Saturday, February 28, 2009


Maybe this will be Lucy some day!

Friday, February 27, 2009

unordered thoughts

1. I will make Scott an apple pie.

2. The kids are hyper.

3. 11 days.

4. 3 weeks in Cincinnati. Will I actually have an opportunity to read a book?

5. I love Imperforate Anus parents. Now that we have decided to go for it, this site is the best site ever. I have jumped in with both feet. All of these women have kids who have gone through the procedures, so they know exactly what to expect. And this is how I met Heather, whose little Kai has surgery 2 days after Lucy! I am not the only one who writes about my adventures with poop!

Are you bringing the brownies and People magazines or am I, Heather?

6. Scott wants the docs to slip him something so he will be comatose during surgery as well. Maybe I could do it? I'm just not that sneaky, and someone would catch me spiking his iced tea, crouched in the corner of the waiting room, and they'd take me to jail for a very long time.

"No, no! It's all been a terrible mistake!" Maxi pads and lip gloss fall out of my purse as I struggle to get up: "Our daughter is in surgery to get a new pooper" I point an accusatory finger his way:

"He doesn't want to be awake during it!"

"Hey, Mac? I think I've heard everything - pooper surgery? Please. Get security."

Meanwhile, Scott has stolen the rocking chair we have been fighting over all morning (there are only 2 in the waiting room), and is grinning away.

7. The phone is ringing again.

8. I hate paperwork.

9. We need a paper shredder. Oh, remember him? Oh wait, I thought shredder was the rat. My youth is fading - oh, 1980s memories, come back to me.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

pen and arrow

OK, here it is. Ahem - **female issues** discussed at length, so any male readers may want to bow out here.

On Thursday, I was checking my cervix to see if it had become normal after the miscarriage. I didn't expect to find it low - I mean, UNEARTLHY low. I googled "extremely low cervix", and this is what I found. To say I was freaking out might not even do it justice. "Ok, really, God, you are making me lose my uterus in the middle of all of this?" I imagined pessaries and uterine surgeries and Scott leaving me in a ditch, all because of my uterine prolapse.

"Do you reall think I would leave you at home, and not take you to the hospital, if it was really uterine prolapse?" He asked me in disbelief. (He's used to my freakings.)

When I called the nurse she said, "Yes, the cervix can be extremely low after miscarriage. You really do need to stay off of Google."

joke's on her. haha.

Yesterday I went in, and told the doctor my concerns, and when she checked me, she started laughing and said, "Well, Rachel, you were half right - there WAS something." Then she pulled out the biggest thing I have ever seen, and I tried to sit up to see it, and she said, "Yes, you can see it, just wait a second, because I need to finish the examination."

My doc is awesome. She wears Betsy Johnson cat-eye glasses with rhinestones and pointy-toed shoes. She has cute hair and she's so good with me. It's what I need at this point.

So anyway, she told me that what I felt was a "decidual cast"...basically, something that might have mimicked a twin pregnancy but wasn't really one...blighted ovum, maybe? I can't tell you how much that relieved me, to know that they weren't really in there at all. Does that make sense?

So, she put it on a paper towel and we inspected it. GROSS. And then, she took a ball point pen and wrote, send this to pathology, with an arrow pointing to it. I texted some friends while I waited.

And then, when I had my ultrasound, I messed up the table, so she took another paper towel and wrote on it with her beloved pen and arrow, sanitize this.

I imagine her in an actual delivery, placing the laboring mother on a paper towel, arrow toward the vag*ina: "deliver this. be back in 10."

So anyway, that took a load off. Uterus fine, ovaries fine, everything clear. NO D & C!!!!!

And, in other news... **drumroll**


When we met with the doctors in Cincinnati, they ALL concurred that it should be done. That her quality of life will be better, that we will not have to deal with poop bags any more. We won't have to put her in onesies all the time, and she can wear WHATEVER she wants! I won't have to choose the clothes that are still kind of ugly only because they fit over her bag.

I never even thought this day would come. We have been going back and forth about it for 15 months. Worrying, worrying, worrying. But now, with the miscarriage, with the economy the way it is, with our appointment with the doc, we have decided to do it NOW, and not even in May (when we had originally thought about scheduling it.)

I had prayed that God could make it EARLY, and that is almost unheard of, because they have a long waiting list. The nurse emailed me and said, "March 10!"

