Monday, July 13, 2015

Sucky, sucky May

I've been dreading the blog for the last 2 months, because I knew I'd have to talk about May.  I mean, I don't have to talk about anything, it's my blog for pity's sake, but I simply can't gloss over it and pretend that May didn't happen.  First, because that's not who I am, I don't gloss over life because it isn't pretty.  And second, because not saying anything makes it feel like it never happened, and I don't want to feel like it never happened (well, sometimes I do) (but not really).  Pretending like it never happened might lead people to think that it wasn't a big deal and it didn't affect me much and I've moved on.  But it was a big deal.  It did affect me, a lot.  And I'm not sure exactly how to "move on."

So.  May.  The first half of May I was pregnant.  The second half, I was not.  Clark blogged a bit about my miscarriage and that horrendous week of doctors.  The week where all my hopes were dashed to pieces. 

You see, I had almost given up hope of having another baby.  There was a small sliver of a chance that we'd have another, but I felt strongly that I needed to just wait and see.  That I needed to trust God, and wait.  In my prayers, I told my Heavenly Father that I would need a big push, a HUGE push, before I'd even consider getting pregnant again.  But I also told Him that I wanted a baby so badly, that I was willing to be pregnant again.  My desire was so strong, I was sure I would confuse my desires for spiritual guidance, so I reiterated over and over again that it would have to be a HUGE push, and it would have to obviously be from Him.  So we waited.  And last fall, I felt that push.  After consulting with multiple doctors, I was given the all clear, the go ahead, permission to conceive.  It felt so incredibly right.  I prayed.  I went to the temple.  And it all felt right.  So we went forward.

Then January came, with my yearly echo.  The cardiologist maybe saw something new on the echo.  I needed a cardiac MRI.  Scheduling is a beast, so I finally got the MRI in March.  In April someone finally called me about it, to say maybe I shouldn't be trying to get pregnant.  But too late!  I was already pregnant!  And, again, it felt right.  I was scared what this could mean for my health, but it felt right.  So I thought of it more as a huge blessing that I got pregnant in that window when no one was worried about my health, and now God would see me through this.  I had faith (heaps of faith) that I would be fine, I would have my 3rd baby, and we would all look back at this as a faith promoting experience.  We could knowingly look at each other and point to our faith when the doctors were impressed with how well I did. 

But no.  In May, I had an ultrasound.  And there was no heartbeat.  I had asked Clark to come with me, just in case something like this happened.  But for some reason I can't understand, they didn't allow him to come back into the ultrasound room with me.  Something about needing to get measurements first, and then he could come back.  So I was left sitting there, alone, on the table, not sure what was going on, wishing my husband could just come back and hold my hand.  It was awful. 

They said maybe it was just too early, maybe the dates were wrong, so we need to do some blood work.  After waiting in agony for 2 days, the blood work came back with bad news.  I was miscarrying. 

I appreciated that the doctor was trying to be consoling, but I wanted to punch her face out when she said, "Do you believe in a higher power?  Maybe this is all for the best."  I wanted to yell, "YOU DON'T GET IT!"  I most definitely believe in a higher power.  I am a woman of faith, who follows promptings.  This pregnancy was my prompting!  I had been inspired.  I can't believe that I misread the Spirit.  I was absolutely sure this was the path I was supposed to take.  And now....well, now what?

The day after I got that lovely news I finally (finally) met with someone about my new heart condition.  And I was advised not to have any more children.  And during that appointment, I felt completely at peace.  I was sure I would be a wreck, tears everywhere, but I was not.  It felt clear that this was my new path, I should listen to this new doctor and go forward with only 2 kids.

But don't be mistaken, this still hurts.  A lot.  I felt at peace during that one appointment, but I don't feel at peace all the time when I think about this whole ordeal.  Or even most of the time.  I feel confused, and angry, and even betrayed.  Betrayed by God.  I don't want to feel this way, but I do.  I was finally letting go of any hope, and then suddenly I had not only hope, but a baby on the way!  It all seemed too good to be true!  But oh, nevermind, go back to letting go of all hope.  Why would someone do that?  Why wouldn't He just let me quietly close the door on that part of my life?  Why did we have to ramp up and go out with a bang?

