Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My journey with God through miscarriage

This is a hard post to write.  But I have felt God speaking directly to me and telling me to share my story.  It's a story most women don't tell, but somehow, that makes this all the more necessary.  I don't like to talk about it sometimes, because it is still fresh and difficult to handle.  But I know that my life is meant to glorify the Lord, and this is just another part of my story that points to His goodness and love. 

We found out we were pregnant at the beginning of December at 4 weeks, due around the beginning of August.  We were excited and ready for another one.  We couldn't get in to see the doctor until about 10 weeks, but we had tests and blood work done and every thing seemed great.  Without a sonogram picture, we decided to take some family pictures so we could share with our immediate families on Christmas morning, when I would be 8 weeks.  They were extremely excited for us and it was such a great surprise.

Telling my parents we were expecting on Christmas Day
We saw the doctor at the beginning of January and she explained that while I was pregnant, it was possibly not a viable pregnancy.  She said we could give it a week and see if anything progressed.  The moment she said that, I went into complete shock.  I hadn't had many friends who had miscarried and I honestly didn't believe it could happen to me.  But even though she said there was hope, I truly believed that God was telling me that it wasn't to be.  That week of waiting was probably the absolute worst week I have waited through.  I prayed.  I cried.  I begged.  I sat numb and didn't move.  I had to find ways to be a mom to my sweet child who didn't understand why I didn't feel like playing.  At 11 weeks, it was confirmed that it was not a viable pregnancy and nothing I could do.  Time wouldn't help.  I miscarried that night and it was most likely the worst night of my life.  The week had prepared me for it, but I still didn't want it to be true.  I wanted that baby so badly.

Our first picture as a family of 4.  Given to the grandparents as a surprise Christmas gift.  
It's been 3 weeks, and even though life has moved on and I am somewhat better, I still ache for the baby I thought we would have.  I mourned the life of a baby that would make us a family of 4.  I mourned the excitement of being pregnant again.  I mourned Harper being the best big sister ever.  Many may not understand this need to grieve, but it was real and extremely necessary.  And I know many have expected that I would just move on and get over it.  However, even 3 weeks down the road, I am just now medically at the end of my miscarriage.  It has been a horrible ordeal that has lasted 3 full weeks.  A miscarriage is painful, both emotionally and physically.  It is much like hours of labor, but there is no happy ending. And although I am grateful that it is done with, but I am still saddened that it's real, that I'm not pregnant, and that we won't have a baby to hold in 9 months.  

As I have talked with friends who have supported me during this time, I have learned a lot about miscarriages.  They are more common than I thought.  I honestly was completely shell shocked that it happened to us.  I would have never imagined it would really happen.  But it happens in about 1 out of 3 pregnancies, and that to me is a lot.  But we don't talk about it.  We don't want to discuss one of the most heartbreaking things that can happen to us as women.  We want to ignore it and hope it just goes away and we hope we won't be heartbroken about our lost baby forever.  But it is sad.  One of the saddest things I have ever experienced.  But it does get better.  And talking to other women who have been through it was one of the best things for me.  To know I wasn't alone.  To know that my thoughts and feelings were normal and ok.  To know that someone understood, someone loved me and my lost baby too, and someone cried just like me, was what I needed to know I would one day be ok.  

As a believer, I know that God knows exactly what is going on with me, knows exactly what my future looks like, and has a life set for me that is absolutely perfect in every way.  And as a human, I have to realize that my plan is not His plan.  And as a human, I have to come to the truth that His plan is infinitely better than mine, it is beautiful and perfect in every way, and it is not just a good plan, but the best plan for me.  I want God to know that I trust Him.  I want God to know that I have faith.  So even when my heart is broken and I long for my plans of another baby, I sit in God's presence and I am joyful.  I might be crying, I might be singing, I might be doing both.  But my joy is not circumstantial.  It rests on God's unwavering grace and goodness.  It rests on my eternity in Heaven with my Creator and Savior.  And I will tell you that even though I don't understand, even though I don't know what is next, even though I have no idea when I won't be sad anymore, God has granted me such immeasurable peace, a peace that is not of me, but can only be of Him.  Peace that I will be ok.  Peace that my future is still blessed and secure, even if I don't know what it looks like.  Peace that He is with me and will stay with me every moment of the rest of my life.  A peace that surpasses all understanding is something I had heard of, read, and wondered about.  But I have now experienced it, and it is remarkable.  A peace that is overwhelming and that I had nothing to do with.  A peace that can only be God given.  And for this peace, I am so extremely grateful.  Because I know it has allowed me to make it through this sadness.  

