Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sad Days

The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.  
Job 1:21

A little background: Many of you know that Thomas and I did infertility treatments to conceive Benjamin.  Before he turned one year, I started treatments again, hoping that we could get pregnant before we moved to Amman.  I had my last cycle right before we left, and I figured with the stress of packing and moving, it probably wouldn't amount to anything.  I took a pregnancy test the Tuesday after we arrived, and it was positive!  I was so excited, and Thomas was too.  I couldn't believe it, what a miracle.  We didn't have any worries about delivering in Amman, it's sort of a hub of medical centers in the region.  We prayed every day that the baby would grow and develop normally, and that I would deliver at full term.  Benjamin arrived 3 weeks early, just shy of official preemie status, so I hoped that the next baby could benefit from 40 weeks in the womb.

Well, Tuesday the 11th I had my second doctor appointment, I was about 9 weeks.  The sonogram showed an empty sac.  I had lost the baby.  I was very sad, and cried in the doctor's office.  The nurse was very kind, and comforted me in Arabic.  The doctor took me to get some blood drawn, just to make doubly sure, and then I checked out.  It was hard to stand in line to pay my bill, and try to keep it together.  I broke down in the car, and cried during the drive home.  I told Thomas and he stayed home from work the rest of the day.  We prayed and thanked God for the pregnancy, however short, and for His faithfulness in all things.  I felt God's peace as we grieved together.

Wednesday I skipped my language class, one of the girls couldn't make it because she was working and I offered to drive the other girl, but she was fine with staying home.  So it was good to have some extra time to be at home, and relax.  Emy came and I had lunch with Thomas, then got nails done with Kristin.  It was great to feel pampered and relax and have some good conversation.  Thankfully I didn't cry in public, and was able to feel mostly calm and collected.  One of Thomas's coworkers had dealt with miscarriage, so she came to the apartment and sat with me and talked about it.  That was so helpful, and I felt a little more prepared for the next phase.

It's amazing how many women have experienced miscarriage, and it helps to know that many go on to have healthy babies.  When we were trying to get pregnant with Benjamin, I thought that I wouldn't be able to bear losing a baby.  But God gives strength for every trial, and as sad as I am, I also believe that He is good and that He's giving me what I need to accept it and move on. 

In the afternoon Benjamin didn't nap so it made for an exhausting day.  Thomas put him to bed a little early, so that we could feed him before Emy arrived Thursday morning.  Thomas made dinner, because I had no energy to do anything except sit on the couch and zone out.

Thursday morning, Benjamin woke up very early, 7am, because I had forgotten to lower the shade on his window.  Big mistake.  So it was a rough start, but at least he got to eat and play a little before Emy came over at 8:30am.  It is truly a blessing she was able to come, I had planned for Thomas to just drop me at the hospital because I thought she wouldn't be available for childcare.  But in God's mercy, she had the day free so Thomas was able to drive me and stay the whole time. 

We finally found the hospital, I went in while Thomas parked, and we checked in.  They have you pay up front at registration, which I guess is efficient but was a little shocking.  Since we pay and then get reimbursed (hopefully) from the insurance, there was a little sticker shock.  We went up to the 6th floor and got settled in the room.  We got there at 9am, and my procedure was at 11am.  The doctors were very nice, my OB was there and also another guy, I think he's a surgeon.  They gave me general anesthesia and it was a pretty painless process.  Afterwards, I felt groggy while waking up but didn't have much pain.  We stayed in the room for a while and they brought us lunch.  After they deemed me ready to go, we had to go to accounting, a different office, and pay a little more (sigh).  Then we left, about 1:45pm.  Not too bad, considering.

We got home and put Benjamin down for his nap, which he proceeded not to take.  So again, a rough afternoon.  But Thomas was a trooper and took over, so I could just sit on the couch and rest.  Kristin brought over a delicious lasagna, and garlic bread, and homemade cookies and homemade ice cream.  We'll be eating well for a week.  I feel so grateful for having a little support network here, even though it's been under two months since we moved.  God is gracious and provides what we need.

Tomorrow we're skipping church, so I can rest and Thomas can watch Ben.  The ladies have been so kind, another girl from the church is bringing food over on the way tomorrow morning.  I'm trying to be open about it, I know it's extremely common and I hope that anyone else who experiences miscarriage will feel comfortable sharing, if they wish.  I heard an NPR broadcast a while ago about stillbirth, and how no one talks about it.  I know my pain isn't as great as it would have been if I had progressed that far, and I'm thankful that if the pregnancy had to end, God took the baby when He did.  I'm still sad to miss out on knowing that little person, but I have the hope of heaven where I can meet him or her.  Part of me is just tired and dreads the thought of starting fertility over again, since it seems to take 4-6 solid months for us to conceive.  Obviously God is in control and I hope and pray that we'll be able to have another healthy baby to bring home. 

I keep saying that I need to just buckle down and lose some weight, which has a big effect on PCOS.  Since living here I've lost about 8 pounds, which is a direct result of not eating McDonalds every day.  So, with a little exercise to boost my metabolism and a better diet, I'm hopeful that I can get healthier.  Of course, I was about 15 pounds heavier than I am now when I got pregnant with Benjamin, so who knows.  I definitely feel the clock ticking and as I look toward my 32nd birthday, I feel a tiny bit of panic.  But my plan for my life isn't necessarily what God has in store, or what's best.  I'm thankful that He has given us strength and hope through this, and pray that we continue to look toward Jesus for our ultimate hope.  It's hard to hold things with an open hand, and I want to protect Benjamin more than ever now.  But this life is so short and fragile, I need to be more interested in our eternal home and model Christ to him instead of smothering and coddling him. 

I've heard from so many people who have sent love and support, who've shared their own losses.  I'm so thankful for you, my friends and family.  You are such a blessing to me.


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