In honor of this important day, I thought long and hard about whether or not to share my story. My head told me not to but my heart disagreed.
June 20, 2006: The First Step
While we haven’t yet answered the age old question, “When are you going to have another baby?” We have answered, “When are you going to TRY to have another baby?” The answer is now. I can’t speak for [Big Daddy P], but I get asked the pregnancy question at least twice a week. My stock answer, “Oh, I don’t know. [Big Daddy P]’s in school and it’s really hard.” It is really hard and until about a week ago, I honestly didn’t know when the time would be right. Actually, I still don’t know when the time will be right or if this decision is even right. I am the first to admit all of these things. [Boy Wonder]’s pregnancy journal was filled with all sorts of my 25 year old wisdom about faith and hope. I need to take a lesson from my younger self and just trust that even if the time is wrong, our hope for an addition to our family is enough to make it right. I was spoiled with baby #1, really. We decided it was time to start trying and like magic, pregnant the first month. I have real doubts about lightening striking twice for a few reasons: 1) I’m 4 years older 2) For the last year and a half I have dealt with having a menstrual cycle continuously to almost never having one. I couldn’t even use a fertility calculator to calculate my most fertile days since I don’t have a standard cycle length. I won’t be sharing this journal with anyone until I see those 2 frightening lines light up that pregnancy test because even the most innocent questions about how our progress is coming might not be very good for someone as sensitive as myself. I trust in our hopes and I trust that is all I need. Wishing for baby dust and wishing it even more for someone very dear to my heart, Lori
June 25, 2006: The Reason
The more comfortable I get with the idea of having another, the more I find myself looking at [Boy Wonder] and wondering how I will ever have enough room in my heart to love another child as much as I love him. I had no idea before I became a mother how much my life would change and how my heart would literally overflow from the joy he gives me. My little man wants to be a big brother so badly. He absolutely adores babies and wants to grow up to be a “doctor for babies” too. He tests me daily and makes me question my abilities continuously and I thank him for it. I am a better person for being a mother. A much better, more exhausted person.
June 28, 2006: Keeping the Faith
Day 53 and I finally get my period. Day 53 is better than day 66 like last month I suppose, maybe one day I’ll finally get back into the normal 19-45 day window of a menstrual cycle. The last 6 months I have been between days 46-66 and that is a wide range friends. What is more disheartening than anything is the fortune I’ve spent on pregnancy tests. I mean seriously, one cannot be too careful considering my raging social calendar and subsequent cocktail consumption. I’m not even a drinker under normal circumstances but this has indeed been a spring and summer of celebration and festive times! I’m not willing to take chances drinking with a possible #2 in the oven so I have been testing and testing and nada, nothing but a bunch of money down the drain. Normally I’d write a novel ranting about how pregnancy tests are highway robbery and how my eggs must be getting old and senile but lately I feel different…I’m trying to live a life of expectancy and faith. Sound’s easy, right? It’s not. Living a life of expectancy means that you really believe that you are destined for good fortune from the depths of your soul. It’s knowing that whatever you hope for your life, despite your present circumstances (as grim as they may seem) will come to fruition. I have been praying a lot lately for the direction of my life and to find my purpose. If I listen to my heart (which I believe is how God speaks to each of us), it’s telling me to dedicate myself to my family first and foremost, allowing the pieces to fall where they may. When (not if) I am blessed again with a second pregnancy (notice the expectancy?) I hope to do things a little different. I hope to be the kind of Mom who welcomes a little clutter into her home and who doesn’t have to have an itinerary in her back pocket. I’m more excited than ever for what lies ahead.
August 4, 2006: We’re Expecting!
