Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Decision to Name

I mentioned in my last post about the decision to possibly name our sweet baby. Don't get me wrong, I totally get that it's slightly weird. I understand that it may not be typical. I understand you may think it doesn't change anything, but to me, it changes everything. Let me explain:

Just a few days after the miscarriage, I was getting so tired of referring to my baby as "it". This hadn't bothered me in the weeks I was pregnant as I knew I would be finding out soon what we would be having. Well, quickly thereafter, it began to drive me insane. So many people reaching out to us, even those with their own babies in heaven, would refer to their he or she. I just hated it. It's completely a personal opinion. For me, it's been a huge part of my healing (not that you ever heal from something like this, but the wound hurts a little less).

With this new annoyance, I had the fleeting thought of naming the baby. I had purchased an adorable picture frame when we first found out we were pregnant and I was ecstatic to put an ultrasound picture in there soon! Well, that wasn't going to be happening. At first, I figured I would just use it "next time". Now, that thought makes me so sad. I had wanted that picture frame for this baby, not another one. From that moment, I knew I needed a name. However, I was still in my own mind enough to know it was kinda weird. I had not really heard of anyone doing this (until I googled it)! And even then, it seemed like it was for people who miscarried much later on in the pregnancy. I thought I was being dramatic and let the thought pass. It creeped into my mind a few times but I decided I needed to wait until I wasn't so sad and see if it actually made sense.

Well, as time went on (and by time, I mean a couple of days), I couldn't push that thought out of my mind. I decided it wasn't AS weird anymore, and it didn't matter what other people did. I also knew I didn't want to go around telling people I had a baby and referring to its name all the time, however, for my heart to heal a little, it helped to have a name. I decided I would bring it up to Derrick. However, still acknowledging it was slightly strange, I also decided I should have an idea of what I was wanting the name to be. I couldn't really think of anything. I wanted it to be gender-neutral, obviously. I decided to just wait and think about it some more. The next night, I was lying in bed, not even thinking about this decision, and all of a sudden a name came to me. It was not a name I had ever imagined naming one of my babies. Honestly, it wasn't even a name I loved. Until now that is. I thought it was kind of weird, but in my heart, I knew that was the name I wanted for our baby. Now to convince Derrick :)

The next day, I decided to mention it to Derrick, to get his reaction. Of course, he was super supportive and told me we could do whatever we needed to if it helped me. At this point, I was glad I had thought on the name a little, or he would have named the baby something strange :) Of course, my mind had already been made up, but I wanted Derrick on board. I told him the name and he was actually okay with it. We decided to look it up to see what it meant. I'm also not sure why this occurred to me, as I'm not one to care what names mean. Well, after looking it up, tears streamed down my face for about 5 minutes, and every time I think about it, I have the same reaction. The name we chose for our baby means "God's gracious gift". That baby was a gift and we were so blessed to experience the short time that we did. We will never get to know our baby on this Earth, but I completely believe that babies have souls at conception and when I get to Heaven, I want to call my baby by name. And I will.

Now, that sweet picture frame I bought for this baby will no longer sit in a closet waiting to be used. I'm going to create a little note and place it in the frame. It will forever be our memento of our first little one, Jessie Holmes, God's gracious gift to us.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Aftermath

According to Wikipedia, which all we know to be completely accurate :), aftermath refers to "A period of time following a disastrous event". First of all, I'm clearly in a grad school mode as I give a reference in my personal blog. Or maybe that means I'm legit. I'm not sure. Either way, aftermath is certainly an accurate term to me.

First of all, I want to express gratitude for all of you who have reached out to us during this time. We have had so many calls, texts, messages, etc. We have been completely overwhelmed and are so thankful. Your prayers mean more to us than anything and we would certainly not be making it without them.

Over the past couple of weeks, my emotions have been on a roller coaster. I'm not a crier. I usually get angry instead of crying. Ask Derrick. He's usually victim to this. I just don't enjoy crying. I tell myself to man up and move on. Unless you worked with me at Mossy Creek Elementary, you would not know I was a crier :) Well, I am now, and I'm okay with it. It's helping me deal with it all. There have been very few events in my life that made me cry continuously. Honestly, at the moment, I can only think of one; a heartbreak back in high school. I can already tell how much better I am handling this emotionally, relying on our faith and each other. The one amazing thing coming out of all this is how much closer I feel to Derrick. I'm a bit of a control freak and I've really had to rely on him for strength and to make decisions. I look more to him for guidance than I did before, which is an amazing feeling. It was something I had been praying about for a while, but was so difficult for me. It's much easier now. I'm trying to leave it that way!

