Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Raw

Sometimes, it just kind of hits me.
Unexpectedly.
And it's the shock of it that hurts the most.

I was digging through the closet in our guest room, searching for some of my old teacher supplies to use with sweet nanny child, and I found something I had almost completely forgotten.
This giant red and blue pirate octopus.  This adorable stuffed toy that had made me squeal when we spotted it at Target. We had just had our first ultrasound, and Chris was all beaming and proud and wanted a photo album.
Because we had our baby's first picture.
The only picture.
But we didn't know that yet.
Then we saw this octopus.
I was a little apprehensive about buying it because it might not have "matched" the nursery theme we were considering, but Chris said, "Screw it. The theme is stuff we like. Do you like the pirate octopus? Good. Then it matches.  We're buying it."
Baby's first stuffed animal.
I carried it through the store like a six-year-old. Giddy. Giggling. My baby didn't even have fingers, and it had a toy. A great, big, happy, eight-legged buccaneer cephalopod. 
That's the start of an epic childhood, right?

Now, it sits in its Target bag, stuffed on top of a box of Christmas decorations.  It still has the tags on it. I don't even really remember what it looks like besides the colors. I think it wears an eyepatch. I don't want to take it all the way out, really look at it. There's no point.
Not because I'm not healing, and not because I'm bitter. Because suddenly it hurts badly again, and I want to cry.
I hate crying.
It's messy and vulnerable and upsetting. It's necessary, I get that, and I know I can feel better afterwards, but not that night. Not right then.
Really, there are times when I just don't think I can cry about it any more. I cried so much in the beginning, those first few months. I think I've allotted my annual tear quota.

Then I opened the chest of drawers, looking for a pencil bag, and, right on top, were the baby clothes my in-laws bought us, one week after our ultrasound.  A little pair of baby Converse sneakers (to match the ones Chris and I wear--we always said our babies would wear Converse), a bright green Saint Patrick's Day onesie, and a little froggie beanie I had picked out when we went shopping together. 
Laying on top.
Still with their tags.
And it hurt again, a little worse this time.

I shoved the drawer closed and moved to another.
Quickly.
It burned. 



It had taken me by surprise, you see. When I know something's coming, something in me steels itself. I didn't even realized I do that--prepared myself, put on an extra bandaid or two. Here, I had no time. I didn't even remember where we had stashed them.
Because that's what we did, you know.  For weeks after the news, we left the baby stuff out, on display almost, because we didn't know what to do with it. This odd mixture of a happy memory and leaving it because we didn't want touch it.  Then we hid it, because the house needed cleaning and I couldn't take it the empty cheeriness any more. It was over. There was no point. 
It hurt.

It's been almost five months. I can talk about it, now, without tearing up.  I don't make it a secret, but I don't go shouting to everyone I meet at every chance I get. It's not some badge of honor or agony or anything.
It just is.
In explaining my upcoming (at some point) surgery, sometimes I have to explain that it's the result of a miscarriage.
It doesn't hurt to say that.
It's just a fact of life.
It happened.

Then I see those tiny little things, and it hurts to remember how excited we were.

Did I ever tell you that we even bought a crib set?
I'm not a fan of most crib sheet and bumper sets--they just end up feeling cheesy, but I found one online that made me all giggly and happy. I could see the whole nursery--for a boy or a girl--coming together.  It was on sale, so Chris told me to buy it.
I did, ordered it from my phone right there in my OBGYN's waiting room before we went back and saw the heartbeat that first time.
That only time.
The set came in the mail, and I immediately called my mom and sent her pictures because it was perfect.

The baby bedding sat in the guest room, exposed, for a long time after the silent ultrasound.  It was easy to shut the door and ignore it. Then I grew accustomed to it. It was just part of the scenery.
When my mom came to visit, I took it out and showed her. Because one day we do want to use it. Because it's still stinkin cute. 
And perfect.
It's on a top shelf in our closet, so high you can't see it unless you're looking for it.


I think things are a little more raw than usual because I saw a hematologist to clear up the surgery bloodwork. You know, just to get a thumbs up to get surgery.  There were more blood tests. Once again, chatting with the pleasant lab technician, hearing that I have "nice veins," and watching the needle go in and fill six vials with the deep red fluid that gives us all life. My arm always feels tingling and cold afterwards.  I wait a week and a half, return to the doctor, and he gives me my results.
My blood, apparently, is an over-zealous clotter.
It doesn't mean anything about my health, really--it's a condition that appears and disappears without explanation, one that may or may not carry with it any symptoms.
I'm one of those without symptoms.
Except one.
The condition causes miscarriages.

