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,

45 comments:

Melissa said...

Oh Susan, I have tears streaming down my face as I read this post. I lost my first pregnancy in January at 6 weeks. Like you, I was so thankful my body did its job, but the emotional pain takes a larger toll. I didn't know anyone that had been though the experience of miscarriage, but having your sister will help immensely as you go through this. Know that God is weeping with you through this experience, and that He will never leave your side. Keeping you in my prayers!

Laura said...

I am so sorry for your loss. You and your husband will be in my prayers. Sending love.

Katie @ Loves of Life said...

sitting here at my kitchen table just trickling tears--Emeline thinks I'm crazy. I love you-so pissed that you of all people had to deal with this, but I'm glad I can at least 'get it' with you.

love you sister, so much. and adore that pic of you and jeff.

xo

Meg G said...

Oh, Susan! I am so so sorry! Praying for you and Jeff. Your life and your story is such a testimony of God's faithfulness and Your faithfulness in Him. He's got you, girl. Lots of love to you.

Jessica Orlowicz said...

I'm so sorry for your loss Susan. I don't know what to say when this happens, other than I'm sorry and hope you find peace, and this might be inappropriate to say, but I hope you get your sticky pregnancy soon <3

Kristen said...

Oh Sue. I'm so sorry. Praying that in this loss you would feel the Father and his love and compassion and faithfulness to you. That you would still be able to believe in his perfect plan for you and Jeff and your family. And I'm believing that one day with a brood full of kids, that you'll be able to look back on this season and know the ather taught you so much about himself and his love for you in the heartache.

Sarah said...

I am so sorry for your loss, Susan. Sending you, Jeff, and your family light and love as you walk through this.

Mama B said...

Oh, I'm so sorry to hear this, Susan. I'll be thinking of you and Jeff, praying for peace and comfort during this incredibly difficult time. :(

Jo-Anne said...

Oh Susan, I am so so sorry! I too lost a pregnancy at about 6 weeks. Just after all the excitement of what was to come. There is no pain like it. I am just so sorry that you had to go through that, but I am so glad that you had Katie to help you through. Praying for you guys.
PS None of this post was tmi. It's an honor that you shared this sensitive time with us and like Katie's posts about miscarriage, will most likely help someone else through it and feel a little less lonely. So thank you so much for sharing it even though I know it must have hurt just to type it up.

Jodi said...

so very sorry for you and your man. Praying for peace and comfort for you - xo

Britt said...

:( I'm so sorry to hear this. The second I read "I was late" I had a sinking feeling this was not just an "I'm pregnant" post. I'm happy you felt comfortable enough to share your experience because it does help so many others out there who have experienced the same thing. Sending you lots of good thoughts and air hugs, xoxo

Gina said...

I am so sorry, friend. I'll be praying. XO

Jess said...

So sorry for your loss!

Lauren said...

I am just so so sorry for your loss Susan!!! Truly!!!! But so glad you and Jeff have each other to lean on! Love you, friend!!!

Meagan said...

Oh Susan! Ok, I am going to try not to cry. I am so sorry. You will be in my prayers. I miscarried in Jan. you will have good days and bad days and I'm so grateful you have your sister. But if you need someone else to talk to I am here for you.

Erin said...

I'm glad you have your sister to help you along this road. When I lost my baby, the grief hit me like a transfer truck. And it kept hitting afterwards at the weirdest times.

One thing I learned, was the even though I was in a dark place, I could rest in the shadow of the cross. Sometimes we go through had things (and this was REALLY hard for me) but I know that God is still good.

I'll pray for your heart :-)

-Erin

Hailey @ She Laughs and Blogs said...

Oh Susan, I'm so so sorry! I was just there several months ago, and everything you're feeling is totally valid. Lots of love and prayers for you, friend.

Amanda said...

Oh I'm so so sorry! I'm from Tyler and you are right at this moment that place was a crappy place to be. It wasn't with Jeff ("home") and your heart need to be home.

