Friday, April 16, 2010

What Might Have Been (Part II)

(Read Part I here)

Monday Morning: I woke up to a new morning and went about rushing around in order to make the two hour trek to my 10:00 am appointment. I felt fine. I mean, besides being nervous of what the day's outcome would bring. Either way, I knew that I needed to trust in what God's answer would be that day and I knew if it was not the outcome I desired that I would have to muster up a whole lotta strength to get through this. Thankfully, Reed decided at the last minute to accompany me to my appointment. Before going out the door, I made one more bathroom stop. And there is was. I was spotting. I felt sick to my stomach. If I was not pregnant, this was not good. If I was pregnant, this was not good. I was caught in the middle. I told Reed and he remained hopeful and reminded me that we just needed to get to the appointment to find out the real answers. So we drove. I wasn't giving up hope yet. I just couldn't. Upon going in for my appointment, the nurse asked me the usual questions. Shortly, female Dr. K entered the room. She was sitting glancing over my lab results from Good Friday and then questioned what day of my cycle that was taken on. I told her and she looked at the numbers again. And then she grinned and almost giddy declared that 'well then it looks like you are pregnant'. I saw her smile, but I knew that I could not even will myself to break into that same smile, not yet.

She started making plans and throwing out numerous details. I'd get more blood drawn that day before I left in order to be sure that my hormonal levels were increasing over the last few days. I wouldn't have the results until tomorrow. I could do a urine pregnancy test there at the office and that would give us a better idea now too since the HCG should all be out of my body. I told her that I had been spotting this morning and didn't know what that meant. So off to the bathroom I went.

A bit later, Dr. K returned to the exam room minus the huge smile she had displayed earlier. It was accompanied by 'well, so the urine test was positive, but a weak positive so I'm not completely sure that you are pregnant but can't rule it out either'. That's when Reed spoke up. He knew that the only other time we had received a 'weak' positive was with our child we ended up miscarrying six years ago. It was a huge red flag and concern for him upon hearing it. I have known for months now that when I am finally pregnant one day, that I will undoubtedly need to have progesterone shots in order to maintain proper levels and get beyond the first trimester. Dr. K said that in order to be sure that if there was a baby that it was taken care of and given a chance to survive, I should get a progesterone shot that day. With a poke in my bottom and a promise for a phone call tomorrow with the lab results, I was on my way. No better than when I came, but no worse. The spotting seemed to have lightened and I was certain if it would just stop all together there would be a fighting chance that I would have received my hoped for miracle. This would be a long road, if there was one, filled with many blood draws and lab work, shots and checks. We could do this. We'd get through the coming weeks. If it came to that.

So, we drove home, me and my sore fanny with my dear husband. We made a few stops along the way, but eventually arrived home. I waited and prayed. I could hardly sit, that hurt. I could barely walk, I limped. I maintained an awkward position for the rest of the day in an attempt to alleviate the pain. This would all be worth it. The spotting had quit completely. All would be well again come tomorrow.

Tuesday: I spent the day feeling awful. Tired and weary. I walked through the day on edge and ornery, feeling like a zombie. The spotting had begun again, but only lightly. Surely I'd receive a call at any moment. We went about our day with no call. Before taking Lily to her late afternoon piano lesson, I called the clinic to inquire whether my results were in yet. They were busy and hadn't gotten to them yet. Of course not, I'd have to wait. Hours later, we returned from town with no message. No answer. Reed finally came home from work with a questioning look on his face, nope still nothing. Shortly after, the phone rang and it was Dr. K. Without words, I heard her tone and I knew what was coming. 'I'm sorry Sarah, your numbers dropped quite a bit. You are not pregnant. It doesn't seem to me that you ever were, so I don't think there's any chance that you may have miscarried early.' My heart fell to the floor and I held all of the emotion that swirled in my head. I only thought to blurt out that I didn't understand. I had been feeling awful. I didn't feel like myself. And then I was answered with a reminder on how much our psychological side can play a part in our physical. That perhaps the hopeful part about being pregnant had indeed led to my body behaving as it was and me believing that I had pregnancy symptoms.

After hanging up the phone, I think I felt my heart stop beating. I felt my world caving in around me. So dearly had I hoped. So strongly had I prayed. And then I leaned on my comforting husband and I wept. I went through such emotions of pain, sorrow, anger and confusion. Why did He pick me for this cross? I felt it stifling the very breath from me. That's the thing of it that can be so consuming: the what ifs; the what could have been; the unknown future; feeling of failure to yourself, your spouse, your family. The feeling that my body is broken and just won't work again.

It had been an emotional roller coaster in those five days and at that point I just wanted to get off. It was probably one of the toughest ones we have been on in the last four years. There were so many odds that seemed to have been defeated. So many things that could've made pregnancy possible. It should have, could have worked.

In the following days I took my time. I knew that in time, I'd feel like myself and my hopeful heart would mend. The words that kept passing in my thoughts were the words from the Thirteenth Station of the Cross:

'All you who pass by the way, see if there be any sorrow like my sorrow.
The tears are on her cheeks, and there is none to comfort her.'

I knew that I needed to wait patiently for all of the harsh feelings to settle. Like Christ's resurrection that I had anticipated, I needed to spend some time in the tomb before I could rise again.

