It's been a strange experience being required to rest. I'm not sure I've ever been told before to sit around with my feet up for three days and the weirdest thing about it is that I'm looking at the laundry and the kitchen and saying, "Hm. Got some things to do here!" I'm usually so busy that I go around doing lots of little things during the morning and afternoon and don't feel right sitting down and using the computer, etc., until later in the afternoon or evening. Yet here I am, sitting on the bed where I've been most of today except for bathroom trips, trips to make more raspberry leaf tea (hence the bathroom trips...), and a few minutes to make Grandma and I grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch.
I feel very normal today. It's so odd to be in the hospital one morning, then walk out under my own steam and be perfectly fine. Well, I couldn't walk too far yesterday without being out of breath and I still feel a little funny today if I move around too fast, but other than that...I'm almost back to myself. Raspberry tea, by the way, works great at helping a person rebuild their blood supply. I really seriously am feeling so much better than yesterday and I thought I was feeling pretty good then.
I hadn't really known how much carrying the baby was actually beginning to affect me until suddenly he's gone. I feel very...light. Empty. My stomach feels empty. It must really feel strange after giving birth to a full-term baby!
There were a lot of phone calls to make today, dealing with getting some supplements and settling hospital bills and keeping in touch with family. We are very happy to discover that the hospital visit yesterday is going to be all covered and so will any followup doctor's visits over the next few weeks; we weren't sure yesterday if we'd be covered or if we were going to be paying cash, and emergency room visits can be brutal on the rainy-day fund. That's a blessing that shouldn't be overlooked, that we'll be covered. It's also a blessing that we COULD pay cash if we had to, but it's very nice to not have to. The biggest thing we'll be buying will be some herbal supplements to help me heal properly, and while that would seem expensive under normal circumstances, when we look at it from the "doctor's bills" standpoint it's pretty much nothing.
Ben and I spent a while when we woke up this morning talking over things that we had discovered and been reminded of and discussed over the past week. Almost like recapping to ourselves everything that happened. It has been a very intense week, testing our marriage and characters and what we believe in. It's almost bewildering that it could almost come from nowhere the way it did, but when I look back over it...it's been a unique and amazing time. I wish we could've emerged from it with a living child, but we aren't going to look back on this and say, "That was so hard!" We'll look back and say, "Remember when Joshua was born and this or that happened?"
If you had asked me at the beginning of this pregnancy all the things I would least like to have happen, they all did. Well, I didn't end up in the hospital with an emergency C-section and a baby in NICU; but everything else - not being able to hear a heartbeat, having an ultrasound showing a dead baby, having to go to the hospital in the middle of the miscarriage, not being able to see the baby after he was born - did. And the strangest thing is that today I'm sitting here thinking, "Oh well. Not what I would've wanted...but not the worst thing in the world, either."
The worst thing would have been discovering that Ben and I do not have the strength or faith to handle such things. That would have been horrible. Losing our baby is sad. But we did not lose each other in any way. In fact, we gained each other a little more. I can't stress enough how good this is. I've wanted to be married for a long time because I saw marriage to a good man as a wonderful thing. I now know what I could only trust to be true before: marriage to a good man is a wonderful thing.
I wrote a few days ago that I'd been around for the death of babies before and one of the things I was holding onto (besides that God is good and in control) was the ability people have to continue on and find joy in all the little things of life they did before. It's true! Yesterday evening Elizabeth and Anna came over and made dinner for us, then brought everything into the bedroom so we could eat picnic style and I could keep my feet up. They even brought up the wheelchair so Grandma could have somewhere to sit and be able to eat from her little rolling table. Which she enjoyed doing, I think! That was really fun and we could sit around light-heartedly eating dinner and laughing together about various things even though we talked of serious ones too. It was life just as it always is, and that is something that makes it easier than you'd think to take a deep breath and keep going when something you didn't want to have happen does.
I was sitting here talking to Elizabeth and Anna about being at the hospital and what it's like to get an IV and what it was like to find out the baby had died and Grandma was just sitting here rocking back and forth in the wheelchair like it was a rocker and listening. She said suddenly, "Did you have any sense a few weeks ago that anything was wrong or did this surprise you?" It was an interesting question. The truthful answer is no, I had no sense at all anything was wrong. It's strange that I didn't, in a way, but I'm glad I didn't. It took my body several weeks to understand the baby wasn't growing and I'm glad I wasn't waiting around for those weeks knowing he'd died and just waiting for him to be born. I've heard of other women doing that waiting and I know we could have handled that too, but I'm glad that wasn't part of the last few weeks. We had a lot of happiness expecting Joshua during that time.
A few people have commented that situations like this are the reason people used to wait until after three months to tell people of an expected child. We actually did wait quite a bit longer than we actually knew about the baby to tell about him, not because we didn't want the trouble of telling people if anything happened but because it just seemed right to wait a bit and then we wanted to tell people personally and it was taking us a while to get to everyone. Most people we know did not actually hear about Joshua until about two weeks ago, and looking back the only thing we might've done differently is tell people a bit earlier. It's so much better to tell people about a living baby when everyone can be excited about him rather than tell and then immediately follow up with telling that the baby has died. Ah well. Things to know for the future, I guess.
That, and next time we're expecting we're just going to take that initial pregnancy test. The amount of times during the last week we had to be firm on just being pregnant at all, let alone backing up our dates...yikes! It seriously isn't that hard for a person to recognize they're pregnant - at least, it wasn't for me. But that's what you get asked a million times - I really had to tell the entire history so many times yesterday in the hospital that it just became a recitation by the fifth or sixth time. And every time we had to justify why we knew we were pregnant even though we were clearly there having a miscarriage!
At any rate, next time we'll have been married a little longer and maybe we'll be a little bolder about marching into a drugstore and buying the silly thing. So there's my advice to any newly-married couple who finds they're expecting: take your supplements (one that's actually called "Change'o'Life" formula was the one suggested to me), take your vitamins, drink your raspberry tea, and take the pregnancy test right away rather than just accepting what all the signs point to.
But far more importantly than that, focus on building a marriage firmly on God's foundation, so that when everything is shaken that can be, the things that stand fast will be the love and commitment to God and to each other. We got shaken a little this week (I don't think this was a time when "everything that can be shaken will be"), and without having that kind of foundation it could've been a very, very rough time. But it wasn't. And now here we are...healing up and getting back to normal and looking ahead to the next days and weeks happily and enjoying the time we have with each other now.
As I also said a few days ago...this is God's plan, and it is very good.
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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