Friday, February 1, 2008

My Heart on my Sleeve

It's funny how when you have an outlet like a blog you, or at least I, tend to compose posts in my head. Things that are on my mind, or events that are occuring in my life run through my mind in story form. I suppose we are all writing the story of our lives somewhere, this blog has just turned out to be an amazing resource for those stories, some of which I am compelled to write and share. Whether or not theses stories are being read or not doesn't seem to matter so much as the actual act of recording my life, having worded script to witness and give life to things that matter most to me. I've been surprised at the therapy I find in blogging.

For the past month I've had a post that I've been composing in my mind over and over. Travis and I have been trying to conceive a child. This is something we've been "working on" for a major portion of this last year. We were starting to worry that there might be something wrong. With both of my children we never had to "work" or even "try" to get pregnant. I think we were so young and naieve that we didn't fully understand how this pegnancy thing really worked, but because of that innocence we were overjoyed to find ourselves with two beautiful children who came to us in the Lord's timetable, not the one I had planned. I've decided that's the way life works, and when you try your hardest to work against that plan, you'll find yourself paddling uphill. Maybe that is when you need to be humbled the most.

We've had a humbling experience this last week. Let me back up a little. I've been calculating and learning the art of becoming pregnant this last year. But nothing we did seemed to achieve the result we were hoping for. At one point I kind of gave up, too upset to think about the baby that we weren't making, I decided to give myself some time off. I stopped paying attention to cycles and instead tried to live my life. Christmas was coming, and I put my focus on the holidays, and tried to enjoy the children I was already blessed with without putting so much energy on the siblings that were long in coming.

When we were in Utah for the holidays I started to have some unexplained issues with my body. I told my mother I thought I had a brain tumor, and I was only half joking (I'm a bit of a hyperchondriac and am always self diagnosing myself on WebMD). I had some unexplained headaches, and I was worried there was something wrong with my head. I should have understood these headaches sooner than I did, but I think it was the fear of hoping I was pregnant that lead me to think these symptoms I was having were from some other ailment.

But as I discovered on New Year's Day, this was no brain tumor, (don't laugh at me) I was pregnant. We were cautiously excited. Travis, out of excitement, always wants to tell the whole world the minute we are pregnant. For my sake he held back his tongue and we celebrated this secret between the two of us. We came home from Utah and I searched high and low for "What to Expect When You're Expecting," but couldn't seem to find it. So I turned to the internet for reminders of what to expect. We were so happy about our little sesame seed, who quickly turned into a bean, blueberry and then lentil.

Still we kept this to ourselves. I think in an innocent way Dallas had a sense of what was going on. Every now and then out of the blue he'd say thing like, "Mom, do we have any baby toys?"
"Why do we need baby toys?" I'd ask.
"Just so we're ready when a baby comes." He'd say.
Just this week he told me we didn't have enough chairs at our table. I replied that there were only four people in our family, so they'd have to do. He said we would need one for the baby. I kept on asking Travis if he'd spilled the beans about our little lentil, but he swore up and down he hadn't told him. Dallas is a very perceptive five year old, I think he knew.

Two weeks ago I started some minor bleeding and went to the doctor to have everything checked out. I'd spotted at the beginning of my pregnancy with Hallie, and so I was only cautiously worrying, but thought everything was fine. My thoughts were confirmed when the doctor checked me out, said everything looked great, and to come back in two weeks for the ultrasound. So on Tuesday I took myself down to the Doctor's office for some evidence of this baby growing inside me. Travis couldn't get out of a meeting, so I told him it was fine, and that I could go by myself.

When I got into the ultrasound room I told the technician that I'd had some more bleeding and was a little concerned. She looked concerned too, and turned on the ultrasound machine. I could tell right away what she was looking at on the screen gave her cause for worry. I was silently praying and trying to think positively when she said we should try the vaginal ultrasound. She stepped out of the room and went to get the nurse practicioner. They both came back, and turned the screen so I couldn't see what was going on. They didn't really look at me, they both had horrified stares on their faces as they silently consulted the ultrasound. I laid down unable to stare at their expressions any longer, and I quietly began to cry. They said that they couldn't find a heartbeat and it looked as though the fetus had stopped growing at about 6 weeks. I childishly tuned them out and couldn't control my emotions any longer.

When I left the Doctor's office I felt unsettled about the options they gave me. They could give me some pills to deal with this, and I could go home and try to miscarry this baby by myself, or I could schedule a D and C. I wasn't excited about either option and went home to meditate on my decision. I had decided to go ahead and schedule the D and C, but was uncomfortable with my Doctor's explanation of what had occured. She was very curt, to her credit I don't think she's a real touchy-feely type of person, but I needed someone I could talk to who could really explain this to me.

Stephanie called to tell me that she and Liz were going to see Wicked on Tuesday and wanted me to come out ot LA to see it with them. I think she could tell right away that something was wrong with me. When I told her what happened she said she was so sorry and tried to talk me into calling our shared family friend who is an LDS OB. She did some smooth talking, and by the end of our conversation I called our friend. It was just what I needed. He gently and understandingly talked me through what had happened, and offered up his services. I went to his office the next morning where I once again received an ultrasound. This time, with Travis by my side, we were prepared for the news, and his technician was very kind, she showed me the screen this time, and talked me through what we were looking at, allowing me to see for myself that this baby wasn't coming to our family. I rescheduled my D and C with him, and went home to grieve and cope.

