Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Crayon Time Machine

Do you ever have those instances when a memory is so clear and crisp it transports you back in time for just a moment? The smell of a rose always sends me to my Grandma’s house where a vase of fresh roses is as commonplace as the hummingbirds outside her window. There are many, many songs that trigger memories of different times in my life: high school graduation, a first date, road trips. There are kids in my class whose mannerisms are so like people from my past that for a moment I can see someone else standing in their place. Sometimes the memories are welcome, other times their intrusiveness and unexpectedness can bring you to your knees. Today, I experienced the latter.

I was teaching, walking the room, doing the same thing I do every day, looking at the same kids, the same everything. But for some reason, today, a box of Crayolas was my time machine. In the blink of an eye I was 9 years old again, jealously eyeing the girls around me with their big, fancy 64 count boxes of crayons. The other kids would go to them and ask to borrow one of their 10 shades of blue while I stared forlornly at my lowly 24 count box. When it came to school supplies, I ALWAYS got exactly what was on the list. No frills, no excess. Folders meant folders, not Trapper Keepers, and 24 count meant that anything more was unnecessary. I remember telling my mom way back then that someday I would buy MY kid the biggest box of crayons the store had so they could be “cool.” Problems are so simple as a kid…I’m sure that at 9, all I  knew was that one day I would get married and have babies because that’s what people do. Miscarriage was not in my vocabulary. Today, the crayons symbolized innocence...and a future that is just out of my grasp. 

We still have not decided exactly where we go from here. Adoption is still not an option unless anyone finds a few Gs floating around unclaimed. Fostering is not something that my husband feels comfortable with, therefore it is no longer on the table. We did make an appointment to see a different Reproductive Endocrinologist, Dr. Supposedly-Best-Around (name will be changed upon meeting him).  On April 12th I will present him with my history and the results of the battery of tests that I have been put through…we’ll see if maybe he can unlock my medical mystery. If not, well, being an aunt will have to be enough. And you’d better believe that when Auntie takes my nieces school supply shopping, their box of crayons will be bigger than they are...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

This Roller Coaster Is Stuck! Refund Please...

I thought all of the way home on how to break the news to everyone. I know that so many people have invested their time and prayers into our story and our lives. The news wasn’t easy for me to hear despite all the doctor’s superfluous apologies, so I know that nothing I type will make it easier to read. There was no heartbeat found today. All the fervent prayers sent up and tortuous waiting just to hear those words. AGAIN. I don’t need to write about my emotions tonight…I’m sure you can make a list without my help because some of you are probably feeling the same things.  

I cannot coherently string together much more than the previous paragraph at this time. Once I’ve had time to process this and Erik and I have gotten to think about where we go from here, I will have plenty to say. I do know that at this time, we are considering other options. I don’t think that I can do this again. I’m sure that I can continue to survive miscarriage after miscarriage, but the cost to my emotional well-being is just too high.

Tonight we’re going to go out to a restaurant and try to forget this bad dream for a few hours. We’re going to plan a summer vacation and think about all the fun we will have. We’re going to take a break from our lives. Sometimes the realities of this world are just too much to bear. 

A quote that made me pause today: 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Hanging by a Thread...of Hope

Well, we received news today, but it was ambiguous news at best. Isn’t that the most horrible kind? Good news puts you on top of the world, bad news allows the beginning of acceptance and healing, but uncertain news, in my experience, gives you just enough hope to hang yourself with later.

Today we went in for our first ultrasound. I can say that I have come to dread the whole production. I have never had an ultrasound in which I got to stare at the screen with a feeling of excitement and wonder. No, my first ultrasound was a disaster, and each one since has either mirrored the first devastating experience or set me up for one down the road. Today, I fear, was no different. The doctor did what doctors always do – they measure the baby. By all mathematical calculations I am 7 weeks 3 days on the dot. The baby, however, only measured 6 weeks 3 days. For those of you who don’t know, this is quite often a precursor to miscarriage. First the growth begins to slow, and then it stops completely. Now, on a positive note, there was a heartbeat, which means Baby is still alive and kicking. I am also still having all of the miserable (yet reassuring) symptoms as well. I go back on Wednesday for monitoring…in one long, LONG week we will know the fate of our baby.

I have had a whole range of emotions today. It has been a roller coaster…riding the optimism up to the top of the hill, looking out over the big picture, and then racing down into hopelessness so vast it takes your breath away. I know that my God is bigger than anything, that He can do all things, and that my faith is the ONLY thing I can hold onto right now. I also know that as a recovering pessimist/realist, I want to prepare myself for the worst; as if a horrible scenario replaying hourly in my mind will somehow cushion the ton of bricks should they rain down on me in a week. My faith and my mind are separate right now, warring over the right to control what I think and feel, leaving me feeling wrung out and numb.

My amazing friend reminded me today that everyone is on my side, and that no reaction is wrong to what I’m experiencing, despite my tendency to beat myself up over losing faith sometimes. Although I don’t know anyone who understands exactly what I’m going through, I know so, so many people are praying for us, shedding tears with us, and sending their love our way. Whether it pours bricks on Wednesday or God reveals a rainbow, know that your support and prayers have meant everything. 

Monday, March 7, 2011

No news is good news?

If it is true that no news is good news, consider this blog the bearer of AMAZING news. That’s right, I have not one scrap of new information to report. This is a good and bad thing, as I am very ready to share the news of my first appointment, but I’m even more thankful that I have no discouraging symptoms to report. I plan to go to the doctor next week – with or without my mysteriously absent insurance card – and then I’m sure I will have plenty of good to relay!

I know that to most I have sounded really upbeat and well, breezy (being that I said that was my intent) but if I’m really sincere I must admit that internally I’m struggling with a lot of anxiety. You see, all four miscarriages have occurred during a break from school… and Spring Break is rapidly approaching. It also just so happens that this break corresponds with my never-surpassed 7th week. Panic attack anyone? Seriously though, the fear surrounding next week has been trying to overtake my mind for the past several days. It would be so, so easy to let it. This time I’m not relying on the latest cure-all diets or even modern medicine. The only thing left to hold onto? FAITH.

Sometimes we drop to our knees as a last resort, when everything is falling apart and we don’t know what else to do. I have been there many times during the past two years. What if we decided to make that our first resort? What if we offered ourselves up to be God’s latest success story, a testimony to the world of what He can do through our faith?  If I was injecting myself with shots every night, who would get the glory from a healthy pregnancy? Doctors? My husband for braving and enduring the wrath the shots induced? Me for withstanding the pain and flood of crazy hormones? This time, I’m giving it all to God. Not after it’s over and I need Him to pick up the pieces, but NOW. I’m holding every thought captive until I’m sure that it’s not destructive…it’s okay to be scared, but it’s not healthy to dwell on it. Keep praying Friends; I believe with everything I am that they’re working. :-)