No more colostomy bags.

We will be in Cincinnati 3 weeks or more. Good blog fodder, I'm sure. How we will sit through an 8 hour surgery with our kid split open? By the grace of God.

I imagine her with a paper towel on her belly and ballpoint pen writing, arrow toward colostomy bag: burn this.

I won't see her intestine every day. We won't deal with smelly bags. I can hardly contain my excitement.

MY GIRL WILL FEEL NORMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

something funny

Something is in the works, and I will expound when I know all the details.

I am just laughing at the way God works.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

current worries

1. that my uterus is prolapsing.

2. that Scott will lose his job (thanks for putting my kids in more debt they will know what to do with, Obama and Congress. Thanks.)

3. that Lucy won't be able to get her pull-through

4. taxes through the roof (did you hear some senator wants to put GPS units in all cars and tax per mile driven? can we say nanny state?)

5. loss of religious freedoms, fairness doctrine (it's already happening, kids)

6. universal health care, crappy coverage

7. the future of our family, family size

8. Lucy's current bladder infection

9. Getting the house ready to sell

10. Buying another one

Those are my worries for today. It felt nice to write them out. I am laying them all at your feet, God. Because I royally suck at handling them myself.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

por*n shop epiphanies

I had an epiphany this weekend. In thinking about having a child with special needs, and what that means, I have realized that I don't have to be ALL one way or ALL another. Sometimes I'm really thankful that she is doing so well, and some days I'm just really sad that she has to deal with so much.

We were driving along the highway home from the hospital today, and I was thinking that the closing po*rn shops along I-70 are one positive result of the recession. A vagrant thought popped into my head:

"It's better to let emotion flow freely than to come up with a synthetic blend of denial and self-loathing that will only make me angrier with time."

Aside from the obvious travel/gasoline analogy, I liked the thought.

Some days I am happy, some days I am sad. I feel this bland sort of anxiousness pop up whenever I start feeling like my time for feeling a certain emotion has expired. And then, if I have been feeling happy I start to feel anxious because I think, "Gosh, I shouldn't be sad." Instead of just feeling the emotion and getting on with my day, I have to get all wrapped up in how self-indulgent I am in feeling that particular thing.

"Gosh, you should really just feel thankful..."

"Why can't you just get over it?"

I find myself looking for these insinuations out of the mouths of others, when I'm not so sure many people are actually thinking these thoughts. And if they are, well, they haven't been in my shoes.

Most of the time, I need only to hold a mirror to discover from whence this odd pressure to be "happy" comes.

Friday, February 20, 2009

testing, testing

We are in Cincinnati, getting testing done on Lucy's kidneys. If you'd like her website, email me at and I will see that you get it!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Thank you for sitting there with me last night and for letting me say, "I hurt," and saying nothing in return. You knew I just needed a nod from you. I wasn't afraid to cry, to wipe tears on "Indy 500" sweatshirt sleeves. The tears symbolized something.

I suppose they symbolized release, a release that had no apology, that wasn't afraid to make its way to restaurant air. The release knew it was safe there, intrinsically - well, as much as release can know a thing.

You never tell me I will be OK soon, or just to be thankful. This is your story, too. You've lived it. I know the sadness will abate, it will, it always has before - falling back, stuttering toward sun.

You don't try to tell me that, either.

You just bring me the only thing the restaurant has to offer: cheap brown napkins that scratch.

The scratch comforts because it reminds me of hurt, of the things I have lost, of the things I will forever wander through doorways trying to find.

And you know it.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Lucy

Happy #4, Lulu. You are a courageous, sweet little thing who may (upon occasion) yell at your friends when they try to look at any one of your 52 birthday presents. It was a thrill watching you blow out your candles. You have come SO far. It's hard to believe your doctors thought you might not make it. Was that really only 4 years ago?

Thank you for making us laugh, and cry, and everything in between! You are loved so very much! Happy birthday, Daughter!

how I am

I have been majorly slacking on the Nathan updates:

After 10 days, Nathan's chest is now closed. He has been tolerating it reasonably well, but his blood pressure has been a little low. The doctors and nurses are keeping a close eye on all of his vitals and blood gases today to watch for anything askew. The doctors were concerned that he may have arrythmias following the chest closure, and thankfully he has not. Just another day of watching him closely to see how he reacts to this latest procedure.
Thanks for your continued prayers,
Dan & Sarah

Yesterday we had Lucy's birthday party. It was so much fun, just being around people I love and seeing her so excited. And yes, she was SO excited. The bratty in her came out as she was afraid her friends were going to take her toys, but it was quickly subdued when the Dora cake came out. It was a good day.

