This blog is small glimpses into my heart and soul - attempts to be transparent with friends, and sometimes, to myself. This is my safe place, where I can come and be purely Ness.

Family: If you found your way here, please do me a favor and don't poke through my closets, ok?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

To My Tweeps

I'm thankful to all of you who replied to me this morning, especially those who said they would miss me or would like me to stay around. I will directly reply to some of you, but all that I'm feeling right now is just too much for Twitter, so I figured this was the best way to get it out there.

In the really horrible times, whether tragedy, loss, or just a day when I can't get on my feet is when Twitter shines. You are always there for me in those times. Always. And for that, I'm hugely grateful. You've gotten me through some seriously rough patches and kept me from feeling alone and lost. I know I can always count on encouraging words, sympathy, empathy, and a little extra strength when I'm really down and out, and I'm sure I won't ever give that up.
But I've been struggling with Twitter on and off since summer. I was offline for a couple of weeks and it felt like no one noticed. When I came on and mentioned how I felt, you were there to welcome me and send me love, and I climbed back into the twittersphere. But I'm not sure that my interaction level has ever really come back up since then. Part of it was conscious decision since I'd seen how much extra time I had and I knew I wanted to get some priorities straight regarding my family, and then I think part of it wasn't conscious. I just had a bit more trouble connecting, and I'd read, but often feel like I just didn't have anything to add anymore and the connections I had seemed to not be as strong as I thought they were, so I was a bit discouraged and not sure how much effort to put in. When I'm not on continuously and constantly engaging and replying, the few times I do tweet get little to no response. Natural maybe, but still lonely feeling.
I look around me on Twitter and I see people with relationships that go beyond Twitter - text, email, phone, lovely packages in the mail, and honestly, I want that. I want to make friends. I want to be needed, I want someone who checks up on me, who thinks of me during their day, sends me a link because they think I'll find it funny, someone who I can call on, and who knows they can call on me whenever they need something. There were a few relationships that I thought were moving in that direction, but as I go along, it seems the gap is widening, not closing, and I fear that, at most, I'm a second tier friend for these people. Now, realize, this is not blame placing, I'm not angry or feeling betrayed, I don't think this is "their" fault. I'm just seeing that things are not the way I thought or hoped for them to be. And, really I'm not sure how to get there. I've put a lot of effort into engaging others and offering support and help even when it wasn't easy, trying to show that I intend to be a friend (you know -"you've got to be  a friend to have a friend" and all that), but it didn't lead where I'd hoped. Again, no blame or anger, just noticing that I'm still not really connecting.
I'm also finding myself in a weird place in life that is making it difficult to connect. I want another baby, but I have no idea how or when to pursue it. It's all on pause, but at the same time it's not, because I'm sort of mentally working towards it, placing my foot tentatively around me trying to figure out where the safest ground is. I'm also trying to learn to be content with my life as it is now, and give my current family the attention and acceptance they deserve. So many of you are having babies now, and while I'm not upset about that (quite happy you are), I'm kind of numb in that area most of the time, just disconnected with it. Most of you who aren't there yet are pursuing it actively and while I've gained a huge education since meeting you all, I'm still a little confused about all process and procedures you are going through on that road. So there are two major groups where I often feel that I have very little to offer and I'm just kind of in this no-man's land occasionally bumping into someone on the edges that I manage to exchange pleasantries with.
As I read replies, it seems like this isn't unusual, and many find Twitter to be a bit of an ebb and flow of friendship, and some decide to take breaks when the connection ebbs away for a period. I can understand this, but if I'm finding greater distance in my relationships when I'm not constantly interacting, what will happen if I disappear entirely? Plus, that obviously won't fill the desire I have to find and build friendships.
I'm not really sure where I'll go from here. I've certainly considered taking a break from Twitter entirely, but my great desire to connect at least a little might not let me. I tried making a list of a few I'd like to continue making a concentrated effort on building relationships with, but my phone won't let me read a feed from it. Maybe I'll make a whole new Twitter account? I have no idea. I know I've been grateful to you time and again, and I'm sure I will be in the future also. In the meantime, anyone who wants to connect on Facebook, just let me know.
Much love to you all.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Making My Goal

