Monday, October 17, 2011

Fear

As my husband and I attempted to wade through the shock and process the news of my pregnancy on Thursday night, I realized that I had such a long road ahead of me. Yes, the goal was always to get pregnant....but the real goal is to have a take-home baby. And just because I am pregnant does not mean God would give us a take-home baby.

I thought I had left the fear and sadness of infertility behind. Yes, the adoption journey had already been stressful and I probably would have shed some tears along the way. But I had hoped that there would be no more of the heart-wrenching, grief filled sobs that had marked different points of our infertility journey. Adoption offered so much hope with less month-to-month or day-to-day anxiety. As painful as it was for me to close the door to fertility treatments - and in my mind a pregnancy - these emotions were the things that were easy to leave behind.

But as I sat there holding the positive pregnancy test, I knew the door had opened again. A door that will hopefully lead to our baby - who happens to be biological - but could lead to more intense suffering. And for one split second, I almost didn't want it. How could I handle losing this baby? Of course, of course, the JOY and HOPE quickly pushed that thought aside, and I know the risk of pain is worth it for the possibility that lies ahead. I am so incredibly thankful for this baby.

But it is hard to feel so raw again, friends. I haven't felt this raw in some months, and my heart feels so fragile right now.

As I mentioned before, I had spotted during the time before my period was due, and continued to lightly spot in the days before I took the home pregnancy test. Since I had already been spotting and my HCG levels were so good, I tried to just tell myself that I am a spotter and there's no way around it. And, of course, you can google and find that 30% of women spot during the first trimester. And it can be completely normal. (However, I feel like when I find things about spotting it is people saying it was simply when they wiped...or a few times and then it went away...but not for days and needing a panty liner!)

But I have been unsuccessful in convincing myself, and I feel like the spotting increased yesterday and today. It is still brown, it is still light (I only need a panty liner), and there is no cramping - but it is still there and feels worse. I have moments where I remember that God created this life so miraculously, that he can certainly sustain it. I have moments when I pray to God and know that there is nothing I can do but trust him. But I also know very well that God works in many mysterious - and sometimes difficult - ways.

I called the RE's office this afternoon on the verge of a meltdown. I knew they would tell me it's normal and I almost didn't want to call and hear them say that, but I wanted to beg for some prometrium. (Ironically, my husband had pulled out my old bottle of prometrium pills only a few weeks ago, asked if I still needed it, I said no, and he threw it away.) My progesterone level was really good on Friday, but the ONLY times in my cycle that I have not spotted were while I was on some form of progesterone (I have spotted before even when my progesterone levels were fine). I know that it won't necessarily prevent a miscarriage, but I think if I can take it and it does stop the spotting, it will save my sanity. It will be a long seven weeks ahead regardless, but I almost don't know how I will survive those seven weeks if I spot constantly.

I left a message for the nurse, but my RE ended up calling back. He assured me that brown spotting is normal and everything is most likely ok, but offered to have me come in sooner for an ultrasound to make sure. And if I really want the prometrium he will prescribe it. :) So my ultrasound is now going to be on Wednesday morning.

That phone call from the RE bought me at least a few hours of calm, I think. I know in my head that this baby is the Lord's and he numbers his or her days - whether that be just a few or an earthly lifetime - and all I can do is trust him. But my heart is so tempted to fear.


36 comments:

Amanda said...

I'm so glad that your RE is letting you come in early and get some prometrium if you still want it. Sanity is precious! I hope the spotting ends.

Melis.sa said...

My SIL spotted up until she was 20 weeks. I had some serious bleeding with E when I was 9 weeks. As long as you aren't cramping painfully I would try not to worry (easier said than done i know).

I can't wait to hear about your baby and ultrasound in a few days :)

The fear and anxiety never leave, not really. Praying for strength and no more spotting for you :) ((HUGS))

Hillary said...

Praying

Anonymous said...

I've never posted before, but I've been reading your blog for a while! We also got pregnant on our own (what a mircle!) after 5 years of infertility. I wanted to encourage you and let you know I was always a spotter too. I spotted like usual (quite a bit like you) and thought I was about to start, but got the surprise of my life instead! My Dr put me on progesterone the first trimester and I'm now the proud Mommy of a 6 week old little boy. I know what it's like to have more worry and fear than joy, but I'm praying for you both and your precious baby!
~Kim

jeanna said...

