Today was our first ultrasound with baby number three. I have been feeling anxious about today since the moment I found out I was pregnant. I could hardly sleep last night.
I’ve been strangely torn between desperately wanting an ultrasound to see that my baby is okay, and wanting to never have one, living in ignorant bliss. But the problem is, I know too much to be ignorant. I needed to see my baby.
In the last few days, I have tried (very unsuccessfully) to simply not think about it. I have also tried to live in denial, pretending it wasn’t coming. I have also tried playing out every scenario in my head. None of these methods brought me much peace and here is why: I was about to have to face my biggest fears, and most horrific memories right in the face.
I was about to have to walk into the same room where I was told 11.5 months ago that my precious child did not have a heartbeat. I was about to have to lay on the same table where my world was shattered. I was about to look at the same screen that brought me the heart wrenching pain of death…and hope once more to see life.
I was about to do it all again. But wait -I reminded myself – it was different. This time I had new hope for this new life. Yet I felt like I was laying my heart right out in the open again.
When they called us back I felt everything inside me tighten up. The nurse said a few things and then left for a few minutes. A few agonizing minutes. I talked myself in and out of every possibility, cried, and lifted my voice quietly to God as I sat waiting on the table. I couldn’t do this…but I had to do this. It felt like I couldn’t breathe.
The flood of emotions that came when I entered the ultrasound room was just as strong as I had anticipated. Memories flooding back. Pain and heartache relived. Adam felt it too and came to rest his head on my shoulder. A silent embrace that we both understood perfectly.
I tried not to look at the pictures and diagrams of babies all over the room…I just couldn’t.
I began to wonder where the nurse had gone as I held a crumpled tissue in my hand.
She finally popped back in, cheerfully asking if I was ready. There was no hiding my intensity as I laid back on the table. Tears streamed softly down my face and she asked if I was alright. She thought maybe I was just nervous to have an ultrasound done.
Apparently she hadn’t read my chart.
In between sniffles, I said, “We lost our last baby. The last time I was in here…” And my voice trailed off. The kind nurse exclaimed how sorry she was and said, “Let’s hurry up and get you some good news…”
They started the ultrasound and then it happened. There was my baby, and there was the flicker of a heartbeat. 168 beats per minute. I can’t describe the feeling that welled up inside of me. I cried deeper – tears of awe, tears of thankfulness, tears of love for that little person on the screen that was alive. The relief I felt was beyond words.
It was simply amazing. We watched, video recorded, and rejoiced at the absolute gift of a heartbeat. There was nothing like it in the world.
As I stood up to get dressed, I could finally take a good breath. God had done it.
When they checked my blood pressure a few minutes later, it was the highest read I have ever seen come from my body. (still within the normal range) I wasn’t surprised. This is a road I have never walked before. But we made it past this one mountain. We will keep going – one day, one mountain, one hurdle at a time. Knowing that our God is for us.
Psalm 56:9 “Then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call; This I know, that God is for me.”