Over the winter, I ran on the treadmill. Fairly regularly, although I know I took a few two week breaks here and there. By the time spring came around, I'd managed to do a 5k treadmill run. My first 5k ever! It was awesome, adrenaline pumping, and emotional. I definitely cried.
Come warm weather, I was anxious to be outside, to run in the sun and feel the wind. The first time I got out, I could barely run one kilometer. I was so incredibly discouraged. I cried here, too, but they were not happy tears. I kept running, and had a lot of discouraging runs. I didn't realize how much harder it would be to run outside. Harder, yes, but not that much. I made it a goal to run be able to do 5k outside by the end of the summer, and if possible, I really wanted to enter a 5k race somewhere.
Not me, but those are the shoes I run in.
All of that fell by the wayside when I got pregnant, and then even further away when I miscarried. It took me months of saying, "I really need to run," before I finally got back out there. Boy and I even bought a jogging stroller so we could run together and it still took us several weeks before we used it.
When we finally got our act together and got on the road, I was discouraged. Again. I practically passed out from lack of oxygen trying to get to one kilometer, while Boy was jogging beside me, talking as normally as if he was standing still. Ohmygosh, I felt so demoralized. It sucked.
We did another run or two before falling off the wagon again for a week or so. When we started up again it was all a bit easier, and I kept significantly increasing the amount I could do with each run, filling our 3k with more and more running and less walking.  It was nice to feel like I was finally getting somewhere, but the days have been getting significantly colder here and so many of them are rainy. The nice days for running outside may be coming to an end soon and then I would be back on the treadmill inside.
This morning it was chilly, but the weather was nice, so Boy and I headed out. I hadn't run in four days, and felt tired. I knew I was going slower than usual. On my last run I'd done 2k before walking and I wasn't sure I was going to make it that far today. I got to 1.5 and wanted to stop, but realized I didn't need to, so I just kept going. Two kilometers ends just before a big hill, but I decided I wanted to try to keep going up it, and then I knew I really wanted to do the 3k straight through, instead of with a walk break in the middle like I'd done last time. So I kept going. And I did it. My legs felt wobbly and I knew that old people with walkers could easily outpace me at the speed I was going, but I was running.
Boy decided that we were going go to 4k instead of that being enough for today. I could walk for a while, but then we were running again. Um, no thanks. I felt kind of pissed at how he just decided that for me. Um, I did good today, thankyouverymuch. But then I walked. And realized that I could run again. Probably to four, so why not?
We're going and I'm doing ok, and suddenly I think, "F**k this. If I'm going to do keep going, than I'm going to keep going. I'm going to run 5k today."
I knew it might be the last day we'd be outside running, at the very least for a while, since it's supposed to cold and rainy all week. Maybe it wouldn't be straight through, since I needed a 350m walk break, but when I got to the end, I was going to be able to say I ran five kilometers on the road.
And I did.

It wasn't exactly my goal since I'd been hoping for one continuous run, but today I ran 3k, walked, and than ran another 2k. And I sure as heck am going to count it. I made my goal to run 5k outside by the end of summer! Well, close enough.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mama of Seven

I wrote this post and first shared it on The Frugal Foodie Mama's blog, but I wanted to post it here as  part of my story as well. The Frugal Foodie Mama has a great blog that is about, well frugal fantastic food, and being a mama. She also shares her story of the two babies she lost in early pregnancy. I invite you to check out her blog and share some love.