I was actually in Dallas when I experienced my loss and it felt like the world was swirling around me when all I want to do was freeze time.

I'll put you in my prayers.

Ruth Witmer said...

Sending so much love your way dear daughter. As I read this, my emotions from those few days returned like a flood. You are an incredible woman and your ability to be so selfless during that wedding and with the family afterwards showed me so much about what an amazing woman you are. I love and respect you so much.
Praying for God's presence to comfort you both.javascript:void(0)

ferrisfam said...

hugs and prayers to you...I truly understand the emotions and I know that the God of all comfort will care for you.

Taylor said...

Oh sweet girl, crying for you. I'm so sorry for your loss, but so proud of your courage and faith. Praying for you and for Jeff!!!

Amanda @ Our Oklahoma Nest said...

I am so, so sorry. Sending lots of love to you!!!

Jessica @ This Blessed Life said...

So very sorry for your loss.

Kishah said...

I am praying for you. Hugs.

Ashley said...

I hope this doesn't sound creepy, but I was thinking about you this morning on my drive to work, before I read this. I was wondering if you guys were trying to start a family, or waiting. I hate to hear that this happened to you guys. I'm praying for healing. And just think, you'll probably be holding a baby sooner than you think.

Renae said...

Oh Susan I am so sad to hear this :-/ I had years of excitement in my eyes when I started reading and told Kev, who then told me that he meant to tell me to pray for you guys. My tears of joys are now tears of sorrow. We are praying for you and Jeff.

Mrs EyeCanSee said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. It's not fair that anyone has to go through that pain and while I wouldn't wish it on anyone, I know how comforting it must be to have Katie in your life knowing she gets it. Hugs friend.

amanda said...

Oh, Susan. I'm so sorry. I'm praying that you and Jeff find the comfort and support you need during this terribly sad time.

Dana said...

I am sooo sorry sweet friend! I know how hard miscarriage is and I'm sending you lots of love and hugs from GA!!!! I'm so glad u have ur sis!!! Love you!!!

Ashley @ Gratitude and Latitude said...

Lots of prayers for you and Jeff, sweet friend. I'm so sorry for your loss and I'm sending healing thoughts your way. Xoxo.

Jessica @ Wanting Adventure said...

What a tough thing to go through! I can't imagine how you're feeling but I know that God is good and I'm praying to Him for you both. You have an awesome support system and they'll help you get through this valley and to the mountain of the good times.

The Reisterstown Butler's said...

The word miscarriage, I've decided, and I've given it a lot of thought, is a terrible word. It's supposed to be the more sensitive term for what is medically called a spontaneous abortion. But maybe I prefer that more. Because if it's a miscarriage, that suggests that I did something wrong. I didn't carry it right; I didn't care enough; I failed. And I had thought of that enough on my own, when I had my first miscarriage, without needing any reminders.
Everyone who knows is aware that words never help. I had established rules I do not say that govern my thinking. No one is allowed to utter phrases in my direction that begin with "at least." Such as, "at least you know you can get pregnant," "at least you were only five weeks along," "at least you're very healthy and young." Also, no one can mention God's will. Because if I am expected to run to him for the comfort I have sought desperately anywhere I could get it, I have to believe he is grieving with me; I cannot see him as the source of my grief. Maybe that's bad theology, but it's what was carrying me through.
You are not alone, Susan. I love you!

The Reisterstown Butler's said...
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The Reisterstown Butler's said...
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A Nerd and A Free Spirit said...

Susan,

I am so sorry for the loss of your precious baby. Not only is it the loss of a life, and the loss of hope and plans that you had already begun to weave into your heart and mind. I am looking forward to the day when Jesus crushes Satan, things will be made right, and you will get to meet that baby.

