The familiar crackle of thin paper sounded beneath me as I shifted my weight on the padded medical table in a third-floor room at Sutter Memorial Hospital. Trev stood at the window pointing at the apartment building across the way.
“It would be cool to get up on the roof over there,” he was trying to take my mind off of everything.
“It would be cool to get out of this room,” I thought.
Three days prior, I had been hit with a rogue cycle. It was only ten days after my last one and a freaky two weeks early.
At the onset, I called my mom and we drew up all possible explanations. It’s a reflex at this point. Almost 3 years of daily pain, frequent doctor visits, and four surgeries have conditioned to be very analytical when unfamiliar symptoms arise. Each time I’ve gone under the knife, I knew something was wrong. Each time I’ve been right.
This time we arrived at a rough theory.
I was charging through a downtown parking structure when I ended the call, wrapping my mind around the most likely cause in cold, dead detachment. Early miscarriage. At the time, it added up—too well. The abnormality, the pain, the blood, the timing.
Having Trev as my husband is amazing. Trying for a kid is awesome. But my health raises the stakes, makes the process feel like a race against the clock. It’s got me toeing the line between trust and practicality. It’s a tricky balance. And the thought of maybe conceiving and maybe losing… My footsteps boomed off the concrete walls as I sneered at God for the possibility.
What a sick joke. Is this fun for You?
It was a real thought. A bullet fired toward heaven in the wake of serious fear.
The wounded and trigger-happy version of me is a nasty one—I’m almost ashamed to share that. But I’ve said it before: this blog isn’t a curated collection of pretty. It’s a real-life record of what happens when Love meets dirt.
And if God’s persistence through my wishy-washy faith speaks to even one heart, you bet I’m broadcasting.
By noon that day, I had slumped fully into surrender. Surrender to all the bad stuff: negativity, defeatism, apathy. It’s an easy thing to do when you’re three-years tired, but it’s a trap and the devil’s favorite tool. It keeps your eyes shut to anything good God has done, anything crazy He’s pulled you through, and all promises He’s made good on.
It’s right where the bad guy wants you. And he’ll fight to keep you there.
The next day, I reached out to my friend, Ashley. A fellow member of the chronic disease club, she and I have shared many evenings and whole fruit popsicles commiserating and propping each other up.
I texted her a novel and she responded with a boatload of encouragement, including this verse:
Moses (to the people): 13 “Don’t be afraid! Stand your ground and witness how the Eternal will rescue you today. Take a good look at the Egyptians, for after today you will never see them again. 14 The Eternal will fight on your behalf while you watch in silence.” Exodus 14:13-14 (TheVoice)
Here’s another translation:
13 Moses answered the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:13-14 (NIV)
Her encouragement gave me a swift kick and had me jotting down notes at work about joy and gratitude and asking God for His help because I needed it badly.
Five minutes later, my symptoms worsened by double. Like I had never experienced before.
So it goes.
I ended up on the couch in less than an hour–home early from work and dialing every OBGYN in the greater Sacramento area. I had two options: get to the ER or find a doctor who could squeeze me in (as a brand new patient) the next morning.
Trev turned his attention from the window when a knock and a muffled “hello” signaled the doctor’s arrival. I shifted again and the paper crunched as Dr. Graham stepped into the small, bland space.
“Pleased to meet you, Hannah,” he smiled and turned to shake Trev’s hand too. “I’m glad you’re here.”
He rolled through some preliminary questions before I gave him the rundown: the endometriosis, the surgeries, our desire to have kids, and my current irregular symptoms. He asked to take a look at the fertility tests we had previously gone over with my surgeon. He confirmed that they didn’t look so good.
“Unfortunately it is sort of a race against time, but there are things we can do. We just need to make sure we can do them.”
He was frank and to the point which I grew to appreciate in the 15 minutes we had with him. He told me I had nothing to worry about in the moment. He didn’t think I was pregnant or having a miscarriage. The irregularity wasn’t too concerning with my history in mind.
And he had a plan:
- Retake the fertility test in case my levels have improved
- Take an HSG test.
There’s a chance the medley of endometriosis, four surgeries, and rampant adhesions may have done damage to my fallopian tube–even scarred it shut. The HSG test is a time-efficient sure-fire way to find out.
A scar-blocked fallopian tube means natural conception is off the table for good.
An open fallopian is all systems go. (And it reads like freakin poetry.)
Our plan in place, Dr. Graham shook my hand before heading for the door.
“You have been through a lot,” he said. It hit home the way only true empathy can. “We’re going to get this figured out.”
Like lightning. Another nudge from Jesus. In the form of a good doctor.
That verse Ashley sent me–I’d heard it before, but in piecing this all together, I finally read it in context.
Moses’ words were in response to a people wrecked with panic – the Egyptians were closing in and the Israelites had met a dead-end. Their biggest fear was hot on their heels and an entire ocean lay ahead.
They had their backs against the Red Sea.
And God was about to part it.
You need only to be still.