Whenever I meet someone new, I harbor a tiny feeling of dread for the moment I get asked that question, especially when that someone is a parent. What do parents like to talk about the most? Their kids. Somewhere in that initial conversation, you're bound to get some variation of the question, "How many kids do you have?" Doesn't really sound like such a horrible question does it? An innocent conversation maker. How do I always answer?
"Just one."
Just one. Except I don't have just one. I have seven children. Seven. There's just only one on earth with me. I hate answering that question. I always feel a little bit of guilt, a small feeling of betraying my other children, because they all deserve to be recognized, to be known, acknowledged. I love them all, I miss them all, they are all part of my life, of what makes me, me. Part of me longs to answer, "Seven," or, "One on earth." I want people to know I have all these wonderful, amazing children, but except for the very, very rare time, I can't bring myself to do it. It opens me up to questions I don't always want to answer, things I don't necessarily want to share with relative strangers. It would make people feel sorry for me, or just sorry they asked the question in the first place, because "Woah. That's far deeper water than I was intending to get into," and then the conversation becomes all awkward and stilted. I don't want to be the one to bring a dampener to a casual conversation.
I think that if I could just say it casually, a simple statement of fact, that maybe it wouldn't be so bad, but then I'm afraid that I'll appear callous, making little of miscarriage and related losses, the permanent mark left on my soul. Or be reinforcing the idea that miscarriage is not a big deal, sad, but you get over it, you know? But it is a big deal. It's huge. It's heartbreaking and life changing. And you don't really get over it, you just learn (or try to anyways) to accept it as part of your life. The losses become part of who you are.
I also have trouble answering this question as honestly as I want to, because I don't want to be known as the women who had six miscarriages. I don't want this to be my identity. I have had six miscarriages, but more than that, I am Mother to seven children. Seven children who I love dearly, six who I miss daily. One amazing boy that I get to cuddle, hug, and put to bed every night, and six that I love from a distance. I call them by name, I tell them how much I love them and I miss them. I tell them how glad I am that they are happy and that they have each other. I remind them to look out for one another, even though they really don't need to do that there (the mother in me can't help it). I ask Jesus to give them the hugs I so long to give to them myself. I can see them, how beautiful and strong they are. I see how kind they are and how full of love and joy, and I'm so incredibly proud to be their Mama.
Despite my guilt at not acknowledging them, at not sharing with the world that I have six more wonderful children, I know they hold nothing against me. They love me without hesitance, despite my hesitance to bring them up in casual conversation. They have no needs from me, they simply love me as I am, as I love them. They know how proud I am of them, and with this post I will find a way to begin telling everyone else how proud I am of them too.

- Vanessa, Mama to JJ, Dunadan, Anastasios, Sayuri, Tacey, Aliento, and Nima

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

It's Break Time

So I was gone from Twitter for a few weeks. I didn't really intend to do that, it just worked out that way. And honestly, it was good for me, because as much as I love Twitter, it can be kind of consuming and energy draining. I wasn't being tossed by the waves of ups and downs of two hundred other lives - although I know I missed some big events that I feel sad not being there for - there was enough waves in my life to deal with. I wasn't filling every spare second with catching up - although I'm so totally out of the loop now - and I had time to read several books, and spent my evenings with my husband instead of with him and a long list of people, many of whom I don't even know their first names.
Don't get me wrong - I love Twitter. These people have been there for me when there was no one else. They've understood me in a way that my "in real life" friends and family can't. And they allow a certain anonymity that grants the ability to share some of the dark spots and hidden parts of my spirit that few others get to see. They're a safe place.
So I love Twitter and the freedom I had from Twitter. Somehow I need to find a new balance, to keep the connections without letting it rule my life.
And I do have connections. At least a few. Part of the reason my absence was this long was feeling like no one missed me, and what was the point of coming back, if no one even noticed I was gone? But apparently at least a few did, so - here is why I took a break and what was going on with me while I was gone.

The why -
First, my phone broke over four weeks ago, the screen shattering when it was knocked out of my hand onto a concrete patio stone. We sent it to be fixed, but they keep having to wait for parts, so I've been completely without a phone since then. When we made a getaway to the cottage for a few days, there was basically only Boy's phone, so it just made sense to completely disconnect for a little bit. It was good and I just keep on extending the break, especially since my days seemed to be extra full. There were a few extra things on my schedule and we spent some time preparing for a visit with friends we hadn't seen in six years, and then, enjoying that visit! It was so fantastic to spend time with them again and meet their children that had been born since they moved away.

The what -
Before I left I shared that my older sister found out she was pregnant, which meant both my sisters were, building their families as they wished, and now, doing it at the same time, sharing something I might not be able to do again. I didn't think about the possibility of it being worse, but it was when she miscarried the next week. My heart was totally crushed to hear her pain, to know what she was going through, and especially to be so far away and not able to come and take care of her. And it was weird to feel this tiny bit of relief that my best friend and supporter now knew what I'd been through, even though I would have done anything in my power to keep her from experiencing that.

Next - I had realized that my timing had been off in this past cycle and there was a chance I could have gotten pregnant. I'd love to be excited about that possibility, but really I was just terrified. I'm so not ready to handle another miscarriage yet. And as an aside, I was worried about how to tell my sister after her just going through a loss. It's hard enough months later - the week after? OW.
So, I was in that place where everything is interpreted as a pregnancy symptom, and I was having trouble not freaking out on a daily basis as I got closer and closer to the time when I would find out. After having a big break down the day before my period was due, Boy decided we were going to test. I was so grateful to him. I couldn't bring myself to "give in," feeling like I was wasting a test, wasting money, being weak not able to wait until the next day when my body should tell me for sure. I needed that permission he gave to just do it and find out what the answer was.
When the test was absolutely, completely, unmistakably negative, I broke into tears. Sadness? Nope. Just relief. So much relief. I HATE that. Hate it. I hate that I'm relieved not to be pregnant. Not even a slight hint of sadness over it. I want to have a baby, to carry to term, to give birth. So so much. But far more times than not, pregnancy is only the beginning of a miscarriage for me. Being pregnant just means pain, heartache, grief. So, relief. I can't handle it again right now.

