Hello, and welcome to Adventures of a Good Life! I'm Dianne, a 30-something mommy of 2 wanting to use my words to inspire my daughters, and others, to live a good life.
My good life in photos.
Recent events today prompted me to think about some of my darkest moments over the past few years and how I survived them. It’s crazy how some things can trigger memories we haven’t thought about in years.
David and I went to Vegas with our college chums in December 2010 to celebrate Christmas a little early and catch up with each other. We stayed at our friend’s parents’ house in Henderson. I had just suffered my second miscarriage and wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to celebrate and enjoy and just be. We were the only couple that were married at that time, and the only ones who had suffered such a loss. To everyone else, life was the same as it had always been.
One of the nights we were there I felt terribly sick. I don’t know what it was – if maybe I ate something bad or if my sorrow was causing my body to shut down. Everyone was ready to head out to the strip. I think some of them were practically out the door when I decided I wasn’t going. It was all too much, and I felt too sad to celebrate anything.
So they stayed home. All of them. And it wasn’t a spiteful decision on their part. Pajamas were put on and the snacks were brought out. They played games all night (Charades, I think) while I sat and watched and even laughed. I want to say we even videotaped it because it was so funny.
I’ll always remember that day and how my friends really supported me, not by talking me through it, but just by being there. They’re my people. And I miss them.
Because it’s easy to get sucked into the “what ifs”…
Because I am not in control…
Because it could happen at 10 weeks, or 20, or 30…
Because I don’t want to live in fear…
Because, as far as I know, he/she is alive right now, and that alone is cause for celebration.
Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. We lit 3 candles to remember our 3 little angels in Heaven, along with the many other babies that God called back home to Him. I imagined all the families that participated in this day of remembrance and thought that Heaven must have enjoyed seeing the millions of candles lit from up above. What a sight it must have been.
When my husband and I found out we were pregnant for the first time, we felt the way all first time parents-to-be would feel: extreme excitement, joy, and wonder at the miracle that had occurred. You don’t think about the “what ifs” your first time. You even start telling people, because you simply cannot contain your happiness. At 12 weeks we went to our first OB appointment. The nurses called us “mom” and “dad” and said their congratulations. The doctor wanted to listen for a heartbeat. She tried for some time and couldn’t find it, but that was ok because it was still early and sometimes it’s hard to detect a heartbeat through the doppler. She issued an ultrasound order and has us go to another office to get it done (they didn’t do it at that office). We had no worries at all going into the ultrasound.
When the ultrasound tech got quiet, I knew something must not be right. He just kept searching and searching and searching…for what? I didn’t know at the time, because he didn’t really explain anything to us. He just kept searching. Then he said he needed to get the doctor.
There’s no heartbeat.
There’s just an empty sac.
This is very common. 1 in 4 women miscarry.
I was told that my OB would call me and explain things more in detail as well as inform me of the next steps I needed to take. The only call I received was one telling me that I needed to schedule a D&C for the next day. I had no idea what that was or even what the heck was happening to me. It wasn’t until the next day, 5 minutes before I had to have this procedure done, did a doctor tell me what exactly was happening to my body, what happened to my baby, and why I needed to have a D&C. In hindsight, I would have asked more questions and perhaps even try to pursue other options. But, everything happens for a reason.
My next 2 pregnancies didn’t last as long as the first – I miscarried both at around 8 weeks or earlier. It still hurt the same.
My OB sent me to see an endocrinologist and they ran a whole bunch of tests to see if there could be something wrong with my reproductive system. They found nothing.
It took me a while to let go of the hurt I was feeling from each of these losses. My faith was weak, and so was my relationship with God. I could not understand what I ever did to deserve this. It was particularly difficult because no one I was close to had been through this before. I had no one to talk to, no one who could understand. People felt sorry for me, but they didn’t understand.
I actually turned to the internet for solace and searched for women who had stories similar to mine. I found so many. Just reading similar stories helped me to grieve and to finally heal. My relationship with God began to mend as I realized that all these women had found a purpose to their experience. I began to have hope that someday, I would, too.
Two years after our first miscarriage we became pregnant for the fourth time. At first, we braced ourselves to accept another loss. I was having lots of bleeding, and was almost certain I was miscarrying. I wasn’t even going to call the doctor, because I knew what was happening to my body. It was just like the others. I ended up calling just to make an appointment with the endocrinologist we had seen after our third miscarriage, to see if he could run some more tests. They asked me if I was miscarrying again, and when I said “yes” they told me to come in for testing.
And this time around, things were different. This time, my HCG levels rose instead of declined. This time, I let go and let God. I realized that things happen whether I want them to or not, independent of how much I prayed for something, how many good deeds I tried to do, or how I even lived my life. I was not in control. I had only been looking at my plan, without giving any thought to what God had planned for me. My heart was different this time around. And for some reason, this time, my baby made it.
Fourth time’s a charm.
I still get sad over the babies I lost. I think about them every day…I went so far as to have them tattooed on me forever. I’m happy to say that I did find the purpose to these trials, just like all the other women whose stories I read online.
God wanted me to let go.
Falling on my knees in worship, giving all I am to see your face. Lord, all I am is Yours.
I wasn’t sure when I started my job at my new school if the tattoo on my arm would be a problem. When I first got it, I wasn’t concerned about my employer at the time as I had already been working there for 4 years and had established myself as a teacher. Thankfully, my new principal was fine with it…especially after he heard the story behind it.
A couple of my coworkers had already asked about the meaning behind the artwork, and I willingly shared my story about loss and wanting to remember my babies in a special way. The plumeria flower is a symbol of birth and life. Though my 3 babies never made it past 12 weeks, I truly believe that their lives began at the moment they were conceived. They were my babies, right from the beginning. A person’s a person, no matter how small. (That Dr. Seuss was a smart man.) And though they can’t share in the good life here on Earth, I know they are alive in Heaven. I can only imagine how much fun Mama Mary is having looking after them and all of the unborn up there.
My principal had gotten wind of my story and asked me more about it one day. (I am learning that news around here travels fast!) In speaking to him about it, something dawned on me that I hadn’t really thought about before.
It took 3 times for God to get his point across.
It took 3 times for me to listen to what He was telling me.
It took 3 times for me to trust in His plan for me.
Trust. A simple message, a complicated action. It’s something I have learned and am still learning as I live my life as a wife and first-time mom. But there is one thing I am sure of: God’s plans for me are always more beautiful than my own.
I called, you answered. And you came to my rescue and I wanna be where you are.