Is there a limit on the miracles God chooses to work in our lives? Is it a tit for tat type thing…like when something bad happens, then something good is due to come right around the corner? Somehow, I don’t think it works that way but I have to stop and thank God for the miracle he has been working in my life!
I have posted before about my extreme grief that followed my miscarriage and then briefly hinted at my fertility struggles. It has been a very hard road to travel and has truly opened my heart to accept and believe that God is working a miracle in my life. In March, I had a D&C to remove my baby who had passed 4 weeks prior to me finding out. My body didn’t recognize the loss and wasn’t doing what it needed to naturally take care of things. After recovering (physically…I think I am still recovering emotionally and I’m not sure if that process will ever be complete), we decided to try again with the help of a fertility specialist. It didn’t seem fair that it had taken over a year and a half to conceive our first baby only to have that taken away!
My doctor was magnificent and truly the best I could have asked for. He recommended a surgery in July, a hysteroscopy to check out my baby making parts to make sure everything was functioning like it should. Turns out, both fallopian tubes were damaged (potentially from the d&c…how cruel is that?!). He recommended another surgery, a laparoscopy, to check the tubes from a different angle. He said that if that test confirmed that both tubes were damaged, then he would need to remove them. I gave consent and started coming to terms with the idea that I may never be able to have a baby the natural way and that IVF was likely the only option for me to have my own biological child. We scrounged up all our finances, tightened our budget even more, sold a vehicle…all in preparation for what seemed to be inevitable. In August, I had the laparoscopy and was thrilled to learn that only one of my tubes needed to be removed! The other one turned out to be in perfect condition after all! Blessing # 1!
Recovery from that surgery was not fun…I was in bed for several days, in pain. But once that passed, we decided to try a monitored cycle with Clomid, a fertility drug that enhances ovulation. I went in for several ultrasounds to determine which ovary the egg would be released from and had high hopes even though I now only had one tube. All my hopes were riding on my right ovary stepping up to the plate and producing the best egg! I was again devastated to learn that this month was likely not it for us since the left ovary was showing the biggest and most ready egg…I no longer had a fallopian tube to catch the egg if it came from the left side. I don’t know if it was the extreme disappointment or the fertility meds messing with my hormones or a combination of both but I just burst into tears right in the doctor’s office! I just really wanted to catch a break after all we’d been through but that wasn’t happening…it felt so unfair!
The next couple of weeks, I was an emotional mess. My previous due date was fast approaching and my chances of being pregnant by that date were just shot. I really didn’t want to face that day with no baby in my arms or in my belly. I had already taken the day off work in anticipation of the flood of emotions to come. I knew I would rather handle that at home than to try to hide it in front of my students and coworkers.
September 25, I woke up early and completely out of habit and obligation decided to take a pregnancy test. I almost didn’t even test because I was sure that it was negative just as it had been the previous 5 days that week and the past 25 months before that. It just wasn’t possible this month. I’m pretty sure my heart stopped beating when I saw the second line faintly appearing on the test. I immediately went to the cabinet and grabbed another test…a digital one this time and cried when I saw the most beautiful word, “Pregnant,” appear on the screen!
Just to put it in perspective, a normal healthy person only has a 20% chance of conceiving any given month. Because I only have one tube, that cuts my chances in half…down to 10%. I was ovulating from the side with no tube which to me, meant my chances were now down to 0%. My doctor had explained that 30% of the time the right side tube can reach across and grab the egg from the left ovary. So I figured, out of my 10% chance…take 30% of that and my odds of conceiving that month were only 3%. Some people may see that as a statistical victory but I see it as God’s biggest miracle in my life so far! There are so many reasons why it shouldn’t have happened that month and it did anyways!
Needless to say, the past 17 weeks have been a very scary and emotional time for me. I am extremely grateful for the 2nd chance at being a mom but I am also very aware that anything can happen and I’m terrified of losing my little man (oh yeah…I’m having a boy!!!) I just recently started to feel much better about my chances of bringing home a healthy baby in June. I guess being firmly in the 2nd trimester has helped calm my nerves a little bit.
Now, I am praying for miracle # 2 and wondering if I’m pushing my luck asking for even more. It turns out my body kinda sucks and at only 17 weeks I’m showing signs of premature labor. At 16 weeks, I had an appointment with a maternal fetal medicine (MFM) specialist to check my cervical length since that was considered to be a potential issue due to my history of prior surgeries. That week, I was told there was nothing to be concerned about yet because I was still slightly in the normal range (2.5 – 5 cm is considered normal and I measured 2.6 cm.) Even though the doctor wasn’t concerned, I was! That is only 1mm away from being abnormal! So we decided to go in for weekly checks to make sure it wasn’t changing or shortening. Thursday was my second check and unfortunately, it was even shorter at 2.35 cm at best! Now, I am definitely considered at risk for preterm labor. If I can make it to 24 weeks, my baby might have a shot at making it but if I go into labor before then, he doesn’t really have a chance. I am again devastated that I have a perfectly healthy little boy and my body is failing him! The plan for now is to try progesterone supplements and continue the weekly ultrasounds to check my cervix. I am of course praying for no more changes but my doctors have told me to prepare for the fact that it likely will continue to shorten as the baby grows and applies more pressure. If it gets as short as 2 cm, I will be placed on strict bed rest…lying flat for 23.5 hours a day only allowed out of bed to go to the restroom! I will also be getting a cerclage (a stitch to hold the cervix closed and hopefully prevent the baby from coming too soon) if it gets any shorter. There are risks with that procedure as it is a surgery and requires a needle to be dangerously close to my baby. I am terrified of that but trying to trust that I am in capable hand with my doctors. I am also leaning on my faith that God can and has worked miracles in my life recently! I am trying to trust that he is in control and can make my body do what it is supposed to do!