This is the Eighth segment of my ‘series posts’ catching everyone up on my Journey to my Miracle Baby. I had no idea there was so much that happened during my journey…thanks to everyone who’s following along, I really appreciate your input and support! If you want to start at the beginning, feel free to go read them here:
I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been reading and following along – I know that most people prefer posts to be……not so long winded…heh, heh! So my heartfelt thanks to all of you who are reading along and commenting – you really touch my heart with all your kind words and support.
When last we left our heroine…oh, wait, that’s a different story entirely… 😉 Why is it that the word ‘heroine’ means female hero, but also refers to a drug? So yeah, I was talking about the hero part, not the drug part…just to clarify. 😉
All right, enough with the sidetrack – in last week’s segment, we were moving into a new townhouse after getting fired from our Resident Adviser/Apartment Manager/Babysitting moonlight job. One week after we moved the myriad of boxes and furniture over, we went on our awesome vacation to Punta Cana (yes, I linked the post I did with all the pictures – in case you wanted to ooh and ahh over them.). We had a wonderful week of relaxation, eating healthy foods; hours spent walking on the beach and relaxing in the sun reading our books. It was the first ‘real’ vacation Mr. Right and I had taken, so it really was special.
Originally, when we were talking about going on this fabulous vacation, we looked into the idea of getting married there on the beach. But we found that there was a lot of red tape involved in setting something up like that, the International Laws and all that, so we decided we’d wait and get married in the Fall instead, and just go have a nice relaxing time. Besides, we were running into some snafus with Mr. Right’s passport – he ended up driving to Philadelphia (2-3 hour drive from here) the day before we were to leave and waited no less than three hours before finally having his passport in hand.
About a month after our vacation, I started having some periodic sharp pains in my right side. A small cyst had been discovered in my right ovary prior to moving to PA, but rather than ‘zap’ it at the time, my doctor decided just to leave it alone and keep an eye on it. I happen to be one of those people that if I’m not feeling all that great, or have a pain, I ignore it and hopefully it simply goes away, and since I hadn’t had any pains since, I had forgotten about the cyst. The random pain went away, so as usual, I forgot about it – I just figured it was extra pains from my monthly ‘visitor’. Meanwhile things were going great with Mr. Right and I – we were both working long hours and limiting our visits to the Queen B.
A month later, on the Fourth of July weekend, Mr. Right presented me with my now complete engagement ring. I posted about that whole scenario on an Aloha Friday Valentine’s weekend – if you’d like to read it, you can go here. Go ahead, I’ll wait…I can finish my story when you get back. 😉
We talked at length about wedding plans – he wasn’t into the whole ‘big wedding’ thing, so we’d keep it small, maybe do a small backyard wedding or just do the Justice of the Peace thing. We didn’t set a date, I was just happy that the terminal bachelor was making a commitment. 😉 Originally we were planning on getting married on Memorial Day weekend in 2000, making it a cool “Millennium Wedding” and all – Memorial Day weekend being the weekend we finally met in person 3 years before. I had even bought a beautiful ivory wedding dress. But of course those plans were thwarted by the Queen B’s meddling. Here we were, 2 years later, and it looked like we were finally going to jump in with both feet.
A few weeks later the pain in my right side returned. This time with a vengeance. Since it had been so long since I had been to a ‘real’ OB, I decided I better get it checked out – if the cyst were to grow too much, they’d be forced to remove the ovary, and I wanted to make sure that didn’t happen. I hadn’t found a regular OB since moving to PA, I just had a family doctor that I saw maybe once a year when I got sinus infections, or for my annual exam. He referred me to a local OB because of my past history with Cervical Cancer, and since he wasn’t the doctor who had diagnosed the cyst – he felt that it was high time I found an OB in this area.
I met with the OB who did a regular exam – then told me I needed to go straight to the hospital for an ultrasound. Immediately. I was stressing out, because he even used the word ‘STAT!’ when on the phone with the hospital, since they were apparently backlogged with ultrasounds and didn’t have an available appointment for something like 3 weeks. He wanted the ultra sound done that day. He was a man of few words and didn’t elaborate, and I was kicking myself and worried that I had neglected that cyst too long, so I didn’t ask questions.
Mr. Right had accompanied me to the doctor’s office, so I was relieved to have him drive me the half hour to the hospital – I don’t think I would have been a very good driver that day. Of course, since I hadn’t asked any questions and was ’embarrassed’ by my lack of attentiveness to my prior condition, we didn’t talk much. We were both worried, I was particularly worried about what the outcome was going to be – was I going to need surgery? Was the cancer back? Was this it? Was I going to die? So many things kept running through my head. Crazy thoughts.
