Thursday, September 5, 2013

A New Little

The last few weeks have been crazy y'all. So much has happened, and I haven't shared any of it here because I didn't think I should, and then I didn't know how, and then I thought it was just too soon. I'm terrible at secrets though, and I don't like keeping them, so here goes!

A few weeks ago, Ray and I found out we are pregnant! We decided when Emmett was 9 months old that we were open to having another baby, but I was (am) still breastfeeding, so I didn't get my cycle back until July, one year after Emmett was born. When we found out I was excited and so happy, but the joy I felt was tinged with fear and anxiety. I was worried about the baby, wanting so badly to provide a perfect environment for him (or her.. but probably him) to grow and thrive and be healthy. And I was worried about our future, about how we're going to afford another baby and about how everything will work out.

Then last Monday night just before bed, I noticed a tiny bit of spotting. I didn't think much of it at the time, but mentioned it to Ray and he told me I should call the doctor in the morning. I wasn't too worried, and went right to sleep that night. I saw more spotting in the morning, so I called the doctor first thing. They asked me to come in right away, so Ray and I called into work and hurried to the doctor's office. I was scared, but still not too worried. A friend of ours works as a PA at our OB's office, and we were lucky that she happened to have an opening that morning. She did an exam and found that my cervix was closed and they couldn't see any bleeding. We did an ultrasound, but couldn't see very much. I forgot to bring my NFP chart with me, so I gave them the date of my last period (my first since before conceiving Emmett), and they estimated that I was about 6 weeks along. I could tell they were worried that we weren't seeing much on the ultrasound, but they tried to reassure me that it is just too early. They drew blood and sent us home. I called in to work and asked for a personal day. I had to take care of a few urgent things from home, but I was in a sort of daze and just needed to be home with Emmett.

The next day I woke up to more spotting, heavier than before. I called the doctor and they told me to come in. I was so afraid that day. I thought I was losing this baby, and felt so fragile and lonely. I called my boss to let him know what was going on, and Ray and I headed to the doctor. My boss was really great about it. He told me to take a few days off and not to worry about work. They would all pitch in and take care of my accounts while I was out. When we arrived they had my labs back. My HCG levels looked good, but my progesterone was really low. They called in a prescription for progesterone and I started to take that right away. The progesterone made me really groggy and totally zapped my energy, but I wanted to do anything I could to keep this baby and to help my body do what it needed to do. They scheduled another ultrasound for Friday and sent us home.

The next day, Thursday, I woke up to more spotting. I called the doc and they told me to come in for another blood test. Ray was already at work so I went on my own. When I got there I sat down to have my blood drawn. My friend the PA, who happens to be about 36 weeks pregnant, knew that I was there, so she came out to see how I was doing. She was kind and gentle and I was so afraid. I broke down in that chair and she squatted down next to me, big belly and all, and rubbed my back while I cried. She told me that I would be okay, and that they were all praying for me. I looked up to see the nurses and the girls at the front desk watching me and I knew that they were praying for me then. I could see that they felt my pain and that they really, truly cared, and I felt reassured. We decided to order my labs to come back that afternoon. That way if the baby had stopped growing, I wouldn't have to go through the ultrasound the next day. As I left, the sweet nurse held my hand and told me not to be afraid, but to have faith. It felt like a lightbulb went off when she said that. "Oh yeah," I thought, "I'm supposed to have faith." I wasn't supposed to be afraid, I was supposed to believe that God had a plan for me, and for my baby, and I needed to have faith that He would take care of us, no matter what happened.

I went home and tried to rest and stay calm. I felt like I had been in a black hole all week, lost in the darkness and fear and closed off to the world. I wouldn't let anyone in, hardly even Ray, because I felt so vulnerable and fragile. I was afraid that one wrong word from anyone would break me. That afternoon I felt a little stronger, but I was still so afraid. The PA called late that afternoon to let me know that my hormone levels had risen since the last test, which meant baby was still growing. She also told me that she got a look at my NFP chart and realized that I ovulated pretty late in my cycle, and we conceived much later than I had previously thought, so she didn't think I was as far along as we had thought. Oh NFP, you are wonderful! After seeing that, she said she felt so much better about the ultrasound, and about my low progesterone. We expected to see more because we thought I was close to 6 weeks, but it turns out we were barely even to 5 weeks. If I hadn't been charting, we never would have known that I ovulated late, and would have been so much more worried.

