Monday, July 25, 2011

When Hello Means Goodbye

John: What are you going to say about this?

Me: I'm going to tell them. I share my personal life with them and this is part of it.


On July 5th, the day after I arrived at my mother's house to start our summer vacation, I went to the Dollar Store and bought ten pregnancy tests for ten dollars. You can't beat that deal, and although I normally don't use that many tests at a time, I like to have them on hand for friends who think they might be expecting. It's just something nice that I do, a service I offer, so to speak, because that's the kind of person I am. (That was supposed to be funny.)

And because I was 3 days late, I decided to put one to use, and Lo and Behold.... I was pregnant. The second pink line was so faint, however, that it was almost imperceptible, so four days later I took another test, and Lo and Behold.... I was more pregnant, as the second pink line was definitely there, and darker.

I was so happy. Over the past months my feelings had been changing from unwillingness to comply with The Lord's desires that John and I continue to have children, to slightly more willing compliance, then, after an experience I had with a young missionary who shared a meaningful scripture with me, the last two verses in THIS chapter, in fact, to a cheerful willingness to do whatever The Lord wanted John and I to do. In fact, in recent months, I had even been disappointed as each month passed that I wasn't pregnant. And how do John and I know that this is The Lord's desire for us? We just do. It's that simple. We both feel it in our hearts and know it's right that we allow Him to plan our family.

John was out of town when I became certain that I was expecting, and I wanted to wait and tell him when we were alone in a quiet restaurant. An opportunity like that doesn't come up easily while vacationing with 8 children, so it wasn't until five days later that I was able to tell him in a small sushi restaurant by the high school. He was surprised, then surprised that he would be surprised, then suggested that if his late mother had anything to do with it, this one would finally be a girl. I broadly smiled and said that if that was the case, we should name her after his mother, thus.... Adelaide Louise. He happily agreed.

A week later all of my sisters were to meet in Santa Cruz, CA for a mini-family reunion, so it became my plan to tell them all at the same time. I had never, and knew that I would never, have an opportunity to tell all of my family members in person, at once, that we were expecting, and I thought it would be wonderful and entertaining to see their reactions. I couldn't wait.

So we left my mother's home on Friday and began our drive to Pasadena, CA. We arrived the next evening and spent a wonderful weekend visiting with one of my sisters and her four children, but on Tuesday I began spotting. I told John that I thought it was nothing to worry about and that I thought this was common during early pregnancy, but that I would do some research on it. I did, and my findings matched what I had told John. However, by Wednesday, the bleeding was becoming quite heavy and I began feeling very weak, and felt like this was the beginning of a miscarriage. My mother and sister could see that I felt bad, but didn't know why, as I had been planning on telling everyone the news of my pregnancy the next day. However, by that night things were progressing towards the inevitable end, and I asked John if I should just tell my family what was happening. He said yes, that I would need their support, and that even though we weren't sure what the end result would be, that they needed to know.

So after the kids had left the dinner area, I told my mother and sister that two weeks ago I found out that I was pregnant. Before I could go on, my mother clapped her hands in the air and cried "I knew it!" and smiled and laughed. I then continued to say that I thought I was losing the baby, but because my mother doesn't hear like she used to, she continued happily making comments and my sister had to place her hand on her knee and say, "Mom, she says she thinks she's miscarrying." My mother's countenance immediately fell, and I thought she was going to cry, and she quietly said, "Poor Jennifer."

She hugged me as we went inside, then John and I went back to our hotel to put the kids to bed.

The next day the bleeding subsided a little, and I was still feeling somewhat nauseated, so I thought that perhaps this had all been a fluke, and that there was still life in me. My emotions were riding high not only for this reason, but because this was a special day my family had planned many months ago. We were to go through a ceremony in our temple in which our family would be sealed together for all eternity, not just for this life. We would become a family that would remain in the heavens in the next life and it was a day we had awaited for many years.

As we walked into the temple, my body was weak and I had begun to feel heavy and achy, but my spirit was strong and happy that this day had finally arrived. I was worried about wearing white, but was blessed that things turned out fine and we ended up having a touching, beautiful experience together. After the ceremony, we took pictures outside the temple, went out for Indian food, then drove the six hours to Santa Cruz. It was a long day, a day filled with physical uncertainly about our baby, but a spiritually uplifting and memorable day where love and joy were shared by the entire family.

The following two days the bleeding remained the same, and when I went into the drug store I saw that pregnancy tests were on sale for 3 for $10, not as great of a deal as in my mom's town, but still, so I purchased a box of 3. I retook the test to see that the hcg hormone was still being registered and the test was positive. I thought this was a good sign and hopefully told John that perhaps we were still pregnant.

On Saturday, however, while we were in Costco, I began to feel very heavy and achy and told John we needed to finish up our shopping and leave. We checked out, went to my sister's and there I lost the baby.

