I both like and cringe at this photo. It's the creepy smile that throws me.
When we were expecting Hannah and then Ethan, I think that Andrew and I approached pregnancy with a bit of innocent naivete; we did't know any better. We didn't have any difficulty getting pregnant, my pregnancies were uncomplicated, and my labors were pretty standard. It was all good and I expected it to be all good. We approached having baby #3 with the same attitude. Back in August we decided we were ready for another. Our rule all along had been "not until Ethan is sleeping through the night". He didn't until some point last summer. hehehe
We found out at the end of September that we were expecting and were delighted. Andrew's parents came for his birthday in November when we were about 6 weeks along. The plan had been to tell both sides of the family that week. Unfortunately, we ended up at the hospital on Remembrance Day only to find that there was a problem and we were surely miscarrying. To tell you we were shocked was an understatement. Later we found out it was a blighted ovum which is a pregnancy where a baby doesn't grow. My doctor (who is fantastic) said that it was likely just one of those things and that because I have 2 healthy children I would probably have no problems getting pregnant again and having a healthy baby. With this in mind we moved on and got busy with the holidays. Ironically we just past our due date last week. They don't usually check for problems until you have had 3 miscarriages in a row.
The New Year rolled in and we were happily surprised to find out we were expecting again in the middle of January. Filled with trepidation we went to the doctor and everything seemed to be going well. I had extra tests done and blood taken every week. My doctor likes to keep track of things. We nervously approached and passed 6 weeks and we were encouraged that things were different. We had an ultrasound (US) scheduled for Valentines Day (how perfect is that) at 8 weeks along. Two days before however we ended up in the hospital again. (now let me explain for those who are curious the reason I needed to go to the hospital both times is because my blood type is AB- and with a negative blood type I needed to a Rhogam shot if I have any kind of bleeding or spotting while pregnant. This prevents my body from building up antibodies that could be potentially life threatening to the baby I am carrying or future babies.) We waited an excruciating amount of time at the ER (for future reference do not waste your time at Langley memorial and head over the bridge to RM Hospital where the wait is far more pleasant). Possible miscarriages rarely rates high on the ER scale.
Well I finally saw the doctor who said my blood tests had come back good(my HCG had increased which is a positive sign and the bleeding had stopped). I got my Rhogam shot and they sent me home with an appointment for an US the following day. Nervously we awaited our appointment. We had a lovely US technician who allowed Andrew to come in with me the whole time (which is not standard). I could tell right away the US wasn't right. I had a pretty good idea of what I should see at 8 weeks and it didn't match up. She sent us back to the ER to wait for the doctor to come in and talk to us. We waited close to 5 hours and when we met with the doctor he said that while they could see the sac there was no baby growing inside. A second blighted ovum. We were devastated.
Well, off to my own personal doctor again. Have I mentioned that he is wonderful? He saw us right away and he spoke both frankly and gently. He mentioned again that it was highly unlikely that they were related. While it is typical to wait until you have had 3 miscarriages to run test he was going to refer me to an OB for testing anyway. :D That's why he gets tops scores in my book.
Thankfully, after testing with the OB, everything came back perfect. The OB reiterated my doctor's words that it was likely nothing and in April we got the go ahead to start trying. On April 21st I was 'late' (I share this date only in that it is interesting to my family). We had not been trying so I knew I wasn't pregnant but I took a test anyway and it was negative. Andrew and I both figured that my body was still recovering and didn't think anything of it. Actually, we were quite glad for the negative because I had been quite sick with the flu, on strong antibiotics for something else, had a bunch of dental x-rays, and was exposed to the measles (my nephew Ben caught the measles) all in the span of about a week.
A week went by and then another - all that time I was still getting negatives through two more checks. When I was 2 weeks late I had an appointment with my doctor. At my appointment I thought I would mention this and ask him if it was a problem and if I should do anything about it. However, before leaving to go to my appointment I decided to use my last test and check so that I could say that I had negative that morning. Low and behold it was positive. I couldn't believe it and neither could Andrew. My doctor was pretty shocked as well. I was a ball of nerves though at the thought of already putting the pregnancy in jeopardy with everything that had gone on the week before.
11 weeks later and things are going well. We pray that things continue to go well.
We saw the baby with a heartbeat at 8 weeks. Then twice this week (another story) and everything looks great. In January we should see the newest addition to our family.
Why do I share all this though?
It's a lot of detail that may bore everyone except me. If your still reading I applaud your perseverance. Here are my reasons in no particular order:
1. Nobody talks about miscarriages - it's taboo. But it happens, a lot. That bothers me. I want to talk about it so that if someone else needs to talk then they know they can chat with me. Growing up I knew my mom had had a miscarriage after my brother and before both my sisters were born. It wasn't a secret. When we had our first miscarriage I quickly found out that a majority of people do not operate as my family did.
2. We want you to know that because of our two miscarriages we have approached this pregnancy with a greater awareness of the fragility of life and this baby with a hope borne out of loss and suffering.
3. To give God the glory. Apart from God we can do nothing. He sustained us through the sorrow and has blessed us as we move forward. We don't know the future, we hope and pray things go well, but whatever happens we trust Him to walk with us.
4. In gratitude to all the people have supported us, prayed for, and loved us. Thank you. Thank you to our families and friends who treated us the same as always and encouraged us along. Thank you to our small group who has surrounded us with love, support, and excitement. Thank you Auntie Joan and Liesel who made me laugh (and keep laughing) and bore my burden alongside me. As an aside my due date for the second miscarriage was 3 weeks before Liesels current due date. :D
Looking forward to the New Year!