A few days later, my younger sister had her ultrasound and found out that she was having a girl. Her first daughter, the second granddaughter. So now both of my sisters have their boys and a baby girl. It made my heart hurt. I wouldn't trade my son for a whole handful of daughters, and I'm not sure if I can explain, but I've been waiting for my daughter since my first pregnancy. We've had two girls name picked out almost since we got married nine years ago. I'm not going to be able to use them both, and maybe I won't ever use either of them. I may never have a baby girl that I get to keep and hold. But there is nothing to do but say congratulations and try to be happy for her. So I did.
She made her Facebook pregnancy announcement that night with an album of bump and ultrasound pictures, each one an ache in my heart. One ultrasound picture was the announcement of the baby's name as well. Middle name is our older sister's first name. Dang, it still hurts. I mean, my older sister is fantastic, she deserves the honor, but it's just this permanent reminder that my younger sister picks her over me. That our relationship isn't awesome and she will probably never think me worthy of such honor. Even knowing she wouldn't likely ever use my name for a child, this conversation was probably the worst part of it all - Me: Congrats, again. It's a pretty name. [what else am I supposed to say, right?] Her: Thanks. I couldn't decide and I was worried I may never have another girl HA, [boys run in her husband's family] so we just used all of our favorites!
Ow ow ow ow. To give her credit, I don't think that she has any idea how hurtful and insulting that was. None of this is intentionally trying to hurt me. She's just kind of self-absorbed sometimes. Which isn't really that much better, but she's not mean, just thoughtless occasionally.

So. Normally, I'd have Twitter to share all of that with, but I just couldn't bring myself to piecemeal it the way I would need to to share it there, or to go over it multiple times, or even just the energy to write it out at that time. But life has been emotionally challenging, and there is more that I'm working through now which I'm not quite ready to put out there yet. Some time later this week maybe.

I'm so ready for a break. From emotional upheaval this time, instead of from Twitter.

Friday, July 20, 2012

My Treasures

Feels like I should be writing a new post. I mean, I've been telling myself for months now that I should write, because it's been so long. I've only written four posts this year, and the last one was May and it wasn't even a real post. And of course, now I've got something really truly to write about, but somehow the drive just isn't there. The emotion that usually pushes me to put something into words is missing right now. I'm just kind of, well numb isn't really the right word for it... cold. Like I'm shutting it off. I don't want to get into right now. Or maybe I really am calloused to it at this point. Except I know that's not true. I guess I'm just temporarily hardening myself.
But for some reason, I'm sitting here writing and I know it's going to come out sooner or later. I'm not sure that anyone who reads this blog doesn't actually know already, because I think all my readers are on Twitter, but somehow it feels like I still need to keep things up to date. For my own sense of order I suppose.
And crap, I just thought of their name, "Nima" and the shell is starting to crack and the tears are filing my eyes for the dozenth time today.
I think it was a girl. Boy thinks it was a boy. Neither of us will ever know for sure in this life. Whoever they are, they are now safely with their brothers and sisters. I know that Nima probably knows more about them than I do at this point, but I'm glad I took the time to tell "her" about them while her life was still with me. I know JJ looks out for them all, not that's there's anything to look out for over there, but he's a good big brother, a true, gentle leader's spirit. Anastasios and Aliento are good brothers, too. One strong, quiet and deep, like a warrior, and one full of giggles taking delight butterflies that land nearby and energetic puppies that cover your face in slobber. Sayuri is full of energy with a strong spirit and a great mothering instinct, just like her aunt, who I'm sure she looks like. Tacey - gentler, a bit dreamy, but with a heart overflowing with love. My children who I've never had a chance to meet, but about whom I feel I've received tiny glimpses of who they are. 
And now there is Nima. I don't know much about you yet, but oh how I love you. From the moment I knew of you, I was your mama. I will always be your mama and I will always love you. I'm sorry that I didn't get to meet you, to see what you look like, to learn all about your personality, to kiss you, teach you, cheer you on, hold you when you cry. I know that now you are full of life, of love, of happiness. You will dance and play with your brothers and sisters, pick flowers, chase shadows, climb trees, all the wonderful things childhood should be made of. You will never know any pain or sorrow and your life will be truly perfect because you will never know any barrier keeping you from the pure, undiluted love of Jesus. There will never be anything that will come between you and him, no reason that will ever make you doubt or question him, nothing that keeps you from truly knowing who he is or how very much he loves you.
I'm so sad that I never got to meet you all, that you were gone before your bodies even finished forming, but when I think of you together, in that perfect place, I can't help but smile at how happy, how free, you all  are and I'm so glad you have each other. You are truly my treasures in heaven.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Words for Mother's Day