John and my sisters and my mother via phone (she had stayed with my sister in Pasadena) continually asked how I was feeling, and my mother said, "And I don't mean physically" and were so supportive and helpful during my time of need. I still feel weak and tired, and John continues to fulfill his responsibilities as the dad and mine, as the mom. He is entirely amazing and my love for him has grown on this trip to surpass even what I felt before. I couldn't ask for a better husband and father to my children and I love him with all of my heart.

Yes, John and I are disappointed, but we know that this was God's will and that if He wants us to raise more children, he will give us that opportunity and we will be happy to take it. In the mean time, I will continue to enjoy the time I have with my sisters, my mother, my children, and my nieces and nephews. Incidentally, a silver lining to this entire vacation was that my 22-year-old daughter surprised me by flying into San Jose and spending the weekend with us! Over the past few months she had said that she wouldn't be able to get away because of school, but all that time she had been conniving with John to meet us here. It was a wonderful surprise and it's been so fun to see all of the little kids get to know her again.

Although I won't get to surf like I'd been planning, and I can't squat and run and walk to the perfect locations to take the perfect photos, I'm having a beautiful vacation with the people I love most in the world, people who have showed compassion and caring and consideration. My love for all of them has grown in unexpected ways, because of what I have been through, and I thank God for every opportunity I have to grow, even if it sometimes hurts. Life is good.

Photobucket

(Twin B and I enjoying Santa Monica beach last week, with an unsightly wadded up beach towel in the background. And I think my eyes are closed.)

Thanks for listening. :)

31 comments:

Toni Jones said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss, Jen. Hang in there! You have a great attitute and outlook on life. I love it.

Toni Jones said...

*attitude

Janiece said...

I too am sorry to hear of your loss.
I just told my niece a couple of weeks ago, that unless you have experienced this emotional and physical ride you can not understand it, but your words were perfect.
I am sure the joy of the temple, your amazing family and your faith in our Savior and heavenly Father will bring you comfort.
Thank you for sharing your feelings with us.

Please be sure to go see your GY/OB, I didn't and had coplications that could have been avoided if I had.

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

Toni and Janiece, thank you for your sentiments. And Janiece, thank you for the advice. My mother keeps telling me the same, but I am resistant. I'll take what you said to heart.

Kayla said...

My heart goes out to you Jen. I do know this feeling, its a very complicated one. You have a beautiful family and an amazing outlook on life, you are very blessed. I hope this turns out well, you and you family will be in my prayers. <3

Brian + Cheryl B. said...

Oh Jen, I am SO-o-o-o sorry. Here I've been teasing you about this very subject ....

Janiece is right with her recommendation to go see a Dr. I tell people that I had two miscarriages... one ending in a surgery type procedure (who's name has now left my brain). But actuality, I had more. Several more. All about the stage you have had this one.

Hugs for you my friend. I DO understand all of the emotions you are having to face and deal with. You know how to get a hold of me should you desire to.

I am very happy that you got to spend some time with your eldest. What a delightful surprise!!!

Nikki said...

Oh wow what a wave of emotions rode over me reading this post. I can't imagine how much more for you. I am so sorry for your miscarriage.

I am so supremely happy for your temple sealing. This is wonderful news.

And I know Heavenly Father will bless you and comfort you especially knowing this righteous choice you've just made.

My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Dixie Mom said...

I'm so sorry. That must be so difficult, especially feeling at peace with the decision you have made to have a baby. I hope you will feel comfort and peace.

sandy said...

My sympathy for your loss. As I am sure you have experienced, if God leads you to it, he will lead you through it.
I am not of your faith but I wonder if your child that you were still carrying was sealed together with all of you during the ceremony?

Pati @ A Crafty Escape said...

I am very sorry. My heart broke while reading your story. Please know that I will be praying for your family. Hugs Jen.

Jessica said...

I'm so very, very sorry. {{hugs}}

BarbaraJo said...

I love you, Jen! You are beautiful!

ccc said...

This is a post close to my heart. I am sorry for your loss of your baby. We(husband and I) are open to God's will for the size of our family. Sometimes it is hard to give that decision over to Him, but it is always best in the long run. But, when I began this journey 21 years ago I thought that giving that decision to Him meant having many many children on earth. Well, I do have 11 on earth, but I also have 9 in Heaven already.
Currently, just today I found out through blood levels that are plummeting, that I will be miscarrying soon--probably in the next day or so. This is an early one too, like yours. This is my 5th miscarriage in a row. It's so hard when we say ,"Yes," to the Lord for more children and we get what we want, but in a different way.
Take care.

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your story is very touching though and I love that you shared it and felt comfortable about that. Hope you are feeling better soon.

Life Happens said...

So sorry for your loss. I am glad you are surrounded with family to love and support you!

Bobbi Jo said...

I am so sorry for the loss of the sweet little blessing. Prayers going out to you. Hugs, Bobbi Jo

Amy @MoMomma said...

I'm sorry to hear of your loss. I wanted to thank you for sharing this with us, your readers. I hope you feel peace. I know that Heavenly Father and the Temple have a way of bringing peace and I hope you feel that with your family :)

Karen UK said...

