Peaks and Valleys

A history teacher in high school, always full of wise words and clever sayings, was never at a loss for a witty remark. Usually they appeared meaningless, especially to 16-year-old Laura who just laughed at the seemingly ridiculousness of his diversions from class material. Seventeen years later, one statement, made as his watchful eyes peered over his silver-rimmed glasses, has never left my consciousness: You can’t have the peaks without the valleys.

Two maternal fetal medicine appointments and one OB appointment this week led to elevated anxiety, fear, worries, mixed with a bit of hope and excitement. The news we got was overwhelming–in a shockingly good way. Baby Sprout is a girl (!). The cervical length measurement from Tuesday that was borderline too short was better on Thursday. There are no other signs of pre-term labor (why not throw in that risk?). And my favorite: I am cleared to go to Las Vegas in two weeks (!!).

Diving into this week of doctors’ offices, ultrasound machines, thin sterile white sheets, and crinkly exam tables, we expected the worst. Over five years on this journey, we are trained to get unfavorable news. Like many others suffering from infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, we are so lucky as to consistently fall into the minority. We do not know how else pregnancy should go. Without extra tests, appointments, and horrendous news from doctors, pregnancy is foreign. We do not know the journeys of women who mercifully never have to deal with heartbreak. No amount of logic, reasoning, or reflection on Baby Sprout’s journey thus far can banish the loud whispers from deep within our thoughts: Something will go wrong. This will be the time there is no heartbeat. Bad news is coming. Pregnancy never ends well for us.

This week is the beginning of the revolution. At nearly 17 weeks, Baby Sprout’s journey has taken us nearly as far as Sophia’s. At 17 weeks, we have had little bad news, despite the need to endure an insane number of extra doctor visits, blood tests, ultrasounds, and general prodding. At 17 weeks, excitement is taking a stand. At 17 weeks, I feel like I can breathe a bit deeper.

The last five years, we’ve been clawing our way out of the valley. With each ascent toward the peak, we have stumbled and plummeted. This week, we are still climbing. Seventeen years later, I get it.

Published by lkgaddis

I have been working on this memoir-style project for a while now, and I'm excited to share it with others. My hope is to get as wide an audience as possible, and to receive comments, suggestions, and ideas to improve and expand what I have. I also want to encourage others to become curious about the topic of babies, and the loss that can come with the adventures of trying to start a family. In the world of celebrating healthy babies, we who know otherwise need a voice too.

3 thoughts on “Peaks and Valleys

  1. My calendar now has “17” on April 5th to go with the “16” on March 29th. Sometimes we march in deep mud. I think that’s called “slogging” along. Or on sailboats we’re close hauled into heavy seas. Not much to do but hang on. (Do you know why soldiers are all tired on April 1st? You would be tired too after a 31-day march.) But each day is a blessing. So keep on keeping on. My phone now lets me read my email. I need to remember to read your posts when I come to a stop and not before I set out. Driving is difficult with eyes teared up.

    When Bilbo and the dwarves were lost in the Mirkwood Forest they sent Bilbo to the top of a tree to spy things out. He didn’t realize there were at the bottom of a bowl and all he could see was trees rising up around him. They were closer to safety than they realized. You and baby are getting closer everyday.


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