Updates

A few updates/thoughts, since it’s been almost a year since I’ve written here:

-Luke (my rainbow baby) will be 2 in August. Time has flown. He is PRECIOUS. He has such a personality, is so much fun. He has my sense of humor too, which of course I find hilarious and darling. Anyway…I’m always so fearful that something will happen to him, even when I’m right there. That I can’t truly protect him from harm. I think some of that stems from loss. Has anyone else experienced that in parenting after loss? I feel like I am so overprotective sometimes and need to back off. I feel a strong urge to control everything. It drives J crazy.

LUKE

 

My dad was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s this past January. He is 62. I am still reeling from the news. I come from a big, close family (family of 7) and it’s just weird to think that this is happening to us. I can tell with some things that he’s just not himself anymore (for example, he used to be a penny pincher — big time, now he wants to throw money at stuff…SO not like him). Knowing that the disease gets worse and that I’ll slowly lose more of my dad over time, and that Luke may not remember much about him when he’s older, I can’t think about that. It’s too hard. He’s now retired and on disability, but he’s so bored during the day, now that he’s not working. He must have all kinds of fears and confusing thoughts in his head. I just want to rescue him.

-We have family drama going on right now. My sister-in-law, who has had narcissistic and toxic behaviors for years, physically pushed my mom to the point where she almost fell down…in front of my dad and my brother. All because my mom dared to show up at their house and say hello. (This just scratches the surface of what my sister-in-law does in her life, and to our family.) When this happened, my dad was scared and ran away (he actually turned around and ran), and my brother didn’t do anything. Actually, my brother defended my sister-in-law and to this day they both don’t think there was anything wrong with it (this happened about 6 weeks ago). Needless to say all the siblings know, none of us are happy about it, and the family is in an awkward state right now with my brother and sister-in-law. And the way my brother treats my mom (before this, because of this, after this…because of his loyalty to his crazy wife) really hurts her, and that makes us all incredibly angry at them. As if my mom doesn’t have enough to deal with, with my dad’s diagnosis.

-I’m having a crisis of faith. Not because of anything in particular… but just because. It started when Luke was an infant, so it’s been going on over a year now — mostly because I haven’t addressed it in a committed, focused way. I’m so confused about what’s real and what’s not, and I wonder if the emotions we feel about God and things we say about him are real, or just made up in our heads/just what we say. I start to think about galaxies and space, people and life, suffering, and what makes people the way they are, and just wonder what all this is, and why God doesn’t show himself, or that God should show himself to me. Major intellectual blockage here. Working on it. I know where I want to get (back to Him, absolutely and undeniably), but I feel the urge to find undebatable proof. Don’t I have my life experiences and His follow-through/provision/rescues as proof? Where did this come from? Why am I stuck? I feel so silly. But, it feels necessary for God to get me to a more real place with Him. I think a lot of contemporary Christians (especially in Western culture) just spout off things that sound right and good, and don’t examine their faith. Why do we believe what we believe, and what does that mean for the world? It is true? Because if it is, the stakes are truly high…so what are we doing with our lives? I think there is power in that. I think I’m grateful for this, as weird and unsettling as it is right now.

-We are not trying to get pregnant again right now, but decided we will start trying by the end of the year. I’m more excited than anything else. Maybe it’s the wistful nostalgia of trying to get pregnant, and being pregnant — I’m forgetting how scary both of those things were to me. I’m feeling butterflies about getting to initiate the whole process again. But isn’t the process hard? Scary? Why am I so excited? Maybe things going right with Luke gave me hope. Maybe only having one miscarriage makes it seem not so scary… I mean, I know so many people that have multiple losses (my friend had 4 miscarriages last year…and she’s the one who had 2 before with IVF). My successful pregnancy record is 50-50, and I don’t need medical intervention (that I know of yet)… so I have it pretty good, I know. Maybe I’ll feel different when December rolls around…more scared. Guess we’ll see.

-J got a job last May that he really likes. It is private sector (he used to be in non-profits like me), so the pay is better, and he is respected and appreciated, which is such a contrast from his last two jobs. We are so grateful. His commute is longer but he is so happy with everything else about this job that he doesn’t let that get to him. We know what it feels like to have a job you hate, and we are just so grateful for this one. He’s been there a year now!

