Wednesday, January 3, 2007

I Don't Know How to Think or Feel About This . . .

We're Having a Baby!?!?!

The cheap home pregnancy test we bought in Lapu-Lapu City came back positive. Well, the second one did, the first one didn't work at all. Her body hasn't shown any of the physiological changes that happened the first two times she got pregnant, and her morning sickness has been non-existent so far, except for a little nausea. She didn't go to the doctor after the test, because she wanted to wait until we got to Malaysia, and see her Ob/Gyn here. OK, I can live with that. I have to, like it or not, because it's her body, and you can't argue with women about these things. So we're not 100% sure yet that she actually is pregnant.

OK, so you might be wondering what the problem is. My wife and I both love kids. We both have been told we are great with kids. We both want to have some of our own. I have no doubt she'll make a
GREAT Mommy, although I do have doubts about me as a father. She is kind and patient and loving with children, and every time she sees a baby, she gets the brightest and most beautiful smile I have ever seen.

The problem is, this is the third time she's been pregnant in a year. During that time, she was pregnant a total of 5 months. The first time it was 3 months, the second 2 months.

The first time, it was bad. It was my first day teaching at my new job in a government residential school in northwest Malaysia. It was also her birthday. We had a nice dinner. To celebrate, we went to see Dr. Jaya, the Ob/Gyn at a local private clinic. Our previous Ob/Gyn near KL told us that next time we went for a checkup, we would be able to hear the baby's heartbeat. We were excitedly anticipating hearing the first sounds of the new life growing in my wife's womb. Dr. Jaya was very nice, talked to us, then took an ultrasound to check on the baby. That's when our whole world changed. No life was growing in my wife's womb. It was just an empty sac. There had been an embryo, and it had implanted, but it never developed. There was enough there to cause all the signs and symptoms of developing life, but no baby. Nothing.

My wife burst into tears, and I had a hard time trying not to do the same. We both really wanted this baby. Just a couple days before, we had gone to the local department store, and looked at the baby clothes, the toys, and all the things we needed to buy. We talked about who the baby would look like, and what the baby would be like. As we wandered through the store, we both felt like kids ourselves, laughing and playing, and excited that what we both wanted was coming true. In that one moment in the doctors office, all that joy seemed so useless and futile.

The same thought crossed our minds- the doctor was wrong, and there really was a living and growing baby there. You just couldn't see it. Just give it time, and you'll see.

The doctor spoke softly and soothingly trying to comfort us. She said we could take our time and think about it, but that it had to be done. When we were ready to deal with it, we could make an appointment.

We didn't have to, as things took care of themselves.

When we got back that night, she noticed a little spotting. It wasn't too bad. We went to bed, but her bleeding started getting worse. At 2am, it was bad. She went through two pads in 5 minutes. Being the eternal optimist, of course I thought the worst. So I ran to the Principal's house (we were living on campus), and pounded on his door. No answer. So I stood in the driveway, and called him on my cellphone, and he picked up. Then I had to run back to our dorm room, and get her.

She brought a plastic bag to sit on, so there wouldn't be a stain in the car. I could smell the blood from the front seat. We got to the Private hospital at 2:30am, and they called Dr. Jaya. One good thing about living in small town Malaysia, is that she was there in 15 minutes. She examined my wife, and cleaned her up a little. Dr. Jaya said my wife was OK, that the pregnancy was terminating itself. When Doctor Jaya came back at 9am, they would do the procedure- a "DNC". In the meantime, the nurses would come in every hour to take my wife's blood pressure, to make sure she wasn't hemorrhaging.

I didn't get much, if any sleep. The nurses got her ready, and just before they wheeled her in, my boss, Mr. Wong, and the head of the English panel, Zuraidah, came in to see how things were. Then the principal, Haji Jamaluddin bin Yussoff, came in to check on us.

Things went quick. She was in and out within 15 minutes, while I sat tensed up in the waiting room. I went back to the room with her, and kissed her and held her hand. She slept for a couple hours, so I took a walk around town to try to clear my head. It didn't work, as I had several emotions swirling around inside of me in various mixtures, fighting to see which one would get the most attention. When my wife woke up, the first thing she said was she was sorry. She kept saying she was sorry. I told her to stop it- it wasn't her fault, and she had nothing to be sorry about.

Then I had to run to the bank and get the money to pay for it. Just before we were ready to check out, Mr. Wong showed up and asked if we needed a ride. Good old Mr. Wong. He seems to have the uncanny knack of always being there when you need him. Whether you know it or not.

It was hard emotionally after that . . .

(To Be Continued)