Thursday, October 17, 2013

Marriage: Surviving Loss

I've talked about falling in love being easy and marriage being hard.  This week, I've found out how hard it really can be.  The foundations of our relationship were shaken by something the size of a pea.  On Sunday, we had our third miscarriage.  Almost 7 weeks along, following all the rules, and starting to feel joy for the first time when the dull ache began in my back.  Fast forward 6 hours to my husband taking me to the ER, the ambulance ride transferring me to the larger hospital, and ending around 3 in the morning with a doctor abruptly saying, "Well, the pregnancy was lost."

I had been scared then suspicious when the bleeding started.  By the time the doctor came in with the news, I already knew but was praying for a miracle.  I wanted a "Dr. House" moment where he said the baby was fine but my spleen had decided to exit from the wrong way.  I didn't care what happened to me, but please God - don't take this child too.  The abrupt declaration by the doctor and lack of ability to explain why it happened left me numb for a few moments.

The second he left the room, it was like the sound came back on and I felt everything.  I sobbed and ached.  My husband held me as I lost it (for the first of many times).  The nurse helped me clean up and dress to go home.  They gave me prescriptions to handle the pain and nausea.  I was told to contact my OB/GYN and do followup to make sure everything was happening naturally.  That was it.

For them, the event was over.  For me, it was just beginning. 

Five years ago, my parents went on vacation.  The third day they were gone, I got a call to come to their house by my brother.  I figured something was really wrong since he would tell me nothing on the phone - but the whole ride I prayed that it was anything but the worst.  Instead, I found out my father - one of my best friends - had died inexplicably while swimming - one of his favorite activities.  Because they were out of the country, there was no autopsy before returning his body to the U.S.  So to this day, I have no idea why my father died at the very young age of 55. 

That day, I felt the worst pain - at that time - that I had ever experienced.  I raged, cried, screamed and swore.  I was angry at everyone from God down to myself.  No one was without blame.  It took me a very long time to work through all the stages of grief - some days, I still regress.  I was sure I would never feel that pain again until the day I (very very long time from now) say goodbye to my mother.

Turns out, I was wrong.  The past few days I've felt like my heart was ripped from my chest.  I've lost the ability to communicate with people I love.  There are no words.  I doubt everything and everyone - going so far as to tell my husband maybe I'm so damaged we shouldn't be together.  Luckily, I'm married to the right man.  He can see through the words to the hurt and depression so he knows I don't really mean that. 

As we talked through things, I realized that my innate inability to really lean on others had been stripped away.  I was physically incapable of powering through - just like when I lost my Dad.  The first two days, I tried to get up and dressed - to behave as normal.  I ended up in a ball of grief in the shower the first day and sobbing helplessly in a parking lot the second day.  The sadness has given way to irrational jealousy but I am aware that "this too shall pass".

I used to think that was a glib and cruel statement, but I realize now it's just a fact of life.  I'm thankful for every word of comfort, sorrow, and reassurance from friends and family at this time.  I'm blessed to have a husband who is willing to carry me when I cannot walk.  I'm grateful for learning to lean and accept help with grace.

Nonetheless, I would give anything to have my hope and joy back.  To know I was going to have that child so loved already by its parents.  The reality is not going to pass but my acceptance will grow and the sorrow will. 

If you have been down this path or fear going down this road, know that you are not alone.  You're not the first to doubt God's plan, to feel that life is cruel, or doubt the very body you live inside.  You are not the first to cry for a faceless dream and it's completely normal to feel everything you feel.  We are not the first, we shall not be the last - and while there is no solace - there is comfort in knowing we do not walk alone.

Can a marriage survive loss?  Only if you stand together.

Monday, October 14, 2013

TTC: Loss

This post is difficult to write. The part of the TTC journey that is hardest is not the disappointment or the cost.  It's the moments after almost having it all.  The joy and hope are vital in TTC success.

Sadly I am struggling to find any hope.  This weekend we lost our little miracle. It's our third loss and I am finding it difficult to find any more positivity.

I am prayerful that as I grieve I find that place to stay over.  As with all journeys, there are many turns, stops, and starts. 

I wish us all a new peace as we go forward. No matter where we are in our journey.

Friday, October 4, 2013

TTC: Still not the weight loss post...

