My dearest people, apologies for my long hiatus between Dec 2012 and August 2013...plus my inability to respond to comments on my blog or leave comments on my fellow bloggers' blogs. Please bear with me.
In one of my previous posts, by faith I posted about a "September Gift" (all those posts were scheduled). Please read below (long post alert!!!) the story behind the September Gift. I hope someone is encouraged by this post.
I had 2 consecutive pregnancy losses between August and October 2012. In November, I had to travel for training in the US. My husband then insisted that I should do a follow up test to ensure the evacuation procedure (for the 2ndpregnancy loss) was done properly, and to check if there was something wrong causing the recurrent pregnancy loss. Reluctantly I obeyed. I did a couple of tests and to my greatest shock, the Dr pronounced me to be diabetic and immediately put me on medication. She said that the high sugar level was the cause of the pregnancy losses, and I should tell my doctors in Nigeria not to let me get pregnant again until the sugar level was under control.
When I got back, it was not an issue of pregnancy anymore. It was sugar level matter. I was in the hospital once a week for all sorts of tests and follow up. I did some research and found out that someone who is diabetic and gets pregnant is considered high risk. The person will be taking injections throughout the pregnancy, etc. I discussed all of these with my husband. He then said we should pray about it. After one of his personal quiet times, he told me when I go back for the tests, there will be no trace of high blood sugar level.
When I went for my next appointment, the blood test results came out. The sugar level was on the lowest side that the doctors (Physician and OB/Gyn) became confused. They said they had to stop me from taking the medication, because I was on a low dose yet it had the effect of reducing my sugar level too low. However, they could not stop me abruptly. They said I should take half the medication and come back one month later for checkup.
In January, I missed my period. I did a pregnancy test and it came out negative. I then became worried that possibly the medication for sugar level given to me in Nigeria had done something to my menstrual cycle. It was very early in the year (festive season) so I could not reach any of the doctors who knew my history to complain. I was eager to see my period so that I could probably start ovulation induction, since my blood sugar was considered normal. When I did not see the period and unable to reach my doctors, I just went to see any doctor in Lagos at the clinic where they were monitoring my blood sugar level. They did a blood test and found out I was pregnant. Then I became scared because I had no pregnancy symptom. For the last 2 pregnancies, when I lost them, I had no pregnancy symptoms as well. I began to panic. The doctor I saw did not know my history so he did not know why I was worried. He just told me to take folic acid and come back in 2 weeks. One week later, my obgyn was back so I went to see him. After I complained that I had no pregnancy symptoms, and I was scared that history will repeat itself, he put me on a weekly hormonal injection. On the 2nd week of the injection, I started bleeding.
I rushed back to the clinic and they did a scan. To my dismay, the sac was empty. At 6 weeks, one would expect to see a yolk sac and a fetal pole, but this one was empty. I saw it with my eyes. At the same time, the owner of the clinic walked in because he wanted to use the scan room. He looked at the scan and said, "this is an impending miscarriage. The sac has collapsed and we have blood all over. If by next week you have not finished bleeding, come back for an evacuation!" In my file they wrote "Anembryonic something something..."
I wept. I was devastated. I could not eat after that news. I stopped taking all medications including the folic acid. My husband then said we will go ahead with the evacuation, and then go for a vacation. He made all the arrangements for the vacation.
Because I had done a procedure in October, I was not keen on another one. So I decided to go to the Dr to ask for an alternative i.e. if they had a medication I could take to end the pregnancy since it was very early. When I went to the clinic, he said he would like to do a scan to know if the medicine would work or if we must do a procedure, because it depended on the amount of “tissue”that could be left behind by using medication. Lo and behold, there was a baby with a very strong heartbeat in the scan. I could not believe my eyes and ears. The Dr was in shock. He said this can only be God. That I should say thank God.
Well, my family and I went on the vacation a few weeks later, travelling around US, when I should have been resting. When I expressed some fears, my husband said, "It is not about what I do or do not do. It is God that is watching over the child".
By my week 10, I woke up one morning and I was soaked in water. I knew I did not urinate on myself. I do not sweat normally, so it could not have been sweat in that cold weather. Then my mind went to amniotic sac had ruptured. That was the same day I was to travel from Baltimore to Atlanta. I called my sister and asked for advice. Due to weather conditions, she said I should wait till I arrive at Atlanta before seeing a doctor. That though this is an emergency situation, doctors will not be keen on preserving the life of the child since it was quite early, and so it will end up in a procedure. So I should bear and get to Atlanta that night and go to a clinic.