Now that it's been 2 months, I'm finally starting to feel some healing.  I have felt the deep love my Heavenly Father has for me more times than I can count.  I know that He didn't do all this to hurt me.  I know He has a plan for my life, and I don't always get to see what that is while I'm living it.  I will get through all this and I will be fine.  Happy, even.  Time truly is the healer of all wounds. 

In a way, it's nice to have some sort of finality.  We have 2 kids, and we are done.  We can finally get rid of the crib and the baby clothes and the boxes and boxes of baby stuff in our garage.  Except now I don't know what to do with my life.  I'm going to have 2 kids in school this fall.  What on earth am I going to do with my life?  Go back to work?  Go back to school?  Volunteer?  I've done this mom of small children thing for so long now, I don't know what else I would even want to do.  I'm taking all suggestions into consideration, so if you've got one, please share. 

And if you see me, be gentle?  May was rough for me.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Julia's Birthday, Nauvoo Edition

As Julia's birthday approached this year, I decided I wasn't up for throwing a big birthday party.  (I'm rarely up for throwing a big birthday party.  It gives me all kinds of social anxiety.)  So we thought perhaps a destination birthday would be more up our alley.  When Grammie and Opa decided to come visit, I immediately decided we needed to go to Nauvoo. 

Julia LOVES Nauvoo.  She had been wanting to go for a long time.  She has turned into our little history buff, who loves pioneers, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln.  When we told her we were thinking of going there for her birthday, she did a happy little freak out dance.  I thought that was a good sign. 

The girls had the day off of school, so we got to be there on her very birthday.  She requested blueberry pancakes for breakfast, so we brought all the ingredients with us and whipped it up in our hotel (which had a kitchenette, we aren't total nut jobs).  When I realized we forgot the maple syrup, Grammie came to the rescue by suggesting the leftover chocolate frosting from her birthday cake.  Anyone who has blueberry pancakes with chocolate frosting for breakfast on their birthday is a lucky, lucky person.  We opened presents and headed out to see the sites.

The perk of going in April is there are no crowds.  We had a lot of these places all to ourselves.  This allowed us to tell more people that it was Julia's birthday, which made her little heart burst with happiness.  There weren't all the pageants and shows going on, which is the downside of going in April (or upside, depending on how you feel about pageants and shows), but we were perfectly happy to take things at our own pace, see what we wanted to see, and head back to the hotel for some swimming when we were done. 

This about killed me.  Julia, giving a sermon.

The next day we went to the temple grounds.  I love that you can tell there is something special about temples even from the outside.  And hello tulips!  It was beautiful.

Also, there is something special about kids being able to touch the temple.  I don't know, maybe that's weird, but I thought it was quite sweet.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Spring Break

Ah, Spring Break.  When we are all very ready for from a break from school so we can drink in the arrival of spring.  And then realize at the end of the week, when we are starting to drive each other nuts, that this is the prelude to Summer Vacation, and what are we going to do after the first week of that, when we have 9 more weeks to go, we will all die. 

But Spring Break.  We had some fun.  We went to parks.  Julia learned to pump her legs, and now doesn't need me to push her on the swing anymore. 

We visited a nature center, where we learned about bees and what animals do in winter and saw an abundance of snakes and went for a nature walk wherein each "piece of nature" that someone picked up needed to be photographed.  I'd love to say this was to log and record each piece because my kids are future scientists, but really it was so I didn't have to have a bunch of nature in my car.

We did a lot of scootering around the block.

We went to our beloved Brookfield Zoo.  Buying a pass last year was the best thing we could have done.  Love that place.

And we enjoyed April Fools Day at the library.  There was some silly program (Silly Storytime?  A concert?), but I'm fuzzy on the details now.  This is why I should blog when things happen instead of 3 months later.  But I do know that they encouraged funny outfits, hence these pictures.  And they got to spin the wheel, which makes everyone's day.

In all, it was a really fun week, and no one killed each other.  In fact, the fighting was minimal, because we were so busy.  Which gave me great hope for summer vacation.