We finally have a nice, updated photo of our big boy. I can't believe that he is in there, swimming in my belly! His profile is precious to me, and you can see one of his legs up in the air, and a hand behind that. He was very precocious during our scan yesterday, it was fun to see his personality already shining through.
On the to honest part: Pregnancy after loss is hard. That isn't a complaint, though. I am very thankful to be pregnant again so soon after losing Jackson. I know that it is a blessing, and a deep desire in a lot of women. I don't want to offend anyone who is trying and going through the trials of infertility. Our desires are the same, to bring home a healthy baby, no matter what we have to do or put our bodies through. Nor do I want to offend those who have lost later that I have. It's a totally different experience, yet again we dream of the same thing. A healthy, happy baby!
Today marks 23 weeks for us. Yesterday, we had to overcome another big obstacle in this pregnancy with our baby boy. We had to return for another scan for more measurements and most of all, to get the echocardiograph on his heart. This is routine for a high risker, and I am high risk because of the gestational diabetes, and now high blood pressure. Both conditions are very well controlled, and very well managed by our team, but still...I have to go through all the tests. In all honesty, I really don't mind. We have to get seen more than a normal pregnancy, and therefore have more opportunities to catch any problems, and for that I am extremely grateful. I am also extremely anxious.
For our 20 week ultrasound a few weeks ago, the anxiety hit me the day before. That evening before I was crying on and off, and really nothing anyone could say would help me. This time, it hit me in the morning. I woke up yesterday around 7:00, and the tears started rolling. I could barely eat or talk to Dave, I just wanted to get the scan over with and have the peace of good news. I cried the whole way down to St Joes. I wish I could overcome it, but I am not built for overcoming this raw fear I have inside of me.
Being a Christian and loving Jesus and trusting God is such a roller coaster during this. Every positive thought has an immediate negative comment. I'm told that is the devil telling me lies, and that could be true - but what about last time? What about with Jackson? I had fears and negative comments in my head then too! And then I lost him! Those thoughts were right! So much goes through my mind all at once on a daily basis, but on days that we have these "big" appointments, I can hardly stand to be awake. Here are just a few things that were going through my head...
Today is the day we are going to get bad news.
Something is wrong with his heart, I know it.
I can't stand to go through a scan where the tech is all quiet again and I have no freaking clue what is going on.
I can't stand to go through the doctor coming in and silently looking at those pictures and not talking to me.
I just want good news.
This can't end well.
This has to end well, we deserve it!
We don't deserve it at all.
We've had so much good news so far, we are bound to have bad news soon.
How many more of these scans do we have to endure?
How will Dave handle another loss?
How will WE handle another loss?
What will I say to everyone when we get bad news?
Will I have to give birth to a still and silent baby again?
We aren't going to get bad news, all is going to be ok.
I have no freaking clue if things are going to be ok or not. No one does.
Add a million other things that I am too ashamed to write about here, and that is what was going through my mind yesterday morning. I usually feel that I have a good grip on this whole PAL anxiety thing, but on test or appointment days, it gets the best of me.
And now, going forward into this unknown and unfamiliar pregnancy territory, I have more thoughts going through my head. Should I bother thinking of a name? Should I hire a doula? Should I go and clean out the nursery? Should I paint the samples on the wall and choose? How prepared should I be? Am I building a human, or another angel that I can't bring home? I am supposed to be choosing hope, choosing to believe that this is happening. But...is this happening?
I'm not going to lie. It's very tough. When you've been a statistic on the bad side of things, more than once, its very tough to overcome it all. We aren't built to endure this alone. I do trust God, but trusting him and getting what I really want and hope for don't go hand and hand. I have to trust no matter what.
So, knowing full well that I have very little control over what happens to our baby, and very little control what happens to me (I say very little because I can control taking my meds and trying to be healthy and resting and doing yoga and all that wellness stuff) I chose to pray constantly yesterday. As we started on the road, Dave prayed for God to give us peace, and good news, and the tears starting flowing freely again. After he was done, I decided to shut out all those crazy and negative thoughts and just repeat a simple prayer "mantra":
Give us hope, give us peace, and please Jesus - FIGHT FOR US.
And I said it over and over and over in my head. All the way down 95, and then 695, all the way until I got into the office, and I even said it then a few times, and during the scan a lot.
I figured that no matter what God's plan is for this pregnancy, that prayer would fit. Healthy baby or sick baby or no baby at all, Dave and I (and our families) we need hope, we definitely need peace, and we need Jesus to fight the battle for us. I can't fight this anxiety. I KNOW it's not of him. You can tell me not to stress or worry and you can quote scripture to me until we are both blue, but I KNOW it. I can't seem to tell my heart or mind to calm the heck down though. He can fight the anxiety for me, He can fight whatever feeling is here or coming down the road. I need Him to be my warrior, because I still have 17 weeks to go (hopefully) and I can't imagine that it's going to get any easier. It's going to just get harder. I need a warrior.
The scan was excruciating, because it lasted almost 2 hours. Tons of pictures, a very silent technician. What is she seeing? Are there problems? I have no idea what these things on the screen are!! The heart looks good to me, but what do I know? We told her a bit of our story, and that we were anxious, but she didn't give us any indication that things were good or bad. Finally, the doc came in, and she was better. She knows us and our story because she gave us the news about Jackson. This time, she was reassuring. She looked through the pictures so fast, I knew that something couldn't have been wrong because she didn't linger on any. She said over and over that she didn't see any problems. She had the tech scan a couple other places, but immediately told us that it was just to get the pictures, not because she saw anything going on. She was great, very sweet. She walked us through the next few appointments we would have to do...nothing again for another month and even then it was just about measuring his growth.
For now, everything looks great. For now.
It's heartbreaking to plan for two different scenarios. If the baby lives. If the baby dies. But I think that way. So, I try not to think about either, and just take each day as it comes. That makes it easy. I know that I'll have to plan ahead FOR LIFE eventually, but the day by day mind set really helps. Every now and then I send a prayer up to God and say, if it's not too much to ask, if He could let me have an easy pregnancy, and an easy birth experience, and a very healthy baby, please. I don't think I could handle it otherwise, but of course I know better. I know I can handle anything with Him. I just don't want to do it again, that's all. If it's not too much to ask.
A very big thank you to everyone who is praying for us and helping us through this. It is very hard for us, and we need all the love and support and prayer warriors we can get. I don't post this stuff to get attention, or the likes or the comments. I write and post it all because I need you, and my family needs you, and I know that prayer works and the more of us coming together to pray the better. I hope that my intentions are transparent in that way. So thank you for being there for us:)