I went on to carry baby girl # 4 to full term. Olivia Grace was born in May of 2005 via c-section. Her name means “peace and grace” and that is just what God gave me for the duration of my pregnancy with her. She was my fourth c-section! I remember on a mission trip to Mexico, the women that I talked with could not believe that I had more than three children by c-section. They said that I should be dead! (Which would probably have been true had I lived in any other era in history).
On the operating table, my doctor mentioned that I “probably should not have any more babies”. She said that my uterus was so thin, she could see baby Olivia’s face through it. At that moment, in my state of delirium, I asked her to go ahead and perform a tubal ligation. She could not, because we were at a Catholic hospital, where they do not perform that type of surgery because of their religious beliefs.
Sometime after I delivered Olivia, my doctor was tragically killed along with her three teenage children in a plane crash. This news was so devastating to me. And while it seems petty compared to what happened, I was left with the nagging question of what she meant when she said I “probably” should not have anymore children. Did that mean I “might” be able to have more? All I and my new doctor had to base a decision on was the surgical report which only described a small window in my uterus. The decision to have more children ultimately was not mine, as I found out that I was pregnant again in February of 2009 on an anniversary trip my husband and I took to Hawaii.
I was absolutely terrified about being pregnant again. This time, not only was it for the life of my baby that I feared, it was for my life. Even though I knew intellectually that God was in control of my life and my death, the thought of what “might be” terrified me. I knew that because there was a window in my uterus, the possibility of it rupturing was really high. When a uterus ruptures in pregnancy, many times it goes undetected and usually ends in the death of the mother and the baby.
After a few weeks of knowing about the pregnancy, I came to terms with the fact that it may end in an emergency situation, but I became very excited at the thought of another child joining our family. So when I went in for my 8 week appointment and ultrasound, when the picture came up on the screen and I did not see the small flutter of the heart beating, my heart sank deep into the same grief that I had felt four times before.
I was so saddened that end of my journey in bearing children would end in the same way as it began, with a missed abortion. I had no inclination that this baby would not make it. I still had all of the symptoms of pregnancy. This time, my husband and I decided to wait for the D & C, just so that we could be sure of the diagnosis. So around one month later, I made my way into the surgical room again, this time without the joy of a baby in my arms when I came out of the surgical suite.