Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Unexpected 'Third'

(First a note: My primary motivation for writing a blog has changed over the years.  Originally, it was to share with others what was going on with our family.  Now, however, it is much more of a family journal; something to be preserved and written for us that happens also to be public and available to anyone who is interested.  With that in mind, I share the following, which is probably far more private than I've been before.)

The reality and weight of the situation didn't really sink in until the chief resident asked, "What number pregnancy is this for you?"

And when I answered, "Five," it hit me like a semi-truck.

I have been pregnant five times and only have two kids?

How is that even possible?

I've experienced the process of loss and grieving more than I've been able to hold my own sweet newborn?

But here I was, about two weeks ago, on the labor and delivery floor of the hospital finding out I had experienced another miscarriage.

I was familiar with my options: wait, take medication that's 80% effective, or surgery.  I knew from the past that, for me, surgery and just having it over and done with was what I needed to do.  It was scheduled for Monday morning.  I would only have a day of waiting.  Thank goodness.

It was late and we didn't want to needlessly worry our families if this was all a false alarm, so I had driven the twenty or so miles to the hospital on my own.  Along with reassuring me that this was in no way my fault, every sweet doctor and nurse wanted to know if I was o.k. to drive home.  Why not, I figured.  I got myself there with a mountain of stress, I could certainly get home with immense grief.

After arriving home I immediately went to Luke's room.  I just needed to hold my baby, even though he's hardly that anymore.  He didn't mind the rocking or tears falling from my face to his.  He slept sweetly through the whole thing. Without even knowing it, that sweet boy reminded me that life is so good, so sweet and so blessed. I would be o.k.

Nate was incredible.  He's had some practice at this whole consoling/grief/miscarriage situation.  He knew what I needed to hear. 

When I was pregnant with Noah we almost refused to get excited, not knowing if disappointment and another heart ache was right around the corner.  Looking back, I think that might be at least one reason we hardly discussed naming him and didn't talk about it seriously until after he was born.

With Luke, it felt like things could definitely go one way or the other.  A successful pregnancy was in our past, but so were two failures.  We were cautious, but excitement kept creeping in, and after about 16 weeks, we decided to just be over the moon about another baby.

When a test in early March read 'pregnant,' I was so, so happy and grateful.  The timing was exactly what we had wanted.  Everything about it just felt right.  After two successful pregnancies, I figured the tragedies of miscarriage must be behind us.  What a relief.

I did what I had never allowed myself to do much, especially this early in a pregnancy: I thought ahead and began to plan.  I couldn't help it.  I started thinking about the boys' birthdays and Thanksgiving and Christmas with a new baby.  Trying to manage joy school for Noah and a new baby was stressing me out, but I knew it would be fine.  I kept looking at Luke and thinking that this is the stage our new baby would be at in two years.

I was definitely preoccupied with the thoughts of a new baby, and I was loving it.  Without even realizing, I guess I had carved out a nice little tentative future for our soon to be family of 5.

I knew immediately our family's future was going to be far different than the one I pictured as the doctor and I looked at the ultrasound screen.  Just four days earlier at my regular appointment I had seen the flicker of a heartbeat, but this time there was nothing.

I needed a couple of days to just be sad...and disappointed...and any number of other negative emotions, I guess.  But after those days passed and the surgery was over, I was just done being sad.  I'm a firm believer that happiness is a choice and that we can be grateful in our circumstances no matter how dark or hard those circumstances are.  And, my goodness, I have so much to be grateful for.  So, I moved on and left that awful grief in the past.

Of course, if I could change this outcome I certainly would.  But, past experience has taught me that even with severe bumps in the road, the plan that my Heavenly Father has laid out is far better and more beautiful than what I could create on my own.

I choose to trust Him in every way.   

And I have great confidence that through the power of the Atonement 'I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,' including getting through a third miscarriage.  Prayer has definitely played a powerful role in my happiness and moving forward.  I am so grateful that other people include me in their own personal prayers.  It has, without a doubt, made all the difference.  I am blessed beyond measure.

This is just a bump in the road when it comes to eternity.  All is well and life is oh, so good.