On Monday, June 14th I made an appointment with my midwife to check for a UTI. I was scheduled to see a midwife a week later, but was notified that my appointment was cancelled due to a conflict with the provider.
When I got to the appointment, I explained to the nurse that I was 10 weeks pregnant, and needed to be checked for a UTI. She listened and understood. She also expressed how she found it odd that I hadn’t seen a midwife yet for the initial first pregnancy appointment. I explained I had an appointment scheduled but it got cancelled. She said she was going to try and figure something out and see if since I was already there, if they could just do everything at once.
When the midwife came in, she introduced herself and explained that we were going to get everything done that day. She asked how I was feeling and we went over symptoms. She explained different testing that I can get during pregnancy in order to test for various genetic disorders. She also did a Pap smear, checked for a UTI and STIs.
However, before doing all the hard “down there stuff” she said she was going to use a Doppler to check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to the midwife that I was very nervous about hearing the heartbeat. After having two losses, ultrasounds and dopplers give me anxiety. She told me to try and stay calm. She said I had only about a 50/50 chance of hearing the heartbeat that day since I was only 10 weeks and a couple days. She encouraged me to at least try it, and if we didn’t hear a heartbeat we could always do a ultrasound.
As I laid back on the table, I prayed to God that his will be done and that he would help in whatever would happen. She put the Doppler on my belly and searched for the heartbeat. I was fully expecting her not to find it, and after a few seconds I heard the quick swishing sound of baby’s heartbeat. The midwife said “there it is. That’s your baby” I started crying, and looked at Charles. We got to hear baby’s heartbeat. Baby was okay. Baby was growing. This was the furtherest along I had ever actually gotten in a pregnancy. I was on a high and beyond thankful. The heart rate was 166 and absolutely perfect.
On Wednesday of that same week, I had an appointment with centering. Centering was a support group offered through my hospital designed to help empower women and build relationships with other moms. I showed up to my OB office to check in with the support group 10 minutes early. I was directed to wait with the coordinator just outside the office. We waited and waited and waited. It was quite awkward to be honest. After waiting an extra 10 minutes, so 20 minutes total, we decided to head over to the classroom building.
At the classroom building I met the midwife and the community health worker. They expressed their gratitude that I came and apologized that I was the only one that showed up. They said centering was a great program, and they would do their best to try and get me in a group, with more people. The midwife said, since I came all that way, I might as well check my vitals and be able to hear my baby’s heartbeat.
I had my blood pressure taken and it was somewhat high for me 129/91. The midwife wasn’t too concerned as I did walk across the hospital campus and was kinda bombarded with information. She said after hearing the baby’s heartbeat we would check my blood pressure again. I also stood on the scale and lost a pound. She said that was completely normal especially since I had been experiencing morning sickness.
After taking my vitals, I was then moved to a bed, where they would pull out a Doppler and check for baby’s heartbeat. I expressed to this midwife that Dopplers and ultrasounds make me very nervous after experiencing 2 losses. She said she completely understood. She did warn me that on the Doppler she was about to use, it was very rare to find the heartbeat before 12 weeks. She said she didn’t want me to panic if we couldn’t find it. If that did happen then she would just take me back to the office to have an ultrasound.
As she pulled out the Doppler and placed it on my belly I took a deep breath. I convinced myself she should be able to find it since, they were able to find the heartbeat using a Doppler before. I prayed. The midwife searched and searched and searched but she could not find a heartbeat. She was able to detect my heartbeat over one of my arteries but she couldn’t find baby’s. I began to panic. No, this can’t be happening again. Baby was fine just two days ago. After a moment the midwife said, “Well, it’s your lucky day. We’re going to take you to get an ultrasound so that you can see your baby again.” She must have saw the panic and fear in my face because she then said “Don’t let that worry you. Like I said, this is a crappy Doppler and very hard to detect a heartbeat before 12 weeks.” I took some more deep breaths and said okay.
The midwife and I walked back to the OB office. I got settled into a room while she searched for a bedside ultrasound machine. I laid on the bed and prepared for the worst. She put the jelly and probe on my belly and looked for baby. Only a few seconds went by and she said “See! There’s your baby. You see the little flicker? That’s baby’s heartbeat. It’s beating strong. Oh look! Baby is dancing!” After hearing this I was finally able to look at the screen. Baby was okay. Baby was on the move. Baby was precious and such a gift. I took pictures of the monitor so I could show Charles later. She said everything looked great and my mind was put at ease. I thanked her for taking such good care of me and baby. She gave me a hug and told me congratulations. Before leaving she took my blood pressure one more time and it was completely normal.