I experienced a miscarriage in April. I'm happy to share details if you want, but in short, I had a D&C just short of 11 weeks after a rocky start and then a great ultrasound after seven weeks, and we were heartbroken. It's almost July, and just this morning I was thinking about how today is a sad day for me - some days I just feel sad about it, especially too when I'm discouraged about no luck in trying again. Then I saw the pregnancy sticks on your blog (and coincidentally, an ultrasound on another blog as a pregnancy announcement) and my thought was EVERYONE IS PREGNANT. (Except me.) I completely understand how having those thoughts that are normal, but make you feel selfish and ugly. I am happy for my friends that are pregnant, but sometimes seeing yet another pregnancy announcement about does me in. I definitely see my sin nature in full force. )-:

I have had the privilege to talk to several women who have walked through this road. I will make a couple of recommendations for you. I got the devotional, "Grieving the Child I Never Knew." I'm not far into it, but I believe it is a good tool in working through your grief. Also, have you decided to do anything to remember your baby or name your baby? My baby was due in October, so I got a ring with an opal (October birthstone) in it. It's something tangible that I wear every day as a reminder of the baby. I would also like to plant a tree or bush in memory of the baby. I did not name my baby but I know a lot of people that did.

Everyone works through miscarriage differently, but please know that I am here for you to talk or share stories or whatever. I have noticed how different things pop up that I hadn't thought of before - much like the Father's Day card for you. Things I had expected to go a certain way that are now very different. And October 28 will forever be in my brain as my EDD.

Anyway, I am so sorry for your loss. I would like to send you something if you would be willing to share a mailing address. Also, feel free to email me or facebook me anytime. Sometimes you just need the ear of someone who has been there before.

Hugs,
Kathryn

Amy E. said...

Oh Susan! I just read this and my heart breaks for you. I just recently emailed your sister telling her my story about a 21 week loss, so I totally know what you're going through. I'm sure that it is nice to have someone close to you that just gets it though. I will be praying for the two of you and healthy future pregnancies. Hugs and love lady!

Jenn and Casey said...

Susan! I'm so sorry to hear this news. We had our first (and only) pregnancy end in miscarriage two years ago, and it still brings me to tears now and again. Sending you strength, love, hugs, and patience... be careful with yourself and your heart, and give yourself permission to feel whatever you need to feel. It's all valid, and it's all normal. BIG HUGS.

Christina said...

I am so sorry truly sorry for you loss. I know Katie will be a great support to you through this as she is to you in so many other areas. That's the wonderful thing about sisters. My prayer for you is that you never feel as though you can't express your feelings. Let them out. They are real and valid, no matter what anyone says. My you and Jeff feel our Lord's loving embrace in the times when you need it most. xoxo

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

Jess @ Wrangling Chaos said...

Oh man. I just got caught up on blog reading, and my heart ached when I read this. I'm so sorry. I've been there, and it sucks hardcore. I'll keep you guys in my prayers. As trite as that sounds, it's all I can offer.

Hugs.


Perfectly Imperfect said...

i am so sorry love that you had to go through this. my heart aches for you. just know you aren't alone and that everything you are feeling is how you're supposed to feel. hugs girl.

Becky said...

Oh Susan, I am so so sorry. I'll be praying for you and sending lots of light and love your way.

Erika said...

I hate that women have to deal with this. It sucks and it's just such a horrible feeling. Out of the past 4 months I have had 2 early losses like yourself and I was so upset at my body for not doing what it was supposed to...the 3rd time though? It stuck. Take care of yourself and your heart...

The Crummy Chronicles said...

Oh Susan. I am so sorry. I just freaked my husband out by screaming "She's pregnant!!! Susan's pregnant!" and then burst into tears a few minutes later. My heart breaks for you. I will be praying for you and Jeff and your wonderful baby who is with Jesus.

Jessica Elyse @ Memoirs of a Mommy said...

I am so sorry for you and your husband's loss and am praying for healing emotionally, spiritually, physically.