Sunday, July 20, 2008

Parenthood, Part Four

We were so excited about having a baby!

I'd purchased a book about getting pregnant, and also borrowed several from the library. After going over and over and OVER the information in them, I decided that I got pregnant earlier than I originally thought and had a much-abbreviated cycle after becoming pregnant. So I decided to take the plunge and become one of these "obsessed" mothers-to-be and called the doctor's office. The nurse was very nice and after listening to all that I said, agreed with me. Therefore, instead of being just two weeks or so late, it was more like SIX weeks. She even gave me an approximate due date of early August. WOW!

(As a teacher, we immediately decided that with an August birthday, we would keep this baby out of school an extra year. I'd seen firsthand what pushing a child through the system could do and it was NOT going to happen to our baby! Once I explained it all to him, Ted was in complete and total agreement with this.)

We would be hosting Christmas for Ted's family on Christmas Eve and my family on Christmas Day. Between those two days we would have a total of close to 30 people in and out of the house, and we were NOT going to say a word to any of them about being pregnant. THAT WOULD BE REALLY DIFFICULT!

Throughout this time I was not teaching. In fact, I had decided that I was DONE with teaching and was never going back. I needed a break in the worst way. I had agreed to sub for a principal who I really admired, but that was it. I wasn't even on an official sub list, but just worked for him. In retrospect, it was the best thing I could have done and it is only because of him that I decided to get back into teaching. I eventually re-entered the work force with a new outlook and attitude.

Since we had only been in our house for a little over a year, I wanted to make sure that it looked great for the holidays. I spent a lot of time finding the perfect tree, decorating the house, wrapping gifts so they looked like they were in a magazine spread. Afterall, this was going to be the last Christmas that I would have the time to do this because by the following Christmas, we would have a baby!

We were so attached to this baby already. We would both rub my tummy and talk to it, telling it about the things we would all do together. It was a feeling that I can't even put into words...thrilled, excited, delirious, ecstatic, overjoyed, elated...none of them could even compare to what we were feeling! We were SO in love with this baby! We'd already talked about how we were going to turn the "blue" bedroom into a nursery, and the kinds of curtains we would get, the theme we would use. We had plans!

But then...

Two days before Christmas (when I was approximately seven and a half weeks pregnant, I began to spot. I immediately called the doctor's office and was told that if the spotting was brown, it was "old" and I shouldn't be too worried, but if it was red, it was "new" and the doctor would want to see me. Fortunately it was brown, whew! The nurse recommended that I rest as much as possible and to let them know at the office if anything changed.

I've since decided that an early pregnancy is either going to stick or it isn't, and that decision isn't based on whether you constantly rest or not. I think they tell you that to make you think that you are doing everything possible to stay pregnant.

On Christmas Eve I was cramping a little, but I kept a smile on my face while playing hostess. Ted knew what was going on and did as much as he could to help me. He was great.

Things are always worse during the night...I think it has something to do with the darkness. Around 4:00 am I woke up with more cramps and the spotting was beginning to turn red. Definitely NOT a good sign.

I went back to bed, but not back to sleep.

We eventually got up and exchanged gifts. Ted had gotten me a pair of diamond earrings. They were small, but they were real diamonds. They were way out of our budget, but something he wanted to do for me. What a sweet guy! I'm married to the best man in the universe!

After opening our gifts we got ready for the day. I had a meal to prepare and we had to finish straightening up from the night before.

The cramps were getting worse. The spotting was getting worse. Come was Christmas Day. Why did this have to happen on this particular day???

My parents and brother arrived before anyone else. I told my mom what was happening, but not my dad. She kept her eye on me throughout the day. A couple of times I just needed to escape and went upstairs to our bedroom to lie down for a few minutes. Once she came in and asked me how I was feeling. NOT GOOD. I was scared. I was worried. I was upset. One of my cousins was there, and she was about four and a half months pregnant with she and her husband's first child. Needless to say, they received a LOT of attention that day! I kept trying to tell myself that things would all be fine for our baby and these two children would be able to grow up together.

After everyone left, I took a shower and just tried to relax, as much as a pregnant woman with red spotting and cramping could.

By the next day it was no longer spotting, but real bleeding with clots. I called the doctor's office. They were very good about always putting me through to the nurse. She said that the doctor wasn't in that day, but she was going to call him and get back to me.

Half an hour later, she called me back. In the meantime, the bleeding had gotten really bad, as had the cramping. She told me that the doctor said that it was over. I was having a "spontaneous abortion." (Oh, how I despise that term.) Because I was only about 8 weeks pregnant, I would not need a D&C. Nature would take its course and we could try again right away.

I was no longer pregnant.


Jen said...

I am so sorry. That is just awful. And at Christmas, too!

docgrumbles said...

Such a familiar story, without the Christmas association, though.

Paulie said...

So sorry!

Anonymous said...

I remember this one, Cin -- we talked during the holidays. I felt so awful for you...gonna make me cry. Mary S.