Friday, June 21, 2013

the here and now

I was 3 days late.

I’m as regular as the sun rising so I was pretty confident the test would be positive. I tried to sneak out of bed around 7:30 that Saturday morning so as not to wake Jeff. I was shaking before I even got into the bathroom. I grabbed the test I had hidden in the cabinet for a moment such as this and did my thing before sneaking back into bed to wait out the 3 minutes. I didn’t want to sneak a peek so I knew I had to leave and come back. When the waiting time was up I walked back into the bathroom where I saw that red line, faint, but there all the same. Jeff had heard me stirring by this point and asked what I was doing. I walked back into our bedroom holding the test and replied, “I’m staring at a pregnancy test with 2 lines on it.” He looked at me point blank and said, “I have no idea what that means.” Love that man and his honesty. I told him it meant we were pregnant and then promptly jumped into his arms crying and hugging him and remarking about how crazy this was. We laughed as we remembered the day where we slipped on using preventative measures and how later I looked at my period tracker app and told him that might not have been the best day to slip up on that. Sure enough that was all it took. I thanked God that I was one of the lucky ones, able to conceive so quickly and so easily. Sure, it wasn’t in the plans for this to happen so quickly but we weren’t completely opposed to the idea either. I told him we needed to go and buy another test, one that actually said “Pregnant” and he obliged so we ran to the nearest drug store, came home, tested and sure enough there it was. What is it about those digital tests that make it feel even more real?

I begged and pleaded Jeff to let me tell my sister. She knew my period was late anyway and had already been texting me that morning asking if I had tested. We decided to go out for breakfast so on the way we stopped by her house and told her and Declan the good news and that they were the only ones who would know for a little while. They were thrilled and Kate immediately filled me in on a few important tidbits regarding pregnancy and the first trimester. Those first few days of only us knowing were fun. People would make comments or ask questions regarding us starting a family (which always seems to happen immediately after you get married) and we’d try to act nonchalant and give vague answers while sneaking looks at one another. It was fun to keep the secret.

3 days after we found out Jeff left to start his month at a Young Life camp in Michigan. I’d be joining him a week later because I was heading out on Wednesday to go to Texas for a wedding with my mom. My mom and I spent the first couple of days in Dallas before making the almost 2 hour trek to East Texas on Friday afternoon. We stopped at a rest stop about 30 minutes away from our hotel and I noticed that I had a very tiny little bit of bleeding. I mentioned it to my mom and we both tried to brush it off, but I definitely started looking things up on my phone while she drove the rest of the way. I was 5 weeks that day. My heart was pounding but I tried to keep myself calm and reassure myself that things were fine. As soon as we got checked into our hotel room I went to use the bathroom again and this time there was more blood, including a clot. I started freaking out, told my mom that I had to call my sister and locked myself in the bathroom. Kate was so sweet and did her best to keep me from having a complete meltdown, but she also knew that this was potentially the beginning stages of a miscarriage. She told me to just rest, drink some water and lay down. Over the next several hours I did just that, but the bleeding progressed and eventually the cramping started to come in waves.

I knew what was happening. I had lost the baby and my body was doing what it was designed to do- reset. It’s hard to describe the pain of those first initial hours when you realize what’s happening and what you’ve lost. It’s gut-wrenching actually. I cried and cried and cried. The hardest part was calling Jeff. I hated knowing I was delivering such awful news and that we weren’t together to walk through this. He had so much going on at camp with several hundred campers about to arrive and then I have to tell him this. Just awful. He of course was incredibly sweet and mostly concerned for me, while I know his heart was hurting in its own way. I obviously never made it out to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding that night. I couldn’t do anything but lay on that bed and feel sorry for myself and angry that this was all happening in a crappy Hampton Inn in the middle of East Texas. No offense to those of you who live there, that was just how I felt in the moment.

The wedding the next day wasn’t until 5pm and by that time the cramping had pretty much stopped. I summoned up all the courage I had and got myself together in an attempt to enjoy the night as much as I could. I felt so terrible that this was all happening on what should have been such a happy weekend. I didn’t want the bride knowing what was happening because I didn’t want to bring any sadness to her day. This was her day. I hated my body for doing this at such an inopportune time. Her wedding was beautiful. I was honored to be there to watch her marry her best friend. I even managed to join her on the dance floor for a couple of songs which was honestly one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I felt so fake, but I know I had to be. I hated that.

On Sunday my mom and I started the journey home and ended up getting stuck in the Dallas airport for 4 hours because of a flight delay. All I wanted was my husband and to get on the plane so I would feel like I was one step closer to him. We didn’t end up getting home till 1:30 in the morning, but we did make it. First thing Monday morning I called my OB and talked to the sweetest, kindest nurse who practically cried with me as I told her about my weekend. Her empathy and compassion was exactly what I needed and after hearing horror stories from girls about how they were handled when they miscarried I feel very, very blessed with the way they dealt with me. She asked me to go to the hospital that day to get blood work done so amidst laundry and packing I had to do that because I was leaving Tuesday morning to drive to Michigan to be with Jeff at camp. She called late Monday afternoon and confirmed that it was indeed a loss after looking at my HCG levels. She also told me that I am RH- and that she needed me to come in first thing Tuesday morning before I departed for Michigan to get a RhoGAM shot. They were so great about getting me in early and taken care of so I could get on the road. After traveling 12 hours with another friend whose husband is also here all month and 2 of her kids we finally arrived.

To say that I was happy to see my husband would be an understatement. It was a mixture of joy, relief and sadness at the same time over all that had happened since we’d seen each other last. I’m so grateful that we’re able to be together during this time and be in such an incredibly beautiful environment as well.

As for me, I’m doing ok. It’s been 2 weeks now and physically I feel back to normal. What I went through physically, while difficult, was not as bad as other stories I’ve read. My body naturally took care of everything and for that I am grateful. I remember telling my sister that I felt like my body was broken and she reassured me that even though that feeling is natural, my body was actually doing everything it was supposed to do and I took comfort in that. Emotionally, I go back and forth. Father’s Day was hard because I had a card that I had bought for Jeff (that was packed with our dad’s cards) that I realized I still packed. It was a daddy-to-be card and I just cried knowing I wouldn’t be giving it to him. There are 9 kids here under the age of 4 that belong to staff families and live with us in a large house here. They are so fun and full of life, but it pricks my heart at times, too. Then there are the recent pregnancy announcements that probably just feel so much more prevalent because of where I am. It’s a sucky place to be because while you are so very happy for them, you are also so sad for yourself and then you feel like a jerk for being selfish but the feelings are just real. I’m a human being. I can’t expect to not have those thoughts. I do my best to push them away when they come and not entertain them.

I do trust God in all of this… I know His timing is good and I truly believe that God will give us a healthy pregnancy in the future. I’m bummed that I know I’m jaded for future pregnancies because I’ll be scared this will happen again, but I can’t change that. I won’t be able to be na├»ve again, but there are worse things I suppose.

I’m comforted in knowing how many other people have walked this road and that I’m not alone in my feelings. I thank God for my sister and that she understands exactly how I feel since she lost her first pregnancy as well. While I still hate that she had to go through that, selfishly I’m glad that I don’t have to explain anything to her. She just gets it.

I know this was long and included lots of details… some of them TMI, but this is real life. It’s where I am. It’s my story.

Jeff and I truly covet your prayers as we walk through this. Here's a photo someone snapped of us the other night here at camp.

grace and peace,

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

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