We are due June 12th. We are pregnant, and I can’t quite believe it! I haven’t written for awhile, because the news of our pregnancy has kind of been an all-consuming thing for me. I wasn’t comfortable sharing with everyone until we knew that we were out of the early weeks… We are now almost 17 weeks along and all I feel is joy in my heart.
There are so many things that are special about this pregnancy. First, is that it is so, so welcomed! From the day we lost Alex, I had prayed to God that he would still let Benjamin have a sibling on earth. There was a time when I wasn’t sure if Ben would want to have another child. There was a long time when I wasn’t sure we would be able to physically have another child. All things I worried about. All examples of how God is ultimately in control of what happens.
Ben and I are a little ‘fertility challenged.’ It took us 2 years to have Benjamin. We waited almost 18 months with Alex, and ended up doing two rounds of clomid. I’m not sure if it takes us a little longer to get pregnant, or if I’m just impatient. Either way, each pregnancy felt like a miracle after a very long wait.
Alex died June 9th. My doctor suggested we wait 6 months from Alex’s birthday before trying to conceive. That window was for our emotional healing, as well as to reduce the risk of miscarriage with a subsequent pregnancy. Waiting until October seemed like a very long time for me. My doctor agreed to start a prescription for progesterone in August if my period hadn’t returned.
It occurs to me that there will be a lot of female information in the subsequent paragraphs. I promise it’s nothing graphic, but words like ovaries, and ovulation will be used. Sorry for anyone who is faint at heart… these details are important in explaining what a miracle this baby is for us.
My period didn’t come back and two rounds of progesterone did not restore it. My doctor had some sad news for me. If my body wasn’t responding to the progesterone, it was because my brain was preventing ovulation. Apparently our bodies ovulate on two levels: at the ovaries, and at the hypothalamus in the brain. If I wasn’t responding to the prescription, it was because my brain was telling my body not to ovulate. Bad news. He said he wasn’t surprised by it… I was still in shock over losing Alex and my body wasn’t ready. He didn’t have any idea how long it would take for me to ovulate again- I needed to be patient and wait. Did I mention that patience is not my strong suit?
With a heavy heart, I explained our situation to Ben. I begrudgingly agreed to wait until the New Year to start efforts again. I kept praying. This is where the miracle comes in. I saw the doctor in August and was told to postpone any conception plans in September. At the end of October I was peeing in a cup and looking at a “+” sign in disbelief. We were pregnant.
How pregnant were we? It was a Friday night. I had taken two at home tests, so I knew I was pregnant. How far along were we? No idea. I never got a period, so we had no way to know. Desperate for answers, I went to the walk-in clinic the next morning. I knew there was a blood test I could take to get a range on how far along we were. Trying to explain that to various nurses and doctors at the walk-in clinic was another story…
“What’s the reason for your visit today?”
“I think I’m pregnant. I took two at home tests and I want to know how far along we are.”
(Eyes rolling) “Well, if you took two tests, you are definitely pregnant. You can tell how far along you are based on the date of your last period. When was your last period?”
“Yes, I understand the math, but my period never came back after my last child.”
“Let me calculate it for you. What was the date of your last period?”
“July of 2010.”
“Exactly. I’m not a moron. This is my third pregnancy! I just want the blood test that will tell me how far along we are.”
I was then transferred to another nurse, where we repeated the same conversation. Long story short: 8 weeks!
Wow- all those times I was praying for a child, I actually was growing one. Amazing. So this baby is a miracle not just because we wanted this baby so badly. Not just because we didn’t think we could get pregnant. But also because there are signs of how God has planned things for us. This baby is due within 3 days of the one-year anniversary of Alex’s death. There is always a plan for us.
I know that God is in the business of answering prayers. I believe that- in my heart and in my soul I believe that. I also believe that we have to do things in order to make our prayers and dreams come true. I thought that God would answer our prayers by letting us get pregnant after more waiting, cycle counting, clomid, etc. It never occurred to me that he would let us skip all that and just make our prayers come true.
Humbling. That is how it feels when God answers your prayers, and answers them earlier than you ever thought possible.
Before I had announced our pregnancy, people would ask how I was doing with everything, and it was so hard to explain. Once I became pregnant, things with my grief got so much better, so much easier. Not because I had this ‘replacement’ baby on the way… it was because God had trusted me to raise another child.
All those feelings of guilt I had, those worries that I had done something to cause Alex’s death… none of it mattered anymore. Once I became pregnant I felt forgiven. Divinely forgiven and entrusted to raise another happy and healthy child. To have that weight lifted from you is inexplicable. One day you shoulder the burden of guilt and grief. The next day you are literally soaring with the joy and weightless freedom that comes from knowing you are forgiven. It is humbling.
I feel a little guilty because it seems a little “too easy” for us. We get a miracle baby and one year later we’ll be almost in the same place we were in when Alex was born. What about all those families who lost a child, or never met a child and don’t have the chance to experience another birth? Doesn’t it seem unfair that we get to benefit from all the healing a new pregnancy offers?
I don’t know. I mourn for the families and the parents who don’t get this same feeling of redemption. I hope that they find divine peace in another way. Being pregnant again, having this baby changes everything about how I see the world and how I know that God loves our family.
I don’t mean to overstate things, but this baby is proof to me that God has plans for our family and assures me that he is in control. All I can do is sit back in quiet awe, and give thanks that we are so divinely cared for.
Miracles happen every day. I believe that. I just never thought we would get our own.