We Can’t Do This Alone

 

“For thousands of years we have gathered in circle–around fires, around bodies, around altars–because we can’t do this alone.” -W. Muller

This day has been looming for the past four weeks: my mid-pregnancy ultrasound. Since my 16 week appointment, I have had a regular OBGYN appointment, a visit to the cardiologist, blood work, a 24-hour heart monitor, an echocardiogram, and visit to primary care. I’ve celebrated Quentin’s birthday, had my sister visit, done some major repair work on my car, taken the kids to taekwondo classes and gone to therapy. All of the regular events of life and I have felt like a mere shell of myself.

Earlier this week, while I was crying and crying over the thought of a negative outcome of this ultrasound, Ger said to me “Everything is going to be fine. I have a good feeling.” It turned me, just a little. Even though I was still overwhelmed by my thoughts that we were not going to get good news, I could at least tell again tell myself “It’s not my fault. There is nothing I can do.”

I came unraveled yesterday afternoon. I went to therapy in the morning and started the session with “So. Many. Things. This week. Can I just get it all out and then you take it where you want to from there?” It ended with me crying heavily, my therapist hugging me and exuding hope and optimism. But we had a similar conversation right before I found out that Iris was gone, so the takeaway was “I have no way of knowing, until that moment.”

So who was right?

Ger was. Everything was fine. Growth was normal, anatomy was normal, everything was normal.

I don’t think I slept at all last night.  This morning, I kept looking for signs.  The morning was gloomy but by the time we left for the appointment, the sun had come out so I thought “Good sign.”  Then we couldn’t find a parking spot at the hospital and were a few minutes late to the appointment, so I thought “bad sign.”

The appointment was with Maternal Fetal Medicine.  The ultrasound tech provided some narration as to what we were looking at, but I knew she would not be responsible for delivering bad news.  However, I watched every measurement she took and as soon as I saw several pop up at the correct gestational age, I felt an inkling of relief.  The doctor came in and confirmed: growth was exactly where it should be and everything else looked fine.  He did additional scanning himself, but said that he was extremely pleased.  We first saw him in March of 2016, a few weeks after losing Iris.  He was new to the group at the time, though not new to the specialty of Maternal Fetal Medicine.  He said that he has had a lot of personal happiness and satisfaction, both for himself and for us, that we have reached this point, since he has been with us since the beginning.

I will continue to be checked by MFM every four weeks.  Will have a fetal echocardiogram done, which is standard within the specialized practice.  And non-stress tests done by my regular OBGYN weekly, starting at 32 weeks.  The doctor said that he knows hope is hard, but he feels pretty confident.  He told us that a growth issue like Nelle’s we more than likely would have seen by now.  He said that growth issues are much more common in the third trimester, and at that point there is viability and a lot more they can do.  I left feeling better than I have in months; probably better than any point in this pregnancy so far.

On top of that, I had received quite a few texts and emails this week and this morning – all from family and friends, reminding me that they were thinking of us, praying for us, sending the best thoughts possible.  For once, to have good news, instead of bad news, was joyful.  These people have been with us every step of the way, reminding us of how many people are in our corner – no matter what the outcome.

Hope is still scary, but for awhile, I can breathe more easily.