Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Another Great Loss

About eight weeks ago, I had my second miscarriage.  It happened nearly identical like the last...at least, the details of losing the baby.  This baby, like the other we lost, came as a surprise.  But, unlike the last baby that I desperately wanted...this one, I wasn't exactly happy about.  I've felt complete as a family of five.  My soul is fulfilled in my three boys, and I feel like I have more than I can say grace over.  I'm completely maxed out on how much of myself I can make go around to everyone who needs me.  My reaction in finding out I was pregnant was less than enthusiastic.  It was devastation, actually.  All I could think of was, how in the world I was going to be able to manage another one.  How would Jon and I ever make time for each other now?  How would this affect us financially?  How would this affect me mentally?  Could my body go through another pregnancy and birth after the repairs that had to be done the last time?  I sobbed in the shower that morning and asked God what he was doing.

I kept the news to myself for a couple days.  I felt like I had to process the information before I told Jon.   His reaction wasn't much better than mine.  I know this was a total lack of faith in God and his plans, but it didn't change our feelings.  I told Jon at that moment, that I felt like something wasn't right.  I wasn't feeling sick, I just didn't feel pregnant.  I called the doctor the next day to make an appointment.  Because of my history, she scheduled some blood work to make sure my hormone levels were within normal range and climbing.

I got the call later that afternoon that things were looking a little low for how far along I should've been.  My estimations could've been a little off.  I wasn't exactly sure when I'd conceived, so the doctor scheduled an ultrasound and repeat blood work for a couple days later.  The ultrasound showed 6 weeks, but no heartbeat could be heard at this point, so I had a repeat ultrasound scheduled for 10 days later with new blood labs scheduled for every three days until the next ultrasound.  Waiting is a cruel sentence sometimes...especially in situations like this.  I've never prayed so much in my life...for God to intervene.  I went from devastation in learning the news of my pregnancy to begging God for a miracle.  Each lab appointment showed lower hormone levels and I knew it was only a matter of time.  I was waiting to hear confirmation that my baby was gone.  I've never felt so helpless.  I told Jon that it felt like standing on the shore and watching my child drown, and knowing there was nothing I could do to save this baby.

As a woman, pregnancy means a baby.  When you see the plus sign on the test, you don't think of cells, and science.  You think of a beating heart, and little fingers and toes, giving birth and holding that child for the first time.  Especially being a mother already.  I don't think of a fetus...I think of Jack...of Cole...of Benji.  Your mind instantly goes into mothering mode of making sure you're taking vitamins, drinking plenty of water, getting enough rest.  You try to eat the right things, stay away from the foods you shouldn't eat, no drinking, no tanning beds, no x-rays.  It's ingrained in being a mother and it's immediate.  The word "mommy" is parallel to putting someone else's needs above your own.  It's protection.  It's sacrifice and complete commitment to seeing your child thrive.  But...it was out of my control.  My child's life rested in God's hands only, and to be honest, that didn't feel secure enough.  I know God is capable and is in control...but, I also have mother's intuition, and I already knew the fate that was awaiting me.

We had an ultrasound the next week, by that time I'd already started bleeding and ended up in the ER the day before.  The ultrasound showed a heartbeat in the 70's...my baby was dying.  The bleeding was getting heavier and heavier and the doctor scheduled a D&C for the next day.  I came home that afternoon and sat in my chair in the den and stared out the window for two hours.  Tears spilled out of my eyes, but my face was emotionless.  It was tears of anger and a sorrow that washed over my soul.  I was grieving a baby that I didn't want to begin with...but now, I wanted more than ever.  The guilt of my selfishness ate me alive.  I felt like God was punishing me for being unhappy about the gift of an unexpected pregnancy.  I know in my heart this isn't true.  God doesn't punish...he isn't angry with me.  But, I was angry with myself, and I felt like I deserved this.  I've battled with these emotions since then.  And though I'm making progress in dealing with this, if I let my mind run away with one little, nagging voice, it can come creeping back and distort my view of reality once again.  

I don't know what to make of it...why God let this happen.  Is He trying to teach me something?  Is He showing this perfectionist once again, that really nothing am I in control of?  Is he leading me towards a calling I don't have, yet?  Is He wanting me to use this experience to minister to somebody going through the same thing?  I haven't figured it out...and...I guess I don't need to.  He's calling me out onto the waters to trust in Him in every situation.  All I can do is keep my eyes above the waves.

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