Friday, August 3, 2007

What is God showing us?

The Waiting Game...
Okay, I'm finally sitting down and spending a few moments on this thang to share a little bit of our journey with you all. We have learned a pretty tough lesson this past year, mainly dealing with patience and really seeing what it is God desires for us, rather than focusing so much on what we want. Marc and have been married for 4 1/2 years now and we've always said we would have 5 years together as "newlyweds" before starting our own family. Well, when it hit anniversary #3 (March 2006) we started itching to become a mommy and daddy. The overwhelming desire just all of a sudden hit both of us at the same time. So, we took what we thought would be our last big vacation, just the two us, to California last April. We wanted to get a little bit of our traveling urges out of us before we "settled down." We threw the birth control out the window in Laguna Beach and from there we have been on this roller coaster we never could have imagined would happen. After suffering extremely severe (PAINFUL!!) periods in high school, my doctor finally put me on birth control when I was 20 yrs. old. So, we didn't know if the fact that I was on birth control for so long would hinder a pregnancy. We thought we were doing everything right, though. We waited for 3 months after I went off the pill to let my body get regulated again, to start the "trying" process (auggh!! a term I've always hated... "trying to get pregnant" I've always thought, why can't people just relax and not be so obsessed about checking temp every day, taking those dum-B ovulation kits, etc? that's so silly! ... well, I've finally learned what it means to have to "try" because I've done it several times!) We followed all the doctor's advice thinking that everything would go very smoothly if we didn't rush into it. Well, several months went by and started to think, "What's wrong? Is there something maybe wrong with me? Will I ever be agle to get pregnant?", all those questions that I'm sure go through many people's minds after not getting pregnant after a few months of trying the "bedroom gymnastics." Haha!! Marc, being Mr. Reality, Mr. Medical Knowledge, Mr. Laid-Back, Mr. Practical, etc., just told me to be patient a few more months because the average time it takes for someone in their upper-20s to get pregnant is 8 months to a year. So, we kinda chilled from the whole thang and got busy with other things. (In the midst of trying to make a baby, I started a brand new job that just kinda fell in my lap out of the blue. So that really took a lot of my focus and gave me something to kinda keep my mind off the desire to be a mommy.)

There's FINALLY a baby in my belly!!!
FINALLY, after trying for 8 months, we found out March 10, 2007 that we were pregnant. We had not even really tried that month and actually were spending more time focusing on "us" especially since we were in the midst of celebrating our 4-year anniversary. On Thursday, March 8th, we had been married for 4 years and we celebrated by sharing a very quiet, romantic dinner at the yummy Stoney River steak restaurant downtown Nashville. It was a wonderful anniversary! We had no idea we were parents-to-be that night! Well, that next night I started to feel this crazy pain in my boobies (thank you, I'm really mature! :) that I had never felt before. After I started thinking about that pain, I also started thinking about to everything I had been doing the past 2 weeks... getting very tired very early, kinda wanting to barf when smelling Trixie's dog food... One day I even came home from work and ate an entire package of bacon! I knew I loved bacon like no other, but I had never once desired to eat a whole package of it all at once! So, it all hit me... I think I'm pregnant!! I took the pregnancy test the next morning and right away it showed positive. What an indescribable feeling after months of negative tests. Marc had just laid down for a little nappy cuz he had been on call for 24 hours and went straight to Brian & Tara Petty's to help them move as soon as he got off work. Well, as soon as I saw the positive test I started screaming, crying, hyperventilating, went into a state of shock, etc. Trixie, who was asleep right next to daddy, immediately jumped straight up and ran over to me to see what in the world was going on. I ran to Marc, started screaming for him to get up, and he set straight up scared to death of what was maybe happening in the house. We shared our very emotional moment together, right there with Trixie in the middle of us!! We both looked extra beautiful in our p.j.'s and with our sleepy eyes, but of course the pictures started flashing. We just got up and took a walk around the neighborhood to talk about everything... when and how are we going to tell our parents, how long do we want to tell our friends, what am I gonna do about working, when will I go to the doctor, etc. That night we went to Singarama at Lipscomb with Johnathan & Brooke Akin and we had PROMISED we wouldn't tell anyone yet. Well, just as I predicted, I came out of the bathroom and Johnathan was looking at me with the biggest grin I'd ever seen on his face. Marc just couldn't control himself. So, we kinda celebrated with them very quietly and made them promise to not tell anyone cuz we weren't even supposed to tell yet. Marc just couldn't keep the news from his bestest friend. That next week Marc went to Atlanta to do a short rotation at Emory, so I was all alone being all excited by myself. Well, I actually spent that week bonding like nothing I've ever seen with my baby. I just can't really explain it, but you mommies know, the second you find out something is growing inside you, you just start to love it more than you knew you could love something. I walked around and talked to our baby the whole week, calling it by the boy's name Marc and I had picked out a year earlier. We went shopping together, buying pregnancy books, as well as figured out together how we would tell friends and family. I saw Andrea that Monday night and told her by giving her a little onesie that read, "Noone loves me like my Auntie!" The next day, I had lunch with my good friends from high school, Tara & Elizabeth, and their little ones at Logan's where I told them by asking the poor waiter guy, "What do you recommend for someone's who pregnant?" (I was craving a Salman Ceasar Salad but I was a little hesitant cuz I know there are some questions about fish and pregnancy.) They were of course in complete shock and Elizabeth's little girl, Hannah, immediately yelled, "Mommy, is April having a little girl!?!?" So, I had the most fun celebrating for a few days with by best friends. There were soooo many other people I wanted to tell, but you know me, I love surprises and I wanted to tell everyone in person. It was sooo incredibly hard to keep it to myself!

