As many of you know we waited or Ollie to join us for over 2 years, plus his entire gestation. I’ve written about that wait, and the strains and struggles it caused. He’s obviously been worth it, so much so that we decided to have another. Assuming this would take a little while, I was surprised to produce a positive pregnancy test in April, a few weeks after this decision.
A majority of people I know have had an unusually bad start to 2016 and I begged and bargained with John to tell our families early this time, so early that I hadn’t even been to that first 8 week appointment with my doctor. Everyone could use some good news.
The family congratulated us. A few days later the doctor congratulated us. The following week the Dunkin’ Donuts cashier congratulated us, but that was just a poor wardrobe and lifestyle choice on my part. Then we went to our first ultrasound and the radiologist asked a lot of questions but did not congratulate us. He tried to be reassuring, but 8 weeks into the pregnancy, my uterine nugget was measuring as 6 weeks old.
I panicked after that first visit to the radiologist. I called my doctor as soon as we got out, but it was late and only the receptionist, Regina, was still there closing up the office. I tried to remain calm but my voice broke as I was thanking her and hanging up. Not only were we in the dark about his pregnancy, we couldn’t even have the small satisfaction of knowing our next steps to having answers. Regina called back moments later just to check on my emotional welfare. This act of kindness made me cry even harder. I would not be surprised if she spent the night nearly as concerned as we were before she could get back to the office and have a nurse call me. That woman is a saint and we sent her flowers.
The next day was rocky for both John and I. We found out that we were going to have to wait until the end of the following week to have another ultrasound. It might be my hindsight optimism, but that week between ultrasounds felt longer than the wait to conceive our first born. In that time we had to follow up with family that knew about the first ultrasound, sharing our fear and sadness instead of sonograms and due dates. We had to try to stay away from Google and stay positive. I cut out the little caffeine I was consuming, tried to eat healthier, and followed all of the pregnancy rules, even the crazy ones like avoiding hot showers. I grasped at any opportunity for rest and relaxation during the most anxiety ridden time in my life, because stress and depression can negatively affect a growing fetus.
This is the point in the story where I’d love to relieve you with a miraclesque portrait of happy tears as we watch a tiny heartbeat on the monitor. I don’t get to write that story today.
The ultrasound technician started with a few questions, but became gradually stonier as the appointment dragged on. She left us to get a doctor that never showed, popped back in apologetically to copy some information from the screen, and gave empty promises of a quick return. We knew the news was bad 10 minutes into the appointment, but over an hour later we were still sitting in that exam room waiting for someone with the guts to say it to our faces.
Eventually we were ushered, I still in my backless gown, to a tiny closet room with a phone. A doctor from my practice, whom I have met once, was transferred to us. She wished she could tell us in person but thought forcing us to drive the 45 minutes to their office would be cruel. She was sorry, we were too, and we hung up not ready to think about arranging childcare so that we could go to yet another appointment to follow up with my doctor.
We hugged and cried for a whole 30 seconds before that technician with the tact of a rabid llama knocked on the door to hand me the purse and water bottle I left in the exam room. I guess they needed the room for other patients after trying ours for the last hour. I went to get dressed and we got the hell out of there.
We resumed our hug, cry, talk schedule that evening, interspersed with a few calls to family members, who in turn spread the word to other family members. By this point we were talked out. That night we passed out after Ollie did and slept like rocks.
We went to the doctor, we asked all the questions, and we got the pills to speed up the physical process of moving on. Then she reassured me that I didn’t do anything wrong. While I intellectually knew this, my heart needed to hear it. Despite what the term “mis-carry” might imply, it has nothing to do with the carrying and everything to do with the chromosomes. This particular pregnancy was never going to be a baby. The wait was over; the uncertainty was gone. There was a lost opportunity, lost time, some lost hope, but, for us, we did not lose a child.
Sitting there on the exam table at the OB, I realized two things: 1) I was going to be OK, and 2) there was no reason for me to be undressed from the waist down. Thank you to that nurse for giving John and me some much needed comic relief.
So we don’t have exciting new to share with you…yet, but we are confident that all the hopes and plans we started to formulate in April will come to fruition soon enough. One thing is guaranteed, Oliver’s new sibling, whenever he or she is ready, will be worth this struggle and this wait.