What a week! At 10 weeks, baby reached two major milestones. 1) Baby’s heartbeat could now be detected on a Doppler… depending on the Doppler they use. and 2) Baby is now moving in the womb. I had never seen my baby move on ultrasound before, and it was quite a site to see. Thank you Jesus for this gift! 💕
I’ve heard it said that pregnancy after loss comes with a special kind of joy and comfort, but also grief and anxiety. It’s true. I’ve experienced this since the moment I saw the word PREGNANT on a test.
Everyday, is something I just try to get through but also just try to enjoy because I know this little life is precious and anything can happen at any moment.
It’s funny but I actually enjoy having morning sickness. Because when I have morning sickness, I know baby is okay. In my other two pregnancies, I felt my hormone levels drop and my symptoms start to disappear right before both my losses. I think I knew something was wrong but I just tried to ignore it. It’s like my mind couldn’t go there. It couldn’t face the loss that was about to happen.
So, I enjoy morning sickness. I enjoy feeling sick all the time. I enjoy the breast pain, the fatigue, acne, mood swings, everything. It gives me comfort and reassures me that baby is okay. In fact if I’m not feeling sick, I usually am praying that God will make me sick, just so I can put my mind at ease.
Being pregnant again makes me excited, of course. I’m also cautious. I’m cautious because I’ve experience the heartache of loss.
So, I take each day one day at a time. I’m thankful for every single day I have with this baby. I’m thankful for the morning sickness and everything that pregnancy brings. I’m just thankful. ❤️
On Friday, May 21st I woke up at 4:50am. I tossed and turned all night as I anticipated my 7 week ultrasound later that day. I spent the morning watching tv, eating and resting. I tried my best to rest and stay calm before my appointment.
When 12:45pm rolled around it was time for us to head to our 2 o’clock appointment. I tried my best to be excited, calm and cautious.
We checked into the hospital at 1:45pm. The ultrasound appointment was scheduled at a different location because the location we usually go to was booked until mid June. My OB requested that I get an ultrasound between 7-8 weeks.
As we sat in the waiting room, I looked at my phone in an attempt to distract myself from my anxieties. When we were called back I held my breath.
When we got to the room, the person doing our ultrasound said she was a student, studying to be a radiology tech. She explained that she would do our ultrasound, then the tech would look it over, then send it to the radiologist to look over.
As I got on the table and laid back, I kept forgetting to breathe. I tried taking deep breaths and just praying in my head. I trust you Lord. It’s going to be okay. Please just have your way.
The student tech asked a few questions and went to work. She took a look at my ovaries, which felt like forever. She then took a look at baby. I saw a little blob on the screen and was hopeful. Okay, there’s baby. Baby is in the uterus. That’s a good sign. The student tech took a variety of images of baby.
Next, she brought up the heart rate scale. It was flat at first and I got scared. What if there’s not a heart beat? I then saw a wave on the scale as it picked up the heart beat. Then it went flat again. I held my breath. Was that my heart beat or baby’s? The tech started typing and then said. “Heart rate is at 147, and that is excellent.” A sigh of relief washed over my face. She looked at me and said “I knew you were waiting on that.”
After the student tech was finished she left to get the tech. The tech confirmed everything that the student tech found, and reassured me that everything looked great. I asked the tech if there was only one baby, and they both claimed that they could only find one. I was fine with that. The tech also told me that it looked like it was my right ovary that had ovulated so there’s a good chance that it’s a boy if my ovaries are quote on quote normal.
The tech gave me two pictures and sent us on our way. I was feeling beyond relieved and blessed by all that was done at our appointment. I couldn’t stop thanking Jesus. We got to see baby. Baby has a heartbeat. We saw the little flicker of the heart. Baby was measuring right on track at 7 weeks and 1 day. Heart rate was 147, and a normal heart rate is anywhere between 120-180. My due date didn’t change as it was still 1/6/22. All was good. All was okay. I was feeling so blessed!
This Mother’s Day wasn’t so sad this year. I had just found out about a week before that I was pregnant again for the third time. I had bloodwork to confirm my pregnancy and everything was looking really good. I was already consistently nauseated and throwing up. Things were on track.