-My long-time BFF (who I mentioned before was pregnant with me the first time and had her baby in October 2013) had a miscarriage earlier this year, around 7 weeks. It took them a few months but now she’s pregnant again, she’s around 8 weeks right now. She’s nervous but handling pregnancy after loss much better than I did. At least as far as I can tell. She did say she cried when she heard the heartbeat at the first scan last week, which I was touched by, because I remember doing the same thing in my 12w scan with Luke. (And she is not a crier.) Is there anyone who doesn’t experience miscarriage?? It is so prevalent.

I think that’s it for now. Got to get back to work. Or shower… I’ve got to shower. Haha 🙂

My Friend’s Baby Shower

There have been some very blogable things happening over the past two weeks. I’ll start with the rough stuff then move on to the good stuff.

Rough stuff: My now very-pregnant friend’s shower last Sunday, 8/18. (The friend I mention here and here.) I had been dreading it all week, and on Friday night J and I went out to Target to grab a couple things and buy her a shower gift. That pretty much kicked off my weekend of anxiety and hijacked my mood for the next 48 hours. My other good friend (who has secretly miscarried before) asked why I didn’t just get her a gift card, and to be honest it didn’t even occur to me. You know those socially acceptable things about being a girl and giving someone a gift, you have to look good by giving someone a nice gift and wrapping it prettily. Well, I couldn’t be the one that got her a (excuse my language) half-ass gift. I was not going to be that girl that got her a gift card on top of being the odd woman out at the party, the one whose sad story everyone knew. The whole point of a shower is to see fun gifts! So I put together a cute little green and pink bag with pink shimmery tissue paper, and even did a mini craft project with the card — look how cute this is!

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Sometimes when I need to feel like my old carefree, fun self I do something crafty — you know, scrapbook-oriented. It was 15 minutes of pure bliss amidst the touch-and-go weekend.

All day Saturday I was a ball of nerves. I dreamed that I showed up to the shower without a gift, which is the worst of all social offenses. In the dream I remember thinking well they won’t say anything to me because, well you know. (Really?) By Sunday morning, I wasn’t sure I could go through with it. I texted my mother in law and my oldest sister and asked them to pray for me. (Notice I did not text my mom. Refer to my earlier post for that explanation.)

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My sister, bless her heart, does not get it. She prayed with me, but she also tried to cheer me up by saying, “Just be happy for her,” and “Try to have fun.” Which in most other situations would be a nice way to console someone — it just doesn’t work for someone who has recently miscarried and is going to her oldest, dearest friend’s baby shower who was pregnant with her. (Fun?! Is she serious?) First time I’ve seen my friend since the day she told me she was pregnant, by the way. First time I’ve seen her since my miscarriage. First time I’ve seen her belly.

My mother in law offered the perfect words to comfort me. She always does. When J and I were dating, and even when we got married, I never thought his mom and I would be that close. Not that I didn’t like her — I like her a lot — we just have very different personalities and energy levels (she has energy, LOL). When I miscarried that all changed. She experienced two miscarriages between J and his little sister, one at 11 weeks, so she knows exactly what it feels like. She never tries to cheer me up with empty words, but tells me things like, “Your time is coming…I feel it in my heart” and “You are so much stronger than you even knew a few months ago” and “If you get back into your car and need to cry like a baby, it’s ok. Remember you just faced another hurdle and came through it.” She gave me the huge boost I needed that morning to get in my car and go.

I don’t know if it was the prayers or just the fact that the build-up for something bad is always worse than the actual thing, but I not only survived the shower — I kind of (gasp!) enjoyed it. I’m not going to throw out the word “fun” though, that’s a bit of a stretch. But I think I was convincingly at ease. Which is huge because this was probably the hardest thing I’ve had to do in months. Maybe my mother in law is right, maybe I am stronger now.

I hugged my friend and didn’t focus on her belly. Sure, I had my moments, but I left that day not feeling an awkward silence or shedding one tear in front of people (which was my greatest fear). I wrote something kind in her card, and I think I succeeded in making her feel special and loved — not feeling like the friend that is having a baby while I’m not, but letting her know she is my oldest, dearest friend whom I am truly happy for.

I think if my friend were having a boy I might have been inconsolable. I don’t know how to explain that, but I think it would have been a lot harder to endure that day.

But luckily, she is having a girl.