It’s been a good, long while since my last post. It’s not that I get busy, or that I forget, I am just really bad about being consistent and seeing projects through to the end. I also feel like I should actually have something to write about. That being said, there has been a lot on my mind lately. This Year been heavy and hard and I think that it all finally caught up with me and has left me overwhelmed. Goodness, where to start.
First, if I’m being totally honest, other than Norah’s first birthday in January, I don’t remember much from this year that happened before May unless I look at Instagram. I know that sounds terrible, but ever since May, life has been, well, real. In May we moved. We were planning on growing our family and decided we needed that we needed a bit more space and after searching for what seemed like forever, we found a place. I love our new home. It’s certainly the newest home that we have lived in, having been built in the 50s. It’s mid-century feel suits mine and Brad’s style, our furniture looks good, and I finally have everything decorated the way I like (it only took 6 years and 9,000 pinned ideas, thanks Pinterest), not to mention when you turn down our street it feels like you left Texas and entered Southern California. The weekend after we moved in, we found out that we were pregnant! Perfect timing. The next few weeks were spent researching and planning. Our first pregnancy ended in an unwanted and unplanned but necessary cesarean due to Norah being breech, but with this baby we wanted a home birth. After lots of phone calls, I found my midwife. By the time I went in for my first appointment, I was already 11 weeks pregnant. We had an exhaustive conversation with the midwife and then it was time for our ultrasound. This was going to be the best part of my day. I remembered the first time I saw Norah on that screen and heard her hummingbird heart beating away and my heart swelled. After several moments, I knew something was wrong. I knew what was supposed to be on that screen and there was nothing there. Nothing that resembled new life, no heartbeat, no baby, nothing. Just empty space. That moment is the single, most horrible thing I have ever endured and it will be forever burned into my memory. The midwife told us that we had a blighted ovum and a missed miscarriage. Basically, we were pregnant, but the baby did not make it past implantation, however, my body continued to think that it was pregnant up until almost 9 weeks into the pregnancy. We were given some options; we could have a procedure done that would clean everything out, or wait and let my body handle it naturally. We decided to wait. Since about two weeks had lapsed since my body got the memo that there was no baby and my first ultrasound, we didn’t have to wait long. My appointment had been on a Monday and by Wednesday I was bleeding. By Sunday it was over. To date, I have never experienced anything more painful emotionally or physically than this. Grief is a force that works you over like being caught up in an undertow and every time you think you can stand, the waves crash over you again. It has taken me a long time to be able to write about this and even now, there is much that is still unsaid. A few know all the details. Looking back over the past couple of years, reading through previous blog posts, I felt as though God was preparing me for this. Everything had been so dark for so long and I was finally coming out of that dark place and clinging to the light, holding tight to Him. The One who rescues me. The One who knows me. The One who was holding me as I walked through this. If He hadn’t softened my heart when He did, I might have have turned my back on Him in this. As a result of His relentless pursuit of me, oh, how I clung to Him.
1 O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
2 So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
3 Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
4 So I will bless you as long as I live; in your name I will lift up my hands.
5 My soul will be satisfied as with fat and rich food, and my mouth will praise you with joyful lips,
6 when I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night;
7 for you have been my help, and in the shadow of your wings I will sing for joy.
8 My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
I am through the wilderness, but every now and then I get caught up in the shadows of grief. I miss what I lost. But I have hope. Hope that one day I will be blessed again with a baby. Hope that one day I will see the child I lost. I know that my baby has gone home to be with my gracious Father in Heaven and that they have been made whole and perfect and new. It took several weeks, but I decided that I needed to do something that would make a record of the life that so briefly existed here on earth, something that would validate it, and give me some measure of closure. So, I have a little box with flowers, my positive pregnancy test, a copy of the ultrasound, even though baby was gone long before then, and a name: Hope. I never got to find out what we were having, but despite all of my grief, I was filled with Hope and that seemed a fitting name for our baby.
It’s hard to believe that just a little over four months ago we found out we lost our child. So much has happened since then. More than I can write in a single blog post. There are a few people who know all that has gone on. Those that keep up with us anyway. The past six months have been hard. I’m not exactly a private person, as hard as I try to hide and as introverted as I am, I tend to wear my heart and my emotions on my sleeve. That being said, this past year, especially the last six months, I have felt like I have navigated the waves mostly alone. Not sure if I should have done something different, been more public about everything, I feel as though I was pretty transparent through it all. It was just lonely.
I think things have finally settled a bit. Life seems to have slowed down, even amidst the hustle and bustle of the holidays. Christmas is just weeks away and we are that much closer to the end of another year. How does time pass so quickly?! I love this time of year though. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately. If you’ve been reading any of my sporadic posts, you know that I struggle with depression. Earlier in the year I decided to get off my antidepressants. It’s not that they weren’t working, they were, I even had some pleasant side effects to go along with it, can we say “aggression”? I just never intended to be on medication long term. I have nothing against medication, in fact, I am very grateful that we have the technology to help people when necessary. I was just more interested in seeing if there was a way to manage some of my symptoms, maybe even correct the problem all together by dieting and making other lifestyle changes. Well, time has this funny habit of passing rather quickly and things happen, I got caught up in life and here we are, in December. I’ve been struggling the past few weeks. I have problems with producing enough serotonin and I think that the past several months depleted what reserves I had so I have been a little depressed. I was contemplating getting back on antidepressants for a bit, at least to get me through the holidays, but Brad has been doing some research and suggested that I try some amino acid therapy. So, I am currently taking tryptophan. Yes, that’s what is in your thanksgiving turkey, but there’s not as much in that turkey as you think. Anyways, your body needs tryptophan. Your body cannot make it, so you must get it from your food. There is so much that I have learned, that I need another post to just talk about it, but, long story short, tryptophan, once in your body turns into serotonin, which I lack. Tryptophan also creates more melatonin which helps you sleep, something else I struggle with. A lot of the reading I have done suggests that tryptophan can be as effective as antidepressants in most cases and doesn’t have all the side effects. Win-win in my book. I have only been taking tryptophan for about a week, but have noticed a difference. For one, I am a lot less tense, not as blah and I can sleep!!! I’m going to give it a bit longer and then I will probably do a post devoted to tryptophan. This is probably where I should insert my disclaimer: *I am not a doctor. The information and testimonies I include are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If you, the reader or any other person has a medical concern, please consult with an appropriately licensed physician or healthcare worker.*
So, this is where I’m at. This year has been a struggle, but I am getting through it. I’ve grown a lot. God has been good to me, even after trials and pain I can look back and see His mercies and I’m glad I won’t be the same person going into 2015 as I was in 2014.