I know that I haven’t posted anything in forever. To say I’ve been busy is the understatement of the year. The main theme of the posts I’ve started on this blog has centered around our plans to downsize to a “small” house, and the reason I haven’t posted in ages is because we have been deep in process of working toward that goal.
We worked every weekend for a few months getting Grandma’s house (our rental) ready for putting on the market. We had more than one garage sale. We pulled carpet up from the entire house. We painted trim and walls. We replaced the kitchen floor and hardware and sink. We continued to purge our belongings to charity and storage. Our goal date kept getting pushed back, but eventually we got it ready right before Christmas. We had an open house, but didn’t officially go on the market until mid January. After a few miserable weeks of daily house showings (which is torture when you have littles!), in one day we had two offers, and one turned out to be amazing, not just in dollar amount, but mostly in quality of family. Amazing enough that we have been in direct communication almost the entire time via email, and hope to continue to be in touch now that the sale is over.
6 weeks between contract and closing seems like a lot of time, until you realize you have to process all of your stuff, and your grandparents’ stuff from decades of living in that home. We had loaded one dumpster prior to going on the market…and then TWO dumpsters before closing. SERIOUSLY.
Well, MUCH of the work of packing and sorting and preparing to temporarily move in with my parents, move some to storage, and then the rest to be sold in an estate sale fell on my own and my mother’s shoulders, as everyone else works day jobs. And having the boys meant only one of us worked at a time. Of course, the weekends were loaded with work by everyone. We haven’t been to church in several weeks because it has simply been crazy down to the wire to get it all done. But a couple weeks into that packing time, the week we had set for moving our stuff to storage so we could focus on estate sale prep, I was having heart palpitations, complete exhaustion, and poor success at getting stuff done. Finally it dawned on me that I have a history of heart palpitations when I am pregnant….Woah, boy.
Soooo….. took a test. Not a full five seconds passed before that stick showed positive. TOTAL SHOCK. Not the time we had planned. We hadn’t even STARTED planning for baby number three. Literally the day before I had thought to myself, you know, I MIGHT be ready for another baby, AFTER we build our house…hopefully within 6 months. That would be good timing. HAHAHAHAHA. God is so awesome how He likes to mess with our plans. 🙂 I took another test the next day because I was still in shock. Definitely still pregnant.
I told family right away, because clearly, I was overextending myself. So we slowed down our plans, and decided Grandma’s storage unit would have to wait. Dad’s offer to hire movers before we found out I was pregnant turned out to be a HUGE blessing after we found out. I have historically low progesterone, which led to my first miscarriage two years before we had Gideon. I have had to supplement (and fight for supplementation) with both boys. So I scrambled to call the birth center and get supplement, because in all the crazy going on in my life, I had no idea how far along I was, and if I was getting far along, that progesterone could already be super low. It took more time than I would have preferred, but I finally got lab results, which were definitely low, and got started on progesterone supplements immediately. We also got a sonogram scheduled so we could determine gestation age, and I got to see our little baby’s strong heartbeat! 7 weeks and 1 day.
So, we work on processing all this new news, and continue plugging away at the house, while trying to get a little more rest. Truthfully, in our situation, getting rest, and “not doing too much” was nearly impossible. My progesterone continued to stay low. At one point it looked very high, so that was promising, but then we determined after a week of a lower dose, that it may have been a false reading due to taking a dose too close to the lab draw.
The last couple weeks before the house closing were crazy hard. Laaate nights prepping for an estate sale that was crazy exhausting. Two days of estate sale (constantly on feet!), followed by three days of packing what remained for donation, loading another dumpster, moving massive donation pile to curb, getting every last bit of personal stuff out, and finishing the last cleaning details. The crazy thing was that I had more energy than I thought I should for being pregnant AND that crazy busy. No heart palpitations. Tired for normal reasons, but not pregnant-tired. Not ravenous like I had been. Pants not fitting tighter like I figured they would be at that point in a technically-fourth pregnancy. Decreased nausea. I tried not to worry, because I had hardly any nausea with Jak. But my lab draw was low again, and the day the house closed….I started spotting.
Of course, I start to panic a little. I certainly know it could be many things. The midwife suggested it was due to trauma from lifting too much, and it would settle. When it didn’t settle (though wasn’t intensifying, either), another midwife scheduled a sonogram. Friday morning, Good Friday, the sonographer told me she wouldn’t be able to share results with me, but she would be able to give me a picture of the baby at the end. When she didn’t, I hoped she had forgotten, but immediately knew there was a reason. After a very long wait, she came back in and told me she had one of my midwives on the phone and she wanted to talk to me. Well, there’s no surprise what that meant.
