Life as Lou

Another Loss

  • January 25, 2012 1:17 am

So far, 2012 has completely jerked me around, flipped me inside out and hung me upside down by the ankles.

A Favorite Memory

You see, as the new year came in I realized I was pregnant.  Over time I got a few positive pregnancy tests confirming what the newly found ten pounds, much larger (and more painful) chest, exhaustion and increased sense of smell had already confirmed for me.  There was a baby on the way.

This is the very first time I have had a truly unexpected pregnancy.  Now, I have nothing against another child.  In fact, I would be thrilled if number four would just arrive via stork and bypass the whole pregnancy situation. Chris and I have even talked about adopting in the future. We have no problem with a bigger family- we just have a problem with me being being the baby maker.

Chris, especially, never wants to see me pregnant again.  My mother and many other people (including a few doctors) have advised against it.  For me, pregnancy involves being severely ill.  It involves complications.  It involves hospitalizations (7 weeks straight with Jonas), and lots of inpatient days filled with IV fluids and medications designed to keep me from throwing up until my organs shut down from dehydration.  (Oh, how I wish that were hyperbole).  I have hyperemesis gravidarum.  I also have pre-term labor, months on bed rest and a history of running out of amniotic fluid weeks before my due date.  Pregnancy scares the crap out of my husband because he has to watch his wife slowly disintegrate.  It isn’t appealing to me, either.  I’m a doer, so being flat on my back and having to watch everything around me go to seed because I’m not available to tend a house, or properly care for my children, or even get myself showered without help is pure hell. The loss of control is worse than the nausea, a slow psychological torture for a type-A individual like myself.  I can’t even imagine what the ill health is doing to my body on a cellular level. It is also unbearably lonely. If I were hydrated enough, I would cry buckets of tears the whole time because it sucks that badly.

All that being reality, I will tell you that every single day of it is worth it, because there is nothing in this world as precious as motherhood- yes, even if it nearly kills you.

So, I was shocked. I was overwhelmed.  I felt like I had five weeks to accomplish everything I had planned for the next year. I felt like I was being given another chance at motherhood, after being told it was over. I was excited and terrified and wary and hopeful and so confused I couldn’t even put a label on how I was feeling for two weeks straight.  I couldn’t even talk about it, because I just didn’t have the words.  I finally landed on bewildered.  I was completely and totally bewildered.

I greedily envisioned another beautiful daughter. Tiny dresses, baby dolls- a sister for the precious seven year old who slipped into the boy’s bedroom where I was half asleep the other night, trying to get Gabe to rest, and said, “I wish I had a sister to comfort me” as she curled up on the floor with a blanket and pillow, breaking my heart into a thousand pieces.

I saw another Christmas stocking filled (already purchased a few Christmases ago, out of sheer, blind hope), smiling family portraits, weddings and missions and being rich with grandchildren.  I saw fights and sibling rivalry.  I heard the increased volume in our home and felt my matching anxiety level.  I saw hugs and sweetness and the charity only children have.  I considered the possibility of Autism, Down syndrome and a million other things that can unexpectedly change everything.  I saw excited grandparents and proud great grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles- a family full of love, full of welcome.  I saw bills, too.  Braces, a broken leg, college, more bedrooms; thank heaven our car easily seats another two people already!

I foresaw months of vomiting; malnutrition and dehydration defining every moment of my existence, brutally carving everything I loved out of my control and out of my life, until all I could do was lay there and wait for labor to arrive and painfully, mercifully give me back my life.  I considered falling apart- again.  I saw my children derailed in their teaching and shaping, nine months off because I didn’t have anything left to give.  I saw my oldest, who had already been through this twice do it again- thankfully old enough to be helpful, but young enough to still need a lot of helping.

I laid awake many nights seeing it all, and when it was entirely reviewed, I got on my knees and begged God to let me keep this child.

Early on in this, I had a very clear impression that I was indeed, expecting, but that I would lose the pregnancy. I tried really hard to ignore that whisper.  I worked out plans in my head where we just made it all work.  I turned every negative into a positive fix.  I went completely Pollyanna on the issue because it would work because it just had to work.  I was unreasonable.

