July 22, 2009


Well, we made it.
The baby has a heartbeat.
It grew exactly a week's worth of size and progress.


Because that's not what I was expecting.

This morning I woke up to blood, heavier than I've had with any other pregnancy.  I sat the 20 minutes waiting to be seen just trying not to cry, trying not to compose the "my baby is dead" blog post in my head, trying not to imagine doing this over again.

You know, when I told my husband we should go for this, I easy peasy said, "We try once more before you go, and if it's a win, then we're great; and if it's a loss, then we haven't really lost anything because I can still do the IVF." 

It sounded far easier in my head to have one more loss than it feels in real life.

I've now made the ultrasound tech a nervous wreck too.  She quietly fired up the machine, started ultrasounding, and as soon as she could see anything -- a second faster than I could locate it -- immediately says, "We have a heartbeat," and let out a sigh of relief.

The baby was hanging upside down in my uterus like a bat.  It was kinda comical.

But I couldn't even enjoy it.  I just felt the relief that it was there, and then immediately started thinking about making it one more week.

Pregnancy, for me, is like deployment.  (Actually, pregnancy is worse, because my husband has lived through two deployments; our baby has never lived through pregnancy.)  But pregnancy reminds me of the remarks I made at the 2007 Milblogs Conference:

Your deployment is filled with the ebb and flow of adrenaline; your life is monotonous days punctuated by moments of anxiety or excitement; our adrenaline is always half-on, since every moment that we'Â’re not on the phone with you is a moment when you'Â’re possibly in danger. Such is the life for those on the homefront, those who stand and wait.

Every moment that I am not looking at that ultrasound screen is a moment when I doubt the baby is alive.  I know that is normal for many pregnant women, but for me it has been borne out by too much experience.  Baby #2 died within a day of our seeing it on the ultrasound screen.  And I don't lose babies naturally; I generally have to find out about it and take medicine to get it out.  I won't know it's dead until I see it dead on screen.

And now I have morning sickness, so it's a constant reminder that I'm pregnant.  And my house is empty, no husband to lovingly distract me from my worries.

So I asked my mother to come visit.

I need the distraction.  I hate to admit that I can't handle this on my own, but it is proving harder than I figured.  So my mother's going to come out for a few days and be there for next week's ultrasound.  If we make it past next week, that will be the longest I've ever kept a baby alive.

I read this chapter in The Sandbox last night, on how casually an Afghan man says he would divorce his wife and choose another if she couldn't bear children.

Thank heavens I'm an American.
Thank heavens I have such a wonderful husband.

Thank heavens we made it another week.

Posted by: Sarah at 12:00 PM | Comments (20) | Add Comment
Post contains 576 words, total size 3 kb.

1 I'm glad you - and the baby! - have made it through another week. And I'm glad your mother will be there, not just for a few days, but also on the day of the week.

Posted by: Amritas at July 22, 2009 12:48 PM (+nV09)

2 Whew! I know all your online friends are happy at this news. I'm glad your mother can be with you, you really shouldn't be alone.  It will be very comforting to your husband, too. And as for the man in the sandbox, he really sounds like a nice guy who just doesn't get our culture, but apparently he did love someone, maybe she is lucky her father is taking her away.

Posted by: Ruth H at July 22, 2009 01:01 PM (YpblU)

3 I was writing you an email and figured I should check and see if my answers were here.  I am so glad the growth is spot on. (!!)  But the bleeding just kills me.  What a kick in the pants.  It is a 'don't get too positive/don't start thinking too far ahead' slap in the face and I hate it. 
So I am doubly glad your mom is going to come for a few days and will be there for the next appointment. 
I think what you are saying about pregnancy for you relating so well to deployment emotions makes perfect sense.  And I just wish there was something to put in the mail to help ease the roller coaster effect it has.

Posted by: wifeunit at July 22, 2009 01:38 PM (4B1kO)

4 I am so relieved.  And glad your mom is going to be there.  

Posted by: dutchgirl at July 22, 2009 01:49 PM (hLAkQ)


That's great news, and I'm so relieved for you.  Dittos to everything Wifeunit said.  Warm, happy thoughts coming your way.


Posted by: Barb at July 22, 2009 02:25 PM (z9gCU)

6 Tears in my eyes. The bleeding stinks. I'm sorry that you have to deal with that, but am glad that you were able to see your baby's heartbeat. 

Posted by: Heather at July 22, 2009 03:27 PM (BjblJ)


Congratulations!  I've been checking everyday for an update. 