So now we have answers.
It was my fault.

He tells me that it doesn't necessarily have to be this way, forever. That, if I take a baby aspirin a day while pregnant, I might carry full term.
That everything could have a happy ending.
The hope makes it a little brighter.

That, really, had it not been for this growth--this freak-of-nature dermoid requiring surgery--we never would have known about my blood. That we could have miscarried again and again and again without answers. Maybe we will anyways, but now we know why. Now we have a plan, something to do.



You see, there's always a plan. Something to do. Even if that something is just waiting.
Because God is good. All the time. Even in the dark, messy, crappy stuff. 

Life hurts.
Sometimes, it downright SUCKS.
But the hope of a purpose? Of something beyond myself?
It keeps me from curling up in bed and never getting up. 
It gives me the hope and the courage to keep smiling.
To talk about it.
To hurt. 
And to heal. 

To be okay.

I don't know my future.
Someone else does.
And that's more than okay. 
Life is still good because He is good. 
We have hope because He gifts it. 
We hurt, we heal, we hope. 
And He always is. 

And He is always good.
Even when we feel utterly abandoned.
Lost.
Crushed.
Defeated.
There is always light.
Somewhere. 
In the end, the middle, above, below, glittering through the cracks, sometimes so small you barely see them.

But light is always there. 
Because He is always there. 

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
 the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
--Habakkuk 3:17-19a





29 comments:

  1. You are an artist; words are your paint and you carry out your craft expertly. Simple and beautiful. And that passage from Habakkuk? I read it every year at Thanksgiving because it is the true essence of thankfulness. ((Hugs))

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  2. You're an incredibly brave and inspiring lady. I hope everything goes well with your surgery. Thing's will all come together when they're meant to. Chin up, and keep smiling xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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  3. My heart hurt for you the minute I began reading this post...then I got to "It's my fault" and I lost it. if I could wrap you up in a bear hug right now I would. I wish you a speedy and safe recovery from your surgery, keep your head up beautiful!

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  4. This is so touching to read, my heart goes out to you.

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  5. This was so very heartbreaking to read, but I hope that in writing it all out - you were able to gain some peace of mind. Millions and millions of tight hugs to you, girl!

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  6. Oh, sweet girl, I'm so sorry you're still hurting! I can't imagine what you're going through! You are truly in my prayers!

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  7. I hate when I forget there is a pile of memories in a closet or a drawer and then stumble across them when I least expect it. Like an ambush I set for myself.
    There is no one to blame here.
    tam@ spinstersnacks.com

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  8. At least you do have an answer now, a strategy to take. That does bring some hope, to at least know something! Though I can only imagine how much it would hurt to see all these little reminders. Wow. I'm glad you kept them, though, instead of getting rid of everything. You two still have hope. God IS good.

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  9. Oh goodness it hurts my heart to hear you say it was your fault! Sometimes it can be easier to blame ourselves than to accept that there was no fault. But faith provides us such grace, knowing that God is holding you even through this new raw moment. And He has provided you with answers and a plan of action, what a blessing! Continuing to pray for you my dear Sarah!

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  10. Thank you so much!
    We really are doing okay. When I first heard the news about my blood being the cause, it was rough for a couple of days, but, once we found out we could act on it in the future, that gave us hope. We really do feel encouraged and much better! Thank you again! <3

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  11. Having answers is SUCH a huge relief, even if it was hard to hear initially.
    And we couldn't bring ourselves to throw anything away! We really do hope to be able to use it again :] It was just kind of shocking to rediscover those items unexpectedly.
    And He is so good! Even in the nasties ;]

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  12. Thank you so much!
    Really, we are doing so much better, honest. It was just the shock of the diagnosis and then, shortly after, stumbling on those little objects unexpectedly. We really do have such hope and healing because God is so good!
    I really didn't intend for the post to sound quite as sad as I suppose it did because, honestly, God has been doing such a work in our lives in healing us through everything. Thank you! <3

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  13. Thank you so much! Writing it out definitely helps me process and work through. I really didn't intend for the post to sound as depressed as it did because we have healed SO much and really do feel so much hope. It was just kind of a shock having all of it resurface at once.
    Thank you so very much! Hugs to you, too! :]

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  14. Thank you so much, really :]
    We're doing much better, and we had done so much healing; it was just the shock of everything at once--the diagnosis and then recovering those old objects. Now that we have knowledge and a plan we do have so much hope and are excited to move forward, whenever that may be ;] Thank you, again!

