A Tragiversary

Tragiversary.  You probably haven’t heard the word before.  It is the anniversary of a tragic event.  Today is a personal one of mine.  It’s been exactly a year since I experienced an ectopic pregnancy (or some may be more familiar with the term, tubal pregnancy).

Honestly, I don’t feel bad life experiences need to be turned into this big make you bawl or gasp fest or something that needs a big… party(?) to shout to everyone I know a bad thing happened to me.  It happened.  I experienced it.  I learned and grew from it.  Now, I feel ready to share some of my story to help others that may be going through something similar or already had gone through it.  I know when I was in the midst of my hardship, I devoured any information I could about what really happens.  And later, I will share some of the details I was looking for when ectopic pregnancy was new to me.  But today, I want to share a bit of hope.

When I was doubled over with pain and finally realized I needed to get myself to the ER, I didn’t know what was wrong.  I didn’t know I was pregnant.  I wasn’t planning on being pregnant.  My husband and I were going back and forth on if we did want to have more children.  I only suspected it because nothing else that could cause the pain made sense to me.  I think I surprised a lot of healthcare workers with my happy attitude throughout the whole process.  I wasn’t happy to be going through something awful, but I was ok about the pregnancy not working out.  It was scary but I found it very interesting because the average population of women (including myself at the time) do not know much about it.  I was learning so much.

Then, we had to wait.  The whole process to become un-pregnant took 6 weeks.  After that, we had to wait at least 2 months before trying to get pregnant again.  All that waiting and all that awfulness changed my husband’s and my perspective and we agreed that we would like to bring another baby in our family.  We tried a few times without success so when I finally found out I was pregnant in mid-November of last year, I was ecstatic!  I immediately started documenting the pregnancy and refreshing myself on pregnancy do’s and don’ts and dreaming about a possibility of a little girl.

5 days after my positive pregnancy test, I miscarried.  Though the physical pain was like a 1, the emotional pain was like a 9.  It was a very different experience than my ectopic pregnancy.  I had been looking forward to having a baby for several months and a few hours destroyed that hope and excitement.  I felt completely broken.  I really thought there was a good chance I would never have another baby because I wasn’t physically able to anymore.  I had 3 very boring yet perfect pregnancies and babies and now twice in a row, my pregnancies were failures.  I didn’t even want to try again for fear that something bad would happen again.

Then very slowly, my emotions leveled and I started to rise out of the fog.  I had to ask myself if I really did want another child.  Was God’s plan for me include another child?  Did my husband still want another child?  I felt like the answers to all those questions were yes but I was still hesitant.  Hubby and I had a serious, to the point conversation where he said he did want to try again but we would wait until I was ready.   We talked about what scared us (really me) and his responses calmed me.  I felt a big relief and peace come over me and I knew I could do it.  I would try again, but only one more time.  I didn’t feel like I could keep trying if a third pregnancy turned out with no baby.

About 2 weeks later, I had another positive pregnancy test.  I wasn’t excited as I was the last time, it was more like anxious.  Every twitch of uncomfortableness came with a thought of another miscarriage.  Hubby was reserved too.  We didn’t know what would happen this time.  But I was still pregnant week after week.  Finally, when I was 7 weeks pregnant, I called my doctor’s office to set up my first appointment.  A week later I was in his office and he showed me the most precious thing in the world to me in that moment, my baby alive with a beating heart.  I was excited.

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I still can’t help myself but smile when I look at that picture or even think of it!  I really am pregnant and my baby is ok!  I was so excited that I showed off the picture to my boys to tell them the news.  Soon, I started having doubts again.  I have known too many people who lost their babies.  Some were late miscarriages, some were stillborns, all could happen to me.  I reserved my excitement.

My second doctor appointment I was pretty anxious.  This would be the first time to hear the baby’s heartbeat, if there was one.  I asked my husband to go with me.  I would want him there if the baby had died.  I may have let him think I thought it would be exciting for him to experience hearing this baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

Another miracle occurred though!  The doctor quickly found the baby’s heartbeat and could even hear the baby moving already.  Another wave of relief and excitement came over me.  This baby is still ok!  I’m finally ready to tell everyone that I’m definitely pregnant and the baby is doing great.