Before that, I went to Target, and randomly started crying in the body wash aisle. My conversation with myself went something like this:

"Pull yourself together. They were barely 6 weeks. They were hardly fetuses. You have two great kids at home, an adoring husband. Get yourself together. Really. You know lots of people who have had it worse than this."

And then I saw my neighbor in the check out line and I knew I looked like I had just, well, cried alot, so I just told her. And then I thought, "Should I have told her? Was that weird?"

All this second-guessing is driving me crazy.

I remember telling some friends after losing Lucy's twin that I didn't think of it as a baby, but I thought of it in more medical terms. I know they probably thought that odd, and I do now, too. But then, that was the only way I knew how to process it. I am not good at this being sad thing. I don't want to be sad. I want to be happy and joyful and thankful. I don't want to be stressed and angry and sad.

Forgive me for not reading your blogs. I just can't right now. It brings up too much stuff and I am just a little raw right now. I am dreading the due date time, September...

but then I keep thinking that God has a plan, and who knows, maybe I will be pregnant again before September rolls around. And I keep telling myself that this hurt will be no longer a sharp thing, but a distant, dull, ache.

Apparently my uterus thinks it is a clown car. I will leave it at that.

I wake up in the morning and remember that I'm not pregnant any more, and I don't want to get out of bed. I know part of it has to be hormones, because when I am pragmatic about it, I am ok.

Tell me how you got through your miscarriages or other hard times. It will help.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

feeling good

It was a good, full, busy day, and the worst of the cramping is over.

I was thinking of all that I am thankful for:

1. The miscarriage was early. I prayed that if something were wrong with the pregnancy, that I would have a miscarriage in the first trimester. God answered that prayer. A friend I was talking with today said, "Something was wrong, Rachel, and your body took care of it." I am so grateful for that.

2. My wonderful kids. Today, Asher played outside in the middle of the yard, just sitting there with his knees folded under him, playing with the grass. Two hours. I took a picture because it was so stinkin' sweet. He was wearing his teddy bear hat and I wanted to eat him up. Sign of genius, or slow development?

3. Hope for the future - whether we have more children or Asher and Lucy are who God blesses us with, I have every assurance that God is in charge of the building of our family now. I am so grateful for that. We really do have no control, even though we like to think we do. I guess after this experience that point has been made crystal clear to me. I have also had people say that they had a miscarriage, and then they say, "If I would not have had that miscarriage, we wouldn't have Sarah with us now. Isn't that strange to think about?"

I just like that thought, I guess. God has someone very specific in mind for us. I am excited about that.

4. For the past 4 or 5 days, I have just felt "not myself". Tonight, I feel more myself. I feel more relaxed, at peace, then I have felt in the last two weeks. I am not sure if it's the weather, or just calm acceptance, or the fact that we are moving forward on this house-selling thing, but I am just feeling good. Our living room is light yellow and the woodwork looks brand new. It looks SOOOOO gorgeous!

5. My awesome, awesome friends. I called my college friend Hannah today. It was just so good to hear her voice. With some people, it just feels like you never "left off" where you ended - even if the last time you talked was a year ago! She was wondering if Lucy had any developmental delays as a result of her birth defects. I was reminded once again, how good God has been to her. No delays. We go for testing in Cincinnati in a week, and I love to watch the doctors marvel at how well she is doing. Her birthday is this Monday, and Scott just made the comment that it is so fun to see her so excited for her 4th birthday, hoping like mad for the Tinkerbell movie.

We never, EVER thought we would get to see her celebrate that day.

6. I have even more confirmation that my husband is sweeter and more tender than I knew him to be in the first place. I got so lucky.

6. I just ate cake.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


It's been a long day. My parents have been over all day helping get our house ready to sell. Our realtor has been selling houses in our neighborhood for 25 years, so she had all sorts of ideas of things we need to do.

Problem is, it might look so great when we are done we won't want to move!

