Friday, January 31, 2014

In one year...

While lying in bed last night, I couldn’t help but think how in one year my world had been rocked, my perspective changed, my innocence lost, and how thankful I am for that journey God gave me.

If you do not know already, we are expecting a sweet baby in July! We feel so blessed and are so thankful. Everyone’s road to parenthood is different, some have similar stories or struggles, but each unique in the way God planned.

Just a year ago today, Evan and I walked in to the doctor’s office expecting to see what most expecting parents get to see on an ultrasound – their sweet growing baby, and walked out feeling defeated and hopeless. We were told what I had, was a blighted ovum, and that even though everything else developed and was there, there was no baby. We were devastated. In this diagnosis, the doctor said there is no way to know rather a baby ever developed or not, but because I believe in life from conception. I believe that our baby was there but is now in heaven, and that the first time he/she was ever rocked, was in the arms of Jesus. I know that we will be reunited again one day. I knew that from the beginning, and even though that hope was there from the start, it didn’t mean that hard times weren’t ahead. I went through the stages of grief. I grieved so much for the loss of our baby and not only that, grieved for my pregnancy, the hope of being called mommy, and hearing Daddy, and all the years ahead. I lost and grieved the lives we could have had.

For the next 3 weeks I went in and out of that same doctor’s office getting blood drawn, and ultrasounds done, only to see that my HCG numbers were not lowering drastically, and my body still thought I was pregnant. I was still in complete shock, and when I asked the nurse about taking medication to help induce the passing of the sack, etc. she told me continually that she thought I was on the downhill and that I should soon pass it on my own.  

Finally at the end of the three weeks I was coming out of the shock and was ready to move on and to help myself grieve the proper way, I needed to not be pregnant anymore…I scheduled an appointment with another doctor.  At the end of February I met with her and we went over the past month. I cried to her and told her I needed to move on.  She was very comforting and suggested that I take medication or schedule a D&C. I felt very uneasy about both, but it was clear that my body wasn’t miscarrying as it should. I told her I wanted to think about it. I decided that taking medication was the least invasive and it would work best for me.

The first week in March, I took the Friday off work, took the medicine the night before and expected my weekend to be very painful, agonizing and scary (you know, all the horror stories I read about that medicine on the internet). Well…NOTHING HAPPENED. NOT.A.THING. I was relieved in a way, but I knew what this meant. I could try the medicine again, and possibly WAIT more, or go ahead and schedule the D&C. When I called my doctor on Monday she gave me those options. I decided that for the health of my body and my sanity I couldn’t wait any longer. I asked about scheduling a D&C and to my surprise she could do it that Wednesday.  My mom did what mothers do and rushed up on the Tuesday night before to take me to the hospital, make sure I was well then left Wednesday afternoon once I was settled at home, right before Ev got home from work to take care of me. I called in sick the rest of the week to work and rested. The surgery overall went well, but we knew something wasn't quite right because the doctor had discussed with my mom that she had “found something” and was going to discuss it with me at my follow up visit.

Two weeks later, I walked in to my follow-up visit with my doctor, thinking I was going to hear…”Great news, go ahead and get started on trying to have another baby”. Yah, that’s not what I heard. The “something” she found, was what she thought at the time was a misshaped uterus….heart-shaped to be exact…how cute right?….Whoa? What?  So NOW I had to wait until I got my period so they could do a HSG test...which is basically an x-ray of your uterus to see how its formed and if your tubes work well (that’s the pleasant way of putting it at least).  

Do you see a pattern? WAIT. WAIT. WAIT.

Who knows when I’ll get my period is all I could think about. (Sorry guys)!

So we went on vacation to Mexico that we planned with some of our good friends.  

I feel like I should intersect here and tell you what I was feeling up to this point:

I was bitter.

I was angry.

I was jealous that everyone else’s journey to a baby seemed so easy.

I was mad at my body for tricking me.

I felt inadequate as a woman.

I felt frustrated, because I was still grieving and I knew not everyone around me understood.

I was getting really sick and tired of hearing people tell me “you’re next” or “when will you have a baby”.

But, I continued to pray that through this journey of loss and hurt, that my pain and my miscarriage and my struggle I was going through would bring glory to God.

Now back to Mexico (mid-April), I brought a book with me to read, given to me by my sister called Hannah’s Hope. I dove into it every single day while lying of the gorgeous Playa Mujeres beach.


I spent my days literally reading, reflecting, and talking to God about what he showed me through this book.  There were so many pages I marked to remember, but this one I jotted down in my notes on my phone:

Prayed for my miscarriage/struggle to have a baby to bring glory to God, for God to use me in this trial. On 4/20 read page 126 of Hannah's hope. The verse John 9:2-3, stated how the blind man was born blind so that God might be displayed in his life.  

Wow. So that God might be displayed in his life. So that God might be displayed in MY life?

Obviously I wasn’t born blind this is a totally different struggle. I can’t even compare the two.

But the similarity here is the STUGGLE in itself allows us to see God, and have others see him in our life.

