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Processing Loss

Monday, June 29, 2015
I feel like blogging today, but I am drawing a blank on what to write about.  Lately, most of my posts have been about our health/fertility journey and pregnancy loss.  I was hoping to be struck with some divine words of wisdom to inspire and encourage others who may be going through a similar chapter in their life right now, but to be honest, maybe I'm the one who needs to read a post like that today.  I'm still in the trenches too.  I'm definitely not standing on the other side yet, ready to tell you that it's hard, but you can make it through.  I'm still figuring out how to make it through too.   



So maybe instead, I can just provide some solidarity by sharing where I "am" right now on this journey.  It's been a little over a month since our second sweet little babe's life ended.  Thirty-eight days exactly since we learned that we wouldn't get to meet this one either.  The shock has worn off, but the pain has only slightly diminished.  

We went back to church for the first time last week.  On Father's Day.  It was our week to serve in children's ministry, so we spent our first Sunday back since losing our baby surrounded by other people's babies and young children.  Not my ideal return to church, but I was actually kind of thankful to avoid the crowds and found it slightly therapeutic to cuddle some chubby tots and kiss their soft little heads.  




I'm struggling to talk to God about this loss.  I really wrestled with Him the first time.  I told Him that I was mad at Him, that I felt like He didn't do anything to help us, and asked Him how I was supposed to trust Him when I felt so let down by Him.  He met with me during that time.  He comforted me.  He showed me many ways that He had taken care of me and fought for me.  I felt my faith in Him renewed and that was a big part of my healing. 

This time... this time I don't know how I feel.  I obviously still believe that everything He showed me and spoke to me the first time is true.  I've seen His hand helping us through this past month and felt his comfort through our friends and family.  But I'm still upset.  I still can't believe this happened again.  I'm afraid of how many times He's going to ask me to go through this kind of loss.  I'm tired of waiting and trying and hoping.  I want to skip ahead and know for sure how this is all going to play out.  

I know I'm not going to get straight answers like that though, so I think instead of asking and talking to God about it and risking more disappointment I've just been avoiding having any type of conversation with God at all.  I know He's there and I can acknowledge His sovereignty and faithfulness, I've even found comfort in several Bible verses, but I haven't gone any further than that.  

Maybe subconsciously I'm not ready to move into the next phase of grieving either so I'm just holding onto it instead of taking it to Him.  This grief is heavy and cold and dark, but it also feels safe and comfortable and familiar now.  I don't know if I'm ready to heal.  I don't want to move on.  



One of the things I hate most about all of this is the lack of control.  Nothing in the past two years of trying to get pregnant has gone the way that I hoped it would.  Nothing.  I know that control is just an illusion anyway, but it's hard not to fight that.  It's hard not to want to feel like you have some say in what happens in your life.  I think that God is trying to teach me to just sit back and trust Him to keep me safe on this ride... and I'm rebelling hard against that.  I want to tell Him how to author my story and I'm mad that He hasn't taken my "advice".  I'm sure that the sooner I accept all this the better it will be for me - man, too bad I'm a stubborn hard-head.  

So that's where I am today.  Still working this all out.  Still processing.  Still working up the courage to journal again and be honest with God and let Him back in.  I'd love to hear from you, friends.  Leave me a comment and tell me how you're doing.  Or share a verse with me that has helped you through the difficulties in your life.  



When the Unthinkable Happens... Again

Saturday, June 13, 2015
Saturday, May 2: Doad and I set off for a fun-filled vacation to Cancun for 8 days.  

Saturday, May 9: The day before we fly home.  A very happy day and an answer to prayer.  




Tuesday, May 12: I start spotting.  I try to keep my cool and not get stressed.  This pregnancy feel so much different than the last one.  I don't have the terrible, foreboding feeling that I did before. I feel happy and hopeful.

Monday, May 18: Still spotting so I call the doc and ask if they can run some blood tests just to ease my mind. HCG = 2224

Wednesday, May 20: HCG = 2894  It should have almost doubled within the two days so the doc calls for an internal ultrasound to rule out any complications.  I prepare to see our baby for the first time and am actually looking forward to the appointment.  I feel calm and fairly confident that our baby is healthy and all our fears will be put to ease at our ultrasound on Friday.

Friday, May 22: We arrive at the office on time, only to be told that our appointment was accidentally scheduled at a second location 30 minutes away.  We rush to the second location and they manage to squeeze us in.  I'm now feeling stressed and frazzled, but try to remind myself that we are about to see our baby.  They turn on the screen and my heart jumps - is that little circle our baby?  The nurse and tech look at each other and the nurse immediately calls for the doctor - that was weird.  Doctor comes in and starts looking over the screen with the tech.  I ask if they can see my baby and they brush me off.  Doad squeezes my hand tight.  My heart starts to pound - something is wrong.  The baby is growing in my right tube.  The pregnancy is ectopic.  Not viable.  Over.

