One thing that I found out in 2013 is how pervasive the trauma and effects of infertility are. We lost another pregnancy in January - it was very early, only 5 weeks, but seeing a positive, then losing it was enough to make us question our efforts in trying to have children. We hugged each other and cried and fussed... but ultimately decided to try again. Faith and Fear. Strangely enough, even though I knew this cycle of medication and doctor's visits would work, I was still scared of another loss. But in early April, we got another positive test. I was scared to tell hunny about the first one, so I conferred with a friend and decided to go to the store and get two more and tested again a few days later... still positive!
I went back to the fertility doctor for their test, but knew it'd come back positive. Because of the prior losses, especially the twins, we decided to be much more secretive about this pregnancy. We only told a few select friends at first. Then we started telling our family. And finally, on 8/11, our 12th wedding anniversary, we made it public.
Way back in 2001, a few weeks after we'd gotten engaged, we felt led of God to name our firstborn son David Emmanuel and our daughter Faith Elizabeth. We had no clue that we'd only first meet David 9 years later, and Faith even later than that. We always assumed that we'd be like normal people and just have kids because we were physically intimate. But that wasn't our path. Our path was full of Faith and Fear. We knew we'd one day be parents, but were terrified that we'd somehow end up childless. And that fear was intensified after losing David and William. But Faith remained. And eventually manifested.
The pregnancy was relatively easy - I had minimal morning sickness, some fatigue, and had to modify my diet to keep down nausea, but overall, carrying Faith was easy. Yet I was always looking for the other shoe to drop. And by November, I felt it had. Towards the end of the pregnancy, we realized time was winding down for her to still be breech. But no matter what we did, chiropractic adjustments, Spinning Babies positions, cold/heat packs, music, pleading with her, or prayer, she merely flipped from side to side, but always toes down. Even down to how she chose to make her grand entrance, Faith has been a lesson in Faith over Fear. On Wed, 12/4, we consulted with the one doctor we could locate here in Houston that attended vaginal breech births, Dr. Michael Lucas. After a full pelvic examination, he and his assistant deemed my pelvis "adequate" for a vaginal breech delivery. We'd already scheduled to have an External Cephalic Version with my regular OB on Fri, 12/6, so we agreed with Dr. Lucas that if the Version was unsuccessful, or if after a successful Version, she resumed her breech position, we'd be back with him for delivery. All finally seemed well and in place: all bases were covered.
Friday morning came, and we showed up bright and early to see my OB for the Version. With the procedure, as with most in pregnancy, it starts with double-checking the fetus to be sure all is well before continuing. But we were in for a surprise on the ultrasound: while all was well and normal two days prior, on this day, we had low amniotic fluid! There was no explanation for the fluid's disappearance, but without it, not only could we not safely turn her, we also needed to expedite delivery. My OB tried to convince me that a cesarean section would be the safest route for a breech delivery, but I knew that wasn't true. I knew that the safety of a vaginal breech delivery was contingent on the skill and experience of the attending doctor, not simply a byproduct of the "breechness." And I've always been a bit quirky, so I refused to let my daughter start off life being forced into some arbitrary status quo when everything about her was still "normal." (Not to mention the fact that I was very wary about consenting to a major surgery to resolve a minor issue.) I've found that it's okay to be unique, and so, against my OB's advice, and despite her pleadings, we were discharged from one hospital and made our way down to Ben Taub General Hospital to see Dr. Lucas for a vaginal breech delivery.
Upon arrival, Dr. Lucas and his OB team re-examined me and agreed that the fluid was low and that we needed to get her out ASAP. After getting admitted, we started the induction around 4pm. At first, she didn't tolerate the contractions well, so they stopped the Pitocin. We consulted with Dr. Lucas again, and he agreed that it wouldn't hurt either of us to try again, so we restarted the induction. This time, there were no problems with her tolerating the contractions, but as the contractions got stronger, I began to have uncontrollable urges to push. But with her being breech, Dr. Lucas wanted me to get an epidural so that I could control the pushing and help them guide her out safely. After the epidural, and after I had some more contractions and less forceful pushes, I felt her feet move past my cervix. It was time! The whole shindig was moved to the OR, and after more pushing, an episiotomy, and with the assistance of forceps, by 12:55am on Sat, 12/7, Faith was here. Fear hasn't disappeared, but Faith has finally trumped it.