Tag Archives: fear

18th Sip

MOTHER’S DAY>

If you Google the socially acceptable amount of time to wait before announcing a pregnancy, it quotes twelve weeks as the general “safe zone.”

The reality is that any of us could go at any time. A baby could be lost at a week or at five months, at birth or at five years old. Any of us could go at any time. Life is to be celebrated.

Matt and I just found out last week that I’m pregnant again. I’m almost six weeks along. It was a bit of a surprise as it’s only been two months since I miscarried and we weren’t exactly doing any baby-planning math.

The fear that I was certain I’d feel hasn’t set in yet, and I suppose it’s because I haven’t fully let myself invest. I’m told that’s natural. I know it’s a defense mechanism… maybe apathy is what I should have been afraid of, because it means I’m essentially refusing to deal with the fear, or pain. Or love. I don’t think it’s as negative as that sounds, but I do have to be honest with myself.

The reality is that I want this baby more than I’m even brave enough to admit at this moment in time. I don’t want that heartbreak or disappointment again, but I am hyper aware of the fact that dear friends have dealt with loss many times without promise of an end. I didn’t think it would happen to me, not the first time. But I do know it could happen again.

And even so, it is well.

I was dreading today. I know that if I weren’t pregnant right now it would feel very different. I have a glimmer of hope that soothes the grief. A part of my heart is still tucked away in that plastic drawer under my bathroom sink, with that first pregnancy test and the little “You are Loved” onesie I used to surprise Matt. But part of my heart has crawled out and is timidly emerging to soak up the sunshine. Opening up and laying vulnerable even to the rain, if it comes.

I know there are loving and protective folks that would caution us to keep this private until it’s safe. But I’ve always known that isn’t my nature. I wear my heart on my sleeve, it’s just part of my DNA. We also know that God uses every single detail of life, no matter how minute or ginormous, to ultimately open our eyes to dimensions of His love and goodness that we can’t fathom otherwise. There are also other families that are walking this same path, and we should be walking it together. No kind of grief or pain should be carried alone. There’s more than enough love, support and hope to go around.

May we look for the good in every situation, and may God and His beautiful plan be our definition of that goodness!

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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14th Sip

HEARTBEAT>

When you hear the words, ‘There is no heartbeat,” the trapdoor opens and you fall. –Pinterest

Below is what I shared on March 3 (technically March 4… it was after midnight):

After feeling like something wasn’t right for the last week and having some abnormal and worrisome symptoms, I had my OB at Castle squeeze me in for an appointment today and we found out that the baby did indeed stop developing last week––about two days after my ultrasound, somewhere around 7 weeks and 5 days from what we could tell. I had already felt like something might be wrong by the time we went in for that first ultrasound, but everything appeared to be going along fine at the time. Needless to say, I am so very heavy hearted, but Matt and I are resting in the peace, love and perfect timing of a good God. 

I’ve recently learned that 50% of pregnancies don’t make it to full term, and that in most cases it occurs early enough that women aren’t aware they are even pregnant. But when you do know, it’s a kind of pain and grief that makes you want to hide––as does most grief and pain, it seems–and this is when we need each other most. I have recently seen several girlfriends go through the heartbreak of a miscarriage, and we women need not feel alone in our sorrow. I plan to talk about it, for the next mother that finds herself in the midst of heartbreak, identity crisis, fear, disappointment, and the unknown. I’m not much good for a conversation tonight, or maybe even for the next little bit… but I am so thankful for the outpouring of love I have already received tonight. 

Matt has also shared some absolutely beautiful words that I feel capture our hearts better than I can right now. 

He gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Matt:

Some difficult news to report: Our baby’s developing heart stopped pulsing between 7 and 8 weeks pregnant. Double confirmed this afternoon. I wouldn’t normally burden anyone with bad news like this, but Emily Beth and I did make the pregnancy public some days ago. I’m sure there are lots of untold stories among us of this nature, and maybe we can all find refuge somewhere in this happening. I know one thing, God is in charge. I have seen his timing in my lifetime so much, so I need to take mountaintop moments as well as the valleys. I was thinking today about how life is a battleground. Once you are here walking around, as well as the whole process of coming into this world. A beautiful, tragic, wonderful, desperate war. And you have to think like a seasoned soldier sometimes to grasp any sort of big picture. I saw a lot in that light today, and so did Emily Beth. Feel free to share anything in this time if you wish. Maybe part of these experiences are for us to come together and comfort each other. Love to all in Christ, and have a great weekend.

The outpouring of love and prayer we received as a result of these posts was completely overwhelming and I don’t know that I could have made it through that weekend as peacefully as I did without that support. God uses others to comfort us. Society is so focused on “bae goals, squad goals, body goals, life goals,” and ugh, I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. It’s 100% self-serving and doesn’t leave much room for the messy bits, and that is when we need each other most. The rest is gravy. Real love means walking through the darkness together, even if the darkness lingers throughout our lives. We are meant to care for each other, without any contingencies or expiration dates. Life is meaningless otherwise. It is a war, and we are all comrades. We won’t all make it out alive or in one piece, and we need to carry each other to safety when the bombs go off.

J.S. Park has a quote that gets to the nitty-gritty of what I’m trying to say about love:

The major problem is that many Christians will do Christian things around God, but not with God. We wear a morality-suit or a grace-suit or a cool-Christian-blogger-persona, as if any of these things have anything to do with God himself. Unless our faith is making us more joyful, nuanced, well-rounded, and willing to reach out to those unlike us, then it’s not a faith worth having, and not the one Jesus died for.

 

13th Sip

PREGNANT>

Matt and I decided to announce our pregnancy early. I always knew that if something were to go wrong, I would talk about it. I knew I wouldn’t be able to hide it or act like it never happened. I believe life begins the moment cells begin dividing and constitutes as something worth celebrating, as well as mourning.

I planned a quick photo shoot with my friend Emily Turner and we staged it so that Matt would think we were helping her out with fresh photos for her website. Mid shoot and shaking with excitement, I pulled out the positive pregnancy test and onesie. It was priceless. I’ll never forget how Matt hooted, “My boys can swim!”

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We knew from day one that this baby belonged to the Lord, and like Hannah (Samuel’s mother in the Bible), I was keenly aware that I needed to dedicate my baby back to the Lord before he or she even arrived. Also like Hannah, I have ached to be a mother for about as long as I’ve known my own name.

I think somehow I knew all along. Of course you always hope for the best. But somehow my body knew. They say most miscarriages occur because of chromosomal imbalances, so maybe somewhere deep inside, in an unexplainable corridor of my heart, God was helping me sense what was coming so that I could begin to prepare for it.

I first shared my fear on March 1:

“All I can think about is this baby inside of me. I wish I could have an ultrasound every day. So many questions. Are you doing okay, my precious baby? Is your heart still beating away? Are you growing and moving your tiny, little almost hands and feet, and hiccuping like all the pregnancy apps say you might? Yes, I have several. I’m just 8 weeks and 2 days today, but I already feel like I’ve been pregnant forever and should have a tummy and feel you kicking. All I can do is pray. And pray, I do. I know the odds, but I’m cheering you on, sweet baby. I will be from now till the last breath I take.”

I suppose this post can stand for the purpose of warning against fear. Sometimes God gives us a sixth sense about things, and for that I am grateful. But as someone that has struggled with a chronic sense of impending doom and worst-case-scenario, I’ve seen how it can steal my joy. And I can see how it might steal my joy when I find out I am pregnant again. Perfect love casts out all fear. This experience has shown me more than ever that I am loved. I compare it to an onion. As with so many things in life, I am slowly peeling back the layers on this particular onion. This is one layer. A very important one. Each layer takes you deeper, and reveals things that sting your eyes and make you cry. But with every sheet, more of your heart becomes revealed and available.

Let’s keep peeling.

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