2/17/13

The Baby That Almost Wasn't


     Looking back over the last five years, I can clearly remember the exact moment we had the whole "I want to have another baby" conversation. We were at Disneyworld in Florida, and my little baby girl was turning three. Three years old. Not a baby anymore.  Tim, my dear husband, was happy with 1 boy and 1 girl.  He didn't much like the idea of having another child.  He was happy to be done, with no more diapers to change, or strollers to lug around Disneyland.  I on the other hand am baby crazy. I'd convert to Mormonism just to live in an eternal state of having more and more little ones.  Ok, not really...but I LOVE BABIES!  I am the little girl who couldn't wait to be old enough to work in the church nursery, who loved babysitting as a teenager, and became a camp counselor in college. The "born to be a mom" type.
     My husband was not a big fan of my "I want another baby" plea, but he didn't exactly say no either.  Then came an unexpected summer pregnancy. Baby #3 was now a reality, or so I thought.  8 weeks later, the pregnancy was not viable and I went through a wretched loss in the middle of a scrapbook store, on my birthday among some close friends. Having miscarried before baby #2 was born, I was no stranger to loss, but still not expecting it at all.  It was a big blow.
     My heart needed hope again, and my husband was warming up to the three kid idea (well at least he pretended which made me feel better).  Pregnant again around Christmas time. A great excuse to indulge in every Christmas cookie imaginable. At week 11, the pregnancy ended. Again. This time a D&C was in order helping me to avoid a repeat of the whole scrapbook store experience.  I needed this to be over with so I could move on.
     I can remember laying around in the hospital recovery area with other women near by who were recovering from C-Sections.  They were being brought their babies, and I was laying there without one. Just an empty uterus. I could hear them with their babies, and I had lost all hope of having one. Shattered. No fun. Drugged from the procedure with tears streaming down my face. Eventually, I was pregnant AGAIN and this time, the loss was almost as quick as the time it took to take the pregnancy test. Within a few short days, I knew this one didn't take either.  Three concurrent miscarriages. Three potential babies could have been born into this crazy, fun, house of love and laughs.  Why am I thankful now? Now that I am on the flip-side, I have some perspective.  How can I be OK with the fact that none of those babies resulted in a birth? Well, because if even one of those pregnancies worked out...I wouldn't have this baby! I have Julia.
My 2011 Baby


 And Along Came Julia (the story of how she came to be...well not ALL the details!)
    After all the loss, I got distracted by big church youth ministry.  I changed youth ministry positions. Moving back to my hometown to work in full time youth ministry in the large church (8,000+)  where my husband and I originally met and married. It was the church I had interned at back in college. It was healing. It took all my baby craziness away. It was back to working at a super fast pace with a large youth ministry workload. It fed my soul. It gave me back to my other two kids, who had a slightly broken, sad, and distracted mama the two previous years. I was too busy to think about having another baby. After all the loss we were settled. Happy. Good with only two kids. Loving my family and loving my youth min job.
    All set to visit the doctor and make a much more permanent choice to assist my "I am FINALLY ok with having just two kids" state of mind.  SO we downsized cars by getting rid of the mini van. We traded it in for a cozy blue Ford Escape. We also bought a 3 bedroom house with a bedroom for our 1 boy and 1 girl. All set. Then my Jenna bird...who is turning 8 tomorrow, came down with a fever. I missed that appointment. The appointment that would have prevented all future pregnancies. Can you guess what came next? Yup. A healthy baby. A pregnancy making it to term and our family finally a house of 5.  Sitting squished with a baby car seat between an 11 year old and a seven year old. My sweet Jenna sharing her room with a baby sister. Often sleeping on the sofa to avoid getting woken up in the middle of the night by a baby.

     Sometimes we endure hardship. Trials. The tough stuff of life. We cannot understand it at the time. Why so much loss? But later, years later, after all the loss I can really get the whole James 1:2-4 passage in scripture. Sometimes we never see the "up side" but have faith that in the end, we know God is good and can rest in that truth. I know our baby Julia came at the right time. We owned a home, we both had great jobs, and had moved closer to family. Our kids, now a lot older and farther apart in years than I had planned, help out a lot. They both enjoy having a baby in the house. Having kids so far apart in years creates an entirely new baby experience for us all. People always ask why I had Julia so long after the other two. Well it wasn't my design. She is God's gift to our family at just the right time.

"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1"2-4 

     Coping with loss or multiple miscarriages? Here are a few tips that helped me through a very tender and tough time in my life.

1) I did NOT keep my pregnancies a secret until they were "viable." 
Many people wait until after their first trimester to announce a pregnancy. I am just not wired that way. I am horrible at waiting to share good news. I get too excited. Loss is a part of life, and I want others to see "real" life, not just the good stuff.  It's a risk I am willing to take. I am not saying to make it Facebook official at the exact moment you pee on a stick, but at least tell those you are closest too. If things go wrong, you will want their support and love. I have not yet denied or regretted any free sympathy lasagnas given to me in the midst of loss. If people didn't know, I would have missed out on a lot of healthy love and support. Plus your friends are "real" friends when they are actively in the loop of your life.

2) Remember the due date. 
My husband brought me flowers when the would be "due date" rolled around. My dearest friend sent me a card each time. It meant a lot. If you have friends going through a miscarriage, jot down the due date somewhere.

3) Document a little bit. Save the ultra sound picture. Or scrapbook the hospital wrist band you wore during the loss. Keep something. It is very healing (years later) to look at those pictures or scrapbook pages and see how it all turned out. It gives you hope when other challenging times hit home. You can see how God worked through those life moments, and remember that He is faithful to walk you through new ones too.

4) Share your stories. You never who is going through the exact same thing you have gone through. God will not waste your hurt. Keep your eyes open for other women who need to hear your story.


5) Be mad. You can be sad, mad, angry. God is big enough to handle it, and when you are done being mad or sad or exhausted, your pain will be a megaphone into your soul. A chance to hear God loud and clear as he surrounds you with hope and love. Especially the love of a church family.

6) Have a church family. My church family (shout out to Westminster Pres in Escondido) was there for me. They brought meals, babysat children, brought flowers, and showed up when needed.  I can remember being in the ER alone (my husband was at work) and my friend and co-worker Cori showed up. I didn't ask her to come. She just did. That is a church family. I didn't have to walk through a tough time alone.

7) Time. Yup. It's true. Time really does help A LOT! Especially if you are blessed to have an unexpected bundle of joy in your arms years later!


4 comments:

  1. Stumbled across your blog and this entry. I was meant to read this. Lost my little one about a month ago in the NICU, at only 2 months old. Missing him terribly but know in my heart of hearts that I will see him again and that God has a plan for our family. Thank you. :)

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  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting. So sorry for your loss...I can't imagine! Prayers for comfort and a peace that surpasses all understanding. Hang in there...you are not alone. Hugs!

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  3. teammom20087/17/2013

    Found your post today, a day when I'm feeling a little sad because I'm nearing the end of another cycle since my miscarriage in March. I have a healthy, happy 5 year old and I tried so hard not to lose sight of that during the process. But, as I near the would-be due date, I think it's becoming more of a struggle, especially as a few around me are due at the same time. Like you said, if even one of those babies had been born, you would not have had Julia. I'm just waiting to see who will enter our hearts and our lives sometime. Only time will tell.... I'm going to treasure my son and leave it all in God's hands.

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  4. Thanks for sharing your story. You are definitely not alone in this! May God grant you peace and fill your heart with hope as you continue on this journey. I am glad you found my story helpful, which is why I shared it. I knew other women out there might find comfort (and hope) in the midst of loss by sharing what I went through.

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