Celebrating Our Baby Again (And Our Misdiagnosed Miscarriage)

Misdiagnosed miscarriage and still pregnant and celebrating!

Well, sweet people, imagine you’ve been given the worst news, experienced two weeks of mourning, and then were given the excited proclamation that hope still lived and thrived.

Welcome to my world of being pregnant with baby Duncan and our misdiagnosed miscarriage.

The facts: 

We’re still pregnant! (Isn’t God good?)

Baby Duncan is 10 weeks and 3 days old with a thriving heartbeat, moving arms and legs and as big as a prune (so cute!) That’s him/her in the picture above at 9 weeks. 🙂

I have a subchorionic hematoma which means I have a blood pocket which has caused the spotting and bleeding and much of the heart ache within the last three months.

The miscarriage was misdiagnosed due to my conception dates being wrong. Due to my irregular cycles, Baby was much younger than first thought. This is part of the reason our midwife missed seeing him/her and assumed we had had a miscarriage.

Although low, I am still considered at risk until the blood pocket is absorbed into the body or empties out.

The Story: 

On June 4th I went in for an ultrasound so we could understand how much longer our miscarriage would take. At this time we had been in the waiting period for two weeks.

Dalton wasn’t able to attend this appointment so I drove to the midwife’s alone, talking out loud, asking the Lord for His will to be done. I’m a very whimsical, imaginative person so hope is very easy for me to cling to; because I know I tend to wear rose colored glasses I spent most of the two weeks preparing myself to be practical, that I was, in fact, going to lose this baby.

But hope is a beautiful thing and deep in the corner of my heart I still asked God to be merciful and let the diagnosis be wrong.

I hopped on the big bed as the midwife jellied my belly and began looking for signs of our miscarriage’s progression. We were both silent, she as she checked and double checked (and checked again!) her screen and I as I looked at what appeared to be a baby where no baby had been before.

I nearly panicked when she remained silent for so long thinking something was amiss or wrong when she spoke words I still love to repeat:

Well, Frannie, there appears to be a baby in there! 

Of course, you can imagine the mass confusion, hysteria and nervous questions which came flowing.

Undeniably, there was an 8 week old baby with a steady heartbeat.

Since that moment, God has filled me with beautiful, amazing hope and praise.

I’ve since been referred to a specialist in Columbia, Missouri. I went in for an ultrasound with him at 9 weeks and he confirmed that baby appeared to be fabulous. The heart beat is high (170 per minute) and growth is perfect for our new due date, January 9th, one day after my birthday.

You can imagine the amazing, emotional roller-coaster life has been. I’m incredibly in awe, shock and wonder. I’m still going to have this baby. Dalton is still going to be a Daddy. God has still given us a little one, that for now, looks like we’re going to keep.

The Fears: 

Of course, fear is never far around the corner. Just last night we spent several hours in the ER due to sudden bleeding. But when the kind ER doctor turned off the lights and began the ultrasound she encouraged us with the words, “Baby’s heartbeat still looks great.” She believes I experienced bleeding because the blood pocket was emptying. Because baby looked so great and I’ve experienced no major cramps she felt she could encourage our hearts and say that all is well.

I’m also afraid of sharing news when I’ve already been wrong. I’m afraid of making mistakes and the thought of announcing our pregnancy, announcing a miscarriage, and now re-announcing our pregnancy freaks me out. I want the whole world to celebrate Baby Duncan (because all life is worth celebrating!) but I’m afraid I’ll have to make another major announcement and that scares me.

Finally, I’m scared of truly having a miscarriage. I’ve already “lost” this baby once; I’m afraid my heart couldn’t take it again.

The Truths:

Despite all my fears the truth is very simple: we have a healthy, growing, heart-beating baby who has surprised us all.

I’m experiencing all the normal pregnancy related symptoms like nausea, bloating, food cravings and aversions, growth cramps, and fatigue. (Whoo-hoo for being sick even though I don’t always feel that way) 😉

The only worry is my blood pocket which many women experience and still have healthy babies

I don’t know why we went through this. I don’t blame our midwife; I believe I am her first miscarriage misdiagnoses after 20 plus years of experience and successful checkups and deliveries. Her equipment isn’t the top of the line tech you’d find in a specialist’s office but I know there are women who have had miscarriages misdiagnosed by even those expensive pieces.

Right Now:

So, here we are, celebrating our baby’s life. I am so thankful that God saw it fit to let baby be well despite all the worry, fear, and misdiagnoses. I praise Him for being good to us, carrying us through a very stressful time. I’m also grateful for all the amazing friends and family who have been quick to celebrate, then support, and now celebrate again.

Currently, I’ve been ordered to a less active life. But according to Dalton that means almost complete bed rest. 😉 He’s been such a darling, sweet, caring husband. He means to do all the laundry, dish washing and other chores I typically care for until the bleeding subsides and we’re assured the blood pocket can cause no more alarm.

We are so blessed; mainly because through all this crazy upset God has carried us both through magnificently. Even though our experience has been so hard God has walked us through and blessed us with growing love for each other and His goodness and Person.

So, that’s it. Welcome back into the limelight Baby Duncan. We think you’re pretty amazing.