On the Saturday before Mother’s Day, we went to my parent’s house to celebrate Mother’s Day with my Mom and Grandma. It was a wonderful afternoon as we enjoyed sitting on the porch together, enjoying a variety of foods including pulled pork, deviled eggs, Cole slaw, pickles, cheese mashed potatoes and salad.
While sitting on my parents porch talking and catching up, it was killing me to not be able to tell them that I was pregnant. Not Yet. I kept telling myself. I wanted to wait until after my 8 week ultrasound and surprise them. It was also killing me how much the food was giving me a bellyache. I ate slightly too much and had an upset tummy, but I did my best to hide it.
Before leaving my parent’s house, I visited Mackenzie’s garden. I then asked my mom if I could take home some baby clothes. I told my mom I wanted to take some home, go through them and figure out if I wanted to donate anything. Really I just wanted to go through it and see what I still had from previous pregnancies. I don’t think she suspected anything, but I plan to ask her after I officially tell her.
On Sunday, I had a very relaxing Mother’s Day. I laid around and took three naps. My feelings on this day were different. I was sad and grieving the babies I lost, yes. I also was excited to be pregnant again, especially on Mother’s Day. I was also scared. I was scared to have another loss. I did my best to cherish and appreciate the current season of life I was in.
Throughout the day I got some very sweet messages from people. One message in particular I thought was very sweet and brought me to tears.
“Happy Mother’s Day! I know you have such a long time but this is stillyour day too! You’ve been a mother to many kids and your own angel babies! Enjoy today and relax. Don’t over do it.”
A few months back I wrote a post about being more like Hannah from the Bible. Coincidentally, I was writing that post around the same time I got pregnant. In that post I talk about how all Hannah really wanted was a baby. She prayed and cried out to God about her longing to be a mother. However, God made her wait and it wasn’t until she humbled herself and dedicated her unborn baby to the Lord, that she became pregnant and gave birth to her son.
When my pregnancy hit 5 weeks, I started to become very anxious. the shock of finally being pregnant again started to wear off and reality started to hit. My life was forever changed again. In 9 months I would be giving birth to a beautiful baby or at any point I could suffer another loss.
When I hit 5 weeks in my pregnancy, I laid in bed crying. I texted my friend Andrea and talked through my anxieties. I stayed up talking to Charles and praying to God about the baby.
A Mother’s Prayer
Lord, please forgive me of my sins and I just want to thank you so much for this little blessing.
Lord, thank you for this baby, no matter how long we may be blessed with him or her.
Lord, I want to dedicate this baby to you. This is your baby, that you have simply allowed me to care for. I am going to do my best to care for and love this baby.
Lord, thank you for this baby. Thank you that we are both healthy. Thank you for allowing me to get pregnant and thank you for this pregnancy. In Jesus name, Amen.
After saying this prayer, I felt peace and went to sleep. 💤
After the weekend of finding out I was pregnant again, I called my OB office and asked if I could have my pregnancy confirmed. They said they were going to do a quantitative HCG level check to not only see if I’m pregnant but also see if my numbers were doubling.
Charles and I went to the lab after work and a few hours later I got my first set of results. While sitting on the couch I anxiously prayed and logged in to my account. As I scrolled and looked through my charts, I found my most recent test result. Before clicking the view result button, I prayed that what ever happens would happen. At that point in my life, I knew that I couldn’t control my circumstances but I had to trust and believe that God knew what he was doing.
When I opened my test results I was in shock. My HCG levels had already hit the 1,000’s and I was only 4 weeks. I couldn’t believe it. I cried. I danced around the living room and praised God for his love and his mercy.
The next day I received a call from an OB nurse. She said congratulations and that my doctor took a look at my labs, and everything looked great. She felt there was no need to have additional bloodwork done as my levels were in a great range. I asked the nurse a few questions and scheduled my first prenatal appointment. I was a bundle of nerves and excitement as I hung up the phone. It hit me all over again that I was pregnant.
Pregnancy dreams. Vivid pregnancy dreams of things that make sense and things that seem absolutely pointless. I’m only 4 weeks pregnant and I am having dreams about Covid, having another D & C, eating all the doughnut holes in the kitchen, spaghetti and other yummy food, chasing ducks through a thunderstorm and watching kitties play in mud puddles.
