The last weekend of May 2010, I realized I had missed my period. Sometimes it's off by a day or two, so I shrugged it off. Several days later it still hadn't come, so I bought a pregnancy test. I was extremely nervous. Those few minutes waiting for an answer seemed like the longest minutes of my life. It was positive. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. So I just stood there looking at it.
This was my first child. Completely unexpected. So completely and utterly terrifying. Over the next several days, I took a few more tests, just to be sure. Still positive.
I made an appointment with the clinic on base to have another test, so that it would be official and I could start my prenatal care. The corpsman sent me to the lab. I waited. The corpsman called me back. He said, "Your test is negative. False alarm."
I was horrified. There was no way that six positive tests were wrong. I told him about taking several tests, even one that same morning. He nonchalantly said, "Oh, well you must have miscarried. Give your system a few days to catch up and you'll bleed it out." Then he tried to send me home, like nothing had happened.
I refused to leave. I refused to accept his answer. I knew he was wrong. Finally, a nurse stepped in and made an appointment to review the results with an actual doctor. The doctor did a blood test this time, confirming that I was indeed pregnant.
Bryan and I were scared, but excited. But I wasn't sure how to break the news to my family.
I love kids. I just wasn't expecting to have them anytime soon. I was the last person my family expected to see having a baby.
I had to tell my sister first. I tell her everything. Especially the things that I'm not sure how to tell my parents. Trying to lighten things up, my sister said, "Well, if you don't know how to tell them, don't. Just hand them the stick. Then you don't hafta say anything." She was joking, of course, but that's what I did.
Bryan and I decided after telling our parents and siblings, we would keep the news to ourselves for a while.
I was in school, so I had to tell my chain of command in the school house. New orders had to be arranged, since I couldn't do my job after graduation. Instead, I would be staying in Pensacola. I hate Pensacola.
Getting good medical care as a student in Pensacola is one of the hardest things in the world. Regardless of rank, regardless of who you are or why you are there, if your record says "student", Medical doesn't give a shit about how they treat you. Nor do they get in a hurry to see you.
Morning sickness kicked my ass. There were days that I was so weak from vomiting that it was hard to move. Just getting up in the morning was a giant task, much less making it through the entire day. Even when I went several days without keeping anything down, someone at Medical would always tell me that it was normal.
My first time seeing the doctor was at 11 weeks and 1 day. July 13, 2010.
My parents had driven down to see my graduation. It was just a simple school that didn't mean much, but my accomplishments mean a lot to them, no matter their size or importance. My doctor appointment was the day before graduation. Bryan and I would have dinner with my family that evening, and the next morning I would meet my parents at the front gate to get them in.
I woke up around 2:30 in the morning. I was in the most horrendous pain. I got up to pee and other than the pain, everything was fine. I tried to go back to sleep. At 3:00, I got a sudden painful urge to pee again. Just as I walked through the bathroom door, I felt a gush. Blood poured down my legs and all over the floor. I tried to get my pajama pants off. As they dropped to the floor, so did my baby. Right there at my feet.
It was the size of my palm. It was still moving its tiny hands and feet, and its tiny little heart was still beating. It continued to kick for about 10 minutes. I sat in a growing puddle of blood, in shock, and had no idea what to do. It had been less than 10 hours since I saw it, alive and perfect, on the ultrasound screen.
Eventually, I was able to get enough grasp of the situation to call someone in charge so they could call an ambulance. I sat there, feeling like I was drowning in tears and blood, watching my baby die, waiting for the medics.
I was supposed to be graduating that day. Instead, I laid in in a hospital bed, sedated and losing blood, for 14 hours. I was fortunate to have my parents by my side. They are the only reason I got through that day.
I was never able to find out the sex of the baby, but I have dreamed of it so many nights since then. A beautiful little girl playing in big meadow of flowers. In my heart, I know my baby was a girl. So I have been calling her Lilly Grace, just like the flowers she plays with in my dreams.