Facts & Feelings / by Kate Brightbill


Dear Friends!

I'm here... now where do I start? So, so much to catch up... about nine months, really. Prepare yourself for the longest essay ever written on this blog of mine.

How about I start here? I'M PREGNANT!! BABY #3 is coming in September!!

PHEW, I said it. Secret is out, finally! I'm 15.5 weeks, and growing faster than the other pregnancies. ;) I've had nausea, exhaustion, and total pregnancy brain (promise, it's a thing! spacey and forgetful!) for 15 weeks, and only this week has the nausea subsided. Brian was working long hours, as the beginning of the year often requires of him. I over-booked our first three months with extracurriculars for the girls, and found myself walking 4-6 miles per day, and taking buses, and basically running around our fair city to an extreme. It was a good and full (but very hard) January - March. I'm accustomed to being healthy and full of life, and I felt as though I was running every day to keep up. As of a couple weeks ago, we cleared our girls' schedule and headed last weekend for a long-anticipated vacation during Spring Break. 

NOW, let me back up a bit: I had two extremely healthy pregnancies with my girls. There was a slight chance of placenta previa with Maggie, and plenty of sickness with both, but as far as complications, there were none. 

That which has remained unsaid until now is that this current pregnancy actually follows two miscarriages.

The first would probably be called a "chemical pregnancy" because I wouldn't have known I was pregnant were I not tracking like clockwork. It was a wake-up call that hey... this getting pregnant deal is not always simple. It may not be seamless. We told almost no one that it happened and looked forward, rather than dwelling in disappointment, though disappointed I most definitely was. 

I got pregnant again last August. We had a beautiful healthy 8-week ultrasound where our wiggling baby's heart beat brightly and looking perfectly healthy on the screen. One week later, we took a tearful drive to the ER, and saw on that 9-week screen-- absolutely nothing. Where there had been a tiny baby one week earlier, there was an empty space. I'm not sure exactly what I expected to see, but it was such a stark blow to my hopefulness to see that beautiful child was no more, and I was absolutely crushed. 

I find in life that I want to be the upbeat one. I want to be the one who keeps her chin high, regardless of what's brimming underneath. If I want to cry, I will do so in the privacy of my cozy bed, with my face smushed in my pillow. I do not cry for sympathy, I do not cry to be noticed. It's a hard burden to carry tears below the surface. The roller coaster of hormones, paired with fears now realized, gave me two months of total fogged sadness. I didn't want to talk about it, I didn't want to feel like the one bringing everyone down by being so bummed, but I was so thoroughly bummed. It was this realization that no matter how I try to keep everything in life tidy and under control, the control does not belong to me. Even typing this now, almost six months later, it feels melodramatic and trivial compared to the realities of so many others. SO many couples lose babies. SO many people have the hard stuff staring them in their face daily. Who am I to feel this loss so deeply?

I came to a place early January where I finally recognized that I cannot orchestrate that which happens. I truly cannot. God is sovereign, He loves me, and He understands even when I do not. I was discouraged by the futile efforts put forth for this third child, and came to a place where I was absolutely certain I was not pregnant- yet another month... and in that moment, I let go. My heart finally came to grips with the reality that God knows best, and I am finished battling and allowing sorrow to steal my joy. I have two beautiful girls directly in front of me, a husband looking after our every need, and doting on me in my lingering sadness, and I will choose joy in this life, regardless of the shades of my 32nd year looking much different than I had expected. 2015 would be new and bright, and hopeful- perhaps new creative endeavors or new passions, but probably not that baby I had so desired. 

Later that VERY week, I found out that- contrary to my maternal instincts, or lack thereof- I am pregnant. 

I truly believe sometimes we simply need to come to an understanding that we are created by a loving Creator who wants us to learn to trust Him. He wants to take our sadness and bring beauty from ashes. Sometimes it takes heavy rain to appreciate sunshine. This was cautious sunshine. I wasn't ready to shout from the rooftops that I was expecting. We didn't tell a single person (even family!) that we were pregnant until that 9th week had come and gone. Sophie and Maggie kept the secret from any and everyone with us (impressive!). We kept our mouths tightly sealed until that beautiful, sickly, but HEALTHY first trimester had passed. Then, we told all our friends and family.

Last weekend, at 15 weeks and totally in-the-clear, we headed down south to the land where palm trees sway. Ahhh southern California. Such a beautiful place. Two sunny beach days, followed by time with my family at Disneyland and the next day at California Adventure... Ohhh, but that day, Brian and I spent mostly at the ER. 


The ER. The ER is really a terrible place. I've been to my own plush OB ER, specifically for expectant mothers, and was seen immediately, felt cared for and sorted through the issues immediately. Then there's the ER that you find in a foreign city, in the nearest hospital to where you are, and that ER is a terrible place. No further details necessary. ;) 

Hours later, we had our news: baby is alive and kicking and healthy!! Contrary to ALL thoughts my mind had in that waiting room, our child is alive and kicking

My body, however, has a SubChorionic Hemorrhage, size x- large, behind the placenta. 

What does this even mean? Ahh... how to explain? I'm not a doctor, but here's my attempt: It's a blood clot that develops during pregnancy, and it CAN cause complications, and it CAN cause a lot of things that are bad... OR it can simply resolve itself in short periods of time through some bleeding and some of the body just absorbing it, and all is well and lovely the remainder of the pregnancy. 

Bottom line? Bed rest.

Yes, bed rest.

Until further notice. Whaaaat? 

It's rather comical to me as I lay here in my room, day three. I think about my life and the way I used my time thus far in 2015- the way our first three months were scheduled and packed with lovely play dates and extracurriculars, with volunteering, with hosting, with social events, with any and everything we could imagine. It was too much and the four of us FELT it was too much. We talked about how as soon as spring break comes to a close, we are pulling all of the extras off our plates. We are simplifying and saying no.

SO. Here we are, closing out our spring break... Saying no- quite literally- to everything!  (except Easter! I'll be lying on my parents' bed for Easter celebrations, and being as much a part of celebrating our risen Christ as I possibly can!)

I've been handed a wealth of time in bed to rest. It doesn't feel particularly like a gift, but I'm sure going to try to see it as such. Our sweet baby is not yet out of the woods, but we are encouraged- by stats, by doctors, and most of all by prayers of our friends for peaceful hearts. We are thankful that that beautiful heart of this dear baby of ours is still beating strong, and we are hopeful. 

Also, THANK YOU, friends. Thank you for coming and reading my little blog- even during my months of half-hearted posting and radio silence. I really do love blogging, and I've missed it, but real life has had to come first.