I also wisely told myself not to get attached.  I have a history of miscarriage.  I have a medical chart that clearly states that if I beat the odds and fall pregnant, the other set of crappy odds will come along and swiftly destroy that tiny miracle. I proved it wrong once; we have Gabe.  Wise or not, the heart wants what it wants.  Dreams you’ve denied yourself for years are pretty hard to set aside when they magically appear, even for the most prudent and calloused of us.

I tried really hard to resist, but it was such a happy dream.

I miscarried on Friday.

I can’t begin to tell you how completely jerked around I felt.  Why in the world would God even put this on my plate, just to take it away?  This was cruel.  This was unfair. This made no sense.

I was so willing to do this, even if it was hard, if that was God’s plan for me. It was suggested that He was testing me- and I felt hurt that He would even think I wouldn’t shift my paradigm to fit His will. To the best of my human ability, I always had before.  Do I still require proving in that of all areas? What a horrible suggestion.  And to test me in reverse by taking it away- well, that’s just mean. And then I felt guilt for thinking that about the one person who knows me best, who knows my needs and who has always met them.

I wanted to yell at every person who ever thought my life was easy.  I wanted to walk out in public, in front of anyone who had ever thought me capable or lucky, and give them a dressing down because they. were. so. wrong.  I wanted to scream at anyone who had ever hated me and wished me ill.  I wanted to tell these faceless, mystery people exactly where they could get off because dammit, this hurt.  I knew it was completely irrational.

I felt inadequate. The words Just Plain Not Good Enough rang pretty loudly in my ears.  I felt betrayed. I felt seriously annoyed with my Creator and that scared me, because I have never spent a single day upset with God, even at the worst of times- even during previous losses.  Inexplicably, it just hurt more this time. It has been more confusing this time, and the immediate peace that accompanied this before just wasn’t there.  I can’t tell you why.  I don’t know.

I pushed through my weekend, keeping as busy as I could.  I built a Pinewood Derby car.  I taught Maggie to make friendship bracelets. I read a book, folded laundry, and built a million train tracks with Gabriel. I went to church. I made twenty-five cinnamon rolls, even though I had no appetite. I threw myself into work. I went shopping.  The house got cleaned and a tiny part of me was grateful when the dog got an upset stomach and required four different baths and kennel clean ups because of it.  When I was so weak I thought I would pass out, I ignored it, laid down on a friend’s couch and watched a movie to put it out of my head.

Sunday night I knew I’d had it.  I was so emotionally and physically drained there was nothing left.  Miscarriages?  They are silent and invisible, but so exhausting.  I cleared Monday’s schedule, and it was a good thing because at 5:15am, I broke down.  I gave myself Monday to just feel it. I am grateful for good friends who understand me well enough to step in, who don’t ask if they can help, but who just tell me how and when they are stepping in to cover me when I’m down.

I’m ok now.  I don’t understand why this happens.  Some pregnancies just aren’t viable.  Sometimes bodies just don’t cooperate.  I don’t need to understand why.  Perhaps there is no why.  All I need to know is who I am, and that I am truly loved. I know what God expects of me.  All I need to do is follow that, and I’m just fine.

 

 

 

 

55 Comments

  1. Dawn says:

    so sorry for your loss Leah, so very sorry.

  2. Tara says:

    I am so sorry that happened to you. Having been through that myself, I know that nothing I can say will make things any better. Just know that, if I were ANY closer, I would gladly hug you and pick up any slack you had. Things will get better eventually… I keep trying to convince myself that the next 60 years qualifies as “eventually” and is comparatively short when thinking eternally, but it doesn’t always (strike that… rarely) work. Just know that there are so many people who love you, capable or not :)

  3. KimR says:

    Leah–I am so sorry for your loss.

