Grief and Loss

Here is my journal entry from last Friday. It was a difficult day for me.

August 17, 2012

I will not get to have this baby. Somehow I feel as though I knew it all along, but at the same time I was very excited about the possibility and now I am saddened by this loss.

My doctor's nurse called yesterday. She told me that my hormone pregnancy levels were at 6998 - indicating that I was between 6 and 7 weeks pregnant. That was concerning to her because of the ultrasound we had and our inability to find anything in the uterus or the tubes. She said I should probably come in today (Friday) and have the methotrexate shot to treat (end) the ectopic pregnancy.  

At this point I had already done a lot of reading and had determined that one of three things was probable: a blighted ovum (baby implants but then does not grow and leaves an empty sac), an ectopic pregnancy, or a pregnancy that for some reason was just hard to see. All of these made sense and there were many stories about all of these circumstances online. I wanted to be prepared for what the nurse might say when she called. And when she called, for some reason, I did not feel ready to commit to getting the shot. I couldn't bear the thought of perhaps terminating a viable pregnancy just because they were guessing that it was ectopic. Had they clearly seen something growing in my tube or ovary I would have felt confident about the treatment, but they had seen "something" in my uterus and just weren't sure what it was. And there was no clear view of an ectopic pregnancy. Andi, the nurse, said that I could call the next day to talk to my doctor and that perhaps I could wait until Monday to decide anything.

Thursday night, just minutes after that phone call, David and I went on our date.  We had planned months ago to go to a concert that night.  I was really struggling with the news I had received and the decision I had to make but was looking forward to taking my mind off of the situation for a little bit and having fun with my husband.  I prayed as we left that God would give me a sure sign if the pregnancy was indeed ectopic and give me wisdom and clarity to make the right choice about the treatment.  I had been very uncomfortable all day but tried to ignore that.  We enjoyed the two opening acts at the concert and during main artist's third song I began to feel a sharp and excruciating pain in my lower right abdomen.  The further into the song he got, the more pain I felt.  We had to leave and go to the emergency room.  I cried much of the way there, so sad to know that I would probably lose this baby.  I spent a lot of time praying and just asking God to give me grace and to show me His will.

The emergency room is not my favorite place. There was a LOT of waiting. I had to repeat my story many times to each new person who entered the room; and there were a LOT of new people that came and went. I was hooked up to all kinds of things, had blood drawn, and had another ultrasound. This ultrasound took a very long time and the tech was very sweet and talked to me about what she saw, even though she wasn't supposed to. But again, there were no real answers. There was "something" in the uterus and "something" in the right tube but neither looked like what we were expecting to see. Both were very small and not the shape and form we were looking for. At six and a half weeks pregnant they should see a sac with a fetus - they did not. Each doctor I spoke to was perplexed. There were three in all.

Finally I was admitted to a room upstairs in the maternity ward of all places. I know that's where I belonged - being a woman who was there with a pregnancy issue - but it was difficult to be in the room where so many women had stayed with their new babies knowing I would never see mine. David and I were finally able to turn off the lights and get some sleep.  We slept for about four hours and not long after I had woken up the doctor arrived. It was my doctor's partner and she was very kind. She explained to me again what they had seen and not seen in the ultrasound and said that most likely it was ectopic and she urged me to get the methotrexate shot. I asked her if it were possible that two eggs had been fertilized and one was in the uterus and one was in the tube. She said that although that would not be impossible it was unlikely. Then I told her my hesitations about getting the shot without knowing for sure what it was that was in the uterus. She told me that even if I had a viable pregnancy in the uterus that it would not survive with the treatment of the one in the tube and she knew that something had grown in the tube that needed to be removed. Finally I had my answer - there was no saving a baby if there even was one still living. I would not get to stay pregnant.

My brother brought me breakfast not long after that and I was glad he was there when the nurse came to give me the shots. I am pretty sure I would have gotten emotional about it had he not been there, but he was enough of a distraction that I didn't really think about what the drug would do to me when she injected it. Shortly afterwards I was discharged. Now I am at home, waiting for the pain or discomfort that is likely to come as the medicine stops the growth of the fetus (or cells or sac or whatever there might be) that is inside of me. I'm not certain what to expect during this recovery.  

I am feeling many things right now.
I am sad.
I am frustrated.
I am tired.
I am overwhelmed.
I am grateful.

Grateful that God is sovereign.
Grateful that He has a plan for me.
Grateful that He knows the path I take.
Grateful that He spared me from surgery.
Grateful that He has given me a strong husband to lean on.
Grateful to know that my body can get pregnant.
Grateful for the grace He has given.
Grateful for the chance to experience suffering that may one day lead me to be an encouragement to another woman enduring a similar hardship.
Grateful for the women who have encouraged me through my own difficult journey.
Grateful for the rain in my life, for it most certainly causes me to grow.
Grateful for a God I can come to in prayer at any time.
Grateful for a family of prayer warriors.
Grateful for the hope of the future.

My God is good - all the time.

I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears. Mine eye is consumed because of grief
- Psalm 6:6-7

As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.
- Ecclesiastes 11:5

Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God
- Isaiah 43:1-3


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