A personal blog from Melissa:
Three weeks and every emotion and soul crisis I’ve ever experienced in the course of my spiritual walk resurfaced in a brand new battle, this time more intense than it’s ever been before. I told Holly, it seemed that God had to take me deeper than I have yet to be taken in this journey of miscarriage and loss, to find a fresh brokenness for my writing for this ministry.
With a history of infertility and a ruptured ectopic pregnancy in 2009 that almost took my life along with our Little One, (and also took my fallopian tube) pregnancy carries more questions than another potential miscarriage for us. Two pink lines results in an initial burst of happiness but then immediately becomes the question of, “Is this one a tubal?”
This in mind, the day two pink lines showed up on my pregnancy test, I chose to embrace whatever time I had with this new baby and purposefully focus on that love and not the scary unknowns. I also deliberately knelt down and offered up to God that I was surrendered to His best and His glory, whatever that may bring in coming weeks.
I had no idea what testing that surrender would face 9 days later when the bleeding and pain began.
Women without my history will often chalk up bleeding to an early miscarriage and have that confirmed with a blood draw. We on the other hand, go into something like “emergency mode” when bleeding ensues with a pregnancy.
A phone call to my used-to-be ob/gyn and I was shockingly informed me they wouldn’t see me because they no longer accept my insurance. I attempted to process this information and asked, “Well, what do I do?” and received the advice to pursue the ER right away. Being turned away by her office in my hour of panic was the first emotional upset, that helped set the tone for what was to follow.
One week, then two, summed up, was a whirlwind of seeing many strange faces in the form of Dr’s, while longing for my old Dr of 9 years who had walked me through so much and knew my history. From an ER Doctor who informed me blood work stated I wasn’t pregnant,to sending my email upon returning home that night with a photo of my five—count them, five—positive pregnancy tests and having the response come back almost immediately with, “You need to come back right away. Our lab must have been wrong and what we thought were cysts may be an ovarian pregnancy”, to an ER follow up with an absolute quack of an OB, to multiple labs and multiple exams and internal ultrasounds in which no one could give a straight answer, it was two weeks of emotional upheaval and questions.
Labwork showed hcg in my blood but not enough for a viable pregnancy, especially given how far along I should be at that point.
Ultrasounds showed two large cysts on one ovary.
One Dr brushed it off, another, as I sought a second opinion in an effort to be taken much more seriously, urged me back to the ER immediately. Still another said only time would tell if it was an ovarian pregnancy.
One of these Doctor’s bluntly counseled without any compassion, that, considering my age (37) and my history, we needed to plan on our pregnancy years being over and pursue a tubal ligation in my remaining tube–her nurse could set me up with the surgery upon check-out. Another one stated she could not urge me, by any means to pursue pregnancy given I have all the signs of severe scar tissue and endometriosis, putting us at high risk for a tubal—but she was willing to take me as a patient should we choose to not prevent pregnancy.
Through it all, all I wanted to know was, “was it a tubal?” I did not want varied options and unsought counsel. I simply wanted an easing of my fear. But the final analysis was, only time would tell what we were dealing with, given the minimal hcg levels, the bleeding that was similar to miscarriage, and what looked like ovarian cysts. . . but which could show up as pregnancy if it was indeed that and ended up growing large enough to be picked up as such on ultrasound.
During all the Dr appointments and hospital visits, I cycled from surrendered peace to panicked tears to anger.
One minute was the peace that God was God and I was not, and my life was in His hands. But the next hour I would forget that surrender and fear my worst fear — a tubal. In the hour after that, I would then experience devastation that I couldn’t even have a happy experience following a positive pregnancy test.
Those two pink lines were my greatest joy.
Those two pink lines were my greatest fear.
My fear was not in dying, as I told my inner circle. My fear was the memory of struggling to stay conscious for my daughter’s sake, that day in 2009, and this time around, not being able to do so, laying on the floor bleeding to death as my children tried to rouse me. That, was my fear.
For twenty four hours the fear was replaced with red-hot anger. After receiving yet another, “We just aren’t fully sure what is going on, you’re going to have to come back in, in another few days for another look.” I became angry.
“Is it freaking too much to ask?” I yelled at God, “To get some answers either way? To have facts so I can know what I’m dealing with? What is this? A game of, ‘I’m sovereign and you’re not and you just need to submit to that?’ Because frankly, that’s what it feels like–and that really ruins the whole, God as loving Father thing–and you know how crucial that is in my life! You feel more like a powerful God who is cruel because He KNOWS what’s going on but is withholding the vital information I need to be at peace regarding it all and develop a plan of action. How can I trust You when you allow this?!”
The anger became rage the morning my son woke up at 2:30 in the morning and refused to go back to bed. Pain and exhaustion already existent and now I wasn’t even allowed to sleep. So utterly spent and exhausted with even the oblivion of sleep taken.
I cried and I raged and I told God this surrender thing only led to heartbreak and it was so painful and not worth it. All I wanted was happiness with two pink lines and the assurance that all was well. Instead, I was stuck in a hole with no answers and only pain that haunted me like 2009–and a lost baby either way (through the miscarriage possibly occurring or the tubal pregnancy to be terminated once it was revealed).
After the raging tears I collected myself and began writing in my journal. I wrote and then, I wrote some more. I wrote until there was no more to write. I wrote until I came to the conclusion of the matter.
I wonder at timing of all this. In the past half year I have cried out with A. W. Tozer, “Show me your glory!” and “Please root from my heart all those things I have cherished for so long and have become a part of my Self that keeps you from King of my heart, so that Thou mayest enter without rival and dwell there. . . ”
He can not show His glory until the veil of Self is torn. . . and part of what I have clung to as Self, is the security of things going the right way and if not, that they can be explained with facts and data that I can work with. I do not do well with unknowns. I need answers—and that is part of my Self and a refusal to allow Him to be Lord. Rend that Lord. Bring me to the place that I can truly say, is it enough that I do not know and He does. Where I can surrender to the fact that He is God and I am not, and He is enough.
As the days of waiting passed, this prayer was sweetly answered, watered with many tears of brokenness. This newly reaffirmed faith in Him took root and has stretched down deeper than I knew existed within my soul. The (at times) scary and dehabilitating pain still remained, so did the unknowns, but I consistently fell back into the only knowledge I had—that He knew and all of my life–every single part of it–was in His hands. The recurring them of my life, “My God is able to deliver but even if He does not, I will still serve Him” (see Daniel 3) once again became my heart song.
The end of the story is that no explanation has been given for the last lab which still showed hcg in my blood, but ultrasounds have revealed absolutely no pregnancy and instead, only ovarian cysts as the cause of the pain. We lost our fourth sweet baby in what we now know was miscarriage but in that way, we are grateful, because the devastation of having to terminate an ovarian pregnancy would have broken me even further.
As far as our future, we as a couple, are facing this unknown. At the ages of 37 and 40, our visions of a large biological family are fading. With the factors we are dealing with, not to mention all the time spent in the recent weeks of multiple exams, labs, and Dr visits, the desire for pregnancy is being replaced with a reality check that pregnancy is exceptionally complicated for us and for the sake of the ministry God has called us to, as well as our two biological children, it is not the wisest pursuit at this time.
This of course, brings a new level of grief. I was the one who planned on a pregnancy every two years like my best friend. Infertility and then miscarriages and literal, life-or-death scares, were not a part of the plan. But this grief too, of surrendering what was once my dream for multiple pregnancies and a house full of biological children, will be worked through and surrendered. This too will be redeemed with a beauty beyond my understanding.
God is faithful.
God is good.
God is God.
Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2012. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bpmjcp12-10-12