My name was finally called – the ultrasound technician was so nice, she even warmed up the gel before putting it on my abdomen. The technician asked about my history, I had to outline all the surgeries I had endured in the past, as well as all the miscarriages. She was empathetic, and then as she started the ultrasound, an audible gasp escaped her.
Thinking the worst (you know, like there was now an alien residing in my ovary), I looked up at her and asked if there was a problem. She smiled, and then flipped a switch to turn on the flat panel monitor on the wall. There was an alien, all right. But not just any old alien, and certainly not residing in my ovary. I was pregnant! 22 weeks and 2 days, to be exact, based on the measurements she took!
I kept sputtering ‘But that’s impossible!’ as I was mentally counting backwards and remembering the periods I had had in between…but did I? I had spotting, but nothing really like a ‘normal’ period, which for me was not unusual, because of the surgery to get rid of my cervical cancer, I never had a ‘normal’ period anyway. Especially during stressful times. And we certainly had had our share of stress over the last few months… My ‘normal’ periods would be sometimes spotting, sometimes I’d become anemic with the massive blood loss. But this was totally astounding. Shocking. So many emotions swirled around. I remembered what my original OB had said – that if I ever was ‘lucky’ enough to get pregnant, I’d be high risk and mandated to bed rest the final 6 months of pregnancy. So now what?
I looked over at Mr. Right who was staring at the screen in disbelief. I could see his jaw clench and unclench. I started to worry how he’d react, because he was fairly adamant that he didn’t want kids. He was an only child, and an ‘unwanted’ one at that. His parents never wanted children because of the childhood they had, but were ‘surprised’ with Mr. Right 9 years into their marriage.
From all the horror stories he’s regaled me with, they apparently made it well known to him how much he was not wanted. So he was not interested in having children of his own, because he was worried that he would be ‘mean’ to them like his parents were to him. I was saddened but not surprised by his inquiry of ‘options’. The doctor that came in to chat with us was a little taken aback, and gave him a list of doctors who could present those horrid ‘options’ at that late stage. But of course it was not recommended. Yes, he asked about abortion options.
I was devastated. How dare he? My glorious ‘high’ of actually being pregnant past the 8-12 week time frame was squashed. But I refused to even think of the alternative. Instead, if he were so dead set against it, I would make a choice. I would choose my baby over him. End of subject. I started making lists in my head about what I needed to do in order to move back to Seattle solo. I was sure my favorite aunt would take me in, I was not going to seek my parents help and stay with them, because I knew I’d be facing ‘judgment’ from them about being pregnant out of wedlock.
The drive back to the townhouse was tense. Mr. Right was a little accusatory about my not knowing I was pregnant. How could I not know? Why didn’t I find out sooner? I didn’t have any answers for him – I was just as flabbergasted as he was. I had no ‘signs’ of being pregnant, no morning sickness, no fatigue, and no obvious weight gain (yet), nothing. There had been so much going on that first 22 weeks, I’m sure if I felt any fatigue or nausea, it was easily dismissed by everything going on at the time. When Mr. Right mentioned the word ‘abortion’, I lost it. I started crying uncontrollably and told him it was selfish of him to even consider killing my baby. I think using the words ‘kill’ and ‘baby’ in the same sentence hit him. Hard.
It was as if a light went on. The look on his face changed from anger and resentment to wonder. His grip on the steering wheel relaxed and he expelled a deep breath. Then he uttered the words that made my heart sing. “Wow. I guess I’m going to be a dad. Wow.” He was grinning from ear-to-ear. In an instant, he did a complete about-face on the whole ‘not having a kid’ thing. Complete reversal. I guess I didn’t have to make plans on moving back to Seattle solo after all. He even started getting giddy. He wanted to call his dad and give him the news – he whipped out his cell phone and made the call.
Ever since his dad got really sick (and recovered) 5 years before (the reason we moved to PA), they had been getting along famously – they made amends for the years lost and had become fast friends. His dad was thrilled. He wanted to talk to me. He told me he never thought his son would ever give him a grandchild and he thanked me. He was so glad he was going to live long enough to see that glorious day. The tone of the day changed drastically in that moment. All was good.
It was a Friday and we were supposed to go to a party that night, but with this incredible discovery, we figured we’d blow off the party – after all, I wouldn’t be able to drink, so we figured we might as well spend a quiet evening at home and let all of it soak in. We called our closest friends and let them in on the wonderful news, and just had a nice relaxing evening. I was exhausted – I was physically and emotionally spent, so I went to bed early. Mr. Right spent some time that evening on his computer, and the next morning sat down with me and apologized for even thinking about termination.
