I had a baby already. Micah was 8 months old. He sat in his little bathtub chair, laughing and smiling as I took a pregnancy test. I took precautions. How could the test possibly come out positive? And the pink line was there immediately.
I really didn't want to be pregnant. I was still trying to get back into shape from my first pregnancy. I laid awake all night, asking God how this could even be possible. My husband was excited. I was not.
"February." He said calmly, "Sounds like a good month to have a baby." He rolled over and went to sleep. I laid awake all night worried and afraid. Of what, in particular, I can't really say. Fear of being criticized, fear of not getting my pre-pregnancy body back, fear of not having enough money. Fear of not being able to handle two babies. Things weren't great. I was already exhausted. Mike worked long hours on a night shift. Money was very tight. I was so sick with the first pregnancy; how could I possibly handle a second one right now? We were so young. 21 years old and pregnant for the second time. This was not what I wanted.
Maybe it was all a fluke. Maybe the test was broken. Maybe it was something I ate or a vitamin I took. Yeah, that was it. It was my vitamin supplements. We had taken precautions.
I called the doctor's office. "You're pregnant if the test indicates it," they said. Hmmm. I was 6 weeks along.
The next day I began to bleed. I was horrified. Suddenly, I began to ask God to let me keep this child. I began to want this pregnancy. I wanted it more than anything.
The bleeding continued. Not heavy, just off and on spotting. I went to the OB. "You're going to miscarry. Go home, put your feet up," they said, "try not to worry about it." That's really what they said.
We went to a Mariners game with a couple of friends. It had been on the calendar and I had to go. At one point I remember Mike reaching over to touch my belly lovingly. I sat up in the bleachers with a blanket and cried my eyes out through the entire game. The people around me looked concerned. I didn't care. I begged God to let me keep my baby. I was so sad that I had told God that I didn't want to be pregnant. And now I was losing my child. Shame on me. God must know that I didn't deserve to be pregnant. I decided nobody should know about this pregnancy especially if it would just end in miscarriage.
The next day it was back to the OB, this time for an ultrasound. They doctor didn't know why I was still bleeding. A forty-five minute ultrasound had the ultrasound technician baffled.
"I see the egg sac, but no baby," She said.
It was called a "Blighted Ovum." It's a genetic "oopsie-daisy" where things go wrong; a sac develops but contains no fetus. There was no fetus to be seen.
"I do see something in your ovary," she added. "That could mean an ectopic pregnancy, or it could just be nothing." Was that why I was bleeding? I had no idea.
There was no baby in there. No heartbeat, nothing alive. All this time I had been crying my guts out over something that wasn't there! So I wasn't losing a baby after all. There was nothing even there to lose!
Immediately after, we saw the doctor for a follow-up. She said it was possible that I had an ectopic pregnancy with my blighted ovum. She said I should be careful and get some meds as a precaution.
She prepared to give me a shot to flush out everything and make my cycle start regularly again since there was no fetus in the sac. A "do-over." An abortive shot. I thought it over. It wouldn't be killing anything. There wasn't a heartbeat. There wasn't a baby. An ectopic pregnancy could be dangerous. It could kill me if my ovary ruptured. And there was no real baby in my womb anyway. It was all very reasonable.
I have no idea why, but I heard myself say "No. No, I won't be doing that."
"Well," the doctor paused and replied, "You can come back again in four days and we'll do another ultrasound and check on your uterus and the bump on your ovary."
I agreed to that. I went home not knowing what to do. I was given a list of symptoms to watch for in case there was an ectopic pregnancy.
The bleeding continued through those four days. But on day four we made the long one hour drive back into the obstetrician's office for another ultrasound. I stared at the monitor.
And there was a blinking light.
Tiny. Blinking repeatedly. Strongly. A heartbeat inside the "empty" egg sack.
It was too small to be seen in the first ultrasound but it was there this time! It was in my womb, right where it belonged and my ovary had nothing in it.
I remember the relief and joy that washed over me. And then the sheer terror at the thought that just days earlier I nearly opted to receive medication that would have aborted my baby. I would have never known that I was really carrying a viable fetus. Sometimes medical science is too swift. Some things just need time.
There were more tests as the weeks went by. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and blood work. My HCG levels were monitored regularly. I was still bleeding. In fact, I bled through nearly the first five months of that pregnancy. The chance of miscarriage was real. I bled every day. And it was scary. I pleaded with God each day to let this child live.
I delivered a healthy, gorgeous little girl on a cold January evening. She came 10 days early and was the most precious and perfect gift I've ever received. Perfectly formed. Perfectly beautiful. Perfectly healthy.
Her names mean "Who is like God? My God is abundance."
She is the gift I could easily have lost to an abortive procedure. It still scares me to realize how close I was to choosing to end her life. She is truly one of the greatest gifts the Lord has ever graciously bestowed upon me. She is my friend, my helper and like a second mommy to her little siblings. Everyone who meets her adores her. She is a little bit of heaven on earth.
She and our first child, Micah, are 17 months apart. The world would say that spacing was way too close, as I would have once claimed. Yet they are truly the best of friends and have always been the perfect playmates for one another.
Mikayka turns 10 next week. What an incredible 10 years it's been! How blessed I am to serve a God who loves me enough to give me a daughter like her. Not only is she beautiful on the outside, but her heart is beautiful too. She inspires our family with her humor and charm and the way she cares about everyone.
God knitted this child together in a secret place. I live each day with a walking, talking reminder of this. The womb is a mystery and so is God's plan. His timing is always perfect.
"You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb... You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb." Psalm 139:13& 15
God perfectly places our children within our families.
And I am eternally grateful.