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.