One of The Best & THE Worst Day of My Life...
Okay, let me speed this story up a little. That weekend as soon as Marc got home from ATL, we jumped in the car and went to Madisonville, KY to tell his parents the news. We were waiting a little while until some more of his family members came over (they're a really close, big family) before we told his parents. We wanted to tell everyone all together, cuz his family gets so excited about stuff so we wanted them to all be in the same room (especially since they had all been waiting for this for years!!). Aunt Bonnie had come over, my mother-in-law's twin sister, but we were still waiting for others. To pass the time, Marc and I suggested we go to Goody's (one of Connie's & my favorite things to do together is shop!!), so we went on a big family shopping trip. They were having a huge sale on bermuda shorts, so I thought I would go ahead and buy several pair in bigger sizes for later in the summer when I thought I could be showing. Connie was wondering why in the world I was trying on pants 2 sizes too big and was even talking to the lady in line behind her about it!! She ended up buying me 6 pairs of size 7 bermuda shorts and she was the most confused. As well as a couple of big 'ole shirts. I didn't really know until later that she had noticed the size, but I was wondering why when I walked to get in line with her, the lady behind her started looking me up and down with some confused look on her face. I heard Connie whispering to her, "Maybe she thinks she's gaining weight!" Anyway, it was there in Goody's when the miscarriage began. I started getting very hot and nauseated and felt like I was going to pass out. I said I needed to get home and Connie said I probably wasn't feeling well because of all the shopping we were doing. Marc got me a Sprite, but that didn't help at all. He's the sweetest, though! By time we got back to their house, the cramping started. I laid down for a little while thinking maybe it was common in early pregnancy. Marc came and checked and me and said maybe it was time for us to tell his mom, dad, and aunt even though we didn't have the large family crowd that we wanted. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he thought something wasn't right. We told the three of them by having Connie open her "anniversary" gift (she and Terry had just celebrated their anniversary and we told them we were taking them a gift! :) ). She opened it up and had the biggest confused look on her face as she pulled a blue onesie out of the bag. It said, "Spoiled by Grandma." Her mouth then dropped and she immediately started laughing, howling, and getting the most excited. She immediately picked up her cell phone and started calling everyone in Morganfield (the small KY town where Marc grew up). I am not even kidding!! She called Marc's uncle, Marc's brother, among many others. It was hilarious!!! Marc's dad just sat there with the biggest smile on his face not having any words, like usual. We knew he was so proud to be a grandpa, though, just by his smile. In the midst of all this excitement, the cramps were getting worse again and I went to the bathroom to find some bleeding. We had to tell his family about my sickness because it was obvious that I wasn't feeling well, but we still weren't getting to that point of actually saying that we thought we were losing the baby. However, we were getting VERY anxious. We had planned on driving back to Nashville right after we told Marc's family to meet my parents, and Jody & Christy (my brother and his girlfriend, now fiancee) at Longhorn Steakhouse where we were going to tell them. On the way home, I was practically lying down in the car scared to death. We stopped many times for bathroom breaks and the bleeding was getting worse. I called the OB/GYN on call from my practice and he said that unless I was having severe cramping on one side, to NOT go to the Emergency Room. He was very truthful and said it could very well be a miscarriage and told me to stay in bed the next couple of days and go first thing Monday morning to see my doctor and have an ultrasound. He said it would be better for us to go through it together at home, instead of in a busy, traumatic emergency room center. We still went straight to Longhorn's thinking maybe, just maybe, the cramping would let up and I would be okay. Our time in the restaurant is just a huge, chaotic blur to me. They plopped us down right in the middle of the place and it was extremely busy. We immediately presented my parents with a pink onesie (they've always talked about me having a little girl and dressing her in all pink) and of course they about had heart attacks. I will also never, ever forget the look in Jody's fiance's face. Her jaw dropped and her eyes were huge. It was hilarious. So, we started taking the most pictures in the middle of that restaurant and it was just crazy. However, immediately after we told them we told them also that I may be having a miscarriage. By that point we pretty much knew. I felt horrible to take that joy away from them as soon as they received it. It just broke my heart. It was also at Longhorn's where I ran to the restaurant to find that I was passing a huge clot. My mom came with me and took one look at it and knew what was going on. It was just awful. The bleeding was getting worse and worse and I really thought I was dying. It was just like being in a nightmare. Marc had to almost carry me out of Longhorn's by that point to take me home and put me in bed.

