September 28, 2010


Death march.

This is what I call the walk I take from Michigan Avenue up to St. Clair Avenue, past Northwestern Hospital and a big, empty construction lot, until I find myself at the revolving doors of 680.  

I know this walk well.  I could do it blind-folded if I had to.  

I loathe this walk.

I made this walk today and just like all the other times I have walked it, my knees were stiff and my jaw was tight.  I tried to focus on “whatever is good and pure,” but mostly I was rehearsing how I would react to news that I didn’t want to hear.

We did not get good news today about our baby.  In fact, there was no baby to be found on the monitor.  All that was there was an empty sac.  There are about 13 million different thoughts racing in my head about this.

To be honest, I don’t know if I can stomach any one of you telling me how sorry you are or that you are praying for us.  Both seem so cheap and could offer no comfort to me.

But who am I to keep you from sharing whatever it is that is on your heart.  After all, I invited you into this part of my life with the hopes that all of our collective prayers would find us in a different place than where we are now.

We cannot celebrate together.  So weep with me.  

Weep because you are a parent and you can't imagine what life would be like without your children.

Weep because you know some of this pain.

Weep because you know this longing.

Weep because you have gotten a taste for the frailty of life.

Weep because you know what it feels like when He gives.  And when He takes away.

Weep because you can.  

Weep because you must.

Weep because it hurts to live.

Weep because it's scary to hope.

I am weeping.  Even in my shock and numbness, I am weeping.

September 24, 2010

First Ultrasound is Coming Up

Let me start be saying thank you for your prayers and encouraging words.  I have received so many e-mails and Facebook messages telling me that you are praying for our little baby and it has meant more than you'll ever know.  Truly, we are grateful for every prayer you lift up on our behalf. 

The last few weeks of knowing that I am pregnant have been a mixed bag of emotions.  But somewhere in the process of being scared of the unknown, joy crept in and has taken residence in a small place within me.  It's still a small part of me, but it's there nonetheless and that feels good.

Some of you have asked what I am doing this third time around to help keep this baby safe and well and I don't mind sharing if might help any one of you.  First, I am taking progesterone twice daily - I won't get into the how part of how I am taking it, but it should help raise my levels that were on the low normal side.  Second, I am doing a series of weekly iron shots to boost my iron levels.  Pregnant women should be in the range of 100-150 and I was only at 43 as of two weeks ago.  I am also eating red meat (something I have not done up until now) to help boost my levels.  And last, I have increased my vitamin D intake and am now taking 10,000 i.u.'s of it each day.  Progesterone, iron, and vitamin D are all very important in helping maintain a pregnancy and it is my intent to stay on top of my intake of all three. 

Also, I only had my hormone levels checked twice- the week that I found out I was pregnant and then 6 days later.  At that time, my HCG levels were doubling every two days like they are supposed to.  I opted to not go in for weekly blood tests to keep having those levels checked; it's an act of faith and trust for me.

Let me take this opportunity to say that if you are under the care of a doctor who is not listening to you and shows little to no concern for anything that you are concerned about, find a new doctor.  I have heard one too many stories about a doctor giving someone the run-around or making them feel like their concerns aren't valid or worth looking into.  I am fortunate to have a doctor who has journeyed with me since my first miscarriage and has been proactive in helping my body get healthier and stronger with the hopes of carrying a baby to term.  Each time I leaver her office I cry on the bus because I feel so thankful to the Lord for giving me such a compassionate and talented doctor.  Seriously, get out of your bad doctor relationship if you can and find someone who will listen to you and give you the kind of care you need and want. 

We have our first ultrasound for this baby on Tuesday, September 28.  I can't help but think of what my friend Melissa says about ultrasounds- "It's us taking an early peek at something that God is in the process of doing."  How true that is!  I feel conflicted about taking an early peek because ultrasounds can be scary and they can unnecessarily fill you with worry.......but they can also fill with you excitement and love for your baby.  I am hoping and praying for the latter, naturally.

I am asking for prayers of peace and reassurance that the Lord is in full and complete control and that whatever news befalls on Tuesday is in His control and because of His perfect plan.

Assuming we get good news, I'll share pictures on my next post!

September 16, 2010

Grow. Be Well.

We are happy to announce that we are expecting again.

Actually, we are happy/anxious/scared/thankful to announce that we are expecting again.  It's a gift we do not take lightly.  Nor is it one that we receive without baggage.

I have given blood beyond measure up to this point.  Hormone levels have been checked and rechecked.  There have been several doctor, nutritionist, and midwife visits.  Lab results are eagerly awaited and analyzed.   Plans and procedures are constantly being tweaked.  All of this to help us keep our little baby.  It brings me to tears when I think about all the efforts that have gone into helping this little life.

And yet we know that no earthly effort determines what happens to this baby.  Just like our babies before, this baby's life is in the hands of the One who gives life.  And that makes me cry, too.  They are tears of thankfulness.  Just knowing that this baby is known by GOD and that HE watches over our baby is of great comfort to me.

As a woman, I realize how fortunate I am to have gotten pregnant three times in ten months.  I am grateful that I can even get pregnant.  And yet I live in a constant state of longing for my babies that I have lost.  I love my Jack and Claire and I would have loved the chance to be there momma on earth.  There will always be that part of me that longs for what should have been.  It's been a hard, yet sweet, journey to both grieve the past and try to hope for the future.  This is a dance I know well. 

The day I found out that I was pregnant, the LORD gave me these words:  GROW.  BE WELL.  I believe these are words that I am to pray over my baby.

Whenever I am anxious; or scared; or resting in the knowledge that my baby is with me still, I pray that my baby grows and is well.

Grow baby.  Grow and let your momma delight in her swelling belly.  Grow and thrive.  Be well, sweet baby of mine.  Be well in my womb and let me see your beautiful face in May. 

Friends, we share this news not to seek your congratulations (you can congratulate us when a baby is in our arms) but to ask for your prayers.  Please join us in covering our baby in the prayer that he/she will GROW and BE WELL.

"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?  I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."  Isaiah 43:18-19