Today, my spirits are low. My energy is low. My ability to rub to coherent thoughts together and make a spark is low. This is a problem for me, this inability to stand my ground beneath the weight of worry. The worst case scenario is the only one I can imagine, and the alternatives seem like pollyannish pipe dreams. I’m a generally positive person, and can keep my chin up when life throws me struggles and setbacks in small chunks at a time, or with adequate warning.
But when I receive unexpected bad news, sometimes, I crumble. Like yesterday. My husband and I went in for our ultrasound, cautiously optimistic that we’d see a “Glinda bubble” on the screen when the tech placed the wand on my abdomen. And we did. Hallelujah! We did. My husband and I exchanged warm glances while the technician swept the wand over my belly, and I grimaced from time to time as the pressure of a VERY full bladder was becoming quite painful. I casually mentioned that she’d probably want to take a look at my left ovary, where I could tell a cyst had formed. (This is completely common in pregnancy, by the way.)
She took picture after picture, measured it, and then did an internal ultrasound to get a better look. It was fairly large (6 x 6 cm to be exact), but it also showed a build up of fluid around it. Well no WONDER I’d been bloated and uncomfortable. No wonder if felt similar to when I’d had the pain from my ectopic several years ago. While I was concerned, I just felt so relieved that the baby was in its proper place to let my mind worry about a silly cyst. She measured the yolk sac to determine the gestational age, and I was in for another shock. “Well, you’re measuring right at 5 weeks.”
That’s it?! I really thought I might be 6 weeks, but I really wasn’t sure. Quickly, I did the math in my head. Wait. That means I conceived TWO days before I expected my period?! What in the world?! I guess anything’s possible. Obviously, anything’s possible. My head was spinning from this unexpected news of both the leaking cyst and the age of the pregnancy, combined with an empty stomach. When the nurse started explaining to me that’d I’d need to limit physical activity because the cyst was at risk of twisting, which would probably require surgery, which could increase the risk of miscarriage, and could harm the ovary (and I only have one good baby-making side), I lost it. First, I sat, head all hot and body all numb, then I needed to lay down. As I walked back toward the exam room, voices became distant and my vision became like pointillism.
Somehow, I crawled up onto the table, somehow remembered to lay on my left side to increase blood flow, and tried to quiet my mind as the nurses applied a damp cloth, ice packs, and fanned my face. I was embarrassed that I’d completely lost control, and I was scared. A tear welled up in my eye, and without the strength to raise my hand and wipe it away, it rolled down my nose and landed with a loud splat on the paper below me. I was at the mercy of the nurses, while my husband sat in a chair and calmly watched. It was just a fainting spell, nothing major, and yet I just wanted it to be over. A blood pressure cuff was placed on my arm. 90/40. Super low. They brought me peanut butter crackers, and after the initial haze had lifted, I managed to eat a few. Then, it was apple juice. Five more times they took my blood pressure, and it never rose about 90/50. My husband went down to the hospital cafeteria to get me a cheeseburger (this momma can always eat a cheeseburger).
I ate. And waited. And still, my blood pressure remained the same. I was sent home with instructions to take it easy, eat and drink as much as I could, and wait. More ultrasounds will need to be done next week. More blood will be drawn, and I feel like I’m right back where I started. Uncertain. Afraid. Anxious. And yet, I know better. I know there’s much to be grateful for. The baby IS growing in my uterus. My doctor is monitoring me closely and she’s wonderful. I have a supportive husband and family. I have two beautiful, healthy children to hold in my arms already. And like a dear friend told me, “This baby sounds very special! God has certainly gifted you with something unexpected and practically unexplained (who gets pregnant 2 days before their period is due?!). So this is awesome! We are still so early in the game that we just have to keep thinking positively and focusing on the One who placed that baby securely in your womb.” She’s right. She’s SO right. I needed to hear that pep talk, despite my sour mood. I’m trying to dig out from beneath this weight of worry by seeking the good, by forcing myself to find the gratitude.