I shatter.  Start crying.  Is this really happening?  Another loss.  Again?  


Why?


The doctor asks if this is my first pregnancy and I tell her that I miscarried just four and a half months ago.  She tells me that she is sorry and this is really unlucky.  I know she's trying to sympathize, but it sounds so unfeeling in that moment.  I want her to fix it, tell me there's hope, something that can be done.  Instead she tells me that I have three options: 1) I can take a low dose of chemo to dissolve the pregnancy 2) I can have surgery to remove the pregnancy and my tube 3) I can wait until my tube ruptures and have emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding and have my tube removed.  

I want someone else to make the decision for me.  How can I choose to end something that I have wanted and prayed for for so long?  I feel like I am betraying the life inside of me.  If there had been any way to save the pregnancy, I would not have hesitated to take the risk.  Nothing can be done though, so I choose the medicine.  I'm sorry, baby.  Please forgive me.

The day is long.  From the doctor's office we go to the hospital for a qualifying blood test - STAT.  Doad eats.  I can't.  Then to the outpatient infusion center for the treatment.   I almost pass out on my way to the car.  What have I done?  Please tell me this is a nightmare.  

At home, we collapse into bed.  We are in shock.  Trying to process.  Just this morning I was preparing to see our baby - happy, healthy, growing.  Now, hours later, I am no longer pregnant.  Empty.  Shell-shocked.  Broken.  The grief is unexplainable.  So thick, so heavy, so dark.  How many more times is this going to happen?

God uses our friends and family to surround us and help us muddle through the long weekend and the week following.  They send us prayers and encouraging verses.  They pray for us.  They bring us a meal - every day.  

Slowly, I make my way through the process of grieving.  I no longer wake up crying every morning.  Most nights I can fall asleep without tears.   But the road is long and lonely.  No one can do your mourning for you.  Some days it's two steps forward and one step back.  And some days it's two steps forward and two steps back. I think today might be a one step back kind of day - but it's hard to tell.  

This is my story today.  I'm not going to lie, I don't like this part of the story.  But it is my story and whether I like this part or not, I have to believe that God is doing something through this sad, hard thing.  Please pray with me, friends.  Help me hold out for the happy ending.

Lamentations 3:20-24 (ESV)

My soul continually remembers it and is bowed down within me.  But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.  "The Lord is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."






2015 Resolutions: Feb (and March) Recap

Thursday, April 23, 2015
Hey peeps! I'm finally back with a goal recap.  Let's see if I can actually remember these past few months. :P

1.  Whole30
Check!



2. Get pregnant
Still working on that

3.  Quit my job
Nope.  Still working. :p

Every. Day.


4. Finish two books with Doad
Still working on our current read: A Meal With Jesus: Discovering Grace, Community, and Mission Around the Table by Tim Chester.  I think we have one chapter left.  :)

5. Read 24 books
I'm slacking a little bit on my reading, but I've gained momentum the past week or so and hope to catch up soon.  I'm currently reading book #5 for the year (The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun). Books #2-4 were the following:

The Tapping Solution by Nick Ortner - way more interesting than I expected and definitely something I want to try more often.  I tapped often when reading the book, but have forgotten to do it now that I'm not reading it anymore.  I'd be very interested to know if I have any readers who tap.  I struggle with anxiety and handling my stress and found it very helpful when I remembered to use it to calm myself down!

Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler - best book I've read this year!!! I can't recommend it enough, for all women, not just those trying to get pregnant.  I thought I knew a lot about reproductive health, fertility, and FAM but this book still taught me tons.  I borrowed it from the library, but really really want to get my own copy.  It's a valuable resource that I think every woman should own!  Have a raved highly enough about this book yet? Lol, go and read it NOW! :p

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone - :)  After all the thick, informative books I'd been reading I decided my brain needed a break.  Expect to see the rest of the series pop up on this list throughout the year.  ;)

6.  Marriage Conference
Bleh.  This is harder than I thought.  I used to hear about these all the time on the radio.  Now I can't find any in our area... does anybody have good recommendations?

7. Go on a cruise (or nice vacation)
Yes!  This is happening!!! We are headed to an all-inclusive resort in Cancun soon!!  :) I can't wait!



8.  Have all purple hair
This is in progress.  I have *mostly* purple hair, but some of it didn't take and is more on the pinkish side.  I'm gonna be a jerk and make you guys wait for a pic until it's finished.  :p

9.  Color run?
We've kind of stopped with the running this year.  Maybe we'll pick it up again now that the weather's nice again, but we definitely are the hibernating type while it's cold.  I also just enjoy long walks together over running.  We've kept up with the fitness though and I currently attend a zumba step class and a yoga class twice a week.  I love it!  Why didn't anyone tell me working out could be super fun before? This is one of the first weekly fitness/exercise habits that I've stuck with for more than a month :p

All that to say, a color run is not out of the question for the year, but it's not high on the list... we'll see.