I get it. Vivid pregnancy dreams are often the cause of pregnancy hormones. If that’s the case then I’ll take them. Even though I’m starting to get morning sickness and even though my breasts hurt and I’m extremely tired; I am happy and so incredibly blessed.
The morning I found out I was pregnant again for a third time, I went about my day as normally as possible. I went to work and taught preschoolers. On my lunch break, I came home and showed Charles the pregnancy test and he was happy but not surprised.
In the middle of the day at work, I went to the bathroom. I was happy to step out of my classroom and get off my feet for a moment. However, when I went to the bathroom I was surprised to see a little bit of spotting. Oh no…. not again. I instantly started to panic and thought I was having another miscarriage. I prayed that what ever would happen would be the Lord’s will. I was scared but I just had to trust and stay calm.
About an hour later, I went to the bathroom and saw no blood. I was relieved and filled with peace. I went about my day staying calm and trying to relax.
The next day while Charles and I were on a drive running some errands, I had to stop at the store to use the bathroom. While there I was surprised to see yet again a tiny bit of spotting. This time, I didn’t panic. I felt like what I was seeing was normal. With my miscarriage in the past when I was bleeding, the bleeding didn’t subside. It just got heavier and heavier until I lost my pregnancy. Whereas, the bleeding I was seeing now was still very light, and only happened once or twice.
Based on my symptoms, I am assuming that what I was experiencing was implantation bleeding. Implantation bleeding sometimes occurs when the egg implants into the wall of the uterus. It usually occurs around the time you start your period, so women sometimes mistake implantation bleeding as a period. Only a certain percentage of women have this, and is completely normal.
As I reflect back on my previous pregnancies, I don’t remember having any implantation bleeding with Mackenzie. With Chase, I remember having a very tiny bit before the pregnancy test turned positive.
Based on the research and what I know, I was not going to fret. The bleeding stopped, and I felt fine. So I was just going to trust that everything was okay.
At the end of April, I was feeling rather emotional and overwhelmed. Mother’s Day was quickly approaching and it was hard for me to not carry the grief and dread I was feeling about that particular holiday. As I thought about Mother’s Day, I thought about last year when Charles and I decided on Mother’s Day that we would try again for our rainbow baby.
Fast forward to the end of April 2021, and I was feeling defeated. We had been trying for about a year and absolutely no results. Negative test after negative tests. Period after period. I was due for my period on April 29th. I was feeling discouraged and tired of hoping. I finally told myself to stop. Stop getting my hopes up and stop getting excited. I tried convincing myself over and over that every little cramp, twinge, mood swing and hot flash was just my period coming.
When my period didn’t come on the 29th I figured, it’s just late this month. I have had cycles of up to 34 days. I continued trying to keep myself grounded and tell myself my period was coming.
The morning of April 30th, I had a really strange dream. I dreamt I lost my sense of taste and smell but no other symptoms. In my dream I was walking around a room to different foods and flowers while trying to smell them. I instantly woke up sweaty, agitated and gross. My alarm went off for work, and as much as I didn’t want to get up, I knew it was time to start the day… and at least it was a Friday.
I went to the bathroom, and I started to get excited that my period still hadn’t come. I then thought, what if I take a pregnancy test, and when it says Not Pregnant I can stop hoping. I’ll know my period will show up anytime.
I grabbed the last test I had under my bathroom sink. It was the more expensive digital kind. I knew that it would be the most reliable tool I had besides getting my period.
I took the test and waited.
In the moment of waiting I just kept thinking Not Pregnant, it’s going to say Not Pregnant and that’s okay. I’m bummed but at least I’ll know.
It was 4:30 in the morning. I checked the test after 2 minutes. I squinted my eyes at the word on the screen. I was still tired with sleepies in my eyes. I read the word. I read it again.
Pregnant… huh? Where’s the Not? It doesn’t say Not Pregnant. Is it broken? Does Not pop up later? I took a deep breath and wrapped my mind around my surprising reality. I’m pregnant. No way! I’m pregnant! In that moment it hit me and I sobbed with joy, and with hesitation. I praised God and thanked Him for this little blessing!
For the past couple weeks, I have been reading a devotional focused on Hannah and her journey of infertility and longing to be a mother. I have found that this book, is the kind of book that you read when you need a pick-me-up. This isn’t the kind of book that you read in a couple days, at least for me. It’s a book that you can pick up and put down in order to let the message of the words marinate in your mind and resonate in your soul.
