Thursday, August 25, 2011

Holding On

The title of this post has more than one meaning...

First, I'm trying to hold on to hope instead of holding onto negative things. Trust me, there were plenty of negative things to grab onto and hold close, turning them into bitterness, etc. right after the miscarriage...
...when we got home from the Dr. that fateful day, there were newborn diapers in our mailbox that had just been delivered.
...I had just been shopping Saturday afternoon for maternity clothes with Josh and Ezra (realized something was wrong that night). They are waiting for later in the back of my closet.
...we had just told our neighbors Saturday night that we were expecting--the first non-family members/very close friends to tell (I went to the bathroom when we came in and realized I was bleeding). I was cleaning, I found Ezra's new "I'm a big brother" book and put it up in the spare room for the time being.
...when Ezra got sick with pneumonia (took him to the Dr. the day after I had been in the Dr.'s office), I went into the x-ray room with him. They asked the usual, "Is there any chance you could be pregnant," question and I did my best not to flinch when I said no.

The good thing is, I was prepared for most of this ahead of time. I knew the diapers would most likely be there when we got home that afternoon, so I opened them and thought of how cute they would look on a new baby 'someday,' and put them in the back of Ezra's closet with his old newborn diaper covers. I had already moved the maternity clothes into my closet (still in the bags) before we went to the Dr. just to get them put up until I needed them. I knew that question would be coming when I took Ez to the hospital that morning, so I don't think they could tell anything was wrong when they asked. I admit, I had forgotten about Ezra's new book when I found it, and was a little sad to put it in the spare room for now.

The hardest part was un-telling people. I'm glad not everyone knew, but once I made this blog public, I kind of felt like I needed to tell people, so they wouldn't think I was keeping them out of the loop on purpose. Also, I was just starting my before school professional development and was afraid my co-workers would think I was being lazy when I was really emotionally and physically exhausted from my situation and feeling pretty sick, honestly.

I was going to post this entry in quick succession to my last one, but I needed a break from this for a while. We were soaring on cloud 'grace' for so long, and then when that 'survival hope' started to calm down, it was really hard. I feel like I'm doing much better now, but I'm scared/worried about the future (even though I know things aren't in my hands and I shouldn't be). I worry that this could happen again, and I am really upset that the timing was SO thrown off.

Again, I know this is ridiculous, since God's timing is the only that matters, but I really desire to be able to be home with a new baby for as long as possible. I left Ez to teach when he was 9 months old and that was hard enough! If we got pregnant now, I'd be due mid-June, meaning my 6 week maternity leave period would be up just as school was starting. I suppose I could still try to use some short-term disability, but skipping the first part of the year would be near destruction for a teacher. You get all your routines and rules established at first, and it wouldn't be fair for children to develop a bond with the person there at the beginning of the year and then take them away when I show up. It would just be bad all around.

Truthfully, I wish I could just stay home and raise my babies. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the economy is so fragile, I need to hold onto my job with all ten fingers (and possibly my toes). I feel so torn about that, and I don't want to admit it, because I don't want Josh to feel like he doesn't do enough (he works SO hard). Curse this economical environment where both parents need to work to survive! I would have been very well pleased to stay at home and be a full-time mom. Please don't judge me on working, because I do love my job, but I wish I could have time with my baby now. That's another one of those 'timing' things. Our 'plan' was for me to teach for a few years to get established, then I could stay home with the babies and go back to work when they were, I know that God must have had this plan in mind for me when I couldn't get a teaching job and then had Ezra earlier than we 'planned.' It's funny how perspective can change on God's timing depending on what happens. Ezra was ahead of time (even though he did go 9 days past his due date, ha), and he is one of the biggest blessings we have ever been given. This miscarriage has thrown everything off on top of being emotionally painful and physically taxing, so I automatically want to think negatively of it. God knows what He's doing, so I really should just hush and listen to Him, huh?

So, the second part of "Holding On" is me letting go of the 'control' I wish I had and knowing God is always right.

Well, I think I'm through venting now. Keep us in your prayers. Ezra goes back to see if the pneumonia is cleared up Monday. He was coughing pretty badly this past week, which has me a bit concerned. I could use prayers at school too. I have some students who really need love and prayers and I need prayer to know how best to serve them (on top of being in a new grade and new environment).

Thanks for reading this. If you got to the end, congratulations. I'm sure it wasn't exactly a 'fun read.' ;)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Not Quite Over This Yet

I know. You see the title and think, "Of course not, Deidre, this just happened." But I was flying on a cloud of peacefulness and that sort of high that you get when you are going through something tragic. The thing that helps you get through the worst parts and makes others think you are really strong.

I realize this 'thing' is the Holy Spirit, and I feel very blessed to have it. It's not that it is gone now, but I guess the reality of the situation is settling in and I'm coming down from that 'spiritual high' I was given to help me survive the worst of it.

