Friday, April 4, 2014

a very (unexpected) journey - my miscarriage / chapter 1

In order to truly grieve,
I must remember what was.
~ amy jo ~

"What are you doing March 13, 2014?" I asked Geoff with a huge grin on my face.

"Why? Do you want to go to Hawaii?" he asked in return.

"Always," I replied, my smile growing even bigger. "But we might need to hold off on that..."

Not being able to wait any longer, I held up two white (now sanitized!) sticks with plus signs on them. "This is why..."

To say he was shocked is an understatement. In fact, we both were. He repeated his next word at least five times. "WOW."

I couldn't help but laugh and smile. Although shocked, I was also completely and utterly full of glee and total giddiness.

We were both a bit nervous, but incredibly thrilled to be expecting another child. Even in our forties. (Gulp)

The desire to have another child had been growing in my heart for quite some time. In fact, Geoff and I had tried to get pregnant the year before. When it didn't happen, we both assumed the door was closed.

But now?

Only God could make the desire in my heart, given my age and life situation, a reality. He's like that. Full of amazing surprises, on His timeline.

"Delight yourself in the LORD,
and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4 (ESV)

I'm not sure how much either of us slept that night. I have to admit, though, it was a relief to know why my bladder had started waking me up in the middle of the night. Thankfully, it wasn't my age as I thought! (Grin)

It turned out I was further along than most women are when they find out they are expecting. Pregnancy just wasn't on my radar anymore.

Aside from the typical concerns about my baby's health and well-being, the physical changes I would be going through, and the adjustment our family would go through, I was BEYOND THRILLED. Giddy, indeed!

The next day, I called my doctor's office and set up an appointment. It had been a very long time (um, 13 years, to be precise), since I had made a similar call. So much has changed over the years, but alas, they wanted another 'pee-test.' Fun times!

Every doctor I met over the next couple of months approached me the same. Before congratulating me on the new life I was carrying, they cautiously asked if we had planned to get pregnant and if we were happy about it.

To which I replied, "Well, we were hoping and praying to have another child. But, we honestly thought that door had closed. We are THRILLED about this new blessing."

I recognize that not all moms with kids in high school are excited to find out they are expecting. Our life situation is just that. Every woman, couple, and family are unique.

However, in sharing from my heart, I have to admit I felt a sadness stir in my spirit knowing what their response would have been had we not been happy about our news.

Please do not read into my personal convictions as judgement. That's not who I am. Personally, the "options" that are so readily available deeply grieve my heart. For all who are involved.

It has never been something I could/would choose. But that's between me and God, as it is for all of us. Thankfully. (warm smile)

And yet, I know many women who have made that difficult and life altering choice. To you, I say, please listen very closely...

You are loved. 

And God can and will bring healing and new life from whatever choices you have made. As well as choices that may have been made for you.

Always loved.
 Because He is Love.

...back to my original thoughts...

So, when the doctor covering for my regular physician came into the exam room after said 'pee-test #3,' she started talking about prenatal vitamins and finding a good obstetrician.

After a few minutes, I had to stop her.

"'m still in a bit (a LOT) of shock. Was my test really positive?"

The real question I wanted to ask...

"I've been holding my breath for the past two days, hoping and praying that I am in fact pregnant. I'm kinda ready to exhale and GET REALLY HAPPY. Can you please confirm that GLEE is a suitable response right now?!?" (Grin)

I LOVE Dr. Oh.

She was 'just the doctor' I needed to see on that particular day. Bless her heart (in the Northwest kind of way..said with sincerity...NOT the Southern way, as my sweet Southern girlfriends explained to me years ago! I had NO idea it was spoken with tongue in cheek. So, if I have ever 'blessed your heart,' please translate it with the Pacific NW guidebook instead, eh?)


Dr. Oh literally turned the computer screen towards me and showed me the line that read:

"POCT Pregnancy Test, Urine - 
Your value=POSITIVE
Standard Range=NEGATIVE." 

Yup, giddiness be free! I'm having a baby!!!

God is SO good. 
So gracious! 

That moment is forever burned in my was THAT sweet.

Bursting with complete and utter joy, I was a bit (read: exremely) bummed that we had to wait a full THREE days to share our news with our three "olders." Chelsea was out of state on a mission trip. Geoff and I really wanted to tell all three kids about our BIG news together and in person.

So, we waited. And continued to toss and turn in shock and awe every night until she came home.

Funny enough, we were late picking her up from the church because I had to stop so many times to relief my pressing bladder! Truth be told, even that brought a smile to my face.

The reality of the tiny life inside of me manifesting himself/herself through constantly trying to find restrooms here and there was PURE BLISS. (TMI? Sorry. Just being real...chuckle)

As only God would have it, all three kids had been asking me to have another baby for over a year. In fact, all three of them brought up the topic to me at least once over the past month. Strange, eh?

All I could say in response to them was that, sadly, God had other plans for our family. It wasn't what I personally wanted, but I knew that I could (and would) trust in His will for our lives. There is no other way.

Granted, that didn't take away the physical longing I felt every time I passed through the baby clothes section in Target or saw another mom with a precious little bundle of deliciousness. To make matters worse, none of my friends had a sweet baby for me to love on and curb my cravings...(sigh)

And, no, there were not any babies to snuggle in the church nursery. I came close to begging new moms in Panera, but knew that would be beyond creepy and stalker-ish. (Mostly kidding)

I really wanted to be physically pregnant again, to snuggle a newborn, and, yes, to even go through childbirth again. (YES, it had been THAT long since I had been pregnant. Long enough to forget the horrific pain and consider a natural childbirth. Have mercy!)

But my heart's desire was (and is) to trust Him in all things. All the time. 

The baby yearnings were quite the roller coaster ride. To put it mildly. (Grin)

I had finally come to a place of true surrender that a baby was not in our future...we would have to wait years for grandchildren.

And then I found out I was PREGNANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I'll end here for now. This is a story my heart needs to speak. If only to myself.

And, it's going to take some time to stay tuned.

For those who do take time to read these (l-o-n-g) chapters in my life, I pray God will bless you in a new and fresh way today.

If you are in the midst of a storm, or stuck, unable to process grief, please know you are not alone. Ever.

I pray you will be able to carve out some time and allow yourself to sit in your sorrow, rejoice in the blessings, and rest in His sweet presence.

He loves you. He has good things in store for you, my Friend. 

And, for those of us whom He allows to experience the blessing of loss, death, pain, or (sniffle) all of the above, His love is steadfast.

He will give you beauty for ashes. You can trust Him, no matter what your circumstances tell you.

Please feel free to drop me a line or send me a prayer request. It would be an honor and privilege to pray for you, my Friend.

Until tomorrow, keep pressing into the LORD, and KEEP LIVING A BLESSED LIFE!

With HOPE and faith,

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