I've got friends that pray and friends that curse, some do it simultaneously.
No one ever talks about pregnancy after miscarriage. About the raw emotions that coincide with it. The sheer excitement your heart feels about the news but the inability to open your mouth to tell others because of the doubt and anxiety that creep up telling you the pregnancy won't continue.
On Maundy Thursday, March 28th, I discovered I was pregnant, two cycles after our precious Gabriel entered and left this world. I was so excited but so anxious that I opted to keep the news to myself, texting only person (out of state). I couldn't even muster up the courage to tell Kyle. I wondered how long I could before it was necessary I had to share the news. On April 1st (ironic), I had the guts to tell Kyle I was pregnant. It had been over a week and I was still pregnant. His first reaction with it being April Fool's Day was that I was pulling a prank on him. I think the conversation went something like this:
Me: I'm Pregnant!!
Kyle: That is insensitive to say that on April Fool's Day (sarcasm).
Me: For real, Kyle.
I even took another pregnancy test, no luck convincing him. The next morning he asked, "So are you still pregnant?" Sure am...
Labs came back normal and at my first prenatal doctor's visit, everything seemed to be going smoothly. There was no evidence of clotting issues like before. I requested a dating ultrasound, more so to see my little cherub on the big screen, than to figure out a due date. The ultrasound tech measured multiple times and determined the baby was about 7 weeks, 1 day along. That seemed a bit off from my estimates but everyone reassured me that it was typical to see some variation in dates.
The pregnancy progressed as normal, no special treatment. On my 12 week prenatal appointment, I expressed some concerns I was having. My symptoms had completely diminished, my energy was back to normal, and my stomach wasn't growing as I thought (especially for someone who was just pregnant). My doctor tried to ease my anxiety, I was nearing the second trimester and could naturally just be feeling better and I stay active. He tried his hardest to locate a heartbeat but mine was beating so fast and loud things were getting jumbled up. I was adamant I wanted an ultrasound when a heartbeat couldn't be found. I was secretly walked over to radiology for an off-the-record ultrasound.
With Miles, the token middle child who can't leave my side, we waited for the ultrasound tech to reassure us things were just fine. Instead, the probe immediately went on my belly and couldn't find a baby. "Are you sure you are as far along as 12 weeks?" Yes, most definitely sure. "Bummer," is all I could muster. She had me empty my bladder to try a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Sure enough, little baby was there. 7 weeks, 2 days along (1 day of growth in 4 weeks) pressed, lifeless, against the sac. "Oh, crap!" and tears is all that came out this time. Little Miles, looking from the sidelines, "Mama, what is in your belly?" "Nothing buddy, nothing anymore." The nurse escorted us back to our exam room, only being able to say "I am so sorry!" over and over again. My options were, a D&C the next morning or medication to induce labor on it's own. I called Kyle to meet me at the hospital and get Miles so I could be alone.
I opted for a D&C, I wasn't going to wait around for a baby to come and have to re-live my labor and delivery with Gabriel that was still a bit too fresh. You know that feeling that you are so sad and so angry at the same time- it isn't a pretty one. I wanted the anger to go away- to just subside. The only way I knew how to do that (other than praying) was to text my friend to curse for me. She's a good one, a good friend and a good curser; she gladly accepted the challenge.
My mom drove up to watch the kids the next morning and we were off bright and early for surgery. While waiting, I had two songs stuck in my head on repeat, "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "Another Bites the Dust".
I recalled sitting at the funeral of my friend's stillborn baby, the first words that the pastor said during his message was something along the lines of, "After all that...". I felt it, I've been waiting, just waiting. Pregnant for 13 weeks, pregnancy ends; pregnant for "12 weeks", pregnancy ends. It's just waiting, praying, waiting, praying. I feel like I've had some good lessons from God on patience, I've got 3 kids of my own and care for countless other families everyday. But this, this waiting is really testing my patience.
We did what we did after our last loss, we drove to Illinois. I don't know what it is about that place that feels like home and I needed it, to be surrounded by friends.
One of my favorite verses that I often recite is Romans 12:12, "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer." So here we are again, waiting, praying, and remaining hopeful.