…Am I?

I’m having a mini panic attack as I think about going to Walmart tonight to pick up a pack of pregnancy tests.

My heart is pounding. I’ve never felt more nervous, more excited … and more alive. It’s sickening and exhilarating all at once.

who wants to see my pee stick

I keep thinking that as soon as I type this post and hit publish my period’s going to show up in its most cruel, infuriating, and depressing arrival ever.

Let’s hope not.

I’ve experienced some things this week that I remember experiencing in my “two week wait” when I turned out to be pregnant, so I can’t help but speculate. At this point I think I might be pregnant again, but I am putting all my energy into trying not to jump to conclusions — all the energy that I would normally spend worrying, wondering, nonstop symptom-tracking, trying to designate which symptoms are good and which are bad… basically driving myself insane. It’s so important to think on what is excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 4:8) and not to dwell on what we can’t control. Argh, learning the same lesson over and over and over again!

I’m not going to start listing symptoms here. That’s how a girl gets herself tied up in exclamations like “look at me I’m pregnant!” only to discover that there’s only one line there. There very well could be. Heck, who has real symptoms before they are 4 weeks pregnant?

Well, last time I did. And I can only say that with certainty because I was obsessed with becoming pregnant and tracked every little thing, every day. I can tell you that 3 days after I ovulated (Valentine’s Day!), I was exhausted from like 3:00 pm on and had to lay down. I never do that. Or how I woke up with drool on my pillow (extra saliva) a few days in a row.  And I never do that. There were a few other things mixed in there that could’ve been just fluctuating hormones, or even my head messing with me, a sign of nothing. But nevertheless, I noticed them because well, I’m me. And thanks to a website that preys on women trying to conceive, I tracked them.

I’m noticing things this time and trying not to pay attention. But I can’t help but want it. I can try really hard not to dwell on it or look too much into it (which I have, and I am doing well if I do say so myself) …but I can’t help but notice that there are some similarities.

Oh how I wish these similarities don’t betray me.

I can’t exactly pinpoint when I ovulated this month. I’m somewhere between 7-11 DPO today. I’m testing tomorrow or Friday (I leave Saturday afternoon for a trip with my mom and won’t be back til Monday — so I want to check beforehand).

In the meantime…looking for distractions.

Speaking of great distractions — MUSIC! Uplifting, fun, sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs-especially-in-the-shower music.

Here’s a couple of my favorite songs from my favorite — Colbie Caillat. Something to remember should I see that one little pink line all by its lonesome. I already just had an instant mood lift listening to these as I added them. (Colbie is awesome.)

I can do this! I will make it through this regardless of what the stinkin’ stick says!!

Think Good Thoughts

It Stops Today

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Son of a biscuit eater who has stolen my lunch money and given me a wedgie!!!

I had the crappiest day yesterday. I felt like I progressed 10 steps over the last 3 months only to fall 7 steps back all in one day. I cried a lot, I was pissy (I hate that word because it’s not classy but whatever), and all afternoon I just wanted to hit things and sulk. It was a bad day, amidst my many, many good ones since my miscarriage.

So I resolved to not open Facebook the rest of the week.

The trouble is, I use Facebook for work. I have to update my work page, and have to look around for things on Facebook to see if the people we work with are up to anything cool, and then re-post it when they are.

So I opened up Facebook this morning dead-set on typing in the search bar at the top and not looking below at my feed. I will not look, I will not look. I will not feel like I felt yesterday. That really sucked.

My eyes shifted for probably 0.3 seconds and I saw… you guessed it… ANOTHER pregnancy announcement.

This one from a girl who had a baby this past December. This is #2. ALREADY. No joke. You just can’t make this stuff up.

And she’s in that same church group I mentioned earlier.

When can a girl catch a break?? For the love of PETE!!!! Go away go away go away!!!

I guess it’s just going to be one of those weeks…

Facebook Pregnancy Announcements

Just got a nice swift punch in the gut this morning. Someone I used to be in church group with, someone at least 5 years younger than me, just announced her pregnancy on Facebook.

She isn’t the only one from that church group to fall pregnant recently — in fact, she’s like the 3rd or 4th in the last 6 months. I guess it’s natural for this to happen, it was a newlyweds group and pretty much everyone from our class has been married at least 2-3 years now. (Heck, it was going to be me.) I’m just sad that it’s not me who gets to stay pregnant and excitedly announce her pregnancy.