My thoughts are with you. I hope you don't mind if I share an experience I had. My husband and I had 3 boys close together and then he was diagnosed with mental illness which was a really difficult time. We were just learning hiw to cope with this and things were looking good. We went to the Temple and came out feeling that we were supposed to have another child. I soon became pregnant and was waiting for the right time to tell my husband. The children were on school holidays so were around more than usual and there never seemed to be a 'right' time. Before I even told him we were expecting I started to bleed and I knew straight away that I was losing the baby. It was so hard to tell him both things at the same time so I can imagine what it was like telling your family. Because of the feeling we had in the Temple I had a feeling of peace and knew that either this time was all the child needed or that we would have another. I felt comfort knowing that whatever happened was in the Lord's hands. The next month I fell pregnant and now have a beautiful baby girl. It's helped me to talk/type about it so Thank you. x

Emily Heizer Photography said...

I am so sorry about your loss. And thank you so much for sharing. I hope you know we are all here for you, any time, day or night. We may not know you in real life, but we love you and your family just the same and mourn the loss with you.

Did you read the article in Ensign a couple months ago about angel babies? That might be something that may touch you right now.

Please, please promise you will go to an OBGYN. One of my best friends nearly hemorrhaged by delaying after a miscarriage and is no longer able to have children because of it. Remember that God guides the hands of the doctors and they help do his will, just the same. They don't control the situation, he does, they just help him do so here on Earth! We want you safe and healthy, and although it sounds like bleeding is under control you always have the risk of infection, and you may need a D & C. It is not pleasant, but it is for your health and safety. We need you here for your family, and whatever your hesitations are, they are not worth the risks of not seeking care. Please, Jen.

We love you.

Amanda B. said...

I am so sorry for your loss. This is very personal to me right now because I just went through the same thing. Aaron and I put a lot of prayer into adding to our family of 4- feeling like we were supposed to have another. For some unknown reason, it took 2 YEARS but I finally conceived in March. At 10 weeks, I miscarried. I was devastated. It was very painful, a lot of blood and I saw things I wish I could forget. :( I also wrote about it on my blog. Here is the post if you feel like reading it: http://crazyfunlove.blogspot.com/2011/05/not-post-i-imagined-writing.html

I had been so excited and so sure it was meant to be and I wonder now what it all means and what we are supposed to do. Is our family complete or do we just keep trying? I STILL feel like we are supposed to have another but I fear going through that again (I actually miscarried at 12 weeks once before the twins). So, we are leaving it in God's hands for now.

Anyway, I just wanted to say- my heart goes out to you during your heart break. I totally get that it is heart breaking no matter how many children you have. (If anyone says oh, at least you have so many healthy children already, you have my personal permission to SMACK them!! I have been told this way to many times- people just don't get it). A loss is a loss and it HURTS! My prayers are with you. May your body heal quickly and heart as well.

Oh, and congratulations on your Temple marriage!! That is awesome! :)

Danna said...

My heart and prayers are with you. I have been pregnant 4 times, but only blessed to carry 2 babies to term. I'm so sorry that you are experiencing this. I'll pray for you.

Danna said...

Let me correct that...I have been pregnant 6 times, miscarried 4 and carried 2 to term.

Linda @ Linda's Lunacy said...

So sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Expat Mom said...

I'm so sorry. It's very hard to go through a miscarriage. I've lost four babies (plus two that are now rowdy little boys!) and am currently pregnant again. I haven't told many people because we are so anxious about this one. I know how difficult it is, even when you are putting your faith in God. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

Oh, and like you, I didn't like to go to the doctor, but with two of my losses, I ended up with such heavy bleeding that I had to have a D&C, so do consider checking with a doctor to see that everything is ok.

Tiff said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. I know that nothing I can say will heal your pain, but please know that you are in my prayers.

((((hugs))))

Tiff
(I have two babies in Heaven too)

Thomas and Jamie said...

I'm sorry just seems so trite! But, this month would've been the month I would've delivered my second had we not lost him or her last November. And yesterday, it all hit me all over again! However, the peace that comes with knowing that this is the Lord's will and the He allowed it to happen is such a blessing. Praying as the next 9 months will be filled with much uncertainty!!

Life Happens said...

I am so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you. I will be saying prayers for you and your family. Hugs...

Keeley said...

Oh Jen, I'm so so sorry to hear about your loss. It hurts so much. I lost a baby last year and it was so difficult to deal with. I'm so thankful you have a great support system around you. God bless you as you heal both physically and spiritually.

Laurie said...

Like so many others who have commented, my heart hurts for you and understands how hard this is. Thank you for sharing in such a poignant way what some of us have never been able to express. When I had mine there was nobody around who was comfortable talking about it, even if they had also miscarried. Time helps, but you never forget. My husband and I shared some very tender moments that I know brought us closer together and to the Lord, so I do view it as a special and meaningful experience. My love to you and John.

Kristin said...

There were a lot of little silver linings here and there through this, huh?

Mom2my10 @ 11th Heaven said...

@Sandy, yes, the baby will be sealed to us. What a beautiful sentiment to ask about that. :)