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Sometimes amazing things happen to remind us that we really don’t understand the machinations of our world. I often think of the line to Josh Groban’s song “To Where You Are” that says:

Isn’t faith believing all powers can’t be seen?

Yesterday my almost-five-year-old (countdown to the big day–seven sleeps!) and I attended a baby shower for her preschool teacher.

One of the games involved each of the kids suggesting what Ms. Lindsay should name her baby boy.

The children mainly chose names of male classmates or dads or brothers. A few provided gigglers–Star, Sunshine, Happy Feet. One future class clown offered up “Poo.”

Elizabeth’s turn arrived. She seemed confused about this, and the teacher asked her if she needed more time. She shook her head, stood up, and said, “Matthew.”

My heart seized. She knew no Matthews. No cousins or classmates or friends. The only time she could have heard the name in her brief existence would be in Sunday School, where it would compete with the likes of Mark, Luke, and John.

But Matthew is a very important name to us. When we were told Emily was a boy at her sonogram, we chose Ryan Matthew as her name. Naturally she became Emily later when the high risk doctor told us–that’s an odd name for a girl!

When we got pregnant with Elizabeth, we decided we still liked Ryan Matthew but would prefer it flipped. So we called the baby Matthew early on when we referred to her in the womb, until her sonogram revealed she was also a girl.

But of course, Elizabeth was a twin. Her little sibling died and my water broke when I was only ten weeks pregnant. Elizabeth survived, although we had a week or two of uncertainty that the pregnancy would pull through.

We’ve named her twin Emma Hope, but after this baby shower, maybe we were wrong. Perhaps Elizabeth knows more than we do, and maybe, just maybe, some little presence whispered in her ear that morning, and for the first time, without even knowing it, she uttered a name she’d never before heard–her brother’s.


Good news!

Yesterday, while having yet another cervical biopsy (yes, I’ve had cervical dysplasia since January, but it has not progressed very far and is nowhere near cancer yet) I told my OB/Gyn about the book. He has known about my miscarriage web site for a long time and often answers questions totally unrelated to my own health when I need information. He is very excited about the book and will read it for me! So I will have an MD on board! My own no less! I think it’s a great idea to have the other side of my own story right there. He’s a great doctor and has been voted best OB/Gyn in Austin for several years running. I’m thrilled! (Let’s all cross our fingers that when I ask him to write the preface he’ll also say yes!)

I was lucky to have a doctor who was proactive on testing when I needed it (although I could do without going in every two months right now, but he says, let’s be safe as cervical cancer can blossom so fast…sigh, okay.)

But after my first loss of Casey, despite vials of blood, scrapes of my cervix, and failed genetic testing on the baby, he couldn’t find anything wrong with me that would have caused a 20 week old baby to die in utero. I had to go into my next pregnancy without any answers. Blind faith.

After the Triple Screen (AFP) test was abnormal with Emily, however, we had to see a specialist. And once we did that Level II sonogram, things changed–I had a diagnosis!After she was born, I had the HSG test and more sonograms to map my misshapen uterus. During the surgery I had many incisions in my belly as well as scopes up through the cervix. I was lasered, cut, and scraped, trying to make my body more amenable to pregnancy. My miscarriage risk was reduced significantly, and hopefully the chance of late term losses were eliminated all together.

Some women get the run around, especially after an early first loss which is assumed to be genetic. No testing at all. Others test on and on and on, finally resorting to sending blood to some of the major clinics specializing in recurrent loss.

How did it happen for you? Did you get any testing done? If not, was it upsetting? If so, did it help you?

March 2023