Thursday, January 24, 2013

A Wish, a Kiss and a Prayer

Hopes I had and still have for our little one and for our little one(s), hopefully, still to come someday...

I pray that …

 you will always come to me when you are hurting. Even though I won’t be able to take the pain away every time, please let me help comfort you, even if that simply means holding you or telling you how much you are loved.

you will let me share in your happiness and excitement when things are going well.

you will learn to make your own choices and decisions in life.  I want you to be able to weigh consequences and benefits of your decisions and make up your own mind. 

you will consistently ask God for wisdom and understanding … and trust Him when He answers. 

you trust your decision-making ability when you know the truth.

you will be solid in your beliefs but mold-able and tender to those around you. 

God will be the center of your life.  I want His truth to weigh heavily upon your heart, even more than your dad’s and my words.

you will be able to tell me anything and know that I will still love you and always, always, want you. 

your stubbornness (which you clearly get from your father)  ;)  will be used as a motivator to accomplish great things and influence others towards honorable things.

you will put family first, and treat your friends as treasures.

you like being neat and tidy (I can dream, can’t I?)

you get your dad’s smile and that you’ll smile as much as he does.

you will know your God-given value, always.

you will always treat others with respect and courtesy.

you will thoroughly think through your words and actions and tread carefully when others’ hearts are on the line. 

you won’t over think everything. 

you will always know truth. I desperately want you to know the difference between lies and truth …and never let the lies sink into your heart.

you will be an encourager. This world has plenty discouraging things. Everyone needs a little support.

you never give up (especially during the times when you can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel) …even when you can’t wrap your mind around everything going on.  I hope you press forward and always look up for guidance.
you aren’t afraid to be a little silly.  You don’t always have to be completely serious. Relax, enjoy the small things and have fun growing up.

you will to know who's you are and who God made you to be. I pray that you’ll know your strengths and your weaknesses and use your talents for His glory.

you will learn from your mistakes and be careful and not repeat them.

you know what makes you special and valuable. 

you will know what makes you “normal”, so you can connect with others and better understand their thoughts and feelings.  Understanding is often a key to encouragement.

you will always see the potential in yourself and in others. 

you are honest, trustworthy, and always willing to work for what you want.

you use caution in all things but don’t allow caution to harden your heart or make you fearful.

you find great value in loving others.

you are motivated to influence others positively …whether it’s a few or a few hundred.

you learn to rest and relax.  It’s important to enjoy being still and quiet. 

you will learn balance …in relationships, in service, in working and learning and finances.

you will always love and respect your daddy.

you will love being snuggled and hugged like your momma does.

you won’t allow emotions to rule you but that you will still be able to ‘feel deeply’ for things that break God’s heart.

you will always protect and care for the people you love.

eventually, you will meet someone who challenges you, comforts you, protects your heart, and always leads you back to God when you feel like wandering. 

you will always direct those who are hurting to the One that can fill their needs and mend their hearts.

you truly enjoy music. Selfishly, I hope that you love music, singing, playing…  it would be so wonderful to share music and song with you.

you always keep a sense of wonder and amazement.

you’ll be adventurous and spontaneous and goofy. How else will we have late-night ice cream outings and music-filled mini road trips?

I love you little one... I’m going to love you even when you are grown, and strong, and perfectly independent.  I won’t always have the right words to say, and I’m sure I won’t always do the right things either, but just know that every bit of me loves you, and has, even before I knew we would have you. Every time I dream about the future and our little family, I pray for you and for the person you will become.  ...and mostly ,I pray that God will allow me to have you, and keep you, someday. 

Friday, January 18, 2013


This little keepsake means the world to me.  

It's just so nice to have something to remember our little one by. We truly don't have anything else that's tangible.
I wore it to bed last night because I just didn't want to take it off. 

It's so beautiful, Thank You.

Feeling and Dealing

I know that I haven't had many encouraging words to say recently or interesting blog posts...

I just want to say that it isn't because I'm not happy. It's not because I'm horribly disinterested in maintaining 'normal' life like I've done for the past year, nearly.  I'm still living with great hope regarding the future.  But it feels as though a piece is missing, even though I never "knew the difference".  It feels like a little hope was stolen. It hurts to have to live "normally" when I know that this year would have been so different and it hurts to think that God would introduce something so special just to take it away. That's what I've been struggling with most. 

I've been actively trying to 'feel and deal' instead of pushing everything down or becoming numb like I did before. 

I've wanted to write something lovely and heartfelt and meaningful for weeks now... 
but nothing comes out right when it comes to this.  

