Missed Hope

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I had planned on sharing this part of my story when I had the "happy ending" or when I knew that what I have been praying for is answered. But this is not the case.
My last post shared part of where I have been coming from, as this has been a long but good year for us. God has closed some doors, opened others, and has continued to sustain us in this season.
Expanding our family as I previously shared is something I have prayed about for months, knowing that in the right time, there would be peace in this decision and God's timing.

I'd like to preface all I share in my writings with this- I know that I cannot fathom some of the struggles my friends and some so close to me have experienced. Whether it's the struggle of infertility, loss, miscarriage, and so many other hard things that life brings at times, I would never pretend to understand something I have not gone through. I pray this writing in no way is a comparison to anyone or anything else, but simply and honestly to share part of my story.

While getting pregnant for Eleanor is for a different time, I will say there was no doubt she was part of God's plan for our family. When we decided to start trying to get pregnant, it was shortly after this we found out we would be having her. As a Nurse Practitioner, I know the statistics and realize, this was not necessarily considered the 'norm' so moving forward I did not have any expectation that we would get pregnant as easily for #2.

Last month came and went quickly. I felt nervous, hopeful, and honestly felt like this was a new experience for me. Waiting, counting down the days until I could take a  a pregnancy test praying I would see two pink lines.  A few days before my cycle, I decided to take a test. I thought I was crazy as I saw faint lines. I kept testing each day and at one point had a line that I felt was actually there enough to tell Andrew. It was not how I dreamed of telling him about baby #2, but I felt like my eyes were either seeing things, or this was actually it. I showed him the test, in real time he saw the line- and said yeah I see it. I hugged him and went into my bedroom and not bad tears, but happy tears. This was it! I couldn't believe I was going to get to do this again! I went and bought another set of tests including a digital test, and got Eleanor a "Best Sister" shirt and couldn't stop thinking about all the things ahead. I had to rush to small group, and while I did I stopped to do another test (yes, I was skeptical and couldn't believe it). My digital test, read no. I knew that these tests only work if HCG is detected at higher levels and so I felt kinda unnerved by this but still hopeful! The next day, I was scheduled to have a blood HCG test to confirm my pregnancy and that morning I got up to take another test, fully expecting the line to be darker. The line wasn't darker. In fact, I was squinting to see it. I went for my lab, internally wondering if everything was ok. This wasn't how it happened with Eleanor. That's all I had to compare this too. Fast forward a few hours. I got a call from my OB/GYN at work, and she called to tell me "Your HCG lab came back normal, your level is only 2." I was informed this was most likely a chemical pregnancy.  This reality was harder than I imagined. For two days, I had believed I was pregnant. I had started to think about what life was going to look like, and my heart hit the floor. I began to research more about chemical pregnancies, realizing how often this happens and just felt I truly couldn't believe this happened. I cried, talked through this, and just prayed that God would continue to help me in this journey and not to feel 'all or nothing' with this situation.

As I had some time to process this, I began to wonder moving forward what this would mean for me. Fear is something I struggle with to begin with and after this, my thoughts raced with things like "if i have a positive pregnancy test in the future, will I even believe it?" "Is this going to happen again?" "Will I ever get pregnant?" "Is something wrong with me?"

I processed this, cried when I needed to, but felt like I was hopeful to keep moving forward, trusting that God in His time had a plan for us.

A new month came. A fresh start. Praying that if it was in God's plan, this would be the month. I had calculated things like - "if I get pregnant this month, I'll be 12 weeks right around January first, and how cool it would be to announce it then."

The month was busy. Life is busy. It helped the time move faster.
This month, I decided after more research not to test so early.
I waited, I was proud of myself.
Day 29 came. I tested. I could not believe it! A faint faint line.
Due to last month, I decided this morning before work, to keep this to myself. I wanted to test again and make sure I saw this before telling Andrew. I didn't want anyone else to feel like what I did the previous month. For a few hours, this was something only I knew. I began to pray for this pregnancy. That this would be it. A healthy pregnancy. A sweet addition to our family. I even pleaded with the Lord to "protect this baby and please let me one day hold him/her."
I took another test when I got home. I saw the line again.
I knew I was going to wait longer to test with blood for HCG to make sure what happened the previous month might not happen again.
If my lines continued, and were getting darker, I would then go for blood work.
Friday morning came- another faint line.
Saturday- I struggled to see the line as well but still a faint line was visible.
Sunday- the line got darker.
Monday- the line was getting even darker and this was the day I went for blood work. HCG levels of 5 or higher are considered pregnant.  Waiting those few hours for the lab results to come back felt like an eternity. I got a call that my HCG was 6. I asked directly- Does this mean I'm pregnant or is this level a grey area?

I was told I was pregnant but that it was too early to tell more. A lab was requested two days later. I knew all about this- I did this with Eleanor.  A lab, two days later a repeat, and two days later one more- and after that...smooth sailing. This was gonna be it!

I was thrilled.

I even put the shirt on Eleanor the night I told Andrew and had her walk his Starbucks coffee to him in this shirt. She was going to be the BEST big sister.

