Friday, June 14, 2013

The beginnings of acceptance.

After my last post, I had many people reach out to me.  Some were women who have gone through this, some were people in my life that cared, and some that were concerned for my health.  THANK YOU!  I am very blessed to have so many people in my life, that truly care about me.  I wanted to reassure any that were worried, that I am doing okay.  I am seeking professional help both physically and emotionally.  I started on an anti-depressant right away, but after being on it, my Dr. and I decided it wasn't helping me. I felt like a zombie on it.  I didn't feel deep sadness, but I didn't feel happiness either, It essentially made me numb and was AWFUL.  I do not have a chemical imbalance, therefore, those drugs are no use to me.

I have had some lingering side effects physically, but nothing serious.  I am doing as well as can be expected.  I'm able to laugh, smile, find joy, and live my life.  Sometimes I think in this society, that we want to fix everything for everyone, because we care.  However, sometimes to find healing, you HAVE to walk through the pain. There is no magic pill, or simple answer that will take this away.  I lost my son.  I have lost five sons.  The loss is deep, the pain is incredible, the loneliness is there, however, I am lucky.  I have my faith.

I believe that death and disease, have come into this life through Sin. God made us to live forever with him, but the human race fell, when Adam and Eve chose to disobey.  I don't believe for a moment that it was God's Will that Liam died, or any other of my Children.  I believe that those things happened, because of Sin. I'm not saying it was a punishment for my own personal sin, I'm say that sin is the tool that Satan uses to lure us away from God. I'm saying that death and disease are a result of sin. The only way to counter it, is to cling to Jesus.

Right after Liam died, I was angry at God.  Not a why did you do this, but why did you allow this?  I don't believe this side of heaven, I will ever understand the answer to that.  I believe whole heartedly that I don't see or even begin to comprehend the bigger picture, but what I do know is that God Loves me.  It hurts him, to see me hurt.  Just like it hurts me, to see my children hurt.  However as a parent sometimes we have to allow them to hurt to grow. I am no longer angry.  When I hurt the most, I sing and I praise Jesus from the depth of my soul, and it is in that , that I have begun to find peace and acceptance.

I don't know what I will learn from all of this, or in which ways I will grow, but I do know that I will. I have seen many things in my life.  I have felt incredible pain in my life.  I have been the brunt of cruel jokes, I have been judged unfairly, I have been persecuted, I have been despised.  I have been an outcast, I have felt incredible loss, loneliness, despair, and pain, and I would not trade a moment of it.  I have grown, and on the flip side, I have felt incredible happiness, I have laughed, I have been accepted, I have been loved, and I have found hope, peace and much joy.  My oldest daughter asked me once "Mom, why do you keep having kids, when you lose them?  Doesn't it hurt to much?"  I told her  yes the hurt is incredible, but the love is even more incredible. I am thankful for every brief moment I was able to hold my children in my womb.

For all the hurt I have felt, I have felt happiness.  I don't believe I would appreciate the happiness to the level I do now if I have never suffered.  The thing I've learned in my life is there can be beauty found in the pain we go through.  I'm guessing to some that sounds a little twisted, but what I mean is that if you look at things that happen in your life as an opportunity to learn and grow, and ways to bring you closer to Christ, instead of something being done to you and you are helpless against it, you can find beauty in that.

The loss of a child is agonizing.  It is the deepest and most incredible pain I have ever felt. However, I believe that Liam, Gabriel, Shane, Ryan and Timothy, will teach me more about love than I could ever understand this side of heaven. I believe that the way to short amount of time I got to spend with them on this earth, will help me live my life to Glorify God in a way I could not have done without them.

In the end, I share my thoughts, my heart and pain to help me find healing, but to hopefully also help others not feel alone.  I know too many women, men and families have gone though this.  I share my journey to help many hurting find a voice.  We are in a battle with the culture of death.  People do not value life inside the womb like they should.  Many of us have been hurt by others who try to dismiss our loss. I for one won't stand for it anymore.  If people want to judge let them, but I will fight for the value of everyone of my children's lives.


I know I will get through this.  I have God.  When I feel like the grief is consuming me, I fix my eyes on Jesus, and I am able to walk on the raging sea of loss.  Thank you all who reach out to me,  Thank you all who love me.  I can't put into words what it means.  Please keep praying for me.  I know I can't do this without Jesus, and I know that prayer truly changes things.

Quick update on the diet and training.  I have lost 14lbs in two weeks.  YAY!  I am also getting my shoes training starts bright and early Monday morning.  I am already registered for the Crazy Horse Half-Marathon......HERE I COME!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

understanding and finding courage.

Monday will be one month since Liam was stillborn.  I have received all the results of the tests they did, and everything has returned normal.  No one can tell me why Liam died.  There were no Chromosomal issues....the placenta, pathology and everything was normal.  All they could tell me is that he stopped growing around 15 weeks.  We don't know exactly when his heart stopped beating, but at 16.5 weeks we still heard a heart beat.  So Sometime between then and 20 weeks, Liam passed away.  This has been really tough for me.  I am a person who really likes to know the WHY of things.  If something is broke, I mess with it until I figure out what is wrong.  When I was a kid, I took radios apart to figure out how they work.  If I don't know the answer to something, I research, dig, look until I find one.   There is no answer here, and it is very hard for me.

