I look so happy in this picture, don't I? That's because it was taken last weekend to document what I looked like at 15 weeks (which is what I looked like at around 25 weeks with Ellie. The joys of the third...). This weekend I wouldn't have looked quite so happy. Kenny and I spent Saturday night in the emergency room because I had some complications and thought I was going to miscarry and lose the baby. It was a long, awful night - as all nights spent in the emergency room are. Our night included a lot of waiting, crying, anticipating, freezing (it was SO COLD in there!), waiting, visiting, stressing, and did I mention waiting? Eventually, after an ultrasound, blood work and several exams, we found out that the baby is fine. Thank goodness. I am under strict orders to take it REALLY easy for the next couple of weeks. No exercising, lifting, bending (I'm having a lot of back pain), stress, etc.
Before I had Ellie I got pregnant and miscarried at 11 weeks. Kenny and I had waited 6 years after we got married to have kids. We followed Kenny's type A personality plan to get through law school, pass the California bar, get in a house, teach a couple more years to get settled - and then finally start our family. I got pregnant right away and we announced the news to our parents at Christmas. It would be the first grandchild on both sides of our families and everyone was thrilled. Then at 11 weeks we went in to hear the heartbeat and there wasn't one. We were devastated. I couldn't stop crying. I had a D&C (operation to remove the fetus) and then after a few depressing days I went back to work. One afternoon about a week later I was standing in front of my 5th grade students teaching a lesson on weather patterns and started hemorrhaging. I calmly put a student in charge of the class and fled to the nurse's office where I passed out. The nurse called Kenny and he picked me up and rushed me to the emergency room where we dealt with some complications from the D&C. That was the last time I spent the night in the ER. Being there again last night brought the whole painful experience back to the surface.
I'm extremely grateful right now that the baby is ok. I'm extremely grateful that my parents happened to be in town and were here for support and to stay with my girls all night. I'm extremely grateful for the perspective I now have. My first miscarriage was so difficult for me, but I recovered, got pregnant again, and had my Ellie. I realized that things happen for a reason and my miscarriage (while painful and awful) taught me a lot. It taught me about myself and my marriage. It also taught me how important it is to have support from those you love and those who love you. It's the only way to get through the icky stuff in life. And the best way to enjoy the good stuff in life. Even though I was so stressed and sad last night in the ER about the possibility of losing this baby, I still felt calm. I knew that whatever happened, Kenny and I would deal with and get through together.
Pregnancy is such a miracle. With so many things that COULD go wrong it's a complete miracle when you can carry and deliver a healthy baby. My heart goes out to women who miscarry, deliver a still born, or have problems with infertility. I've had close friends who have dealt with all of these heartaches and their strength, faith, and attitudes have been amazing examples to me over the years.
On a lighter note, (I know this was a bit heavy for a Monday morning) now that I know the baby is ok I will be taking full advantage of my orders to take it easy. I told Kenny that each night after HE has bathed the girls and put them to bed I'll be needing a back rub, maybe some pop corn, and my favorite shows on TV (you know...since that will help me fully rest and recover). I also better stay away from any major housework...scrubbing, vacuuming, shaking rugs...so he'll have to cover all of that as well. Yes. Every cloud does have a silver lining. And I'll be milking this cloud for as much as I can. And then some.