I started journaling at the beginning of the new year and that has been such a helpful tool.  As I have looked back through the last few weeks, I have learned many things about myself and about my amazing God.  The day before I went to the doctor for the first time, when I thought everything was ok, I prayed that God would challenge me.  That He would take me out of my comfort zone and help me to be a person that desired Him above the things of this world.  I prayed that I would find myself on my knees, fervent in prayer, constantly dependent on Him for strength and daily provision.  I was in a place where my life was great.  But because of this, although I loved God, I had no real need for Him.  In a country where we can get anything we want, we may find that we are dependent on ourselves instead of needing God to get us through our every day life.  Well, God definitely heard that prayer, because I have been on my knees more in the last three weeks than last year combined.  Sometimes I prayed he would fix my baby.  Sometimes I prayed He would just preform a miracle and give me my heart's desire.  But mostly, I found myself praying that He would strengthen me, hold me up, allow my heart to trust, allow me to let go of my plans and surrender my life.  And sometimes, I found myself praying for forgiveness, for my belief that I was owed anything, that I deserved anything other than the amazing salvation He has already given to me.  I deserve nothing and yet He gave me everything.  And through all this prayer, I have come to see that this miscarriage is most likely His way of making my life better.  I have no idea what was to be, or what might have happened, but He loves me, more than I could ever imagine, so if this is what had to be, then I have to trust that it is truly for the best.  Because God's plan is always best.  And though that is a daily promise that I have to remember and fight for, I lean on it because it gives me great hope for the future.  

Cody and Harper with me at our first doctor's appointment.
They are another reason I get up in the morning.  God has blessed me with these two.
One last thought, for women out there.  God created us to be a community, it's how we live best.  So when we are struggling, let others pray for you, comfort you, support you.  When you learn great things about the Almighty, share it with those around you.  It may be just what they needed that day.  Or it might be that they can know rely on your for support when they go through it themselves.  I believe every detail of our lives can be used for a specific purpose for His Kingdom.  And sometimes when there are no good words to say, there isn't a need for words at all.  In the midst of Job's sadness, his friends sat with him for a week in silence and that is all he needed at that time.  So thank you to all my friends who sat with me in my sadness, even when there were no words to make it better.

I pray that you don't find yourself in my shoes, but it you do, I pray that you find yourself being carried by a Savior who only wants the best for you.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

NYE 2013

New Year's Eve is a weird holiday.  Everyone always seems to have such high expectations and it doesn't always turn out that way.  Plus, what are we really celebrating?  The calendar's birthday?  So Cody and I decided to just take it easy this year.  Harper and I were still sick with some kind of virus.  Plus, the Texas A&M bowl game was on.  So yeah, we were staying home and having a great night.  We went to dinner at The Jalepeno Tree, one of our favorite restaurants.  Harper had a great time jumping around the booth and talking with the waitress.  She loved the tortillas (I think she had 4 or 5 of them) and the cheese and the chips.  Heck, we all love Mexican food.  She also got to open a gift from her friends Breken and Bane and she loved her new bunny slippers.  We played and Harper went to bed early.  Cody and I watched the A&M game all the way through, it was SO good!  And thankfully we won in the end.  Johnny's last game with the Ags, so it was a big one.  Happy New Year everyone.  Hope 2014 is a good one!

On New Year's Day, we hung out together all day like we always have.  Cody played with his new tools and we jumped on the trampoline for hours.  It was a beautiful day.  We had dinner at the Hempkins' and ate our black eyed peas.  Harper is seriously into taking pictures so we let her snap quite a few of these.  Anything that is aimed around 3 feet above the ground is her.  

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

December Blog

December has been all about spending time together.  The beginning of December we spent so much time just hanging out, getting ready for Christmas, and enjoying the holidays.  Then, we had two whole weeks off to relax and it was awesome.

It has been off and on winter around here.  60 one day and 30 the next.  We spend time outside when we can, going to the park or walking with the dogs around the pasture.  We even like to feed the ducks at Waterloo, though one day we were seriously almost attacked by hungry geese.  One day we were tired of being inside but it was cold out, so I let her have free reign over WalMart.  And one night, Cody took Harper out on a ride with the 4wheeler.  He came back towards the house and I noticed that Harper had fallen asleep.  On the 4wheeler.  While it was going 20 mph in the wind over bumps.  That nut.  


We have done a few holiday things as a family.  We spent a Saturday morning at Lowe's doing a kids workshop.  She loves to hammer, or "Boom It" as she says.  We made our holiday toffee, twice, and I'm sure that Cody and I ate one whole batch by ourselves.  I also finally got a new phone, which is awesome because my old one wasn't working well.  And now Harper and I can facetime our favorite people.  I also have been making a few too many lists because I had to text this to-do list to my friends and see why I thought I had a "Grocery Party" that day?  And I may have gone a little overboard with my technology lately.  Some nights I sit and play on my phone while working on stuff on my computer and sometimes even watching a show on Cody's ipad.  Multi-tasking to it's finest.  I am seriously going to have to do a technology scale back in January.  