I have been struggling with extreme loneliness. I ask myself....Why?  I know there are many women who have gone through this..... I am not alone.  I have family and friends who love and support me, I have four children who NEVER give me time to be alone, so why do I feel so alone? When I feel this lonely, I withdraw even more....which really doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  However it is almost suffocating.  I feel like I am sinking in quicksand, and I am just so tired of holding on to the branch, that it would almost be easier to let go.  That is how this  loneliness makes me feel.

As  I have been reflecting on the question of why after everyone of my children, that I have lost (miscarriage and stillbirth) do I feel so alone...... I begin to understand.  The word intimacy is what comes to mind.  We can experience intimacy in many ways.  I believe that the deepest form of intimacy I've ever experienced is carrying my children in the womb.  I know even before my missed period, that I am pregnant.  My body begins changing.  My boobs hurt, I'm queasy, I gain 9lbs immediately, I begin changing.   My body knows, even before my conscious mind knows.  I would say the next closest form of intimacy I've experience is the act of help create life with my husband.  I know anyone can have sex, and have the physical intimacy,  but to truly be open to life, with my husband, inside of a marital, committed relationship, that is true intimacy.  As I am processing through this, I begin to understand the loneliness.

So through the intimacy and love of my husband and I, I am given the gift to carry life within me. My body knows this  baby on the cellular level.  There have been many studies done that show, the cells of my children live in me long after their born.  There is some research that even shows these same cells, may heal things on a cellular level without me even knowing about it.  My baby  is truly present in every fiber of my being.  That is intimacy, at it's finest as far as I'm concerned. 

I have four living children, and I remember after Brianna, my oldest was born, I did not know how I could possible have enough love in my heart for another child.  I felt as if I was bursting.  However with every other child that God gifted me with, my love grew, and I was able to love all of them that much.  I remember holding each of my children as newborns, and being overcome with intense love.  Love so deep that I would give EVERYTHING to protect them. I would gladly lay down my life for them in a minute....without hesitation, and for a person who has an extremely high survival instinct....that says a lot..... it is that intimacy,  and true love that overcomes all other instincts.  As time goes on, and my children grow.....the intimacy changes.  It does not go away, but every year, every day as they grow and change, I learn to let go.  I learn to let them try walking, even if it means they will fall and get hurt.  I learn to let them go to friends houses for sleepovers.  I learn to let others care for them, and not have then within my line of site.  I love them, and I would still give my life for them, but I learn to let them become their own person.  I have years to learn how to let go.

When I have lost my babies, It is so sudden, and so shocking to my system.  It is as if a nuclear bomb has gone off inside of me.  One minute I am connected to my child in the most intimate way possible, and the next they are gone.  There is no time to learn to let go, there is no years of preparation, they are gone, and I am left..... alone.  That intimacy, the being connected to another person in a way that you are truly one, is just torn away.  My body is in shock, my emotions are in shock.  My whole world is turned upside down......I now understand the loneliness.

So what do I do? How do I overcome this drowning sensation? How do I learn to move on from this explosion that has racked my very being?  As I reflect on these questions, I realize I need courage.  I need the courage to say to my husband...."I am so lonely, will you hold me"  I need the courage to when people ask how I am doing,  say "I am hurting", and allow them to love me.  I need the courage, to humble myself, and let others love me.  I know this may seem weird to some, but I consider myself a tough person. I am incredibly independent and I have always taken situations that have been thrown at me, and said you will not beat me, you will not define me, I will overcome you. I love to love people, and help people and be there for them when they are hurting, but I am not good at letting others be there for me.  I am scared to be vulnerable, because I am afraid of getting hurt.  When you love as deeply as I do, you hurt deeply as well, and my natural instinct is to protect myself from the pain.

I know this loneliness will not go away anytime soon, I will carry it with me for a very long time, however I need to be courageous enough to not let it define me.  I will keep moving forward, I will keep living, I will keep finding joy, and I will keep loving people.  I won't become a prisoner to fear, and I will find hope in my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Yes I will hurt, and I will always miss my babies, but I will move forward for them.  I know deep in my heart, that none of my little angels in heaven would want me to retreat from the world.  I know this, because I know them.  I may have never seen or held four of them, and I only held Liam for a brief time, but I know them. As intimately as humanly possible..... I know them.

I share all this for many reasons, mainly because It is how I process things myself, but also to hopefully help people understand.   So many think miscarriage and infant loss is an extremely private matter. However, I feel I need the people that love me now more than ever.  When people don't reach out and show they care, it only compounds the loneliness.  I am very lucky, I am surrounded by many people, who have the understanding, of what life in the womb means..... many are not so lucky.  The culture we live in devalues life inside the womb.  It can even make people feel like they do not have the right to grieve or be sad, because "at least it was early" or at least they never held them and knew them"  I can assure you, as a woman, I knew everyone of my children I lost in a way, no one else would understand.  Miscarriage and stillbirth should not just be brushed under a rug.  It is easy for people to say, "well that pregnancy just wasn't viable".....that was my child, who was part of my very being, and now they are gone.  Please don't dismiss the value of my child.

As far as the training and diet, I have been on the diet 10 days and have lost 10 lbs and 12 inches. I have not begun training yet, but hope to very shortly.  I need to get new shoes, as my old ones are trashed.  I hope to do that in the next week.  I will have to make a trip to Fargo, because the stores around here don't have anything worth a hoot, and nothing in my size.  So as I continue this journey, please continue to keep me in your prayers, and if you know anyone who has lost a baby due to miscarriage, please don't hesitate to reach out to them.  God Bless!