The next morning Ray and I went in for our second ultrasound. I felt good that morning, less afraid, and even a little bit optimistic. My friend the PA wasn't in that day, so we saw the doctor. He is gentle and kind and positive, so he was a blessing to us that day. The ultrasound was positive. We saw some growth, although we still couldn't see a heartbeat. We repeated my blood work and left feeling uplifted.

That night Emmett and I took the red-eye to Georgia to spend the long weekend with my family at the beach. The flight was AWFUL (more on that later!), but the trip was wonderful. I was able to relax and rest and had so much fun with my family. I miss them so much!! Emmett loved the beach and loved my dad and everyone. It was such a great weekend.

The spotting never stopped, but Monday and Tuesday it slowed down a whole lot and I felt pretty great. The nurse called me Tuesday to let me know that my labs from Friday looked great, everything was going up, and I could stop taking the progesterone. We left the beach on Monday and spent a couple of days in my hometown seeing family and friends, and then flew home yesterday. I noticed yesterday that my spotting seemed to be heavier and more steady, and then this morning it was even heavier. I called the doctor first thing and they asked me to come in. I saw my friend again for an exam and more blood work. She told me my labs have all been really great, so the baby seems to be healthy, but the spotting is definitely something to worry about. She noticed that my thyroid is enlarged on one side, so I will have an ultrasound of my thyroid done next week and they ordered a test of my thyroid levels along with the HCG and progesterone. They got my hormone labs back this afternoon- my HCG is still going up, but my progesterone was low again so I am back on that once a day. We'll find out about my thyroid levels next week.

I feel so much better now, just knowing the baby is still growing, and having a possible answer for the spotting in my thyroid. Through all of this I learned that in times of fear and stress and hopelessness, I need to cling to faith, to hope, and to the knowledge that God will hold me and protect me and keep me safe, no matter what.

I know most people don't share news like this until much later on in the pregnancy, but like I said, I'm terrible at secrets. It feels good to let it go, to not be clutching my fear to my chest like a security blanket anymore. I'm letting go of the worry and the stress and letting God take care of us, as He always does.

5 comments:

  1. Congratulations to you, Ray and Emmett! The good thing about sharing so early is knowing you have so many more prayers :-) I took progesterone my whole first trimester and it gave me some peace of mind, along with extra exhaustion ;-) It so hard to remember to trust God when you are afraid, but you are right...He has a plan and it's beyond our understanding. I'll be praying for you, especially through your first trimester! Did they give you an idea of due date? Congrats again!!!

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    1. Thanks Kellie! That's true- prayers are so welcome! I didn't know you had to take progesterone also. See, I feel better already knowing that you went through something similar and little Ted is so perfect! It looks like we are due sometime in late April. Just before Summer hits! Woohoo!

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    2. That's around Ted's birthday! Perfect time to be pregnant ;-)

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  2. Anna Kate, we are so happy for you, and will add you to the top of our prayer list during this challenging time. When we found out we were pregnant with baby #2, and my OB calculated my due date based on my last missed period (saying I was 9 weeks along) I became very anxious, because at my first ultrasound, baby #2 only measured 6 weeks! I worried that it was because I was still breastfeeding, or we had conceived "too soon" after Jack, and drove myself crazy for weeks (thinking we were going to lose our precious baby). Then my morning sickness kicked in (like a ton of bricks) and I stopped worrying about all of that and focused on just eating, sleeping, and caring for both babies. :) You are doing great and have such a wonderful attitude. Many mamas will benefit from your stories!

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    1. Thank you Kelly!! I am so grateful for NFP during this time- just knowing without a doubt when we conceived has helped take away so much of the worry, because now I'm not expecting the baby to be further along than he should be. Whew! Being a mama is such a delicate thing- it's amazing how much we can worry! We do everything we can for both babies, but breastfeeding one makes me feel guilty about taking too much away from the other, etc etc etc. So much worry. I'm just trying to trust in God and relax!

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