Seriously Thank You.

Seriously.  Thank you so much for all the love & support from all of you on my latest post about our miscarriage.  All the comments on the post & on my facebook mean a lot to us & we greatly appreciate it all.

I didn’t think much about that post.  I just wanted to share it because I wanted to be open about miscarriage — like I mentioned in that post, I wanted to go against the norm in being open with it so soon.  I figured it would just be a “here it is, we went through this & understand what it is like” sort of blog.  But because of it, I have been connected to another wife currently going through this same thing.

I didn’t really think sharing this would allow me to connect with someone else going through this at the same time & allow us to encourage each other as women & wives. Really it was kind of awesome how this all worked out.

With all this it has been crazy. For the first few days after the miscarriage it felt like every commercial on tv had a baby in it or pregnant lady — heck we even rented a movie we hadn’t seen & it ended with the wife being pregnant — or even like all of a sudden everyone had a baby to post a picture of on social media (that’s a bit of an over exaggeration but that’s how it felt). For the first few days I would look away when I saw anything baby on tv. Casey would yell or do something funny to distract us from the commercial with the really cute baby not because we were still upset just because it was a little like rubbing salt in a partially healed wound where it stings just a little.

Like I said in the previous post, Casey & I seriously have grown so much in this. But it’s crazy how one cute really pregnant lady sitting at the table next to you at dinner can find emotions you thought were done & gone. When we sat down I automatically thought out of all the open tables at the Cheesecake Factory, we get sat at the one next to the really pregnant lady & her husband. At that moment I had to fight some emotion — I did not want to cry in the middle of the Cheesecake Factory. Then it just continued to get a little harder with the more I overheard of their conversation. From the husband asking if the baby moves more when she eats to nursery colors to a list of baby names the wife had been thinking of. I definitely was not trying to eavesdrop but our table was so close (if you have ever eaten at the Cheesecake Factory you know what I mean…some of their tables are so close together you might as well be on a date with the couple next to you also) I couldn’t help but hear little things. I don’t know if Casey saw or if I did a really good job hiding it by trying to be really interested in my food but there was one point I was definitely hoping he couldn’t see the tears in my eyes & that none would escape & run down my face or even have him ask if I was ok because I definitely would have started crying then.

I didn’t think there would be some sort of underlying emotion from just seeing a pregnant lady. But it hit me when I overheard one of the names on her list. It was one of the names on our list. {Side Note:  We didn’t create a list of names right when we found out we were pregnant, Casey & I have spent a lot of time talking baby names since before we were even engaged & created a small list (2 boys, 2 girls names) back when we were still dating & knew there was marriage & kids in our future.} Hearing that name be said just really made me realize again that we had been pregnant & miscarried.  It made it feel real again & not like a crazy dream.

I feel something about the holidays this season will be different. So much of this pregnancy was going to be wrapped in them, from our first prenatal appointment that was scheduled for the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (next Tuesday) & first ultrasound that had been scheduled for December 2, to our plan of telling family at Christmas, that there will be a little piece of me thinking of what I had thought it would be like these next few months & what it isn’t. I’m not going to sit & dwell on this because that is a waste of energy & would make for a terrible holiday if I allowed it & really Casey & I are still doing really good with this.  The emotion I felt at dinner the other night was so unexpected it caught me off guard.  Nevertheless, I will do my best to celebrate the fact that my husband & I are both healthy & we’ve been happily and successfully married for a whole year, even though thoughts of what the holidays might have been may fill my mind. The last year of our marriage has been crazy! Crazy good, & crazy challenging, crazy exciting & crazy unexpected… but I am so thankful we have already experienced all that we have, because we have continually grown stronger & closer together than we were one year ago. Most of all, I will celebrate these holidays in response to the the fact that because of Jesus’ resurrection from death on a cross… I have hope, joy, peace, comfort & freedom, in-spite of our circumstances. I know and trust that any plan I could ever think of for Casey & I is no where near to what He is going to do, & is doing, to use us for His Glory.

Seriously, again, thank you so much for all the love we have received from all of you.  We appreciate it a lot!

The Black Sheep.

I am about to be extremely open & bring up a topic that is generally not the easiest.  This post might be a little long but that’s ok.

{Miscarriage.}

Miscarriage is something not many people chose to speak of — at least not right away.  It’s like one of the black sheep in the room when pregnancy is discussed.  People know it’s there but don’t want to address it or dare say the “M” word around someone pregnant yet alone allow it to come from your mouth when you are pregnant.  It is a scary thing to think about or even talk about.  But it is something that happens & I think it happens more than we like to think it does.

According to americanpregnancy.org, anywhere from 10-25% of clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage for women in their childbearing years.

Because miscarriage is such an unaddressed topic between people I have decided to go against that norm & talk about it.  Especially since I feel like you often don’t hear about someone miscarrying until its a year or so after it has happened.

Growing up I had a general idea about miscarriage — especially when I was younger.  I didn’t fully understand it, I just knew that it meant something happened while a woman was pregnant & the baby didn’t make it very far into the pregnancy & the baby was no more.  I know some people who have miscarried, including my mom who did twice.  I remember being younger knowing that, thinking I could have an older sister or brother along with another younger sister or brother but I didn’t.  My sister & I would always think there could be 4 of us kids but there wasn’t.  It didn’t fully make sense.  Then as the years went on & I took more anatomy & physiology classes in school & we went through the pregnancy chapters & what occurs during conception & the early stages of pregnancy it started to make more sense — or so I thought it did.

You truly don’t understand what goes on during a miscarriage — physically, emotionally & between you & your husband — or truly understand what a couple is dealing with until you miscarry yourself.  I feel your whole perspective on miscarriage, life & how the human body works changes in a way you didn’t think it could.

