Abundance

I started this post about 10 months ago and never finished it. As I’m going through my drafts and trying to get the blog ready for “maternity leave”, I discovered this one again, and it really hit me tonight. I’ve been feeling so overwhelmed about getting the nursery “ready”. There are so many things that need to be put away, hung up, and made just right before she arrives. But, in reality, she doesn’t need 90% of the items I’m stressing about. We don’t need 90% of what we have either, but that’s another post for another day…

Original post, drafted on June 9, 2015:

I recently heard a radio campaign trying to raise money for Guatemalan children. In the campaign, they stated that a $50 donation could give the child food for a year and water for life.

If you’re like me, you can waste $50 (or more) on practically nothing throughout a month. A trip or two to Starbucks here, an order off of Amazon there, and before you know it, you’ve frittered away the money that could save a child from being hungry for a year or thirsty for life.

For. Life.

Think about the circumstances that brought you to your current lifestyle. If you’re reading this, you have Internet access, a device to read it on, and the knowledge to be able to read. All three of those things are not available to everyone.

We have been abundantly blessed, even if we don’t always feel that way. It’s so easy to get caught up in pressures and negative thoughts and forget that people all around the world would gladly trade lives with us in half a millisecond.

I’m guilty of it too. Just a couple of weeks ago, I got mad at our dog for jumping on me and getting muddy paw prints on my shirt because I had to find another shirt that would match my outfit. Never mind the fact that I’m fortunate enough to have a dog, a home with a muddy backyard, and enough clothes that I could choose another shirt. Let’s not forget the equipment that we also possess that magically cleans mud out of clothes.

I know I’ve written similar posts to this, and chances are, I will write more in the future. I think all of us need constant reminders that we are very, very fortunate, blessed, lucky, whatever word you want to use to describe our lifestyles.

And, if my guilt trip wasn’t enough for you, here’s a video from a couple of years ago that might help dig the knife in a little deeper.

A bittersweet Father’s Day

On May 2, we found out that we were going to have a baby. On June 18, we found out that we were not.

We were shocked and devastated. Until earlier that day, neither  of us had a clue that anything was even remotely wrong. Even in the car on the way to the ER, we tried to remain positive, reassuring ourselves that it was going to be okay, that the baby just didn’t like what I had for lunch, and talking about what features from each of us we hoped it would have when it was born in January.

When I checked in at the desk, the nurse assured me that a lot of women bled when they were pregnant and it turned out okay. I believed her because I had no other choice but to believe that everything was going to be okay. Even when I had to go by myself with Edward the ultrasound tech who knew that I was scared but couldn’t tell me anything, I tried to think that his silence while moving the wand around meant anything but the worst.

Around three hours after we arrived at the ER, they finally had a room ready for me. My husband, mom, and I went back there, and I got hooked up to an IV while we waited for a doctor to come in. When he came in, his face said it all. We had lost the baby.

The word miscarriage is so bizarre. It almost seems like you’ve misplaced something. In no way does it sound like your body rejected this tiny life inside of you for reasons that you’ll never know. It needs to be called something else. It needs a word that will describe the shock, horror, and pain that you and all of your loved ones feel when you find out that it has happened.

The doctor explained everything to us as best as he could. It’s a more common occurrence than I realized. He told us not to blame ourselves because these things just happen. It’s hard not to blame myself. I catch myself thinking that maybe if I had taken better care of myself and not eaten so many sweets or drank coffee or eaten gummy vitamins or skimped on eating vegetables or any number of random things, that maybe we would still have a baby. But, thinking like that doesn’t help anything, and I have to stop myself when I start down that path.

We have received such an outpouring of love from our family and friends. We have cried and laughed and cried some more and will continue to do so. We have written a final entry in our baby journal and then left our house just to escape the heavy sadness that we felt after we closed the book. We have talked about how it may have been better that this happened rather than having a baby born who was in pain because of genetic abnormalities. All of these things have helped, but they still don’t erase the pain.