Harper has been all over the place these days.  You can tell she is trying to figure out how to deal with being only 2 1/2.  She wants to do whatever she wants, but gets told no, alot.  However, she is an independent player and gets creative in her toys these days.  She is still into babies and barbies and clothes.  But she can also take a kitchen tool and play with it for an hour.  She loves to sniff spices and tell me which ones smell good.  She likes to get her own snacks.  Which may become a problem because I caught her trying to hide in our pantry (it's not a walk-in so it wasn't hard to find her) eating chocolate (can't blame her).  Funny story - over Thanksgiving we had dinner at my Dad's and Grayson brought his special box with all his special toys in it.  But they had to wake him from nap so he was a little grumpy and didn't want to share his special toys with Harper.  But we spent a day in Frisco before Christmas and Harper found his box.  I just had to let her play with it and she had fun.  I love that sweet boy but it was funny!

Harper has LOVED having Cody home.  It really makes a big difference in their relationship.  She misses him so much when he's at work and she asked him every morning of break, "You go work today?" She was so happy everytime he said no.  They play so well together, he's a lot more patient at playtime than I am.  He plays Barbie and Princess and Doctor.  Plus, he reads her books every night and they lay in bed talking about their days before she goes to sleep.  I absolutely love that they love each other so much.  

We have learned a few new things this winter.  One being that living without a garage in the winter means that your car is cold all the time.  We did this in Highland Village, but somehow it seems even worse when you can't at least run through your garage to the house but have to go around all the time.  So the other day, we opened the back playroom window so Cody could hand all of the groceries in through their instead of coming around 50 times.  It was actually a pretty good idea and we do it a little more often than we need to now.  Harper is big into baking.  She helps me do everything in the kitchen and loves to look in the oven to tell me when things are done.  She also loves her Christmas PJ's.  She has Santa ones, Minnie ones, reindeer ones, and she loves to decide which ones she gets to wear at night. And we are big into hide and seek and scaring each other.  We run around the house and hide somewhere and she follows us and tries to find us.  And at the last minute, when she gets close, we jump out and yell boo and she screams and is terrified for a half second before she dies laughing and begs to do it again.  However, one day, I hid past the hallway and scared her and then she tried to hide again, in the hallway, while I was still standing there.   She just kept telling me, shhh, I'm hiding.  Haha.  Good try, little girl!  

Cody has been doing tons of stuff around the house and the outside.  He has spent hours cleaning out the barns and even though I'm sure he has done a TON of work, they are still full and cluttered!  He has been burning dead trees and brush piles.  He has been cleaning up all the weeds and the thornbushes.  He also put together my new laundry room cabinets.  I love having a handy guy around the house.

Little Miss Priss has also been enjoying her Christmas presents.  She got new cowgirl boots from KK and Mark.  I figured she would wear them every now and then, to dress up, etc.  But if I tell her it's time to get dressed, she almost always grabs her boots.  They are easy for her to get one, so she likes that she can do it herself.  And she does look cute, so it's perfect.  We also started a holiday tradition of going to a movie over the break.  It was her first real movie in a theater, we saw Frozen.  She did great, especially since it lasted through lunch.  She did keep asking, "Why her sad?", "Where her parents go?", etc.  I tried to just move on, it's hard to explain sad parts to kids.  But she loved the singing and it was a great movie.  She even got to go to Chick Fil A afterwards and play.  She's also been playing with her new playdoh set from Car and Tay.  She loves playdoh and she likes that this one makes cupcakes and ice cream.  And my parents bought a mini drum set for the grandkids to play on while Mark plays on his.  She actually loves it and they don't mind the noise, so it's cool.  

Harper and I have had our share of ups and downs lately.  If she was a mama's girl before, she is an even bigger one now.  Who can blame her?  We spend all our time together since we live out in the middle of nowhere and don't really have much to do.  But she has also learned how to throw a fit like I've never seen.  Since it's been cold, we have been making her stay clothed with slippers.  She likes clothes but she does not like being told what to do.  She has sat/laid/cried/fussed in time out over clothing for 10 minutes sometimes.  It is both hilarious and sanity-sucking at the same time.  She doesn't nap in the afternoons, she just reads her books and talks and yells at me to see what I'm doing.  It does mean for long evenings though because she's tired and grumpy.  She has been stuck in time out quite a bit these days, but she just lays there and doesn't seem to mind (it may not be working...).  

2013 was a great year for us.  It had a BUNCH of changes but life is good and we are absolutely blessed.  We are praying for guidance as we head into 2014, asking God to show us what is in store.  Here's to a great new year!