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Our next appointment will be the sonogram where we will find out the gender… and if there is anything wrong.  I do have some worry about it, but I’m much more hopeful that the baby will be found healthy and thriving.  Today may be my tragiversary which started a journey of failed pregnancies, but it’s also the beginning of the renewed hope of bringing a baby into this world.

I know there are many couples out there who are wanting a child.  Their journeys may be much longer or more difficult than mine.  I completely sympathize.  I just want to share that most of those people can have hope that not every pregnancy will end in terrible sadness.  It’s ok to hope.  Once you are emotionally ready to try again, try.  Life is full of events that are not planned or wanted but these trials make us stronger, more capable.  We can be happy in the process.  Remember that life is also full of joy when we search for it.

Baby Saucy is 14 weeks along and due October 4.

For another amazing account of hope following baby loss, read my sister’s blog here.

A Season of Thankfulness

Thanksgiving is over.

Black Friday madness has already begun.

And I can’t help but wonder if with all the distractions of gorging ourselves on turkey and pie and then disturbing our natural sleep patterns to fight for discounted stuff is the right way to celebrate this special time of year…

I’m not opposed to eating or shopping.  I actually like both of them and participate when I can but I do not like how distracted we all can get from the frenzy of it all.  I’m a victim of it too.

 This Thanksgiving I cooked all day while I shooed my kids out of the kitchen until the hubby took them out on a hike until nap time.  It was nice to not have the stress of trying to baste a turkey while holding back tiny hands from the oven or mashing potatoes one handed with a toddler on my hip but… on a day of thanksgiving, aren’t I most thankful for my family?  And if that’s what I’m most grateful for (it is), then why push them away when I should show them how important they are to me by spending real time with them?  So I can have 3 dozen homemade rolls to serve?  Even when they are the best rolls ever?

Later, I found myself engrossed by the Black Friday ads and Facebook updates plotting a grand shopping scheme.  Again, ignoring the precious opportunity to show my love for my family.  And if I get up before the sun peeks over the horizon to grab the one thing I supposedly need to have, will that mean I won’t have energy to spend time with them during normal waking hours?

Is it really worth it?  For just a thing?

No, probably not.

I am always battling to strike a sort of balance between things I need to do and things I want to do and I expect that I’m not the only one.  As the Christmas season starts, I want to remember to not get distracted by the pretty things of this world because they are just things… and definitely things I can do without.  But my family is something that won’t always be there.  My 2 yr old won’t always want to play choo choo with me.  My 7 yr old won’t always want to discuss his new treasure hunt club.

We have no guarantee that things will be the same tomorrow.  In just the past 3 months, we have felt the effect of 3 tragic deaths of loved ones to those who are close to us.  None were old and decrepit.  All were young vibrant people with their own families.  In an instant, there was no tomorrow for their families and friends.

I know I don’t want to just say I’m thankful, I want to show I’m thankful by my actions.

Learn more about my beliefs here.

You Know: You Have a 2 Yr Old When . . .

You start to lose random important things like one dress shoe or a new pair of sunglasses or the cap to your chapstick.

You instruct everyone to just give him what he wants so there is one less melt-down.

You find yourself speaking in no more than two word conversations.  Eat?  Drink?  Change diaper.  Help please?  Come here.  No no!

You have to retrieve things from the toilet at least once a week.

You find cereal in your file folders in your filing cabinet.

No one can understand what he says except for “Elmo” and “snack”.

You wait until nap time to shower, make phone calls, pay bills, do anything involving writing instruments, scissors or anything else you don’t want spilled or strewed all over the house.

You get disappointed when he figures out how to open doors.

You don’t have to look further than your lap to find someone to cuddle with.

His cuteness makes you forget for a few moments what a bugger he can be.