Sunday, October 21, 2007

In Which Dot Becomes Gummy Bear

When our RE said that we had to wait two weeks for another ultrasound, I thought for sure that the days would crawl by. The time actually went by fairly quickly. I think the fact that I was so sick helped, so did the lack of spotting. I was losing weight from being so sick, but my pants were fitting more snugly. The signs and symptoms of pregnancy were overwhelming, but I loved that, it made me feel like the baby was all right.

The day of our ultrasound was the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I felt that the timing was perfect because I knew that if this ultrasound showed good news, then we could start to be more confident about the pregnancy. And becoming more confident meant that we could tell my parents as a holiday treat.

I was a nervous wreck the morning of the ultrasound. I tried to let the fact that I could barely keep anything down comfort me. Sick Mom = Healthy Baby, right?

We got to the ultrasound room and I was shaking as she inserted the probe. Right away, the dot showed up. But this was no dot. This looked like. . . well, a gummy bear! Only this gummy bear had a beating heart. That little heart was just beating away at a perfect 176 BPM. I looked at the screen in absolute amazement and then at my husband. He seemed in complete awe. We were holding hands and I squeezed his. He looked at me and said, "It looks. . . human."

The technician was wonderful. She let us look for a long time, from all different angles. When I told her that we would be using these pictures to tell the Grandparents, she happily printed off extra copies for us. I asked her about the growth and lil' Gummy Bear had more than caught up and was now two days ahead of schedule - "measuring more than perfectly" were her very words. She asked when our next ultrasound would be and I told her that we were offically "graduating" from the RE's office and that it would be another two weeks before our next ultrasound at our regular OB. She said that we would be amazed what changes we would see by that next time.

After she left, I got my pants back on and started crying a little, but these were such happy tears. My husband hugged me and I looked up at him with such complete joy and said the words that I had been longing to say for such a long time: "We are going to have a baby."

I believed them with all of my heart.

Our regular doctor was unavailable, so a nurse practioner came in. She was all smiles, congratulating us on the baby. It was the first time that I really felt pregnant. She asked how I was feeling, what I was doing to handle the morning sickness, gave me some suggestions, treated me like an honest-to-goodness pregnant woman. There was no talk of slow growth, she said that the baby was doing beautifully. Always a stickler for the details, I asked her what our chances of miscarriage were at this point. She looked at us directly and said that while there was always that chance, she would put it at less than 3%. Her closing remarks to us was the the clinic always liked baby pictures, so she would be expecting them from us.

We floated out of that office. It was truly the best day of my life. I kept smiling so much that my husband was laughing at me, but I didn't care. I felt that I deserved every millisecond of happiness that I could squeeze from this pregnancy. At that moment, I let go of my fears and became something that I thought that I could never be: A happy pregnant woman. Despite our history, I was no longer afraid of miscarriage. We were okay. We had dodged the bullet.

We went to the mall that night and purchased Grandma ornaments to give our mothers. These were perfect, because they were little picture frames, just right for our ultrasound pictures. As we were buying them, the lady who checked us out asked if we were giving them to our grandmas, and we told her that we were actually buying them for Grandmas that didn't know they were Grandmas. She gave us that goofy smile that people give you when they find out that you are having a baby. My husband snuggled me closer and then we floated right out of the mall.

That Thanksgiving, I had so much to be thankful for. I told my mom by handing her the ornament and saying that we got her an early Christmas gift. At first, she was confused, thinking it was a picture of our dogs, but then she realized what it was. My parents were thrilled, if a bit worried given our history, but we told them about the less than 3% odds, and they started to relax. So much so, in fact, that my mom started telling everyone. We ran into some neighbors that night and she told them, and once again, we got that goofy grin from them. Then I looked at my husband and realized that we were wearing those smiles, too. It felt so good.

I was still sick as a dog, unable to eat or keep much of anything down. I had lost ten pounds. But I didn't care. As long as the baby was okay, I was happy.

My husband and I had started to play the part of expectant parents. We threw caution to the wind and bought a baby name book and started keeping a list. We dared to go back to Babys R Us and even bought somethign else for the baby. We were out of control! But didn't we deserve this? Isn't this what everyone else gets to do?

My favorite thing that happened is that we started a ritual each night. I would say, "Goodnight. I love you. And the baby loves you."

He would reply, "I love you, too. . . AND the baby." He sometimes would pause between the two, teasing me, but he loved saying it as much as I loved hearing it. We would fall asleep, spoon style, both of our palms on my slightly swelling stomach.

There is no measure to the sadness that I have felt since losing our precious Gummy Bear. But there is no measure to the happiness that I felt for those all-too-brief weeks. As desperately sad as I have been, as much as my heart has been broken, I would do it all again. I would do anything for that happiness. I would do anything for Gummy Bear.


Geohde said...

I am so sorry.


Polka Dot said...

I wish this story had a much happier ending. You and your DH deserve it.


laksh said...

You have a wonderful way of expression. I can feel your happiness and your pain. Hugs!!!

You deserve happiness soooooooo much.

Searching said...

Ahhhh, please pass a tissue!! *hugs!*

BrownEyedGirl said...

I want to thank you for sharing this story with us! I have been having the why mes lately...but it's not just me, there are many of us going through this same nightmare. You're story of Gummy Bear, comforts me, it makes my heart ache for you and your Hubby too. It is wonderful that you cherished every moment with your little Gummy Bear, it's all we'll have but it's more then I can ever ask for.

You are forever in my thoughts during this time. ((Katie))

Fertilize Me said...

ahh i hope that you are healing through all of these very well written posts..sending you hugs

Road Blocks and Roller Coasters said...

I am so, so sorry. I know that pain and I am sending you HUGS.

infertility just sucks said...

Katie - this is a wonderful memorial to your angel.

Thank you for sharing it with us. Not only will you and your husband remember, but we will too. Gummy Bear will live in our hearts as well.


My_Herstory said...

I just came accross your blog and had to drop a line, even to just say I'm sorry.

Samantha said...

What a beautiful post, even knowing the outcome. I hope writing all of this down is helpful for you.

In Search of Morning Sickness said...

I don't think until we know the depths of hope and joy that existed in your lives for Gummy Bear, we can't know the depths of grief and sorrow it's had in your life. I feel, again, honored you'd share these glimpses into your heart. This is so precious to read. It helps me in my own grieving process to recognize some of the things you are saying, that I feel too.

Baby Steps to Baby Shoes said...

Truly beautiful . . .