EMBRACING THE STORM

On March 3rd 2017, Nick and I found out we were expecting our third child. We were thrilled, to say the least. On the same day, Nick, being the logical planner, immediately started to look at our kids' rooms to see which room they would share.  As for me, being the dreamer, I started coming up with names, downloaded pregnancy apps so I could keep up with development, and began to think about all the holidays the baby would be a part of this year.  There's just something about the third kid that makes you plan ten times faster. For us, we had never miscarried and fortunately became pregnant fairly quickly so something happening never crossed our minds which made planning more exciting and carefree. 

A few weeks into the pregnancy, something seemed off.  I was abnormally exhausted, depressed beyond belief, and became sick at about 4 weeks which was pretty early for me. My first prenatal appointment was right around the corner; I was able to get through each day because I had something to look forward to.  At the beginning of April, before ever being able to have that first appointment, I started to have some odd cramping and I finally went to the ER because I was really worried and the cramping was getting worse.  Nick stayed home with the kids while I went to the ER.  They performed an ultrasound and told me there was no baby but they saw what appeared to be a gestational sac.  I was told to go to my OB the next day to check my hCG levels and for another ultrasound.  At that appointment, they told me my hCG levels went up significantly but they couldn't find the heartbeat.  

A little backstory, we were told we lost Olivia at eight weeks and then they found her heartbeat five days later. That's a story for another day but this made me not trust the doctor this time. Not that I thought she didn't know what she was doing but we had already been through this before. After three more ultrasounds and my hCG levels continuing to increase in the span of a week and a half, my doctor came to the conclusion I had a molar pregnancy. Weird name right?  Let's just say I did WAY too much googling that afternoon. My OB called me a few days later and told me there was a small chance the molar pregnancy could turn into cancer and they needed to get it out ASAP. They scheduled me for an emergency D&C (dilation and curettage) for the following Friday, two days later. It was a super quick surgery and the recovery was fairly uncomplicated.  I had to go on medication a few days later due to excessive bleeding but other than that, it was a breeze.  Emotionally...hmm...not so much. We had to wait 10 days to find out if it was a complete or partial molar pregnancy.  We found out I had a complete molar pregnancy which happens when a sperm fertilizes an empty egg (a baby was never there from the beginning) and you start to grow a non-cancerous mass in your uterus. Your body thinks you're pregnant so you have all the symptoms but they are more heightened due to the extreme hCG levels. The danger of a molar pregnancy is it can essentially spread and become cancerous.  It's very interesting and quite intriguing but not fun when it's happening to you.  We did have a praise though - it was NEVER a baby. Good gracious, that fact right there took off so much of the emotional burden I had been carrying.  I was still devastated because we had been planning for this baby for almost a full trimester. I had prayed over this baby, guessed the gender, came up with several names, imagined them with Olivia and Easton, and tracked my progress every week with my baby apps. 

This experience gave me a lot of insight:
(1)  It's okay to be sad. Every Friday when I should be a week closer to my due date, I get sad. I would have been 25 weeks yesterday. 

(2)  I have learned it is okay to be over-the-moon excited for friends who announce their pregnancies but it's also okay to be sad about your loss. 

(3)  Nick and I's marriage grew more than I ever thought it could. He stayed up into the wee hours of the night and held me while I cried. There were times when he would tear up because he was scared and felt helpless.  

(4)  Y'all, men grieve differently than women.  When I was sad because I felt as though I lost something, Nick was optimistic because he knew we'd become pregnant again.  He felt as though it was helpful to be optimistic but I just wanted someone to grieve with and to affirm my feelings.  Now, looking back, I'm thankful he was hopeful because the grieving process would have definitely been a lot longer for me. 

(5)  I appreciate my children more than ever and am so grateful they are healthy. 

(6)  Our friends and family are amazing.  We had so many people bring us meals, gifts, pray for us, send cards, and send us the sweetest texts.  Nick and I felt so blessed by everyone! 

(7)  I am strong. I have had over 30 blood draws from March to today and still have to go back every month until December to make sure it doesn't come back and turn into cancer.  I have no idea what my future holds. We could go on to having perfectly healthy pregnancies or it could come back. I have no idea but I am holding onto God's promises - He is faithful. 

Today, I can 100% say, I would never take these past five months back. It has made me into a better wife, mom, friend, and believer.  I am stronger because God conquered.  

"My grace is sufficient for you for My power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9


-Brittani