There are so many thoughts and feelings in my head regarding the past year.  Those feelings piled on top of past hurts, plans, and current worries make it really difficult to differentiate things.  ...And since I can't seem to explain how I'm feeling and I typically end up talking in circles, I thought I'd share some excerpts from articles and stories from blogs I've been reading.  

I might seem ridiculous reading this from the perspective of someone else or from some random 'how-to' type article, but I think these excerpts sum up many of the emotions I've had over the last several months.  Amy went through a similar situation... and I think her thoughts and explanation closely resembles mine. 

Miscarriage is different than losing any other person in my life.  As soon as I see those "two lines," I am imagining this new child: will it be a boy or girl?  Will they have my dark hair and eyes or my husband's light hair and eyes?  What will they like to do?  Sports, music, writing, math?  Will they like to snuggle or will they prefer to roughhouse and play around? 

When I see those "two lines," I am automatically thinking nine months ahead and preparing my mind to add this child to our family. I am thinking of getting the carseat ready, the crib ready, the clothes ready…  So many thoughts and hopes and questions and plans. Despite not being prepared timing wise, I was so excited to learn more about this little one we made. 

When the miscarriage happens, I do not have a child to hold and say goodbye to, I do not have a funeral I can sense some closure from, and I don't have all the support from everyone around me to get me through the difficult time.

I recently talked with another friend about this experience, and we talked about how we have this cultural thing where we don't tell anyone we're pregnant (except very close family and friends) until we're 12 weeks along when the "risk" is gone. . .I wonder why we do that?  If a miscarriage happens, don't we want the support?  Isn't that the time when we go through such awful morning sickness and worry that we would appreciate the help?  These really are just musings because I was the same way. . .don't tell anyone that isn't super close until 12 weeks; looking back, maybe if I had done things differently, it would have been easier.  

Those who have been through this particular trial were those I was so grateful to have around me.  After my first miscarriage, I had a friend (who had been through a miscarriage herself not long before) bring me flowers and dinner when she found out.  It was so nice to feel someone knew what an empty space we felt and that flowers really were appropriate--you send flowers to a funeral, don't you?  I feel a miscarriage is the same thing: even if we never met the person, we grieve for them and feel a great sense of loss.

Someone brought me flowers when they found out, which I thought was so incredibly sweet and really thoughtful. It meant a lot.  It might sound odd, but I do think that it was good and necessary for me to have this finally feel like a loss, like a death that was 'worthy' of support  ...not just a bad dream or bad day to just 'get over'.   For so long I convinced myself that it was silly, in hopes of protecting my heart.

I really needed for this hurt to be validated, and still do. After all, I value life from conception, why wouldn't this be considered a loss?  I never want to feel like the loss of a baby (no matter how small) is silly or not worth being sad or disappointed about. 

Anyway, I found this article about unplanned pregnancy and miscarriage also...  It echoes some of the feelings I have had as well.  (Despite being unplanned, I did want this baby ...just didn't know what to do with the timing and finances)

"Many women bond with their baby early on in the pregnancy, and will feel incredibly sad that they will never know this child. 

She may feel the miscarriage is somehow her "fault" because the pregnancy was unplanned or unwanted. 

Women who were not planning a pregnancy may wonder how and why they became pregnant in the first place. 

Women who were not anticipating having a baby at this time in their life may simply feel guilty...  as though somehow everyone knows that they lost a baby they never wanted in the first place (this was one of the main reasons I didn't tell for so long) and that all other mothers or women who want to be mothers are censuring them... " 

These excerpts were from an article regarding both "unplanned" and "unwanted" pregnancies... which, despite being unplanned (in our case),  I still wanted very much. 

It's amazing how much love you can feel when that test says positive, even when it's a surprise.  It's incredible how many plans and hopes and wishes you have for someone you've never even met. It's been specifically difficult to be without any tangible reminders, keepsakes or photos.  

...until now, which leads me to my next post. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

New Year, New Page.

I'd like to get a certain something off my heart... now that a new year has come and things have settled down a bit.

This isn't going to be poetic or beautiful or meaningful, I'm sure... I apologize in advance for the length of this post.  Forgive me if this doesn't come out right and if I sound horrible or crazy. I just want to/need to put this out there so maybe my heart will have a chance to heal and my mind can 'let go' ...and perhaps allow some folks to be a bit more understanding and 'tender' with me.

There are days when, honestly, I don't think about it.  Luckily, for me, I definitely don't have the emotional burden of 'emptiness' (as she calls it) and loss like my sister-in-law, Sarah.  I haven't met and lost and I haven't known anything different than the family 'normal' that I've known for the last couple years...   which, I know, must be a blessing.

But there have been several (no, many) instances in the last year (especially recently) when I just can't keep myself from falling into these huge waves of emotion.  I can't seem to pull myself out of this pool of anger and jealousy, guilt, regret and mostly disappointment.

