Praise the Lord. Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness.....Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. --Psalm 150: 1-2, 6
Going into today's ultrasound, I was so incredibly nervous. I was terrified that there wouldn't be a heartbeat and that we would be told that we had suffered another missed miscarriage. I told the nurse, D, how nervous I was when we arrived and I heard her pass this information on to Dr. W right before he entered the room. I can't even begin to explain how wonderful the people at REACH are. They care so much about their patients. My heart was pounding as the ultrasound began. I only had to be nervous for a few more seconds though, because Dr. W found the baby immediately and announced, "I can already see the heartbeat!" before he even zoomed in. Oh, how those words thrilled my heart!! We were also able to hear the heartbeat today--what an amazing miracle! The baby measured .52cm and the heart rate was 118 beats per minute. Dr. W said that everything looks good right now. The measurements indicated that the baby was 6weeks, 2 days--slightly ahead of the schedule Dr. W had calculated--so the due date has been moved up to April 13.
I'll go back in two weeks for a second ultrasound and will (hopefully!) be released from REACH to a regular OB/GYN. In our first pregnancy, the second ultrasound was when we found out the baby had died. Dr. W says that we'll just have to keep our fingers crossed (and say lots of prayers!) for the next two weeks. I'm supposed to take it easy, stay hydrated, and "use my common sense". I can do that. :)
We are so thankful for the gift of this miracle. We are also grateful for such wonderful friends and family that are praying us through. Thank you all so much!!!
(I'll try to post one of the ultrasound pictures soon!)
I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. --1 Samuel 1:27
--Please keep my mom, Susan, in your prayers. She has been in the hospital since last night and will be having her gallbladder removed tomorrow.
--Our first ultrasound is tomorrow at 3:15. My excitement is mixed with fear, but I know that God is in control of this whole situation. Please pray for us! Pray that our baby is healthy and developing well. Pray that we are able to see and hear a clear, strong heartbeat.
"I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, "Move from here to there" and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." --Matthew 17:20
Worrying isn't going to change or help anything, I know that. I worried during my last pregnancy, and, turns out, the one thing that went wrong was the thing I never even worried about. (Ironic, right?) I understand that worrying is a waste of time and that nothing good or productive will come of it. But, you see, I'm a worrier by nature. It's like a hobby. I worry constantly, and not just about the baby. I worry about all sorts of important stuff. But the worrying has to go. It's stealing my joy, and I just can't let that happen.
I prayed and prayed and prayed that this would be our month. My prayer was answered. The hCG level has more than doubled every time, and the numbers are good. Dr. W said what happened the first time with the chromosomes was incredibly rare. A fluke. A once-in-a-lifetime problem. It's not likely to happen again, according to both Dr. W and the pathologist who ran the studies on our little Peanut. I've worried a lot about the ultrasound on Friday. What if, by some chance, it does happen again? What if there's no heartbeat? What if we lose another baby?
But you know what? I'm not in control of all this. I can't force a heart to beat by worrying. I can't will the perfect number of chromosomes to appear. I can't. All I can do is pray, and know that God is handling all of this. Really, I don't need to worry at all.
I can't live my life being afraid of what may or may not happen in the future. I can't appreciate this pregnancy and be consumed with worry at the same time. I've decided that I'm going to take this pregnancy one day at a time, and enjoy every bit of it. I know that I'll still be nervous at times (that's only natural, I think, given everything we've been through), but I'm not going to let myself be consumed by the nervousness and worry.
(Someone remind me of that tomorrow, okay?)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. --Philippians 4:6-7, NIV
I'm waiting on the results from what should be my last hCG test, and I am beyond nervous. Waiting is so hard when it feels like everything is hanging in the balance. Will the level be high enough? What if it dropped? What if it has gone up, but not like it should? The questions just don't stop. I try to quiet my mind with prayer and scripture, but it's just so hard. We've wanted this so badly for so long, it's like now that it's happened it's surreal. I still can't believe it. Honestly, and this sounds really awful, I'm waiting for something to go wrong. From our first pregnancy I learned that terrible, terrible things can happen. I know that you can think that everything is fine, and then your whole world can fall apart in an instant. We've been there, we've experienced it. So, while I am thankful for and excited about this pregnancy, there's also a twinge (okay, more than a twinge) of hesitancy there. My mind cautions my heart not to be too attached too soon. But then I wonder, what is too soon? We lost the first baby at 10 weeks. Should I distance myself from this experience until after the 10 week ultrasound? I've heard many stories of babies being lost much later than that--16 weeks, 18 weeks, 36 weeks, even 40 weeks. I can't distance myself from the whole pregnancy, nor do I want to!! I want to enjoy every single minute of this! But how do I get past all the fear and worry? I'm struggling. I want to be able to really appreciate this for the miracle that it is, and not be afraid. I'm praying about it constantly. I feel that praying is all I can really do, but then I wonder if I'm frustrating God. Sometimes I imagine him throwing his hands in the air and saying, "Good grief! What does this girl want?! I gave her a baby, what she's asked for for so long, and she still can't be happy!" I know that's (probably) not the case, but I still feel sheepish when I think about it. I keep telling myself that all the worrying in the world is not going to change anything. It's hard not to worry though.
