10 weeks / My mother strikes again

Today I am 10 weeks along.

Praising God for every day I have with this baby, but this is where it gets real. This is the stage when everything started to fall apart last time. I can’t help but wonder what happened, and wonder if it will happen again in the next 2-3 weeks. With baby #1, around 10wks 3days I began to lose symptoms. Everyone assured me that it was the end of the first trimester and that was normal, but I knew something was wrong. I believe even at that point that I had mother’s intuition. The next week, the spotting, achy “period” pain, and lower back pain began…and I just knew in my heart what was confirmed only days later — I was miscarrying.

So it’s fair to say that this is the stage I’m most frightened of. This is where it gets really real for me with baby #2. I feel like I’m holding my breath, making myself wait 3 weeks to exhale it. Like I’m walking through a fog, not allowing myself to feel much emotion one way or the other. I just want to see 13 weeks. I realize that things can happen at any minute, and even if I make it to 13 weeks, nothing is guaranteed. But for me, that milestone means the world. And it might as well be 10 years away… that’s what it feels like. Simply put, this is now the specific time frame of this pregnancy where I need my loved ones to be most supportive, sensitive, understanding, and dare I say at least a little attentive.

And my family really hasn’t been. I completely understand being there for my sister in her time of need, but even before my sister lost her baby no-one ever checked up on me. No calls, no emails, no nothing to ask if I’m doing okay, or even how I’m feeling. I’m getting more from friends, J’s family, and this baby loss community I’ve grown to know and love (thank you, you have no idea what your support does for me).

I haven’t really thought much about the lack of support I’m getting, but every now and then it does bother me. Why the silence? Don’t they remember my story? Was it so long ago? Maybe it’s because I’m living it, but I feel like my story unfolded over the whole course of last year, not just with my miscarriage 9 months ago. They don’t even acknowledge it now. A simple “how are you doing” would suffice even, but it’s like they’re avoiding any talk of pregnancy that doesn’t have to do with excitement, planning, and what they are determined will happen in August. Danggit I hate that. It’s so not the way I want to be treated right now, not by my immediate family. Don’t pretend this didn’t happen, just be there. Check in once or twice in this new first trimester. Is that too much to ask?

I say this because my mother called today. She started talking about the diapers she got me (diapers? seriously??) and when the conversation opened up a bit I shared with her the (cautiously) exciting tidbit that I’m 10 weeks today. She shared my excitement, but I wanted to convey, if only for a minute, that this marker is very scary for me. Pretty much all I said was, “I’m 10 weeks today…this is a great thing, but this is right when everything started happening last time. Satan’s going to try to throw darts at me…” And before I could get anything else out, she definitively said, “You’re fine.” I then repeated that last part, hoping she would at least say she’d pray for me, or that she understands this is scary. Anything other than what she did would have been fine, honestly.

She didn’t have any words for me. She just completely changed the subject. She was in a store and started talking about the item she was looking at on the shelf. Then she changed the subject again and started to talk about this basket she’s making for her friend’s daughter’s baby. I’m not kidding.

I didn’t say too much after that. I was so angry. I was not in the mood to talk anymore, but I pretended my way through the rest of the conversation, which was her pretty much talking out loud to herself about when she thinks she’ll come up here this weekend, why one day won’t work and the other will, and how she has to take the dog to the vet on Saturday but wants to stay through Monday at my grandmother’s, who is just down the street from me (my mom is an hour away from us).

And all I could think was, “SERIOUSLY?!! That’s your main concern today!!? THAT is what you choose to talk to me about right now?? “

I WISH those were things I could concern myself with right now. I would trade in a heartbeat.

Oh, heartbeat…

She has no idea what it’s like to wonder if her baby will still have a heartbeat from one day to the next. Her 5 pregnancies resulted in 5 living children.

I would trade in a heartbeat.

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Sister’s baby

We just got word that my sister’s baby did not make it. Her doctor’s appointment was this morning, and now she’s in the hospital.

I’m heartbroken. I know this pain.

I know how she feels right this minute, and I can’t make it stop for her.

I’m honestly out of words at this point but I’ll have more to write later.

Please pray for our family.

