April 29, 2012
Today is bittersweet. It's love and it's loss and it's terrible beautiful. It brings me to my knees in agony, but that just puts me in a better position to humbly praise Jesus for how far a year can take me. To be thankful for the journey is a journey in itself, but that's where I stand today. So here goes the story, ready or not.
One year ago my body gave up. Most people would say it like this, "I had a miscarriage."
But you know, I struggle with saying it that way because it doesn't encompass the entire picture. And at the same time, the entire picture isn't really something that can be shared or understood. So maybe that's why it's so difficult to put into words without feeling irreverent or like you're leaving something out.
The story starts on a Monday with two very unexpected pink lines. It didn't seem possible and it left my husband and I floored. There were no happy exclamations or tender moments of joy. This was scary and tense. We spent that evening in absolute shock and both had trouble sleeping that night. The next morning I called and made an appointment with a CNM group I had heard about. I was terrified, because K would be leaving to go out of town for almost a week starting on Saturday and I would be alone during this crazy time. The midwives office was very understanding and fit us in for an appointment the next day, ensuring that K could be there with me. We were both so scared that we decided to keep it all to ourselves. No family or friends were told and looking back, I am so grateful we made that decision.
The appointment with the midwife was reassuring and comfortable, but things didn't look normal. We scheduled an appointment with a special ultrasound clinic for Friday and still things weren't normal. By the end of the day on Friday we were both so emotionally and physically exhausted. The next day I took K to our college town where he had a gig for resurrection week and we were both crushed when I had to go home alone. I had another ultrasound with the specialist and more bloodwork while he was gone. Growth was happening but it was all wrong. All my blood levels were insanely high and they couldn't figure out exactly what was happening. The next couple of weeks are a blur. Trying to keep things quiet at work when I was constantly out for appointments was a challenge but it was for the best. I wanted so badly to cry on my mother's shoulder but at the same time I knew that we had made the right decision to not share about what was going on.
After being referred to another office, having more ultrasounds and blood tests than I can count over a period of a few weeks, getting constant bad news and never feeling quite well we had an answer. Yes, obviously I was pregnant, but development had completely stopped very early on. There was never a heartbeat but, for some unknown reason, my body wouldn't miscarry on it's own. The doctor recommended a procedure called a D&C and I numbly agreed. The date was set for the Friday before K's finals week at school and we finally called our parents to share about what was happening.
From this point in the story I could share more, and some day I actually might but it's not for today. Today what I want to share is this:
Over a period of a few short weeks my world was rocked and my faith was shaken. My husband and I were placed in a trying situation unlike anything we had ever experienced or expected. We grew closer to the Lord, closer to each other, and stronger in our convictions. Most importantly I learned that even when my world is turned upside down in a moment or over a few weeks, God NEVER CHANGES. Can you see the beauty in that? My body changed. My everything changed. God didn't. He loved me at the beginning and the end of this nightmare. He comforted me and drew me closer to my husband. He gave me the ability to respect and be grateful for my blessings. Even when I was angry He was my rock. We didn't have family to call and cry to so we cried out to God more than ever before. So now, when I look back on this time, I see it as a time of loss AND growth. I still hate that it happened but my season of grief was one that was filled with God's grace and for that I am truly thankful.
April 29, 2011 I walked into a hospital heartbroken and pregnant and walked out heartbroken and empty. April 29, 2012 I walked into a church with my heart full, my belly huge, and joined in as my husband lead a congregation in worship. God used this day to call us to a new adventure in ministry and in doing so brought this entire experience full circle for K and I. In one year God can change so many things. He can change your heart and give you another chance at a family. He provided my husband and I with an opportunity to praise him in our darkest hour and then provided us with beautiful plans for the future. Nothing could be more sufficient. That's the work of the Lord...certainly not our doing.
I'm closing out this post with an old hymn text that I ran across in one of K's text books that brought a lot of peace to my heart when I was thinking about this past year. I hope that it touches others in the way it touched me.
Jesus, my All-in-All Thou art:
My rest in toil, my ease in pain,
The healing of my broken heart,
In war my peace, in loss my gain,
My smile beneath the tyrant's frown:
In shame my glory and my crown,
In want my plentiful supply,
In weakness my almighty pow'r,
In bonds my perfect liberty,
My light in Satan's darkest hour,
In grief my joy unspeakable,
My life in death: my Heaven in Hell.