Sunday, February 28, 2016

Our Marriage Lesson

My husband and I are about two weeks away from our four year anniversary and we have been through the deepest of valleys and the highest of mountains in those four years. In our three and a half years of dating we only touched the tip of the iceberg of what we would have to lean together for in our marriage. All in all, the biggest lesson I've learned is to lean together, not apart, for everything, good bad and all the little things in between.
To give you an idea of what we have grown together through, in our first four years of marriage:

4 moves: 3 within the city, 1 from Florida to Michigan
1 puppy, now 3 years old
8 job changes
1 death my step-father
1 birth of our beautiful daughter now 15 months old
1 miscarriage, still painfully fresh in our hearts
Several family illnesses

We've been given every opportunity to grow apart, to find the faults in each other and to let the wounds fester, especially with the valley we are currently going through. I can understand why people don't want to talk about miscarriage, I personally struggled to share ours myself. But to those who have lost a baby, you are not alone, that's why I wanted to share. That baby was a blessing and I am not ashamed to talk about our loss.

On February 10th, we went in to my doctor for an ultrasound with the thought that we would get to see the heartbeat of our 8 weeks along baby. Our second, after a easy first pregnancy with our 15 month old daughter. This baby wasn't exactly planned, but we were so excited because we knew what was coming. Our 15 month old has brought us so much joy, we couldn't wait for the joy of a second child. 

The appointment started off so well, my doctor asked our wishes this time around, anything that was important. I was unable to breastfeed with our daughter and I really wanted to give it my best shot again. Our doctor was greatly supportive and it encourage us. She performed the exam and said my cervix was progressing as it should be. Then came the ultrasound. Looking at the screen, the pregnancy didn't look at all like it had last time. The baby was about 6 weeks in growth and there was no heartbeat. We were so blindsided, it was not on our minds that this could happen, not after the first pregnancy went so well. But there we were, feeling like we had been cast out to sea.

We were sent to the hospital for a second ultrasound. We went, saw the exact same thing, but they didn't want to say the word until we waited 7-10 days and had a follow up ultrasound. So we waited. My HCG levels were not doubling the way they should, they weren't doubling at all. In 9 days, they barely went up. We knew in our hearts what we were facing and yet you can't get rid of that little sliver of hope that it was just too early for the heartbeat. Maybe our dates were wrong.

But we knew they weren't. We knew my hormones weren't doing what they should.  So 10 days later, here we were again, 3rd ultrasound, which was already one more than we had gotten in our last pregnancy. No growth, no heartbeat, still at 6 weeks growth when we should have been at 9 weeks.

I don't tell you this for any other reason than this: I won't grieve without my husband. Sure, I'm the one going through the miscarriage physically, but we are both dealing emotionally and mentally. We will always know that we have a baby in heaven not on earth that one day we will get to meet, a sibling for our daughter.

Don't go inward when you are hurting, those are the moments when we change as a person. When you go through something that you never thought you would, it changes the way you think and hope and dream. It changes everything. If you don't go through it together...well you could very well grow apart. When we become stuck inside ourselves, that's when the wounds fester. When we don't talk about what's happening and how we hurt, we think that the other person doesn't care or doesn't hurt or doesn't feel the way you feel. So share your hurts, your fears, your worries, your dreams, your hopes, share it all. 

Lean together. God doesn't mean for us to go through anything alone, we need companionship, whether that is your spouse, your family or friends. There are a lot of things that we have said in the face of this hurt: something must have been wrong, this baby is safe and sound, not hurting; we wouldn't wish a life of hurt of for this child, we prefer the child rest easy in heaven. Regardless of what was wrong, we wanted that baby, not any other, and telling moms who miscarry that at least they can get pregnant....just don't. They wanted that baby, in that moment.

Because the pain isn't an instant, it's continuous. The next several months will be filled with thoughts of the baby that should be growing, the baby we should be preparing for. Then, when we are ready to try again, the next pregnancy will be filled with the fear that it will happen again, because the reality is that one in four women go through this and that doesn't change in risk for it happening again. I'll still have a one in four chance of it happening. 

What will get us through it is by being in it together, by holding on and knowing that regardless, we have a beautiful little girl. Who knows the choices that will have to made in the years ahead of us, but the decision we need to make right now and every day for the rest of our lives is to be together, through each moment, good or bad. It's not a decision you make just once, you need to make it every day.