When I got pregnant with Sam it was planned. We consciously made the decision to start a family. Nick had been keen for a long time, but I'd wanted to wait, to have more time together before we included a little person in our team. The year before I turned 30 we went on a big trip, a month in the US. It was amazing finally getting to see these places in person. New York was a particular highlight for both of us and we did all the generic tourist things - queue to go up the Empire State Building, take the ferry past the Statue of Liberty etc. When we came back we agreed that we would "settle down" after I turned 30, wanting one more soiree where I could drink & be free. So after my awesome Mexican themed 30th birthday we decided to do away with contraception.
It was a Sunday, I think it must have been around Mother's Day, because Nick's parents were coming over for morning tea. I was a day or so late, so I thought I'd try a pregnancy test. His folks were due any minute, so it was terrible timing, but I'm an impatient person! After waiting the requisite 3 minutes I came out to show Nick - "is this a line, or am I seeing things?". We both agreed, with rapturous joy spread across our faces, that it was indeed a faint line, exactly what we hoped for! And then we had to tone down our excitement until we could get the result confirmed by a Doctor.
So the next day I booked an appointment. I couldn't see my own Doctor, so I settled for one of the other ones in the practice, one you could say was a little more direct than my own. I picked Nick up and we went along for me to pee on another stick. The line was still very faint. Said Doctor informed us that while it was a positive test, it showed my hCG level was very low and I should be prepared that it was an early term miscarriage, one I would never have noticed if I hadn't been tracking my cycle so closely. I was to do a blood test the next day and then two days later and if my hCG levels rose enough we'd have a "viable pregnancy". So we left. We went home positive, hopeful. For the rest of the week though, I was cranky, the shadow of the unknown hanging over me. If this was an early term miscarriage, would we care? Would we just move on an start trying again, knowing that this one "wasn't meant to be"?
It was a Friday morning and I needed the results, I couldn't wait for the phone call, so I pulled over to the side of the road on my commute to work and rang the nurse. Not knowing that I was waiting for a confirmation that I was pregnant, she just read me the results. What did I know about and 800-odd reading? What did that mean? Compare it to the last one woman! She said the results showed a rise and left it at that. I hung up and sat there for a moment. Did that mean that this tiny collection of cells was going to hang around to grow into a tiny human? I hoped that meant yes. I believed that meant yes. I rang Nick and told him I thought I was actually pregnant this time but to be honest, it was a little unclear. Later it was confirmed when that strange Doctor rang to ask if I had thoughts about midwives. Woop, woop, all systems go!
Hope is a funny thing. It's something that keeps you going even when you're faced with extreme adversity. It was week 9 of my pregnancy, after suffering for more than 2 weeks (with what I assumed to be normal morning sickness) that I decided I wasn't coping. This was not normal morning sickness and I could not function. Within a few weeks I lost 10% of my body weight (and I was already the slimmest I'd ever been, so I knew it was serious when I could start to see how bony my wrists were!). I couldn't eat, all I could do was vomit. We had an early scan in case it was twins, could that be the cause of my nausea? Nope. Hyperemesis Gravidarum. A pregnant woman's worst nightmare. And for the rest of my pregnancy I suffered, but through my darkest days I hoped. I hoped that my lack of nutrition wasn't having an adverse reaction on my baby's growth. I hoped that I would start to feel better after 20 weeks. I hoped that my child would be happy & healthy when I was not.
And then when my waters broke early at 37 weeks for seemingly no reason and it was decided that I would be induced. I hoped everything would be ok, that the induction would be quick and I'd manage the labour & delivery without too much drama. And then after labouring for 26 hours and not yet getting to 3cm dilated, and needing to have an emergency c-section because the baby was starting to get in distress, I hoped it would go ok. I guess you could say I was calm with hope. When Sam was born and his breathing was patchy so he was rushed to NICU while I was still open on the operating table, I was hopeful. Hopeful that his breathing would get better. When I was wheeled from recovery to lie next to Sam's incubator and stick my hand through a slot in the side to touch him for the first time, I was hopeful that I could hold him soon.
Hope got me through a ridiculously challenging pregnancy and birth and it was hope that made the ultimate decision to have another baby. I knew there was an 85% chance I would be sick again. But I looked at it as a small blip in time to create the family we wanted. I could survive 9 months, I'd done it before. And this time I would do it differently, I knew what I expect, I was a pro.
So when my health further deteriorated and it became clear this pregnancy was not like my previous one, I had hope that my baby & I would survive it. I was once again calm with hope. Until I had no hope. Until I knew in my bones that this awful rare condition called a molar pregnancy ticked all the boxes. And since that day, the day we found out we lost her, I have been wary of hope. I don't hope for another baby. My body is still recovering from the one I lost, so how can I hope for another? I hope for health. I hope for good days. I hope for a break from trauma. My relationship with hope will never be the same.
a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
a feeling of trust.
"our private friendship, upon hope and affiance whereof, I presume to be your petitioner"
We are a family of 3. This blog is the story of how we almost became 4, why we didn’t, and what we are doing to recover from that experience.