10.  Keep up with the Spanish lessons
I have slowly been getting back into the Spanish lessons.  I think I'm on lesson 17?  So over halfway through.  :)  Our trip to Cancun has been a helpful motivator.  Now that I have purple hair, I don't think as many people will mistake me for a native as they did on our trip to the Dominican Republic, but I'd still like to be able to carry on a conversation while we're there.


11.  I finally remembered my last goal.... Learn to drive a stick shift!
Since we've been married, Doad's cars have always been ones with manual transmissions.  I have "practiced" in parking lots several times, but still don't have the confidence to get out on the road.  It's time.  2015 is the year that I will learn to drive a stick shift!



Be encouraged, friends!  It's not too late to chip away at your resolutions.  Even if you haven't thought about them at all in weeks or months, just take one step today towards accomplishing one.  It's all in the baby steps.  :)  Leave me a comment and tell me what your baby step is for today.  Mine is knocking out a couple of chapters in my current book.  :)

Dropping All the Balls

Thursday, April 2, 2015
Oi! This week has been a week, if ya know what I mean!  I'm feeling super incompetent right now and need a quick burst of productivity to keep me from feeling like a total failure so I'm crossing something off my to do list that has been on there for way too long: BLOG!

I've been doing that procrastinating thing again where I don't write at all because I don't have time for a pretty, well thought out post.  Well folks, this won't be pretty or well thought out, but it's a post.  :p

If I'm being honest, I'm pretty disappointed with myself this week.  I feel like I really have dropped all the balls.

I haven't been keeping up with my 2015 goals AT ALL (like, I don't even remember what half of them were.)

I haven't been staying on top of the housework or even dinner (hubby has cooked dinner more than I have this week.)

I have had a super hard time with my attitude about work this week (I cried on Tuesday when my alarm went off.)

And I have a killer sore throat and am getting sick just in time for my weekend (cue more tears of frustration.)

I'm trying not to beat myself up and to believe that everyone has weeks like this and it'll be ok.  But it's hard not to look at my accomplishments (or lack of them) and not feel crappy about myself.  I really phoned it in this week.

I wish I had a deep life lesson to wrap up this post in a pretty little bow, but nope.  I'm sitting here drinking my hot tea with honey and lemon essential oil and just praying that maybe this post is what someone else needed to read today.  Maybe someone else has dropped all their balls (is that dirty?) and needs to know that they're not the only one.  'Cause you're definitely not.

And I guess it's ok to have crappy weeks.  Especially if you have a superhero husband who not only keeps his ish together, but keeps all yours together too while you're just laying in bed melting your brain on a Candy Crush game binge...(hypothetically, of course.  I did *not* do that...)

But even if you don't, and everything falls apart, it's ok.  Because life keeps going, and the week's not over yet, and you're not the only one.  Let's pick up the pieces, one by one, and try again tomorrow, k?  Go do one productive thing that you can cross off your list.  And then use that momentum to cross off one more thing.  :)  And before you know it, you'll be holding all your balls again (definitely dirty).

I love you, friends.  Go get those balls!



PS.  Hubby,  thank you for truly being a super hero this week and for picking up all my slack.  I definitely married up and am so thankful that you're the one I do life with - the good weeks and the tough weeks. Thanks for wiping away all my tears, even the ridiculous "I don't want to be an adult" ones.

Health Update #2

Monday, March 16, 2015
I've been struggling to write this post for a while now and finally just decided not to write it at all and to vlog about it instead.  As you can see in the video, it was still hard to get out, so I apologize for the immense awkwardness you're about to watch. 





Please keep us in your prayers, friends.  We are trusting God and waiting expectantly for His plans for us to unfold.  


PS.  I'm serious about wanting to be there for others.  If you're going through a similar situation (or not but you just need a friend, that's ok too!) and would like someone to talk to, I'm here.  Contact me through any of my social media buttons at the top right of this page or leave me a comment and I'll be in touch.  :)

Valentine's Day Photo Shoot

Sunday, February 15, 2015
Happy Valentine's Day! :)  Doad and I did a fun photo shoot with some friends the other day and Doad worked his video magic and made an awesome slideshow with the pictures.  I hope you all enjoy it! :)



Here's a couple of extra cute ones with Kate and her adorable son Wilder.  Love these guys! :)





Happy Valentine's Day!  Hope you all had a fabulous time celebrating, whether it was with friends, significant others, family, or simply pampering yourself a little.  :) 

I pampered myself with a little V-day mani! :)





January and February Julep Maven Boxes

Friday, February 13, 2015
Nail polish!!! Lots and lots of nail polish.  :)  That's what today's blog is all about as I catch up on my Julep maven boxes from the last couple of months.  I also try out some fun lip products and get my first ever highlighting powder.

 

Thanks for watching!

If you're interested in becoming a Julep Maven, sign up here! Once you register, they'll send you an email with a promo code for a FREE welcome box! :)  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me in the comments below.


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