With Josh and Sarah's announcement in April, news of a baby girl, Evie's birth in early November, Evie's arrival in heaven and her memorial celebration...  and many more baby hopes and announcements from close friends and couples my age,  I can't possibly keep shoving everything down.  I think I made it through this year pretty well (at least until the holidays and until things settled down).

...But I've been watching kids play and mommas snuggle their little ones. I've been playing with toddlers, going to showers, and talking about pregnancy with friends, and even helping to announce pregnancy...  and it's kills me inside ...because I lied. And I know that's my fault.

I said it was was one false positive.  I lied.  It wasn't... it was three. Three, very seemingly real, positives in a few day span.

And by my calculations, our little one should have made his or her arrival sometime in late October or Early November.  I'm almost certain that we got pregnant in the first couple weeks of February, right around the time that my hormones were getting back to 'normal' after a bout with thyroiditis and after a birth-control switch.  But something was still 'off'.

After much prodding at work due to my co-workers confidence in my pregnancy symptoms, I took a test just to make sure.  Faint double line.  No! What?!...clearly my hormones are just crazy.  We've been really careful.

I picked up a two pack of tests this time and I waited through the longest day of my life.  Faint double line.  So I waited (an excruciatingcouple more days and took the second test, Positive.  Double lines. There it was.

My first reaction:
The girls at work were right?!  Ohmygosh! A baby! I love babies!  Our baby. <3

My day 2 reaction:
Complete PANIC.

I had -just- spent the last few months focusing on how difficult life would be financially if we were to have a surprise baby.  I -just- spoke to a few close friends about my worries and our plans days ago. I was just talking about how I wish we could start a family but how stressed I was about loan debt and housing and ...everything really.  I was just talking about how I'm not ready yet.  I'm not stable enough, energetic enough, healthy enough.

What will Jed say?  He's not going to know what to do. He's going to be angry.  I might watch him have a panic attack right here, right now.  He doesn't want this yet... he's made that clear.  I didn't sneakily try this.  I do want this so much but I'm so petrified of what all this means.

Jed is so busy right now preparing for this huge work event, I can't put this on him now.  He might seriously lose his mind.  He will definitely lose his concentration.  I might lose my mind.

What am I supposed to do? Who do I tell first?  I tell Jed first  ...but I can't tell him yet.  Too much stress.  It's got to be pretty early (I think).  Should I make an appointment? But I shouldn't/can't take more time off work for this. I've been to the doctor about a million times over hormone stuff and birth control recently.

Should I be celebrating? Planning?  Where will we put her/him... in a sock drawer?

Why now, God?  We don't even have our own place. We just started new jobs. We just started this young adults thing... 

Okay, settle. Keep it together.

Keep it a secret until Jed's work thing settles down. Find a good time and then... a talk.  Jed will understand.  He loves me. These things happen.

He will be a wonderful dad. He will adjust and he will be responsible and love like no other.

Maybe it's a blessing. What am I talking about?! It is a blessing. It's what I want so badly.  I just wish timing was different and finances were better. A baby. *Sigh* A family ... just like I've always dreamed of and prayed for.

Well, I prayed that someday I could get pregnant. Obviously God thinks now is an appropriate time. Okay, God.  We can do this.  We are married adults. We will make it work, whatever it takes. We will love him/her so much. We may not have the 'ideal' financial situation.  But then again, who does?  I may not be able to stay at home but...  it will be okay. God won't give us more than we can handle, right?

Everything will be okay.  I'll tell Jed soon.  Lets jut get past this week and next... and I'll find a time after all the work chaos ends. 

March 28-
I'm really hoping this is 'normal'...

March 30-
Apparently telling won't be necessary.  Pain, horrible cramps, can barely walk.

April 5-
Confirmed.  No baby.

Back to work.

All this worry and planning, emotion and mental chaos for what?  ...For a let-down like this?!!!! I already let it sink into my heart, God!

How could you let me want this, God!  ...I didn't even know how much until (I thought) you showed me.  But now what? You're going to take this away?

Stop it, Lauren. You can't get angry over something you weren't completely sold-out about to begin with.  Just pack it away.  It stays a secret.  No one else needs to know anyway. After all, it's my stupid body, my stupid emotions. Keep yourself under control.

Just be grateful.  Nothing has changed, right?  Proceed as usual.
If I focus on normal things then surely this disappointment will go away. It was just weeks ago when I didn't know any different.

Keep busy. Just keep busy. 

Oh good, new things on the horizon. Party planning, new job.  I can erase this whole thing from my mind.

April 7-
Finally something to celebrate!  Teresa's Birthday. This will get my mind off things. :) Fun planning and fun times.

