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What is there to be Thankful for?

by Jennifer

Date: Tue, 21 Nov 2000

I have been reading the stories on this site and I wanted to add my own. I am 27 years old, been married for 7 years, have a 7 year old son, and I should be 12 weeks pregnant this week. Let me start at the beginning.

I had my first baby when I was 19 years old. To avoid having to move away with his parents, my boyfriend and I got married 4 months later. Needless to say neither one of us was ready for the trials of marriage and new parenthood. Somehow we made it to 7 years! (By the grace of God I think!) Our marriage has been rocky from the start, and my son has been effected by it. He can be quite difficult to handle at times, but he really is a great kid. From the time he was born, I had female problems, like going 18 months without a period, and gaining weight at an incredible rate! I never, in all those years, had one time when I thought I was pregnant. Then, at the end of August, one night out of the blue, my son prayed for a baby brother (not a sister, mind you;-). I was really surprised because he hadn't said much about it before. I kind of smiled a bit and blew it off. Miraculously, by coincidence?, 3 weeks later I found out I was pregnant. My husband and I were in shock!. Because of my hormone imbalances and infrequent periods, we never expected to get pregnant again. We were so excited we told EVERYBODY. Both sets of parents, 6 sisters between us, everyone at church, his work, my school. We never expected anything to go wrong, my first had been a textbook pregnancy, and all of the women in my family have very strong, healthy pregnancies-no miscarriages at all.

I went on September 27 to my first appointment, and the Dr. asked for some blood work to check my hcg and progesterone levels.
The hcg was fine, multiplying like it should, but the progesterone was only 11.5. He immediately ordered an ultrasound. Within a week, I was looking at a sac with the tiniest of a little someone in there, and I was so happy. Afterwards, as the next three weeks went by, I noticed that my early pregnancy symptoms were dissipating, and I became very concerned because of my history with low progesterone in my monthly cycle. I called and the Dr. didn't seem concerned. He said 11.5 was low, but still within range, but he ordered another progesterone screen. This time it came back at only 3. I was in his office the next day on Oct 20 for another ultrasound. He, of course, wasn't there, but his nurse practitioner was. The ultrasound showed that the sac had grown, and I could see the baby, and the umbilical cord, but what we couldn't see was a heartbeat. I was 9 weeks pregnant by this time, and we should have been able to see one. The nurse practitioner gave me hope by saying that she thought I was simply not as far along as we thought, maybe 5.5 weeks or so. That afternoon I started to spot brown, and the next day I was spotting red. I went in again on Monday for yet a 3rd ultrasound, and the picture was the same. The baby, just lying there, no movement, no heartbeat, no nothing, just lying there. I was by myself, my husband was at work, son at school, and to top it all off, it was our 7th wedding anniversary, October 23rd. The Dr. said, I'm sorry but your pregnancy is not viable. Excuse me? Not viable! This is the best way you can tell me that my baby has died?

I got home, somehow, and told my family what had happened. My son didn't really understand everything, because I wasn't that far along, so it wasn't really real for him yet (he's only 7!). But what my husband and I felt is indescribable. We held on to each other for 4 days, literally. I had a d&c the next day, October 24th. Physically speaking, it was all very painless and gentle almost considering some of the stories I have read here tonight. God has been very gracious to us during this time because I didn't pass the baby and have to see that, the professionals I dealt with were extremely kind and caring towards me, my family and friends have been very supportive and loving. This is actually the first time I have even been able to talk about God at all since I lost the baby.

Thanksgiving Day it will be one month since our baby left us. I wake up thinking about him/her (NEVER "it"), and the "memory" of him/her is always right there, behind everything I do, and I go to sleep thinking about the baby, every night, usually with tears.
My husband is the same way. And every night my son says, ...and please watch over our baby..." in his prayers.
I will never understand why this had to happen. After so many years of nothing, to be given this child, only to have him or her taken from us, I'll never know why. But I will tell you what this experience has left us besides a whole in my heart, and an empty body- my husband and I have never been closer, we have adhered to each other to survive this heartache we both feel; and I tell you what- I have found a new appreciation for that little 7 year old boy that I had taken for granted. My pregnancy was so easy with him, never a problem (not even morning sickness!), and he is so healthy. I am no where near as stressed about the little things that used to drive me nuts- I am just so grateful for him, it is not even funny. I know that I will survive this, because of having him- I have to!

So this Thanksgiving I will give thanks for my children- the first one who taught me how to think of others before myself, and the second one who taught me to appreciate everything and everyone in my life, everyday.

~Jennifer

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