Around Thanksgiving, I just wasn't myself. I was grumpy. Not that I am not normally grumpy (who me?), but I was unusually irritable and prickly. It was then I knew.
In the bottom of a basket in our bathroom was an extra test, because being the thrifty mom I am, when the package said "2 for the price of 1" I was sold. I was surprised, but somehow not surprised, when two little pink lines showed up.
I can't begin to describe the emotions I felt holding that white stick. Part of me was thrilled at the idea of another little newborn in our house. Part of me was in disbelief as we are knee-deep (or rather shoulder-deep) in another adoption. I know that part shouldn't surprise me as we have found we were pregnant during each one of our adoptions, but I was surprised. I also was overwhelmed. This third adoption took a little more of a leap of faith for us. We are tired, overwhelmed, busy, and yet as I've said before these emotions pale in comparison to the conditions in which our little Peter finds himself. More importantly, we are called to go back and help another little child. I just wasn't expecting this extra surprise. After all, I am older and we have had such fertility trouble. The natural space between our children has gotten longer with each child. I just assumed it would be longer this time if we were even blessed with another child.
Then, because of my history of miscarriage, I was worried. I immediately began progesterone shots. These shots make me more tired, more irritable, and are generally uncomfortable. If that didn't make me unlikable enough, I also banished all caffeine and my beloved Nice 'n Easy. To offset some of that unpleasantness, I began to take naps. I started blood tests and worries about every pregnancy symptom, but everything seemed to be progressing well.
Then three weeks ago I was scheduled for an ultrasound. I sat waiting in the exam room praying the Rosary, praying for strength, but expecting good news. I was somewhat taken aback when there was no heartbeat on that ultrasound monitor. My hormone levels were just where they should be, and more than high enough that there should have been a heartbeat. I was devastated.
I came home and broke the news to my family. We cried, we prayed, we grieved. One of my girls told a friend it was all okay, we were sort of used to this by now. My heart broke over and over again. I stopped taking the injections, I dyed my hair (oh my vanity). I tried to be normal. However, for three weeks I continued to physically feel tired, nauseous, and still just as grumpy.
I have always said the most difficult time is when you know you are going to miscarry and you are just waiting for it to happen. I feel like a walking tomb. You know the inevitable is coming and in some ways you dread it, but in other ways you want it to come swiftly so that the grieving process can be completed and life can get back to some semblance of normal. Not that I don't still grieve all my miscarriages, but there is something so difficult about this waiting time.
We celebrated Christmas and I tried to put aside how utterly exhausted I felt, and I still waited to actually miscarry.As we celebrated New Years, five of six children battled a stomach bug and I continued to not feel well. I began to fear an infection or some other complication because I still had no symptoms of a miscarriage, but the level of fatigue was really beginning to wear on me. I called and made an appointment.
This morning I had another ultrasound. Again I sat in the exam room praying Hail Mary after Hail Mary. I was again praying for strength. I knew chances were this was the last time I would catch even a glimpse of my little child. I was worried about a likely DNC, most of all I was just sad.
As I watched the screen, however, I began to see a little flutter. The technician said, "Here's your baby, do you see that flutter? That is the heartbeat." I knew what it was, but still I gasped. She didn't realize I wasn't expecting to see that beautiful, truly miraculous sight. I cried at the stunning way God has formed each of us. So hidden from us, here was a beautiful new life made to bring glory to our creator. The technician began checking other things, but I asked if I could see that beautiful child just one more time. She was happy to oblige an elated, tearful mom. She even flipped on the sound so I could hear the heartbeat. Oh what joy!
We are not out of the woods. I have had late miscarriages even after seeing heartbeats. Still, today was miraculous. A true Christmas gift on this eleventh day of Christmas. Please keep this precious child in your prayers. Pray for our family too. We again are going to have quite a year adding another two children to our family.