Has this ever happened to anyone? Give me your house-selling stories.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

check back in three

I am really glad to be living in the year 2009. When you miscarry in the year 2009, you can take Vicodin. When you miscarry in the year 1909, well, you've got your 3rd husband (the first two died in horse-reshoeing accidents), some hay in your panties to catch the products of conception, and a bottle of moonshine.

I had NO IDEA you actually have contractions during a miscarriage. Never knew. And I have NO idea how you ladies who have had babies the "natural" way did it. Really. Maybe I am a wimp? I don't think so, though, because with both of my c-sections I was off of the pain meds by day 2. This hurts more.

The doc told me that the twins shared a placenta as well as an amniotic sac, which means not-so-much-fun pregnancy wise. It's the sort of twinning that OB's really hope you don't have. All sorts of twin-to-twin transfusion stuff and tangled cords, etc. I know she was trying to make me feel better. She told me everything looks great, we can pretty much try again whenever we feel like it. "You apparently don't have trouble getting pregnant, you have two great kids at home, you're a lucky girl." And I just really really could have hugged her, because she made me feel so much better. You can think she's a jerk, but I like her.

I'm telling you, waiting until 13 weeks next time - or maybe 39. For some reason the telling and untelling was really hard on me.

One minute I'm fine and the next minute I'm depressed and that's just the way it's going to be for awhile. I have to be ok with that. I'm not very good at just "being". I'm very good at trying to perform for people or act how they want me to act.

Being thrust into this position has clarified alot of things for me - namely, that I just need to chill and not try to be something I'm not.

Right now, I'm:

1. Sad at the loss
2. Thankful for my friends
3. Tired of this
4. Thankful for my family
5. Pissed about this
6. Happy at the weather
7. Happy at the cake in the oven
8. Happy at Lucy's excitement over her birthday
9. Happy at how my husband handles me - he knows just what to say
10. Ambivalent
11. Not answering my phone

So, those are emotions of the minute.

Check back in 3, and I guarantee you they will have changed.

2:10 pm - this just in

Hello everyone,
Just wanted to post a quick update and let everyone know that Dan and I are currently waiting for the surgeons to remove that cannulas that are keeping Nathan on ECMO! He had a trial that lasted in excess of four hours, and all went much more smoothly than yesterday's trial did. This is a great step in the right direction, but we ask for you to continue to pray for Nathan as the hard work for him is really just beginning. His heart now will have to function without any backup support. Thank you so much for your prayers, we will keep you posted.
Dan and Sarah

Monday, February 9, 2009

Baby Nate Update

Hello everyone,

Nathan had kind of a rough night last night that lasted into this morning. He began having issues regulating his blood pressure and an issue with a slight arrythmia. When Dan and I arrived this morning, there were 10 or so doctors and nurses around Nathan's bedside watching all of his monitors very closely. The decision was made to open the patch covering his heart and try to evacuate some of the blood and fluids that could possibly be compressing his heart and negatively affecting his blood pressure. This procedure brings a risk of infection and blood clots, but the surgeon felt that it was the best course of action. Please pray that this allows Nathan's blood pressure to regulate itself and his condition begins to improve. He has to stabilize before the doctors can being to trial him off ECMO, which needs to happen before his kidneys sustain any more damage. He is very critical and we need your prayers. Thanks for taking the time to pray for Nathan. We will update as soon as we can.

Sarah and Dan

laying low

I started bleeding on Saturday, so I know what the ultrasound is already going to say. I just hope I can do this naturally.

The hardest part of all of this has been the telling, and then the "untelling". I know several have said, "You will never be able to wait to tell until 13 weeks next time!" but I will be able to, and that is what we will do. This has just been too hard. I thought that waiting to tell was giving into my fear, but I am realizing that it is also a self-protection mechanism.

My mom is coming over today to help us do some major fixing up on our house. I haven't heard about Nathan today, but if I do, I will let you know.

Otherwise, I am laying low for awhile. I need to.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Nathan update

You all don't know how much it means to Dan and Sarah to know so many are praying.

From Sarah:

Nathan is still on the ECMO machine to take the burden off of his heart and give it time to rest and heal following his surgery. Right now he is holding steady, and his color is much better than it was yesterday. He is still critically ill, and we are taking things hour by hour.

