Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Unexpected

This post is raw. It is filled with the true emotion that Derrick and I have been experiencing over the past few days. Details may be too much for you and if you think that may be you, then you may not want to go on to read the rest. It will also be lengthy, but for me, I need this information written down, so that we may always remember. I'll try to keep it as "g" as possible.

Nearly 2 weeks ago, I noticed some light spotting. I was immediately concerned but was quickly reassured by my doctors that this was completely normal and unless cramping started to take my breath away or I started noticed large clots, then I was fine. Well, by that definition, I was fine. At my next appointment, I mentioned this again and they continued to not be concerned. Therefore, I tried not to be. On Monday, April 16, I called to let them know it had not stopped. Now they wanted to see me. I immediately freaked out wondering why, but tried to hold it together. I went in on Tuesday to have an ultrasound and was told that there was not a 10 week old baby in there, and there was basically no baby at all. I was devastated. They ultimately gave me some of my options but sent me on to their bigger office for an ultrasound tech to confirm the viability (aka life of the baby). However, I was also told I could come in for a D&C on Thursday, April 19. Emotion filled us. Mine more through crying, and Derrick was being strong for the both of us.
We went on to Gainesville for another ultrasound. For those of you not aware of how ultrasounds work in early trimesters, it's definitely not the gel and stomach scenario you might think. I was not excited about this, especially knowing what we had been told. Well, we waited and waited, all while the sight of all the cute pregnant women in the office immediately brought me to tears. We went back and had another ultrasound. This tech called for another set of eyes as she was not so sure. This was encouraging news, but nonetheless, it also made the unpleasant ultrasound a bit longer. Small price to pay to see if our baby was going to be okay though. These results showed that there was indeed a baby. However, it was a 6 week old baby and they couldn't find a heartbeat. This was not a huge cause for concern as the doctor believed I could only be 6 weeks and a heartbeat is not typically visible that early on. From the previous information I had received, I was completely lost at this point. We had hope and that was exciting. The doctor said at this point, they just did not know. I was to have blood drawn and come back on Thursday, April 19 (the previously scheduled D&C day) to have more blood drawn to compare my hcg levels. For those not familiar with pregnancy, hcg is what is detected in your blood and urine to determine pregnancy. If the levels had risen, things were good. If not, a miscarriage was inevitable.

So obviously, Wednesday was tough. I had a conference all day long which was nearly unbearable. I made it, but by the time I got home, I completely lost it. I couldn't quit imagining what life was now going to be like without this baby we had already made so many plans for. All of the what-ifs and how come's came crashing down like a ton of bricks. I was pretty inconsolable until I fell asleep (thanks to my husband who could calm me down enough to breathe!)! Well, waking up didn't fare too much better in this house...

On Thursday, April 19, I woke up to the previous concerns the nurses had told me to watch for. Things quickly turned even worse and I was in so much pain. I felt I could throw up at any given second (although I don't like doing this, so I kept myself from it), it hurt to sit and to stand, and there was literally no relief. Numerous things I've read and heard say it resembles labor, because my uterus was contracting, like labor pains. I'm sure it's just a degree and all of you who have actually gone through labor may state otherwise! However, it was not great. Had I been delivering a 40-week baby, I may have been able to handle it, but I wasn't. After a series of phone calls, my doctors told me to wait until Friday to come in to compare my hcg levels. Then, due to blood loss, I ended up at the doctor. Luckily, my blood levels were great and I wouldn't have to be admitted for a D&C, nor would I need a transfusion or anything else. They did another (not so great) ultrasound and it was confirmed. I had officially miscarried.

While I had known this in my heart since Tuesday afternoon, I had such a difficult time hoping for the best and preparing for the worst, however not much can prepare you for seeing everything that should have shown up on an ultrasound 2 days prior and suddenly not being able to see anything on the ultrasound. That was hard. I had since taken some meds so my pain was slowing down and I was just so happy to be able to breathe, that I made it through okay. Derrick made it through okay, too. However, I hope no one I ever know has to go through that.