They couldn’t find a heart beat.
She told me to drive on over to the birth center, and she would explain to me what we needed to do from here. I’m bummed, because I wish I had the presence of mind to ask about what age the baby looked, so I can know about how long it lived. But that’s ok.
I called Andy, who works literally a block from the birth center. He left work immediately to join me. I cried on my way. Of course I’m so very sad. Worried about how the next week will go. But in that short drive, I felt such a comfort. And I decided that, while my emotions are going to fluctuate, I’ve been through this before, and I have two amazing boys, and two angel babies. We may have more in the future. Or we may adopt. God is good. I know where this baby is. And he or she is not suffering.
(Oh, and BY THE WAY…PUH-LEEASE NEVER SAY ANY OF THESE THINGS to a woman who has or is suffering through a miscarriage or infertility as a reason they SHOULD be joyful and not sad about their loss. DO NOT pass off ANY miscarriage as anything less than a sacred human soul having passed, and a deep loss for their parents. Each family needs something different, but please do NOT say things flippantly, do not Jesus-juke them, do not tell them to get over it. God honored Hannah’s deep despair in her infertility. It is normal for this to be a very hard thing.)
It’s not fun walking into a place that everyone is looking at you with pity, wondering how you are doing with this sad news. Especially as an introvert that doesn’t like to show emotion anyway. The fact that we were deciding to be at peace with God’s timing and His presence with us while we walk through this, may have allowed us to be more positive than some of the caregivers in the birth center would have expected. (Of course, this was also me trying to keep myself from crying more for the time being.)
As we left, with instructions of what to expect next and what we would do to follow up after the miscarriage occurs, we decided we needed lunch. Well…I guess I can eat sushi now. Let’s do that, and celebrate the life of our fourth baby.
So we did. And then, as we drove home to be with the boys…I decided before this process really kicks in, while I feel good, I want to enjoy the beautiful weather, and spend some happy time with our boys. I also still had done nothing for Easter! So, as crazy as it sounds, we took the boys out for some fun. And we had a blast. We enjoyed macarons as big as our hands, and we shopped at Target for Easter basket stuff. And then that night, Andy and I continued with our pre-arranged plans to enjoy some homemade gumbo with dear friends.
It was what my heart needed. It was a hard, but good Good Friday. What great comfort to know on THE day our Lord was crucified, by HIS stripes, I AM HEALED, and so is our baby. So amazing.
We decided to let the Easter weekend take whatever course I need it to take. We had plans to join family for a celebratory house-is-DONE meal out on the town, join other family for an easter egg hunt, had hoped to make it to church, and then brunch on Sunday. Still feeling good this morning, we did the first of those plans. But as the afternoon progressed, it became clear the not fun part was coming. So I don’t know what the rest of the weekend holds.
Before I end this long post, let me say a few things. I am in a good place about this. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard, and sad. We are sure to have some up and down feelings about all of this. And it doesn’t mean that this baby isn’t valuable to us, or that anyone else going through this should process this in the same way, or be feeling this positive while in the very throes of a miscarriage. I certainly wasn’t the first time we faced this. And it isn’t even just the fact that this isn’t our first time going through this that is giving me comfort. There are many factors right now. Part of it may be that I was still really reeling from the fact that I was pregnant right at this moment. It was a really stressful time for me to process it. I hate to say, there might even be a tiny bit of relief for my heart right now. Do I feel guilty about that? A little, for sure. But I know God holds my heart, and I’m not going to berate myself for having MIXED emotions about it all.
But truly, the only true reason I can have any contentedness in this situation is because I know Who also holds this little one. And I know my times are in His hand. By HIS stripes we are healed. He is RISEN.
He is RISEN.
And I know He is WITH me.
Our little one deserves an announcement, even though he or she only existed in the womb. We were planning to share an announcement this weekend, if we had good labs this week. Sadly, our announcement is bittersweet. We love this little one, and we eagerly await meeting them someday. We welcome your prayers, especially as we actually go through miscarriage this week. We greatly appreciate the prayers and encouragement we have already received from the few that we had been sharing all this with from the beginning. We truly have amazing friends, and we are forever grateful.
Sorry for sharing sad news on the eve of such a glorious, holy day. But please rejoice with us, for His healing is available to us, as it is to everyone! We wish you a blessed Easter!