Immediate concerns are for his kidney function, which has dropped off since his surgery yesterday and is common in this situation. He may receive some dialysis via the ECMO machine tomorrow if this doesn't resolve itself. Please pray for this. Also, his blood pressure is doing a better job of regulating itself, so his medication has been reduced. The doctors are telling us that it will likely be several more days of ECMO before they can begin trials to see if does well without it or not.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We apologize for the length of time between updates, but yesterday was an extremely long day. Please keep all of us in your prayers. We know that God is watching over Nathan all of the time, and we trust in His plan.

Psalm 121:2-4 (New International Version)
2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.


No news on Nate this morning. I am hoping silence means he is doing well.

The weather is supposed to be 70 degrees today. I am taking the kids to a friend's, but before that, we are going to indulge in Smoothie King - orange vanilla.

Even if I go to a sonogram on Monday, the results could still be inconclusive. Pregnancy tests are still getting darker, no signs of miscarriage, my uterus is definitely getting bigger (TMI, to be sure.) Yes, it could be a missed miscarriage. I understand that. But I also know enough to understand that sonograms in the first trimester are often worthless.

A friend pointed out that even if I go Monday, and they still can't see, do I go ahead and do a D&C? If I do a D&C I will always wonder. Then people are telling me that miscarrying naturally is horrible, but haven't people done that for years and years? I know if you are bleeding too much it can be a problem, but I know I would ALWAYS wonder if I ended something prematurely if I did a D&C or Cytotec. Cyotec? I don't even know. Listen to me. I'm wanting to take a pill I know nothing about.

I am thinking of cancelling Monday's ultrasound. Really, the ultrasound carousel is one I am ready to get off. And if you're thinking I'm offering myself false hope, I'm not. I am ready to just get this thing over with.

And if I am ever pregnant again? I will be announcing it at 15 weeks.

I woke up with a heavy heart over baby Nate, but I know that in all of this, God is in control.

You are in control, right? God? God? Haha. there you are. Thank you for making 70 degree days and Smoothie King and friends who tell me to come over even though my little man in his glow-in-the-dark Mickey Mouse shirt is snotty.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nathan is struggling

**updated, 10:18 pm** No updates tonight - Please continue praying. Nate is in a very preciarious position - major heart surgery followed by the ECMO machine. I will let you know when I know more. **

Sarah just emailed me - Nathan is now on ECMO and really struggling. His blood pressure is low and he is having lots of trouble.

Oh Lord, i come before you with a fervent prayer for this sweet child. Heal him, Lord, allow his little body to overcome the obstacles that are placed before him. He is not ours, Lord, we know that, but we long to have him here with us. Be with Dan and Sarah. Cover them with your peace. Help them. Hear all of us through our tears, we know that you are the true and living God and you can perform a miracle in this sweet child's life. I am on my knees asking for that miracle, Lord. I am asking for you to restore this baby to fullness.

Please, please, please pray with me for amazing Nathan. Comment your prayers, if you would like. His parents will see them. They are there with the chaplain by his bedside.

Sarah, I am here for you! We are not strong but our God is! I love you!


Sweet Nathan went into surgery at 7:30 this morning, central time. It was supposed to take 4 hours, so he should be getting out at any time. He was having the Norwood procedure done, for Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The Norwood is one of the most complicated procedures done in infants with heart defects.

Please pray! I will update you when I have an update. I am just on my knees for this sweet little man.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

straw man

My dear friend is waiting this morning for her newborn to have a very serious heart surgery. His name is Nathan, and look at him. Just look at him. If I get permission from his mom, I will share his website. But could you pray for this sweet little man?:

His mom and I always meet at the same Target and chat. Last time, we wandered around, wondering if the pregnant women with healthy babies knew how damn lucky they were. We got especially angry in the bib aisle, where two women were registering.

What do I say to her? I can certainly say,

"I know how it is. I know how it is to give your newborn up to someone you hardly know. I know how it is to look into the eyes of a surgeon and say, 'You have to make this right.' I know how it is to sit there, staring at the wall, getting angry at anyone who interrupts your own little personal hell."

I know how it is to sit there in a room, all alone, bleeding from the wounds of childbirth, hoping that the call you get on the phone isn't going to be the call you dread. I remember sitting in that hospital room, begging God to send someone to wait with me because I couldn't do it alone. I have no idea how it happened that I was waiting alone, but I think in the excitement of Lu being transferred it happened that way.

