I try to keep things pretty light-hearted around here, but this entry is a bit different.
As I was driving home from my wonderful girls' weekend this past Sunday, I was listening to my iPod and a song came on that stopped me cold. I've not minced words about how much music is a serious part of my life. Many defining moments have been permanently etched into my memory because of a song that is associated with it. This was no different.
It was January of 2003. Hubby & I had just celebrated a very memorable Christmas where we surprised all of our family with the news of the impending arrival of our first child. Everyone was so happy. We had considered waiting until after the first dr's appointment before we told anyone, but what did we know? We were very new to this whole game and couldn't wait to spread the love.
I headed into my OB/GYN's office, alone, for my first pre-natal appointment. I had visions of boxes of pre-natal vitamins, brochures on what to expect and lots of congratulations from the staff for the new mommy. I could never have expected what I received.
The nurse came back with positive blood test results and said they wanted to do an ultrasound to get an idea of how far along I was. This didn't seem out of the ordinary to me. I laid back and let them press on with the uncomfortable exam. I carefully watched the technician's face as she poked and prodded. She didn't say anything, but her face spoke volumes. Something wasn't right. She left the room and I waited.
My doctor was busy with a delivery, so another doctor in the practice walked in. He was older and had the bedside manner of a porcupine. He poked and prodded and all of a sudden, I felt desperate...hopeless. What was going on? Why wasn't anyone talking to me?
The nurse told me that they needed a more experienced radiologist to do the ultrasound, so they sent me to the head of the radiology group in the hospital next door. By this time I was terrified and still alone. Taking it all in. Wondering what could possibly be going on with my body.
I spent an hour in that department and after 3 different doctors performed ultrasounds, I was sent back to my OB's practice to wait some more...without any answers. I sat in the uncomfortable chair in her office while I waited for some news, any news. She finally sauntered in and without so much as an "I'm sorry to tell you this", she said "You have an ectopic pregnancy and we must terminate it immediately." And then all I could hear was blah, blah, blah as she spouted out all this medical jargon about how this was a rare case and life threatening and did I understand.
Did I understand? Understand what? Understand that I now had to go back and tell all my family and friends that there would be no baby. Understand that I now had to sit at home for the next 10 weeks and hope that I didn't die as a result of wanting a child. Understand that I now had to call my hubby and tell him that there is no good news to report from this first dr's visit. I understood plenty.
After receiving the treatment necessary to start dealing with the ectopic, I got into my car, cried for what seemed like days and drove back to my office. On the short drive from the hospital to the office, the song "I'm With You" by Avril Lavigne played. It has such a somber melody that seemed to just capture this moment in my life perfectly. Here are some of the lyrics.
I'm looking for a place
I'm searching for a face
Is anybody here I know?
Cause nothing's going right
And everything's a mess
And no one like's to be alone
Isn't anyone trying to find me?
Won't somebody come take me home?
2003 was a rough year for us, but our beautiful first child finally joined our family in late 2004. I'll never forget the experience that surrounded our first journey into perceived parenthood. It was painful, but something that I learned from. I just feel lucky that a song exists out there that will always remind me of how lucky I feel to be a mom in the first place. Because for a time, I didn't think I would ever get to have that feeling.