Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What This Pregnancy Looks Like

When we lost Noah over a year ago, I immediately just wanted to be pregnant again. It is (obviously) devastating to carry a child for 31 weeks only to lose them. When I got home from the hospital I felt one thing. Empty. So very empty. I just wanted to fill that void of emptiness. Thankfully I have a husband who knows me well enough to know what I can and cannot handle. I never imagined we would wait over a year to start trying to have another child. I went through a few months of not knowing if I could really even handle being pregnant again. To know that it wouldn't be Noah...that was so tough. Would I be able to love another child and not be thinking, "I wish you were Noah"? It was all very scary. That is why we chose to wait. David and I both needed time to heal. We needed time to grieve our loss of Noah. We know that many who have lost a child chose to get pregnant right away and I think there is no right or wrong when it comes to timing. I think each family knows what is best for them. For us, we needed the time to heal.

Before we tried to get pregnant we wanted to know what to expect with another pregnancy. We needed to understand exactly why Noah died and how to help prevent it from happening again. I have a blood disorder called Factor V Leiden (the "V" is a "5"). Noah died because blood clots formed around the placenta eventually slowing down the passage of blood and oxygen to him (which caused my blood pressure to rise). And Noah died because God had His reasons...many of which I do not understand...and some that I do now. We were told that I would need to be on blood thinners if I got pregnant again and they also told me I probably need to be on baby aspirin for the rest of my life.

So Lovenox is a blood thinner injection that I take every single night in my stomach right before I go to bed. And no...I don't like needles. It took me 45 minutes to get up the nerve to give myself that very first injection. But when you picture your child safe in your arms...you'll do whatever it takes. And really....it's not so bad. It is so frustrating to know that something as simple as a daily injection could have saved Noah's life. The day they trained me on how to do these injections I broke down. I couldn't believe it could have been so simple had we only known. I will have to take an injection every day of the pregnancy and for 6 weeks after delivery.

This pregnancy has not been without it's share of drama. Thirty minutes after I took a pregnancy test on July 24th, I started bleeding. We never got our hopes up. We assumed it was a chemical pregnancy or early miscarriage, but went to the doctor for blood work anyway. On July 27th they took my HCG levels and the next day, we were told they were 55. They asked me to come back on the 29th to test again. We were shocked on that Friday (when I was still bleeding heavily with cramping) that my levels had gone up to 175! It wasn't a feeling of joy or hope at that point. It was total fear. I thought for sure it was an ectopic pregnancy. They did an ultrasound and we saw nothing on ultrasound. Nothing. I continued to bleed. On August 5th I was still bleeding and I went in for a 3rd check of my HCG levels. They were 1905. They were going up appropriately. More fear. It had to be ectopic. Finally on August 10th we went in for another ultrasound. By then I was 6 weeks along and we were hoping to see something. To our absolute shock and amazement, the baby was there....in the uterus...with a beating heart. WHAT?!? I had heard of women spotting while pregnant, but to bleed heavily for 16 days straight with cramping and there still be a healthy baby in the uterus???? We couldn't believe it. David and I stood in the room together and just hugged and cried. God had already done a miracle.

I finally stopped bleeding and things started to become normal. I started going to both my regular OB and to the high risk doctor regularly for visits. Then on August 29th David and I were at church getting ready for Sunday morning. I was in the sound booth at 7:30 while the band practiced. Suddenly I felt a sharp pain. Then another. I excused myself and went to the restroom and was totally derailed when I found that I was pouring blood. POURING. I ran and got David and we went to the ER. We were so devastated. We couldn't believe I had made it to 9 weeks and after everything God was going to allow this to happen. I told our friends as we left the church that I was miscarrying and to please pray. I don't think my friends accepted that. I don't think they prayed what I meant for them to pray which was for peace for us to accept what was happening. They were praying for the baby to live.