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Grief and Beautiful Life Lessons

Grief in Your Miscarriage with AuthenticVirtue.com

Thankfulness equals healing (so do donuts and coffee but that’s a different story) in the grief of a miscarriage.

Losing something is hard. Two weeks and four days ago we were told our baby had died; over the last eighteen days God has rained goodness without end … and with little of my help.

Within the past two weeks I’ve done little to further and grow my walk with the Lord. I’ve been busy with out-of-town trips, preparing to move and settling into our lovely new rental. When I have been  home I’ve ran errands, unpacked, cleaned, and been down with flu-like symptoms. Spiritually speaking, I’ve done so little of what so many advised me to do: worship and draw close to the Lord through prayer and His Word.

I have done so little to draw close to my Maker and Keeper of my soul.

Yet, He loves me still. I haven’t done much to grow closer into His image, yet, He holds my soul in the safety of His nail-scarred hands. I haven’t done anything — yet, He carries me along, providing me with what I need to simply be. 

I haven’t done anything.

Yet, he does everything.

Thank You, LORD, for carrying us through the past two weeks. Thank You that despite my little effort You continue to hold me safely in Your arms. Thank You that you have given me the ability to do life through these last two long, sick-filled weeks. 

I do nothing for You, yet, You give everything to me. 

If I were to give advice to anyone in our situation I would tell them to simply be. Simply be what you are as you push your way through grief. The spiritual thing would be for you to read God’s Word and pray your way through grief. But that might not happen.

So, in those times, simply be. And, instead of being afraid that you’re not doing enough spiritually, choose gratefulness. Choose to see that you never could do enough to be enough. Even when you were pregnant you weren’t able to do enough.

But God is enough. He is enough to carry you through your grief — even when you don’t feel like reading His Word. And through Jesus, He has made you enough. I’m so thankful God is big enough, strong enough, and good enough to carry me through this season of life. 

Aren’t you?

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Losing Baby Duncan

You’re never really prepared for your pregnancy to end in miscarriage.

But that’s just what’s happened to our little baby. I haven’t really known how to share this with the my friends and readers (who are like family). As a blogger, I like to wrap my writings similar to Christmas presents: darling presentation full of glittery, exciting beauty.

But this is the furthest thing from exciting.

We went in for our 8 week ultrasound; the midwife and I chatted about her flower garden and about blogs and writing as she jellied up my stomach and began probing around with her expert hand. Almost immediately she saw that things were missing and not growing properly.

Folks, this is the hard stuff.

It’s been several days since we heard this news and adjusting to not expecting our baby this year is hard. It’s really, really, really hard.

But you know what?

God is so very, very good.

It’s been a hard week but God is the same God Who created Baby and then took him home. Jesus is the same Intercessor Who understands my numb experience like no one else. My Abba Daddy knows what it is like to lose someone precious to you. He’s carrying me like a mother lamb — even though, technically, I’m not caring for a young one any more.

I believe that God is great. And in the midst of this sadness and loss He is still great. He still knits people together and He still welcomes little one’s who never met their parents into his arms and kingdom.

I believe God is good so I believe, amidst all my sadness, doubts, fear and sorrow that this miscarriage is good. It is good because God promises all things to work together for our good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Here are some good things God has already wrought from our loss:

The first face our baby saw was the Lord’s. 

Increased understanding and relationship between Dalton and I 

An overwhelming amount of prayer and support from friends and family

Friends who have miscarried are seeing the Lord work through their loss 

Our compassion and understanding for women with loss is growing

My understanding of what good sympathy is and isn’t is changing

We now know that we can indeed get pregnant

My appreciation for Dalton is growing and growing (because he’s simply the best and the loss of his first child is proving that — he is honestly the strongest, best man and he gets more gem like every day. How blessed am I?)

Our baby is with the Lord — that means he or she is walking, talking and rejoicing in the presence of the best One Who ever lived. He or she is already far more sanctified, glorified, and purified than Dalton and I. He or she is already conversing with people like Moses, John the Baptist, and Corrie ten Boom. He’s singing with angels. He’s enjoying everlasting life and praising God for His great goodness. 

We haven’t lost anything — we just have to wait longer to meet him.

Don’t think I’m not hurting. It’s just that I’m called to rejoice in all things — even in the midst of intense grief — and I guess this is what it looks like.

Thank you to all the people who loved our baby with us. Carrying Ollie for 7 weeks (short for Oliver or Olivia) was one of the greatest privileges I have known. I’m glad God let the last week be filled with joy and maternity shopping and hope instead of the fear I had been experiencing. I’m glad for the people who are loving us and blessing us through the aftermath.

I’m sad. But I’m also glad because God is good and He has given us good things … even in our loss. It took me a while to feel at peace with sharing this intimate part of us — but I’ve had a quiet day full of tears and rest and simple, household chores and God has sent a tremendous freedom in sharing what is hurting most.

For others who are needing healing read my friend Angel’s words. They’re just right for someone needing to heal in the loss and gain life’s sufferings bring.