I truly am over joyed for this miracle God has given you, but I also know the fear as we are very human. There were days in my pregnancy where the fear was so strong all I could do was lay my hands on my belly and prayed begging God to let me raise this child to love Him. You are correct it is a long long road and on that road you will become closer to God than you would ever believe. It might not be much encouragement, but my BF was a spotter too with both successful pregnancies. I will be praying for good news Wednesday morning.

Sarah said...

Ah, fear. I know this feeling all too well! I've read that brown spotting is fine, and since there's no cramping, that's a great sign! In the beginning of this pregnancy I was an absolute nutcase...so scared...I still am...but it's not as consuming now. Just keep prayin.' I've never prayed so much in my life with this pregnancy. Everything will be okay :)

Heather said...

Spotting is the worst feeling ever, I can totally relate, I am so glad that your RE is letting you come in early. It will give you such hope. Try not to stress yourself out and take a big deep breath. Remember the FootPrints Story about you and jesus walking on the beach, well that is the only way I got through the first part of my pregnancy, was believing that he really was carrying me and that whatever happened was his will. Stay strong, keep fighting. We will be praying for you!
Always.

www.soldiertomother.wordpress.com is my new blog...

Krista said...

I had quite a bit of brown spotting until about 7 weeks....I am now 20 weeks. It is really not something you should worry about.

Anonymous said...

i had pretty heavy brown spotting from about week 3 to week 8 with my second pregnancy. it was heavy enough that the OB cautioned that things may not turn out well. But things were fine and I have a healthy 15m old!

Krystal said...

I'm praying hardcore that everything will go swimmingly for you from here on out. Keep your head up, friend! (((hugs)))

H said...

I begged my RE for Prometrium when I found out I was pregnant and he prescribed it...I took it the entire first trimester and honestly, it was such a relief for me to know that I was taking it and that it might help me....It might be worth taking just for your own peace of mind :-)

evsmarie said...

Last night my daughter woke up crying shortly after I had fallen asleep. I comforted her, crawled back into my warm bed and was juuuuust about asleep (again) when the Lord placed your name on my heart with a vengeance. Well, who am I to argue with the Father? So, pray I did. And I shall continue to do so!

I know that I've said this before - I'm just a stranger that has followed your journey for a long time, but do know that your name is on the hearts and lips of many. Also - that is great news about your RE having you come in sooner! He has sounded like a compassionate person all along

Buck said...

I was nervous throughout my pregnancy - there's always something new to worry about, but I also told myself after my miscarriage that it wasn't fair to the baby to worry and dread the pregnancy and that I needed to go forward with the excitement and hope the baby deserved. It's not always easy though...

That said, I can add another spotting story for you. I have a friend who spotted actively her entire pregnancy. Lots of ultrasounds and checks, never a clear reason why, but she had a full-term (a week late!) baby in the end.

Just the same, I'm glad you can get in early with the doctor and never be afaid to keep calling them and keep getting checked. That's why they're there!

Words Like Swords said...

Unfortunately, the pain of IF is something that doesn't go away after you get that positive test. It's like you spend so much time wondering and not knowing that it just.. sticks with you. With that said, I know how terrifying spotting is, but it can also be normal. I know women who spotted for a few weeks. That doesn't make it any easier but it does happen. I still have trouble sometimes with worry and doubt, and I think I will for the rest of the pregnancy. Most of the time the excitement and joy overpowers it, and it does get a little easier as time goes on.

Just know that so many of us are rooting for you and are here for you if you need us. I'm praying for you that everything turns out OK!

Meg said...

I know this fear you speak of very well.

Praying:

Isaiah 41:10
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God;
I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Amber said...

I actually never spotted, but I had a lot of cramping with my baby. Strangely enough, I never had any of those symptoms with my miscarriage. I felt perfect. SO, in my opinion, a "good" pregnancy creates some concerning symptoms! :) I know how terrifying this is. But it's all worth it in the end.

Anonymous said...

I've read your blog for a while now and have never posted. First off, CONGRATS! I know how concerning it is to see spotting. I wanted to let you know that I had very heavy spotting with my second pregnancy. The spotting was heavier than any period that I've ever had and I was sure that I was going to miscarry. The heavy bleeding lasted for about 2 weeks and I spotted off and on the entire pregnancy. I'm happy to report that I have a very happy, active, healthy 3 year old! Sending prayers your way!

Pez said...

I know how hard this is.

After I lost the twins, when I did finally get pregnant I started brown spotting and I freaked out.