Where do I begin? I’m expecting which came as a major shock. You see, I started this journal as a preconception journal in late June and then in early July I had the overwhelming desire to move. I guess [Big Daddy P]’s gentle nudging had finally gotten the better of me. So we put our house up for sale and made offers on 3 homes since I last wrote in this journal. Of course, our house has not yet sold and none of our offers have worked out. Feeling a little discouraged this week I started to pray again that our lives would take their intended direction and for patience. I was doing OK with the exception of my ever-tender boobs. My God they hurt. I took a pregnancy test last Sunday night which was negative so I thought very little about it. Finally [Big Daddy P] said, “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?”…between you and me, I think he was tired of hearing me complain about my boobs. I reluctantly took a pregnancy test and *GASP*, 2 lines. What? You have got to be kidding me! I am Lori, the girl who plans everything! God and I had a conversation that went something like this: “Hi God, it’s me. Yeah, I know like 4 weeks ago I was having major baby fever and everything but now I’m having house fever. You see I can’t possibly deal with both of these things at the same time. You see, I’m a woman (I mean, I know you already know that) and I reserve the right to change my mind at any time. I mean, I’m not changing my mind per se, I’m just changing my timing, OK?” It was a very one-sided conversation. God had his plan and now I’m having to adjust mine. I am super excited to be pregnant again and experience the wonder and joy of it all, but I guess I’m really not in charge of the timing. My menstrual cycle has been wacky for the last 2 years, either bleeding all the time or not at all for months. This pregnancy is truly a miracle in my eyes and I am ever so grateful to God for blessing our beautiful family again with another child. [Big Daddy P] is elated and ever so proud of his ability to procreate so easily. [Boy Wonder] is in awe of my stomach and is certain we are having a girl. He already has a name picked out for his baby sister, “Cinderella”. Too funny. Well friends, it’s sure to be a wild and crazy remaining 36 weeks so check back often for all happenings. Wishing you miracles and unexpected surpri
ses, Lori & Cinderella P.S. I have a Dr’s appointment on 8/17 where I will get an estimated due date!
August 10, 2006: Baby Mama Drama
OK, so now I’m pregnant. I’m dealing with some really interesting changes in my body without any of the perks that go along with pregnancy because no one at work knows I’m pregnant. My boobs. Oh Lord, they are so very, very sore. So sore in fact that I sleep in a sports bra and cringe every time I have to walk up or down stairs, fasten my seatbelt, or God forbid, roll over in my sleep. On top of my suddenly 34C’s, I am constipated. Yep, constipated. Not appropriate to write in a journal you say? Try being constipated with really sore boobs and an ever-present headache…then tell me that. I’m guessing my lack of divine caffeine to be the culprit. I am waiting to tell work about my pregnancy until after my Dr.’s appointment next Friday, but a part of me is dying to share the news. It’s true, people wanna help you with things when you are expecting and I could sure use it. It’s a beautiful perk that is so very appreciated when you feel so crummy and emotional for no reason. I’ve been kinda short tempered at home also this week which is making me feel guilty, then sad, then mad, then guilty, then sad, then mad…[Big Daddy P] and [Boy Wonder] have been so wonderful but I get the distinct feeling they are a little afraid of me right now. When [Boy Wonder] told his daddy not to tell Mommy when he spilled water. It too made me feel guilty, then sad, then mad.
My Baby this Week (week 5 if my calculations are correct): Your embryo is the size of a raisin, only 1/10 of an inch or 1.5-3 mm. By day twenty-one, the embryo’s tiny heart has begun beating. The neural tube enlarges into three parts, soon to become a very complex brain. The placenta begins functioning. The spine and spinal cord grow faster than the rest of the body at this stage and give the appearance of a tail. Don’t worry, Mom, this will soon disappear as the child continues to grow.
