I wanted a chance to share a bit more of the story of this baby.
I wanted a chance to talk about miscarriage, hope, trauma, and making hard decisions.
I decided not to go to grad school this year. After spending two semesters talking myself into going (can I really do it? do I want to do this while Andrew has his last year home before Kindergarten?), and deciding to do it; after spending literally more than a hundred hours studying for the GRE, writing essays, fretting over who to get to write my letters of recommendation, and then forking out a bunch of money, getting accepted (yay!), and committing to a school, I promptly threw that all out the window and decided not to go (realistically very few things are prompt with me and I gave myself high blood pressure and headaches for a month trying to make this decision). But the decision came down to realizing I really wanted to be home with this baby, like I was with Andrew, and I didn’t want to miss that precious time, and that happened to matter a lot more to me than moving forward with grad school and my career right now did. And now that a few weeks has gone by since I made that decision, and the guilt I feel for breaking that commitment to my grad school is fading, I feel really excited about the choice I made, so I think that means I did the right thing.
We are really excited to be expecting! Finding out you are pregnant is a big deal for someone who has spent years waiting for that news. I lost two pregnancies before we had Andrew and it took us a while between each of those pregnancies to get pregnant. Then Andrew came along and was a huge blessing and honestly just the best person on the planet. We had a hard enough time getting Andrew here that we went ahead and just decided to roll the dice and forego prevention, and if we ended up with kids 9 months apart, then…we would just be grateful…and stressed, but mostly grateful. So months passed, and our lives got crazy, like legitimately, overwhelmingly crazy. But even in the midst of that craziness, I decided I would rather try to figure out how to survive with two kids and a husband recovering from a brain injury than have the torture of wondering, “if I hadn’t prevented pregnancy during X time, would we have been able to have another child?” And for a while I was glad it wasn’t happening because I really was overwhelmed already, but as the years passed, I started to wonder if it would ever happen.
And then in May of 2016, I was pregnant! And on June 21st, I miscarried again. At that point, Ricardo and I really had been wanting another child for over a year and had technically been trying to conceive for over three years, and we honestly didn’t know if we would be able to conceive again. Part of me thought maybe I had reset some magical button and now I would just get pregnant again, but then months passed. So that Fall, we saw a fertility specialist. We tried a couple rounds of IUI, but after two attempts, the specialist felt like we were throwing our money away and felt that with our issues it was likely we would need to consider In Vitro. We definitely didn’t have an extra $35,000 sitting around, so we told her we wanted to just continue to try with whatever medications could be prescribed without monitoring and wait until we both had a stable career going and could pull in enough money to start to consider In Vitro. We figured it was pretty unlikely we would get pregnant on our own and decided we would just try not to think about it until I was done with grad school and established in my career. As a last stitch effort, Ricardo saw another doctor, and he was much more hopeful about our situation. He prescribed a medication we hadn’t tried, and that month we got pregnant 🙂 Was it the medication, the new hope the doctor gave us, the fact that we had just finished a cycle of IUI, and, probably due to that, I ovulated earlier the following month? Who knows. But it happened!
I do know that all this happened just after I decided where to go to grad school, and one day I had gone out on a walk by some mountains to clear my head and I said a prayer. I have been trying to pray again, but it has taken me a while to get to this point, and so I am not in the habit of praying all the time. But this day I said a prayer, and in that prayer, I told God that I wanted to believe he was there the way I once had completely had faith that he was. I told him that I was grateful for the opportunities I had been given with grad school and that I was excited about my plans. I paused for a while, and then I told him that I really wanted another child, and that that mattered to me so much more than my career or grad school mattered to me, and that if he saw fit, I would be grateful if, despite having everything planned and prepared for grad school, I was somehow able to get pregnant. Within a month or so of that prayer, I found out I was expecting.
So, whatever it is, whatever or whoever is responsible, we are grateful and excited to be expecting 🙂
And now that I finally am no longer nauseated from sun up to sun down, I am starting to really enjoy this even more 🙂 I have to say that there is a lot of anxiety I have experienced with this pregnancy. After experiencing trauma or loss in the past, I find myself expecting something bad to happen and having to fight that. Some little weird twinge happens, or two days go by where I don’t feel the baby move, and I just start to figure the baby has died. It’s hard to fight that and to have hope. When I feel that anxiety, sometimes I try to talk to the baby, and sometimes that helps me calm down. Loss is hard though. It can affect you for years, and it robs you of that innocence you once had back when you believed things just worked out. You experience enough loss, and it’s hard not to expect that everything you love and depend on will fall apart any moment now. I’m not sure the exact relationship, but I have struggled with depression during this pregnancy, which isn’t something I have experienced in past pregnancies, or really that frequently throughout life. It seems odd because I couldn’t be happier to be pregnant, I just don’t feel happy a lot of the time. I feel anxious and lethargic, and it’s not really related to anything that is happening in life. It’s odd. Maybe that means I’m having a girl, since emotionally I feel so different than I did with Andrew. Who knows. Whatever it all means, it’s worth working through the nausea and depression if the end result is a child I have wanted for a very long time.
So here’s to a baby, and to dropping out of grad school, and to life and all the ups and downs and craziness!