As my appt today got closer, the feelings came closer to the surface. When dh hugged me a little tighter, or told me he loved me, or snuggled up close to me in bed last night, I knew each time he was thinking of the ultrasound and it got me close to tears each time.
I dropped the children off at their godparents while I worked today and received a call from the doctor. The ultrasonographer's child was sick. Would I like to reschedule for Wed or next Monday. Um, you're kidding right? Neither. I firmly, but politely told her I would happily go across the street like I did last Tuesday on her day off. And so she said a nurse would call me. The nurse had no problem making the changed and so I sighed with relief knowing that I wasn't going to have to wait a few more days or worse, a week! Today I managed to stay busy with work until about an hr before my appt when the anxiety was getting the best of me and I began to rethink my going to the appt alone. My mom probably could have gone, and though we are super close, I recognize that she doesn't know what to say in these situations and for me, I just get irritated unnecessarily and take it out on her. And feel worse. I expect her to know things she couldn't possibly know. And so, even though its mostly my fault, I was afraid I would feel worse, not better. My best friend was out of town. Dh is working long hrs as this is his busiest time. My little sister, so proud, has a new full time job interpreting. It's just me. So I did what any sane person would do. I fb a blogger friend that was online and asked for prayers. And then I put a prayer request for a special intention as my fb status, to which 90% of the awesome people that replied were blogger friends. Who says strangers can't be the best of friends? Not me! I even got an email from Andrea telling me she was thinking about me. I love you guys so much!
So what exactly was my prayer? And what was I so afraid of to my core? It's hard to explain. It wasn't exactly fear over losing the baby. The numbers already told the story. It was more like fear of waiting. Of it being drawn out. Of falling in love, of daring to hope, only to have it end up the same. Yes, it was almost harder to leave room for God. That unknown space to allow Him to work, no matter what that meant. That was where I was fearful. I have to admit something. Sometimes I have trouble praying. I don't have trouble being honest with God, being raw, and being weak. I do have trouble hoping for a miracle. My thought was, yes, of course God could provide a miracle. But why? Why would he? I know plenty more worthier than I am. A miracle isn't likely. If God wanted to perform one, he would and could. But I didn't need to ask. He knew. Plus, I just need to accept the facts and move on. Why make it more difficult with...hope? But last night or the night before as I was drifting off to sleep, I did something brave for me. A thought came into my head. Why not me? What was special about the people Jesus performed miracles for? They asked. They were bold and brave and dared to hope. They asked. And so I did it. As fearful as I was that it meant hope. And it meant uncertainty. Letting go of control and believing there was something to it besides the numbers. I asked. I begged. I pleaded. I was bold and brave. And I asked God for a miracle. Just because. For good measure, I also asked for the intercession of Fulton J. Sheen. I read a blog where there was a miracle being investigated that was attributed to Fulton J. Sheen. I had a little chuckle to myself, as I imagined us being bonded over our miracles. You know, so many of you prayed for a miracle for me. Used those exact words. You pray when I can't. There are no words for how grateful I am. Thank you for lifting me up.
As I got in the car to drive to the appt, I heard 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmand.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, O my soul, Worship His holy name
Sing like never before, O my soul, I'll worship Your holy name
The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning. It's time to sing Your song again.
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me, Let me be singing when the evening comes
This song has meaning for me, as my friends brother (a young father of three) died of cancer, and he went singing this song literally. So joyful. I thought of him and how he already knows how the story unfolds.
It was finally time for the ultrasound. As I laid there silently rolling my eyes because they start with an abdominal ultrasound (I am such a know it all! And so often wrong! And yet it doesn't stop me!), I stop short because I see a sac. And two things inside. It was the yolk sac, and a fetal pole. As she turns on the heartbeat I start sobbing. She kindly asked if I was happy or upset, knowing my situation and the roller coaster of emotions I was on. And you know what I said because I am such a horrible spoiled brat? I said upset. Because a heartbeat to me, in that moment, mean hope. And hope meant pain. An inevitable outcome, just a more drawn out one. Lord knows how weak I truly am!
However, every second that passed I did better. It didn't hurt that the baby measured 6 days bigger than my last ultrasound which was six days prior. I am 8 weeks on Wed and the baby measured 6 weeks 2 days, so certainly still behind, but go figure it took some numbers to encourage me and not my God. I have so far to go! Another number encouraged me further. The heartrate measured 109, very on point for a baby measuring 6 weeks 2 days. Granted, even next week it should be in the normal range of 130 ish, but it wasn't the 80 of my last pregnancy (a virtual death sentence per my ultrasound tech). She said she worries if its under 90. So next week will be very telling. Can the growth continue? Will the heartbeat increase to maintain the normal range?
I got in the car with my ultrasound CD with pics and even video of the heartbeat to share with my dh. Before I was just hoping for a pic of the baby before it passed away (my only pic of Gianna, her heart had already stopped beating). It was so surreal to hold that CD. I drove about ten feet before I slumped over the wheel and sobbed. I was just so exhausted from carrying it all. I cried tears of relief to throw the book out the window and truly give it over to God. As I sobbed, I heard the song on the radio was meant for me. Blessings, by Laura Story. Specifically these verses...
'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise
We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we have faith to believe
Slowly my heart began to heal. I saw the doctor, who said just as I expected. He came in shaking his head. He asked me immediatly who I had been praying to and told me I picked a good one. I love my Catholic doctor! He said "you know, I don't write these things off. I have seen it happen before." He told me there is a 3% miscarriage rate when there is cardiac activity at 8 weeks. I asked, 8 weeks via ultrasound or my dates. He guessed via ultrasound, so still two more weeks. He didn't know of any other research or numbers that applied. Damn my weakness, always searching for comfort in the numbers when I should be searching for it in God. He left me with a hug, much better than a phone number if I started bleeding like last week.
Here is my progression of text messages so you can see how I went from pathetically weak (crying sad tears over a heartbeat) to God filling me with strength only he can provide.
"Another week of waiting...higher hopes...its scary."
"The odds just swung more in favor of life!"
"Maybe, just maybe, it will all be okay"
"All these strong women in my life! I can do this. I can be hopeful. It will be alright regardless. I won't regret being hopeful."
"I can handle it. You (my sister who's fiancee passed) have shown me strength. It's in me too. I can put it on the line and hope. Even if it doesn't work out, it's worth it. I won't regret loving this baby."
"Why not a miracle for us? We will see and survive what life throws us."
"Yes, I have got this. Won't regret hoping."
So there it is. Regardless of outcome, we received a miracle. Six days growth in six days on a baby that didn't even go up 40 points (of 700) in four days. A heartbeat of 109. And me letting go and daring to hope, despite what the hcg levels told us time and time again.
So without further ado, my baby.
And the beautiful visual of his or her heartbeat.