1 + 1 = 3
We are thrilled to announce a 7 week old baby. Yes, this is a very early announcement. But it is significant because we have passed our two previous losses and believe we are now out of the troublesome time. Here’s a recap on our baby journey.
July 27 2013 – On our first anniversary I had my first positive pregnancy test
August 2013 – at an 8 week ultrasound we discovered the baby stopped developing at 6.5 weeks
September 3, 2013 – induced miscarriage (mini-labor) via Cytotec after waiting 2 weeks since development ended. He was named Ezekiel (God strengthens).
March 2014 – first baby would’ve been born
May 11 2014 – Mother’s Day. I was entirely unprepared for how this day would hit me.
May 2014 – after many months of irregular schedules and no successful pregnancy yet, we are tested for preliminary fertility concerns
July 4 2014 – second positive pregnancy test
July 27 2014 – pregnant again during our anniversary. No adult beverages while out to supper. Noticing a trend here.
August 8 2014 – second baby shown to stop developing at 6.5 weeks (stopped growing a week prior to the ultrasound). Cytotec taken immediately. The ultrasound technician notices that I might have a heart-shaped uterus. This is a big breakthrough that was painful to discover. I know the drill and am numb while going through this violent process again. He was named Jehoahaz (whom God holds fast or seized by God).
September 2014 – so many blood tests and special exams. Diagnosed with a split-uterus. I had an extra wall in there causing the babies to basically die on the vine. The wall was a thin tissue that couldn’t sustain nutrients needed to live.
October 9 2014 – Hysteroscopic Transcervical Resection of Uterine Septum – wall removed. I hardly remember the surgery day but remember vaguely a long ride to Holy Cross Hospital just inside the DC beltway. The worst of this was a cold that I got a few days before that came back with a vengeance in the week following surgery. We went for ramen soup afterward before driving home.
October 29 2014 – after seeing urgent care about that nasty unrelenting cough, I was issued a stat xray script to ensure I didn’t have pneumonia. Thankfully, I didn’t. More prescriptions to relieve my breathing. Cough gone by November 2.
December 11 2014 – Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) at Chambersburg Hospital to ensure fallopian tubes were not blocked. All looked good except that the local OB and radiologist interpreted the results as bicornuate uterus vs. split and cautioned about breach birth. Bicornuate means the roof of the uterus looks collapsed and cannot be moved back into place. It looks a lot like a Y. Split uterus means there’s just a wall in there that had to be cut back as close as possible to the lining on the roof. The xray/HSG isn’t as accurate in determining which is which compared to the best ultrasound machines that Shady Grove Fertility could see into me with.
December 18 2014 – another super high-def ultrasound in Frederick, MD to review how much of the septum remains. 4mm, which is a safe range (and not the 1cm+ thought by the local OB & radiologist at the HSG)
December 21 2014 – my daily ovulation test said today would be a good day to work on a baby.
December 22 2014 – doctor reviewed HSG results with us and ordered another ultrasound
December 28 2014 – The doctor reviewed my ultrasound and latest bloodwork. Apparently I have high AMH (follicle count) and bilirubins (bile that is related to liver issues and causes jaundice). At 35, they usually see people with too low of an AMH. She wanted me to start Metformin/Glucophage because my technical diagnosis means that I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). But the high bilirubin count is weird and not advised for that prescription. We do a retest of my blood the next day to see if results are lower. Results do come back lower but still elevated. Sent to family doctor.
January 9 2015 – Third positive pregnancy test. (Shrug)
January 13 2015 – Meet with general care physician’s nurse practitioner. Review the full scope of medical history. She needs to research further before clearing me for Metformin.
January 21 2015 – Nurse practitioner returns results. High bilirubin levels are associated with high AMH. Cleared for prescription.
January 21 2015 – I tell my fertility specialist OB about the pregnancy. I didn’t want to see another healthy baby at less than 6.5 weeks on the ultrasound again. Blood tests ordered.
January 23 2015 – bloodwork shows an HSG (the pregnancy hormone) of 7,000+. The same day, a dear friend shares that she has just had a miscarriage. Happiness for our news and waves of mourning her loss toss my mind about for the day. I know her pain far too well.
January 28 2015 – saw this baby on the screen. Measured in at 6.5 weeks. This is a week off going by my last period and ovulation. Doctor is hopeful and shares most PCOS patients are usually a bit later. I am happy but reserved. Go back next week for another ultrasound.
February 4 2015 – 7 weeks 1 day on ultrasound. Based upon my last period (Dec 6) I am nearly 10 days off the math to figure out due dates, but the baby measured in at 7 weeks 1 day and has a heartbeat of 126. This is relieving, but still I feel I should be roughly 8.5 weeks. PCOS patients frequently are a week behind schedule. I must choose to believe that this time the baby is still strong and all will be well. It is a relief, but yet still more of a challenge than I anticipated.
March 11 & 30 2015 – Jehoahaz would’ve been born. Ezekiel would be turning 2. I will still think on them and wait to meet them.
May 10 2015 – I will be more hopeful this Mother’s Day and starting to look pregnant.
August 1 2015 – Mark your calendars now for a baby shower.
September 22 2015 – Baby Robertson will be in my arms.
Miscarriage is rough. It gets uglier each time it happens. It has robbed me of the absolute delight that I had that first time. It leaves me questioning if all really will be working out this time, or how much more we must endure. My first two babies will remain important to me even after a successful delivery.
Yet – hope remains and arises. It is a deliberate choice at this point to believe this baby will be well. I will believe it more each day.
I have to choose not to put much emphasis on symptoms. With my second pregnancy, I wanted to throw up just watching a food show about steak. My clothes quickly became snug and I needed belly bands for my pants and a maternity bra by week 4! This time… I have had very little symptoms. I have craved Oreos once, which I satisfied with Newman’s Own brand made with mostly organic ingredients. I have also preferred chicken in all forms, but have been disinterested entirely in a burger. My first baby had no interest in salads, which for being late summer became a big challenge as that’s all that kept popping up in the fridge and garden. Other than preferring my proteins in chicken and 3 nap attacks, I can’t say so far that I’ve felt very pregnant. It would be comforting in a bizarre way if I felt pregnant more often, but then again… with our second baby that was deceptive.
We are thrilled and yet… keep praying that all goes well. It’s already been a wild ride and the aftermath of thousands of dollars debt in miscarriage and fertility testing bills remains. I am hopeful that the debt from losses will be resolved before the delivery bills start arriving. I am thankful for those that helped us make a dent in that total and anticipate great relief when the last of it is paid.
Those that we’ve already told, thank you. Thank you for being hopeful on our behalf when we couldn’t indulge ourselves yet in that emotion. Thank you for continuing to pray for our health.
I am so very thankful for Leah. She has endured so many more losses than I have and has been the strength I needed to keep any sanity for the past 2 months. I know that no matter what, I can go on. Take some time to hear what she and Jeff have been through. I jokingly shared that she has given me the example of living through worst-case scenarios time and again. While ultimately they found the happiest ending to this volume of their life, they have demonstrated such faith with no assurance that things would work out.
This baby will be born for such a time as this.