Apparently, the schnauzers know I'm worried about the results and have decided to create a diversion by getting into the laundry room trash can and spreading dryer lint everywhere. Bless. So much for worrying in peace. I'm off to clean up their mess.
I'll post results as soon as I get them. Until then (and even after), pray for me.
Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:27
Update: The nurse from REACH called a few minutes ago. hCG level is up to 3,000. Dr. W says it looks like a "good, healthy pregnancy"! An ultrasound has been scheduled for Friday, August 20. Due date is April 14! :) :) :)
I went to REACH first thing this morning for more lab work to make sure the hCG level is increasing. And it is! The nurse called this afternoon with the results--my hCG level is 911! Everything is going well so far! I'll go back one more time to check the hCG level, and then we'll schedule the first ultrasound. It's still so hard to believe. We are so blessed! I am constantly amazed by the goodness of God and the miracle He is allowing us to experience.
Please continue to pray for us! If you wouldn't mind, I have some specific prayer requests.
1. Please pray that the hCG level continues to increase as it is supposed to. 2. Please pray that the baby is healthy, developing appropriately, and (given what happened to our first baby) has the correct number of chromosomes.
Every good and perfect gift is from above. James 1:17a
I couldn't write yesterday. I tried, but I just didn't have the words. Even now, I'm struggling with what to write. Since I don't know where to start, I'll just tell you everything.
Yesterday morning I woke up around 6:30. The schnauzers think that as soon as light begins to come through the windows it's time to get up, regardless of the fact that, a) it's summer, and b) Bradley's off this week. Bradley took them out while I stared at the pregnancy test box. In all honesty, I considered not taking it at all, but curiosity (and Bradley pressuring me) prevailed. So I did it.
[Now, at this point in the story, you must understand something: Up until this point, I have used a certain type of test every month. The kind that says either "Pregnant" or "Not pregnant". This month, however, I refused to buy those because I absolutely did not want to see "Not pregnant" again. Give me a minus or just one line or whatever--just not those words. With that in mind, I bought the cheapest, most basic test I could find. You should also know that with the "Pregnant"/"Not pregnant" test, a little hourglass flashes until the results are ready--you don't have to check back after a certain number of minutes. Now we can move on.]
So I took the test, put it on the counter, and waited maybe a minute or so. There was a minus in the results window and a line in the control window, so I assumed the test had finished working and was negative again. I told Bradley it was negative and went back to bed.
An hour or so later, I walked into the bathroom and glanced at the test. There was a vertical line through the minus, making a plus. I about died. I made Bradley look at it to be sure I wasn't hallucinating. He agreed; it was definitely a plus. This threw me for a loop. Was it really positive, I wondered, or was it a false positive since it had been so long? I didn't know what to do or what to think. So I ate breakfast. I did laundry. I looked at the test thirteen times. Finally, I decided that enough was enough. Positive or negative, I had to know one way or the other.
So I took another test. I watched the clock for three minutes. And there it was. Clear as day. A plus! A positive result!! I immediately called the nurse at REACH, and she was (almost) as excited as I was. She asked me to come in for blood work as soon as possible. Bradley and I rushed to get ready, and we made it to REACH by 11 (the magic time if you want to get the results that day). I was so anxious as I waited for the phone call. We passed the time by going to work in my classroom. Of course, I didn't do anything--I only instructed Bradley where to move things.
Finally, the call came. The lab results were great! My hCG level was 196, which Dr. W said was wonderful. It's really, truly positive!! We are so very blessed. And so, now for the words I've been waiting for months, for years, to say....
For every mountain there is a miracle. --Robert H. Schuller
I've been at the beach so I haven't posted in awhile. We had a wonderful time! The sand and sun made the two week wait a bit more bearable.
The 2WW is nearly over. I spoke with the nurse last week about a medication issue, and she mentioned that I could do a home pregnancy test today rather than waiting until tomorrow. I just couldn't make myself do it though. At one time, I would have gladly accepted the go-ahead for early testing. But after this long, after this many negative results.....well, ignorance is bliss. I'd rather spend one more day not knowing than knowing another cycle failed. I'm terribly nervous about testing tomorrow morning. I just don't want to see another negative.
Basically, I'm a chicken. I'm practically sprouting feathers as we speak.
Can we pretend that airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars? I could really use a wish right now. --"Airplanes", B.o.B