Not 5 seconds after I finished the prayer the door shifted. There was Sharion, my friend. She sat down, opened her McDonald's bag, started eating. We probably exchanged 4 words.

I got up, pacing the room, dripping blood from places no one should see you drip blood. She got to it before the nurses did.

she helped clean it up.

The back of my gown wasn't tied. My hair was in shocks all over my head. She saw all of me - I mean, the rawest parts of me, and she didn't run. In those moments, it was just the soul of me that she could see, and I think she knew it.

Sometimes the best thing a kindred can do for you is to sit there with you, hearing the hollowness whip by the both of you, waiting for the tide to shift in an empty ocean.

She came over this morning, and I got the joy of feeling her little girl or boy rumble around in her belly. We mainly just sat, laughing at how much of a mess we were (boy, you should see me today) and how when we are at Target our kids are messes. When I called her on Monday I said, "Well, there were some babies, but they're not living now, and I'm fine, it wasn't meant to be, and besides, we weren't really ready for three kids."

She told me today she knew that was a lie, but she wasn't going to push it. And I knew it was a lie too, but it was a lie I needed to tell to get by that day.

I am angry, I am really angry. Not even sad so much as just blatantly pissed off. I try to tell myself that miscarriages happen all the time, that it was just random bad luck, but somehow that doesn't take the anger away. And I don't know if I want it to. I am angry that many people reading this will think, "Well, some people just have alot of trouble and shouldn't try to have kids."

Like it's my own damn fault for wanting them.

The last time, we were so anxious with Lucy's well-being that we didn't have time to grieve over what we had lost. A few minutes in a back room bawling into some Kleenex was all the grief I afforded myself. "We still have a baby here," I said. "We are so lucky." And we were.

I was so busy being pragmatic and hoping that she would live that it wasn't until a few years later that all that had happened really hit me, and this time I'm determined just to let it all out as it happens.

Putting someone else's misfortune into a tidy category makes it much easier for the human psyche. We all do it, you know we do. I like to think that my kid wouldn't get run over by a car because I watch her when we're around traffic. I like to think that my husband wouldn't get a heart attack and kick off at 34 because he exercises.

Human coping skills. Where would the straw man be if we didn't have those?

There are colostomy bags to change and stories to read and naps to take.

The whole point of this post, I guess, is... damn, what was the point?

Uh, take your prenatal vitamins? No....

Sometimes, I guess you just need a friend who you know cares.

I know someone reading this is thinking, "Man, she's so dramatic. Miscarriages happen all the time. She has two healthy kids. She should be thankful."

Oh, I am thankful. I am BEYOND thankful. I want you to know that. But sometimes, when you have lost someone, or are on the verge of it, you just need some friends to say, "It's ok. we're here." No judgements, no preconceptions. If you have that, you have everything.

I have everything.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

i'm ok

I guess that is all I really wanted to say. I published a post this morning about how angry I am, and certainly there is some of that. There is also sadness, and there is also anxiety.

The truth must remain, however, that in any situation we find ourselves, we have 2 choices:

1. Trust God
2. Trust Man

I am making the conscious choice to trust God. A friend reminded me today that I will either say goodbye to this pregnancy or that God will allow the pregnancy to continue on. My gut is heavily leaning toward, "Say goodbye," but I know there is a small possibility they were wrong. Were I to hurry up and end it now, I know the wondering if I had ended something prematurely would eat me alive. With the retroverted uterus, I have been reading stories how babies have not been seen even up until 12 weeks. That, couple with the fact that the tech kept saying, "I'm just not understanding what I'm seeing," I am not comfortable doing anything else. So, we wait.

I do foggily remember a little girl whose prognosis was, "incompatible with life" via the ultrasound machine.

At almost 4 years old, she disagrees.

Regardless, one truth remains: God is the same. I was never promised an easy path, none of us were. Did I want that ultrasound to show me a healthy 9 week old baby? Yes. Am I mad as hell that I was sick for 5 weeks for no reason? Absolutely. Do I cry every time a song about God's goodness comes on the radio and I'm blindsided and almost wreck my mass of a car? Yes. Do I think, "Really, God? Twins again?" Yes. Did I want to shoot the UPS man for dropping off the doppler WHILE I WAS AWAY AT MY APPOINTMENT? You answer that one.

Still, the truth remains, and I must see it, and let it penetrate my heart.