I still feel blessed beyond belief (I can't possibly look around at my life and feel anything but blessed), thankful that things were able to fall into place in the timeline that they did (I am RH negative and we were able to get into the doctor in time for me to get the shot that could save future children), and I know we still have a hope and a future (My theme verse, Jeremiah 29:11, reassures me of this even more than the encouraging words of the doctor).

Jeremiah 29:11 Print - Cherry Blossom

I've just had a rough day and a half (starting halfway through yesterday). Things that shouldn't make you sad, like seeing someone else enjoying time with their child. It seems ridiculous because it's not a 'jealous' feeling. You'd never wish the 'M word' on another person, and you don't want their child...You just miss yours. I know it doesn't make a ton of sense unless you've been there. I've had to re-explain it to my husband several times because he keeps thinking the word "upset" means mad or jealous and it's not.

This week, I just kept bobbing along on that happy, "I know everything's going to be alright," attitude and although I still know it's all okay and everything will be alright, I don't know. I guess I'm just having these little moments to help me mourn what was lost.

I went from being super busy around the house and at school to some finally quiet and still moments and that sadness started creeping up from around the corner, trying to take hold. The good news is, I know it won't stay and it won't conquer me because I have God on my side and He's been through far worse suffering and come out victorious--and he promises in Jeremiah 29:12 to be there for me when I call on him.

I'm not quite sure what the total point of this post is, other than to just share where I am right now, but I hope it helps someone. It's already helped me. :)

Friday, July 29, 2011

The M Word(s)

The 'M word'--it is ugly, scary, embarrassing, painful, and has just a hint of shame attached, no matter how many times you hear or tell yourself the facts:

"It happens to 1 in 3 women."

"You didn't do anything wrong."

"This isn't uncommon."

"There is nothing you could have done differently."

No matter how you look at it, "miscarriage" is an ugly word. Overall, it means the loss of a dream; the loss of a life. Dr. Seuss put it best: "A person's a person, no matter how small."

But wait...there's another "M word."
This one doesn't make any more sense--no matter how many times you look at definitions or tell yourself what it means. In fact, I think trying to figure this word out just confuses more than explains.

There are 2 common definitions.
1: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm.
2: An event to be grateful for, esp. because it's occurrence prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from great suffering.

I think I've seen both of these definitions of mercy play out through that less desirable 'M word'...

"1: Compassion or forgiveness shown toward someone whom it is within one's power to punish or harm"
Let's face it, I am not in control here. My husband isn't either. Thankfully, we are lucky enough to know Who is. Now, I don't want to misconstrue and imply that God is punishing us, that's not what this definition means in this situation.
This definition says that "compassion...shown toward someone," and thank the Lord we have this. He has been our Comforter and Guide as we stepped through this previously unknown territory. I don't want anyone to think that we have felt or in any way been punished or harmed by God. I am grateful to know that He has grown me into the faith I have today (which is still weak and not at all what it should be) so that I can know that I am not being punished and that there is still much hope for our future.

"2: An event to be grateful for, esp. because it's occurrence prevents something unpleasant or provides relief from great suffering."
Ok, first of all, by "event to be grateful for," that means the mercy itself. Just clarifying. His mercy has provided us "relief from great suffering" in the sense that, although we did have a mournful period, we did not stay there. We have been held fast in a love that surpasses all understanding--to the point that I think we might have come across in a shocking way to others.

Please listen. This has not been easy. It's not something that was "no big deal" to me. This was my absolute greatest fear in my life, realized. It wasn't easy deciding to talk about it. It doesn't make me uncomfortable, but I have seen that it makes others upset. I know they are upset for me, and I appreciate their sympathy, but feel a sort of guilt for making them feel sad, because I'm not upset anymore. I feel almost bad for not being more upset. For clarification, I have sobbed, I have mourned, I have felt a deep sense of loss. I have seen things I hoped I never would--like an empty ultrasound that was supposed to show new life.


...isn't that a great word?

I know...
I have a hope. I have a future. This is not the end.
Even if it was the end of my childbearing days (and yes, I have considered that, although I have not resigned myself to it and I will not until there is reason to do so), I know that God has a plan for me--a plan much bigger than I can ever imagine. He has proven it over and over and over again.

I know...
that my child is safe in Jesus' arms. That child will never hurt. I will see them again someday.
I am more thankful than ever for the child I have (and I'm not sure I knew that was possible before now).

My husband and I have struggled most with un-telling other people about our pregnancy. It hurts to see them hurt, and we are afraid we will come across cold or nonchalant about the whole thing if we don't burst into tears as we tell them. Thankfully, most of them know the Reason for our peace. That is what we are most grateful for--peace. As we left the doctor's office after having the news confirmed, there were tears, but also a great, deep, vast, calming peace. The kind of peace that only comes from Christ. And I am so glad we have it.

I hope the title of this blog does not deter people from reading it. To me, it means that I have come through one of my worst fears with hope for the future. There is more to come. I hope you'll read it, and I hope it will help strengthen you too in some small way.