Check back soon or I’ll get guilty, then sad, then mad. Love to you all, Lori
August 18, 2006: Just A Little Patience
I had my long-awaited 1st Prenatal Appointment today which proved to be more disappointing than I could have ever imagined. When I discovered I was pregnant 2 weeks ago I was super-diligent and scheduled my prenatal visit without delay…now I’m starting to wonder why. My RNP arrived and proceeded to give me a pelvic exam, breast exam, pap smear, lymph node exam and thyroid exam. Then she wheeled in the trans-vaginal ultrasound machine and I was ready to feel like this motherhood thing was for real. She said based on the day of my last period that I was approximately 7 weeks along and due March 30th. Her estimated due date sounded wrong to me, March 30th? I’m pretty certain I conceived on July 21st, so I was thinking late April sounded more accurate. Nevertheless, she started the ultrasound and could not find my uterus. Now all sorts of ridiculous things start going through your mind in a situation like this. Actual fleeting thoughts included: Maybe I don’t have a uterus? What a minute, that’s impossible; I’ve already had a baby. Maybe my uterus was delivered along with my baby and no one told me? Maybe my uterus shriveled up? These are actual thoughts and I can’t believe I’m admitting such neuroses. Anyway, she was moving that vaginal wand all over the place looking for my invisible uterus and it HURT. Wow, did it hurt. At one point I gasped for air it hurt so bad. She thought she finally found it but it looked so small that she called in a midwife to try and look for my mysterious uterus. The midwife found it and said, “Hmm…it’s empty. No egg sack. No baby. What did you do, conceive yesterday?” Ok, so not what I needed to hear. I get that she was trying to make the situation light and all but I was already feeling like a freak without a uterus and I was also beginning to feel very scared for my baby. My RNP asked if my cycles were irregular and I told her that “irregular” was the understatement of the century so she ordered me to have a dating ultrasound at an imaging center with more sophisticated ultrasound equipment so we could find out exactly how far along I am. About this time she told me I needed to come back in 2 weeks to review the results of my blood work. She didn’t offer me a whole lot of reassurance when I told her that I found out I was pregnant 2 weeks ago and I thought she should be able to see something by now. Instead I was sent to the lab for 3 vials of blood and another urine sample. My dating ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday, August 24th and I am afraid that the U/S technician will just take pictures and not tell me anything which has been my experience in the past with U/S techs. My next appointment with the RNP is August 31st and I am so hoping that everything is OK. I was notably disappointed to leave my 1st prenatal appointment without so much as a due date and after I cried a thousand tears I called my dearest friend, Gwen.
She and I hashed out my cycle details, conception date and consulted enough resource information to come to the following medical conclusion because we’re doctors and everything:
1. I have a crazy cycle, 44-66 days.
2. I should never have told my RNP that the date of my last period was 6/23, because that was the first day of spotting for my period and the spotting lasted about 4 days before the Real McCoy arrived. Arrival of the Real McCoy should have been the date I gave her, in other words, 6/27.
3. I should have reminded her of my crazy cycle and that I probably ovulated way later than most girls with that mysterious uterus of mine.
4. I should have told her that I thought I conceived 7/21.
5. The average woman has a 28 day cycle and ovulates between days 14-16. Early detection pregnancy tests can predict pregnancy up to 4 days before a missed period in a small percentage of women. If I found out I was pregnant less than 2 weeks after I conceived and it’s been 2 weeks since my positive pregnancy test, there is a good possibility that I am only 4-5 weeks along which would make perfect sense as to why there was no visible baby yet…right?
God has been testing my patience level for years now and I know that I failed this test miserably. Times like these are real testers of faith and I’d be lying if I told you that I’m at peace with uncertainty. So much in our lives is uncertain right now and I am praying so much for the strength to remain patient and positive. I’ll keep you updated the minute I find out anything. Until then, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Patiently waiting, Lori
August 21, 2006: Three Days Later…
Today was a normal day, like any other. I went to work like usual and even went out to an early birthday lunch. I had been having a stressful morning with work and wasn’t feeling in high spirits. Friday’s appointment was still looming over me and the anxiety of Thursday’s ultrasound was weighing on me too. After lunch I went to the bathroom and noticed some significant brown spotting. I spotted last Friday and Saturday from the pap smear but enough time had passed that this was cause for alarm. I tried to go back to working but the tears came a rollin’ down my face and I told my manager I needed to speak with her. No one at work knew I was pregnant and I wasn’t going to share the joyous news until I had some resolution to last Friday’s ultrasound fiasco. But as I was clearly not in the mindframe