I know that many churches aren't good at dealing with infertiles in their midst, and Mother's Day is especially hard. I was impressed and happy to read this in the this weeks's newsletter that our pastor sends out:

To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you 
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you 
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you 
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you 
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is. 
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you 
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you 
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you 
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you 
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst 
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you 
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you 
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you. We honour you. We love you.

From me to all my lovely friends - may this Mother's Day treat you kindly, no matter where you find yourselves on this list.

A quick web search leads me to Amy at "The Messy Middle". I'm not entirely certain, but it does seem that she actually wrote this piece. Thank you, Amy, for your thoughts and heart.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Getting Ready

Every time we take another step towards being ready to try to conceive, my stress levels take another bump and I spiral a little farther. Everything becomes a bit overwhelming, and I'm wondering what the heck I'm thinking considering doing this again, especially since I'm so obviously failing at everything already on my plate.

I ended up doing another panel of blood tests when my current doctor finally got all of my records from my previous one. There were a lot of clotting factors that she wanted to check that hadn't been done yet. I have the result from all but one of the tests so far, and they are all normal. I should hopefully have the last result in the next few days and that's it - testing is done, there is no where else to go from here except ttc.  I'm currently on cycle day five, so that means we are facing this possibility in the next week. Those of you who saw my meltdown yesterday may understand some of why that happened. It's been two years since we decided to try to have another baby, and a year since we stopped after four losses. Getting back on this horse is pretty fear inducing.
After my initial collapse, and sobbing out all my feelings of failing at life, and not feeling capable of handling the things already in my life, while Boy tried really hard to be a good listener, which then led to a little nap, because I was oh so exhausted, we had a long talk. About our family, how we really like the way it is right now, but how I still have moments where I don't feel like it's finished, how I wonder if it's really fair to put everyone through the stress of ttc, and possibly more losses, or pregnancy after loss, and then the newborn sleepless nights and months of teething, and getting Bug to adjust to a new sleeping arrangement, and having to share Mama and "sidey," and going through three years old again, and ohmygosh, is it really what I should be doing?! And how can I choose this if I'm the only one in the house that wants a baby? Cause Bug says he wants a baby, but he really has no idea what that will mean to his life and the single-childness that he's come to know over the past four years. And Boy has always said that he's perfectly content with how our family is now, and he's fine with trying for another one, but it was basically for me, because I wanted one. Which has been ok in the past, but at times, especially now, feels like he doesn't really want another baby, and would prefer if we just stopped this craziness cause one child was ideal for him. So how do I keep going if he would rather we didn't and is only doing it for me? He tells me my needs and wants are important, too, but I guess this is something I struggle with and it just feels so unfair to put myself above them on something this big, difficult, and life changing.
Boy tells me that he can't put that on me. He can't say that he wants another baby, because if it doesn't work  he doesn't want me to feel guilty for not being able to give him another child. I know that this is a likely thing, so I understand his point of view. He also talks about the other side of it and not wanting to say that we shouldn't do this, because he doesn't want me to resent him in ten years because we didn't try. But, as we continue to work through all of this, he makes this statement, "I want another baby."
I knew I wanted him to be with me on this, or to at least know that he really wouldn't prefer to have just one child, but I didn't realize how much difference it would make until it was there. I feel more freedom in this now. I can go forward on this now, knowing that I'm not pushing something on him that he doesn't really want, and that he wants this with me. It's still hard for either of us to feel with certainty that the risks of going ahead are preferable to just stopping and staying where we are - I mean, if we are just going to go through losses and pain and not end up with a baby, then that doesn't really outweigh just staying as we are - but we both would prefer to have two children in our family. For me, this is a joyful thing. I'm so glad that I can share this with my Boy. I know this could be a very hard journey, but now I feel a bit more ready to start it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm Not Ok

