I should be posting about pumpkin carving and costumes and fall festivals.
I should be recapping our weekend camping trip with friends in Georgia.
I should have been posting our cute pumpkin announcement on Facebook making my pregnancy official...
But you can guess why I'm not.
Wednesday, my heart, my faith... shattered. No heartbeat on our ten week ultrasound. As soon as she inserted the wand and my uterus came into view, I knew. I didn't beg God or pray. I have laid in that position many times, feet in stirrups, hands on stomach, tears streaming down, yelling in my head, please, Abba, Father, to no avail. It made no difference in the outcome. So I just watched solemnly as she measured. It had only barely grown since the last ultrasound, though my uterus itself had expanded. Before, the baby took up so much room, but now there was more room but it was clearly not needing. Silence. We listened. We stared at the little body where the fluttery movement of the heartbeat was, now still. I willed the little hands and feet to wiggle, but they too were still. Dr. T confirmed what we knew quickly but kindly. She made no attempt to apologize or rationalize, which I appreciated, but kept a comforting hand on my leg the entire conversation. She tenderly said she wanted more information and was rushing me down the street to Presbyterian Maternal Fetal. I already had made an appointment with them for November 6. But we went over there now to hear if they could give us any other information. Funny, I imagined the doctor inserting a gloved hand up and through my cervix, reaching up and performing one-fingered CPR and bringing him or her back to life. I even knew this was a ridiculous idea, and I began sobbing when it hit how hopeless it was. Dr. A confirmed the same thing with yet another ultrasound as I continued weeping, then unlike Dr. T, prophesied that my age was a good thing, and "just getting a sister" to carry for me would be my best bet since "there's always adoption" but you gotta be careful since you get kids with that "addiction gene." Jake was in cold stare mode. I could tell it was only his salvation that kept his mouth closed and his fist away that doctor's nose. So we left empty handed. Then made the phone calls. We stopped for coffee, but I struggled to be in public so we got it to go. We stopped for take out because neither of us could stand cooking.
While Jake went inside to pick up our dinner, which we would both struggle to eat any of, the dam broke and weeping turned to screaming and praying to shouting, and praising to cursing. I let my anger flow out and I cursed God, yelled out in disbelief and said the words aloud I longed to say. You aren't really there. You're just something we've made up so we don't feel so alone and scared of life. Or worse... You are there and yet repeatedly ignore us because You don't really care. I hate you. Your promises are nothing but lies.
Pretty bad, huh? A friend from Sunday school had just messaged me that God was strong enough to take my anger. I could only say I hope so.
So I sat in my car alone in the pouring rain sobbing and screaming these things aloud with eyes closed. I gasped for breath and opened my eyes, and directly in my sight, right in front of me was a rainbow. I thought, well played, God.
Jake returned and I told him what I had said and he just chuckled through teary eyes, squeezed my hand and kissed me.
I went to work Thursday and shared the news with coworkers, and worse, my students. They cried. Gathered around me to pray for me. They didn't try to tell me what God's will is, or try to explain why, or offer any comments that began with "at least..." They did none of those things and had more wisdom than many adults. Have you ever been held by a group of 13 year olds? They held me, each one. They asked to pray, and joined hands and cried out through tears for comfort, and showed faith when mine was broken. A few dear coworkers jumped in to help me gather materials for sub plans and secure a substitute, and I juggled writing the plans up, finishing grades for verification, attending two parent conferences, while playing phone tag with the doctors. It was physically and emotionally draining, but my students poured (or prayed) strength into me. Coworkers came often with hugs.
I had a D&E scheduled Friday morning at Presbyterian. We had to be there at five in the morning. Dr. T did the surgery. She was fabulous as always, but the experience itself was the worst. I had no bed and had to walk myself into the operating room. Recovery was in a recliner that wouldn't recline. I was forced into my clothes before I could lift my head fully. And I was booted to the car before I could stand or pee. I have since been in bed or on the couch with Vicodin and Gatorade.
So now. What next?
Genetic testing on our baby is most important. If the baby was genetically normal, then we know this ended because of more mysterious autoimmune problems. The thing is, we pulled out all the stops, took every medication known to treat this, and followed every research based best practice we could. There's nothing more to do than what we did, this could mean there's no way I will ever be able to sustain a pregnancy. It's my worst fear.
Secondly, the baby could be genetically abnormal, meaning something that could go wrong in any pregnancy did go wrong and this would have been a "normal" miscarriage like 20% of all pregnancies.
Obviously, the latter would give us some hope.
Our only options now:
1. Try again and expect the same thing.
2. Try again and do IVIG - an expensive, unorthodox plasma transfusion process that's risky and costly and experimental and not at all proven to work.
3. Find a healthy friend or family member with a history of healthy pregnancies to let us borrow their uterus. Also, risky and costly.
4. As the insensitive Dr. A put it, "just adopt" again. But we know there is no such thing as "just adopting" and it too will be risky and costly.
I don't know what our next plan will be, and I don't know when we will know. I am certainly not on good terms with God and my faith needs time to repair before I'm ready to seek His direction. In fact I need time to feel if He's even there at all.
Please pray for us. I just don't know. I don't understand. I'm shattered. I don't know if I glue myself together for a sixth time.