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A Visit From Grandpa

I related the story of my first encounter with the dead in my blog entry about Aunt Viola.  Now I want to tell you about my Grandpa, who was a quiet man while alive, but has turned out to be quite a chatterbox now that he’s deceased.

Steve and I got married in March of 1998.  Just a few months later I was pregnant with our first child.  I was overjoyed and excited, as was our entire family.  My first appointment with the obstetrician was scheduled for when I would be 8 weeks pregnant.  Before that appointment, I had a visitation from my deceased grandfather, Jerry.  He came to me in a dream.  Here is what happened.

In the dream he simply appeared by my bed and said, “Erin, you have a blighted ovum.  You’re going to have a miscarriage.  But don’t worry, things will work out for the best.”  He then showed me an image of a little baby girl being passed around from one family member to the next at Thanksgiving.  I woke instantly, in a panic.  What the heck is a blighted ovum, I asked myself.  I had another pregnancy test in my possession and I took it immediately.  Still pregnant.  I chalked it up to bad Chinese food and went on about my day, happily pregnant.

Two weeks later Steve and I went to the doctor’s appointment.  She decided to do an ultrasound to date the pregnancy and see if she could detect the heartbeat. During the ultrasound she said, “Hmm, I don’t think you’re as far along as you think you are.  I see the sac but I’m not really seeing the baby.  I think your dates are probably just wrong and you’re actually just 5.5 weeks along instead of 8.  No big deal.”  That didn’t sound right to me since I was very sure of my dates.  Remembering what my grandpa said, I asked, “Could it be a blighted ovum?”  She looked at me sharply and said, “Wow, how do you even know that word?  We haven’t used that term since the 50’s.  Nowadays we call it a molar pregnancy or a missed pregnancy.  But don’t worry.  I’m sure you’re fine.  We’ll just do a couple of blood tests to make sure your HCG levels are going up instead of down.  Don’t worry.”  I told her about the “dream” I had of my grandfather.  She still wasn’t concerned though she did look at me like I was crazy.

I took the blood tests.  I got the results.  My doctor called me and the first thing she said was, “Does your grandfather give out lottery numbers?  You do indeed have a blighted ovum. I’m so sorry.  You’re going to have a miscarriage.”  A blighted ovum, for those of you not in the know, happens when a fertilized egg attaches itself to the uterine wall, but the embryo does not develop. Cells develop to form the pregnancy sac, but not the embryo itself. A blighted ovum usually occurs within the first trimester before a woman knows she is pregnant.  It’s really the only way you can be “sorta pregnant.”  Pregnant enough to register on a pregnancy test, but no baby.

The doctor asked if I wanted a D&C or I was told we could simply let nature take its course and eventually I would naturally miscarry. We took the second option.  In a few weeks, I did have the miscarriage.  I wasn’t upset by the experience because I had forewarning that it was going to happen.  I truly felt like the little soul who had originally decided to incarnate with us decided to wait.  We were going through a tough time financially and, to be honest, we weren’t ready for a baby.  It was a blessing in disguise.  A year later, we got pregnant again and I gave birth to our first daughter, Emily.  This time everything was right.  At Thanksgiving I remember showing off our daughter to all of our relatives.  I could practically feel grandpa smiling down at us.  He was right, about everything. 

Although that was my first visit from Grandpa, it wasn’t my last.  I’ll be sharing more stories about Grandpa in future entries. 

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