You all are AMAZING. Every comment has been like lip balm on chapped lips. (Like the analogy?) I know it sounds trite, but it's all I can say to say, "thank you". Thank you for leaving your kind words and thoughts. Yeah, it does sound trite.

I wanted that Cyotec pill so badly, so I could just get this over with. But in the waiting is the beauty. It is the clearing on the high hill, the place in my soul where I must say, "Not my will, but yours."

With me, and always with me, God has never been more clear than in the waiting.

cynical hopefulness

I spent most of the day today wandering around, searching for something. Hoping maybe the phone cradle or the refrigerator or the door jamb held an answer.


I cry off and on, bitter tears of disappointment. And then I chastise myself. I was only 9 weeks, it was so early and I knew not to get my hopes up. But how can they not be? How? How can you not get your hopes up, thinking about a new little someone who wants to come and join your family? If that new little someone is anything as sweet as Lu and Ashy, the door's wide open.

My mom calls, says, "You don't know that you're NOT still pregnant." And that's the frustrating thing. She's ever the pragmatist, and hearing that from her makes the possibility shine like deer's eyes in Sylvania. Here's what I know. Bullet points, kids, bullet points:

  • I hate facebook.

  • What is the point of early ultrasounds? As Scott often says, "What are they going to do about anything they find, anyway?" My theory is that it's all about money. Ultrasounds are quick and expensive.

  • My kids need baths.

  • Yeah, that was me, driving down the road in my Grandma car, bawling to that "God is in Control" song by Plus One.

  • Lucy is sweet. She keeps telling Asher, "Mama is crying because that baby, you know? that baby that was in her tummy isn't gonna grow no more. You gotta help her."

  • My uterus is retroverted, so much so that the sonographer said to me, "I don't understand what I'm seeing." Chalk another one up for anomoly!

  • Someone told me they thought I made that twin story up. I know, who woulda thunk?

  • I told Scott I imagined Lucy playing with a little 7 week old fetus. She asked to play with the baby the other day. "I can't imagine Lucy playing with a fetus. Would she dress it up in doll clothes?" I ask him. "Well, I've seen her playing with one. Remember that one ultrasound where she was kicking her twin like a football?" He said it in a deadpan and I couldn't stop laughing.

  • I've looked up some online and seen that if you have a retroverted uterus, you CANNOT trust an ultrasound to tell you you need a D&C before 12 weeks. From

They finally found my baby at 10 weeks but are telling me I am only 7 or 8 weeks but I know this is impossible. How can this be?

The measurements taken by transvaginal ultrasound are very accurate during the first trimester and used by physicians to date the pregnancy. However, they are subject to human error and, we believe, they are not quite as accurate if your uterus is tilted. We've had a number of women who knew exactly when they conceived but did not see their babies until 8 to 12 weeks (or even more) and, when finally found, their doctors insisted their dates were off by weeks. Even if the woman only had sex one time, they'll insist she got pregnant weeks later. We believe that with the awkward positioning during the ultrasound coupled with the tilted uterus, dates are skewed during the first trimester. And, in fact, most of these women report the dates as being accurate again at their 20 week (or second trimester ) ultrasound.

I am still having pregnancy symptoms, and the sonographer said the ring around the amniotic sac was really bright and looked really good, which I guess means good implantation. I just don't understand it all. And then I convince myself that I am getting cramps.

If we had totally trusted sonograms and gone on doctors' advice solely from said sonograms, we would have "terminated on Monday" as Dr. Death had prescribed. Lucy was supposedly "incompatible with life".

She disagrees.

So, I sit and wait. I was talking to a friend this morning and she said, "Well, you're just waiting for your marching orders. You're either going to miscarry, or you're going to continue on with a pregnancy."

Somehow, that was so simple and nice to hear. Because, after all, we're not in control. And if I go back in a week and it is still the same, or not at all, then I will deal. I was thinking today how I know some awesome, amazing people. Thank you, friends, for caring so much. I have seen other people writing that on their blogs, but it really is hard to express how much it means when you are the recipient.

i'm pissed off

I had been trying to eat so well. That changed yesterday, Right after the ultrasound I went to Panda Garden and ordered the most fattening thing I could find. Then, I hopped my little shocked butt right over to Smoothie King and ordered a Smoothie. Then, I went to my neighbor's and picked up my kids, and we gorged on the food.

