At the time that we learned of Rachel's diagnosis, I considered writing about it in this blog but just never had the time or made the time to do so, but I think that it might give a better insight as to what we have gone through.
Way back when we first started dating, Ken and I had talked about how many children we wanted and that number had always been 4. When William had his first birthday, we thought that it was probably time to move forward with our plan. By June, I was pregnant and we were ecstatic! As the hot summer days continued, the pregnancy did not show any signs of being different from any of the other three I had experienced. I was nauseated like in the past but had no real problems keeping me from working.
My first ultrasound was done by my Ob/gyn in the office (she is also a good friend of ours) and everything looked good. A few weeks later, she gave me a referral to have a Level 2 ultrasound done out of network (that means that the Army hospital did not have that service available so I had to go to the private community for this). This is a routine thing done in the Army for women over 35 years old who are "AMA" i.e. advanced maternal age although the Army has a nice way of referring to us. . . ."elderly." You may laugh, but it is true. I didn't believe it myself until I read it in my chart after delivering Thomas in the Army health system.
Looking back, I consider us as having been so lucky prior to this point. We had never experienced a miscarriage as so many of our friends have or any trouble with getting pregnant either. I remember driving to work one morning before the ultrasound thinking that I was such a lucky woman.
I had achieved my life long goal of becoming a surgeon.
I had a wonderful, caring husband (although there was that business of kissing a bunch of frogs and getting my heart broken a few times before I found him!)
I had 3 beautiful, healthy boys and
I was pregnant with our 4th child.
I marvelled at how blessed I was and wondered why other people seemed to have to go through such tragedies that did not seem to affect me.
It is crazy that these were the thoughts that went through my mind before the most difficult thing I have ever gone through in my life began.