Happy 2014

2014I couldn’t be happier that 2013 is SO OVER. I know I’m not the only one! I love that a new year brings new hope, flutters of wonder for what may be, the promise of potentially putting the failures, devastations, and even just the rough spots of the previous year behind you. Regardless of where you are on January 1st, there is hope and things can always turn around. I love that. Call me idealist, a dreamer, or whatever, but I’ve always been that way. I have to believe things can be better.

With that in mind I refuse to let the fact that J got more bad news today get the best of me. The third job that he’s been up for in the last 8 months — each of which he was perfect for, interviewed well for, and had him pretty much believing it would work out — crumbled today. He interviewed before Thanksgiving and they drug it out, just today telling him it was a no. We really thought this was how God was fixing the first two no’s. This job made so much sense, and we really had a good feeling about it. We even counted down the hours, then minutes, to 2014 on New Year’s Eve. We were so glad to put 2013 behind us and so eager to see how 2014 could be different.

J told me this morning and I had to fight the anger at God. How can I yell at God after what he’s done for us? I’m 8 weeks today, and every day I’m grateful for how He’s leading us and blessing us. No, I won’t yell. I love Him too much. But I sat there in disbelief, just looking up and thinking, “Really? Again??” I started to feel the frustration and impatience seeping in to my heart, and was wondering how God is going to use this. How He’s going to make J believe that this is for his ultimate good. In my heart I believe that, but can I be sure J believes it after what he’s been through in the past year? I worry this is going to drive him away from God, not towards Him. Worried that he’ll think God is letting him down over and over again. His job has gotten so bad, his boss talks down to him everyday and treats him like crap. He works hard and all they ever do is make him feel like it’s not enough. It’s a joke. Just like his last job was that he tried for a year to get out of. Oh and let’s not forget the year he looked for a job after he got laid off. These are consecutive years. This keeps happening to him.

After a few minutes of silence God jumped in and spoke softly to me. It was so simple, and really all it came down to is that I need to trust Him. Trust that God knows what J needs (more than I do), that He wouldn’t be doing this to him if it was going to drive him completely away from Him, that this will strengthen his resolve and make him the man of faith I long for him to be — not tear him down and beat him to a pulp (which is what it feels like sometimes). Not that J doesn’t have faith, but he doesn’t talk about it as openly as I do, and I can’t know his thoughts. I want to be assured that he really communicates with God, that his faith isn’t stagnant or dull, and that God is using things in his life to draw J near to Him, and not to make him angry at Him.

And basically, God showed me that I can’t know that. And that that’s okay. This is between Him and J, and I can’t get in the way of it. He’s going to work out His purpose for Him, and I need to stand back. All I can do is pray. I just wish I were better at cheering him up. But I see now that just like my heart is in TTC/having a baby and God is using that to strengthen me, J’s fixation is to finally find a fulfilling job, and God is using this to strengthen him. God tugs at us where it matters to us, to get us to pay attention.

punch

Anyway, as I said earlier I’m not going to let this pull me down. I’m literally sick and TIRED of feeling like crap, and now that 2013 is behind us, I’m done with feeling sad. I refuse to think that nothing good can come out of this. God says it can, and it will — so I’m going to take Him at His word. I’m SO done with feeling vulnerable, lowly, and defeated. This is 2014. That was chapter 6, this is chapter 7.  I’m going to punch today — this year — in the face and refuse to let this knock me down. (I encourage you to download and watch Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon session #3 about chapter 6 vs. chapter 7. It’s $4.99 but it’s amazing and so worth it. Priscilla works with Beth Moore ministries.)

On that note I’m celebrating something else. Today is my first day going part-time at work. I’ve been working since I was 15, had 2 jobs in college most of the time (along with a full-time school schedule), and have been working full-time “real” jobs for almost 9 years now, so I cannot wait to see what this feels like! My goals are to get more cleaned/organized around the house, cook more (J does most of the cooking because I stink and he’s awesome at it, haha), volunteer more at the pregnancy center, and get together for lunch with some friends here and there. I don’t take it lightly that God has blessed me to be able to go part-time, and I can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

With that, I’m off to try and get something done. After I watch Boy Meets World. I want to leave with an encouraging thought:

courage

That might be my word for the year. Courage. Courage to punch each day in the face. And this is my corresponding verse:

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
and she laughs without fear of the future.
Proverbs 31:25