So, it is now Friday, June 12, 1998. Dr. Scott, my OB, came into the room and asked Michael and me, “Are you guys ready to have a baby today?”
We were so scared because the doctors that we saw the night before painted a very bleak picture for giving birth today because the baby was so early. We asked a lot of questions, but mainly, “Is it safe for the baby to come out now?” We were already under the impression that I would simply have to be on bedrest for the next four to six weeks and we were okay with that. But Dr. Scott assured us that tests revealed that everything was perfectly fine and that today would be the day.
These words had me reeling and thinking back to the past several years.
Back in 1995, I finally received a diagnosis for my very irregular cycle. I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCS). The main symptoms of PCS were that I rarely ovulated. Since my teen years, I would ovulate about twice a year and I never knew when that would be. Up until this time, all the doctors would just tell me that “this was normal for [my] body”. So, I was happy to finally receive a diagnosis but very sad to know of the prognosis–that more than likely I would not be able to conceive a baby naturally, and if I did conceive, chances were very high that it would abort naturally. The main problem there was that I was not producing enough progesterone to help the fertilized egg stick to the uterine wall.
I found out that I was pregnant when I was about 4 weeks along. Years before I had been placed on the birth control pill because this was the only way that I would have a regulated cycle and the hormones in the pill would help alleviate some of the other symptoms I had from the PCS–loss of hair on the top of my head, excessive facial hair growth and very, very slow metabolism, to name a few.
So, when my period didn’t come as usual, I grew concerned because the month prior, Michael had returned from an NTC rotation (a 5 week field exercise) and through the excitement of his return and the Blizzard of ’97 in central Colorado (36 inches in a 24 hr period), I had forgotton to take my pill one day. And well, you put two Texans in a blizzard and what the heck are we going to do??!!! 😀
So anyhow, the at-home pregnancy tests proved my suspicions. I made an appointment with the doctor and it was confirmed. Talk about being in shock!! What were the chances?!! Not only had I ovulated, but apparently Michael had returned at just the right time!
The following week, I began spotting and was again off to the doctor, this time in fear. The words I had been told years before were resonating in my brain–“naturally abort”. I was so scared!! I just prayed to God that he would see fit for this baby to be born safely and healthily. I remember being with the Ultrasound Tech and he was so excited because he said that he had never seen the heartbeat before so soon into a pregnancy–we were now at 6 weeks.
The heartbeat! Ahhhh, that truly was music to our ears!! I cannot explain the rush of emotions that came over us, came over me, when I heard that heartbeat–that strong heartbeat! I simply uttered, “Thank you God!”
The next several weeks came and went uneventfully, thanks to God. I was just waiting to complete the first Trimester successfully!! To feel safe and then to be able to share the news with everyone was such an anticipation.
Well, I couldn’t wait! I sent out our Christmas cards that year, just as I had done for the past 9 years. However, this time I signed them, “Love Michael, Becky (Rebecca) and baby”. Purposefully, I wrote our phone number on the bottom of the card, hoping to receive a few calls of congratulations. Boy! About a week after I sent out those cards, the phone started ringing off the wall!! We received so many calls, shared lots of laughter and tears as everyone shared their happiness with us.
Then came, December 27th. Ten weeks into this pregnancy, almost into the safe zone, my fears were realized. We had just finished dinner and I was putting away the dishes and I started bleeding. It was so much that it freaked Michael out and he called the ambulance. I just stood there in shock and dismay and cried out, “Please God, don’t take my baby!!” I knew, all too well what this meant because this would not have been my first miscarriage. We had gone through this several years before.
Throughout all the chaos, all the examinations and discussions, I continued praying for God’s mercy. Praying that this was not happening. Praying that I would finally be able to become a mother. Praying to try to understand why God didn’t feel like I would be a good mother. So much was going through my mind. So many questions and pleas!! “Why me? Why isn’t God letting me become a mother?”
After several hours of examination and observation, even after the loss of a pint and a half of blood, the doctors were not able to give me any news. They were all very puzzled because upon their examination they found that my cervix was closed. After more examinations, tests, ultrasounds, my doctor was able to determine that what was happening was the placenta was separating from the uterine wall–because of my lack of progesterone. He gave me a very bleak outcome. I told him that if I had to go on bedrest for the duration of the pregnancy that I would but he told me that even that would not ensure a successful delivery. In not-so-many words, he was trying to prepare me for the worse–another miscarriage. He let me know that he did not expect a live birth at all.
So, I relished each day of this pregnancy!! I wanted to cherish every moment!! Every activity, every movement, every good feeling as well as every bad!! I was so in love with this baby and I wanted to consume all its being into my own for as long as God would allow! I would often lie in bed, feeling the movement and just stay there feeling it, talking to it, caressing it from the outside. I did what I could to ensure its health. If it was not healthy food, I didn’t eat it. I gave up coffee–YES!! I gave up coffee and all sugared drinks. I wanted to make sure that I was doing my part in helping this baby grow since everything else was simply in God’s hands!!
This now brings us to the morning of June 12, 1998…