There have already been so many answers to prayers during this whole process. I am so thankful I did not have to make a decision as to how to "expel" everything and that it happened naturally, at my home. There have been so many small signs of the Lord showing up in our lives. I'm not usually one for "signs" but these warrant mentioning. A sweet friend texted me very early this morning with Isiah 41:10- "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Little did she know that the process of the miscarriage had already begun. Overnight, someone had slid 2 small cards under our door, each with bible verses on them. And for those of you who don't know, we live in residence halls on NGCSU campus. We often get things under our door, but never bible verses. And no students here yet knew of our circumstances. I walked out to my car (before things turned worse) to get Chick Fil A for breakfast and there was a small note from a friend, encouraging me and praying for me. None of these people were aware of what was going on at the exact time these things appeared. Whether you are a believer or not, those are signs. Each of those was the comfort of the Lord showing up in our lives. More specifically, in my eyes, Isiah 41:10 was being brought to my attention in more ways than one.

While we are extremely sad that we will never get to meet or get to know this baby on this Earth, we can confidently say that we await the day when we get to meet our sweet baby in Heaven. As I write this with tears in my eyes, I have to say that I am already finding a strength I didn't know possible. Without Derrick by my side, I would not be making it. Without our amazing families and group of friends, we would not be making it. Without our faith, we surely would not make it.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running and Pregnancy

I could leave this post blank and that would be enough. That's what running is like, being pregnant. Empty! Blank. Worthless! It's quite frustrating. Let me explain...

I started running in October of 2010. I became obsessed with it quickly and developed a love I never knew I had. I used to loathe running! Since that time, running became one of my biggest hobbies and soon was one of Derrick's biggest hobbies, too. We were constantly training for something and most of our weekends involved some type of race. We loved it! We still do. However, since learning of this pregnancy, my running has taken a turn for the worse. The weekend after I found I was pregnant, my 10k time was almost 10 minutes slower than 2 weeks before. Sure, maybe I'm more aware of things and being cautious. But for a competitive runner, 10 minutes is not acceptable. For the past year, I was waking up at 4:30ish to run with friend before work. Since my new job, that time was pushed to 6am, which was great. However, when you wake up feeling nauseous, running is the last thing on my mind. Luckily, I found a resolution for this. Anyways, my point is the struggle. Races just don't bring me the same excitement, knowing I won't be placing, nor will I be making a new PR.

Running used to be my stress reliever. My time to think about all the things going on in my life. When I ran with friends, it was a time to talk about life and support one another. Well, now, my runs stress me out even more! I'm learning to cope. I'm learning that I need a new plan. But it's not easy. I can no longer run with the endurance I had a mere 9 weeks ago. My run has become a slow jog, intermittent with walking. I get out of breath within 5 minutes of fast jog. I'm really not okay with this but I'm learning. Everytime I'm out there, I remind myself... at least I'm out here. I've heard over and over, "but you're pregnant now"! I don't care! Well, I do care, but I still miss my running!

I was signed up for my first marathon in early October. In the back of my head, I had convinced myself that even if I wound up pregnant before then, I could still walk/run it. I wasn't planning on being 35 weeks pregnant the day of the race. I've finally come to the conclusion it won't be happening. And mostly because I don't want to drive to Chicago and flying is not safe that late. I'm pretty bummed, but I've already decided I'm going to do one after the baby! Hopefully that keeps me motivated during the next 8 months to continue with what I can. I will be doing the Peachtree in July. I'll be 20 weeks then, so I'm sure walking will be involved, but it will still be fun!

Right now, I long for the day when I can have a "good run". Where I come back being refreshed and excited about my time! I'd make do with a nice glass of red wine, too, but that's not happening anytime soon either. :)

I really am happy I'm pregnant, but I refuse to write a blog only talking about the good things. There are negatives, but I know it will all be worth it in the end!

And I'll get that good run in, with a cute little baby in the jogging stroller with me :)