Tuesday, January 29, 2013
We had our first ultrasound around the middle of December and it was one of the scariest things I have ever done. While most women love ultrasounds this one was quite hard for me. It was at my last ultrasound that we learned, with no warning, that we lost our little girl. ultrasound and the more in depth one immediately following were some of the hardest moments of my life. So I knew that this latest ultrasound would be scary for me.
The condition I had during my last pregnancy (gestational trophoblastic disease) is very rare, but because I've had it once before my risks increased quite a bit. The chances that I would have the condition again were still relativly low (around 2%), but considering it's in the thousands for most women this still felt pretty daunting. And I knew that I wouldn't likely know if I had it until that first ultrasound. It felt a little crazy trying to live my life and just hope that everything was normal during that first month and half all the while not really knowing if my baby was still alive and growing or not. With each passing day came another daily surrender to trust in the Lord...for our baby, for my health, and with all my fears.
And as the ultrasound got closer I was flooded with memories of those hard days loosing our baby and also of God's faithfulness during that hard time. The day of the ultrasound our good friend watched the kids and Joe and I were able to go alone together. To tell you the truth I was a bit of a mess...not a hysterical, emotional kind of mess...but an introspective, can't talk, gentle tears, quiet sort of mess. I spent a lot of time praying and begging the Lord to just get me through. And even though being at the doctor's office made me even more nervous I was really comforted by my nurse and doctor there...because they understood. They had been through it all with me the last time around and they knew what I was feeling without much explanation needed. In fact, when I told my doctor how I was feeling she admitted to me that she was also feeling quite anxious about my ultrasound. One might think that would have made me feel worse or more nervous, but it actually made me feel better somehow...because she knew better than anybody what my risks were and she made me feel understood and somehow less crazy.
So my doctor hurried though all the basic stuff at the beginning and right before the ultrasound she had a good little talk with us...and we agreed together not to worry about the worst unless the worst happened. And then she started the ultrasound and I felt a bit frozen with fear at first...the moment right before you hear news that will forever change your life is the hardest. In fact I couldn't even look right at the screen...I sort of just turned about and looked out of the corner of one eye. And almost right away popped up a clear image of our baby and it was really only seconds later (if that) that my doctor announced that she had found our beautiful baby. I started to relax a little, but I was still waiting to hear the heartbeat. And then moments later my doctor announced that the baby had a healthy, strong little heartbeat! It was then that I fully turned and somehow squeaked out the words, "He has a heartbeat?" The doctor confirmed that again and showed us where we could see the heart beating and then reminded us of course that she couldn't tell yet if it was a boy or girl!:) I couldn't care in the slightest...all I cared about what the sweet sight of that little heart thumping! So far as they could see then everything with the baby looked healthy and perfect. She looked all around and couldn't see any signs of the condition I had last time (which was an incredible relief)! Yes, such sweet relief!
I went back a month later (just a few week ago) and I was able to hear the baby's heartbeat for the first time! It took them just a little bit to find it (which they made sure to tell me ahead of time would be perfectly normal) and it was wonderful...truly amazing! It really is incredible to know that there are currently two hearts beating in my body. It's possible I've never heard a sweeter sound!
Our big ultrasound is scheduled for Feb. 18th (though this first one was pretty "big" in my book). While there are no signs of the condition I had last time that doesn't mean that we are "out of the woods" by any means. I think that loosing Joy has made me realize that nothing is guaranteed and that life really is a miracle beyond what I can fathom. I'm looking forward to the next ultrasound and I am nervous for it too. Our hope, of course, is that they find a perfectly healthy baby. If the result is something else that will be hard, but God has proven Himself faithful before and I believe that He will be faithful again. And for now I can only be thankful for what the Lord has done.