With my first pregnancy (back when I was blissfully ignorant of infertility), I didn't have an ultrasound until 20-weeks.  On the second round, after months of negative HPTs, two miscarriages and a clomid-assisted IUI,  you get very frequent monitoring, which in my case showed a subchorionic blood clot and my doctor basically saying--don't get too attached just yet--wait and see.  It was several more weeks of weekly ultrasounds before the clot was absorbed and I was given the all clear.  So you end up with this love/hate feeling about the ultrasound.  Yes, it reassures you, but it can also get you worried about things you would have never otherwise known about.

I never went so far as to get a home doppler kit, but I seriously considered it.

I'm praying for John Elway.

Posted by: Christa at July 22, 2009 04:28 PM (2qSbp)

8 Dang, I NEVER thought I'd be rooting for John Elway   But in this case, I am so an Elway fan!!!!  Reeaalllly glad to read this today.  Whew.  Enjoy having Mom around, and I'll be praying for more good news next week!!

Posted by: RC at July 22, 2009 06:48 PM (0bg5E)

9 I'm getting my last chemo next Thurs and my mom is coming to be with me for a few days, just like you (but different reason).  Sometimes you just need your mom - and I'm 51 and I STILL do sometimes!
Hoping so badly that you and the baby are ok.

Posted by: Amy at July 22, 2009 09:02 PM (9fDOS)

10 Thinking lots of good thoughts for you and John Elway!

Posted by: Butterfly Wife at July 22, 2009 10:58 PM (x8bmT)

11 You ARE strong enough to do this on your own.  You are just wise enough not to.  I'm praying for John Elway and you and your dear hubby. 

Posted by: Val at July 22, 2009 11:16 PM (5btL/)

12 With the pregnancy and the deployment and the shadows of my life that have almost mimicked yours ... I will throw myself at your feet and come keep you company! I can weed, roll yarn bowls, toss bones for the pup, dirty dishes and cause laundry. Will that help? If that doesn't help we'll create a pouch for you! I'm sure a scientist somewhere has invented the pouch/kangaroo ... we'll find him together!

Posted by: Darla at July 22, 2009 11:28 PM (LP4DK)

13 *Hugs!*  Thinking of you and praying for you!!!

Posted by: Deltasierra at July 23, 2009 02:00 AM (unCAk)




"Thank heavens I'm an American"

You mean 'Thank heavens your NOT a Muslim in the ME' (or anywhere Sharia Law is in effect or soon to be).


That is what we're talking about in that instance, the barbarity of Islam.



Posted by: tim at July 23, 2009 09:05 AM (nno0f)

15 Whoohooo!  Congratulations, Little Johnny!   Week by week... 

*still holding you on a cushion of loving thoughts and prayers*

Posted by: FbL at July 23, 2009 05:05 PM (HwqvF)


SOOO glad to hear this.  I am so, so thankful to hear this and hoping with you for another week.

And this:

Every moment that I am not looking at that ultrasound screen is a moment when I doubt the baby is alive.  I know that is normal for many pregnant women, but for me it has been borne out by too much experience.  Baby #2 died within a day of our seeing it on the ultrasound screen.  And I don't lose babies naturally; I generally have to find out about it and take medicine to get it out.  I won't know it's dead until I see it dead on screen.

Man, did I ever relate to this.  I had both of my miscarriages and my two infections that followed the miscarriages diagnosed via ultrasound.  I came to hate them.  I too, lived for the next ultrasound with my pregnancy with Rusty.  Praying that your ultrasounds contiue to show that beating heart and that precious babe.

Posted by: Stacy at July 23, 2009 09:45 PM (JGYbs)

17 So thankful that everything looked ok on u/s!!  Glad to hear that your mother is coming to town to stay with you, too!

Posted by: Courtney at July 23, 2009 11:47 PM (q408u)

18 *sniffle* Yay!!! *hugs* And yes, thank heavens!!! :-) Will be maintaining thoughts & prayers... *more hugs*

Posted by: Krista at July 24, 2009 01:07 PM (sUTgZ)

19 Hooray!  And may I suggest Gingerbons - made in Australia, ginger coated with a dusting of powdered sugar - ginger that is stretchy, but not candied.  The British Navy used ginger for sea sickness, but it's also good for anyone's nausea.  And you should have a military cure for morning sickness, don't you think?

Posted by: Oda Mae at July 25, 2009 03:55 PM (tKtQ9)

20 Wonderful news. Baby has a heartbeat. And I am so glad your Mother is coming out to visit, cause, sometimes a girl just needs her Mama to lean on and love on.

Posted by: Pamela at July 28, 2009 01:29 AM (NazsP)

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