25 February 2011


Have you seen The Royal Tenenbaums? The epic movie made a few years ago with Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow and Luke Wilson? There's a part in it when Ben Stiller turns to his dad and says, "I've had a hard year, dad." There's so much wrapped up in that one line. 

It's been one of those weeks.

These last few weeks have not been what I thought they would be. I guess not much of life really ever is, but God's hands have been so close and though sometimes I feel like I've been falling through midair with nothing around, I know He's been there. Still and secure. 

Early last week I found out I was pregnant, but something wasn't right. I had been spotting for a week and a half and my hopes weren't very high. There's wasn't a gaping hole in my heart like there was with my miscarriage in August of '08. This time it was different. This time, I felt so afraid of the possibility of what could be. They did an ultrasound, they did blood tests, my doctor was encouraging that I shouldn't fear the worst, but I was afraid of that slight chance of an ectopic pregnancy. I knew God was with me through the fear and panic. He was there, but it seemed that I was learning how to give Him the fear and worry that consumed me. I was trying to learn, but everything I read filled me with such fear (darn those stupid forums. Google doesn't know everything, surprise.) I kept praying and reminding myself, He's got this. Jesus has this and He's not going to let go of me.

They found something on my ovary when they did the ultrasound. The doctor thought it still could pass, it was still so stinkin' early and my counts weren't high enough for a viable pregnancy. Either way we would lose the tiny little bean that I wouldn't have even known existed if it weren't for modern medicine. But my counts didn't rise or lower and they began to get a little nervous. 

We prayed for wisdom, for guidance on how to handle such an ordeal. I got a small dose of methotrexate shot to stop the nonviable pregnancy on my ovary and prayed my hcg levels would go down. My chances looked good, the doctor was still optimistic. 

while at the hospital to get the shot I took the time to clear out my purse. John got such a kick out of all the stuff I keep in my there, he had to document. Helped pass the time.

Let me just say, pregnancy kind of freaks me out. It's beautiful that a human being is growing inside of you, but I feel such pressure on my body to do the right thing. To work right. Like so many young teens who get pregnant without even wanting to, I just want my body to work normal. To be normal. To not have to share the sad news with friends who mourn with you and cry with you. To just be one of the typical, normal pregnancies that doesn't experience anything scary or too-much-for-this-grown-kid to handle. Obviously, that's not life. And those hard, scary trials bring growth. Develop character. Teach you things you wouldn't learn if you didn't experience them. But I realized with this loss that being out of control scares me to death. We get married, do something so natural and wonderful and it leads to a little life growing inside of us which is awesome, but if things don't develop right something so beautiful becomes so terrifying. 

During this time I kept thinking, "Lord, this is my worst nightmare. Why are you letting this happen?" And then He'd so gently remind me that so much of life has been my "worst nightmare" and every single time He's used it for His glory. So many things in life aren't what we wanted, obviously, and it was devastating at the time, but He sees the whole picture. He knows the beginning and the end and I firmly believe He doesn't let these things happen, He just holds us while they do. As it says in How Deep the Father's Love for Us, "How great the pain of searing loss, The Father turns His face away."

In the midst of it all, last Wednesday I was heating up some lunch and a pyrex pie plate exploded on the stove. Glass everywhere, a small fire (which I quickly extinguished, not to worry) and leftover coffee cake crumbs all over. I starred at the mess, laughing to myself slightly. Life can always be worse. I look at Jack at see his healthy (and oh so active) little body cruising through the family room and I see God's faithful proof of what He can do and has done. He knew Jack would come after our first miscarriage, He knew he would capture our hearts and He knows our future and the other kiddos that may come.

I found out my counts yesterday have gone down to 107. Which is great. They'll keep testing my hcg levels until they hit 0. We can try again in a few months. Hope is a gentle dove with an olive leaf in his mouth. My heart feels full of thankfulness that it wasn't more, that each pregnancy is different and new. But the reality remains. What comes easy and natural for some may be a little more tricky for us. And that's okay. It's a hard reality, but not an impossible one. He brought us Jack and I have a feeling that's not going to be last mini-John to be running around.

My heart aches for other friends who have lost a little one. Who have experienced that sadness. It's real and it affects so many more of us than we think or talk about. Healing comes in waves, but it comes much swifter when it's spent with friends.

We had my inlaws here for the last few days and we took a trip to Monument Valley (pure beauty) and had a great time. It kept our thoughts full of other things and not to mention plenty of yummy food and road trip snacks.

check out John down there! These things were massive!

Seeing this reminded me of God's incredible ability and strength. He keeps us so secure and in His grip.

Each step of the way I kept hearing God's gentle reminder in the song, Never Let Go by Matt Redman. I'd sing it in the shower, changing diapers and eating breakfast. He's got this and still does. 


mattie said...

there is such incredible truth & beauty in this post, mel. thanks for sharing your heart. xoxo

Bridget Beth said...

I'm so sorry, Mel. Your writing is so fluid and lovely about something so hard. It brought me there with you. Praying for you, friend.

Les is more said...

zander, ender, and i love you so much.

Kaysi said...

Stumbled across your blog through a google search for that quote from The Royal Tenenbaums. My brother and sister-in-law miscarried last fall, so a lot of your story here hits fairly close to home. They are currently expecting a son to be born any day now so thankfully God has blessed them with a healthy little one following last year's heartache. I've been struggling with the holidays this year for other reasons and your post was an encouragement to me... Thanks from a sister in Christ in Reno. =]

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