... Josh and Sarah are having another baby.
...a little over 6 weeks along.

should have been about 10 weeks right now and should have been able to confidently announce it in just another 2 weeks or so.

Seriously, God?! How can you be so cruel?
How am I supposed to be joyful with them?

I feel so stupid for hoping. I should have known better.  Why am I so emotional over something so small, something so 'unimportant' to everyone else.  Something no one else even knows about.  It should be unimportant to me too. I'm so stupid.

Oh God!  That's what it was...
I didn't want this baby enough.
Or maybe I wanted it too much?  For the wrong reasons? God, I don't know.

...Because I didn't love her/him the whole time.  I didn't plan it and didn't 'take care' of him or her well enough.  It's because I didn't tell Jed.  It's because I waited to say something.  I waited too long. This is punishment for lying.    Ashamed.

Some people say that "unplanned" and "unwanted" are interchangeable.  So... I unwanted this kid right out of being.



It's a girl.
Jealous. Angry. Betrayed.

Horrible news.
I take it back... I'm not jealous. Not really, God.  A niece would be nice.
God, I didn't mean this. What are you doing?!
You are making a complete mess of hearts! How could any of this possibly be good, how could this possibly be helpful, useful?

Wow. Yet another layer of confusion on top of an already broken 'hope'.

Public blog posts and lots of support.
I want that.
God, I need to release all this... this anxiety.  I need someone to know. I need someone to understand.

It's not your time now. You've missed your chance to be comforted.  It's not a big deal,  especially now.  This only hurts you anyway, don't be so selfish.

But I still need some comfort and I have to tell Jed.  I feel so guilty.

...So I tell a half truth.

"I got a positive pregnancy test a while ago...  I didn't tell you. I'm sorry."
"What?..."  " You're pr..."
"No. I'm not."
"It was probably a false positive. Your hormones have been crazy"
"Right."   ..."It was probably just a mistake"
"You were excited, weren't you? ... I'm sorry, baby."

Its rare to get false positives, but not impossible, right?
That's all it was. Just a mistake.  Just a stupid misunderstanding on my part.

Pack it down, again.

Babies. Babies, everywhere!  I don't have a baby.  I'm just hormonal and crazy and fat and baby-less. My horrible uterus can't even keep something precious safe for more than a couple of months. Pathetic.

Mother's day. Awkward.
A sweet card from someone who understands... but doesn't even know that they do.  <3

August, September-
We should be celebrating perfectly big bellies. Instead, new clothing because of hormonal weight. Instead, grief.

Waiting.  Just get past this.... focus on encouraging the ones who are really hurting.
I don't need to grieve something that isn't as real or visible.

Lots of physical pains.
Can't help but feel as though this should be for a purpose this month. I wish this agony had a baby joy at the end.
Empty. Secretly.

Confused. Angry. Waiting ....for the next heartbreaking thing.
So much sadness.
and yet, still wishing for our own "celebration", birthday song, family gathering.
Death. Tears. Morning.
Wishing cousins could be close. Wishing I could fix it all, take back my initial thoughts.

Detach to survive.

So many people pull together.  Everyone has been so involved, so supportive.  They've all been waiting and praying, hoping and preparing and encouraging.
Grief and Emptiness.
Except everyone feels empty.

New fears.
Overwhelmed. Weary. Silent.

...Waiting for God to fill the gaps.  To raise the clouds of uncertainty and sadness and bring about the 'happy' again.

Grateful for Evie.

Escape to PA. No consistent reminders.

December 31-
25 now.  Not old, just hurting.
...Just thought I'd have a 'special' birthday this year and there would be 'special' holiday celebrations for everyone.

'Accidents' don't usually happen twice.  We definitely won't be parents for quite a while now.
Lots of tears.

...Because I'm hurt and jealous. Because I feel betrayed.

I can't keep doing this.  I can't be angry. No, I can't be boiling inside. I want to be happy.
But how?

Isn't it obvious?

I know I need to tackle my emotions and kill the anger and jealousy at the source.
I want this year to be good, on track... and I don't want to keep carrying this burden.

So I'm putting it out in the open.
Not for drama, not for 'fussing'...
just for my own sanity.

Please, don't ask and please don't make it a 'thing'.
Just know. 

And please pray for me too.
I know my situation doesn't compare at all to the grief and suffering of those around me...  I know there isn't a face to put to this...  and this kind of thing happens to everyone...
but still, please pray for my heart.

I'm eager for a fresh page and new hopes.

I confess. I've been terrible. I've been angry and jealous and guilty... and I know I caused it.
...and I don't want 2013 to continue on the same path.
God, please, I'm willing...    Renew my mind and mend my heart. 
<3 Lauren