Two months ago, I got a phone call from my doctor that shifted the direction of our pregnancy. These were Pre-Coronavirus times in my area so up until then, my pregnancy had been, for the most part, smooth. (Minus the 14 weeks of throwing up and general physical misery).
After some testing I had done due to a separate issue, they found I also tested positive for an autoimmune disease that is dangerous for both me and the baby. I didn’t fit the general profile for someone with this disease – and typically you need 2 factors for a diagnosis- but we had to assume I did indeed have this it because waiting 12 weeks to test again and waiting to treat would be far too risky.
He called while I was on my prep period 6th hour. His tone was casual, but serious. I scribbled words on the back of a Spanish quiz like “antibodies” and “placental health” as my adrenaline and anxiety raced.
With both my genetic mutation that made me more clone to blood clots and my newly diagnosed autoimmune disease that also increases my chances of clotting, my baby and I were now high risk. He told me they usually do not even test or find this until a woman has experienced multiple miscarriages or even a stillborn baby. My thoughts immediately went to the danger our baby was in at that moment. It had been almost 20 weeks without a clot that could ultimately take her, or my, life, but who was to say there wasn’t a clot forming now?
During the phone call, my doctor advised me to stay off Google, as it would only scare me. While my therapist, husband, and pretty much all doctors and friends in the medical field have also tried banning me from the Search Engine, my compulsion to to know information cannot be matched.
The information was terrifying. We got the call the same day we were picking up my new “Mom Mobile SUV” and I wept in fear we wouldn’t have a baby to bring home in it. So many “what if’s.” So many fears.
That night I began daily blood thinner injections and the journey of “High Risk Pregnancy.” A nurse friend came over and walked me through the first shot. Both she and my husband were impressed with how quickly I did it, but really it was because she was meeting friends at Applebee’s afterwards, and I didn’t want to make her late, not because I was “brave.”
It is important to monitor the baby frequently to check on her growth, as that would be an indicator there could be a clot blocking essential nutrients from getting to her. My husband and I had a list of a million questions – what would this mean for delivery? How will we know she’s okay? Is there anything additionally I can do to increase blood flow and her chances at being healthy?
Since then, our baby girl has continued to grow. We have seen her multiple times on Ultrasounds and we will be monitored 3 times a week starting soon. I will basically be paying rent to the Doctor’s office for how much I’ll be there, but it gives us peace of mind knowing we are monitoring her so carefully.
All this to say, there have been some anxious times even before this global pandemic with the Coronavirus reached us. So here I am now, a high risk pregnant woman, faced with even more unknowns and even more uncertainty about the world I am bringing my baby into. With little to no information about how the Coronavirus and pregnancy relate, it’s can be a terrifying time for all those expecting.
Many have asked how I am doing with it all. And honestly, it depends.
At night, I get sad. I think of things small and big.
I think about the baby showers that will likely be cancelled.
The cute clothes I bought to show off my growing bump that I won’t wear because I look like a swamp monster inside all day.
The disappointment of not being able to go on a Babymoon with my husband.
The worry I could get the virus and worse, pass it along to my baby.
The fear of delivering in a potentially overflowing hospital with an overworked staff.
The sadness of not being able to have any visitors come meet the baby or support me through labor.
The wonderings if anyone will even be able to see our baby this summer due to the social restrictions.
It’s a lot.
I try hard to lift it into the hands of God. To rest in His sovereignty and His control.
But it’s difficult and it’s sad.
Gratitude and perspective have been the biggest pieces for me to combat the sadness and the fear.
Gratitude we have a little fighter that God has protected each and every day.
Gratitude for an incredible medical team who respond to my messages in an hour and put themselves at risk to be at work to monitor my baby’s health.
Gratitude we have the support of friends and family who love our baby fiercely already.
Gratitude every time I feel her kick.
Gratitude I even get to experience this at all.
Gratitude that my disappointments about a baby shower or cute maternity clothes are inconveniences and “bummers” instead of earth shattering devastations.
Gratitude for a cozy house and the safe neighborhood I can take daily walks in for fresh air.
Gratitude my husband and I are not facing financial difficulty because of this.
Gratitude we have amazing insurance as the bills add up.
So much gratitude.
I still have fear and I still don’t know what the next few months have in store. Some days are better than others as I make a choice to give into fear or to entrust my life and my baby’s life to God.
There are no guarantees in this life – but instead of letting that paralyze me, I am working on the bigger picture – because there ARE guarantees for the next.
Our pastor today made a statement that said:
“We DO know what the future holds…we just have to look far enough ahead.”
He said our ultimate hope cannot be in rescheduling vacation plans.
My ultimate hope cannot be in the perfect birth, a lovely baby shower, or even a healthy baby. Of course I desire those things, but my ULTIMATE hope has to lie in the restoration of all things, which WILL happen, because God tells us so.
The last few months have taught me that circumstances can change in the blink of an eye. Living my life in gratitude, with open hands and a focused heart on our ULTIMATE hope is the only way through for me.
I have a LOT of work to do in this area. It’s one thing to say it, and another to do it. Luckily, I have recently found myself with more time on my hands than I know what to do with, so I’m ready to work on this heart of mine