We were two days away from announcing our pregnancy publicly. I was so excited to finally let the cat out the bag when the rug was pulled out from under us. I know in the grand scheme of things, not getting to announce a pregnancy isn’t a real loss compared to the actual loss of your child. But it still makes me angry, sad, frustrated…even jealous…that I was denied that small joy on top of everything else. The joy of beaming with pride while I tell the world about my child. (You can’t do that when you miscarry, at least not for longer than a couple weeks — people think you’re crazy.)

Baby shoes are probably what I'll do when I get to announce... one day, Lord willing. I obsess over how cute babies' tiny socks and shoes are.

This is a cute announcement, darn them. Something like this is probably what I’ll do when I get to announce … one day, Lord willing. I’m kind of in love with how cute babies’ tiny socks and shoes are.

And now all these other girls get to do the fun part…

on top of getting the grand finale, the ultimate joy… having their child.

They get to make cute pregnancy announcements with little onesies or little baby shoes or sonogram pictures of their child. They get to spill their fun secret after holding it in for 12 weeks. They get to be excited. They get to cross that milestone and finally shout it on the rooftops. And some never have to know the tragedy, the reality of miscarriage personally. They get to be blissful and none-the-wiser.

I held my secret for 11 weeks and 5 days.

And then I had to hold my secret that I had been pregnant, being careful not to allude to it or to the fact that I was distraught and barely holding myself together — ironically at a time when I needed the most support.

It seems kind of silly to feel this way. Like I can’t let go of what happened to me, can’t let it be that some women will never understand what this is like. But it makes me sad. It makes me jealous and impatient, even though I hate admitting that.

It makes me want to punch something.

I guess 3 months isn’t a long time for grief to let go. I think also that it hurts worse because we’re trying again. I’m scared of what I don’t know, scared that I can’t get pregnant again (although thankfully there’s no reason to believe I can’t, at least not that I know of), scared of miscarriage happening to me again despite trying so hard and doing everything right. And THEY get to have it all, they get to be blissfully unaware of child loss pain, or so it seems.

I know others have incredible struggles of their own.. I’m just saying these are the raw, distressed thoughts that go through my head when I see joyful pregnancy announcements. Until I bring them before the Lord — and He heals my broken heart and speaks Truth to me.

I have a good friend who is 36, has had two miscarriages over the past year, and has gone through hell with infertility treatments in the process. She doesn’t have a Facebook account. I’m starting to see that she’s on to something.

I wonder how many women have been in my shoes, who have had the seemingly small joy of announcing a pregnancy taken away from them. I wonder how many women are waiting for their moment, the moment of peace and happiness when they get to finally release their fun, exciting secret. I wonder how many are bombarded by Facebook pregnancy announcements during that time. This one was at least the second announcement I’ve seen this week — and I have seen countless ones since February (the month I found out I was pregnant).

I wonder how many women announce, and then sadly have to “un” announce. It would be very hard to go through that publicly. But part of me thinks, heck, at least you’d get additional support…

Well that took all week…

OPK picture 1

It’s hard to see in this picture, but I think I finally got a positive OPK today. It may not quite be dark enough, but it’s pretty much there and all 5 days preceding are much lighter than today. So it does show my LH is higher than the rest of the week. I’m calling it my surge. Today is CD16.

Oh, and I’ve been spotting the last couple of days. Prior to my miscarriage, I never really spotted between periods. Guess that’s just my hormones still adjusting, but I’ve read threads where other women who recently miscarried have had that happen to them where it didn’t happen before. So no big deal… in fact, it apparently can be a sign of ovulation, or impending ovulation. Let’s hope so. 🙂

Sometimes the lighting prevents a readable picture of these — it’s hard to see the lines accurately. This one might be a bit better. I can clearly see two lines on Thursday (today), whereas I can barely see a line at all on M, Tu, Wed.

TH 7-18-13

So I had these OPKs left over from TTC the last time, and I decided to use them up. I don’t really want to do these next month if we don’t conceive right away, because they put way too much control in my hands — or at least, the perception of control. It makes me anxious, thinking about it all the time (as if that will go away, though), and makes me want it too much (as if that will go away, either). Even though it’s always on my mind and I can’t control how much I want it, this extra step is a bit too much for me to handle right now. If it’s one thing I’ve learned from this whole ordeal it’s that you can’t control when you get pregnant! That, and you can really read your body and know when you’re ovulating, anyway. I can tell you right now that all week I haven’t seen EWCM, which is a clear-cut sign. Not that we’d wait until we saw that, but I would step it up about the time it arrived. And it hasn’t arrived yet.

