"...suffering is one of the universal conditions of being alive. We all suffer. We have become terribly vulnerable, not because we suffer, but because we have separated ourselves from each other." -- Rachel Naoimi Remen

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Better, when?

My second baby was due on March 17, 2012 and my third baby was due exactly one year later, also on St Patrick's Day, in 2013.  Unfortunately, both of those days have come and gone without an addition to our family.

My fourth pregnancy was joyful, until my seven week ultrasound when the baby's heartbeat was a little slow and their was some hemorrhage around him in my uterus. 

Seven weeks is early for an ultrasound, yes, but given my history, my OB thought it wise to get an early look. 

Just so you understand the timeline, this ultrasound took place during January 2013.  So, I was about 9 weeks, when Fasnacht Day came along on February 12, 2013 (see this wiki link for details about this neat Pennsylvania Dutch Holiday I married into, which is the day before Ash Wednesday {aka Fat or Shrove Tuesday} when you rid the house of fat and sugar by frying doughnuts. This is celebrated in a fantastic way by my mother-in-law.  We go there every year and spend all day eating more than we should (?preparing for the fast on Wednesday), and enjoying a host of family and friends that we don't see often enough.)  So back to Donut day (as I call it, for fear of misspelling), I knew this baby was sick and might not make it, but my pants were too tight and I knew I'd be eating too much, so I wore maternity pants.  It was a cute outfit but people noticed, and honestly I didn't really mind... because at that point, I wanted to be excited for the baby.  Maybe excitement would help them survive?  Questions came, and I fielded them just fine. 

Two short days later, we were back at the doctor's office to find that our baby didn't have a heartbeat anymore.  We were sad, and mad. 

It was one of those days that neither of us forget.  Although my husband couldn't have told you most of the details I've enumerated above, we both remember sitting on the curb atop the hill behind our hospital grappling with the unbelievable. 

"Who has three straight miscarriages?"  (Little did we know what the next 6 months would have in store... two more.)

When my tears settled, we realized we both were starving.  The nanny was with our toddler, so we might as well go get a bite to eat.  I didn't even care what I looked like in public, so we picked our favorite Thai place and drove across the bridge to get there.  Traffic was terrible and when we arrived, there was a line in this tiny place.  What is everyone doing here on a Thursday?

It was Valentines day. OH.

At any rate, why do I share this story now?  Well, first of all, I wasn't blogging back then; I was holding it all in.  But, yes, I also have a point. 

We'd been doing Sympto-thermal NFP with temperature charting and through all this, and I'd become incredibly in-tune with my own body, so I'd known exactly what day I'd ovulated on.  These days, who needs Naegele's rule anyway?
[LMP + 1 year] - 3 months + 7 days  
= due date 
I own one of these due date calculators (shown right), and even if you don't, it's easy to find Pregnancy due date calculator's online (linked is babycenter.com's version).  I doubt I'm the only one who's run to the calculator as soon as I saw the two pink lines. 

You see, when a family gets pregnant, they know they have a present inside.  The first, most natural question is, when do I get to open this present?  When do I get to meet him or her? 

The inevitable next step is dreaming and imagining that day and the days that follow, of when your baby will be born and how your family will grow.  Those are some of the most beautiful dreams I've ever dreamt. 

And so, when a woman has a miscarriage and she's in the midst of despair, she wants to know when it will get better.  Her husband and loved ones wonder, it'll be better, when? 

I tell you from my experience, it'll be better when they're pregnant again.  When there's another promise, another present that awaits them.  It'll be better when they feel full again.  As her previous due date approaches, it may feel like a due date to fix the problem; fill the hole.  The anxiety this produces is subconscious, involuntary.

As all my due dates have come and gone, and three otherwise insignificant holidays pass us by (Valentine's, Fasnacht and St Patrick's), I'm reminded of my losses. 
The memory of empty creeps in...

By God, they do not own me. 

I'm full, yes my cup overflows with blessings today.
[My gorgeous husband, son, home, health, faith, family.]

I'm full, yes I'm anxious with anticipation for the one to come; the completion of my family. 

Oh Lord,
We'll be better when...
We'll be better when we rest in you
Not just in heaven but here on earth too.
Give me rest in you.
Peace of mind and heart.
Patience for this journey,
which sometimes feels so rough.
But then I know,
You carry me.
Let me rest in you.
Give me true confidence
in your providence.
Complete my family
in your way
and in your time.
Oh Lord.

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