Trust the Process
The end of this month would have been the due date of my second pregnancy. I’m unsure of what the exact date was, but I know it was the end of April. I said to Zach the other day, “It’s crazy all of the stuff that has happened to us and here we are right now in this moment. It seemed as though during some of those times I felt like I wasn’t going to get through it. Time seemed to stand still. How did we do this?”
A recap of Kate and Zach’s year and a half:
-I got pregnant
-We found a house we liked
-I had a miscarriage
-We decided to buy the house we liked
-We went through a nine-month process to buy the house
-I had another miscarriage within the nine months of trying to buy our house
-We moved out of our apartment and into my parents’ house and had to put most of our belongings in storage
-We FINALLY officially bought the house and decided to do some renovations before moving in which we thought would only be a few months
-We are still currently residing on my parents’ third floor awaiting a final move in date
Our plans didn’t work out as we had hoped. If they did, we would have a baby, the house renovations would have been done months ago, and I’d be writing this blog post from our office on our second floor rather than my parents’ living room.
I think the house ordeal helped keep mine and Zach’s minds off of the pregnancy losses. But often times it added more stress to my already clouded perception of life. These grown up experiences were making it hard to keep the faith and trust the process.
In early February, I decided to bring some clarity to my cloudy outlook on pregnancy and have some labs done. Noticing that I hadn’t been myself for a while, my dad stepped in and advised that in situations like these, the not knowing what the problem is can sometimes make it all worse. He said even when talking to his sick patients, they seem to be more at peace when they know answers. He said I had resources to investigate what’s going on and I should use them. After begrudgingly admitting to myself that he was right, I went to the doctor with Zach and we discussed my options. The doctor suggested I get tested for common blood clotting disorders (which can cause miscarriage) and also get my thyroid tested. I thought the plan sounded good. I was convinced something would come back weird and it would be something we could fix and we could move on.
Everything came back normal. Zach was encouraged, and I felt, well, I felt terrible. Seeing NORMAL blood results is supposed to be a good thing, but in this case it made me even more frustrated. I still had NO answers. The doctor seemed positive I would be okay and suggested we keep trying. She said if I was still having trouble or had another loss by August, I should seek counsel from a fertility doctor. I left the office feeling indifferent. I passed all the blood tests, my overall health was fine, what else could I do but move on and hope for the best.
About three weeks after my visit with the doctor, Zach was away for the weekend and I was at home. I had a lot of time with my own thoughts. I thought about everything that we had been going through together. I thought that I didn’t even care anymore. Maybe if I just gave up, something good would happen. Early Sunday morning I woke up and had a strange thought. It was about the time in my cycle when I could take a pregnancy test. I thought maybe I should wait until Zach got home, but I was convinced it would be negative. No harm in just taking one.
Two lines appeared. Positive!
After sitting on the floor crying, I calmed myself down and went back to bed. Later that morning, I went to my nephew Michael’s christening with my immediate and extended family. All through the day, I had this positive test on my mind. Was it true? Was I pregnant again? It could be a false positive. It could all go away in just two weeks. My mind was racing with every thought possible and I couldn’t say a word to anyone. I waited until Zach arrived home later that night. He had been helping move some things from his grandparents’ house, so we went to our house to drop off stuff they had given us.
We were standing in the basement of our home when I showed him the picture of the positive test. A mix of excitement and fear flowed from my eyes. Zach wore the smile. I’ve written about this smile before. The smile he wears proudly anytime we hit a new life milestone together. With each pregnancy, he’s given me that smile. Knowing that this 3rd time made him just as happy as the first two calmed me. Even though my body had tricked us twice, Zach was just as excited, as if this were our first time. We embraced and I cried harder. I cried for what my body had been through, I cried for the amazing support Zach had given me through it all. I cried, hoping this third time would be the charm for us.
I took another test later that night: positive. I was very early on, only 4 weeks. Knowing what could go wrong, we proceeded with caution. We told my parents and his and kept to it to ourselves for another week or so before we told our siblings.
The day after I found out, I called the doctor immediately. I wanted to know what I had to do considering my history. They measured my HCG and progesterone levels. After two long days, I got a call from the nurse practitioner. According to her, my levels were beautiful. This brought some comfort to me, but knowing I had never made it past week five or six, kept my excitement contained. The next Tuesday, I woke up and I said to Zach, “I feel different. I’m really afraid.”
I was so convinced that whole day that I was going to miscarry. I couldn’t fully explain it, but I didn’t feel right. I felt like my body was changing again, but maybe it was all in my head. Taking matters into my own hands, I had my dad order labs on me and he drew my blood at the office. My HCG levels were fine, but I noticed my progesterone level had dropped. The Progesterone hormone causes the uterine lining to thicken and helps to provide a safe environment for the fertilized egg to grow. Could this have been the cause of my first two losses? Did I catch the problem? I had heard of people taking progesterone supplements early in pregnancy to maintain the levels, so I called the doctor. The nurse explained that their practice found there was no hard evidence that taking progesterone could “save a pregnancy” and they didn’t offer it because they didn’t want to give people false hope. But, she said there was no harm in taking it and if I felt it could help, she would prescribe it to me. I began taking it that night.
When I was six weeks, I went to the doctor for an ultrasound to make sure there was something growing. I laid on the exam table half expecting an empty womb. When we looked at the screen we saw a tiny little flicker, a heart beat. Baby Ells was growing.
I’m just about fourteen weeks now. Baby Ells is due November 1st. Who knows why it worked this time. Could it be the extra help from the progesterone pills I was taking? I don’t know. Perhaps, this was just meant to be. This little one is supposed to be our rainbow baby.
I’ve gone through all the first trimester symptoms: nausea, morning sickness, and crazy fatigue. I’ve never been more excited to feel so out of sorts. My body is changing each day and so is my heart. While I still harbor some fears, my heart is returning to a familiar place where it once was. A place filled with excitement and hope. Together with Zach and baby Ells, I will continue to keep the faith and trust the process.
P.S. Go Sixers!