Friday, September 19, 2008

Starting Over

I haven't written since a week ago. I thought I would never want to pull this website up again. However, as I sit here in my pajamas with my hospital band on my wrist, I have found the urge, and the need, to document what's been happening this week....what happened today....and what we hope will happen in the future.

Last Friday, the wind was knocked out of us. No one could see this coming. When I went to my first doctor's appointment, I had no idea I would come out with an appointment for a D & C the following Friday. I didn't even know what a D & C was. All I knew was that something horrible had happened, and I was supposed to just suck it up and deal with it. 

Saturday, instead of the "family cookout" we had planned to reveal the news of our baby to our family, Luke and I spent much of the day by ourselves. We were grief-stricken and lonely. We wanted to see people, but at the same time, we didn't. Luke's family still got together at Abel & Elizabeth's. This didn't bother me really...but it just reminded me that of course life will go on for others. I know they felt for us, and I know that they didn't know what to do to make it better, but it just definitely proved that this world does not stop turning, even when babies die.

Saturday evening, Abe & E and Seth & Liz (and Gus) came to see us. I was happy to see them, and I think Luke was even happier. For the first time, I saw him smile and laugh. To be honest, I think he temporarily forgot about our situation, as much as you can temporarily forget something like this. We played Taboo, ate pizza, talked, and things were quite normal. On two occasions, seeing my beautiful nephew was too much to bear, and I needed some time alone. I cried in the bathroom by myself, similar to the way I cried when I first saw those two lines on the pregnancy test. I kick myself now, telling myself that the next time, IF there is a next time, I will never cry or question God's timing...and I will jump for joy just for being given the slight chance of becoming a mother...even though now I know that it might not end up as planned. 

Sunday morning, I woke up early and went outside to my patio. In the still and quiet of the early morning hours, I was able to listen to the wind...the heart. I was alone with my thoughts until I heard little hands on the door, and a little voice talking about Aunt Ashley. My beautiful Gus was standing there, and Liz wasn't far behind. I've never met a more beautiful soul than Liz. Now, more than ever, I wish that I was more like her, especially given that beautiful baby bump she's got that I will never get (at least during this pregnancy). She sat next to me and cried for me, which is more than I could have ever asked for. Her empathy really wrapped itself around me, and she could understand things that others couldn't.

We went to church, which I know was a good thing, but it was very difficult to get through. The music, the message, the children in the was all too much. I found myself sobbing at one point, making eye contact with a young boy who probably thought I was crazy and scary. It's almost as if God was reaching inside of me, pulling out my pain, and the sobbing was part of the exit process. 

I had a shower for Jenn I needed to get to in Muncie, and it was difficult to drive an hour by myself. However, I did it, because I knew that my friends were counting on me to be there. I walked in, saw my dear friends, and pretended to be OK. I broke down a tiny bit, once I relived the nightmare of the blank ultrasound. We got through the shower, and I managed to leave without reliving it again. I knew they would understand.

I went to work Monday through Thursday (crying the whole way on Monday morning). I managed to not say a word to anyone, except to my principal to tell him why I was missing a Friday and a Monday, taking advance sick days. He probably wouldn't have questioned me anyway, but I felt the need to mention what had as to provide an excuse if he saw me more sad than usual, less talkative, or acting out of the ordinary. I didn't want to be caught in a weak moment by my boss, giving him the opportunity to ask the cliched, "What's wrong," and thus sending me into a tailspin. I wanted the control, so I told him. Which, as you could imagine, was awkward.

I had a meeting for Section 125 (benefits my teacher's union provides at additional cost) on Monday. How ironic, really. The plan the man was trying to sell me was short term disability, where if I were to go on maternity leave and not have enough days, I would start getting a partial paycheck 15 days after my sick days would run out. I would also get a reimbursement for labor/delivery. I don't know why, but I was sold on this plan at an additional $17 per pay. I thought, "Why not?" I had to answer three questions, and the third one was, "Are you currently pregnant?" I had to answer "no." I wasn't. This plan doesn't accept pre-existing conditions, so he told me that I couldn't get "diagnosed as pregnant" before December 1 of this year. Diagnosed? It was a funny way of putting it, I guess. Basically, I can't get pregnant before December 1 in order to reap these benefits. You can read more about getting pregnant again below.

Also, Monday, I was driving home from school, and I passed the Hamilton Town Center in Noblesville. I had this desire to stop in and spend money, so I did. I do suffer/benefit from retail therapy, and I just need to go into Bath & Body Works. It made me feel better, and, you know, for the first time...I will say that I deserved it. I had recently ordered $50 worth of maternity clothes from, and I knew I would be immediately returning those I might as well replace it with an equal amount of Bath & Body Works, right? 

Luke has had a difficult time this past week. I don't think that guys share this kind of personal information as openly as women do. We decided to send an e-mail to many of our friends, explaining what had happened, since none of them knew of our baby in the first place. We knew we were taking a chance that absolutely no one would write us back, and we would feel even more alone than we already did, but we really had nothing to lose. So, we sent the e-mail and, within hours, we got some BEAUTIFUL, amazing responses that brought tears to our eyes. Luke even received a phone call from a couple of male friends, and this helped him, I think. We got a couple of cards this week from family friends, and we also got some phone calls from family. We feel the grace we have been granted...and we feel the prayers. I also got some beautiful flowers from my friends at school. Everyone was very jealous :-)

Basically, to get to the point of this entry, I had the D & C today. I was scared, and even cried last night for one of the few times all week. It probably didn't help that I was watching Grey's Anatomy and watching people die in surgery. We went in at 7:30 today, and we were home by about 11:30 (including a trip to Meijer for groceries). The nurses and doctor were so amazingly nice. I was very impressed with the whole Community North experience. The operating room did look just like what you see on TV...and it was about 40 degrees in there (maybe not, but it was COLD). I remember talking about teaching, and then I was out. When I woke up, a nice lady was saying my name and taking care of me in recovery. Not long after, I saw my beautiful husband, and we were allowed to go home much quicker than we thought. Again, all the people we have worked with have been just wonderful. 

The doctor explained to Luke that everything went well...there was nothing to be worried about as far as anything long term. So now we are faced with the question, "Where do we go from here?" I have this urge to be pregnant again. However, I am scared to death....scared of this happening again. Everyone I have spoken to and everything I have read says that with only one miscarriage, your risk of having another one is the same as having one in the first place. Everyone says that it is common, and that we will go on to have many babies. I don't know when (or even if) that will happen for us, but I do know that I will be doing everything I can to make myself as healthy as possible the next time around. I want to give this child the best chance to possible to make it in this world. 

I wouldn't say that either one of us are healed, emotionally or physically. I know that it is a process, and we might ever be completely "over it." However, I am choosing to see the silver lining in these clouds, and I know that good days are to come. I also know that my friends and family are wonderfully amazing, and I couldn't have picked a better man to spend the rest of my life with. 

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