I'm not ok. I know that I've not been doing very well for the past few days, but now I'm beginning to wonder if it goes deeper than that. The idea is kind of scary - I'm broken enough, I don't need mental/emotion issues on top of what's already there - and then what do I do if there are bigger problems? I just don't know if I can handle this.
Next week, I go for blood work to see if the thyroid medication I'm taking is bringing my TSH levels down to levels that are healthier for pregnancy. This is the one thing we've found to try for my unexplained recurrent losses, so if the levels are good we start "actively" (you know what I mean) trying to conceive again. Basically right away. For the first time in over a year.
I'm really, really scared.
Even though I've been doing my best not to obsess about it, and spend great chunks of time not thinking about it, it's getting to me. I feel like I'm entirely made up of stress and emotions. There is this weight in my chest that is just pulling me down. I'm this weird combination of numb and panic.
Every now and then I have a moment of calm and clarity. I feel ok, "I can do this. Even if I have another miscarriage, it will be horrible, but I can make it through. I've done this before. I will survive." But mostly, the possibility freaks me out. At one point I had hope that something would work, would make a difference to allow my body to carry a baby to term, but lately all I can feel is that it's just not enough. Tinkering with my thyroid is just not enough to make a healthy environment for a baby. How could something so slight be the whole reason that they keep dying? How could this tiny adjustment be a fix? It's not going to be enough, and I'm either going to lose another baby, or just not get pregnant at all. The hope is so small, that it's almost non-existent.
Should I give up? I ask this now and then, and I know that somewhere I have my breaking point, somewhere is the place where I have to just stop before it consumes me. But, I can't do it. Not yet anyway. I'm driven by a need for another child. A need to give my Bug a sibling. I know many people choose to have only one child, and I don't for a second think there is anything wrong with that, but for me, I feel like I'm doing my son a huge injustice if I can't give him a brother or a sister. Like, I'm keeping him from one of life's great experiences. I'm sure some of this comes from growing up in a family of five kids (not always roses and ice cream certainly, but my sister is one of my closest, most trusted friends), since Boy - an only child - doesn't feel this way at all. I feel like my family is incomplete. I've already given up my ideal of having four children, I just can't see it as an option anymore, but to concede to having only one? I can't. let. go. It certainly doesn't help that lately Bug has taken to telling us that he wants a baby sister, mentioning all the things he'll share with her, and occasionally asking, "Is that our baby?" when he sees another little one in life or pictures. I keep telling him we are going to try to make another baby, but it doesn't always work out; but of course, he doesn't understand any of this at all. I mean, despite our trying to explain how we hope to have a baby, he still doesn't understand that we can't just pick one out of a picture, or take home the little girl from church.
So I'm kind of a mess. I'm trying to focus on positive possibilities, but it's so hard. The negative ones are screaming at me.

This morning, Boy had his weekly meeting with the senior pastor. They talk about work, and life, and keep in touch on all things important. Today Boy shared what was going on with us right now, and how we were close to trying again. I don't know the full discussion, but there was mention about how I was handling it all, and SP wondered if I had fully processed my grief from all my losses. When Boy mentioned this to me, at first I was just pissed off. "How does any one else have the right to say I'm not ok? He doesn't even know me that well, he has no idea how I'm doing!" And honestly, I like this man. He's been nothing but kind and helpful to us since before we moved here. So maybe my immediate defensiveness is not really a good sign.
As I talked with Boy and began to think about it, some memories came to mind. Over the past several months there have been more than a few losses with all of my Twitter friends. With all of them, I feel great sympathy and heartache for those going through the loss. But, there have been a few that have shared starting with a tweet much like this, "I'm spotting." Reading those tweets makes my stomach plummet, my chest constrict, and my spirit scream, "No, no, no! Not again."
Wow, even writing those words, I can feel my heart beat faster, my breathing get shallower. As I keep writing, the tears threaten and I can remember exactly how I felt every time the first signs of pink showed on the toilet paper - that frozen panic fear.
See, this doesn't seem like a good thing. I think maybe I'm really not ok. But, what do I do about it? The idea of trying to deal with another problem is just overwhelming. I've already got so many things in my life that I'm trying to figure out, how do I handle one more?
And - it's March. The weather is warming up, Spring is trying to sprung, green things are growing in my garden. It's the time of year where I've always felt myself coming to life again, felt energy renewing after winter and the slight depression that it brings. It was always a time of joy for me. Until I lost my first baby as the crocuses bloomed. Three years after that I had my second loss at the very end of February, and then a year later had my fifth loss, also during the month of March. I love Spring and finally feeling the sunshine on my face, but it brings waves of grief, bittersweet memories of seeing the first flowers bloom, celebrating my first baby, not knowing it was all going to end in a few days. This season now brings me an odd combination of joy and sorrow. Maybe some of what I'm going through right now is simply part of all of this. Maybe this year, this season will bring renewal, and a bit of healing through new life, not just outside, but maybe also within my womb. Maybe this year will bring redemption to March.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year, Same Old Fear