  4. Maggie Fleming says:

    Oh Leah my heart broke for you too. There’s no sense to it, you can ask a million times why? theres never an answer, its just something that happens. I too threw up every day for weeks with my two, i was told no more babies but i too had an unexpected one which ended also. Its heartbreaking and lonely, you can recieve sympathy but no one knows how hard it is,all the dreams and hopes you feel for it.
    Wish i could give you a hug, but dont be afraid to cry, yell,scream and sob your heart out at the unfairness of it all.Then hug the three precious children you do have and thank God for them, whatever plans he has for you, hes included those three adorable children in them. xx

  5. ConnieM says:

    So very sorry, sending prayers your way.
    {I’m a lurker over at the Nook} :)

  6. Cathy H says:

    Love and prayers..so sorry for your loss.

  7. Andrea Amu says:

    When you go through something that changes your world completely, remember that you can turn to the one thing that wont change… the Lord’s love for you! I just read those words posted by a friend last night, and I couldn’t agree more!

    I’m sorry that your world has been turned upside down this past month, and I am deeply sorry for your loss, Leah!

  8. Jenny says:

    I’m so sorry Leah! I’ve felt that same feeling and if you haven’t been there, you can’t really understand the pain. Prayers for you!

  9. Sue Lui says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this Leah. Stay strong.

  10. Suzy Gray says:

    So sorry Leah. I’ve had pregnancies filled with complications & health problems so I understand what you went through and have also lost babies. I pray God gives you comfort… it is such a hard time when few people know, everything looks fine on the outside but on the inside your heart is breaking.

  11. Emilie Ahern says:

    Leah, what a post. I cried my eyes out for you and your husband and for how hard this life sometimes is. I am so sorry this happened. I know you will find peace because it always comes. I will pray for you, my dear friend. This Motherhood thing is tough…tougher then any of us knew, right? Know that you are loved…even by a nerd like me.

  12. Caitlin Czirban says:

    You are awesome! I’ve beeb following your blog for years! I’m so sorry- dont know if there is anything more i can say :(

  13. Leah, I am so very sorry. We have struggled to have children and I can’t even imagine how much greater the heartache must be to become pregnant and then lose a child. I am praying for you.

  14. I am so sorry for you Leah. I have lost babeis too, and recognize some of the feelings you describe.

    Stay strong, by allowing yourself ot be weak when you need to. Much love.

  15. Pam says:

    sending you big big hugs…
    I am so sorry for your loss..

  16. I am so very sorry, Leah. It’s heartbreaking to lose a pregnancy and even more so when there is so much more going on with it. I’m praying for you to get the peace and understanding you need and sending you my love. <3

  17. Andrea says:

    Leah, I’m so sorry for you loss. I’m glad that you’re okay. God Bless. <3
    Andrea

  18. Casey Lu says:

    Oh Leah, I am so sorry for your loss, and my heart not only cries for you but also goes out to you and your family! As you said we don’t always know why God does things or have an answer but he does love us unconditionally. I wish I was closer to be there for you or help you out with the kids, or even just to bring you some hot chocolate and a book or do some service for you. I hope you will be okay, and I will be praying for you! I know it is hard to share things so personal but thanks for sharing, it sometimes helps those that rush through their day (cough cough…) humble themselves and puts things into perspective! God bless you, friend! Hugs!

  19. Shanna says:

    Exactly what Casey said! Hugs friend!♥

  20. miriam says:

    Leah I’m so sorry for your pain and loss. Miscarriages are always so difficult. Trust Heavenly Father, he’ll never lead you astray. Please let me know if I can help.

  21. I’m so sorry for your loss, Leah.

    Hugs & blessings,

    Annika

  22. so sorry for your loss – hugs

  23. Cathy K. says:

    So very sorry for your loss. I’ll be keeping you in my prayers.

  24. Marrigje says:

    I am so sorry for you loss.

  25. Els says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Leah.

  26. Pam Spradlin says:

    Thoughts, prayers and hugs for you.

  27. Lynn C says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss, Leah. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  28. Sherri says:

    My heart aches for you. So very sorry for all you’ve been through these past weeks. Saying goodbye to hopes and dreams and all things tiny is incredibly difficult. Grateful for your faith in the One who keeps record of all our hurts, and collects our tears.
    Psalm 56
    1 Be merciful to me, my God,
    for my enemies are in hot pursuit;
    all day long they press their attack.
    2 My adversaries pursue me all day long;
    in their pride many are attacking me.

