I saw my OB-GYN yesterday and was reminded why I like him so much. He not only remembers me, but he remembers my husband’s name without having my file with him despite the fact that he’s never met my husband. Also, he walked into the exam room yesterday and immediately told me how sorry he was for our loss and shared with me that he and his wife have suffered 5 miscarriages over the years. He shared very kind words of encouragement with me, and then told me something really amazing. He and his wife recently went on a pilgrimage to Fatima, Portugal during the 97 year anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima. He told me it was the most incredible experience of his life and shared some about it with me, but then he went on to say that he and his wife took our prayer intention with them on this pilgrimage and specifically prayed during their time there that Choi and I would conceive. The week he returned home from that trip is the same week I called to say I had a positive pregnancy test. He seemed really excited to tell me that at my appointment yesterday. And I was thrilled he shared that with me. Who am I that basically a stranger would be thinking of me and praying for me on this pilgrimage?
And he’s not the only one. A friend of ours from church told us that he had asked a priest friend of his in Italy to take our intention with him if he were to go on pilgrimage to a particular shrine in Florence. That priest never made it, but he passed the request on to a seminarian who took our intention to the Infant Jesus on his visit to this shrine. Again, someone I have never met or spoken to. This person’s special prayer for us was also right around the time we conceived. I am incredibly humbled by the generosity and universality of God’s Church.
So back to my appointment yesterday. I brought a list of questions with me, which my doctor answered and none of the things I brought up was really a concern or problem. But we did discuss my heart arrhythmia. When I spoke with one of the nurses last week, she told me that my doctor told her they need to keep an eye on my heart, because he was worried about how that might affect my pregnancy. So she concluded (and told me) that based on what my doctor said to her about his concern even before my miscarriage, that my heart arrhythmia was probably the reason I miscarried. Well, when I brought that up to my doctor, he said that’s not what he meant when he told her that at all. He said my heart rate would not have directly impacted the baby, and it really wasn’t a concern for the 1st trimester. When he told her that he was worried about how my heart rate would affect the baby, he meant later in the pregnancy. Having such a high heart rate for MONTHS and then adding on to that extra weight, he was worried that would put too much stress on my body, which would in turn put stress on the baby. Of course if that happens, there is a risk of pre-eclampsia, pre-term labor, etc. He was not worried about me miscarrying because of it and even said he is certain that was not the cause. In fact, he reviewed all my blood work, etc. and, as I said in my previous posts, he was surprised I miscarried, too, because everything seemed to be going very well; however, he said in cases like this, it was probably just an issue with how the egg and sperm came together–not even necessarily a chromosomal problem, but he said conditions have to be just right in order for the union of sperm and egg to be truly healthy and to survive. He said as perfect as the conditions need to be and as fragile as this tiny new life is, it’s an absolute miracle that anyone gets pregnant and carries a baby to term. Of course we can’t know for sure the cause of the miscarriage because I did not want a D&C. If I had had a D&C, they would have tested the placental tissue for a cause of death. Also, my doctor’s office keeps the remains of miscarried babies they extract through D&C and have a funeral for all of them several times a year. In a way, I wish we had that opportunity, but at the same time, I stand by my decision to avoid a D&C if at all possible because it takes much longer to heal from (I only have to wait 1 full cycle to begin trying again, whereas if I had the D&C, I would have to wait about 4 full cycles to begin trying again) and from what I’ve read can potentially cause some damage that makes it harder to get pregnant again in the future. Technically, I’m still not in the clear, because my HCG level hasn’t come down far enough yet, but I’ll have my blood drawn again this week and I’m praying it will be fine and I can avoid the procedure. Anyway, my doctor seems hopeful we will get pregnant again and this time carry the baby to term. I’m still worried about how long it may take for me to conceive again–it took us a year the first time, and I miscarried, and then it took 2 more years the 2nd time, and I miscarried, so…. That being said, he is right. We now know what is causing my infertility and what caused the first miscarriage, and I am being treated for both, so the odds really are in our favor. It’s just frustrating to feel so close yet so far away. And nothing is guaranteed. We’ll just keep praying and keep trying.
Meanwhile, yesterday was also our 10 year “dating” anniversary. We’re going on 4 years of marriage, but we’ve been a couple for a full decade now. As I wrote on facebook yesterday, we enjoyed most of our teen years together, became adults together, learned to be good husband and wife together, and, God willing, will grow old together. Choi has been my best friend for so long that I can’t imagine a life without him. We are incredibly blessed that God deigned for us to start our life together so soon. We basically grew up together in the sense of maturing, navigating the “real world” together, choosing a life path together, going through all those major life moments together, etc. We got our driver’s licenses together (literally–my dad took us both to the DMV because Choi’s dad worked so many hours he couldn’t find time to do it), we graduated high school together (albeit at different schools), I got to go to Vietnam with Choi and his dad the summer before college, we chose a college together and moved away from home together (we didn’t live together–we both lived in different dorms–but we moved together), we helped each other choose a major, we found a new church to attend during college together, we grew in our faith together and became Catholic together… The list could go on. I am beyond blessed to have this man as my husband. I don’t want to say anything too cliche, so I’ll leave it at that. Despite the lot we’ve been given in terms of growing our family, I know I am blessed.