Saturday, March 11, 2017

Living with the fear

This pregnancy has been a fairly easy one.  I've never experienced fatigue quite like this, and I'm incredibly nauseous despite taking the strongest dose of meds I can, but these symptoms are ultimately blessings because they calm my anxious mind.  On days when I feel better, when I don't want to curl up in bed, I start to worry.  So, I'll take these symptoms.  At least for a little bit longer, until I feel kicks.  Then there's really no point to them anymore, and they can surely be gone!  And, I've only had 1 emergency appointment so far.  All things considered, this is good for me.  By this point with Reagan, I had experienced miscarriage of her twin.  By this point with the boys, I had been hospitalized for a week, told I was having a miscarriage, then told my water broke, then sent home to miscarry in my own timing.  And by this point with Hannah, I was having such terrible anxiety I could hardly function.  

But I received some unsettling news at my appointment this week.  I've spent the last several days playing it over and over in my mind.  I have another subchorionic hemorrhage (SCH).  Now, I haven't taken the time to google this, though I believe it is fairly common.  I think the doctor said 5-10%?  Not entirely sure, I completely quit listening when she said those words.  Why?  Because, that is what started the problems with Warren and Dean.  I had a massive SCH.  Now, this one is not nearly as large, at least at this point, but immediately I started having flashbacks to those early days with the twins.  I think I'm too weak to handle something like that again.  When I closed my eyes there, all I could see was the blood.  Everywhere.  Maybe that's too graphic for a public blog, but there it is.  I've never seen anything like that before.  So now it seems I get to sit and wait around for the clot to come out, for the bleeding to resume, for something to happen.  Doc used the word when, not if.  And we have a long drive to get to an office that can visualize what is going on.  I have this image of me being out with the kids, hemorrhaging at the park and arguing with them to get them to the car and buckled in their carseats so we can get to the hospital.  It sounds extreme as I type it, but it's a very real possibility.  I just hate that THAT is my first thought as I plan an outing.  My escape.  How I can, as quickly as possible, get everyone to the car and get out of there without drawing too much attention to ourselves.  

As the doctor is rattling on about my increased risk of miscarriage and how there's nothing they can do about it, I'm having a near panic attack as I relive that moment of 4 years ago.  As I imagine my kids living that moment alongside of me.  And do you know what this tells me?  My faith is so weak.  I know in my head that God is in control, that He has this little one in his hand, that this child was planned and his days are counted.  And I know in my head that God loves me, loves my child.  But, here's the difficulty, I don't trust these truths with my heart.  Because Reagan is dead, and how can I wrap my head around that??  Because my pregnancy with Warren and Dean was so horrific, they were so early.  Even though I know God worked a miracle in their lives, that they - according to every doctor I was seeing - shouldn't have survived that first trimester or those nights in labor, I still question why He chose for those to be their statistics in the first place.  I mean, what is wrong with me?  That I could see God's hand so clearly at work, so clearly loving our family, and still find a way to question his goodness and mercy.  "Oh, the depth of Your riches".  How I pray I might more fully grasp the truth of this verse, as I so quickly listen to the other voices.  

All this to say, please be praying for this precious little one.  For God to protect this life, for a full term pregnancy, and for completely healing from the SCH.  But also for my heart - for me to trust that God is love and mercy, even when I don't feel it.  For me to spiral down into self pity and despair, waiting for something awful to happen.  For me to find joy while pregnant, delighting in this little life God has entrusted with me.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

A long awaited post

I have not sat down to blog in months.  If I'm honest, I've not felt as though I have many thoughts worth jotting down.  Days pass in a frantic rush of being late, temper tantrums, and trying to get it all done.  Without nap times, I have little time to myself, much less to collect my thoughts.  And then the time to sit and write them down?  Well, you can look back and see that just hasn't happened.  I'm writing now in the midst of naked wrestling, because I gave up on getting the boys to listen and come get their shirts, and they are happy at the moment.  Letting things go...that is the moral of the day.

So let's see, since Hannah's birthday, we've celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years. And then our big news....we headed back to Charlotte to meet another of our sweet babies. I thought for sure this one wouldn't work.  How could it??  The odds were so against us.  So much so that, for a crazy few minutes, we actually talked about transferring 2 little ones.  Could you even imagine if I had twins again???  Oh, the terror!  But, we were wrong, our faith was weak but God was BIG.  And, against all odds, we are pregnant with another baby.  Baby Savant #5 is scheduled to enter this world in September.  And oh, how I love this little one already, though she does not get nearly the attention our others got during pregnancy.  And poor child didn't get a single blog post during the transfer, waiting, or early parts of pregnancy.  Fatigue hit me hard, something about being pregnant in my 30s perhaps??  And the nausea....I think this magical thing happens when you see your baby for the first time - you get complete amnesia in how awful it was getting them to that point.

So, BabySav5 is looking great on ultrasounds.  This week, she was kicking away.  At least for that 45 seconds I got to see her on the ultrasound.  Oh, how I miss my team of doctors who legitimately cared for me and my baby, who walked the journey along side of us.  Sure haven't found that here.  Anyway, baby looks great.  But there is this big scary thing...another subchorionic hemorrhage.  This is what started my complications with the boys, which led to me losing so much blood, being hospitalized for 7 weeks, on bed rest, and ultimately their incredibly early arrival into this world.  Now, this SCH is far.  But in the back of my mind now is this fear, this anxiety, this little voice telling me not to get too attached.  And I hate, hate, how I let myself be robbed of my joy in just a moment.  The doctor said it very casually, at the end of my appointment.  I only know the risks and what it can mean because I've walked it before.  When I mentioned that and my previous experience, she was like "oh, this isn't your first pregnancy?"  So clearly, they're doing a great job looking at my chart...

Add to the emotions of being pregnant, being told I now have a higher risk of losing this child, being exhausted and overwhelmed with caring for the children I already is our sweet Reagan's due date.  This is the first year we haven't received all the oriental trading and birthday magazines to help us plan her party.  In some ways, it's a relief to not have that painful reminder coming at me, catching me off guard every February.  But in another way, it's just a hurtful reminder of how the rest of the world has moved on.

So, please be in prayer for us for many things.  For this growing child to stay healthy without the complications of my previous pregnancy.  For me to not live in fear and anxiety, anticipating the worst.  For peace in our household - not quiet, as I love the sound of little ones, even in the crazy times.  For our hearts as we continue to miss and long for our oldest daughter, even as we celebrate the life of her youngest sibling.

(**I should add, in the hours since I started writing this post, in 30 second increments at a time, I have broken up a few brawls, served breakfast, cleaned up said breakfast thrown to the floor, played a bit, found Hannah playing in a toilet full of pee with her brother's toothbrush, given Hannah a bath, dressed 3 kids, mopped the floor)