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, neitherĀ  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.

In Memory

Tuesday’s post was inspired by my grandmother, Sandi. Unfortunately, she lost her battle with cancer Tuesday night. The last time I saw her was in July, when she and my grandpa came to my parents’ house for my 30th birthday party. She seemed like her old self, at least in the few minutes that I got to talk to her before flitting about to talk to others. I didn’t think it would be the last time I saw her.

When I heard that she was getting sicker, I always intended to visit. At first, I didn’t want to visit because of various sicknesses through the fall and the fear of bringing germs into their house. Then, as she took a turn for the worse, I didn’t want to visit because I was scared. Scared may seem like an odd emotion, but understand, I’ve never really been near anyone in their final stages of life. I’ve had relatives pass away, and I’ve been around them in the hospital or nursing home when they were near the end, but this was different, this was in her home. There was just something different and overwhelming and scary about seeing someone like that in their home. And, to be honest, I was scared of seeing my grandpa and my aunts and not being able to hold it together, not knowing what to even say or how to act or what to do.

I know all of these things seem inconsequential, and maybe this is just a chance for me to clear my mind. I think ultimately I wanted to remember her as she was when I was growing up. She wasn’t just my grandmother; she was also the mother of my childhood best friend, my aunt Ashlee. We lived next door to one another for a while, so we were usually at one another’s house. I’m sure we fought, and I’m sure she had to discipline us, but I can’t ever remember her being anything other than loving towards us.

I could have been a better granddaughter. I could have done a lot of things. This chapter is finished, but there are many more to be written. I’ve got a lot of questions and thoughts about my future and what I’m doing in my life. I’ve had these things running through my brain for a while, but I think this has spurred them up towards the surface again. I hope that all of you take the time to give your loved ones a hug and let them know how much you love them. I know that can be said so often that it becomes sappy and corny, but it’s so true.

Granny Sandi, I know you’re watching all of us, and I know you and Shirlee are probably having the best reunion ever…and causing a little bit of trouble! I love you.

Heavy thoughts, heavy heart

This isn’t what I planned on writing about at all today. My blogging schedule said that I was supposed to talk about the next book series that I was going to start today, but sometimes things happening in life necessitate that you change your plans a little bit.

When someone is dying, you’re torn. You have selfish thoughts of how you don’t want to lose him or her, but at the same time, you know that you lost that person a long time ago, when sickness started overtaking him or her. Some people go quickly, and some fight so hard that you can almost picture them getting over it and being restored to their whole, healthy self.

I think we take those who we know and love for granted and just assume that they will always be there. That we will always have time to visit them, see them again, laugh with them, when in reality that’s not the case. All of our days are numbered, and as soon as we’re born, we are moving towards our eternal destination. I’m just as guilty as anyone of taking my loved ones for granted. Will and I can sit in the same room on separate ends of the couch, each immersed in a different form of technology. Sometimes I even find it difficult to tear myself away from the technology when he wants to talk to me (okay, sometimes that’s because he’s speaking nerd to me ha ha). I don’t put my family and friends first. I make vague plans of “we need to get together” without following through. I tell myself that on the weekends I need to catch up on housework and laundry that I’ve abandoned through the week while I’ve played on my iPhone, iPad, and laptop, and that I don’t have the time or energy to go do anything with friends.

I’m not really sure how to end this post today. I could say that I’m going to make radical changes, but I think small changes are better. I’ve said before that I’m too dependent on things like Facebook, but it’s not the dependency on things like that which makes me have these struggles; it’s how I ignore everything else in the process. So, I guess I’ll just end this by saying that I’ll strive to get a little bit better each day. I’ll work on connecting more with friends and family and connecting less with…everything else. I love and cherish and appreciate all of you who are reading this, and I really do hope that we can get together sooner rather than later.