Wednesday, December 25, 2013

"So when will you be having kids?"

Hm... well. Funny thing about that question. The person asking it has no clue the can of worms they just opened up. How do I answer that? Do I lie or sugar coat it for them? "Oh, you know, eventually." Or do I unleash the truth upon them? "Actually now would be great. I've already been pregnant 4 times this year but so far, no baby to bring home. It'd be nice to make it past the pregnant stage into the bring home the baby stage."

Have you ever had someone ask a seemingly innocent question, and the answer that you gave left them looking like you just ran over their puppy and then kicked them in the stomach? I mean, they did ask BUT they truly didn't know what they were asking. The question is a bit more invasive than just a simple "How are you doing?" but this is the reality that I live in. I am at the point in my life where people expect me to start having children, especially anyone who knows me as they all know how much I love children and have always wanted my own.

So when will I be having children?... good question! I'd love to know the answer to that one myself.

I don't fault anyone who brings the topic up around me because I'm more than happy to talk about it all, but sometimes I wonder if being THAT honest is a bad thing. I mean, do people really want to know the truth when they ask something like that? If you were having an awful day, and someone walks up "How's it going?!", do you ever really say "Well actually... it sucks." and then proceed to give them the full account of why things aren't going so well?...

I am someone who has a tendency to talk my feelings out. It makes me feel better. It helps me to work through things (hence the blog!). But I already know my story. It won't hit me like a sucker punch to the gut when I explain what this last year has been like for my family. Chances are though, they have nooooo idea what they just started.  So how do I respond? Do I give the whole truth? Or do I spare the awkward stare and the look of sadness that washes over them as they thought they were bringing up a happy topic, babies! but instead had Debbie Downer ruin the moment with a harsh reality. Do I give the politically correct answer, "Oh... well whenever it happens I guess" or "Eventually"... ? I haven't a clue. I can't actually remember the last time I spared the poor soul who unknowingly just started a very long conversation with me regarding having children, but maybe that's the better route to take... I'm not sure.

You should probably pity the nice people who try to start innocent conversations with me about babies...

Eagle River, AK December 2013

Christmas!... and a gift for myself

Merry Christmas!

Here in Alaska it isn't even 11pm yet on Christmas night. I've had a great Christmas this year. It isn't exactly the Christmas that I have been picturing all year, as I fully expected to be holding our baby this Christmas... but it was still a wonderful time with family.

Husband and I went to his family's house for Christmas Eve, which is always a ton of fun and incredibly entertaining. He is the oldest of 8 so there are always tons of people around. It's like a party with just immediate family. Granted this year we were missing a few... one sibling and his family live in another state, and then another sibling went with his wife to see her family for Christmas.

Then this morning, we went over to my parents house for another fun time with family. Definitely fewer people, but with a 6 year old and 3 dogs running around, the noise level is probably about even :). We were also hoping to be interrupted to take a trip to the hospital since my sister in law (brother's wife) is pregnant and could be having the baby any day now. My mom and I have been trying to talk her into eating some spicy food or doing a few sets of stairs to see if we can get things moving along haha. I just can't wait to meet this new niece of mine!!!

Anyway, I got myself a Christmas present... I have a shopping problem :/ haha. Do you have that same problem? Well, I feel like I have good reason for this gift to myself. A few months back I read a blog post (cannot remember which blog for the life of me) and she had ordered a necklace from Origami Owl as a physical reminder of her child lost to miscarriage. I thought that that was such a great idea. I searched the website, picked out what I wanted, but never ordered it.

Then about a week and a half ago I saw a link to the website where the consultant (I think this company calls them "designers") was going to be donating 50% of her commissions to a family that I know who is currently going through a rough time due to some medical stuff. I thought, how perfect! I'd get this necklace I've been looking at, and it'll also help out another family! I logged on that night and ordered myself this necklace. I purchased the medium locket in rose gold, rose gold chain, rose gold "faith" plate, a HOPE charm, angel wing charm, and then 4 birthstone charms... October, November, December and August. One for what would have been each baby's due date had those pregnancies not ended in miscarriage.

Well the necklace finally arrived this week, and I LOVE it. It is not only beautiful but so incredibly meaningful to me. It is something physical that serves as a reminder of my angel babies. It is so nice to have another happy thing come out of something that was very difficult and painful at times.