There has been a LOT going on in our house.  It's all POSITIVE.  I'd say about 5 weeks worth of positive. 

To that end, I'm still working on some things.  I promise - worth the wait!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Current Events Rant: Response to the House!

Mr. Cruz from Texas, late Monday night during the waning debates in the House, made a statement I’ve been stewing over ever since.  He said, in reference to the Affordable Care Act, that “Instead of aiming at methods to help the 30 million Americans in need, the President passed a law that was directed at 230 million people.”  He went on to talk about why this was bad or unnecessary, but I was stuck on the fundamental lack of perception in his statement.
The option to have access to basic health care should be a fundamental right for any American citizen.  It should not be weighted on genetic conditions, your income bracket, or any other pre-conceived ideals.  The industry would love to limit access, much like auto insurers, to only those who will cost them the least.  That’s good business – I get that.  But the option to be able to do basic preventative care in a world of increasing population, exposure to illness, and potential injury from the environment should not be optional – it should just be present.
Now, someone has to pay for it – (we won’t discuss whether the costs charged are fair or not, because that’s a whole different topic) – and if you are employed, you should invest something in your own care.  So long as the option is available to you, of course.
There was a time in this country, if you were a minority, you didn’t have many options available to you.  You were limited by a fact of birth which you had no control over, judged by external appearances and given little to no options to change that situation.  Many laws have been passed to rectify that – beginning with the most sweeping of changes under President Lincoln.
Then lawmakers argued we would destroy the fabric of the American economy if we passed such legislature.  Similar arguments have been made against rights for women and every minority grouping in the country. Strangely, the US is the second largest producer of cotton (China leads the way); as of 2011 the US was the fifth largest producer of sugar; and (sadly in my opinion) as of 2009 we’re still the 4th largest producer of tobacco in the world (China leads this as well).  So apparently, those industries didn’t wither and die after all.  Some of the most progressive inventions in those industries came from the very people lawmakers tried to limit.
At the time, Lincoln recognized the need to not pass piecemeal legislature that address specific situations here or there but to make a sweeping reform for the betterment of the entire populace – current and future.  Since then multiple laws amending, shaping or redirecting that legislature have been passed.  Some have been great successes, while others are a miserable failure.  None of them would have had a chance without the grand stepping stone to build upon.
Likewise, in this nation, I believe there will be a time we look back and see a healthcare system that is available to all.  It will likely look different than the initial Affordable Care Act.  It will be polished and honed with experience and the progression of time.  Generations later will never know a time people could be refused healthcare because they were born with a defect.  They will never know a time when basic preventative care cost more than a person could afford, so they went without – endangering themselves and the entire populace.
But first we needed the grand stepping stone, currently called the Affordable Care Act, – now, Mr. Cruz – why don’t you and your colleagues join the historical motion started here and begin shaping things in a bipartisan way?  Why don’t you put aside your agenda to get reelected or collect some more donations, and start finding a way to make what exists work better instead of trying to do away with it altogether?  Instead of looking behind you and trying to undo what’s been done – why not look forward and do something new and improving regardless of party lines?  Let’s be clear, the negotiations have to go both ways between the parties.  There has to be a willingness not to “win” but to succeed together.  Both the House and the Senate have to bend.
Regardless, the current situation has nothing to do with this legislation.  You, Congress, have some basic duties – much like the President.  If he decided he no longer would be willing to speak to other nation’s leaders or make diplomatic decisions, Congress would be the first to claim he was not doing his basic duty as President.  However, for four years there has not been a budget passed.  Sure, you’ve passed continuing resolutions and piecemeal legislature to keep us limping along during a very difficult economic time – but that’s not your job.  Your job is simple:  House writes a bill, Senate writes a bill – you both come to the table and figure out a compromise between the two and PASS a BUDGET.
Why not focus on that for now, and then worry about affecting history after?  The House can start by admitting that the Senate, in passing the budget in the “CR Clean Bill” without changing the numbers they heartily dislike, has offered a large olive branch.  An equal and opposite motion from The House regarding the bill and the upcoming debt ceiling deadline would go a long way towards giving us all a little more faith in our Congressional leadership.
After which, fixing the Affordable Care Act – together – should be a walk in the park. (Provided it’s not shut down, of course.)