My Journey has led me to the grandest of mountain peaks where the sun glinting off the snowcaps was blindingly beautiful and my heart soared with eagle’s wings of joy. It has also led me through the driest and darkest of valleys where I felt like I would die of thirst if nourishment didn’t somehow get past my crusty and cracked lips. Such is life…and I don’t view it as something to be endured as much as something to be experienced while being fully present through the pain and the joy. I walk with God – or more like He walks with me. He chose me first and when I chose Him back, He promised He’d never leave me. In the past few weeks, I’ve clung to that promise.
I debated for a long time whether or not I would post about my sorrows. I’ve been skimming along the surface for awhile now, avoiding some tough things I’m supposed to discuss here. Blogging what I’m about to share is me taking the deepest breath I can and diving for the depths – partly out of obedience and mostly hoping and praying it will help someone else. If you’re coming along with me, breathe deep friend. I’m not coming back up for air until next week sometime.
Those two words sent me into a state of shock and I’m still recovering. I think I will be for a long time. Without sharing all the details here, let me share with you why I was/am so shocked. I had a tubal ligation done 4 years ago when Petey was born. That decision was based on discussions with doctors about scar tissue I have from 3 previous c-sections. My babies don’t come out the other way. I felt strongly like I shouldn’t have a 4th c-section. We have always planned on adopting someday, so I was o.k. with not having any more babies.
Three weeks ago I miscarried. I didn’t even know I was pregnant until it happened. I think I was about 10 weeks along. It didn’t require any medical procedures. Though oxygen when I figured out what was happening would have been nice. Shock doesn’t even begin to cover it.
What does this mean? Questions flooded my mind like a geyser had erupted somewhere inside me and shot them straight through my brain stem. Was the tubal a mistake? Did it not work on one side or both? Did it work but my body healed itself during the recovery process after delivery? How did this happen? I know there are no guarantees but this method is one of the most fool-proof forms of sterilization? How could I beat the odds? I’m a statistic! Is God trying to tell me something? Am I supposed to have more children? We talked through that decision for a long time – were we wrong? Is sterilization wrong? Does God care about such things? Am I in danger of this happening again? Do we need to start using birth control again? Do I have another surgery if needed? Should I have exploratory procedures done to show me what happened? Wouldn’t it be nice to have health insurance right now? How do I feel about the possibility of having more children? How does Benny feel about it? What’s my fear here? Do I just wait and see what happens next? Do I tell people and ask for prayer? Who should I share this with? Why do we always think things like this happen to other people and never to us? Do we tell our kids? (We decided they are too young to understand.) How common is this?
The first week I spent in shock and asking questions. I was trying hard to wrap my brain around it. I was pregnant? Really? Then I taught at FACE and a girl in one of my classes wore a small pro-life pin on her shirt. It was baby feet at 10 weeks gestation. I saw that pin and felt like someone simultaneously slapped my face and punched me in the stomach. I faked my way through the rest of the morning, and came home to fall apart. The emotion I felt guilty for not having the week before came on hard and fast in tidal wave fashion. And here I sit two weeks later still processing and crying at the oddest times. I’m sure my hormones are still not back to normal, but I’m a crier anyway. Most of the time, I can talk about it without crying. Today has been hard though.
Yesterday I received an email from a college friend whom I’d not yet told about what I’d been going through. She was distraught because she miscarried this week. She had just found out last week that she was pregnant (5 weeks) and she was deliriously happy. This week she is depressed and healing and reaching out for support. I love this woman and I want to encourage her but I’m struggling with the how of it all. We all deal with loss in different ways. She knew about the baby before it was gone. I didn’t know about mine. It took me a week just to acknowledge that it was a BABY. Then came another shock. I had sent out an email to several friends telling them what I’m going through so they could pray for me as I process and grieve, and MORE THAN HALF of the women who emailed me back had miscarried and I didn’t even know. A few of the men had experienced the loss from a husband’s point of view. I hadn’t given much thought about it being a subject that isn’t discussed. I had no idea how common it was – even among my friends.
WHY??? Why didn’t I know? Why isn’t this shared? Why do people suffer alone and not surround themselves with a supportive community to help them cope? Am I strange to be so open in talking frankly about it? Is that just MY way of coping? I would have taken every opportunity to encourage and love on a friend going through something like this even when I didn’t have the first clue what it felt like to suffer this loss. I felt alone and didn’t know who to call when I was freaking out…I didn’t know. I did call a local friend who gets me and lets me be blunt, and she was fabulous! She had experienced miscarriage herself and she was of great comfort to me. Maybe I’ll get to be that person for someone else someday. Maybe it will be sooner than I think. I want to minister from in my pain. And that is where I am…in pain. Physically I’m fine. Mentally I’m still processing.
I have more to say, but it will have to wait until next time. I’m spent. I would appreciate your continued prayers that God’s will be done in my life and that I rely on His strength to get me through my valley of the shadow of death. Pray for my friend as well. If you’ve already prayed and/or sent me an email, thank you so much for your support and encouragement. I’ve always said I’m richly blessed when it comes to friends.
A few facts I found on the web:
25-50 % of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Many women miscarry and don’t even know it – they think it’s a heavier than normal period.
Approximately 143 in 10,000 women get pregnant after having a tubal ligation. Most of them miscarry within the first trimester. The odds go up slightly 10 years after a tubal, but this is still one of the most effective (human error free) methods of sterilization.
A website I found helpful: www.pregnancyloss.info