Let me begin by saying this: I've always had a plan.
Even when I was little, I had to have a plan, even if it was just for what was going to happen that day. That always annoyed my mother who was (and still is) a free-spirit type. I needed to know what was going on, and I needed to plan things. That was pretty much how I ran my life. I always knew what was coming next. I developed a life plan pretty early on--graduate from high school, go to college, graduate from college, become a teacher, get married, have kids. And you know what? My plan was working fine. Just fine. I graduated, went to Gardner-Webb, graduated, got married in July 2006, and welcomed my first students into my classroom less than a month later. I didn't have a plan as far as how long to wait between getting married and having kids, but knew it would at least be a year. On our first wedding anniversary Bradley and I decided that I would stop taking birth control pills. I even had the timing planned--I would have the baby in May or June of the next year, my maternity leave would run into my summer break, and I would return to work in August.
((Cue major problem in the plan.))
I didn't get pregnant in August. Or September....or October....or November....Every month I would be so hopeful and then so devastated. A year passed, and I knew something was wrong. I went for my regular physical and demanded in-depth blood work even when the doctor said that she was sure nothing was wrong.
Turns out, I was right. The blood work results came back and I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. I started on some medication that would hopefully help. That was in September. By February I still wasn't pregnant. Bradley and I made the decision to go to REACH, a fertility clinic in Charlotte, and met with Dr. Wing. I liked him right away because HE HAD A PLAN. A wonderful plan that would get us a baby! I immediately started taking more medication and injections.
The next two months would prove to be a roller coaster of emotions. I felt more hopeful after my appointment at REACH than I had felt in months. Dr. Wing wanted me to go for a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to rule out any internal issues. The HSG showed a problem, and at our next visit Dr. Wing explained that without surgery our chances of getting pregnant were very, very slim even with all of the medications. Devastated. We scheduled the surgery for March 31.
But wait! Before the surgery could be confirmed with the hospital, pregnancy had to be completely ruled out. So I was instructed to take a home pregnancy test on March 21 and call REACH with the results. I took the test even though I knew it would be negative--after all, my chances were very slim without surgery. But it was positive! We were so excited! We had our miracle, the miracle we had spent so long praying for! We went to REACH for a blood test and it was confirmed--I was pregnant! The next week was filled with more trips to Charlotte for blood tests. Each time my hCG level went up. Everything was looking good!
Our first ultrasound to see the baby that we had started calling Peanut was on April 8. What a beautiful thing! We were able to see Peanut and the heartbeat. The heartbeat was a sweet little blinking light on the screen. It was so amazing. The baby's measurement and heartbeat were right on target. We tried our best to hear the heartbeat, but we could only hear static. Dr. Wing assured us that he could hear it, and that we would be able to on the next ultrasound. Now, looking back, I wish I would have listened harder.
Our second ultrasound, the last one before I would be referred to a regular OB/GYN, was on April 22. We were excited about seeing Peanut again, and Dr. Wing was laughing and talking with us as he began the ultrasound. He didn't find Peanut right away, like he did the first time, and moved his face closer to the screen. He asked me to hold my breath. And then he found our Peanut. But there was no blinking light this time, and no sound. Just silence. I remember reaching for Bradley's hand, and I remember the nurse, such a sweet lady, moving closer. Dr. Wing repeated over and over again how sorry he was, but that there was no heartbeat. Our Peanut was still there, but had died. It was a missed miscarriage. Dr. Wing explained what was on the screen, then turned the screen away to take the final measurements for the record.
I had a D&E the Tuesday after that. My heart was, and still is, so broken. It's amazing how you can love someone so much before you've even met. We loved Peanut, and had so many hopes and dreams. I was already busy making plans. It was still very early in the pregnancy, but we had waited for so long, and I was ready to buy baby things! I had decided to buy nursery bedding called "Sweet Lambie" from Pottery Barn Kids for either a boy or a girl. We were going to buy the first piece after we left the second ultrasound. But things don't always go the way we planned.
I had wanted an "inside dog" for a long time. Bradley was hesitant about a puppy in the new house. But in the aftermath of our experience, we decided a dog could be a really good thing. We got Lucy, a miniature schnauzer, the day after the D&E. She can't replace the baby we lost, but she has been so good for us. We have smiled and laughed so much because of her, and we love her so much! She is a wonderful distraction.
It's been a little over a month since that last ultrasound. There have been good days and bad days, and a few horrible days, too. I've wanted to start a blog for a long time, but never knew really what to write. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought I would start a blog about that, but never got around to it. But now I'm starting. I'm writing because I've realized I have lots to say, but sometimes saying those things out loud is too hard. Just too much. Writing has always been an outlet for me. A blog is more interactive than a journal, and I like that. I want to share my story because I know that there are others who have been through or will go through the same thing. But, as horrible as losing our Peanut was and how much it has changed me, I'm not going to focus solely on that. I just want a place where I can write about life--happy and sad things, ordinary things, and hopeful things, too.
Because, after all, we do have a schnauzer and some hope. :)