Saturday, April 28, 2012


Unexpected: unforeseen, not expected, not looked for, etc.  

Unexpected turn of events.

This year has been full of the unexpected for us.

My dad's cancer diagnosis.
Blood clots in my lungs.
Cohen's eye surgery.
Pastoral change.
Unexpected pregnancy.

There, if I hadn't told you already, now you know.  We found out about 3 weeks ago we were expecting our third child. Unexpected.

Two years ago, I saw my OB and discussed with him the possibility of Geron and I having another baby.  At that time he told us "Go for it!"  We'd been considering the option but weren't sure if we were ready or wanted to have another child.  Cohen was almost 2, Cora, 4.  We put the idea on hold but didn't close the door.  

Fast forward to December 2011.  I'd been sick for a few weeks with what I thought might be Pneumonia.  Not crazy about going to the doctor, I kept putting off making an appointment.  Geron called me at work and said "I called your doctor.  You have an appointment this afternoon."  He was tired of not getting sleep from my hacking, I'm sure.  That afternoon, my doctor examined me and put me on asthma meds--inhaler, advair, and an oral steroid to fast forward the recovery process.  All week, I took the meds consistently, using my inhaler 3 or more times a day.  At my follow up appointment, December 19th, the doctor suspected that something else was going on.  I was sent for a chest x ray and blood work.  X ray came back clear.  I received a call around 7 p.m. from my doctor saying the blood work was NOT good.  She suspected a blood clot.  "Get to the E.R. right away.  They know you're coming." . Not wanting to mess with the kids' routine, I drove myself to the hospital.  Geron called his parents and they came to the house so he could meet me at the hospital.  Maybe 2 hours later, the E.R. doctor came to my room and said something to the effect of "Today was probably your day to play the lottery....You have blood clots in both your lungs." 4 days were spent in the hospital, getting used to blood thinners, learning to give myself a shot OR at least let Geron do it. Then we were sent home and on a journey to discover what had caused these clots to occur in the first place.  Visits to the hematologist, weekly lab visits to monitor my cumadin level, adjusting meds.  

In the hospital,  the hospitalist told us "You should not have children while on this medication.  You may not want to risk trying to have anymore." ....My doctor told me "You shouldn't have children on this medication...This may be a lifelong process for you...No more children." ....The hematologist told me "You shouldn't have children..."

The door was shut.  UNEXPECTEDLY shut.

After 4 Months on cumadin, being careful to follow doctors' orders, I found myself sick again.  I recognized all the symptoms from my previous pregnancies... and knew. It was the first time I took a pregnancy test, saw the results, and was disappointed at the positive sign staring back at me.  

Geron and I were terrified.  He called our parents and our former pastor.  Again, his parents came over right away.  My mother in law prayed with me about my fears/ concerns.  I knew there were possibilities of facial abnormalities, defects in the extremities, and even miscarriage. We prayed for God's will and for the strength to handle whatever would come our way. 

That evening I skipped my cumadin dose.  I didn't take it all weekend.  I saw my doctor the following Monday and we started the Lovenox injections right away. 

 As the week went on I began to get excited at the idea of another baby but still worried about possible complications.  I told a few close friends about the baby and asked them to pray for us. 

Its crazy how quickly you become attached to a baby once you find out you're expecting.  

We went to my OB the next week and had an ultrasound to find out how far along we actually were.  Geron and I suspected 8 weeks but the ultrasound was showing 4 weeks.  At four weeks, all you can see is the embryo stage, but still a space where the baby is developing.  I had some blood taken/ tested and was called the next day.  "Start taking progesterone and come back for another ultrasound tomorrow."  The progesterone idea was nothing new to us.  I was on it with Cora and Cohen.  But I didn't know why they wanted to perform another ultrasound already.  The next day, we went back to the doctor's office.  The tech measured us again and this time showed us measuring at 8 weeks as we'd expected.  She pointed out to us where the uterus was opening to make room for the baby and showed us the amniotic sack.  What we didn't see was a baby....

8 weeks...Right now, beside me on the desk are pictures from our first ultrasound with Cora at 8 weeks.  I can see the outline of her head, her tiny arms, her little feet.  And we could see and hear her heart beating at that time.  It was fluttering and beating so fast. 

At this time, everything feels so surreal.  I haven't had any signs of miscarriage other than what we saw on that monitor.  No cramping, no spotting or bleeding.  I don't know how to feel.  I've experienced a range of emotions already.  I've cried over the loss of our third child.  I've been relieved to know that we aren't going to have a baby with severe defects.  I've been angry at myself for even feeling the latter.  I've been heartbroken as we shared with the kids and saw how sad Cohen was for the loss. 

But I've also been thankful. (I'll never forget when the pastor shared at my Granny's funeral what a profound effect she'd had on him in saying "Whatever our circumstance, we can be thankful." )  I've found myself thankful for my two beautiful children I already have.  Thankful for a loving and supportive husband who has been so strong, though disappointed himself.  Thankful for parents and parents  -in-love who have prayed for us, listened to us, and even been excited for us. And thankful for friends who've been through this loss themselves or with someone close to them and have reached out to us and ministered to us in a way no other can. 

And now I've also experienced hope.  Because through this process, I've learned that there are other ways to handle my illness.  And there are other meds I can take.  And the door hasn't been closed to us having a third child if the Lord allows.  We know He is bigger than anything we can imagine.  He is stronger than any giant we face.  And He has a plan for us to give us a hope and a future.  

God has been in the center of everything that has happened to us.  When my dad was diagnosed with cancer, I was scared to lose him. But God gave me peace that He would take care of Daddy and I know my dad has given his heart to the Lord.  The night I drove myself to the hospital facing what could have been my very death, God gave me immediate peace in my heart.  And sitting in the E.R. waiting room, it was no coincidence that when I looked up from where I sat there was a nativity scene of my savior's birth directly in front of me.  After Cohen's eye surgery, the church reached out to us and ministered to us...God's provision.  Pastoral change?  We are excited for our friends who followed God's leading to a new church and are encouraged by their obedience.  And we are prayerfully looking forward to who the Lord has in store for Grace church.  Unexpected pregnancy and miscarriage...this is a difficult road, but I am surrounded by God's love.  In His Word, in His people.  He has been faithful to me and nothing about Him is unexpected.