It took forever to get to Wednesday, but it finally came. I got up early, went to quest, got my lab repeated. I got the results and when I opened them on my App, it read '8'. While the lab was increasing, something in my gut didn't feel right. I knew the lab was to at LEAST double for this to be considered a healthy and viable pregnancy. My mind began to think of the articles I've read about pregnancies where HCG levels do not double but yet resulted in normal pregnancies. Every pain, or twinge I felt in my body, I prayed was not something bad. My fear these two days felt crippling at times because of last month but this time, my lines were getting darker, I even had a positive digital test!

Wednesday afternoon came, as I was awaiting on a all from my provider to find out more about this result of 8, I started experiencing bad cramping and within minutes, I started bleeding. I knew what this meant. While I was at work, (thank God it was my lunch break), I sat in my office trying to figure out what to say, do or what to think. My provider called me, and as we discussed what the 8 meant, I told her what was happening. It was determined at this point that this was most likely a very very early miscarriage taking place, known as yet another chemical pregnancy, as it was so early, and  or the concern for an ectopic pregnancy based on my lab values was looming. I was told I needed to come in for more labs, a Rhogam shot, and that I had 72 hours to do this.

The next few hours felt like I was in a daze. I hadn't cried that hard in so long.
I literally couldn't believe this was happening again, and the fear of an ectopic and all that could mean for my physical health scared me.

I was thankful for the support I received during this time, but there wasn't much anyone could do or say to help me.
I made it to the doctor in about 2 days. I did more labs and thought I was just going in for a shot.

My friend graciously took Eleanor that afternoon so I could get there and back timely. I traveled to this appointment alone and thought nothing of it. When I got there, I was told I would be doing an ultrasound as well. I had done this plenty of times. Wasn't prepared for it, but I knew what to expect.
As I laid there on the table, alone in the room with the ultrasound tech, she asked me "is this your second pregnancy?" The reality of all that was taking place hit me so hard. I felt so empty. I wanted to cry. I wasn't quite sure what to say to this so I replied "yes, I think so, I have a 2 and a half year old little girl and my lab this week said I was pregnant."

As she got the images that she needed, again to verify that I was not having an ectopic pregnancy, I was reminded of something.
As alone, sad, scared, and devastated as I felt in that moment, the Lord reminded me of something I had told my Mom earlier in the week.

I'm going to rewind here.
In the week prior to this happening- prior to my blood test confirming pregnancy, I had three separate things happen to me.

A close friend/mentor of mine told me on Friday night as I shared last months struggle with her and my current situation that God had told her to put her hand my stomach the previous Wednesday after our bible study and to pray for God to bless my womb. She admitted that she didn't do this, out of fear that I would think she was crazy. Little did she know the journey I was on and where I had been the previous few weeks. That night she stopped what she was doing and prayed this over me. Deep in my heart I hoped and prayed this was confirmation that those lines I was seeing on the pregnancy test did in fact mean this was it. Baby Silvas #2.

That Saturday- the next day, I got a text from a dear friend and mentor of mine saying that they read an article, that they had been thinking of me and praying for my "present/future family." I felt encouraged by this and wondered again as I just said- that this was truly going to be it.

That same day,  Saturday, at a birthday party, someone that I do not consider very bold in asking things, asked me directly if I was pregnant, going on to tell me "for the last 3-4 weeks I don't know why but I have just thought that you are." I was taken back by this and again deep down hoping this was something pointing to the news I had been praying for.

All three of these things- in a 24 hour time period. This timing seemed interesting.

I had shared the news with my Mom over the weekend, prior to my blood work that Monday that confirmed I was pregnant. I also told her these three things and said to her- that while I hoped and prayed this was a sign and God confirming all I had been praying for, hoping for, and in praying against my fear that this was his way of comforting me, that I knew that even IF this wasn't it, that He loved me enough to bring people into my life to remind me that
I am seen.
I am heard.
I am not forgotten.

As I laid on that table in the ultrasound room, feeling so empty and broken, this is what came to mind, in my brokenness and my thoughts that it was not supposed to be this way.
I see you.
I hear you. 
And I have not forgotten about you.

I was thankful for no major findings of concern  on my testing but had to continue into the next week to get my blood work done to verify my levels returned to normal.

I always thought I would share this story when I had a happy ending to share.
With my pregnancy announcement.
With a picture of a sweet baby in my arms.

But I'm sharing this story, my story, while it's still real.
I completed my last lab today.

The sting of this loss, has taken me by surprise.
In my heart, I can't believe it, but the blood work confirmation and all this entailed felt so much worse than the previous months disappointment.
And as I said at the beginning, I cannot fathom some of the losses people I know have faced.

But my heart can now sympathize more with those who have lost.
For those in the waiting, in some ways, I get it.

I know the Lord is using this to shape me, and I pray that the brokenness in it all will someday be a beautiful piece of my story.

The hard part for me is the unknown. I'm fighting fear. Anxiety. What if's. Reliving all that happened, and wondering how I'll ever be excited moving forward because I'll feel skeptical that "its actually real" if I ever get to do it again.

My prayer is that in the waiting, that even if, that's right , even if, I never get to have another baby, that I will find my strength, my hope, and my confidence in Jesus.

Tonight, as I write this, I'm praying if someone needs to read this and know that they are not alone, that this will have been worth the risk of laying it all out there.
I pray that being real, and honest, brings healing into my own heart,  but most importantly moving forward, I pray that the rawness of this writing will always bring me back to the truth that God has been and will be faithful to me.

I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I trust Him.

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