    3 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
    4 In God, whose word I praise—
    in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can mere mortals do to me?

    5 All day long they twist my words;
    all their schemes are for my ruin.
    6 They conspire, they lurk,
    they watch my steps,
    hoping to take my life.
    7 Because of their wickedness do not[c] let them escape;
    in your anger, God, bring the nations down.

    8 Record my misery;
    list my tears on your scroll[d]—
    are they not in your record?
    9 Then my enemies will turn back
    when I call for help.
    By this I will know that God is for me.

    10 In God, whose word I praise,
    in the LORD, whose word I praise—
    11 in God I trust and am not afraid.
    What can man do to me?

    12 I am under vows to you, my God;
    I will present my thank offerings to you.
    13 For you have delivered me from death
    and my feet from stumbling,
    that I may walk before God
    in the light of life.

    May you know His peace deep within you today.

  29. Nina C says:

    No words…. just love.

  30. Melissa says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss and my heart aches for you and your family in dealing with this loss. I wish there were words to convey the peace I wish for you.

  31. Oh Leah, I wish I could hug you. I know how bad it hurts and only time can heal those pains :(

  32. Heather Robertson says:

    Leah – I am so sorry for your loss. You are an inspiration to many; seeking what God wants, even through such distressing circumstances, being open and vulnerable, showing your faith. thanks for sharing. I pray that God will draw you near and grant you peace

  33. Holly Bartlett says:

    Leah, I’m here for you in any way, just say the word. I’m so sorry for your pain and confusion. Love you!

  34. Ragnhild says:

    So sorry for your loss.

  35. Anabelle says:

    Oh, Leah, my heart just hurts for you. I’m so, so sorry for your loss and pain. I hope that each day will bring you a bit more peace and solace. Keeping you in my prayers….

  36. Renee says:

    Leah, I just don’t have words. I am so sorry. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  37. Priya Venkat says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Leah. Hang in there and please take care of yourself. Your post is beautifully written and the words touched my heart. I have had four pregnancies (all four with major complications), but I am so thankful for my two children. I understand your pain. Praying for you……………….

  38. Zarah says:

    You’re in my thoughts.

  39. Sending BIG hugs, sorry to hear that…

  40. Anna Sigga says:

    This is such a difficult loss you are a brave person to speak about your feelings.

    Hugs and love!<3

  41. Robin says:

    I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. There are no words. You are in my prayers.
    Robin from the Roost

  42. Amanda says:

    Sending Love and prayers your way!

  43. Michelle says:

    I am so sorry Leah!! {{{hugs}}}

  44. Tanya says:

    Oh Leah, I am so sorry to read this. I’m at a loss for words.
    Hugs, Tanya

  45. Laurence says:

    just the title told me this story would be sad. can’t do much to help. sending love too, to you and your family.

  46. Kara says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Sending hugs and prayers for you and your family.

  47. andrea says:

    i’ll be thinking of and praying you. HG and miscarriages are awful heavy burdens to carry, even after you are able to find peace.

  48. Marti says:

    Oh, Leah. I am so deeply sorry for your loss. I have been through it and it is so painful. Please know of my prayers for you and your family.

  49. Christa says:

    I just learned about your blog and hadn’t read enough to feel like I ‘know’ you… But as I read this post my heart ached for you. I broke down in tears, just for you. I said a prayer to my Heavenly Father, for you. Not a ‘include everyone’ prayer, but a prayer that YOU would be ok. I am so sorry for your loss. I wish I could hug you and let you know things will be ok. I wish I could swoop in and help with your children. I wish I could do anything other than just sitting here writing a comment that doesn’t do much good. I wish there was more that I could do, besides sending my love and prayers your way. Please know that you have friends out here, most of whom you have never and probably will never meet. But please know we are praying for you.
    With love and prayers,
    A new friend.

  50. Helen says:

    So sorry to hear of your lose. You are loved!

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