I'm putting on a good face the majority of the time that I am around lots of people. Each day gets better, and I don't just sit around and cry anymore, but some days, I just don't want to go to all the trouble of smiling when I don't feel like it. Right now, I'm coming off a wonderful wedding weekend of one of my best friends. It was so amazing to be a part of it all. It was a distraction to the heartbreak in my own life. However, that's all it was. When it was all said and done, I was left very tired from the lack of sleep after all the shenanigans :) and left to face the reality. That did not bode well for Sunday night.  Luckily, I was cleared for exercise so Monday I had the excitement of getting in a run and being able to push myself again! It was nice, in a way. I wasn't planning on that back in March when we found out we were expecting, but I was thankful for it. I went for an hour long walk today with a friend but was left more crampy than I had hoped. At this point, it's hard to tell what is soreness from not running in almost 3 weeks or what is my body telling me to cool it.

I've struggled with so many thoughts over the past couple of weeks. I'm not blaming myself. I know this baby was not forming correctly and it was God's way of taking care of it. However, the future absolutely terrifies me. That is going to be my biggest struggle for the many years to come. I'm scared of it happening again. I'm scared of never having babies. I'm scared of forgetting this baby (which is leading me to the possibility of naming this baby. It may be odd, but we'll see).  I'm scared of it all. I'm not opposed to adoption at all, however, it would take much longer for us to have a baby if that is the case. Financially, we would have to wait much longer. We're praying for God's will, even though in my heart, I want to carry a baby. I'm already stressed about the possibility of another pregnancy and how I won't be able to enjoy it. I pray my heart changes between now and then and I can rely on the Lord for strength. However, I know that I can't obsess over these things.

Recently, someone I used to know has been discussing the scientific evidence behind this life. While it saddens me, I can't imagine how people can't believe in something other than this life. I have never been more aware of the Lord's love for us. A few days after the miscarriage, I literally had an out of body experience. This was still in the days of my showering and crawling back in bed to shed a few tears before Derrick would have to leave. I literally watched myself get out of the bed and continue on with my morning routine. As one foot stepped in front of the other, I was amazed at how this was happening. I wanted to lay in bed and cry but I couldn't. I had to move on. Could I do that? Absolutely. Am I going to? Absolutely not.

Many people have said to us, "you'll have other babies!" While I hope this is true, it is the last thing I want to hear. First of all, this is our first baby. We may have never got to hold it on this Earth, or get to know it, or raise it, but we loved it and were already preparing for it. Second of all, you're not a doctor. And even a doctor doesn't know that information. So just don't tell that to someone who suffered a miscarriage. Pray for them, love on them, but don't predict their future.

This process isn't over for us. Unfortunately, we still have a journey ahead of us. My levels are not where they need to be just yet and I'm still going to be going in to get that checked. This means I still have things in my uterus that shouldn't be there. So basically, I don't go anywhere without my Loritab or a nice bathroom nearby. I feel like a drug addict, constantly checking to make sure I have my drugs with me and a private location! I'm ready to be done. I'm ready for all the "firsts" to be over and for heartache to continue to be less.

Again, I don't want to close without acknowledging the blessings in this aftermath. It is so easy to talk about all the sad and scary parts, but there have been so many good parts. After finding out it wasn't all over on the same day I left for the wedding festivities to begin, my biggest fear was having another "episode" in the midst of all the wedding excitement. That didn't happen. The focus was not on me and my sadness but on my best friend and her excitement and that was a wonderful thing. The closeness I feel to Derrick each day grows which is a very exciting thing. The support from our family and friends is overwhelming and we realize how much we are loved. I get to drink wine which is awesome. :) This may be a trivial blessing, and while it was a little sad at first, I'm fully embracing it. I get to share my story. While it is not a story I ever intended to have to share, I am so thankful for the doors it is opening and the friendships I am gaining through it. You truly cannot understand this experience until you have been through it, and while my heart breaks for those who understand it, I am so thankful for their encouragement and understanding. The strength we feel from the Lord to get through each day is overwhelming. While I never hoped I would need it in such a way, it is a feeling I cannot describe.