What we didn't wanna hear but knew we would...
Waiting for Monday morning to come so I could go see my doctor was the longest 36 hours I have ever experienced. They did a transvaginal ultrasound, which traumatized me in itself, and after about 20 minutes of examining the screen, the tech told me there was no baby, or even a sac. It had been completely destroyed. It was complete and utter torture, and I was feeling so much physical pain on top of it. Marc and I were just sitting in the examining room alone together after she left and were crying. I just felt that I had no energy left inside me to get up off the bed, put my clothes on, and go face life. Okay, and a little hint for those of you who may have some random desire in life to become an ultrasound tech some day... Do NOT look at the poor woman who is laying there scared to death about to find out her baby is dead and ask her if SHE wants to stick the baseball bat-lookin- wand thang up her own self!! That was NOT a question to be asked to me on day like that, or any other day for that matter.

The next day Marc had to go back to Atlanta to work a few more days at Emory, so I packed up and went with him. Thank God it was my Spring Break from teaching, so that was one load that was lifted off me during the time. I don't know what I would have done if I had to deal with explaining all this to my boss at the moment and going back to face 50 college students trying to act like everything was normal. The timing could not had been any better. We had the best, most peaceful, relaxing stay in ATL. I just slept, called some close friends, watched t.v. and drag myself out of bed around 3 or 4 to get ready for the evening. Marc worked during the day, but as soon as he got back to the hotel each day we would go to dinner and exploring. We even went to IKEA and bought bedroom furniture! I know, very random. I really needed that time there to heal and just kinda work through it away from the surroundings that would remind me of all the pain. I had to go to Emory to have my blood drawn to make sure my hcg levels were going back down, which meant that the miscarriage was completing itself. If you're not familiar with this, after suffering a miscarriage it may take awhile for the pregnancy hormone to actually leave your body. So, you have to have blood drawn for as long as it's needed to make sure you're system is clearing up. We were thinking at first that I would have to stay in Nashville during this instead of being able to go with Marc, but the doctors and nurses definitely agreed that I should be with my husband especially when we were spending a week around a hospital where I could have blood drawn. After about a week, the bleeding completely stopped and the miscarriage was officially over... and when I say this, I mean the physical part of it. The emotional part, I don't think, will ever leave me.

Ummmmmm...... Whaaaaatt??????? I'm so confused!!!
Somehow, someway, I managed to get myself pregnant just 2 weeks later. What?!?!? Thank you. Yup, not even kiddin'. The doctor told us to wait at least one more period to try again, and that it may even take a few months for me to get a period. We definitely did not want to get pregnant that soon and increase the chance of another miscarriage, but we happened to have sex just one time ON the day I was ovulating (I had no clue I was even ovulating that soon after a miscarriage!). The first miscarriage began on March 17th, at 5 1/2 weeks of pregnancy, and we conceived on April 1st. I didn't even guess that I was pregnant, but Marc suggested I take a pregnancy test on April 22nd since I hadn't yet gotten my period. We were just curious to see what a pregnancy test would say, having NO idea I would actually be pregnant. It turned negative, but after a few minutes changed to positive. So, we thought that either A) there was still some pregnancy hormone left in my system from the 1st pregnancy, or B) it was a mistake since I checked the test a few minutes after I took it. (Sometimes the results can change if the stick is laying there long enough, so you should look at it in a reasonable time frame.) The next day I took another test and it was yet again positive. I went in Monday to have my blood drawn and the nurse called me just a few hours later. She left the happiest message, saying, "Congratulations! You're pregnant!" I thought, what in the world?!?!? Why would she be that uplifting knowing that this could not be good? I was scared to death. The next day would have been the 5 1/2 week-point of that pregnancy, so I thought if we could get through that then maybe this pregnancy would be okay (since the first miscarriage was at 5 1/2 weeks). I called my mom immediately and asked her if she would get down on her knees to pray. The next morning, on April 24th, at 5 1/2 weeks of pregnancy and on my best friend's birthday, I lost baby #2. I woke up at 6 am with the same kind of cramping, just much more painful. These cramps also started getting more intense very quickly. The bleeding came right along with the cramps, much sooner than miscarriage #1. This time it didn't take an ultrasound to tell us we were losing our baby. There was no way I was going to go through that torture again just for us to be told something we already knew. I did, however, go have my blood drawn several times (just like the first one) to make sure my levels were going down and the miscarriage was completing itself. Thankfully, this one completed sooner than the first one.

Since this awful Spring, the road has been a long one. It is never-ending. From dealing with explaining the stories over and over to friends and family, insurance, to changing doctors, to having to visit the doctor an average of once a week... BUT, we are finally seeing a light at the end of this tunnel. Let me take a break from this writing for a bit so I can muster up the energy to tell more. Just sit tight... At least as this story continues, a little more hope, peace, and joy will be reflected. I love you all!!

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