But the God of all grace, who hath called us to eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. To Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 5:10,11

Love, blessings, and coffee,

Frannie

Resting in Jesus Means Letting Him Refine Us // Coffee Series

Coffee With You Series

Ah … it’s a good day at the Duncan house. Coffee is poured, candles are lit and, best thing of all, my heart is finding a place to rest.

You’ve all been such gems listening to my worries and sending encouragement my way. Thank you. Thank you for being the Body of Christ and being such a good friends.

We went to our first ultrasound and saw our little one, all seven weeks and four days growth of him. We couldn’t hear the heartbeat but our midwife felt confident that baby’s positioning and size were marks of a healthy, growing baby.

Isn’t God good?

The funny thing was that I left the clinic still worried. It’s like my heart had become addicted to worrying because worry is the only thing I can control.

Dalton challenged me to do something different.

He challenged me to trust in God. To place my trust in His great goodness and love and power. He challenged me to rest in God’s care, let go of worry, and enjoy this time.

You know what? He’s right. He’s 100%, perfectly, wonderfully right. Giving up worry and control isn’t easy for me — I like holding the reins on my life. But I’m starting to suspect that the 2+ years of waiting to conceive and now disconcerting spotting aren’t accidents.

God is placing me in circumstances I wish I could control but can’t. As one friend said, “God has a way of allowing or giving us exactly what we need in our life to help refine us.” I think it’s time I let Him.

So, first step? I’m going to start celebrating Baby Duncan like he/she will be arriving December 28th instead of thinking of the worse possibilities. I’m going to start literally preparing for my little one. I’m going to start giving thanks for baby’s future instead of dreading what I fear is his/her present.

I’m going to have a friend over for coffee and cinnamon rolls and we’re going to laugh and celebrate our good God.

How are you going to start trusting God today?

Love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Dealing with Fear in Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

AuthenticVIrtue.com dealing with fear in your pregnancy

I wrote this on a rainy Sunday afternoon when my heart was overflowing with so many things. Some of the things were good like hope, expectation, good music and eyes lifted to the Lord. Other things were bad and revolved around fear, fear, fear and more fear.

I’ve always been open on this blog. Being authentic is part of being a piece of the body of Christ. I learn when I’m open and we all grow when we walk through life’s waves together. So I wrote this knowing I was in a safe place and that you’d let this new mommy share her concerns — it’s a safe place for all of us.

I’m six glorious weeks and six days deep into pregnancy. I’ve experienced mood swings, tender body parts, brief moments of nausea, and spotting.

Which is why I’ve been scared. I’ve read and reread articles which say spotting within the first trimester is nothing to be overly concerned with. I’ve been told it’s normal. But when you waited two plus years to conceive spotting seems to be a momentous occasion where I’m tempted to be afraid.

The day I wrote this I googled the line, “Verses for when you feel you have no faith.” I didn’t find anything worth reading. I felt like crying all over again but felt God calling me to open His Word. Phrases came pouring out from David’s heart.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;” Psalms 46:1,2

Though I am spotting and my mind runs to worst case scenarios and I want to cry myself into the fetal position … God is my refuge, a very present help in trouble.

“Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving-kindness: according to the multitude of thy tender mercies …” Psalms 51:1

Even though I felt like I’m drowning in fear and know it’s no way for a Christian to behave … have mercy on me, Jesus, according to your loving-kindness and tender mercies.

“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from Thy presence; and take not Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of my salvation and uphold me with Thy free spirit.” Psalms 51:9-12

Oh, Lord, my heart has been full of dark things when it should be trusting and rejoicing in you. Instead of living in your love and freedom I’m afraid of losing something precious to me. Create in me a clean heart and renew my spirit so I can have joy in my salvation again. Thank You that no matter what life sends our way we have a guarantee that Your Holy Spirit and Loving Person will never leave us.

These are the verses I needed two days ago because these verses apply to real life for the 2016, twenty-six year-old, first time mommies who wonder at every spot and cramp.

Life is scary whether you’re a young wife waiting to conceive, going through cancer treatments, dealing with a church split, facing a loved one’s passing, or trying to decide which major to pursue.

Life is scary but we have a real God and a loving, interceding Jesus Who walk us through these things.

Thank you for letting me be so open about my life. I love this blog and the community of women we’ve grown to be. I love that I can share my fears of being a first time mommy who is spotting while being crazy in love with Baby Duncan and privileged to be almost 7 weeks in.

It’s a glorious time that we’re eating up — and I’m over-the-moon excited for our first appointment this week to see what all this spotting is about (and hopefully hear baby’s heartbeat).

p.s. the spotting has gotten much better which is also something I’m over-the-moon about.

And while I wait, I want learn to be okay with the unknowns and enjoy fully the gift God has given me.

Because we’re not given a spirit of fear but of power, love, and a sound mind.

With love, blessings and coffee,

Frannie

Pregnancy Update 6/26/16: In case you’ve missed out here is the post of when I was told I had miscarried Baby Duncan at 8 weeks and the post where we discovered the miscarriage was misdiagnosed at 9 weeks. Now, at 12 weeks, we’re waiting on the Lord while we pray for my subchorionic hematoma to heal and all the joy and fear that comes with that.

I thought these links may be helpful. <3 Love to you, reader!