because each day I have been convinced that we are losing this baby.  It has been the most terrifying experience in my life so far.  I am still scared, but I have decided that I can not let that fear rule my world anymore.  I have faith (it's still growing, it's very hard for me!) that God is in control and I am not.  So whether He wants us to have this child, or if He doesn't, I don't have any control over it.  I need to be ok with that.  I promise, I am trying.

It all started on Tuesday night last week.  I didn't feel well, I've been extremely tired even though I am now in my second trimester.  I came home from work, and got in bed and stayed there all evening.  Somewhere around 9:00, I got up to go to the bathroom.  My worse fear during this whole pregnancy so far has been that I will see blood when I go to the bathroom.  I've heard horror stories, I was even warned about it when we lost the twin, so every.single.time I go to the bathroom I am worried.  Well, that night, my fears came true.  The toilet was full of blood (sorry, but it gets worse so stop reading if you are squeamish!) I just sat there and stared.  This couldn't be happening.  Not to me.  I couldn't lose this baby!

I called Dave, who was at work.  Thank goodness he works RIGHT there because he was home in less than 15 minutes.  I called the OB who was very sweet and calm and said to watch it and if it got worse, to call her back.  I prayed it wouldn't get worse.  Dave came home to me sobbing on our bed.  Why am I SO dramatic, all the time?  Why can't ANYTHING be "normal" with me??

He tried to soothe me and told me to take a shower to help me calm down, so I did.  I sat in there for 30 minutes just praying that Jesus not take our baby from us.  After I got out, I had to go to the bathroom again.  I was terrified.  Well, it was worse.  The blood was brighter, redder, and there was much more of it.  That happened a few times before I got the courage up to call the doctor again.  I knew she would tell me that I had to be checked out.  I did not want to be checked out.  By the time she told me to come to the hospital, the blood was coming out in gushes.  So.  SCARY.

When I called her, she said to come in and bypass the ER, go straight to the birthplace so that one of my doctors could look at everything and make sure all was ok.  So we went around 11pm. It was pouring outside, because the monsoon had started.  Dave said he would drop me off at the door but I told him there was NO way I was going in there without him.  NO WAY.  They got me into triage, and I met the nurse and the on-call midwife, and both were so nice and understanding.  They went through questions and what happened, and then she did the exam.  It was not a comfortable situation, but I got through it without breaking Dave's hand.  After the midwife was done, she said there was a lot of blood, but she couldn't tell where it was all coming from and that we would need to check for the heartbeat.  I was so scared of what they wouldn't hear or find.

But, as soon as they placed the Doppler on my tummy, the heartbeat came in loud and clear.  Again, it was the most perfect, beautiful sound in the entire world!!!  I could see both of the ladies breathe a little easier, and smile.  I knew then that they were worried for me before that.  It didn't look good, but that heartbeat apparently says A LOT of things, and miscarrying was not one of them.  The midwife took my hand, told me to relax, that the baby was totally ok, and that she would go talk to the doc and see what they wanted to do next.  I was crying this whole time, of course.  But now I had relief.  Dave hugged me hard and we just sat there in joy, thanking God the baby was ok.  The midwife came back and said I could go home, but they wanted me back the next day in the office to check the heartbeat, more for my benefit than theirs, and to check my blood pressure because that was high (obviously) and just to chat with the doctor about if the bleeding had stopped.  When we asked what was happening, she said it was hard to tell.  It could be tear, or a clot, or previa, but we may not ever know?  We went home and I was able to sleep, some.

The next day, the bleeding had really slowed down.  We went in and heard the heartbeat again, and had my BP check.  It was still a little high, but not too bad.  They wanted me back on Friday to check it all over again.  We asked the midwife that day if they knew anymore about what had happened, and this one said again that we may never know - there are literally hundreds of reasons why pregnant women bleed and MOST of those reasons are usually harmless.  But I was to call if I had anymore severe bleeding or if I was worried at all.  I was to not go back to work until Monday, and stay off my feet as much as possible.  Just rest.