At the hospital I got signed in and as I wrote the date "8-29" I remembered that this was the day 6 years ago that we found out we were pregnant with our twins and 5 years ago to the day was when we found out we were pregnant with Ethan. "Not this day, God...please...not this day". We waited 30 minutes before they took us back. They hooked me up to an IV and took 6 tubes of blood. After 2 hours of sobbing they finally took me back for an ultrasound, but wouldn't let David come with me. The ultrasound tech was so very sweet. She told me she couldn't tell me anything, but would do the ultrasound quickly and then the doctor would tell me the results. But as soon as she put the wand on my tummy, she turned the screen to me and there it was...that little beating heart. The baby was fine. I had (and still have) a subchorionic hemorrhage. It increases the risk of miscarriage, pre-term labor and stillbirth. Wonderful. That's just great.

I only bled that one day. As the weeks have passed and we've had more ultrasounds, the doctors believe the hemorrhage is going away and will have no effect on the baby whatsoever. That is very comforting! I am now 13 weeks and 2 days pregnant with this little one and David and I are so in love with this baby already. We have truly come to understand what a miracle this child is.

So what does this pregnancy look like? Well, it's a lot different from the other 5 pregnancies. We know what we're up against (the Factor V). We are filled with joy while we still grieve. I have had extreme morning (ahem...all day) sickness this time around and I have to take injections every night. I fear every appointment will bring the news that the baby no longer has a heartbeat. But more than in any other pregnancy...I trust God. I know he is in control. I know there is freedom in surrendering it all to him. It's difficult...I won't lie. But I know it is in His hands and I trust Him....no matter what he chooses to do with this little life. I'm trying to learn to pray that God will do whatever will bring Him the most glory (and that is not an easy thing for me to pray and really mean it!)

For our extra peace of mind we purchased this fetal heart doppler. It will definitely keep the worry to a minimum. I have already blown up my doc's cell phone with texts and calls through this pregnancy! Trying to learn to stay calm!

It has helped me so much to see so many of you fellow bloggers have your rainbow babies...safe and healthy. I know that the emotions I am going through now are normal and are to be expected. I'm still very sensitive about certain things. I don't want people to mistake this as my "second child" and that Ethan will "finally be a big brother". Noah was our second and Ethan is already a big brother. I guess I just don't want Noah to be forgotten and I don't want people to think that this baby will make everything all better. Having all 3 here would make it all better. Well...Jesus returning and taking us all to Heaven would really make it ALL better! :0)

Anyway, thank you everyone for all the prayers and support that you have already given us and I know you will continue to give us. We know we are so very blessed to be able to carry another child as we know so many are still praying and waiting to carry their own. Please continue to keep my brother and sister-in-law in your prayers as well.


  1. I too dreaded those visits each month, which at one point turned into twice a week. I borrowed that same doppler from a friend of mine and used it every single day. I would come home from work and sit with the doppler on my belly. Glad you are using Lovenox. I will use that next time. Twice a day with Heparin was exhausting. Praying for you and the little one!

  2. God bless your heart. I simply cannot imagine. I pray God will cover you with His perfect peace in those times when you get anxious and worry something's wrong. I pray the injections get easier and easier to give yourself. I pray that doppler always brings you a strong, steady heartbeat right when you need to hear it. And, I'm praying for Jason and Esther.

  3. You'll be so glad you have that doppler. I am glad that we bought ours!! I'll be praying for you and your family too!

  4. Wow~so many familiar memories... thinking of you on this newest part of your journey!

  5. Thinking of you, and praying for you and your sweet little baby on this journey toward your arms!

  6. I can't believe how much you've already been through with this pregnancy. I'm so happy the baby is doing well though, and I know the fetal doppler definitely helps. :)

    Praying hard for you and this baby.


  7. Oh wow! I had no idea all the drama you have already dealt with this time. This baby truly is a miracle! Thank you, Lord, for letting this baby make it this far! Wow- the story of your friends praying and you not miscarrying is simply amazing. You will certainly be in my daily prayers! Hugs!