Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pregnancy, Part 1

Many people have asked me why (as a writer and long time blogger) I didn’t start this blog during my pregnancy. The truth is pretty complicated. In many ways, I regret not keeping a daily journal of the pregnancy days. It was a truly magical time, and I adored the feeling of my little boy growing inside me. But it was also a terrifying and uncertain time.

The truth is that my pregnancy was astoundingly complicated. For starters, it was the pregnancy that wasn’t “supposed” to be. When I was 14, I was told I wouldn’t be able to conceive naturally due to several health issues. At that time, I also started taking birth control to control the symptoms of those health concerns. In other words: infertility confirmed by multiple doctors, plus 13 years of daily birth control pills.

And then:

Only two of the four tests actually taken

To be honest, my initial reaction was that it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The American economy was in a state of depression, and Jonathan and I had been switching back and forth between periods of unemployment. In fact, Jonathan had only recently been laid off and was currently attempting to start an advertising agency. Money was tight, to say the least.

But once the initial shock wore off, I was completely ecstatic. I was adopted, and had always hoped that God would bless me with a biological child. Although I couldn’t be happier with my family, I’d always had that human longing to see myself reflected in another person. Plus, I longed to see what a mix of myself and Jonathan would look like. I quickly realized that my life-long motto was just proving true: Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.

Once I discovered the pregnancy (I took three tests at home, and still made a doctor’s appointment to have it confirmed!) I had the typical early pregnancy jitters. I was terrified that I’d be given such an amazing gift, only to lose it. And then, in the second month of my pregnancy, I started spotting.

We rushed to the doctor, and an ultrasound confirmed that our little one was okay. Oh my, I could never describe the feeling when I first heard the ‘whoosh woosh’ of my baby’s heart beat. It was the most amazing sound I’d ever heard. And luckily, it was perfect – not just to my ears, but to the doctor’s. However, they couldn’t find an answer for the bleeding and couldn’t get it to stop. So I was put on limited mobility (and unlimited prayer!) and sent on to just wait and see.

Our first ultrasound. I had never believed in love at first sight before.

Then in April, the bleeding finally stopped. However, a week later, I received a call from my doctor after hours. “I don’t want you to panic…” Too late! Turns out my routine birth defect testing showed elevated levels for spina bifida. My doctor knew I’d be panicking, and didn’t want to delay my stress. He had already made me an appointment for the next day to come in for a level 2 ultrasound to check on the baby’s health.

The ultrasound looked good, but the doctor admitted it was honestly too early to tell if there would be a problem. We made an appointment for the following month to check on the baby’s development. I was slightly reassured by the ultrasound, but I was in an other-worldly state of panic. It seemed like a nightmare, having medical staff discuss viability and our “option to terminate”. I was utterly horrified. I wanted to hit everyone who said that phrase. THIS WAS MY BABY! MY MIRACLE! It was hands down the most awful 24 hours of my life.

Our follow up ultrasound again showed a perfectly healthy baby. It was speculated that the spotting I’d been having had increased the numbers falsely. Although we all breathed a sigh of relief, we made appointments to continue the level 2 ultrasounds throughout the pregnancy to watch for any risk factors.

Look at that beautiful spine!

And at the next appointment, when I was only 18 weeks along, we found out:

We were having a boy! The doctor assured us it was clear as day, although we couldn’t tell at all (Larkin’s ultrasounds were never very clear – the kid NEVER sat still!). Jonathan and I were overjoyed to share the news with friends and family. My mom immediately went out and started shopping! We had already decided to name the baby Larkin whether he was a boy or girl, but now Larkin David was confirmed.

And with all that madness... that was only the beginning! Our story will continue tomorrow (or the next, baby permitting!)

1 comment:

  1. Wow lady I had similar stories with both kiddos. Eliza was "high risk" in the spina bifida category and I spotted with Samuel quite early on too. I know the terror of the unknown! So amazing to read this and know you have been through similar stuff! Praise God -Larkin is awesome!