This post is part two to about my high risk 4th pregnancy and is about waiting for amniocentesis results. Read part one here. Read about my 3rd pregnancy that ended in miscarriage and my second pregnancy that was a Down syndrome diagnosis.
It was Friday and I had a project due. I went to the Starbucks around the corner, opened up my laptop and stared. People tell you, “Just breathe” when stress starts to pile up. I had never found that to be a hard task until that day.
Inhale, Jill. Exhale, Jill. Try to enjoy that sugary cup of decaf, Jill. Focus, Jill.
For the second time in two years, I was waiting on Amniocentesis results. They were supposed to be ready that afternoon.
You told her not to call until after 1, Jill. Just focus on the task in front of you. Inhale, exhale. Why does my chest feel so heavy?
Two weeks after discovering our new son had fluid in his abdomen, we went back for a check up. The fluid looked different this time, but it was still there. I lied on the table for more than hour looking at my son, as the doctor told us everything he saw that looked normal and everything he saw that didn’t. He talked, he theorized.
He said the chance of a genetic abnormality causing the fluid was high. We declined the amnio that day.
We went through the motions—gymnastics, therapy, school pick-ups, school drop-offs. For the first time in my life, I was thankful that it takes my body a while to show the proof of carrying life. I could make small talk with moms and teachers without talking about it, without talking about him.
Another week went by, another ultrasound. Another hour-long picture session of wanting to look at him, to love him, but guarding myself from falling.
The doctor theorized more—all signs indicated something severely wrong or possibly death. We knew if this was something that could be helped by fetal surgery, we had to have the amnio. We also just wanted answers.
They took the needle out, injected it into my abdomen and I couldn’t stop the tears.
I’ve been through this before, why does this hurt so much this time? Am I doing the right thing? What if he’s already weak and I’m putting him more at risk? Good, God, where are you?
I wailed on the table. I was unable to control my emotions, unable to hide the pain from my husband. Unable.
And also unwilling. Unwilling to reach out. I felt so betrayed. Why, would God allow us to walk down the road of another agonizing pregnancy?
I raised the white flag. Retreated. Like many walking a painful path, I retreated to myself.
I hid the truth from family, from friends. I had nothing to offer them.
I thought the sun was shining on us. We waited 13 weeks to share the joy of our pregnancy; how could I tell them it all turned upside down days after? I had no explanation. I had no answers.
I felt empty. Abandoned. Confused. I felt pain. And when I couldn’t feel the pain, I felt nothing. I plastered a pleasant smile on my face. I forced giggles when playing with my kids.
How are we here again? Don’t we deserve a break?
The call never came that Friday. Small relief. We could go the weekend without staring at our phones.
Then it was Monday.
Heavy chest. Inhale, exhale. Stare at the wall. Clean the house. Lie down. More staring. Breathing becoming more difficult.
No phone call.
The results must be bad. Or maybe not.
No answers, only waiting.