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas!!! Can't believe it is almost 2014!!!



Saturday, December 21, 2013

December 22, 2013 - due date#3

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I just don't think I could go through today and not mention what today is to me.

Today is the day that would have been my 3rd due date.

 I vividly remember this pregnancy, granted it was not very long ago. This baby stayed with me longer than the other 2 before. I remember the excitement and nervousness of that first ultrasound. I remember watching that screen as the doctor searched for the heartbeat. I just knew when I saw that screen that it was not good, everything was not okay. I didn't cry, I just waited. I remember telling the husband not to hug me or touch me because I just knew I'd lose it. I held it in. I held it together. I got dressed and we discussed everything with the doctor. There was a chance, that I wasn't as far along as I thought (I knew that wasn't true). There was a chance, things were just moving along slowly (I knew that wasn't true). But we sat. We listened. We discussed. I sat there, sort of numb as they drew blood. And we left. Once we were almost to the car, husband put his arm around me and I totally broke down. Bawling. I knew that I had to call my mom and tell her what had happened. She was waiting to hear how things went. It was one of those "What do you mean? How is that possible?" moments. I was still hopeful that maybe that small chance was my small chance. Somehow... This was supposed to be lucky #3, right? Third time's the charm?...

A few days later, after another blood draw, I sat at home and my mom came over. She said she just couldn't not be there. We tried to stay distracted but I was checking my phone every 30 seconds. I felt just sick to my stomach waiting for the phone call. Finally it rang. My heart sank. Especially when I heard the word "Unfortunately..." I knew it. My doctor was confirming my fears. I was miscarrying. Well, actually my body was totally unaware that I was supposed to be miscarrying. The baby was gone but my body was still progressing as if I was pregnant.

A missed miscarriage...

This one was a rough one. It took another few weeks for my body to get the memo and start the miscarriage process. That process is something that I will never forget. It was a very hard time in some aspects, but it was also a time where I was very at peace. I was very glad to get things moving along as it meant my body was healing and it also helped me start to heal emotionally when I no longer had to deal with the pregnancy symptoms, knowing full well that there was no longer a baby.

I had been praying every day, thanking the Lord for another day with my baby, but after that appointment, I had a new prayer. I prayed for peace. I prayed that God would help me to get through every day, every hour, every moment. To keep going. Keep living my life. And He answered. He gave me peace. He gave me calm.

Though I was hurting and confused, I was okay. It actually surprised me how at peace I was. I know that that was alllll Him. There is no way I would have been able to be that okay on my own.

Anyway, I didn't mean for this post to turn into a sad post or rehash what happened. It is just bizarre to think about where I was at then physically, emotionally, spiritually... and where I am now. I know that everything that I have been through is for a reason. I know that everything is happening according to God's plan for this family. I just have to be patient.

I still have hope.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Do you ever feel surrounded?

Now, I've talked before about being surrounded by kids and babies and pregnant women, but this time I'm not talking about by people. I've had a strange series of events lately. In this post I talked about how I went to purchase the book "Heaven Is for Real" and Amazon told me that I had already purchased the book. I laughed and thought, "Wow, this must be a sign that I need to read this book".  Well, it happened again. I was on Amazon looking to purchase another book "Hannah's Hope", and again Amazon thought I'd previously purchased the book.

Is this another sign?

To make matters more strange, back in November I talked about how I'd received a text from Target advertising a sale on baby stuff on the same day that I discovered that I was not pregnant that month. Well, this month after my doctor notified me that this pregnancy was also ending in miscarriage I got another Target baby text. Now I never signed up for these texts and I thought that I'd unsubscribed last month. Yet, somehow I got another one this month! At yet another weird time.

Adding to the weirdness... a few weeks ago I came home to find that among the stack of mail the husband had brought inside, was this box. The box had a baby brand logo with a picture of a baby on the outside. Now, I know that I didn't order anything. I also know that I never signed up for anything using my home address, but there it was... addressed to me. Inside was a letter congratulating me on my new addition to the family. There were of brochures, coupons, and samples.

I feel like I'm being followed. I am no longer being followed by babies and pregnant women... Now even inanimate objects and technology are surrounding me with baby related things. Good thing I now just laugh it off and don't break down in tears at the reminders of what it is that I don't have but have always hoped for.