Apparently he did some research on the subject and was horrified by the images he saw. He said if he had that knowledge prior, he never would have mentioned it. That was one of the few times I ever saw him cry. To this day he still feels guilty for letting that thought cross his mind. We did pay a visit to Queen B’s house over the weekend – Mr. Right mentioned his first reaction and she gave him a sound scolding…then mentioned that if we didn’t want the baby, her daughter would be happy to take it off our hands when it was born. If looks could kill, she would have dropped dead in her seat.
Monday morning I went in to work – one of the gals I worked with was the one that had the party Friday night, and many of our co-workers had been invited to and attended the party. They knew I was possibly dealing with a cyst in my ovary, that I might have had to have it removed that day. When I didn’t show up for the party and they didn’t hear from me, they assumed that was the case. I was standing at the front reception desk checking for messages, a group gathered and they started asking if everything was OK, did I have the cyst removed – I didn’t even look up from the paperwork I was scanning, I said “No, they didn’t get the cyst. In fact, they didn’t find a cyst.” After they expressed their worry over what might be wrong with me, I grinned and said “But they did find something… (pause for dramatic effect)…I’m 5-1/2 months pregnant!” The lobby erupted in cheers and exclamations and I got jostled by so many hugs – everyone pretty much knew my past history (hard not to when you work with almost all women), so they were ecstatic for this turn of events.
There was still some worry to deal with – the doctor that had seen me at the hospital had highly recommended an Amniocentesis because of my age and because of my past history. She wanted me to think about it over the weekend and get back to her on Monday since she had time that week to perform the procedure if I were to agree to it.
Mr. Right and I talked extensively over the pros and con’s of the procedure, did extensive research, and ultimately decided it was probably the smart thing to do, considering I had been drinking caffeine and alcohol all during those 22 weeks. Add to that my age, and we figured since we only had 3-1/2 months to get ready for the baby’s arrival, we should be well informed about what the possible outcome would be. If there were any of the potential disabilities, we wanted to educate ourselves, and be prepared to take the best care of the baby no matter what.
Prior to the procedure itself, the ultrasound technician offered to do an ultrasound to see if we could find out the sex of the baby – I wanted to know, since we were short on time, so I could buy gender-specific baby items. 🙂 When the baby kept its legs closed throughout the ultrasound, I instinctively knew it was a girl. The Amniocentesis was not a pleasant experience whatsoever. First of all that ginormous needle would put the fear of God in anyone, not to mention the pain it renders. Mr. Right accompanied me on that visit, and the poor guy probably had circulation cut off from me hanging onto his arm so tightly. He watched the whole thing; I couldn’t because I knew it would make me sick.
Then the waiting and worrying began.
While we waited for the results, Queen B continued to pressure us into considering giving our baby to her daughter. She kept being a negative nilly, saying that because of my age and everything combined, our baby would probably be disabled. She said her daughter and son-in-law would take really good care of it so we wouldn’t have to worry.
Never did I have the strongest urge to strangle someone like I did with Queen B. Yes, I even told her to F-off – she was not getting my baby, and we were going to love it no matter what. I was insulted that she would even think we’d consider giving the baby away if it were disabled. I think she was slightly disappointed that the results all came back perfectly normal and perfectly fine. Ha! Bite me, B! 😉
The flurry of activity went into full swing, but there was still the matter of possible bed rest. I went in for a regular check up monthly, and things were progressing along nicely. I relished this pregnancy, having lost babies to miscarriage before; I was still pretty much in shock over the whole thing. We went in for some more ultra sounds, this time we saw the ‘girl parts’. I was ecstatic. I had been secretly hoping for a girl, after Mr. Right had regaled me with tales of his childhood and what a mischievous boy he was…I was hoping we’d end up with a Mini Me instead of a Mini Him, no offense… 😉
I still felt great, I didn’t have any complications to speak of, so in hindsight I really think that the timing of our vacation was God-sent – since I had suffered miscarriages during highly stressful times during the 8 to 12 week period of my previous pregnancies, that vacation was right in that timeline. The fact that we had a wonderful week stress-free and total relaxation, most likely kept my blood pressure down and the baby was able to grow and flourish – and enjoy Pina Colada’s on the beach with me (grin!!).
In case you didn’t get a chance to check out our vacation pictures, I thought I’d leave you with this one in particular:
Mr. Right dared me to hold the snake we saw during our Jungle Tour – that’s me with our Jungle Tour guide. I was 2-1/2 months pregnant at the time…which is about the time my miscarriages happened during previous pregnancies. I consider myself very lucky I didn’t miscarry before, during or after our vacation – I had the horrifying experience of having a miscarriage while flying once…that’s another story for another time – this one is a happy tale of my surprise and miraculous pregnancy… 🙂