I had my D and C yesterday. It's a strange experience to go to the hospital for something so sad. It was devistating to me that I was paying someone to remove this fetus from my body that I so desperately wanted to keep. But I knew that this baby wasn't meant to be, and I think the experience has put a little closure on my pregnancy. It's funny how truly excited I was this time about every little symptom I felt. I welcomed the headaches. I bragged about how tired I was, I didn't even mind all the bathroom stops when it meant that I was carrying this sweet baby.

Monday is my thirtieth birthday. I'm in such a different place now than I was when I was pregnant with Dallas. It's a little bit unfortunate how time and age wisen us. I'm not the naieve girl who was surprised to find she was pregnant for the first time. And I'm okay with that. We grow with experience as we try to figure out the Lord's plan for us. I'm trying to humbly accept what I've been dealt, and stubbornly I will keep trying to bring a healthy baby to my family.

My sister Becky and friend Courtney are throwing a "pajama" party for me on Saturday. It's a bit ironic because I have a feeling that I might not even get out of my pajamas between now and then. But I told them to go on with the party. And I'm even more excited about next week. Liz and Stephanie are taking me to Wicked in LA, and Friday is the annual bead and gem show in Tucson. I really needed some happy things to focus on, they couldn't have come at a better time.

So as I face my thirties I'm focusing on getting myself healthy, losing weight (my eternal focus I'm afraid, one that I've neglected lately) and being content with the family I have. I have no worries that more children will come to us. The one lesson I've learned through all of this is that I need to rely on the Lord more, and humble myself to his time table. I'm a bit of a planner, and this is not easy for me, but I have faith that everything happens for a reason, and have hope in the future. The Lord has never let me down, and I don't think he's about to start.


jennifer woodbury said...

Your post brought me to tears Nancy. Your experience sounds almost identical to what I experienced the very first time I ever got pregnant (minus the nice LDS OBGYN), and I hate that something like that ever has to happen to somebody else. I am so sorry.

I am really impressed that you are able to find such perspective and have a positive outlook so quickly, and like you I have no doubt that you will eventually get that healthy baby.

And on another note, I am SO jealous that you are going to see Wicked in LA!

Mandy said...

Nancy pants-

I love you and am thinking of you. I am sorry you have had to go through this and am proud of the way you are handling it.

Have fun at the party and in CA.

Angela said...

All I can say is ditto to Mandy. You're handling this such better grace and perspective, and even though it was hard to say, I'm glad you shared it with us. I'm excited I can come down and see you in less than a week. Love you-

stephen said...


I'm so sorry. I wish I could come give you a hug.

Jen Winder said...

Thank you for being willing to share your story. Your choice in how you are handling this is very humbling to me.

kelli said...

That's such a sad story. I can't even imagine. The trying and trying is hard enough. I hope you recover well and quickly from the procedure and really hope for some good news for you soon. You're such a trooper (for lack of better words).

A pajama party sounds lovely. Happy almost birthday!

AL&G said...

I love you!

Laura said...

Nancy, I am so sorry you have to go through this. You have such a great perspective and I know you will get that baby you desire some day. Let yourself have an amazing time at Wicked as a way to heal. I love you and you will be in my prayers.

JonesFamily said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I know what you mean about being young and naive when I got pregnant with my first. Now I am gaining an appreciation of the whole miracle of the process. Dr. McK is great.
It is great to have fun things to look forward to. Wicked is AMAZING and I am so looking forward to wearing my PJs to a party =)

Courtney said...

I wrote a comment this morning but don't see it. I think word verification kills me every time.

I am so sorry you are going through this. I am amazed at your great perspective. I think it took me much longer to get to that point. I'm excited for the party tomorrow!

hendywow said...

Nancy, I am so sorry I know how happy you were. Please know that I love you, & obviously so do a lot of other people. Thank you for being such a wonderful friend.
Have a fabulous time in Cali. you deserve some down, (or up) time!

Jacque said...

nancy, i am so sorry that you've had to suffer through such a difficult experience. your perspective, faith and patience is inspirational. and i know, too, that the Lord will never let you down. he cries with you; i'm sure of it. and he'll hold your hand through every hard thing you face. thank you for sharing this. it strengthens me.

Sarah said...

You are amazing! Thanks for sharing such a poignant side of your struggle. I wish you healing and peace.

Stephanie said... are amazing and so strong. I am so glad I called you that day and that everything worked out with Dr. McK! I can't for Wicked and the Gem Show! I wish I was at your pajama party tonight!

Austin said...

Nancy. I'm so sorry. Your faith is a great example. Your family and friends love you, little brother included.

Carrie said...

That is so hard. We'll be thinking of you.

Dawn said...

Oh my gosh!! I haven't checked out your blog lately and just read the latest news!!! How did you not tell me. I am so happy for you and Travis. You're party was a blast last night I just feel bad I had no idea. I'm a terrible friend. I hope we can get together more in 08 than in 07. Congratulations!!