On another note... it is snowing. AGAIN. Last weekend we got over a foot of snow in less than 24 hours. Wednesday night we got more snow. And now.... this! You probably can't see it in my awful iPhone picture... but it is snowing. Ugh.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Chemical Pregnancy

The last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster for my family... This past Thursday I got a positive pregnancy test. I was sitting at work that day and realized that I'd felt like crying at the drop of a hat for DAYS. I had this sneaking suspicion that I was pregnant. I went to the store on my lunch break to buy some tests and they confirmed it. I am pregnant!

It felt so surreal. I mean, this was the 4th time this year that I've found out that I am pregnant. When every pregnancy thus far has not resulted in a baby in my arms, it makes it really tough to believe that it is real. Per my doctor's instruction, I called that day to notify them of my positive home pregnancy test. I was told that I needed to go in Friday and Sunday to get blood work done so that they could check my numbers. Sure. I can do that. I'm a pro at getting my blood drawn now. Friday morning on the way to work, I stopped in and got my blood drawn. Done. A few hours later they called to tell me that my blood work was consistent with pregnancy and after my blood draw on Sunday, they would call me on Monday with the results.

Sure, more waiting, but doable. Sunday morning I stopped at the hospital once again to get more blood drawn. Easy. Now for the hard part... the waiting! Sunday went fairly quickly for me thankfully. But Monday... that was a long day. I was going crazy waiting for my phone to ring with the results. I checked it dozens of times an hour.

Finally, it rang! It was my doctor. Sadly, she did not have good news this time. My beta levels had dropped between Friday and Monday (and they were pretty low to begin with). This wasn't the one. This miscarriage is classified as a "chemical pregnancy" as it was before 5 weeks. I think I'm collecting various types of miscarriages... regular miscarriage, chemical pregnancy, missed miscarriage.. I am now 4 for 4.

Four pregnancies. Four miscarriages.

Four times I have looked at that little stick in shock and amazement. Four times I have told husband "I'm pregnant". Four times I have figured out my due date... October 15th, November 17th, December 22nd and finally August 17th.Four times I have been devastated by a pregnancy ended in miscarriage. Four. Times.

But the number of times I have been able to feel my baby kick. Zero. The number of times I have set up a nursery. Zero. The number of times I have been able to hold my baby. Zero. The number of babies I have brought home from the hospital. Zero.

I know, it could always be worse. I know that. I truly do, but that doesn't make this not hurt. Just because it is considered a "chemical pregnancy" because it was so early, doesn't make it hurt less. I was pregnant with a child. Another child who will spend eternity in Heaven with my other 3 angel babies. At least they have each other.

It is hard. It is hard to get bad news every time. It is hard to be excited for a life, when every time you have been in that same place, it has ended so soon.

I was lucky enough to take the rest of the day off. I drove home, put on sweats, turned on Netflix and laid on the couch. That is where I stayed for the next 8 or so hours. Sometimes I broke down in tears, but most of the time I felt sort of numb. I am sad. I am disappointed. But I have to remember that this is all for a reason. I have to remember that God has a plan for my life. I have to keep going. I have to keep living. I have to move forward. There will be a next time, and I hope that next time I will finally be able to feel that baby kick, set up that nursery, hold that child, and bring a healthy baby home from the hospital.

I have to believe that this is for a better reason. I have to believe that these are steps that I must take. I have to have hope.

Found on pinterest

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Questions...

As that time of the month approaches I find myself wondering... am I pregnant?

If I am, how will that feel?
Will I be terrified?
Will I be able to be excited?
Will I worry every moment?

This year has definitely been full of ups and downs. 3 pregnancies, 3 miscarriages. Dozens of vials of blood. Every possible test... Can I do that again? I hope so. What if I am pregnant? Will it all work out? What if I miscarry?

My head is just full of questions. A lot of "what ifs". In less than 2 and a half weeks... it will be what would have been my 3rd due date. Only a few days before Christmas. On one hand that really makes me sad, to know what life would have been like right now, and to remember the pain that came with that last miscarriage. By far it was the worst of them all. On the other hand, it makes me happy to know that I did it. I survived. I am healthy. I am happy. My body has healed. And I think that I have healed emotionally as well.

This has sure been a crazy year and it would be AMAZING to greet that 3rd due date with good news, but if not, I will be okay. Guess I just have to wait and see!!! Fingers crossed. :)