It was not easy. I felt that if I had known, I should not have travelled. I was far away from medical attention and I felt disappointed that God allowed me to see a baby with heartbeat, only to take the baby at week 10. My hubby prayed but I was in panic mode. Finally I settled down and prayed. I asked God for only one word. He gave me more than a word. He said, “With Me nothing is impossible. Even if the amniotic sac has ruptured, which has not happened, I can fix it. So my daughter, do not worry”. From then on, I became the one consoling my sister and my husband that everything will be alright.
I got to the clinic in Atlanta around 6pm. After all the checks, they could not find a trace of leaking liquid. The scan showed a healthy baby enjoying and not having a care in the world. I was discharged but told to treat for yeast infection.
By week 14, when all worries and fears about losing the baby should have been gone, I started bleeding. I went for a scan and my doctor said he suspects a degenerating fibroid, which he showed me. He scheduled me for a detailed scan with the radiologist. When I went for that scan two days later, not only had the bleeding stopped, the radiologist could not find any trace of a fibroid. As I look back now, it is possible that God had worked another miracle there.
The pregnancy itself afterwards was very smooth. I was so energetic and I looked forward to the birth of my baby.
My baby’s due date was 7th of September, 2013. 3 nights before that, I was woken from sleep by a contraction. This was the same experience I had with my first baby whom I had a few hours after I was woken up by contractions. I remained awake to monitor the intervals of contractions. It was 30 minutes apart. So I rested and expected that by morning, the intervals would have reduced and I would be much closer to active labor. To my disappointment, by the time I woke up in the morning, there were no contractions. The same thing happened the next night. I had to read online and some people mentioned “painful Braxton-hicks” while some others called it “pre-labor”and that the longer the pre-labor, the shorter the active labor. On Friday night (6th of September), the same thing happened. This time, I could not even go back to sleep. Yet the intervals of contractions were 20-30 minutes apart. On the 7th morning, I told my sister I would like to go to the clinic – she actually saw me going through one of the contractions. So she accepted to drop me at the clinic.
As we started our journey, the contractions stopped. I told my sister to please turn back, that it was “false labor” and I did not want her to get to the hospital (45 mins drive away) only to be told that I should go home. She refused and said not all labors are the same. That she will prefer to have me see a doctor. I reluctantly listened to her.
When we got to the clinic, I was checked. The doctor said I was only 2cm dilated, I was not contracting, and my cervix was not ready for birth. However, they said they will monitor me, and also run some tests to see if I had some infections that were causing painful Braxton-hick contractions.
I was on the hospital bed with the monitoring devices (contractions and fetal heart rate) feeling very bored. My sister had left. I was lamenting that I should not have wasted hers and my time that morning. I had just sent her a text that I will talk to the doctors to let me go home soon, and I will come home to prepare lunch, when suddenly a group of medical staff rushed into the room where I was. One of them explained to me that I am being rushed to the theatre for an emergency cesarean section, because my baby’s heartbeat had dropped very low. There was no time for further discussion, I saw myself being wheeled to a theatre. I was prepared for the operation. However when they monitored my baby’s heartbeat, it had normalized, so they said they were going to induce me to have the baby via vaginal birth. I was then wheeled back to my ward.
I was induced and was being monitored. However, I was not dilating as they expected yet baby's heartbeat was fluctuating. The epidural they gave me began to wear off. I then called on the anesthesiologist to come and look into it. When she turned me to my right side for a refill, my baby’s heartbeat dropped so much that I was rushed back to the theatre. They told me they could not wait for the effect of the epidural to set in and so I had to go on full anesthesia.
I woke up, I saw a baby in my arms, who I breastfed for about 2 minutes. I recall sending out message to my husband and sister telling them I had had the baby, and I think I went back to sleep. I woke up again and I was in a recovery room. I asked for my baby but no one could tell me where my baby was. I became scared. It was almost 7 pm. My sister came to check on me. She wanted to see the baby too. The nurses said they could not bring the baby to the recovery room. I kept praying that everything was okay with my baby.
I finally saw my baby by 10pm. She was born around 1:40pm. She weighed 2.6kg. She was the smallest baby I had ever seen. But when I held her in my arms, looking down at her nose so exactly like her father’s, I could only thank God for yet another full term journey He had taken me on. It was a journey of revealing another part of Himself to me. He that promised is faithful.
Today, when I hold her in my arms, I remember that she was called “an impending miscarriage, an anembryonic sac, degenerating fibroid…” but God had the final say. She is Nwachi Grace, and I love her so.