It has always been a joke that I get pregnant just changing clothes in the same room as my husband. Fertile Myrtle, as they say. So I am not sure why I was surprised when I found out I was pregnant with my fourth child. I knew before the plus sign showed up. The test was just a formality, any time I was more than a day late, I was pregnant. Regular as clockwork, any interruption in my cycle was cause to take notice. Yet, when that test wand changed, my heart did a little leap at the idea of another addition to the family. A happy leap.
I went to the doctor for the official blood test. We were well acquainted by this time, as he had delivered my first three, so when he came into the room the look on his face told me that all was not as it should be. My counts were too low, he said. With my previous history of a miscarriage, knots in my stomach formed immediately. An ultrasound was ordered to detect if there was, as he suspected, a tubal pregnancy. To my great relief there was no evidence of that. However, the doctor maintained that there was not a viable pregnancy. He gave us some options. Go ahead with a DNC. Wait until I miscarried on my own. Or continue to monitor blood levels. We chose prayer, and the third option, with great hope that a miracle would occur, but also with great fear that we would once again be miscarrying.
The next few days I had blood work every day to follow my HCG levels, which continued to be lower than is normal. The doctor scheduled a DNC for the following week, and we were devastated. We went home that weekend, fully expecting to start miscarriage symptoms before the following week. None came, so we moved forward with the plan.
I went in on the appointed day, Bill by my side as we faced this together. The doctor did one more blood test, and bounded into the room. He said, “Stop everything. We are not doing anything. Your numbers doubled. If you were going to lose this pregnancy they would be dropping. You are still way below what you should be to have a viable pregnancy, but I am uncomfortable proceeding if your numbers are going up instead of down. I want to watch the numbers for three more days to see if I can figure out what is going on.” And so he did. On the third day, he showed us the graph. The numbers had continued to climb steadily, and then jumped up high enough that he said it was a viable pregnancy. He determined that when I came for my initial appointment I must have been only a couple of days pregnant, instead of the 6 weeks we thought. The increase in hormone was low because I was barely pregnant. My cycle somehow shifted from its regimented precise course. When he adjusted the date the numbers lined up perfectly to the new, earlier timeline. The pregnancy proceeded as normal from that point until the day my 11 lb. baby was delivered…21 years ago today.
Happy 21st birthday to Peter, the baby who almost wasn’t born. A miracle. So proud of the young man he is becoming. Officially, I am the mother of four adults and that too is a miracle.