I came back refreshed. The pain was still there, but that was what I needed. I was thankful that this trip was scheduled on January 5 (the day I found out I was pregnant).  God is in details, people.

 Back from vacation…..and I got my period a week later, and I had the HSG test on May 3. Everything seemed to be normal, and I was so excited because it meant we could try again for a baby, BUT then my dr. called me the next week and informed me they found a polyp or fibroid in my uterus and that I needed to see a fertility specialist about having surgery to remove it.

Fertility Specialist….if I have to…

SO then I wait to get in to the fertility clinic.

Got in with an appointment to the specialist on May 21 and he scheduled my surgery for the removal June 14. My doctor mentioned that since I have a high chance of endometriosis because my mom and sis both had it, that we should go ahead and do laparoscopic surgery for that too while I was under, I said no at first, then decided if that was an issue, I didn’t want to be back in surgery in a month or…even a year later.  Evan was there with me. When I came out of surgery, Evan told me the doctor wasn't able to remove the polyp because they couldn't get my cervix dilated and perforated my uterus in the process of trying to get the procedure to work.  I was ANGRY. I started crying immediately at the thought of waiting longer and having to be back in surgery again. What happened to that “specialist” part of his title? This was supposed to work and we were supposed to have a baby in 9 months right?

Removing endometriosis was a success thankfully, but then came the fear of worrying if I can have a baby, the fear of worrying if in a surgery something was damaged, or just finding that something worse is happening with my body.  And all those feelings I had before….welp they became stronger than ever….


I was ANGRY.

I was jealous that everyone else’s journey to a baby seemed SO EASY.

I was mad at my body for tricking me.

I felt inadequate as a woman.

I felt frustrated, because I was STILL grieving and I knew not everyone around me understood.

I was getting really sick and tired of hearing people tell me “you’re next” or “when will you have a baby”.

But, I continued to pray that through this journey of loss and hurt, that my pain and my miscarriage and my struggle I was going through would bring glory to God.


Then one Sunday morning while still in bed, I prayed and sang to God “I need thee every hour” with an aching heart and heavy burden I passionately prayed for God to show his power and remove the polyp.

At the end of July I went in for the fertility specialist to check the status of the polyp via ultrasound. It was gone. Nothing there. He tried to do a few things in office to check it a more invasive way but after discovering how uniquely designed my 90 degree angle cervix is(no, it really is…he said I had the most difficult cervix he’s seen in 30 or so years…!), he decided to take it for what it was, and check it in a couple of months. But you guys, he said those words I was ready to hear over the past 6 months…”go ahead and start trying again.”

I told him I prayed for the polyp to be gone and leapt out of that stinky office happier than ever!

Fast forward to September…This month was hard. After all my due date was September 13. A day I will never ever forget and will always be special and hard at the same time.  

I found this on my phone that I jotted down on September 1:

I need the every hour was sung at church, it brought me back to my aching heart in the midst of prayer and I sang those words to passionately, and again this morning, I sang them so passionate Bc my need was still so deep for The Lord. "Bless me Lord my savior, I need thee!”

Julie and Julia - Julia child’s reads a letter from her sister that she is pregnant and she says as her voice begins to crack and tears begin to flow," I'm so happy."

It's hard to explain the hurt that you can't experience the same, but yet still happy for others. I couldn't help but sob when that scene was on. My heart hurt for her and the feelings she had felt, and brought me back to so many times of hearing of the joy of friends and family having babies, beings so happy and yet so hard to face at the same time.
As the pastor said in church today - that's the thing about trials and grief, it puts us on the same level playing field. No I didn't know her, no I'm not even sure it that scene happened in real life but I can relate with her hurt.

Most of our journey was very private. Our immediate family, and some close friends knew, but other than that because we didn’t know what our outcome would be, this needed to be something that we guarded with our heart. It surprised me when and who I would share things with at certain points, maybe it was something that person needed to hear, or maybe it was just that my heart was aching at that time and I needed someone to talk to.

This part of the story minimal new about, and some of my immediate family will even be surprised, and I’m sorry for not sharing with you, but this was too painful, I couldn't stand to see pity in your eyes, even though you would have loved to comfort me. I couldn’t deal with it. It was better dealt with alone.

On September 7, I woke up….and I felt PREGNANT…so even though I knew my period was a week away. I was dying to take a test. I took it and to my surprise it was POSITIVE!!! I was so excited. Evan was already at the razorback game with some friends and I was meeting up with him around lunch. I couldn’t wait to tell him when I got there. He was just as happy!

The 13th was my due date from my first pregnancy. A day I knew would be hard but always thought it would be easier if I were expecting again. On the 12th I started bleeding. It was one of those times where you stop and say “Really God, but why today? This is like salt in my wounds!” When I called the doctor to let them know they wanted me to wait until the next week to check my HCG levels, but go ahead and get me started on progesterone. You can imagine that that Friday the 13th was much worse than I could have ever imagined. I was grieving the fact that I wasn’t holding my first baby and feared I was miscarrying my second.

The next week the doctor told me that I had experienced a chemical pregnancy. My HCG got just high enough to get a positive pregnancy test, and then once my levels dropped my period came.

