What a year!

The start of the year was a bit of a low for me, as I was still dealing with the miscarriage that happened late in 2009. Emotionally, I was a wreck. Work wasn’t all that inspiring either. The only thing that I was looking forward to was the Olympics coming to town.

During the Olympics, that’s when I found out I was pregnant again. Then a few scares in terms of complications came along the way that kept me on my toes. All the while we were apartment hunting, and finally bought the condo in April.

We moved to the new condo in June, in time to enjoy the summer on the deck. My belly was getting bigger and the complications never came back. We had a nice summer, and went away to Cannon Beach in September.

The highlight of the year, of course, is the birth of Joshua. Nothing can compare to the rush and the joy of having this baby. I am so grateful to God that Joshua is a healthy baby, and that he is now in our arms safely.

As the year closes out tonight, all I can think of is how grateful I am. I have no regrets this year, and I look forward to watching Joshua grow into his own person in the next year.

 

Josh and Sam hanging out:

In the beginning (Part II)

Back in May, Mom and Dad (Joshua’s grandparents) came to Vancouver to pick up Dad’s permanent residence card. I was 14 weeks pregnant. The belly was just barely starting to show at that time. After the first “scare” of miscarriage, I have cut back all my physical activity, and have not done anything strenuous.

Just before going to bed at 11 pm one night, I started bleeding profusely. My heart sank, and I could barely think straight. All that the blood reminded me of was the first miscarriage. At 14 weeks, I was barely out of the “danger zone”, and certainly was not over the hurt and anger from the first miscarriage.

I said to Cliff that if this is another miscarriage, I am not trying to get pregnant again anymore. I simply could not bear with the same hurt and anger again. I just do not have what it takes it deal with this emotionally. I’m not sure why I said it to him. I think it was my way to tell myself that I have reached my emotional limit in dealing with miscarriages. I was scared out of my mind.

Luckily with Mom and Dad in town, we were able to call them and make last minute (and very late at night) arrangements for them to watch Sam. When we dropped off Sam at their hotel, Mom said she wanted to come to the hospital with me. I flat out refused. There was just no emotional room left in me to deal with one more person if I have to listen to bad news. Cliff and I went to Women’s Hospital’s assessment room.

At the hospital, the first thing they did was bring out the doppler to check the heart beat. I was holding my breath and expecting them to give me bad news. “BOOM-BOOM BOOM-BOOM”. The baby’s heart beat was loud and clear. The nurse smiled and said she thinks everything is fine, and the baby is alive and well.

Phew!

This little guy is giving us a real scare!

The nurse called the doctor on-call for the Terra Maternity Group. We waited for about 1/2 hour for the sleepy doctor to show up. She was a very nice lady. She asked for the entire history of the previous miscarriage and this pregnancy, listened intently, asked more questions, and tried to put us at ease that it was just an unexplained bleeding. She checked and confirmed that the cervix was closed, and the bleeding was not active. There was not much else to do but send us home and told me to take it easy. The doctor joked that the baby is doing its job by making us worry as parents.

A bit more relieved now that we know the baby is alive, we were happy to go home. If a seasoned doctor cannot tell us the cause of the bleeding, there’s not much we can do anyway. So at 2 am, we went back to the hotel and picked up Sam. He was happy to see us, but I think he was tired. I e-mailed everyone at work and said I’m taking a few days off due to complications, and fell fast asleep.

By that point, there has been so much ups and downs for me emotionally, physically feeling exhausted, and the daily nausea and vomiting was starting to chip away at me. I took a few days off work just to recoup emotionally. Mom and Dad came and cooked a lot of gourmet food I loved, and spoiled me rotten.

The bleeding never came back. Over the next few weeks, I started to feel less exhausted, and the nausea and vomiting began to fade. It took quite a few more weeks for the worrying to fade to the back of my mind, rather than always being on the forefront. I began to understand how Mom is always worried about us, and how she gets frustrated when we don’t share her worries. I guess it’s the job of a parent to worry.

In the beginning (Part I)

When I realized I was pregnant with Joshua, I was ecstatic. A few days later, I started having cramps and bleeding. Kathleen referred me to Dr. Lee, who immediately made time to see me. Dr. Lee sent me to get an ultrasound that didn’t come back with much because the embryo was too small. Then she sent me to BC Women’s Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic (EPAC) for an ultrasound. By then I had been bleeding for a few days, and I was sure I had miscarried again.

I showed up at the EPAC, trying not to hope for any good news, but couldn’t help but beg God quietly to let me keep this baby. I went alone to the clinic, because I didn’t really want to deal with anyone if I had to fall apart emotionally.

Shortly after the EPAC doctor got started on the ultrasound, she said, “oh, see, there’s the heart beating!” She showed me a large black screen, with a tiny little pulsing grey dot. The dot pulsed at a fast but regular pace. It was more like a flicker on the big black screen. It took a few seconds for it to register in my mind that the doctor just said the heart was beating. The baby’s alive. Tears streamed down my face.

That was the most beautiful flicker I’ve ever seen in my life.

I decided that whoever this baby is, he or she has the most beautiful and strong heart. How else does an embryo at 6 weeks survive all the cramping and bleeding? The doctor determined that there’s some bleeding in the uterus. She couldn’t figure out what’s causing it or if it will become worse, but at least for now the baby is alive.

Two weeks later I was back at EPAC for a follow up ultrasound. The doctor said everything looks fine, and the bleeding in the uterus is not very visible anymore unless someone is purposely looking for it. At 8 weeks, I was still too scared to hope that things will be ok. I was so excited about being pregnant, and yet so afraid that it won’t last. I became half happy and half skeptical of my happiness. Later, I would find out this was not the last scare (hence this is only “part I” of the story).