Thursday, May 2, 2013

Desire to Inspire {Our Journey to Parenthood through Miscarriage}

A Royal Daughter

I got to meet sweet Amanda from A Royal Daughter at Blissdom several weeks ago. She is precious and I always love meeting other curly-haired women who love Jesus. :-) I've just started getting into her blog and I'm struck by her authenticity, honesty, and the incredible community she's created. 

Last week Amanda wrote a beautiful series of posts about infertility. I prayed through each one - honoring the women and men who are fighting each day to grow a baby. I gave God thanks for my precious little man who looks just like me when he smiles and has his daddy's hair. I've touched on our own fertility adventure before, but I haven't shared the details. Mostly because of intense shame. But I was inspired by Amanda's honesty and my prayer by sharing our story is to inspire others. 

I got pregnant on the first try. In fact, I got pregnant on the first try twice. My first pregnancy was short - I only knew about it for about 7 days - but it forever changed my life. I don't talk about it much because it seems to pale in comparison to other's pain. It's not like the pain of years of infertility  It's not like the pain of losing a child. But it's painful and it's my pain.

It's also complicated. I got pregnant the first month I stopped taking the pill. Jarrod and I were not quite officially trying to have a baby, but we were ready. My doctor knew of my intentions and cleared us to begin trying. But no one gets pregnant on their first try, right? We had plenty of time to worry about getting pregnant. 

But on February 22, 2011 I saw two lines and knew that my life was forever changed. I immediately felt sick, regret, and fear. The timing wasn't right - we were living far from our families and I couldn't wrap my brain around having a baby by Halloween. It was all happening too fast. Not to mention late October is not a good time to have a baby if you are a 3-day participant. These things all seem very selfish now, but at the time, they were intensely real. I wasn't ready.

Over the next week or so I was a rollercoaster of emotions. I was filled with guilt at wishing I could walk in the 3-day, praying that my desire wasn't making the baby feel unwanted. I was so excited - baby shoes, names, and cravings consumed me. It's a good thing that Pinterest wasn't around then or all my free time would have been spent planning the nursery. 

And then I started bleeding. I immediately called the doctor. They ordered two rounds of tests. Within 24 hours I knew the pregnancy wasn't viable. The tests confirmed that my progesterone wasn't increasing like it should. I blamed myself - I was too selfish, too scared, and not ready. I was devastated. Jarrod was devastated. The baby we were so scared of became so real and so loved in just 7 short days. 

2 months later, we were pregnant again. Much more cautious, we waited, talked to the doctor, and took it easy before getting too excited. We moved, kept the secret, and finally were in the clear at about 12 weeks. We were so excited. The miscarriage proved to us how badly we wanted a baby. We weren't scared of being pregnant anymore but were just ecstatic about loving a little baby. 

The day of our original due date came in late October. I was nearly 7 months pregnant - HUGE pregnant, really. I spent the day crying and it wasn't until lunchtime that I realized why. We were supposed to have a baby HERE. I felt like a crazy person. Who cries about a miscarried baby at 6 weeks when you're huge-tastic pregnant with a perfectly healthy baby? 

Me. I cried. I mourned. I was so sad. 

I talk about that first pregnancy from time to time. Jarrod doesn't understand, but I think about it as the first time I was pregnant with Wesley. The timing wasn't right, so I got to be pregnant with him again. It's the only way I can manage. I cannot think about who that first baby would be. Call it what you will, but I need to think of that first baby as just a baby Wesley that needed a little more time. 

From the outside, our journey to a family of three looks effortless. It definitely didn't take any time at all, that's for sure! But there was a lot more pain than at first glance. I understand loss, pain, frustration, and regret because of this part of our journey. I am still incredibly thankful for the ease in which we got pregnant with Wesley. I pray if we choose to add to our family through pregnancy again, it is just as simple. And I pray for peace and babies for those longing in the midst of infertility. 

How do you inspire others? Do you have a story to share or a message to give others in the midst of pain? Consider linking up with A Royal Daughter or reading some inspiration and leading your thoughts! 
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