No matter how hard I try, I cannot help but be hopeful. I cannot close a door, when their is still a glimmer of light shining through the small crack that it leaves open. I do know that adoption is an alternative. For us, we just aren't there yet. We are not in the place where we feel that we are being called to throw ourselves into that process. Maybe some day, but not yet. I also know that right now I can completely rely on my two Catholic physicians, who not only care for me physically but also spiritually and morally. I know that they are going to help me in every way possible to explore options and treatments for me that will help with conception and maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

In faith, I rest and rely on God's infinite goodness and His Divine Plan. I may see it completely different than He, but I try to remain patient as I wait humbly for everything to unfold. For today, I have the strength to do that. But it's hard to say what tomorrow will bring.


  1. Sarah, I had no idea. I struggled with infertility, too - my daughter was 15 before I had my next child. Hugs to you.

  2. I continue to pray for you and Reed...whatever God has in store for the meantime, just continue to enjoy the beautiful family He has blessed you with thus far. Love and Hugs...Sue

  3. I am so sorry for your struggle. I find myself wishing at times that God would explain, even just a little, of the why behind the crosses He sends. In the year and 1/2 since my hubby died, I've have found myself struggling often under the weight of my own cross. But we are called to be a witness to hope. It is beautiful to see that witness in you! Keep trusting Him, even when your in the tomb. I don't know if you've seen this quote I keep on the side bar of my blog. I wanted to share it with you, it helps keep me going at times.
    "The everlasting Father has in His wisdom forseen from eternity the cross He now presents to you as a gift from His inmost heart. This cross He now sends to you He has considered with His all-knowing eyes, understood with His divine mind, tested with His wise justice, warmed with His loving arms, and weighed with His own hands to see that it be not one inch too large and not one ounce to heavy for you. He has blessed it with His Holy Name, annointed it with His grace, perfumed it with His consolation, taken one last glance at you and your courage, and then sent it to you from Heaven, a special greeting from God to you, an alms of the all-merciful love of God" St. Francis de Sales

  4. Oh Sarah, the "whys" are so hard some days. We so badly want to understand. Although our struggles are different, we both eagerly wait for His plan to unfold and for Him to reveal what good things are in store for us. Your hopeful heart gives mine hope too. Prayers to you.

  5. You wrote out your experience so beautifully. The pain. The hope. Your faith through it all. God knows all of it, and He is in control. He loves you and your family. May He give you comfort and continued hope and trust in Him. Praying for you, Sarah.

  6. Oh, the Sarah above me just wrote what I was going to say!

    I love how you wrote this. The excitement, the disappointment, the fear, the despair and then looking to God, the hope again.

    I'm crying and praying for you.

  7. Hunny, I want you to know that your faithful and hopeful heart is such an inspiration to me. Your faith and trust is so strong and so very encouraging. Not only do I question God in my own journey, but I certainly have a tough time not questioning Him in yours as well. I do know that His plan is the ultimate one, but my heart aches for you and I want your sweet Gianna baby in your arms so very soon.

    I know this cross is a painful one to carry, and yet you do it so gracefully. My heart has been quite heavy lately for you, and I find myself in tears at times. Please allow yourself much time to heal (if possible) from this one. Many prayers and {{{hugs}}} dear friend.

  8. Oh, Sarah.... I'm so sorry for your pain. But your
    faith through all this is such an encouragement
    for us all. I know a woman from our parish who
    had a similar struggle. She had wanted a large
    family and she and her hubby had a child shortly
    after they were married... Then they couldn't conceive
    for 4 years. No reason. When I met her, she had 4
    children - an 8 y/o, 4 y/o, 2 y/o, and a newborn.
    So after 4 years of fertility struggles, she had 3
    babies one after the other!!! You really just never
    know what blessings might be right around the corner
    for you!! We will be praying for you!

  9. Oh Sarah! I wish there were a band-aid big enough to put on your aching heart that you could leave on as long as you needed until you feel hopeful again. I am so sorry the Lord has chosen you to go through this except that you show the rest of us how to suffer gracefully.

  10. I'm so sorry the story didn't have a happy ending - this time. With love and prayers.

  11. Sarah, I couldn't read the whole post. I am so sorry for what you are going through and wish I could just give you a hug. I will keep praying for you and your family.

  12. I'm sorry Sarah, I keep you in my prayers..

  13. Sarah - you were aptly named...hopefully you won't have to wait until you're 90 :)

    I would seriously give anything to let you have another baby. You are CONSTANTLY in my thoughts and prayers. You were the first mom I heard of with secondary infertility, but now I hear about it all the time. It's painfully too common. I really hope God wills another baby to your beautiful family. Thank you for sharing your story and struggles - you are so amazing.

  14. Colleen and others said it better than I can, but please know you are not alone as you wait, and wonder, and I pray for you and your family. God's timing is so hard to understand - if ever - but I know His plan has something glorious in it. Much love to you....thanks for sharing!

  15. Sarah, I just found your blog and am sad about what you went through.

    I do speak from experience I have felt your pain in my life before.

    Hope.. God has many ways of creating a beautiful family. God's timing and ways are not our timing and ways.

    Sarah, I will remember you in my prayers.


You're so kind for dropping me a line!

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