There's a reason I don't get excited - because this shitty stuff always seems to happen. I am really, really pissed off. And the only thing that seems to help is knowing that other people have been through the same thing. Is that twisted? Well, there it is.

I called a friend yesterday and said, "I'm fine! I'm fine! Really, I'm really fine!" and she said, "You know, you don't have to be fine. It's ok to not be fine." These emotions are tiring, and I really don't want to feel them. I just told my friend who lost her son, "It's ok to let other people take care of you." and I have trouble doing the same thing.

In a sick, sad sort of way, a part of me expected this to happen. Self-fulfilling prophecy? Who knows. I have enough angels in heaven to have my own bowling league. Is there a discount on fetus-sized t-shirts?

They told me my uterus is tipped, so it is hard to see in there. And I looked online and saw that if you have a tipped uterus, sometimes it is impossible to even SEE the baby until 8 - 12 weeks. But this just ticks me off further, because it puts me in the land of limbo. She also said that my uterus FELT 9 weeks pregnant, and that the lining around the gestational sac looked good and bright. Argh.

I know I'm supposed to write some flowery post about how great God is and how thankful I am for my children, and I am. Last night Asher was lying in bed next to me, and he was just stroking my face. It was so sweet - like he knew I needed it. (And then he punched me in the mouth and started yelling.)

I was crying in the bathroom yesterday and Lucy came in and said,

"Mama, why are you sad?"

"Oh, I'm sad because the baby in my tummy is not growing any more."

"What can I do to help?" (Yes, she actually said that.)

"You can give me a big hug."

She came over and gave me a big hug, and then she said,

"Man, your kids really make you happy. We make you happy, huh. Do you hate it when your babies die?"

Yup. Hate it when my babies die.

Monday, February 2, 2009

my hate of ultrasounds is confirmed.

identical twins.
no beating hearts.

I knew it was not going to be good the minute she put the wand to my belly.

"Shouldn't you see a heartbeat?"

"Well, yes, if you are nine weeks, we should have seen a heartbeat right away. What's this?"

**I wait, thinking of clouds and lollipops and my children's dirty faces.**

"Hmmm, looks like identical twins. Are you sure you couldn't be 6 weeks along? Because from what I see, it looks like you could just be 6 weeks along with identical twins."

I could tell at this point that she was just trying to be positive, but I told her she didn't have to be that way, that I've been through this before.

"Oh, well, if you're supposed to be 9 weeks, then it doesn't look good."

I continue sitting, wondering why I still feel nauseated and when they'll do the D&C. I think of all of my prayers to God that I would miscarry if something were wrong with the baby. Guess He made good on that one. Someone laughs in the hallway. No tears wet my cheeks, just the realization and the remembering.

"We can do this one of three ways," the doctor says. "Naturally, a D&C, or Cyotec. But first, I want you to wait a week to make sure you're not really just 6 weeks along."

"Can't you just give me the Cyotec now? I want this over with."

"I can't do that - from what the ultrasound says, you're 6 weeks pregnant with twins, but it just doesn't go with your dates."

"But I know for sure when I got a positive pregnancy test."

"Let's just have you come back in a week."

I dab at my eyes, take her card, shake her hand. I walk down the hall, into the parking garage, to my car. The angry-looking man at the window tells me I owe him $2.60. I shrug, telling him I don't have any cash. He sighs, letting me by, just this once.

"You really should get your parking ticket validated," he reprimands.

I should be embarassed, but I really don't care. I smile and nod.

A sudden warmth fills me as I think of Scott, sitting at his desk, hard at work and trying to solve someone else's computer problems. I think of Lucy with her warm brown eyes, and Asher with his bright blue ones. They will look at me, and they will smile recognition.

I turn my car toward home.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

ultrasound machine

Tomorrow morning I have an ultrasound.

If you've ever seen something not quite right on an ultrasound screen, you know what I'm feeling. There is no distracting oneself from the Ultrasound, no matter how many times Oxygen can show Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in "Philadelphia", or how many servings of Monkey Bread can be consumed in one sitting, or how many hours one can successfully keep one's own progeny in their pajamas today (hint: think, more than 24).

So, if you've ever been in the nervously-anticipating-the-ultrasound-position, could you do this? Say a little prayer for me, a certain hopefully rapidly-growing embryo, and our date with the Ultrasound Machine.