August 1, 2020 ultrasound

A year ago, I remember randomly wondering if we would have any more children. Our son had just had his first birthday, and the year had flown. I reflected upon what a surprise and miracle he was to my husband and me. We are both extreme planners in many ways, however as much as both of us desired children, we stayed away from much planning in that area. On my end there was fear of being disappointed if God’s plans were different than my own. There was fear of being unable to have children (based on a medical diagnosis at age 20) or realizing that my body could not handle a pregnancy and being heartbroken. There was a deep love for caring and teaching children that I’ve had since I was a young girl. I pushed it aside because it was such a deep love that I didn’t want to mess anything up.

Throughout those couple of months, I’d find myself wondering if Rylan would have a sibling, I’d picture multiple kids outside in our backyard playing together and would think back to being pregnant. How as wacky it had made my body, I missed it. As the thoughts became more frequent, I more frequently tried to push them aside. What if this was me just dreaming and not necessarily God’s plan? I needed to be happy with my current situation. I was though. I began to pray about these thoughts and feelings, and gradually began to drop the anxiety and what if feelings I was experiencing.

October to December was great for me—I lost almost 20 pounds! This was some of the annoying baby weight I had put on with Rylan that I had such trouble getting rid of. My body had gone through some weird postpartum changes, and it took a long time before feeling like myself physically again. As an athlete and extremely self-conscious of having a slender body type, pregnancy and the first year with a baby was humbling! So there I was in December, baking Christmas cookies like it was my full-time job, and still losing some weight. It was glorious!

A mere month later, I was surprised (but not), to find out I was again pregnant! I couldn’t believe how utterly excited I was. I got on the phone so quickly to schedule an appointment with my doctor. January meant another September baby! I had so many thoughts racing through my mind. I was ecstatic. With that excitement also came one of my biggest dreaded fear—losing a child. Should I be excited just in case something happened? All the what if’s. My mind is terrible when it comes to these things. Through much prayer, I had to consciously make the choice to just take things one day at a time. To remember that no matter what, God’s plans were greater than mine. His outcomes don’t have to match mine, and no matter what, he doesn’t leave us.

So with that choice, I was just as happy as could be those next couple of weeks, until I had symptoms of miscarriage. I didn’t want to jump to conclusions, but something wasn’t right with my body. I wasn’t at the point of even having my first ultrasound yet, but the doctor had me come in to get checked (she’s awesome by the way). I will never forget the drive there. My heart was sinking. My joy was squelched, and I was completely terrified. After about 10 minutes of trembling as I drove, I shifted my mindset. God had given me such joy these last couple of weeks knowing that there was a tiny life inside of me. I may not know the outcome or be able to control it, but I reminded myself that I was not in charge. I should be thankful for this joy and just the thought of a new life. Maybe things weren’t as bad as I thought. Like I usually do, I tried to prepare myself for the worst-case scenario. I told God that I was giving up my control right now. I would take a deep breath to surrender (again) this great fear. On that drive, I specifically asked God to prepare my heart for whatever news I would receive that day. I asked him to help remind me of his power and love, all of which is greater than our earthly circumstances. As I walked into the doctor’s office, I was calm. I felt a little numb to what was even going on, but I was at peace. There it was on the ultrasound—a tiny beating heart! Wow. Just seeing something so tiny and incredible made me smile! The doctor confirmed that I was indeed pregnant, however in order to see the cause for my symptoms, we would have to wait another 2 weeks. “Go home and just take care of yourself. We can’t plan for what’s going to happen,” she told me. I did my best to do just that. I was overjoyed that right now, there was a little beating heart. Another reminder of God’s love and power. Those next couple of weeks I did the best I could, but I was nervous. I was shaky as I headed into my 8 week appointment. Another ultrasound-the little beating heart was a little bigger this time. My doctor said overall things looked really great, however there were a couple things that she was going to watch. Would it affect my baby? Would the baby be ok? She may have been annoyed with my questions and what if’s, but again reassured me that things would be ok and turn out how they were supposed to. I’m no medical professional by any means. I needed to trust her.

A few weeks later, we discovered I had developed high blood pressure. I had been borderline for years, but never enough that it affected me or that I needed any medication. This time though, things had crossed the line. I was put into the hypertension category and started some medication. I learned how high blood pressure affects a developing baby and I was going to do whatever possible to help prevent complications because of it. The next several months were challenging to say the least. My body had some trouble adjusting to the medication, and the hypertension increased drastically. My doctor wasn’t sure whether or not this was related to pregnancy or something chronic. March through May were physically difficult. I slept a lot when I could. COVID stuff came at a “good” time. We had to stay in anyway, and it forced me to take extra care of myself. It also gave me wonderful time to spend with my family and long conversations with Jesus.

The biggest thing with hypertension and pregnancy is that it can hinder the baby’s growth. My doctor said to prepare for a potentially small baby, but that they would do lots of ultrasounds and appointments to track things as best as possible. I was so thankful for her expertise and care. As guessed, our baby tracked low on the growth charts, but overall looked healthy. If I missed a dose of medicine by even an hour, my blood pressure skyrocketed. It was so odd how terrible I felt because of it. I had many appointments, ultrasounds, and a trip to the hospital. As scary as it was some days, I made the choice to just trust God. I loved this baby so much already, and I would always love the baby no matter how much earthly time God decided to give me. It was a good, but difficult mindset some days to keep. However, deep down God had given me peace. By the beginning of the third trimester, I was exhausted. My body was already getting ready for delivery in several ways, and the last two months were difficult. We knew the baby would be early—possibly as early as 37 weeks, if my body could hold out that long. The little baby continued to grow (at a slower rate, but still healthy) and I did my best to take care of myself (while taking care of an almost two year old).

At my 37 week appointment, I was fully prepared for the doctor to tell me to head to the hospital now. Surprisingly, she said things were ok and we could go one more week. Huge answer to prayer! One more week would allow the little baby to grow a bit more and be a bit stronger. Week 38 would be an induction unless I went into labor beforehand. Part of me hoped I would, however my planning mind loved the idea of a scheduled induction so that we could know the day, and my doctor could be there for it.

I left the appointment relieved, and completely at peace. We had not only made it to week 37, but were headed into 38. A great answer to many prayers!