On November 1, after taking 4 at home pregnancy tests Casey & I found out I was pregnant.  It was completely unexpected & unplanned on our part.  But we know it was God’s plan for us.  I checked the pregnancy tests over & over thinking they would change to “not pregnant” because part of me thought it was all a joke & those at home tests were just kidding.  Funny thing — they don’t change to “not pregnant” once they say “pregnant”.  Even though this pregnancy was unplanned, once we got over the shock of it, we were excited & ready to prepare for welcoming a baby to the family.  We started planning how we would announce this to our families come Christmas time.

After a lot of research & iPhone pregnancy apps we figured out I was due around June 26 meaning I was just around 6 weeks when we took the HPT.  Just before the 7 week mark I started having alarming symptoms that deep down I knew weren’t right.  After contacting the doctor’s office & talking with an advice nurse over the phone, who talked to the on-call doctor, they had me come in for a blood test last Wednesday & again on Friday to check my hCG levels.  We found out Thursday that Wednesday’s test showed my levels were low for how far along I was.  Within the 24 hours of Wednesday & Thursday, I ended up miscarrying.  My blood test on Friday & conversation with my doctor confirmed it, to where she also went along to tell us she didn’t see anything alarming with me & just reaffirmed that this was my body’s way of stopping something that was bad.  She said there is no true way of knowing what went wrong but it was most likely something developmental that was not going right.

I didn’t think at 22 years of age I would be saying that or even experiencing such a crazy part of life.  I figured it would be a few more years — especially since Casey & I would like a few more years of marriage to ourselves before expanding with little Links.  As I said, miscarriage is something I thought I had a good idea about.  But after this past week I have learned I was wrong.  To be honest, when we first found out I was pregnant, I was terrified to even think the word “miscarriage” or even say it out loud.  But I soon realized I can’t let that word hold me back.  I was terrified that miscarriage could be an outcome but I also wasn’t going to let it hold me back in being excited.

Casey & I had a conversation the night we found out we were pregnant & one thing we discussed was if this pregnancy ended in miscarriage, we knew there was nothing we could do to stop it & that it was happening for a reason.  We also talked about how this whole pregnancy was part of a plan bigger than us & something we might not fully understand now but knew this wasn’t in our control.  Honestly I was thankful to just know that I could get pregnant — I have never been told I would have difficulty getting pregnant or anything but it was still a relief to know.  We have told each other from the start of our marriage & firmly believe that we have a plan for ourselves & when we would ideally like to expand our family but know in the end it is not about our plan for our marriage & family but it’s about God’s plan for our marriage & family.  With that, in the end He is in control with when our family will expand & will make that happen when it is His perfect time — we can do all we can to hold it off but really when it is time, He will make it happen.

Even though we miscarried, we know this pregnancy & miscarriage was all part of a plan.  We might not know the full extent of how this miscarriage will be used to glorify our Creator, I do know this…. It has brought Casey & I even closer together in our marriage — Casey was the best through this whole thing.  He continually took care of me, making sure I was doing ok emotionally & physically & still is as I am still working on getting back to feeling 100%, he was there when I needed to cry, he made calls to the doctor when I couldn’t, planned a trip to see my mom so I could get some mommy time & continually reminded me that no matter what happened we were going to be ok because it wasn’t our plan but His.  This miscarriage also reminded us that we are not in control of this but no matter what He is good & will continue to be good.

Something I wrote on Thursday morning when we knew we had miscarried was this & I know it continues to be true:

“Not my plans but Yours.  Not our plans but Yours.  Your plans will outweigh any we could ever dream of for our lives.  & even in the depths of our brokenness & sorrow when time stands still, You are good.  You were good & You will continue to always be good.  No matter the hurt or sadness, You remain true & powerful.  You will remain to be glorified & I will continue to praise You, Almighty Creator.”

I don’t write about this miscarriage looking for anyone’s sorrow & remorse for us, that’s not my intent.  Honestly, Casey & I are doing really good right now.  We spent our time crying off & on Wednesday night & Thursday.  But we know our hope isn’t in a baby or unexpected pregnancy, it’s in the truth of Jesus & the hope He gives us.  I write about this miscarriage, especially so soon after, because I have no reason to hide it & don’t want to hide it.  It is a part of who Casey & I are now & it reminds us of who we have our hope in & where our identity lies & that is in Jesus.

I write about this miscarriage because I think it should be a topic that is talked about more since it is a part of life & something that can happen.  I think miscarriage goes untalked about too much or is scared to be talked about.  But really I think it is something we should be in awe of as hard as it is.  In no way am I trying to come across as heartless because that is not my intent (especially having just gone through a miscarriage myself), but seriously just sit & think about how perfectly the female body is crafted in the sense that it can know when something is wrong early in a pregnancy.  Knowing there was most likely something wrong in this pregnancy that led to the miscarriage I am thankful that it happened when it did rather than way further into the pregnancy after we got extremely attached this addition.  Seriously, the human body is a piece of art in how it has been crafted to work.

I write about our miscarriage because I want to be able to support anyone in any way I can that goes through this.  I’m not going to lie, because it is hard going through a miscarriage — I cried.  Casey cried.  But you gain a whole new understanding & respect for how the body works as crazy as it sounds & a whole new level of awe for our Creator God.

Even though we got pregnant earlier than planned, Casey & I still don’t plan on expanding our family with any little Links anytime soon if it is in our control.  But as we have been reminded this past week, it isn’t in our control so we will see what happens & what God has planned for us & our family in the future.