Sunday, April 27, 2014

My Own Beautiful Heartbreak

I have this thing about being cryptic on the internet. This stems from me being nosy. The way I see it you have two choices, you can either be a private person, or you can be active on social media. If you're going to say something on the internet, you need to be clear because otherwise people sit there wondering what is going on...nosy me.

So my general rule of thumb is that, if I don't want people to know something, I just don't say anything at all about it on the internet. Period.

I broke that rule about two weeks ago. And I feel badly about that. I know a lot of people have been concerned and confused and so, first of all I'd like to apologize and secondly I'd like to explain.

Around Valentine's Day, we found out that we were expecting a baby. Whenever I announce that I'm pregnant, one of the first questions I get is, "was this planned"? I avoid answering that question for a variety of reasons, not the least of which being that I feel it's a very personal question. I will say that we had in fact thought we were done having children (as those of you who read this blog may know from a previous post) but I will also say that we were thrilled and delighted to be adding to our family. If there's anything I've learned from parenting it's that things rarely go the way you think they will. In fact, making plans is the surest way to make the opposite happen. Plans are for sitcoms and novels.

This pregnancy was challenging. While I have had pretty extreme morning sickness with all of my babies, I was particularly sick this go around. It was very difficult to keep down enough fluids to stay hydrated. It was nearly impossible to take care of my children. My saint of a husband was burning the candle at both ends and in the middle and all the way around. My children were pretty much putting themselves on the bus every morning. It was a rough few months for all of us. But with the first trimester behind us, we were starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and looking forward to the better days of pregnancy.

About two weeks ago, I went into the doctor and discovered our sweet baby had passed. We had heard the heartbeat in the ER only two days before and it was very difficult to wrap our minds around how quickly everything had gone from being okay to being not okay. After some discussion and prayer, we decided to have a procedure done to remove the baby.

This is what has inspired some of my cryptic Facebook messages. I promise I wasn't trying to confuse everyone. The truth is, I had not made a public announcement via social media regarding our pregnancy so I felt a little strange posting about the loss of our baby. Isn't the point of not telling people so that you don't have to tell everyone if something goes wrong? But when something did go wrong, I wanted, no, I needed to share my emotion. I needed the love and the prayers and the many, many outpourings of faith and hope from my friends far and near. I want to sincerely thank you all for those prayers and for that love. I have felt them and they have been a buoy for me at this time.

This is our fourth miscarriage. And there are some things I have learned about this particular type of loss. First, they don't get easier. Ever. Whether it's your first child or your twentieth, the pain is real. That's because, from the second you learn you are pregnant your life has changed. The sight of those two pink lines on the pregnancy test (if you use the kind I like...I'm a pee stick snob, but I digress) are life changing. Whether the pregnancy was expected or unexpected, longed for or frightening, your life is never the same. You may feel an overwhelming connection to your baby immediately or it may come later...much later. You may be terrified, excited, exhausted, overwhelmed, humbled, thankful, all this and more in the window of approximately six seconds. No matter the circumstances and no matter the person, becoming pregnant changes your life. It changes you.

Like life, death changes us. Whether that person was in our life for thirty years or thirteen weeks, their death impacts us in ways we cannot predict and sometimes in ways we cannot understand. For me, it is often hard for me to understand how the death of someone I have never met, someone who has no name and whose eyes I have never looked into, can be so consuming and devastating. But it is. Because that person has changed my life. That small, sweet, precious person is a part of me. I don't know their name. I don't know what color hair they have (though let's be honest, it's a Ramsey so hair is probably wishful thinking period). I don't know whether they would like reading or playing soccer or whether they would like or hate bananas (it's a 50/50 split in our family). But in every way that counts, this baby was mine and I loved him or her in a way that I can only describe as all-encompassing.

The last two weeks have been full of tears and of joy, sorrow and gratitude, anger and humility. When these things happen, I am always filled with a profound appreciation for my Heavenly Father and His willingness to allow ultimate wisdom and compassion to dictate our mortal life. If I were in charge, I imagine I would spare everyone from any pain, sorrow, loss or struggle. I feel quite certain that, under my charge, no child would grow up without a parent, no parent would feel the pain of losing a child, no one would suffer illness or affliction. And I am sure that I would have ended the suffering of our Savior in the garden, thus eliminating the Atonement and condemning mankind to life without redemption. Truly, the Lord's plan is not one I can understand but it is one that I know, with all of my heart, is a plan of mercy and a plan of eternal joy. That joy and that peace may or may not come for us in totality in this life but this life is brief and beautiful and painful and did I mention brief? So yes, right now this Cinderella is locked up in the attic but the happily ever after will come and I can only hope that my sweet angel babies will be waiting for me.