Last year about this time, I wrote a post on the new year and feeling skeptical of what it would hold, worried that it would be as bad as the year before it. As this new year is staring me in the face, I'm not sure I feel much differently. 2010 was a year of loss, 2011 was a year of waiting (waiting on doctors, waiting on tests, waiting on answers, waiting on a job), and now 2012 is here and we have a job, a doctor, and what very little answer they could give us. So now it's time to try again.
There are moments when I'm excited and hopeful, but it's hard not to feel the fear. I want another little one. I've actually always wanted four. I thought four would be pretty perfect - avoid the middle child issue, and if it worked to have two boys and two girls, everyone would have a brother and everyone would have a sister. Perfect. In the past few months it's been concreted in my mind that our family will most likely never have more than two children. It's so sad to me. It's been a very hard thing to come to terms with, but I don't think I can go through this again. The losses, the fear, the anxiety. I'll persevere until I have another baby (or until I just can't anymore), and then that's it. I'm done. It breaks my heart. Even if we could figure out what exactly was wrong and how to fix it, I will be getting past the age where I wanted to be having children. I know I'm not that old, but I think I imagined that by 35 I'd be done, not part way through.
Anyway...... Fear. Fear is mostly what I feel now. Not overwhelming, not yet, but there. Whenever I think about this year ahead, I'm a bit afraid. We are still figuring out our new life in this new place, with Boy's new job, figuring out what things look like here - how much time will work take, how stressful will it be, what kind of schedule will Bug and I figure out, who will be our friends here, will we have friends? It's all a bit unsettled still with uncertainty having it's own small factor of fear, but the biggest thing we face right now is trying again. Trying to get pregnant and stay pregnant. We tried for over a year with no success, and as each pregnancy seemed to get shorter in duration, I've wondered if I've gotten to the place where I will have trouble getting pregnant at all.
We have no real answers for all our losses. Despite all the tests, there can be found nothing wrong with me. Except something isn't working properly or we wouldn't be here.  Right now our RE is recommending that I try thyroid meds, because my "high, but still normal" levels may or may not be a contributing factor. So that's it. I go on some drug, hope that it makes a difference, and dive in. Just a little bit terrifying. I don't know what I face this year. Will it be loss? Will it actually be pregnancy, which I will never again be able to get through without feeling varying levels of fear, from just a bit anxious to paralyzingly terrified? Will it take us months to get pregnant, worrying, afraid that somehow I've come to the place where I can't do it at all?
Oh Jesus, save me from the fear. This is not the life I want to lead. I don't want my moments to be wrapped up in the unknown and what it might mean to me. I want to live freely, vibrantly, expectantly. Trusting in Christ, God's love for me, has always been hard. Some of my experiences have made it harder still. I have not completely healed from all of that, from the pain of loss, and the bitterness it can bring, but I know that I'm not done yet. I am closer to Jesus than I was last year, and I believe this year will be bring me closer still. I have been able to recognize his love in my life more clearly, and I've felt as though those nerve endings that connected me to the Spirit have been slowly reviving. I imagine that it's similar to what someone with temporary paralysis might feel as things begin to heal. A tingling at first, ever so slight movement, a long slow process before full feeling, mobility, and strength are returned. We're early stages yet, but enough to give hope, to let me know that things are far from over.
So I'm afraid. But, I'm not content to let that be all. I am moving forward in my fear, trying and figuring out what it means to trust Jesus when nothing is certain.
Right now, the word I see what I look ahead to this year is "fear," but hopefully, when we get to the end, I will be able to look back with something much more positive, like "healing" "renewal" "strength" "comfort" or even "baby."