Not to mention that I got pregnant when I thought I wouldn’t last time. (Isn’t that the story everyone has?) The first month (January 2013), I used OPKs religiously, got my positive around the middle of my cycle when it was pretty much expected (CD15), and did the deed three days in a row. We never really have sex two days in a row, let alone three. I wore my poor husband out, who shouldn’t have had to rise to that kind of pressure.

The next month, I had my wisdom teeth taken out at the beginning of my cycle. They used a general anesthesia (which I’ve never been under) and I was on preventative antibiotics for a week afterwards, just to avoid infection. I used OPKs again and thought I would ovulate around the middle of my cycle–you know, around CD14-16. Wrong. I ran out of OPKs and didn’t want to spend the money on more, so I decided to wing it for another few days. I kind of wondered if I would ever ovulate, as days were passing, and sometime in there J and I had a kind of intense discussion/argument, and we didn’t have sex for like 4-5 days. I kind of gave up on that month. We had sex here and there, but I was totally convinced we missed our window — not to mention I thought the anesthesia and antibiotics were messing with my hormones that month and who knows if I even ovulated. Well, I apparently O’d on CD23 (that’s right, 23). February 11th. To my amazement, we got pregnant. I’ll never forget that date — the date we conceived our precious son.

So it just goes to show you can’t control everything, you don’t know everything, and God is in complete control.

Here’s to the freedom that comes from giving God control of something! To trusting Him when you don’t know, you can’t know, your intellect tells you it’s not likely or not even possible, you think all is lost… and everything in between. He is sovereign over this. I can throw my hands in the air and release it to Him, letting out a big sigh of relief. Ahh…

Will the Kate News Ever End?!

She's so adorable.

She’s so adorable.  …..Dang her.

Of course news of the Duchess’ pregnancy is everywhere. But I, like other women reeling from a miscarriage or trying to conceive, I’m sure, are pretty tired of it by now. I can’t turn on the news–or any channel for that matter–without seeing her bump or hearing the excitement in the news anchors’ voices (that’s the worst!).

This is just my soapbox for the day. I had to get it out.

Ahhh… I feel better.

Trying Again

The two words that bring me the most excitement and leave me feeling the most unsettled, all at once.

We’re trying again.

I am so excited. I’m going to focus on that. I have been waiting for this opportunity, this time, for almost 3 months. 12 weeks of grieving my sweet son, 5 or 6 needles jabbed into me (I lost count), 8 weeks of straight bleeding, a whole 2 weeks of no bleeding (thank the Lord), then my second period (fairly normal – yay!) that I wrapped up a couple days ago, and somewhere in there, retched bladder inflammation and other girly things I won’t discuss. And we’re finally here.

J’s been gone all week on business and he gets back today. The timing couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. Assuming I ovulate–and ovulate on time–the opportune time to finally try again is between today and the middle of next week.

A quick aside: J’s so cute about it. I can tell he got a taste of being a father and now he wants it back. A couple weeks ago over dinner the topic came up and I said in passing that I know we haven’t talked about when to try again yet, something about how we were waiting on my body to pull itself together (LOL). His response–and I’ll never forget this–was,  “I figured we’d go for it as soon as you’re ready.” Now those that don’t know J would read that and say no big deal, it’s just a straight up, direct dude response. Not at all. 🙂  Being his wife I can say that this is kind of a big step for him. Last summer and fall, when we were talking about when we might want to start trying, he was really nervous. He somehow coaxed me into waiting a few more months, and he didn’t want to talk about the topic too much with me. In my mind I thought, “Great, he’s going to crush my excitement and he’s not going to be comfortable trying to conceive anytime soon.” By December we decided to go for it, but even then he didn’t want to openly talk about it — whatever happened would just happen. (Guys are so weird.) Well, we got pregnant in the second month of trying and once I was knocked up, he seemed content and at peace with it. By the end of the week we found out, he sat me down and wanted to talk through what grocery items to get — every week — to make sure I got the nutrition I needed (it was really cute, by the way). [Weeks after our miscarriage when I asked him if he was hurting, which I didn’t do often, he said yes — that he had heard the heartbeat and it meant a lot to him. Guys don’t talk about this kind of hurt much, but he opened up to me for a minute when I asked.] He had become a father, and since then he has embraced it fully. So now, when I hear him say “I figured we’d go for it as soon as you’re ready” — that’s a big deal. It used to be the other way around. He’s already a father, and I can tell he’s ready to try again. Only if ever so subtlety, but isn’t that what being a wife is all about? Knowing your husband’s subtle ways? Knowing him so intimately that you get what he’s saying when he doesn’t even say it?