;to buckle down and get to work, I spilled it in a totally dramatic fashion. The conversation went something like this, “(WAHHHH) You don’t know this, but I’m pregnant (sniff sniff) and I had a bad appointment last Friday and now I’m spotting and there is something wrong!” I cried and called my doctor’s office where I talked to an awesome male nurse who told me I needed to be seen and that the OB Dept would be getting back to me. Whatever, getting back to me when? I promptly packed up my things and high-tailed it to the doctor’s office without and appointment where the poor check-in receptionist got an ear-full and a tear-full outta me. She promised to get me in to see my RNP in 15 minutes. God bless her. I was called in and when they went to take my blood pressure, more tears. Ugh! I was sent to an exam room and my RNP came in and I gave her my sob story. She took a looksy in my nether regions to look for any “material” in the vaginal canal. That was a nice way of saying “fetal material” I guess. Thank God she found nothing. She decided to try the vaginal ultrasound again but reminded me that it had only been 3 days since my last visit and because she didn’t find anything then, she may not find anything now. Again, she couldn’t find my mysterious uterus so she called in a female OB. This woman was neither nice, sympathetic, nor gentle. She was like, “Look, I see a dot, nothing really yet. You are not far enough along to see anything. The bleeding you had was implantation bleeding.” I’m like, “WHAT?” I told her, “No, not implantation bleeding. If I was having implantation bleeding I wouldn’t know I was pregnant yet and I’ve known I was pregnant since August 3rd. I had implantation bleeding on July 28th.” She barely listened and walked away. My RNP thought the bleeding was just aggravation from the pap smear and she ordered another blood test to check my pregnancy hormone level. I have to come back Wednesday afternoon and give another blood sample to test the level 48 hours later because the levels are supposed to be multiplying exponentially. She told me to keep my dating ultrasound appointment on Thursday and that she would call me with the results. I must admit, even just seeing the tiny dot, even without a heartbeat in my ultrasound picture gave me a great deal of comfort. To my surprise when I walked out of the appointment, [Big Daddy P] was standing there. He knew to come, even though all the voicemail said was, “P, I’m bleeding, something is wrong!” He just knew I was at the doctor’s office without an appointment. How wonderful to see him there, I got me a good man. Please send your prayers and good wishes. I could really use the comfort. Love, Lori & the Little One
August 28, 2006: 50/50
I am still bleeding so I had an appointment today with a new OB for high-risk pregnancies and she was awesome. She did another vaginal u/s and said that compared to last Thursday’s (8/24) u/s, the yolk sac had grown and that was really good news. On the flip side, she expected to see a fetal pole at this point and didn’t see one. Also, the bleeding is from the uterus which is old blood and she had hoped that my hCG levels would have risen faster last week than they had. She wants me to come back in another week so she can personally see me again and do another u/s. She said that it looked like I was having a “threatened abortion”…what a horrible term for a potential miscarriage, just hearing it made my heart break. She gave the pregnancy a 50/50 chance at this point. [Big Daddy P] was there with me and I didn’t cry. I think we both agree that we hope for a healthy pregnancy and whatever is to be will be. Eventually you run out of tears. I will keep you posted and as much as I’m hoping for a personal miracle, I know I can handle anything by the grace of God and the support of all of you.
This picture was taken at my 30th Birthday dinner 4 days before…
August 29, 2006: Resolution
My 2nd pregnancy has ended in a miscarriage at 9 weeks. I held on to the wonderful idea of a 2nd child for 25 days since discovering I was pregnant earlier this month. It has indeed been a difficult few weeks for our family. I shed a thousand tears, spent endless hours crying to my mother and hugged my husband and child tighter than ever before. Even though our baby didn’t make it, she (I just know she was a she) helped me realize some very valuable lessons in a short time. The details of yesterday’s miscarriage are very sad and I doubt beneficial to anyone reading my story so to recount them seems futile. The good news is that we are managing. Emotionally we are stronger than ever as a family and the smiles [Boy Wonder] gives me seem to matter a thousand times more than ever, my friendships have been strengthened and if anything, my faith is stronger than ever. I have an amazing husband and beautiful son, to wish for more is to wish for abundance. We do wish for abundance and it will be ours in the right time. I know we are meant for happiness and I can’t wait to see what’s next. Please don’t feel sorry for our loss, feel happy for the lessons we’ve learned and the strength we’ve gained. As the cliche says, “In every life, a little rain must fall.” The rain has stopped, the sun is shining and I think I’ll take my son out for a bike ride. Big thanks to all of you reading this for your boundless love and support. God willing, you will see me here again one day. Hug your loved ones a little tighter for me, Lori
In honor of today’s Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, please light a candle from 7pm-8pm in honor of all the precious babies gone much too soon.
For my Mommy Friends who have truly loved and lost, there are no words, only understanding.