Resting is something I very bad at doing!  Dave ended up staying home with me most of the week too, he has only worked Thursday since this whole thing started...

Anyways, Thursday night I had some slight bleeding again, but it wasn't enough for me to call in for. I knew I was going in again on Friday morning.  I didn't sleep very well, Dave was at work and I was terrified to go to the bathroom and see what was going on.  But throughout the night, the bleeding didn't get much worse.  Mom went with me on Friday, since Dave had worked and was so tired.   We went in, discussed the bleeding with the OB nurse, found that my BP was much better and heard that heartbeat again.  It was my moms first time hearing it, which was so special for us!  The nurse told me, once again, that if the heartbeat was THAT good, there was nothing to worry about.  She left for a few minutes to talk with the doc, and they looked over my last ultrasound and saw that I had a blood clot right below the fetus at 8 weeks.  Something called a subchorionic hemorrhage which lots of women have during pregnancy.

These "clots" usually resolve themselves, and don't cause any problems.  So docs apparently don't always say anything about them.  We never heard that I even had one.  I think I vaguely remember our tech telling us that it was "just blood" when we asked about what it was.  But, every once in a while, these clots bleed out.  They bleed out until they are gone.  So if they are big, the bleed a lot.  It was reassuring to get some sort of explanation of what was happening to me.  Again, the OB nurse told me that if I had anymore bleeding or was worried, to call them right away.  I left on Friday thinking things were good.  The bleeding was gone, and I had a good idea of what was going on.  I was still scared to use the bathroom though.  Seeing blood is something I will never, ever get used to.

Friday and most of Saturday passed without any scares.  Dave and I went to dinner Friday.  Saturday we had a cookout for my BFFS Heather and Marcus, who are moving to Texas this week, and I rested here and there in between all those going ons.  I was on my feet more, which may have made some things move along a little?

Saturday night, I got in bed and was watching TV, and I felt something gush out of me.  I was so upset, so frustrated.  I knew before I got to the bathroom that it was back.  Tons of blood.  Filled the toilet again.  Dave told me to try and relax, they had said there could be blood, and I could call in the morning and tell them it was happening again, unless it got worse.  I hate those words, "unless it gets worse..." because you know what?  It always seems to get worse.  That night, I went to the bathroom 3 or 4 times during the night, each time the toilet was blood red.  I decided not to call the OB until the morning.  At this point, I was just so tired of seeing blood.  I knew that if I was miscarrying this time around, there wasn't anything anyone could do about it.  So I slept awful, on and off, and got through the night.  I woke up crying Sunday, because I didn't want to call them again.  I didn't want to hear what they would say.

The same midwife that saw me in the birthplace on Tuesday night was the one who called me back.  She reassured me that if it was the clot, then we just needed to let it bleed.  She said that if it was a miscarriage, there was little we could do to confirm it right then, but she told me that she really didn't think that was it.  There was plenty of evidence that this was the clot.  She told me again, "if it gets worse, call me back..."  Ugh.  She also said to come into the office Monday (today) and they would do an ultrasound to check things out for sure this time.  So I just waited around all day.  I was sure it would get worse.  I was sure each time the bathroom would tell me this wasn't going to be good.  But throughout the day, the bleeding stopped.  It didn't stop my fear, or my anxiety.  I cried a lot.

Today, I called in for the appointment and they scheduled me for an u/s at 11:45.  I was terrified.  I didn't want to go in.  I HATE going to these appointments now.  I really hate it.  I don't want to learn what else is wrong with me.  I don't want to hear that there are problems.  I just don't want to hear it at all.  I want to have this baby, with no more doc appointments.  I know that's not possible.  But still, these should be happy, FUN appointments.  They just aren't.  I am being robbed of that.  I can't get excited about any of them. I fear the next few dates on my calendar where I have to see the OB, like they are dates of doom or something.  It's terrible!