My OB told me it is normal because the first trimester the baby is growing downward and that can push out old brown blood.

I know how hard this is to just hand on to the peace of God; in the end though that is all you have and it will get you through.

This is the verse I clung to during my pregnancy with Irish Dancer. "Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you." Psalms 116:7.

Find a verse that you can recite when you have the moments of fear. I posted mine on mirrors, walls you name it. Anywhere that I would be during the day and evening.

Praying for you and for Wednesday.

Pez

Tami said...

Pregnancy is a hard road. I think it's even more difficult for women that have gone through infertility. So much heart ache there. 7 years of waiting for this miracle for me, and everyday I pretty much live in fear that something will happen. I am 28 weeks, and so thankful to God, and try to put my trust in Him. But infertility robs us of a lot of innocence I think when it comes to pregnancy. We have seen and heard the worst. We have felt it.
Prayers for you, and I pray you get nothing but GREAT news at your ultrasound. :) Maybe even a little heart flickering.

Barb said...

Sending thoughts and prayers. I had some spotting in the beginning of my pregnancy, me RE said it was normal, but it's still so scary. I'm glad you were able to get in for an u/s - hope all is well and the spotting stops.

Leah said...

I relate so much to this post. When I found out I was pregnant, I was already deep in the adoption process, and I remember the adoption feeling so much safer than my pregnancy did. I had been so focused on wanting to get pregnant, that I forgot all the stress and worry that happens once pregnant.

I'm glad you called your RE's office. With a beta as high as yours, the doctor should definitely be able to see your baby at this point.

My best advice is stay off the internet! ;) It's so scary. I too spotted early on. I actually thought I had my period, and here I was pregnant. Thinking of you.

cowgirltn said...

I spotted throughout the whole 1st trimester. Then to make matters worse I released a large blood clot. Thank GOD it was a subchorionic hemorrhage and Rachel was fine. I am sending you prayers for a perfect 9 months and a healhty baby.

c by the sea said...

WOW WOW WOW

I am just catching up on what has been going on with you and see this amazing news. Wishing and praying for you and your family :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Lurker...congreats on your news!
Just wanted to let you know that I am 15 weeks along with twins and had bad spotting until I was 8 weeks along. It was a lot, and full of clots in the beginning too. But, my HCG and all were right where they needed to be. Have then check your estradiol levles too...acually increasing my estrogen helped my prog. go up and stopped the spotting. Anyhow, it can, and will go well!

Amber said...

Again, I totally understand not wanting to go back to that raw emotions again...especially when you think you are done with them!! I spotted the day after I found out, it was red. I freaked. I had an u/s a couple days later, all was well, but I found myself with too much knowledge from ivf that I started my prometrium up as well. I felt like I had to do something to keep this baby...forgetting that I had NOTHING to do with it's creating, even in it's planning! I will say that with each day/week/trimester, it does get better. I kept praying that God would help me with my unbelief each day. Now, with two weeks till little guy is here, a whole new set of worries comes about that I never thought of! Can I protect him outside the womb as much as inside?? Welcome to parenthood...a constant reminder that we need Christ!

Carrie said...

After almost 3 years of infertility, I got pregnant on my own, too. I had a very hard time trusting that my body would do what it's supposed to do all on its own...without medical intervention. I never had spotting with this pregnancy, but my cycles were extremely short and I would spot for a week before my period. It was only when I was on progesterone that my cycles were normal. When I got pregnant, my RE said my progesterone levels were perfect and I didn't need a supplement. I was too scared to trust that, so I asked if I could be on progesterone just to make myself feel better. She said o.k. :) DO NOT EVER feel silly for calling your doctor. Do what makes you feel better. Most likely the spotting is totally fine, but if it makes you feel better to have the prometrium, then get it! I'm so glad you get to have your ultrasound early, just to give you peace of mind. Like I said, it will be really hard to trust your body, but just hang in there. I'm 25 weeks along and I still have a hard time believing that I might really get to take this baby home.

Britney said...

Out of tremendous "tough love" I say very boldly to you: You trusted God with the adoption. You followed His leads. And you have been found faithful. Now, God is not finished with you. He is calling you again to trust Him. Lay this at His feet. There is nothing you can do. God alone is the giver (and taker) of life. I believe He will grow this baby in you and you will take a baby home. But you must fall on your face every day to remind yourself that you are (and always will be) only a steward of this child. This child is, and always will be, God's. Turn over to Him every day your fears and anxieties, and He will bless you.
I felt the exact same way when we were pregnant, and it's so hard. And now, even though she's 4 months old (and I have a 3 year old), you still always fear for their life and safety.
Welcome to Mommyhood. By becoming a Mommy, you agree that from now on, your heart will forever live outside your body.