I know people say you’re pretty fertile right after you miscarry, and I fear that I’m letting that thought get into my head too much. For the past few weeks I’ve been kind of subconsciously assuming (expecting) that we would conceive as soon as we tried again. I know it’s not that simple, and I’m afraid I’m going to be really let down if we don’t conceive in month one. I also know many people are not that blessed, and it takes a lot just to try again — if they can at all. I’m very, very blessed. I just want to be pregnant again, to have that joy–especially now that I see it for what it is and appreciate it on a whole ‘nother level.

Here we go again...

Here we go again…

So yes, I’m setting myself up to possibly be really sad and disappointed in a few weeks, but isn’t that what pregnancy is about, too–especially in the beginning? Finding out about your child, being excited about your child, wanting your child, connecting with your child — all the while knowing that it’s quite possible to lose this sweet person you’ve grown to desperately love? To me it’s essentially the same concept as trying to conceive. (Don’t get me wrong — it’s definitely not the same thing as the gut-wrenching feeling of losing your child. But the hope for something, the choosing of the joy instead of the worry — that’s kind of the same concept, if you will.) You hope, you pray… you FEEL the joy and excitement. Why bother with worrying and thinking that it might not work out — why bother being sad in advance? Why do that to yourself? Be excited about it!!!

I saw this quote on another person’s blog, and it really applies here:

Don’t squander joy. We can’t prepare for tragedy and loss. When we turn every opportunity to feel joy into a test drive for despair, we actually diminish our resilience. Yes, softening into joy is uncomfortable. Yes, it’s scary. Yes, it’s vulnerable. But every time we allow ourselves to lean into joy and give in to those moments, we build resilience and we cultivate hope. The joy becomes part of who we are, and when bad things happen—and they do happen—we are stronger.

So I am JOYFUL about it. I am so stinkin’ excited! I truly hope I conceive again soon, but I’m not going to let negative thoughts that I might not conceive weigh me down. It’s possible that I won’t conceive quickly, but it’s also possible that I will. In a lot of ways, I have no control over it. (Isn’t that the thing God was primarily showing me over the last few months?) I’m not going to wallow in what could possibly go wrong. I’ll take it one day at a time and deal with it if it happens — leaning on God every single moment along the way.

I found this somewhere, too, can’t remember where:

Don’t give up the fight. God’s designs are to bring a surprising verse into your heart in a surprising moment in a surprising situation and do a surprising work of transformation.

So here we go again… 🙂

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.  –Romans 15:13

Note the key point at the end of that verse — by the power of the Holy Spirit. We aren’t built to just hope on our own, based shallowly on what we wish would happen or think will happen. We are designed to rely on God and His power. Think about it — you can’t control much of what happens in life. You don’t know what’s ahead. Why have hope? Why be joyful? Going at it alone, I can see reason to not be. Yet when you have God, and you know He is in complete control, the Holy Spirit fills you with joy and hope — again and again and again — a joy and hope you could not just drum up on your own and maintain, try as you may. We cannot overflow with hope on our own! We will overflow with hope by His power alone. OVERFLOW. There is a beautiful freedom in releasing your burdens to Him. Don’t drown in them — release them to Him — and you will be free from trying so hard to be joyful on your own, trying so hard to please everyone, do everything right, to think positively, to be hopeful — especially when it’s tough. Cast your cares on Him. He cares for you.

————————-

P.S.  W*, I miss you so much. I love you with all of my heart, I always will. You were — you are — my first child — you always will be. I think of you every single day, and us having more children won’t change that. In fact, it will make thoughts of you all the more present and real. I’m so filled with joy that I got to meet you, in my dream. I hope so much that God blesses me with many more dreams of you. I won’t for a second, not now not ever, forget you. I hope you know that. I know God is wrapping His loving arms around you now. I know that you are joyful, whole, and perfected in Him.  You are in all of heaven’s glory, just as God planned. And I will see you again someday. It was a privilege and a joy to give you life, even if for just a few short weeks, for God’s eternal purposes. I am so proud to be your mother. I always will be. I love you, W.

*W is the child I lost on 4/20/13.