We are relatively private people, and I debated about whether or not to share all of this with such a wide audience, many of whom didn’t even know that we had ever seen that little plus sign on a test. I finally decided to write it and hit publish for a few reasons. First, just to thank everyone who has been there for us. Whether it was staying in the ER with us the entire time, bringing us food the next day, or just texting, emailing, or calling us to check in, please know that all of those things meant so much to us. Second, since we had told several people about our happy news, it seemed like the easiest way to share our sad news. We have been talking about it to each other and others, but we feel like to start our healing process, it will be easier not to talk about it as much. Third, we are of the age where there will be sweet but misguided people asking us when we’re planning to have kids. Trust us, we would give anything to be having this one. Finally, since I know several other women who have gone through this trauma, I just wanted to reach out and say that I love you all.

Will and I have talked a little bit about what our future plans are. For now, we just want to get through this week and the doctor’s appointments that I’ll have to determine how my body is healing. We do want a child or children, and we will have them, but it’s to be determined whether they will be carried by me or another woman. Either way, we will love them, spoil them, and someday, tell them about their older brother or sister who is hanging out in Heaven waiting on all of us.

Parents, take a minute and give your children an extra hug for us. I know that sometimes you may think your children are terrors (okay, we’ve met some of your kids and they really are…), but know that the fact that they are here where you can hug them is such a blessing. For any of you who have lost children, either before or after they were born, know that you’re in our hearts and prayers. To our families and friends, thank you, thank you, thank you. This will eventually get easier for us, but just knowing that you are there means the world to us.

Tomorrow we will celebrate Father’s Day, and although we are not celebrating it for the same reasons we had planned to, I know that someday we will, and for that reason, we have hope for the future.

Uncomfortable

I am uncomfortable.

Dog laying on a hardwood floor

I’m not quite this uncomfortable though…

 

I don’t know what it is, but lately I have had a sense of uneasiness. I have felt the need to make big sweeping changes and shake things up quite a bit.

I’m good at dreaming up these big changes. I’m good at thinking of goals. I’m not-so-good at the whole follow through process (see: many of my archived posts that refer to me having these big goals and ideas, which will be achieved by undertaking a massive project).

I’ve often read the quote that change begins when you become uncomfortable with being comfortable. I don’t know who originally said it (librarian fail), but it’s true. I’ve gotten comfortable, soft, in a rut, and willing to accept borderline mediocrity in just about every area of my life. But, I’ve had this nagging pull inside of me for a while now that tells me it’s time to take this internal discomfort and propel it outward to move to something greater. I don’t know where it’s going to go yet, but I know that something’s going to change.

On a lighter note, I will have a few book reviews coming up, so if you’ve tuned for the last couple of postings (AKA Amber’s diary entries), then you have something to look forward to. 🙂

Life’s too short to…fill in the blank…

In the past week, I turned 29, and there was a horrific tragedy that happened at a movie theater in Colorado.  Both of these events combined have caused me to pause and take a look at myself and my life. For the most part, I’m happy, but there are things that I want to change (look for one of those infamous “30 before 30 lists” to be posted within the next week or two). I know I’ve posted before about making changes in my life, but there were always excuses. I wanted to wait until I finished my Masters in Education, comps for my UT program, my Masters in Info Science, until this, that, or whatever, but the time for excuses is over. We are not guaranteed a tomorrow, so we should live each day to its fullest and truly enjoy life. Sometimes circumstances may be bad, but we should NEVER be at a point where we dread or loathe things in our lives, especially things that can be changed. It’s time for me to grow up, set goals, and live my life in a more fulfilling way. It’s time for me to immerse myself in God’s plan and truly live, rather than just a ho-hum existence where I count down the days until vacation, Christmas, whatever. We’re not made to count down days and wish our lives away. I’ve still (hopefully) got a lot of life to live, and I’m ready to live it.