Mike and Joy said...

Nancy, I just found your blog tonight. I wish I would have known about this at the party...I am sorry to hear about your horrible experience and wish you the best. Thanks for having me at your party, it was so much fun!

Liz said...

Nancy...really I am so sorry you had to experience this. I never thought you would ever have to go through this. You have always been the one to call me with your news that you are unexpectantly pregnant!! I am so sorry. Even though I have been though it 3 times I would never wish it upon anyone. My heart aches for you. You wrote your feelings so eloquently (sp?). Thank you for sharing. I am sure it helps in the healing process to write your feelings out!! I am so excited that you are able to come to Wicked with us for your birthday!!! Truly I am so grateful for you friendship and for all the times you have helped pick me up when I was going through this trial myself!! Your'e the best and I know the Lord will bless you with more children. Don't give up!! If you can believe it I am not giving up on my chances either!

P.S. side note... I am not sure about Dawn's comment above?? Did you read the same post I did? I think she didn't finish reading the post or something! Oh Dawn!!=) You crack me up!~

Love you girl! Can't wait to see you in a day. I wish I could have been at your pj party!! Happy Birthday tomorrow!! I can't believe all you girls are 30!! I guess I am the only one left!! Woah! We must get planning our trip ladies!!

Anonymous said...

Nancy, you inspire me! Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure that will help with your healing. Amye

Emily said...

Happy birthday, Nancy!

Dawn said...

Nancy, Immediately after I posted my first comment I posted another one because I obviously stopped reading at the part where I saw you were pregnant and then I finished after the comment. For some reason it didn't post last night. I feel so stupid and can't believe I didn't finish reading your entire blog. I am so sorry for all that you've been through and I'm going to just call you. My kids were playing and yelling and I was just skimming. I love you, talk to you soon!

Becky said...

I love you. I am sorry you're little one got cold feet and decided not to make the trip to your family this month. I hope she (he) comes around soon as I know any child would find your home the most welcoming place on earth! Thanks for sharing your story and your life with us. Your humble strength is a blessing to us.

Thanks for turning 30 and so we could let loose with a pj party in your behalf.

Much love,

Katharine said...


I read your blog recently and wanted you to know that we are thinking of you! You are so strong and I know that with the Lords help you will pull through this difficult time. He has a plan for us all...I don't often understand it, but I guess its not really for me to understand. Anyway, know that you are in our thoughts and prayers! Happy belated birthday! Love,

Katharine said...


By the mom is totally going to the Gem show in Tucson. If you go she is going with Smithsonian Natural History exhibit. I think they have a booth with their gems there. Anyway, I hope you run into her. That would be so fun!

just me said...

sweetheart - i am SO sorry! what a frustrating and heartwrenching experience. i've btdt - so if you need to talk, please call me! i'm thinking of you and love you tons.

xoxox - jannet

Adrienne said...

I just read this post. I cannot express how much I feel for your loss. I am so sorry that you had to experience this. I wish that I could give you a hug. The Lord's time table is a tricky thing -and one I struggle with daily - but I know that he loves you and has a plan for all of us. All my love to your family at this time. The sun will shine again and your baby will come.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if you ever go back through your posts to check comments. So you may never find this. Just know that I am glad that I found you. Through looking on some friends sites I found your blog. At first I thought this would be great because I have started to sew and you are very creative. This morning I read this entry. I had a hard time getting through it with tears in my eyes. (I have 2 children through a previous marriage.) 9 Urologists in Utah told us my husband would not have children. This caused years of want and heartache. Then we moved here and after a week long stay in the hospital due to pneumonia we found out we were pregnant (while having a preoperative ultra sound). After trying to convince they doctor that he was wrong we were overjoyed with the news. Brinley AnnaBeth was born Sept 5, 2005. We wanted to add to our little brood. We didn’t know if it would be several years again or several months. We were able to get pregnant earlier this year with twins. Late April I started having weekly ultra sounds due to the multiple births. The on May 9th I went in and they told me that there were no heartbeats and that there were no “viable fetuses” (not my doctor speaking or his office where I receive the 4 D ultra sounds) I was devastated. They wouldn’t even refer to the as babies even though I was 12 weeks along. I was heartbroken and couldn’t get a hold of my husband because he was doing rotations. This doctor I didn’t know wanted me to give her my decision of the 3 options you stated. I told her I needed to catch my breath, get a hold of my husband, and call my doctor. We went with a D&C. Unfortunately I began to bleed out on the table (2 liters of blood loss), which makes me glad we went with the general anesthesia (prompting from the spirit). We opted to not have a blood transfusion (prompting from the spirit) since that has many risks also. I stayed in the hospital for a little while. I am slowly recovering (this all happened 2 weeks ago). I am very week and tired. I just want you to know that I am thinking that I came across this blog because of this entry. I needed to hear from someone else how they felt. It makes me feel normal. It makes me think I will get through the sadness. I know that I am grateful for the gospel and eternal families. You have helped with me healing. I will check back with you. Thank you. Jenny

Anonymous said...

Sorry Brinley was born in 2007.