I left you, a long time ago, with the story of losing the twins. That post has been getting some new traffic lately as I make new friends, so I thought, hey! I should keep updating the Clarkives and not leave you all in the valley of the shadow and what-not.
Now I will tell the Story of Toby, in 2 parts.
*Warning* this is a chapter about getting pregnant and staying pregnant, and as such, will involve conception and cervixes and so on.
A month after the twins died, we went to Colorado for a 50 day prayer initiative. In retrospect, it was a really good way to heal. Richy led worship every day, sometimes multiple times a day, and I went up there once a day and the rest of the time stayed in my little apartment with R2, looking at Pikes Peak and letting myself grieve. One of the things we decided during that season was that we were not through trying to have biological children.
We got pregnant (well, mostly me) in May. I remember looking at the positive test with Richy, and we were like, well, here we go! It’s strange remembering how absolutely full of hope and faith we were- in the aftermath of the last 2 pregnancies- it had to be the grace of God.
I got on the phone as soon as I knew I was pregnant- trying to get in with a dr that was well-known for high-risk successes. They weren’t accepting new patients, so they shut me down right away, but I kept calling back until I got an office manager, who heard the story and asked Dr. Reed to make an exception, and she did. I think she was intrigued by the challenge.
I explained to her early on that I would be going on bedrest at 4 months, which is when I typically start labor. She was skeptical of the effectiveness of “preventative” bedrest, but mostly supportive.
I went to the hospital the first time at 16 weeks for contractions. They monitored me for several hours and then started me on Terbutaline. Terbutaline is a vicious drug. It speeds your heartrate up significantly, and makes you shaky and jittery all the time. It also helps to stop contractions, so I lived with the side effects. In addition to the drugs, I went to bed. The only times I stood up were to walk to the bathroom and to take a shower.
At 19 weeks, the contractions got close together, and I panicked. We went to labor and delivery, but I wasn’t considered viable and they were trying to send me home, but Dr. Reed showed up and barked at enough people to get me upstairs and in a room. I ended up staying the night and getting drugged with some kind of labor-stopper (tocolytic) . She also recommended that I keep doing what I was doing, which was strict bedrest. That night, as Richy prayed, he got some direction from the Lord, that the baby would live, and that his name would mean Peace. (thus the middle name Paxton)
It was a struggle to keep my mind and heart away from fear. Somewhere in there, my contractions got really out of control and I got terribly afraid. Richy went on a fast and prayed, and they stopped completely for several days, which gave me such a faith boost to keep going. Richy decided to cancel his summer tours and stay home with me. In the morning, I would wake up and put on clothes, and then move from the bed to the futon. Richy had his piano set up in there, and all day I would lay on my left side and listen to him play and sing. I learned how to really soak and find peace, and as long as he played, I would have very few contractions.
All through this time, I had been having weekly doctor visits. Every other week I had an ultrasound, and the in between weeks, I would have cervical checks to see if I had started dilating.
I did start dilating at some point, I don’t remember what week, but it added to the strain and the wait.
We stayed the course, me lying on my left side, him playing and singing, and R2 right in the middle of everything.