Bear with me, it has been a while.
My Trying to Conceive history:
Easy conception in December of 2006 and then a 10 week “missed” miscarriage. D&C. Doctor discovered a septate in my uterus. Nurse incorrectly advised me to “go home and make babies!”
Spent over a year operating on that ill-advised statement and endured another early miscarriage in August of 2007.
Finally implored a midwife for her opinion and after she heard my history, age, how long we’d been “TTC,” she said, “oh YES dear, you qualify for a fertility work up. Get yourself to a specialist!”
The specialist advised surgery to remove the septate. Surgery was completed a little over one year after the original miscarriage.
From there, we tried rounds of low dose drugs to regulate my cycle, and one half hearted insemination before switching to a well known, very successful reproductive endocrinologist. It was not a pretty time for us, emotionally. Relationally.
He had me do the standard fertility blood panel work up and discovered I have a blood disorder (MTHFR–double mutated genes causing my blood to be too thick to help early embryos implant and live) and prescribed a regimen of blood thinners and extra folic acid to combat the blood problem.
With Joshua, I had bleeding at 6ish weeks that took us in the ER late at night.
And at 24 weeks that landed me in the hospital for 3 days.
Joshua was born April 22, 2010. Our baby we waited so long for and fought so hard for. Prayed for, cried for, dreamed of…
July 4, 2011. I had traipsed all around Manhattan, abnormally cranky and HUN-GRY. Turns out, I was pregnant with an “oops!!” We lost that one at 5ish weeks.
Then Becca … Conception was a breeze. We “tried” for her, so I was on baby aspirin and extra folic acid to combat the blood problem, and she “stuck!” Thank God.
With Becca, I bled for my 7th and 8th weeks. When I saw that heartbeat, strong and obvious, in spite of the sub chorionic hematoma causing me to bleed, I was SHOCKED. And she stuck!
And then, on 9/21/12, well, we all know the story of Rebecca’s birth.
So why do I share all of this?
Because again, right as we come upon the July 4th holiday, we have had another “oops.” (Something must happen to me and my body in May/June. 🙂 This is too coincidental!)
Last week, I was pregnant. And for 5 days, we attempted to wrap our minds around this unexpected blessing. We definitely weren’t trying, but it wouldn’t have been horrible. We were hesitantly hopeful, thinking perhaps that, in spite of all the unknowns in our lives right now, God was blessing us, in His good timing, with our “Number 3.”
Instead, this baby became our “Number 4”–my fourth miscarriage.
Truly, honestly, we are okay. We really are. We have two perfectly beautiful bundles of joy in our arms, and we trust that God sees our desires for another and knows our future.
So, why do I share all of this?
Because I’ve come so far. And I say that humbly, as humbly as possible, because it is only by the grace of God and the work of the Holy Spirit that I can hold these babies so openly in my hands.
I now have four babies…four!…in heaven. Four little angels who simply weren’t able to make it into this world. I am forever thankful that, while it sucks that my body miscarries, it miscarries early. If all of these were later term miscarriages….well I just don’t know how women cope with that. And their husbands too.
I’ve learned so much.
I’ve learned that as much as we think we can, we cannot control the conception, carrying, and delivering of our children.
I’ve learned that a miscarriage–even one of a pregnancy we didn’t plan for, try for, and have only known about for less than a week–can still make my husband cry.
I’ve learned that while I’ve come to terms with my body, and how it seems to need these “practice runs,” other people hear “miscarriage” and are sad for me. And I need to be gracious enough to allow them to offer condolences and comfort, instead of brushing them off with “oh no-I’m fine.”
I’m learning to say, “thank you” when strangers (i.e. Nurses in Iowa who have to give me a shot to keep my body from producing antibodies against positive blood type that may attack and expel future pregnancies [seriously nothing with me is simple] or give my next live baby a sickness) pause and say, “Oh you poor dear–I’m sorry.”
I’m learning the truth that when it’s time, it’s time. When we had our second miscarriage before Joshua, Erik and I prayed fervently that I wouldn’t have to endure a miscarriage again before a child. And we didn’t–and we also didn’t conceive again for 2 whole years. Because it wasn’t time.
I’m learning that though I’m a blessed mother of two rambunctious and precious children, I’m still marked with infertility. That journey shaped me-it SHAPES me. It doesn’t define me, but it has helped to make me who I am.
I’m learning to be grateful FOR the journey. For the pain. For the scars. For the wisdom and the peace that increases every single time I endure a loss. Every single time my body fails me and that tiny little embryo. Every time I bleed and still succeed in carrying my child, despite the odds. GRATEFUL. Because it makes me reach into the depths of my soul and rest in Jesus. Rest in the Hope of The Lord. Gather up my children and squeeze them so so so tight and remember how hard we fought. How hard we prayed. How hard our friends prayed when we were spiritually and emotionally drained.
I’m learning, to let go. Will I try to avoid “oops” pregnancies that my body’s not prepared to sustain? You betcha-I don’t stupidly leave this chance open very often. But for whatever reason, we had an “oops.” And that precious life is now with Jesus and it’s three other siblings. And this grateful mama is enjoying a glass of wine, and thanking God for my babies, and trusting that if I am to be honored with the opportunity to carry, bear and raise another Lindeen baby, it’ll happen at just the right time.