Tuesday, December 21, 2010

how I'm doing

When I wrote this post, I was in the numb stage. The grief hadn't hit yet and I naively thought I could avoid it this time around. But I was wrong. I've had my share of the yucks recently.

I've been social, yet antisocial. I avoid hoards of mommies and pregnant women--two populations that are painful for me because I can only have so many conversations about children and pregnancy and remain sane--and opt for coffees and lunches with one or two close friends instead. Friends' pregnancy announcements, no matter how thoughtfully and compassionately delivered, can put me into pity-party mode for days. I tasted these feelings before, when Brad and I dealt with only infertility. But multiple pregnancy losses have increased my jealousy, anger, and woe. It stinks to try to rejoice for a friend while suppressing feelings of miserable sadness for yourself. I am not proud of these feelings. They are an ugly side of what I'm going through right now.

Brad and I have undergone the tests to see if some fluke on one of our sides is causing these miscarriages. The good news, praise God, is that both of us are in perfect health. The frustrating news is that there's nothing the doctors can do to "fix" our miscarriage problem. They say the losses are because of chromosomal abnormalities, which can't be prevented, and they're likely to continue. If we get pregnant again, we face an increased risk of another loss. This news has been heavily weighing on me, and it is not helping my battle against fear. Brad and I are so compatible! How can our DNA be so incompatible? But then I think of our friend and his wife, who are now on their sixth pregnancy, bravely marching on, praying that this one works out, and I feel encouraged by their faith, courage, and perseverance. I continually remind myself that while statistics can be useful, they are not the determiner of life: God is.

There's only one question (thus far) that I can't tolerate and unfortunately it's a popular one: when will you try again? Some well-meaning people want to offer a solution and they think that another pregnancy will solve everything. Well, it won't. Replacement babies are a myth. Brad and I could go on to have loads of kids, but we will always grieve the ones we lost. Other folks pretend that emotions don't exist, so they don't dare ask us how we're doing or feeling (because we might actually tell them), and instead ask only questions of a practical nature, which I don't find at all helpful or comforting. In fact, I usually have to resist the urge to throttle people who ask me when we're going to try again.

2010, while certainly not my easiest or happiest year thus far, has been important and life-changing. I am learning to trust God in ways I never have before. My faith has grown exponentially. I am continually convicted of my sins and my need for a savior. I have received love and compassion from the most unlikely places and have developed instant friendships with people I barely know. Sweet sisters in the club have cared for me. Other friends, who have no experience with infertility and miscarriage, have shown compassion beyond what I thought capable. I hold a special place in my heart for those who brave the awkwardness to ask me how I'm doing and insist on a truthful answer.

Brad, my heart protector, remains one of God's greatest gifts to me. The Lord has strengthened our marriage through these trials, which I thank him for every day. Don't underestimate the stress on husbands, dear ladies. They feel the pangs of pregnancy loss, too, which are often overlooked because so much focus is on the woman. Insensitive people also pressure men about starting a family. Husbands deal with their wives' raging hormones, endless tears, and fears and anxieties, often feeling helpless because they can't fix the situation (and we all know how much men love to fix things).

If you see Brad, give him a hug and a pat on the back. He deserves this year's husband-of-the-year award. Anyone know how I can nominate him?

9 comments:

rebecca.d.winnett said...

my heart is full of prayers for you and for Brad, and will continue to be.

Doctor Blondie said...

I'm so sorry you have to go through this.
I know several people who went through miscarriages. Miscarriages are quite common, heartbraking as they are.

The one thing I'd like to share with you, from my African perspective, is that we never control life and death and health. Not even as a medical doctor I don't. Western people tend to believe they can fully control these things, and it's easy to see how they do. But the truth is, these things are nature in the end. We can't control nature. We can only set up a rough draft and hope and pray with all our hearts that it works out. After fear comes acceptance, and only from acceptance can we deal with certain hardships.

I really hope your next pregnancy leaves you with a bouncing baby.

Organized Living by Amy said...

Nicely said Doctor Blondie #2. Wishing you guys a joy-filled Christmas and a happier 2011!

Caitlin said...

Ugh, this just breaks my heart. I'm so sorry that you're feeling this way. I'm thinking about you both.

Heather N. said...

You and Brad are often in my prayers! Hugs to you.

Amy said...

I'm thinking and praying for you both. I hope your wonderful holiday alone at home is just what you both need right now! Enjoy every minute!

Renee said...

HUGS!!!!!!!!

Aimee @ Smiling Mama said...

You are so often in my prayers.

muffy said...

Have just been catching up on your Blog and feeling motivated by you to make some resolutions for 2011. Wanted to let you know that I am so sorry for all that you and Brad have been through. I am truly sorry for your losses and feel for you both. Will say prayers and will be thinking of you often this year. Hoping 2011 will be full of blessings, health and happiness for you both. It is inspiring to see how you approach all of this with strength, grace and honesty. Sending you both love and hugs!