These past few weeks, I have been heavily investing and putting my all into my job as a teacher. It’s in many ways a good distraction of the circumstances I am often dwelling on, but sometimes it still doesn’t satisfy what my heart truly longs for. I spend everyday with children, I teach, care for, and build relationships with children that aren’t mine, but I love and care for as if they were my own.
Everyday is a challenge, as I did not think I would be where I am today. Some days are worse than others. Every holiday, I anticipate another pregnancy announcement and every time I am envious that I am not the one announcing. Every April Fools day, I am infuriated that someone is making a joke out of being pregnant when there are so many women who are struggling to get pregnant. Every family gathering, birthday, holiday or celebration I feel like something is missing. I feel that Charles and I should be bringing along a car load of kids to join in our family memories.
I try to put my all into my writing, my family, and my job but it’s just not enough sometimes. I have this yearning to be a mom that I simply can not fight. Since the young age of two I can remember carrying and loving on baby dolls that my family gifted me. In Young Five’s I can remember playing house with my classmates and I always wanted to be and was the mom. Growing up I always cared for animals such as a stray litter of kittens, baby bunnies born in my backyard and a baby chick all as if they were my baby, Even as a young adult to now, I snuggle and care for babies I know, watch and teach with my whole heart. Being a mom is who I am and who I have always desired to be.
The 2 pregnancies, 2 losses, 1 D & C, a year of trying, grief and trauma… it’s changed me. It’s damaged me. I am recked by anything dealing with death, sick or dying babies, miscarriages, and the harsh reality of grief. I’ve clawed my way back from the dark road of mourning I once faced, but I still sometimes feel broken. My life was altered by loss. The year of 2019 was so significant that when I look back on my life I think of before my first pregnancy and after my second miscarriage. It’s a powerful reminder and something I will never forget. It changed me for the good and the bad.
I share all this, to be real and honest about how I look at my life. I love my life, I do. But I guess don’t feel I am fulfilling the purpose God has for me or feel that my cup is only half full. Maybe that’s not the case. Maybe this is right where I’m supposed to be, but if it were… wouldn’t I feel differently?
When I feel this way, I often think of Hannah. All Hannah wanted was a baby. She was jealous and envious her husband’s other wife was able to have babies, but she was not. Hannah went to the temple and prayed. She was so distraught that the priest thought she was drunk. Hannah was not drunk but so emotional and passionate about her hearts desire. As Hannah prayed she asked God yet again for baby. She promised God that if she was given a child she would dedicate them to Lord. Eventually, Hannah was blessed with a beautiful baby. Of course, I am paraphrasing this story, but if you are interested in reading it, check out the book 1 Samuel.
Through studying Hannah’s story I have learned a few things.
1. Certain things are just out of our control. I can hope, I can pray, and I can fast; but the Lord is going to do what He is going to do.
2. God hears you. It may not seem like it. He may seem milllions of miles away and completely silent but he hears us when we pray and when we come to him with our needs, and our wants. He knows and he wants to help us. Sometimes the answer is yes, sometimes it’s no and sometimes it’s wait.
3. Sometimes it’s not all about me. This was a hard one to swallow. But it’s not. If I had my way I’d have two living children with a third on the way, living in a two story house on Lake Michigan. But it’s not all about me, and I don’t always get my way. When we pray for things and the answer is no or wait, that is really tough. But there is a reason for it. God isn’t saying no just to say no. I believe He puts our best interest at heart. He knows our hearts desires and he knows what’s best for us in each season of life. And as hard as that is, the best thing to do is to trust him.
4. Put your focus on God. Hannah prayed day in and day out for a baby. And yet until she went to the temple, did she change her prayers and change her focus on God and what he has for her verses what she wanted. I can imagine that it took a great amount of humbleness to put God first.
So, to come full circle. I am changed and sometimes feel broken. I don’t feel like I am currently living up to my potential. But yet I know that God has a plan for me. I know that, God is bigger than anything I may face. I know that i want the Lord’s will to be done rather than my own. And I know that God sees me. God knows me and God loves me. So I am going to be more like Hannah. I am going to humble myself, I am going to put my focus on God and what he wants for my life rather than what I want. I am going to try to understand and accept that there are just certain things out of my control. And I am going to keep loving Jesus, doing my best in my job, in my family, and in my life. I am going to be more like Hannah because I am going to keep going even when it gets hard.