To read the story of our precious Harlynn Renae, start here and follow the "next" links at the end of each post. Thank you for coming and sharing with us in this journey.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Am I Crazy?

Don't answer that. The answer is yes, but I'm the only one allowed to answer that.

After Monday's scare, I've been on pins and needles until today's appointment. I went in anxious, concerned, uptight, and hopeful I was working myself up for no reason. After losing Harlynn, though, I've learned regardless of appointment outcomes, I need to be prepared for anything. I will always expect bad news, and then I will always be overjoyed when it doesn't come.

Today I waited a good 45 minutes before getting called back for the ultrasound. It was the sonographer I had at my first perinatal appointment six weeks ago, and coincidentally, the same one who knocked on the door on Monday to interrupt the would-be ultrasound. She's a super nice gal, with a cute southern accent. It's hard to not like someone with a southern accent. She went through the ultrasound and because she was also aware of Monday's events, she made it a point to check, re-check, and check again on the heart rate of our little man. I wanted to hug her at least seven times, but I refrained. His heart rate was once again consistently in the 140s, save for the first time she checked when it was 129. 

Little man was moving constantly. He wasn't still for a second. I felt some of his movements, and that's always a thrill to feel him and watch him at the same time. At one point she paused on his little hand that was clearly signing "I Love You" to us. I can't tell you how sweet it was to see. Sure, he doesn't know what he's doing, but we saw it clear as day, and I can't help but think there was a little help from "upstairs" in giving us reassurance we - I - desperately needed. We saw him breathing. Breathing! We saw him moving his mouth. I saw his wide little feet that I'm sure he got from his daddy. I saw ten fingers and ten toes. I believed her when she pointed out organs I couldn't make out.  I was waiting for her to look concerned, and I was watching her face as often as I was watching the screen. She kept making comments like, "That's good." or "Looks good." I was wondering what she was keeping from me. Surely there had to be something.

She wrapped up and said the perinatologist would look at the results and be in to see me when she was done with her current patient. We waited a long while, but I didn't grow impatient, aside from really needing to go to the bathroom. I know that in these appointments, someone could be getting bad news, or concerning news, or needing to take an extra look at something to rule things out, and I certainly don't want to grow impatient waiting for my news as they are receiving theirs. So we waited, and I wiggled my toes as fast as I could to stave off wetting myself.

Eventually she came in, apologizing for taking a while. I had not met her before, but she was well versed in my history and file. Immediately I felt at peace once she started talking. Something about her. She went over the ultrasound and said all things were present and accounted for, everything looked really good, and there were absolutely no concerns at this time from a medical standpoint. She then said, "I'm going to hope and pray with you that everything goes well with this little guy." I started crying. She apologized for making me cry and Brent said, "It's a daily occurrence." Thanks, babe. As I dried my tears she said, "God is in control. Trust Him." She wasn't the only physician in that room. She reminded me of the Great Physician who is always present. I needed that reminder.

I asked her several questions, and she gave well-informed answers. She set forth a treatment plan going forward and gave us the instructions to leave at the check-out desk. I sat up and asked for a hug. I couldn't help myself. She obliged, and was very kind about it. She left the room and we were on our way.

I chucked my belongings at Brent and asked him to meet me out front. I had to relieve myself after holding it for a good two hours. It was a good appointment. It was a great appointment. I felt a sense of relief I haven't had in a while. It felt good. It felt really good. Walking out to the front, I saw my doctor's nurse in the hallway. She waved and I gave her two thumbs up and said, "Everything was good." "That's great!" she said. Out front, Brent was talking to Nurse Nicky, who was my earth-angel when we went through Haley's birth. I was smiling. She was smiling. It was a good appointment.

All that said, though, Monday's scare, Harlynn's death - all of those are with me. All of those will be with me. Stay with me. On Monday I was thinking, "I can't do this again. I cannot be pregnant ever again. It's too much. It's too traumatic." And in the very next thought I was resolving, "But I'm not ready to hang this up. I'm not ready to call it quits. I'm not ready to close the door to having more children."  The whole drive home I kept thinking, "I'm crazy. This is crazy. Who loses their baby, gets pregnant, is a complete neurotic disaster the entire time, and thinks, 'I'm not ready to throw in the towel'?" I'm crazy. Even if I am crazy, I'm not alone in my crazy. I know so many stories, so many people, who have gone through this more than once. Who have lost more than they have gained. And they never gave up. They never lost hope. They never let their fear stop them from pursuing their dreams of having a family. I know also, though, that they never fully enjoyed a pregnancy. They always worried. Always fretted. Expected the worst but hoped for the best. I may be thought of as crazy by someone who has no idea what I've been through or what I face on a daily basis. But by those who do understand, I'm no more crazy than they are. And we don't see ourselves as crazy so much as incredibly vulnerable, exceptionally cautious, and faithfully hopeful. 

I thought it was so interesting the responses I got after posting Monday's blog. Those who had been through it resonated with my struggling over having a boy instead of a girl. They related. They empathized. Those who haven't were elated, excited, and enthusiastic about a boy because it's a boy. There is a steep difference in the two reactions. I often wonder which camp I would be in had I not known the loss of my daughter. 

For today, though, I'm hopeful. I'm optimistic. I'm thankful for a chance to see our little man once again, and to know he is viable. He is alive. He is thriving. I prayed, as I do every day, for the chance to bring him home. Because if I am crazy, I'm crazy about my kids. All three of them.


  1. We are crazy about you and all three of your kids too. Really like this doctor too for her acceptance of who is really in control. Like I said back in October, all we want is a healthy baby, boy or girl. God chose boy this time and he and his family are being prayed for by so many. Am so grateful you have Brent by your side. Love that guy too.

    love and prayers,

  2. Val - it's been a while since we've connected, but I've been keeping up with you. I feel exactly the same way about continuing on. I'm 18 weeks - started only 3 months after we lost James. I'm terrified and completely neurotic - so miserable some days, but am not ready to throw in the towel. I keep thinking - I'm not sure if this will be the last at #3. I NEVER thought I'd want 4 kids - be able to survive (hopefully) 5 pregnancies. But, now, in the midst of it all, I don't want to close any doors - knowing exactly what kind of heartache I could be in line for.

    It's gotta be God's hand that makes us feel that way. Without it, it would be so easy to be hardened and close off to the possibility of love. But, we know that the amount of love that we have for these children is worth any amount of heartache. We could only know that because of God's love for us. It's so unbelievable. Just amazing.