Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tick Tock

Mr. Right and I were off to a good start.  We’d been together almost two years by the time we married.  We had just bought a house together, were getting bills paid off, and doing well in our careers.  At almost 28 years of age, I’ll be honest and just say my clock was ticking.  I probably could have held off for a bit longer on having children if my beautiful new step-daughter wasn’t living so far away.  I loved her dearly, but I wanted to be able to be a mother daily.  I clearly had that ache and we began preparations right away to ready ourselves to expand our family.

We were quite surprised, but extremely happy when we learned in August of 2002 that we were expecting our first child together.  We’d been married not quite four months when I learned there would be a baby toward the end of the following spring.  I remember going to the doctor for my first ultrasound and being so excited because I could hardly wait to see my little peanut on the screen.  When I went for the initial ultrasound, I was nervous: the new mother kind of nervous that crops out of the deep mother recess that resides somewhere in the female brain.  For the first time in my life I was feeling that overwhelming sensation of being completely and wholly responsible for a human outside of myself.  It was a daunting thought, but the elation always outweighed the fear.

As I readied myself for the ultrasound, I had to breathe deep.  I was in new territory.  I didn’t know what to expect, I didn’t know what I would feel.  The techs say nothing to you when you get an ultrasound.  It’s mind-numbingly grating for a person to know the tech knows exactly what she is looking at, for you to have no idea, and for her to give you nothing!  So, I sat and I waited after the ultrasound to be called back by the doctor.  The visit didn’t go exactly as planned.  He asked if it was possible my reported dates were incorrect.  I explained to him I was sure the dates were correct.  He was trying to verify because the measurements weren’t where they should have been.  Based on the measurements, my estimated due date was bumped back a week and a second ultrasound scheduled for the next week.  I was frustrated about the due date being bumped back, but I was excited to have a second ultrasound.  I wanted to see my peanut growing.

The following week, I went into the office for an ultrasound on Monday.  Again, my poker faced ultrasound tech gave no inkling as to how things were looking and again it was maddening.  There was another stop to the waiting room until I could be seen by the doctor.  I could tell by the ultrasound that my gestational sac was still growing, but I was a little worried at that point because I couldn’t seem to find my lil' peanut.  That didn’t sit right with me and I felt uneasy waiting for the doctor to come.  From the moment he walked into the examining room, I knew bad news was looming.  I listened intently as my doctor told me I had miscarried.  The unbelievable pain of those words still haunts me to a degree to this day.  The next few words were a blur as I heard “blighted ovum”, “body didn’t recognize the loss of the pregnancy”, and “D&C”.  That was about all I could make out through the tears and low sobbing.  This baby, this pleasant unexpected surprise, was no more.

My OB/GYN wanted to schedule a D&C because my body was not expelling the futile pregnancy on its own.  The gestational sac had even continued to grow, but it was fruitless.  A D&C was the quickest way for me to work toward closure and get my body prepared for another pregnancy.  The earliest appointment I could get was for Friday.  It was Monday.  The thought of carrying around an empty belly for four more days was almost more than I could stand.  The only other option was to wait and see what would happen naturally.  That was even less appealing.  At least this way, I had a point at which the next step in the grief process could begin.  I begrudgingly took the appointment and waited.

I cried all the way to the out-patient surgery clinic that Friday morning.  I remember arriving and getting ready in the pre-op area.  Time seemed to be moving incredibly slow and I felt like I was in a dream.  All that ran repeatedly through my mind was the thought of how this wasn’t the way it was supposed to happen.  And I cried some more.  When my doctor came in to talk with me before the surgery, I began to cry even harder.  I knew time was short, and desperation was setting in.  I pleaded with him.  “But what if we are wrong???”  I was convinced that if I went for another ultrasound, it would miraculously show something different than it had before.  I was absolutely convinced.  

My doctor, God bless him, asked me if I would feel better if we did another ultrasound and I could see for myself that nothing had changed.  I nodded and whispered, “Yes.”  He took me by the hand and led me to the ultrasound room and performed the ultrasound himself right there.  In such a situation, I am certain there was not another physician in the world who would have been more adept at dealing with me with kid gloves.  He understood perfectly my illogical belief the pregnancy would somehow now be okay.  He patiently dealt with my emotions, and helped me do what I needed to do to move on to a place where I could attempt to obtain some peace of mind.  When he called me at home later that night to check on me, I was even more convinced he had to be the best OB/GYN ever.  

The support I got from family and friends the day I learned I had lost my baby and the days forward were nothing short of incredible.  To that point in life, I had felt pain many, many times.  I had never felt any pain like that.  I know the perfect combination of my OB/GYN, family, friends, and Mr. Right got me through the most emotional situation I had ever had to face.  The exit of Mr. Wrong had nothing on the loss of my first pregnancy.  With so much support though, I felt myself getting better day by day.  I was getting stronger emotionally and physically.  So, when I found out only four months later I was pregnant again, I was terrified, but I knew I could weather whatever storm lie ahead.  I just prayed the storm would be the kind related to a normal pregnancy.  I was ready to throw up, have strange cravings, not be able to fit in my clothes, and waddle.  If my miscarriage had taught me anything, it was the rock solid nature of my steadfast desire to be a mother.  There was no doubt in my mind I wanted children more than anything else in the world and Mr. Right was going to be there by my side every step of the way.  Good thing, too because it was going to be a bumpy ride to the welcoming of Liberty.  I guess I should go ahead though and mention she was worth the wait - well worth it.

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