I cried in the car on the way in to the appointment today.  Again, I was sure they were going to tell me my baby was not viable anymore.  That I had fallen into the below 5% odds of a "late miscarriage" because my body ALWAYS defies the odds.  Everyone was telling me over and over they really "think" my baby is ok, that nothing is wrong, that this baby will make it.  It's SO easy for everyone else to say.  They don't have to go to the bathroom with me.  I appreciate their faith and hope, and I really wish I had it!

We got into the ultrasound room and the tech put the wand on my belly (last time we did this it had to be internal, it was crazy that now 8 weeks later, we can see everything from on top!) and as soon as that baby popped up, she said "Everything looks great!!"  She had questioned us earlier, why in the world were we here?  Usually women don't get these things done at this point, so we caught her up on what was happening.  She spend a lot of time letting us see the baby. He/she was moving and waving, and bouncing around, almost in an annoyed "why do you keep poking me?" way.  It was adorable!!  Again,  I cried.  I have cried A LOT these days.  The tech explained she couldn't see the clot anymore, it wasn't there.  There wasn't anything in there to suggest that there was a problem with the baby at all. We sat around and chatted about the reason, maybe the clot bled out?  Maybe it wasn't that, maybe it was something else?  At least we could see the baby was there, and moving, and then she put the heartbeat on and I cried all over again.  I was once again reassured that I was not losing the baby.

She sent us home with a picture.  I'm going back to work tomorrow, as long as we make it through the night without any scares, and I am hoping life can get back to normal again.  I just want to feel normal!  We still aren't 100% sure of what happened here, the docs are certain that it was the clot, but even they could be wrong.  All I am praying for now is for it to be OVER.  I know that I could still bleed.  I know that it probably won't mean anything.  But, I can't help praying that I don't see anymore blood ever.  It's wishful thinking, because if it was the clot it may still have to clear out of my body, so I am promising myself not to freak out if I see it again.  I see the OB docs again on Friday, so I am trying to be calm and at peace, and excited about that appointment, and not let my fear get in the way of my life and happiness.

This has been a real struggle for me.  I'm not a control freak, but this whole no-control-over-my-own-body is so freaking terrifying.  God is trying to teach me to rely and find a peace that surpasses understanding in Him and I am failing miserably!  But I promise Him each day that I will try harder.  I won't ever have control over this situation, it's all Him.  So I will try to be at peace with however He chooses this journey to end.  Of course, I hope its a happy ending, with a delightful little baby in our arms!  I know that stressing out and being anxious won't help the baby at all.  I plan on spending some serious time just relaxing and praying and actively trying to be calm and happy.  I usually don't have to try so hard to do that!  I'm learning...

I have to thank my friends, my family, and especially Dave for their unwavering faith in God, and in me and the a baby during this time.  Their certainty has helped me find peace when the fear seems to envelope me so badly it suffocates me.  They have helped me find where Jesus is in all of this mess, because when you are that afraid, you feel lost and alone.  I am not lost.  I am not alone.  Yes it is happening to me, but there are a TON of people going through it with me.  I am so lucky to have them, to help support me through the best and worst of this whole process.

I wish I could tell you the rest of this pregnancy will be drama free, but you know I can't guarantee that.  I can tell you that I will try to get through it with grace and faith and hope that God will bring us through whatever happens.  I hope it reaches people who may go through similar situations, or have been through this too.  As parents, all we want is for our babies and children to live and have happy, healthy and fulfilled lives, above our own needs and wants.

As I said when we lost Baby A, even being "just a vessel" for little Baby B is a privilege.  I just really pray and hope the journey ends with us meeting face to face!

I'll leave you with a little pic of our "peanut bean" as my mom calls him or her.  I hesitate to share these photos online, but it makes me so happy and anchors my faith, so I have to share...