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  15. Thank you so much, really and truly!
    We are feeling so much better now that we have answers and a plan, but it did hurt in the moment, just trying to figure all of that out. Even though we've healed SO much emotionally and I'm physically normal (except for the dermoid and upcoming surgery), I still feel pretty disconnected from my body. It's so weird. But it's getting better :] God is good all the time, and we cling to that.
    And, YAY! We do FINALLY have a date for my surgery, so, Lord willing, we finally get that overwith once and for all ;]
    Thank you again!

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  16. You're so sweet, Ellie! Thank you!
    I certainly don't feel brave or inspiring, but thank you so much :] We really have healed SO much since everything fell through this summer. Just receiving a diagnosis and then finding those little gifts gave me a jolt I was not at all expecting. Now that we have answers, we have a plan, and hope, and we are excited for the future. You're right: things comes together in the right time when they're meant to. Sometimes it just doesn't look the way we expect ;]
    We do have a new date for my surgery! Yay! I never thought I'd be excited to be cut open but YAY! Hopefully they don't chicken out on me this time ;] Thank you again, sweet friend!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  17. Drewe, you are so sweet! Thank you!
    I read that passage for the first time this summer, after everything had happened, and I just fell in love with it. It's so simple and beautiful and perfect--thankfulness and hope in the midst of pain and emptiness. HUGS!!!

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  18. this is the kind of blog post that i love to read. not because it's sad and personal, but because it's so raw. and so real.


    thank you for sharing your story. i'm so sorry about your miscarriage. by sharing your experience you are going to help more people than you know.

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  19. i randomly came across your blog today & i am so glad that i did! thank you for this post, because it really can be an encouragement to others! :) you are very inspiring!

    also, i had a freak of nature dermoid cyst last October that i had to have surgically removed. that thing was 22 pounds! so crazy. is that the upcoming surgery you mention? if you have any questions about it, i would love to discuss with you since i've been through it. you definitely don't have to & i won't be offended if you don't :) just thought i would offer - it's not often you find people who have gone through the same thing. if you do, my email is on my blog :)



    now i'm off to follow you on bloglovin because you seem like an awesome gal & i'd love to become blogging friends!

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  20. Sarah, Q! Thank you for sharing your story, struggles, and triumphs-in-progress. I love you and Chris! I'll keep praying for you and all the adventures left for you two!

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  21. Michelle @ Jarrah JungleNovember 24, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    Life really does suck some times. I feel your pain and hope getting the words out makes you feel a little better xx

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  22. Lauren @HowBeautifulAreTheFeetNovember 28, 2013 at 12:44 AM

    Just found your blog today and started reading this post- I couldn't stop! Thank you for sharing your heart in such a vulnerable way! It is such a testimony to the Lord's goodness and faithfulness. You are an encouragement!

    Lauren @ How Beautiful Are The Feet

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  23. Hi Sarah! I just stumbled across your blog and I wanted to say I am really really sorry! But I know your pain. I've miscarried twice. My husband and I really want to have a family! He is 29 and I'm 27 now. We are finally stable money wise. We are ready to start a family. Only, we can't. We probably never will. I was sad for awhile too but now I'm just trying to live. I don't want to look back and realize all the time I pined away for what nature or God or a fluke of my cycle or no sperm or whatever refuses to give me. (I've heard all those as reasons, too, lol) I am just going to be happy with where and who I am. And one day I'll see my babies in heaven, you know?

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  24. Thank you so much, Deanna! Really!

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  25. Thank you so very much!
    Oh my gosh, 22 pounds?!?! I can't even imagine! The last they measured mine, it was only 3 cm! And, yes, the surgery is to remove the dermoid--it was supposed to happen in October, but my bloodwork was funky, so they put it off until we had everything sorted. It's just supposed to be a simple laparoscopic surgery at the end of this month, so here's hoping! Thank you so so much! Yeah, it is weird to find someone else who had the same thing!
    Thanks so much for the follow and yay for blog friends! Can't wait to explore your blog as well! :]

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  26. Thank you so much, Lauren! It's all Him--I'd be such a bitter, bumbling mess without His Truth, really! I'm so glad it encouraged you! Thank you!!!

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  27. Carolynn,

    Thank you so much for your condolences!
    My heart hurts for you, really. I'm so sorry! I am so sorry for both your losses--it is such a painful, lonely experience, and just odd, really. And it is so comforting knowing that they're not lost--they're just waiting :] I hope you do find answers, and it's so brave of you to continue to live, move forward, embrace life no matter what! :]

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  28. Thanks so much, Michelle! Getting the words out definitely helps me process and heal, and, really, we're feeling worlds better. Thank you! :] I hope you guys are having fun getting ready for the holidays!

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  29. Q!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you too, Kristy!!! Thank you! Miss you lots!!!

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