This blog is just about my life and mostly revolves around my son, Jamie. This blog is a combination of everything, whether it may be a new recipe I tried, a good freebie I found, something funny Jamie said, or feelings I'm having about life in general. There's little rhyme or reason. I'll never win any blogging awards, but I enjoy writing about our lives and I mostly do it for my son. It's so easy to forget moments over the years. I've got all these little tidbits of our life in print and I hope that someday Jamie can enjoy them.

I called this blog Mother of Life, Mother of Loss because of my issues with pregnancy loss and the joy of finally bringing this wonderful person into the world. Truly, I feel the pains of loss, but you won't see too much of that here. I am blessed and I am, above all else, a mother of life.

After all the years of infertility and loss, Matthew and I were blessed with a surprise pregnancy. We were pregnant with twins, but unfortunately, Baby A could not stay with us. Baby B grew into a healthy and happy baby girl that we named Bella Marie. We are so blessed to have two beautiful children.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Cautiously Optimistic

The appointment was strange. I set off early because I am notorious for getting myself lost. I did actually get a little lost, but quickly found an alternate route without setting myself back too much and without any panic.

I had convinced myself over the course of my restless night that this was an ectopic pregnancy. I'm having some sharp pains and in my world an ectopic pregnancy would be the worst case scenario. I could imagine seeing a beautiful little heartbeat and discovering it was located in a tube and would have to be removed. I'd have to kill my living little baby. I couldn't imagine anything worse. To say that I was pessimistic about the outcome of my appointment would be an understatement.

We got to my appointment about half an hour early, but that ended up being a good thing since both the kids and I had to use the restroom by the time we arrived. I was called back almost as soon as I completed the paperwork to update my file. I was taken straight back to the ultrasound room. They didn't want me to take the kids in under the circumstances and I reluctantly left them in the waiting room.

The tech inserted the wand and immediately a sac came into view. A immediately saw the flicker on the screen. It registered in my head before I heard the words, "There's a heartbeat." I'm not sure what I said, something small and ineffectual like, "Oh, good." I didn't respond at all like I thought I would. I didn't cry. To be honest, I felt kind of numb. Don't get me wrong. I was happy, but I didn't have the outpouring of emotions that I expected.

The tech started exploring, searching for the areas that caused me pain. The baby came in and out of view. She took repeated measurements. I watched on the large flat screen in front of me. She turned on the sound and the heartbeat was measured. I listened to the rapid beating of my baby's heart. She stopped and moved around, then turned it on again. Again I listed to the rapid beating heart. When she was done she told me to relax a few minutes while she went to see if the doctor wanted to see me in the ultrasound room or if he would like for me to go on in to another room. I lie there, just kind of blank. I stared at the still image on the screen in front of me.

She came back in and said that he would see me in an examination room, but she wanted to talk to me about the findings before I went out. "There are two." She explained that she didn't want to show me during the ultrasound because one was much smaller than the other, but that they both had heartbeats. I didn't respond at all. She showed me the ultrasounds and explained what I was seeing. Baby A was smaller and didn't have much fluid in his/her sac. Baby B looked great. There is no way to predict what will happen. I might miscarry Baby A or he/she might absorbed (become a vanishing twin). I might go back next time and find that they are both fine.

No tears. No reaction. I stared blankly as she spoke. I can't even remember if I was thinking anything. I just nodded in recognition of her words.

"There's also a fibroid tumor. That may be what's causing your pain." Fibroid. I know what that is. Generally harmless. Check. She might have said more. I don't know. She popped her head out the door, "Do we have a room ready for Laura?" No. I was sent back to the waiting room. Two sets of eyes met me. Dynisha, who knew what was going on, looked at me expectantly. I smiled at her and sat down. I showed her the pictures the tech had picked out to give me. "This is one baby and this tiny spot here is the other baby." Dynisha squealed, "Twins! There are two?!!" Suddenly I noticed that the waiting room was full and all eyes were on us. Smiles passed around the room. "Shh, calm down. I don't want you to get too excited," I told her, "Baby A is very small and might not make it. We'll have to wait and see." At this point Jamie's attention was drawn. "This is your baby brother or sister." I told him. "I don't like boys," he said, "I love sisters." He examined the pictures, trying to figure out where the baby was. I told him the baby was in my tummy like when Hayden was in Aunt Rachel's tummy. He got that and then was disinterested and went back to playing.

