Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Journey

I often have to laugh at the way God has orchestrated my life.  There I was, 19 years old, just ending a relationship and discovering that I was pregnant.  Within the next three years I had two sons and a new relationship.  A few years later I married my wonderful husband who doesn't seem to mind my terrible, rotten luck.  (I mean, really, you should see my track record with car health, sheesh!)  My story starts with some lows, but keep reading this post through to the end- I guarantee it's worth it.

 Now I am thirty-one years old (eek!), my sons are 10 and 9, and we have a home that also includes a small dog, two cats, a hamster, and the latest addition- Phin the kitten.  I am a high school teacher, my husband is a veteran and works at the railroad (all the live long day), and our boys are active in sports and school. 

While my story technically begins with the two unplanned pregnancies and subsequent healthy sons, it picks up again June 2012 when, after over a year of trying, the hubs and I became pregnant.  Well, you know, technically I did.  We found out I was pregnant less than a week before our vacation to Disneyland- which meant no roller coasters or bumpy rides for me.  At that time I was strict Paleo and active at the gym lifting weights and cross training.  While in Disneyland one of my closest friends discovered she too was pregnant and we were only due days apart from one another. 

The next month went by in a daze of happiness, overly eager early baby registry, pintrest baby pinning, and picking out baby names.  Because of my earlier pregnancies and no history of miscarriage, we announced the news after 8 weeks and everyone was really happy for us. 

When the husband and I went in for our first checkup at 12 weeks, we were so excited to finally see our baby.  Several of my friends who discovered their pregnancies after me had already had sonograms around 6 and 7 weeks and we were eager to see our little peanut.  After waiting for what seemed like forever, the doctor came in the room cracking jokes (one of the reasons I picked him) and started the sonogram.  As I looked over at the screen and saw my uterus, there was nothing inside.  My stomach dropped and I knew what the doctor was going to tell us- there was no baby.

After several long seconds of searching, the doctor finally confirmed my suspicions and said that it appeared I was miscarrying the baby.  My husband and I both started to tear up while my doctor tried to comfort me.  The next few days were awful- having to inform everyone and deal with my pain.  It took another two weeks before the miscarriage actually happened.  Of all times, the night before Back to School night.  We spent the night in the ER, came home in the middle of the night, I slept in and then pulled myself together to get to work and welcome new parents and students to my class.  Talk about bad timing, but I just couldn't stay home. 

For those of you who have experienced a miscarriage, you know the pain that comes with this loss.  We don't even get to bury our babies.  For months afterwards, people who didn't hear of the loss make comments like, "Wow!  You look great for how far along you must be!" or "Did you have the baby already?!"  Each time you have to repeat the bad news, they feel awkward, and then there is silence.  Not fun.  Then, to add insult to injury, everyone you know gets pregnant.  At least it feels like it.  Two months after, I mentally inventoried my friends and almost all of my married lady friends were either pregnant or just had a baby within the past year.  It is so hard to be happy for them when all that rests on my mind is, "I should be 7 months pregnant right now.  I should be shopping for baby clothes and enjoying baby showers, sewing blankets and hooter hiders." 

When we could start trying again we did.  The hubs was scared though; he didn't - doesn't want to go through another loss.  It hurt him pretty bad.  In October I tested negative for a pregnancy.  I cried some more.  In November my cycle came, still not pregnant.  More announcements by friends of pregnancies.  Then, in early December 2012 , my cycle started a week early- very light spotting.  Hmm, maybe implantation bleeding, or maybe I am being too hopeful.  I took a test and NOT PREGNANT showed on the screen.  I drove to work and cried in my office.  It looks like I just cannot get pregnant anymore.  I called my hubs and cried to him- told him it was useless- something was obviously wrong with one of us.

When the spotting didn't end after a few days I chalked it up to another cycle.  After 6 days of this- my cycle didn't show signs of being heavier and wasn't similar to past cycles.  I actually felt happy that I caught a break on something.

That takes us to Monday, December 17th.  On the drive home I was chatting with my friend (the one I mentioned earlier that was due around my original due date) about this odd, but awesome cycle.  "Maybe your hormones are still out of whack or maybe you are pregnant.  You should take a test when you get home," she suggested.  When I arrived home I headed to the bathroom, pulled out the test and took it- knowing that NOT PREGNANT was going to mock me from the digital screen in just a few minutes.

I washed my hands, changed out of my work clothes and looked down at the test.  PREGNANT.  What?  PREGNANT it continued to read.  I called my friend and whispered, "You were right."  The hubs had told me over the past few months that if I learned I was pregnant, I should keep it secret until the doctor confirmed via sonogram or heartbeat, so I couldn't run out and tell him.  Instead, I spent the rest of the afternoon being suspicious (in my opinion) while contacting the doctors office, getting a call back from the nurse, then getting a call from my doctor.  He promised to get me in in 4 weeks- which is 4 weeks earlier that usual at my office.  Thank God!  Thank God for allowing me to conceive. 

 As it was, I couldn't keep my secret from my hubby for long.  A few days later, I wrapped up a onesie, the test, and a card, and surprised my husband with an early Christmas gift.  He thought it was lingerie.  Boy, was he surprised at the gift inside!  I think he may have teared up.  Four weeks later we found ourselves at the doctor's office for the next sonogram.  Those were the most nerve-wracking moments of my life.  It only took a few seconds, but there, on the screen, was a little peanut. Our peanut.  Our hopes and prayers had come to life on that little screen in the doctor's office.  We were having our rainbow baby.

My pregnancy went by so slow (to me) and it was with great excitement at our sonogram in March at 15 weeks that we learned we were having the girl we had prayed for so hard.  My mom and I enjoyed shopping for girl things over the next 5 months.  The hubs and I set up the nursery with some help from the boys, and on August 28th, 4 days late, our little girl arrived.  She is now 2 months old and perfect in every way.

 So my new beginning is this 4th baby- with two rambunctious boys, a baby in heaven, a houseful of animals and a husband I love to pieces- we start again.

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