Saturday, February 12, 2011

Week Ten (or This is Always Where it Ends)

i won't mince words.
sometime in the last week, the flicker of light that was our baby's heartbeat went dim, and my body took her back. all that's left is the empty yolk sac and an alien-looking giant bubble that's making my pants still not fit.
i'm terribly sorry, Team Hope, because i know this news will devastate you too. how i have clung to your words of encouragement and found peace in your cheers and prayers. i will still be finding these things in the coming days. it is good to know that Tummymuffin III was so loved during her too-short tiny life.
so much of pain is fear, and i think i have a lot less fear for what's to come. i've been through it twice already, and even though i am not dismissing the possibility that this time could be different in whatever ways, i at least know what the physical and emotional pain is going to be like. more importantly, i can feel more confident that having gotten through two rounds of this kind of loss already, this one still won't break my marriage, break my faith, or break me. more importantly, i think i am fundamentally changed; more willing to ask for help and lean on the support and compassion of others. i know i won't run away from this. it just feels like i have better tools to help me keep moving through the days and weeks and months to come. life is going to continue with or without me. i'd prefer it to be with me.
in a few days, i will need to have a procedure done to remove what is left*; this time there will be less physical impact, i'm told. since there is no question that Tummymuffin III is completely gone, we'd prefer to not wait so we can have some emotional closure. i'm not sure when i'll post again, but i will try to stay open & honest here, and keep Team Hope in the loop.
thanks for your continued cheering. we need it right now.

*the procedure is called an MVA; i've written about it here as a resource for other women looking for information on what to expect.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week Nine (or I'm Not Counting)

ten is supposed to be the perfect number; the symbol of totality and completion. it's anything but that for me; ten is the number of weeks both my previous children lived before they were reclaimed by my body forever. so understandably, i'm getting slightly nervous.
okay, okay, that's an understatement. i'm exercising extreme self-control and relying heavily on your prayers and encouragement to keep from freaking out. i'll be sliding into week ten sometime soon, but seriously, i haven't been counting because i've learned by wretched experience that Anxious Anticipation of Horrible Milestone is far, far worse than Actual Living Through Horrible Milestone. friends of mine who have also struggled with infertility and baby loss confirm this -- for example, the days leading up to Mothers' Day are always more emotionally knotted than the day itself.
so my next appointment with my OB is in a few days -- i'm back in early since Tummymuffin III measured so small last time. i've been treating the approaching date with a wee bit of melodrama, feeling like it's going to be the Date We Discover the Fate of Our Doomed Child. will his or her heart still be beating? will she or he have grown enough to be viable? or will TEN once again be a marker of doom? doooooooom! (when i say melodrama, i'm not kidding.)
now, i've been working on a job that has me outside, in the mountains (note to the worried: i'm NOT carrying anything heavy; i sit down for most of the day). today three young deer appeared nearby. they looked at me, i looked at them, and they unhurriedly bounded away. and suddenly i felt like my heart was springing with them; suddenly i was filled with a pure and simple thought: in a few days i will get to see our baby! i'm going to see you again, my tiny heart! and all anxiety about the appointment was gone. shocked (and being me), i probed at this new feeling. it was real. and all i can say was it felt clean. clean like the way the first rain is scented; clean like a white sheet hanging in the spring sunlight; clean like the innocence i had with my first, untainted-by-fear pregnancy. and i thought of Isaiah 35, which says that the lame will leap like a deer and the mute will shout for joy.
my heart is still lame and mute much of the time; i cannot easily gloss over its woundings, nor will i pretend that all is shiny happy when it is not. but i do know that the One to Whom you are all praying on our behalf is called Jehovah-Rapha, the Healer. i did not expect such an astonishing, clarifying moment of redemption such as i received today, but i accept the love in which it was given, no matter what happens next.