Dynisha continued to babble on excitedly until they called me into the back. This time I took the kids with me. Dr. McCauley came in. "I didn't think I'd ever see you again." I told him. He smiled. We chatted briefly about Jamie and Matt and my friend Geri, who was his patient as well during her pregnancies. He told me everything looked good. He did a small internal exam, still trying to ascertain the source of my pain. We're still unsure.

He started to say that Baby A was smaller. I finished his sentence for him. "It might not make it." I finished it wrong. He said something about it possibly catching up by my next visit. He said something about me not being so frightened. I had problems in the past, but I had two heartbeats. He sounded like he wasn't worried at all about Baby A. I said, "I'm cautiously optimistic." That's my new catch phrase.

Prenatal vitamins, a dozen vials of blood, results in the morning, cerclage at twelve weeks... the rest is a blur.

I checked out. My next appointment is set for July 2ND. I recognized the nurse behind the counter. I have a picture of her hold Jamie just weeks after he was born. This is surreal. I didn't think I'd ever be back here.

We all had to take a restroom break again. I tried to decide how to tell Matt. He was anxiously awaiting my call. I had promised to call as soon as I knew anything. I wanted to tell him immediately. It was almost an hour drive to get home. That would be a long time for him to wait to hear something. But twins. How could I give him this news over the phone? I couldn't. I wanted to show him the ultrasound picture. I thought about how to tell him on the drive home. I thought of some cute things to say, but when I finally arrived I blanked. He looked terrified when he saw me. I felt the blank expression that was still on my face. I probably looked sad. He would expect me to be smiling and jumping for joy if there was a heartbeat. He rushed out the office door to greet me. "There's a heartbeat." I said, handing him the ultrasound pictures. Relief washed over his face. "Actually, there are two heartbeats." I told him. His eyes got big. I pointed out the babies and explained the situation with Baby A. Matt was so excited he barely registered the customer that was in his lobby. He stared at the pictures in dazed amazement. Soon he was bragging to the customer about his twins and showing her the ultrasound. As soon as she was out the door he called his mother. Dynisha was upset because she wanted to tell their mother. Matt told her, "Too bad. She's my mother, too, and I want to tell her." Then he started compiling his mental list of who to call. I guess we're not waiting to tell people. Just as well. I can't keep my mouth shut either.

I can envision Baby A being absorbed as I sit here. I don't want anything to happen to him/her. I want them both. I spend a lot of time praying, which much more resembles begging God. I don't know how I'll survive the two and a half weeks until my next ultrasound.

I've gone through the day in a daze. It borders on emotionless. To say that I'm emotionless is not correct, though. I'm really excited. I'm really scared. I'm just not responding for some reason. Maybe this is shock or it hasn't really sunk in yet. I don't know what's wrong with me. I feel disconnected right now.

Jamie kissed my tummy earlier. That did make me smile.

Though googling is generally a bad idea in these situations, I did. Actually it was a little comforting. I found lots of stories of one baby being much smaller and both surviving. I even found stories of only one having a heartbeat during the first ultrasound and the next ultrasound both babies being fine. I did find stories of vanishing twins, too, but there were more about miracle babies than vanishing twins. Cautiously optimistic. Cautiously optimistic.

1 Remarks:

Ashley June 16, 2009 at 9:22 AM  

Don't feel bad about the way you are reacting. I was EXACTLY the same way when I got pregnant with my daughter. I had had a miscarriage and a daughter die before her pregnancy and there was no way I was going to get "typically excited". I was "cautiously optimistic" the entire pregnancy! :0) You're not alone!