Then came the time to see the Fertility Specialist again for that dreaded polyp checkup. Polyp was still gone to our amazement! (Thank you JESUS)! Although he questioned if I was ovulating…I kind of doubted this, because hello, I had just gotten pregnant. But I played along and had my blood drawn for the millionth time and it came back and my results were good. I had ovulated and thankfully (nothing against the doctor) I didn’t have to go back to that clinic again!!!

My OBGYN wanted me to start taking progesterone during the luteal phase of my period in case low progesterone was an issue for me in holding onto a pregnancy.

For the next two months I did just that.

The first week of November, a few days out from my expected period, I felt pregnant. I wanted to take a test, but Evan urged me not to because he didn’t want us to have to go through the same experience as last time….but I did it anyway. He had told me that he didn’t want to know the results. So I took the test on the morning of November 5, got a positive, went to work and mentioned nothing of it to Evan. That afternoon when we both got home he asked me about it, and I said…well you said you don’t want to know, so I’m not telling you. He urged me to tell him of course and I showed him a picture of the positive test. It was so different than the first time, and the second time. We hugged and said well, here we go. We were fearful. Our innocence was gone.

I continued on progesterone, and my numbers were good. I got called to see if I wanted to go have an ultrasound right before thanksgiving. I called Evan and told him and he rushed to meet me there.

The ultrasound at 7 weeks and listening for the heartbeat at 13 weeks were two of the scariest moments of my life I think. Because of our past experience, not seeing anything on the ultrasound, and then not hearing anything on the Doppler were my biggest fears. But our baby was healthy and growing both times. I still have fears, and I still worry, I know so much of that is motherhood beginning.
On the way to our appointment to listen to our baby's heartbeat, I was in agony. Literal tears driving there. I was so nervous. I just wanted our baby to be okay...and do you know what song came on the radio? Yep.
Lord, I Need You by Matt Maher  
"Lord, I need You, Oh, I need You
Every hour I need You
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God, how I need thee"                                                                                        
I literally balled as I sang along. Again, he is in details.

I couldn’t be more excited about this sweet little blessing growing inside of me. He/she is worth everything that we went through.

I know my journey is NOTHING compared to what other people go through. You would be surprised how many women that walk down the road of infertility or loss and no one knows. I’m thankful for those women who have shared their stories publicly or with me individually. It gave me hope when I felt like I didn’t have any and that’s why I wanted to share mine. Unfortunately not everyone’s journey has the happiest of endings. Some end in joyful things like a pregnancy or adoption, but not all do. I still think talking about it and sharing helps us each know we aren’t alone. There were times when I was completely surrounded by family and friends that I loved, and never felt more alone in my life because I was aching inside. A holy ache…living between hope and reality.

 In Hannah’s Hope, Jennifer Saake shares about her miscarriage loss, adoption loss and struggle with infertility for years as she compares it to how the Old Testament character Hannah must have felt as she struggled to have a baby during a time when children were seen as a blessing from God.  

I really want to encourage you to read this book if you are struggling with any of these issues. Just hearing another woman talk about all the same things you are thinking, but feel guilty saying out loud, that alone was a relief to me.

It helped me to realize:

It’s okay that I’m going to grieve.

I may never heal until we have a baby, whether that is through me carrying a child, or through adoption and even after that their still may not be full healing.

This sucks. Period. It sucks.

Just because I grieve and hurt still it doesn’t mean I’m not trusting in God’s plan.

Even if I’m never a mother on earth, I am a mother figure to someone, and after I experienced my miscarriages I knew I was a mother in heaven. There were so many times I wanted to scream that to people when they would ask us about having a baby. I wanted to tell them that it’s not easy for everyone to just “have a baby”. I had to constantly remind myself that those questions and comments are coming from someone that never walked this road, but their struggles are different and made me realize how being sensitive to others is so important no matter what the situation.  


Things to remember not to say if you know someone dealing with the struggle to have children or have lost children:

“Just don’t think about it so much and it’ll happen.”
“You’re lucky. We would love to have some time without our kids!”
“If you wouldn’t get so stressed out about it, maybe...”
“I know exactly how you feel, it took us two months to conceive.”
“You can have a couple of my kids!”
“I’m having another boy. I was hoping for a girl.”
“This was an accident. I didn’t want to be pregnant in the summertime.”
“I can just lay in the same bed with my husband and get pregnant!”
“Maybe God doesn’t want you to have children for some reason.”
“Do you just not want kids?”
“Have you tried....”
“You’re Lucky, you don’t have to take the pill.”
“How much does it cost to do......(in vitro, artificial insemination, etc.)”

I wanted to share my story. I’m sorry it was so very long, there were so many details that I left out, but I know that through this God made this His story. It was about him and it was about bring glory to him. I’m thankful for the work He has done in my life and the sensitive heart he has now given me for this.

To those of you struggling, I’m sorry that you have to go through this. It sucks and there is no other way to put it. I pray for you and you are on my heart.


1 comment:

  1. I just came across this... Thank you so much for sharing your story! God is so good.