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My dad use to say to me, “everyone is just trying to make it” and while that might sound pessimistic, I have always known his intention behind it. I have always known he meant, “go easy on others – life is not easy, not for you, or anyone else, so even when it looks like everyone is all happy and living a perfect life, the truth is- they are probably “just trying to make it” as much as the next guy.”
In the world of Instagram and what often looks so glamorous and happy and super fun… the rest of our lives are not out for others to see. And while this is not a post about the inconsistencies and dare I say dangers of social media on our hearts, I do want to be transparent with you about apart of our journey.
You will see pictures of my amazing husband, Rob on our feed from time to time and you will see pictures of my babies almost on the daily. We live, work, eat, play and enjoy life together. To be honest, it is often idyllic. And yet, just five short years ago I could not have dreamt I would have a life this full, this free, this beautiful.
Two months into marriage we conceived (which we had hoped we would!) both of us in our 30’s and ready to “start family life”, we were thrilled, ecstatic really. We invited my sister to come to our first ultra sound, three months into the pregnancy. As we were all giddy with excitement, video camera rolling, the Dr stared at the screen… the room too quiet. Where was that bmbmbmbmbm sound I had heard at friends ultra sounds? And then the long pause, the “can you move around a little ma’am?” “Hmmm these ultra sound machines can be so finicky”… I knew. I knew that, that precious little life was no more. And then, in some strange daze I heard him explain that “this sort of thing happens to many women” and that it was “very strange that I had still been puking on the daily when the baby was measuring at 6 weeks”… he continued with something along the lines of “if you have not passed the baby at this point, we will need you to come into the hospital for a procedure…” In complete disbelief we got in the car and drove straight to Yosemite.
Im not a camper. Im not an avid hiker. I have no clue why I wanted to go to Yosemite. But I did. And so we went. With a change of clothes, a few blankets, a tent and two broken hearts. After a few days of hiking, journaling and long stents of crying in the middle of nowhere we were ready to drive out. Our last night there, I started having “contractions”… and so began the actual process of “miscarrying”. We were in a tent with no cell reception. No way of googling what to do, how to manage this horrific pain or what to expect. I lay there for hours, barely able to breathe the pain was so bad. After about seven hours of consistent contraction like pain, I felt an urge to “push” and so came out this tiny sac. I sobbed and sobbed at the life that would have been before us.
Eighteen really long months proceeded this night in the woods – eighteen months of fertility checking, appointments, timed sex, and fear. Fear that those hopes and dreams of ever becoming parents was just that --a hope and a dream. We miscarried again a second time and while it was much less dramatic, it added to the fear of my inability to carry life. What was wrong with me? Was it the years of an eating disorder? Was this my ‘punishment’ for treating my body so poorly for all those years before? June, 2015 I would pee on a stick and nearly fall of a toilet in elation at the double line. I would pee on five more sticks to confirm that, there might actually be life inside me again. Keely would be born to us nine months later, our sweet miracle baby.
I know so many of you are experiencing infertility – fear has been your companion for far longer than eighteen months. I am so sorry. Many have had IVF treatment, adopted, fostered etc just to have a baby in your arms. I know some of you have lost children-- living, breathing children and the pain of a miscarriage seems insignificant to you who have lost the life of a child you actually bore, and had relationship with. Maybe for some- its your marriage – its falling apart. The hopes and dreams of growing old with a kind, loving, and supportive person is no more. And then there are some who are single and never have had the opportunity to love or be loved. You might look at others pain in regards to their relationship or parenting and wish you had the opportunity to know what that kind of pain would feel like, because then maybe it would mean you were not alone anymore. I am so sorry.
Pain. No one can escape it and no one is immune to it and I know it can shape our hearts, sometimes in ways we wish it had not. But I truly believe there is hope. I believe God can redeem anything. I believe love wins. And I also believe that sometimes, in our greatest season of pain – that, that is the very birthplace for something greater than your heart or mind can dare to dream or imagine. Sending you all so much love today, wherever you might find yourself.
Thank you for reading and sharing life with us from afar.
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