I’d know in a matter of a few hours if not only my antibodies and lung function were still out of control. I would also know if I was most likely soon going to be experiencing déjà vu and consequently making my health situation even more complicated with a second pregnancy.
I just wasn’t sure if I was ready to hear all of those answers
Too late. Ready or not, answers were coming.
Let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
*For more on our surprisingly spirited 1st reaction to that message, please see Part 3.
*For more on the questions we both had, and the emotional struggle I went through, once the surrogacy option was presented to us, please see Part 4.
*For more on the initial, God-filled meeting I had with the woman who strongly felt God may very well be calling her to be our surrogate, please see Part 5.
*For more on the extremely disheartening news we received the day after I met with the woman who appeared to be an angel sent by God to carry our biological child, please see Part 6.
*For more on the strange, but strong, intuition I was feeling just a little over a week after our dream of surrogacy seemed to be slipping from our hands, please see Part 7.
*For more on all the signs that just weren’t going away and ultimately pointing to my intuition being most likely true, please see Part 8.
*For more on the dramatic turn of events that took place one early morning, please see Part 9.
*For more on the painful drive, and then wait at the hospital, I endured while waiting to hear if my intuition was true, please see Part 10.
*For more on the internal conflict I felt when I found out my intuition was wrong, please see Part 11.
*For more on the decision I made to go seek a second doctor’s opinion on what had (or hadn’t) happened, please see Part 12.
*For more on how we found out we had actually miscarried our baby, please see Part 13.
*For more of how the miscarriage affected me emotionally, and why I chose to share my grief, please see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my “Redeeming Miscarriage” series.
*For more on the messiness of life, in particular my life, please see Part 14.
*For more on what I never told you had happened after the miscarriage, please see Part 15.
*For more on the possible reasons why I was suddenly not in the best of health, please see Part 16.
*For more on my two days of testing to try to figure out the problem, please see Part 17.
*For more on the uncertainty that came with the initial results, please see Part 18.
*For more on the time I spent waiting to know our future, please see Part 19.
Surprisingly, my transplant nurse, Ashley, stayed calm while I told her about my possible second conception. No, you can’t make this stuff up.
I made sure she knew I didn’t think I was pregnant. I had no idea at that point. With the strangeness going on, though, there certainly was a possibility, at least in my mind. I wasn’t convinced either way, but I knew well enough that I needed to be cautious and not just play a “wait and see” game. She agreed and ordered the HCG blood test, the exact same test that didn’t do me any good last time due to the type of “chemical” miscarriage I had. I knew this time, though, I was testing much sooner. As a result, if I really was pregnant, the test should work; we would catch the hormone in time before it, if things went like last time, rapidly dispelled from my body.
To be honest, walking into the lab to give my multiple viles of blood, whether or not I was pregnant again was the least of my worries. It was what it was. There was nothing I could do to change it at that point. Worrying myself to death for the next 2 hours wasn’t going to do any good. We certainly weren’t trying to conceive again. We hadn’t been the last time, either. We were using protection and still ended up “scoring a goal,” so anything was possible. I could definitely see it going either way and was learning toward it coming back negative. Please, Lord?
While my blood left my body and filled the tubes of all shapes and sizes, I kept my mind focused on the fact that God was still going to be sovereign and good, no matter the outcome of the test. He was still going to be sovereign and good, even if I lost another child. He was still going to be sovereign and good, even if I had to go into treatment for the antibodies and felt crummy the rest of the summer. He was still going to be sovereign and good, even if I went into rejection and lost my life because of one, or more, unplanned children. He wouldn’t change, just as He has remained the same since before the foundations of time.
I had my battled wound dressed and took the elevator up to do my pulmonary function test, since if I was pregnant, I was skipping my chest x-ray. The number of times I would do the tests was going to be determined by how things were going after 2 or so tries. Once I got there and settled, I was ready to battle myself. My competitive nature hadn’t waned since the last time I had blown through the device over and over again. Last time I was never satisfied with the numbers that popped up on the screen. After 1 blow, I knew things were going to be different this time around. I could feel it. After much fewer attempts, I settled with getting 95% instead of 92%. I could have continued to repeat the test, but I wasn’t in the mood. I was satisfied with my efforts. The main number wasn’t a huge improvement, but it wasn’t another decrease! We were moving in the right direction. Lord-willing, I wasn’t pregnant again, and my antibodies were recovering, as well.
Right before I grabbed my stuff to go, my respiratory therapist said something that would change everything.
I don’t remember her exact question, but it was something to the effect of, “Did the new standards cause your numbers to go up or down?” Confused, I responded, “New standards?”
It took her only five minutes to explain to me that a few months ago, the predictors used to measure our pulmonary function tests had made a rare and sudden change. This change was so rare, nothing like it had occurred since I started going to that hospital almost 9 years ago.
Speechless, I let her continue. After we printed off my last 4 tests (spanning back to September 2012), we discovered that what was set as the standard for receiving a 100% had now been raised, at least for me. Now both of us were intrigued. So much so that we manually went back through and re-calculated under the old standards (the ones I had been tested under hundreds of times) my last two tests (April 1 – the day my miscarriage started & 1 in Mid-May) and learned that under the old standards, since the miscarriage, my lung function was never, ever at 92%.
In fact, the lowest it had been measured during all of this uncertainty was 97% – a number I had seen many times since my transplant in September 2005. That day in mid-May, it was actually sitting at 99%, a number just as high as it had been in September last year. No, it wasn’t over 100%, but when you are trying to figure out what exactly is going on and every % is being scrutinized, having 99% of my lung function instead of 95% (what the new standards ranked me at that day), was a huge, huge deal.
Immediately, I felt a million weights lift from my shoulders, yet was in so much shock, I didn’t know if I could move. I had to move, though, because I couldn’t wait to go to clinic, calculations in hand, and speak with my team about my incredible findings.
During my walk to the other side of the hospital, whether or not I was pregnant was the furthest thing on my mind. What had just occurred was all I could think about. As I re-played the previous 10 minutes in my mind, I admittedly had an obvious question – “Why was this change not taken into consideration?” After literally months of uncertainty, I was thrilled with, but also deeply confused by, my new-found results. Was this going to change everything? I was about to find out.
Part 21 to come!