Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big News

So much has been going on that's prevented me from writing anything here for a while. First I was sick and didn't feel like doing much of anything. Then I was getting ready for Mom's visit, and then she was here (more on her visit in later posts, I hope). Right after she left, I was very busy getting the apartment ready for a newcomer whom Jeff and I are sponsoring. The day the newcomer arrived, I got my Big News, and since then things have just been a little crazy.

Most of you reading this probably already know my big news, but there are a few who don't know yet. Here goes ... I'm pregnant. Jeff and I are expecting our first child in early August 2010.

Of course we're excited. We've wanted a baby for a while, and we're as ready as a couple can be to become parents. But mixed in with the joy and anticipation is a significant dose of anxiety, even fear, for our baby. You see, in the week before I actually took the pregnancy test, I was spotting every single day. I had very painful cramping on the left side of my lower abdomen on four or five occasions. I didn't think anything of these symptoms before I knew I was pregnant; my menstrual cycle has always been weird, and my body occasionally experiences all sorts of aches and pains for no apparent reason. But once I knew I was pregnant, I realized that my symptoms were spot on for an ectopic pregnancy--a pregnancy in which the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than the uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, the baby can't survive, and if the baby isn't removed, the mother could die too. So I became very worried very quickly.

I went to see a doctor at the embassy's health unit, and although he tried to be reassuring, it was pretty obvious that he didn't think my baby would survive. To make a long story short--I wrote another post as it was happening that contains all the details; I may or may not publish it some other time--I ended up having an ultrasound on Tuesday to see exactly where my baby is. Jeff and I both grinned like idiots when we saw the gestational sac firmly implanted in the uterine wall, exactly where it ought to be. It's still too early to see the baby him- or herself or to detect the heartbeat, but our major fear was eliminated. As I had been instructed, I called the health unit to schedule another appointment--my first official prenatal visit (or so I thought). I made the appointment for this morning.

Tuesday afternoon, I received a call from the doctor I was to see this morning. She just wanted to check on me and confirm that the ultrasound looked good. But the tone of the conversation changed when she found out that I had come home from the ultrasound only to discover more spotting. Then she started talking about how 20% of all known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it isn't the mother's fault; there are just problems with the embryo, and it can't survive. She seemed to want me to be prepared for a miscarriage while also pretending that she wasn't expecting one (I think she is expecting one).

Over the next couple of days, I vacillated between being at peace and being anxiety-ridden. At times, I was able to acknowledge that God is in control, and He will do what is best for my baby, my husband, and myself--if this pregnancy ends in miscarriage, my baby will be waiting for me in heaven. At other times, I just begged God to let me have this child.

For my appointment this morning, I was at peace. It turns out that it's a very good thing I was at peace and accepting of the situation this morning. My doctor still acts like she thinks my baby is going to die. She won't do the first official prenatal visit until after my next ultrasound, in two weeks, when we should be able to see the fetal pole and the fluttering that indicates a heartbeat. In the meantime, she offered (and I accepted) a series of blood tests that will tell us if my pregnancy hormone levels are increasing like they should be--they were at 12482 on Tuesday, and they should roughly double by tonight, when my blood will be drawn again. But she was careful to tell me that if there's a problem with the embryo itself, my hormone levels will behave normally. She seems to want that heartbeat before she accepts that I may actually have a viable baby-to-be in there.

So I'm back to waiting. I'm still at peace, though I expect to struggle with that at times. I do believe that this baby is going to develop normally and that in early August I will hold a healthy baby in my arms. If God has other plans, I will grieve for my lost child. In the meantime, I'm trusting God and praying.

My next ultrasound is scheduled for Sunday, 20 December. I'll keep you updated.


  1. Congratulations!!! Isn't the early weeks the hardest? My doctor also wouldn't see me until I was 8 weeks along - it seems like that is when the first drop in chance of 'anything' occurs. It was frustrating until then to know I was pregnant and have NO INFO!!! I'm due Feb 16th with my first baby (girl).
    What I found helpful was reading other blogs... I have 2 that seem fun to read: (go back to the start - she gave birth about 4 months ago)
    and (that hasn't been updated in about 8 weeks, but should get updated soon, hehehe)

    I wish I could also offer advice, but it seems like everyone is very anxious... I was anxious in the early days that something would happen, now I'm anxious that the baby isn't moving enough or that something unexpected can happen at birth, or in those first 6 months... my mom says it doesn't stop! Just put your faith in God!

    Good luck and we are thinking of you and hoping for the best!

  2. Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I know you know this, but since you're doctors being... well not very nice... I want to throw in that many pregnancies have spotting when absolutely nothing is wrong. I know its scary though... I had some in mine, although mine was preventable, and was told we had a 50/50 chance. Scared the living daylights out of me, and I stressed about it for a long time.

    I hope your pregnancy goes well though & look forward to hearing your updates. Will pray for yall :-)

  3. Congrats and good luck! I'm sure it's a stressful time for you two. If there is anything I can do to help, let me know.

    -- Your downstairs neighbor for a few more weeks.

  4. I'm going to be a Grandma again in August! :) I just remembered, I spotted some with you know who, and we both know how healthly he is now.

  5. Debbie! I wish I could be there with you. I ache for you. I am hopeful and praying that your baby lives. I know the fear and anxiety and hope and the gravity of all the emotions that one experiences in just a normal pregnancy. If it should happen that your baby does not survive, I pray that you will gain even more strength and wisdom and peace. I am amazed at how you are handling everything. God be with you and Jeff and your baby! Might I suggest that you name your baby no matter what?

    I met a woman the other day who was speaking at an Advent dinner I attended. She had recently given birth to her third child, though she had gone through seven miscarriages throughout the 11 years of her marriage. One of her babies, I believe she name him Matthew, she delivered at 10 weeks (she didn't want a DNC). She named him, had him baptized, and photographed him before he was buried. You know, she passed around his photo to us, and he was beautiful. She has shown his picture to many women, some who considered abortion and then decided against it once they saw his photo. This tiny baby, whom the doctors wanted her to discard, has saved lives because she gave him a name and a purpose and a place in her family. I was so moved, I cried for hours afterward.

    I love you, Debbie! I love your unborn baby, too. Don and I will be praying for you three.

  6. Thank you, all of you, for your support and prayers. It means so much to me and Jeff to know that people are praying for our baby.

  7. Sounds like you need a private OB nurse... where do I apply?
    You are in our prayers!

  8. Oh, Bev, I seriously would take you up on that!

  9. Deborah, hang in there. I also had to be on bedrest with my pregnancy - it sucks, but the end result is worth it. My prayers are with you and Jeff at this time!!

  10. Congratulations Debbie! and Jeff!
    I am so happy for you. And I know exactly how you feel as I went through the same thing and my babies are healthy and growing. (Lee is 5 and Jacob is 3.)
    My doctor called it implantation bleeding where the baby is just settling in really good. I will email you the name of a medicine that my doctor gave to me to help as soon as I can find/remember the name.
    You are doing everything right at this time. God Bless all 3 of you!

  11. Update--no bleeding for almost 3 days now. We got the blood test results today. My hCL (or is it hGL?) levels increased, but not as much as would be considered normal. Levels that increase by just a little are considered a predictor of miscarriage. Levels that decrease are considered indicative that a miscarriage has occurred already. However, my blood test was done at about the time when it's normal for the rate of increase to drop off some, and every pregnancy is different anyway, so the bottom line is that we still don't know anything new. We're still just praying for a good heartbeat at the ultrasound on Sunday.


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