It’s been a rough couple of weeks.
A few weeks ago, my wife had a positive pregnancy test. Even though this is our third, we were giddy and told our family and some friends right away.
Last Tuesday evening (9/16) Leandra had some bleeding. We expected the worst. We were certain that this was one of the 33-50% of pregnancies that just doesn’t “take” for some reason. The more I learn about early pregnancy, the more surprised I am that there is EVER a successful pregnancy. So many things have to go just right. But God designed us well.
We called the doctor’s office the next morning, who advised us to have Leandra take it easy for a day and see what happened. There had been no more bleeding during the night, and there was none the next day, so we assumed it was just some unexplained bleeding, which is not at all uncommon. So we breathed a sigh of relief.
Until Saturday evening (9/20), that is. Leandra had more bleeding. Still not much, but two times in one week was really worrisome. We weren’t as positive that something was wrong as we were the first time, but still we were pretty upset.
Monday morning we called the doctor again, and they said to come in. They did an exam and ultrasound, and there was a heartbeat! Everything looked good. The nurse practitioner told us not to worry, we were now at a < 5% chance of miscarriage. So Leandra went home, and I went to work. Tuesday (9/23), Leandra kind of did a lot of housework during the day. That night, more bleeding. This time, it was a lot more than the previous times. We were scared. It was in the early evening, so Leandra called a friend of hers from church and they talked. Monica insisited on coming over on Wednesday and taking care of everything so Leandra could take a break - despite the fact that Monica is like 6 months pregnant and has bad cyatic nerve pain. Wednesday morning we called the doctor to let them know what was going on, but they said that it wasn't probably anything to worry about. Wednesday evening, Leandra cooked some supper, we bathed the boys, etc. Nothing much - just some real minor housework. Then she had more bleeding. This time it was even more, and much darker, than any of the earlier times. We were certain this was it. What made it worse was that we had seen the baby. In most miscarriages, there was never a viable pregnancy to begin with. That was not the case with us. We’d seen the heartbeat. It was a little life.
I stayed up half the night praying, like I don’t think I’ve every prayed before. Jesus told us the parable of the importunate woman who got justice from the wicked judge, and let me tell you I took it to heart. I was shameless. I begged Him. I didn’t just pray that sort of “padded” prayer which can be counted as a success no matter what the outcome – I prayed for a specific result.
And I got exactly what I asked for!
We called the doctor’s office this morning, and they said we should come in. Another ultrasound revealed that there was apparently nothing wrong at all, and a ten minute conversation with the nurse practitioner put many of our worries to rest. She explained more clearly just what symptoms warranted us worrying, and which ones didn’t. She says 20-25% of healthy pregnancies include bleeding in the first trimester, and there’s nothing to worry about.
The best thing about the ob/gyn Leandra uses is that it’s a Christian place. The nurse practitioner is perhaps a little less up front about her faith, but she said things like “this is not really in our hands” and “you know, this is how God designed us”. The two ob/gyn doctors are great Christian men. The senior doctor looked for a partner for years, but would not accept anyone who was not a Christian and 100% pro-life. He finally found one – a guy just coming off the missionary field as a medical missionary in Africa (I think). There is just something so different about a doctor who prays with and for you, or a nurse who acknowledges God’s sovereignty in such difficult and scary situations. We are so blessed to have them taking care of us.
This has been quite a roller coaster. We’ve gone from being ecstatic to devastated in just a couple of days. But apparently all is well. My parents, our friend Monica, and our doctor’s office have been fantastic blessings through it all. And I understand John 16:24 better now.