Anonymous said...

Praying that all is well. I have another story of spotting that turned out well. I was late (but a spotter, like you), and thought I was going to start anyday. One day I had a large amount of bright, red blood. That is the day I took a test. I was pregnant and terrified I was losing it. It was one of the worst days of my life. But the bleeding stopped and an u/s a week later showed a hb and a SCH. I spotted/bled on and off throughout the first tri (with some more scares throughout pregnancy if I was "too active"). And it's ok.

I have a beautiful 8 month old daughter today.

It's scary and stressful. And my heart hurts for you that you have to deal with this fear. The curse of IF :(
I am glad your RE is so supportive and getting you in for a u/s early. I can't wait to hear the good news! (((HUGS))
Flutterby918

hollygandco said...

That would be so hard, revisiting the fears and difficulties that made you raw before and are now back worse than ever, given that you are pregnant now, and before it only accompanied cycling. This time, it's a reality, you have a baby inside of you, and there is something so overwhelming and scary about that. I agree with a previous comment, that the fear never really goes away, it just takes a different form. I think you have the right idea about it though, you seem to do a much better job than I, trusting in the Lord. I'll continue to add my prayers to the many that are already being said for you, your husband, and your little baby.

Lindsay said...

If you have time read Psalm 16, as I read it now a few verses stand out...Psalm 16:8-9 I have set the Lord always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I WLLL NOT be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my BODY will also rest secure.

Praying against discouragement that is surely from the enemy of your soul. Praying that your mind will be filled with the word of the Lord that leaves no room for doubt! I look forward to following this journey all the way to the birth of your precious child!

Meghan said...

I have followed you on blogger for awhile, but have been silent, however; after reading this I wanted to share my story of sorts. My husband and I have tried to have a baby for three years and have the dreaded unexplained diagnosis. We did three failed IUI's and were gearing up for IVF when we got our surprise BFP. Sadly about a week later, I woke up feeling like my cycle was going to start. It was also the day of our ultrasound. I just knew in my heart, like I knew when I was pregnant that this was not going to be a pleasant visit. Of course there was nothing there. However, my HCG never reached your level and while I had some cramping initially, the moment I had cramping on the day of our loss I knew it was different. I hear you on how scary it can be as much as my heart desires to be pregnant an overwhelming fear of loss again evades all my emotions and yearnings. It has now been 5 months, and I know God has a plan to all-so we are patiently awaiting our miracle while starting the process of fostering. I think everything sounds like it is fine for you and your baby, but my prayers are out there for you and a VERY sticky bean!!!

Kristen said...

Congratulations to you! I am going through the same thing now. After two years of fertility treatments, we just found out that our last IVF attempt was successful, but I am paralyzed with fear! I know I should feel nothing but joy and excitement right now, but I feel so anxious and terrified that something will go wrong. Wishing us all peace of mind!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Hillary, I know this fear well. Infertility makes us vulnerable and so does motherhood, the fear never really goes away. Keeping this fear in check is tough, but there is peace in knowing that so much of this is out of our hands; as you said, the Lord numbers our days. I hope the ultrasound tomorrow brings you peace and joy... the first glimpse at your miracle. You will be in my thoughts. Jenna

Jeannette said...

I am also a fertility challenge. Keep all of your blog posts in mind. We are ALL praying for you and here for your comfort. It is so difficult, but trust in God, he has a plan. I spotted and cramped severely with our twins. They reassured me every time I called in a panic. It was fine. Well, as you know, easier said than done. It's your time to become parents and this will all be fine. God Bless you both and give you strength. Jeannette

Mrs. Lemon said...

The fear is awful but you will get through it! I bled, spotted, hemorrhaged, and did five months of bedrest and baby Jacob has arrived just one week ago and is doing great.

Rambler said...

Ah, the fear...trust is a hard thing to have when IF has wrung so much emotion and tears from you. I am the last person to sit and lecture about chilling out and being calm. But I can tell you it does become real, and the fear does start to get pushed to the background. It hasn't gone away for me, but i find myself shaking my head and forging ahead. I am just shy of the "enjoy it" stage, and hope you get the reassurance you need to do the same.

Still thrilled to bits for you, so exciting!!!