written May 9, 2012
Sylvie Kristine, my second born, turned four in March. Four years, and it’s only just now that I am making an attempt to write about the way she entered this world. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to before–writing is a good and expressive outlet for me–but a lot of that space in time is difficult to think about. Each time I’ve thought about sitting down to write her story, I’ve avoided doing so, wondering if some things are better left to fade with the course of time. I have come to trust that when Sylvie is grown, she will appreciate me writing about how she came to us, and it will somehow enable her to connect to a part of herself which has been there all along, and that hopefully she’ll already have come to know—what a strong girl she truly is. Each of us is meant to be….if you’re here and breathing it in, then God had His sights on you long before you ever arrived. Why we are here is a question for another day, but Sylvie’s story, in more ways than I can count, tells me to put all my trust in Him and that which He has intended for us. So I do, and it’s just that simple.
Most people who know a little about Sylvie, think first of her birth and the time surrounding it. But to tell her story, you need to first know about the time shortly after her conception, as that is the first time we thought we’d lost her. Shortly after I’d learned I was pregnant, I had a little bleeding which prompted a 48 hour HCG level blood test (pregnancy hormone), as well as a sonogram. Monday they drew blood, then Wednesday they drew it again to compare to Monday’s HCG number. Wednesday we went for a sonogram, which showed a normally developing pregnancy of about 6 weeks, and a precious beating heart of 130 beats per minute—a number within normal range for this gestation. Thursday we went to see our OB, Dr. Shah, who’d delivered Adelaide. Armed with Monday and Wednesday’s HCG level results and the info from the sonogram, she entered the room with a somber tone, and told us she was going to cut to the chase. She told us my levels had gone down significantly on Wednesday’s blood draw, and my HCG level was at 10,000. She said this indicated a certain miscarriage and that she was sorry to give us this news, but since tomorrow was Friday, she could schedule a D&C for Monday. Shocked, we began to question her, pointing out the normal sonogram we’d had the day before, and most importantly, the beating heart. I said 130 beats per minute for a newly beating heart is within normal range and seemed that it was on its way up. She countered that she believed the number was declining and on its way down. She agreed to do one last HCG level test the next day, and asked that I go to the hospital to have the blood draw, in hopes they could get her the results by day’s end, before the weekend arrived. We were eager for the Friday blood draw and informed her there was no possible way we were prepared to schedule a D&C.
The next morning, I parked at the hospital, while talking on the phone to a mortgage broker. In the midst of all this, we were preparing to put our house on the market. We were interviewing a realtor that afternoon, so we were cleaning the house, working on pre-approval for getting a new mortgage, etc. I hung up the phone as I walked inside, uttering to God, “Lord, if it is your will for this baby to live, then please….make it so.” Visibly a nervous wreck, I tried to sink into the feeling that all of this was indeed in God’s hands. I began to relax, had my blood drawn, and went about my day. My mom kindly had spent much of that day helping us get the house cleaned. The realtor was due at 5:00. At some point that afternoon, I went back to the Lord in prayer. The day before, Dr. Shah had told us that she did not expect the HCG level to go up at all, but “IF” it did, she’d like to see it go up to at least 17,000 (from Wednesday’s number of 10,000). My prayer was simple…..asking God that if it is His will for this baby to survive, then God please….make the number that comes back today, be SO high, that no one, not even Dr. Shah, could deny this was a normally developing and healthy pregnancy. Upon saying this prayer, a number came into my mind…..46,000. I remember wondering why that number came to mind, and thinking how absurd the number was. Even I, who believed in this baby, could not imagine that such a number could come back. The night before, after receiving the news of certain miscarriage, my sister had spent time online doing some research. She called to read me one very important line from another doctor which stated that once a pregnancy has been verified via sonogram, you are to “put no trust in HCG levels.” I clung to every inch of that statement, and that, along with our family’s love and support, allowed me to truly rely on God for Friday’s results.
Dr. Shah called me at around 4:30 Friday afternoon. Once again, cutting to the chase, only this time with surprise and elation in her voice–quite the opposite that she’d given just the day before. She said “Tiffany, I have great news! Your HCG level came back. It was 46,000. I just can’t explain this, but I’m very happy about this!” With that single statement, any shadow of a doubt I’d ever felt about God, vanished. The beating heart of 130 per minute, was in fact….was real…..was growing….even thriving. This baby could not be denied, or doubted, but was here to stay, was indeed His will.