If you would have told me during the miscarriage what was ahead of me when it was over, I couldn’t have handled it. The grief over losing our child, after everything else that had already occurred in a short amount of time, seemed like more than enough for one person to bear. I’m not one to feel sorry for myself, but at that point, even I was crying “uncle.” Little did I know when I wrote Part 13 of this series what the next few months would entail.
Let us review: Why did we halt our adoption?
The simplest answer is because we cannot afford to pursue adoption and surrogacy at once.
*For more on why we before 3 weeks ago we never dreamed surrogacy would be an option, and how we were both finally at peace with moving forward with our adoption plans, please see Part 1.
*For more on the Facebook message I received 3 weeks ago from practically a perfect stranger that would rock anyone’s world, please see Part 2.
*For more on our surprisingly spirited 1st reaction to that message, please see Part 3.
*For more on the questions we both had, and the emotional struggle I went through, once the surrogacy option was presented to us, please see Part 4.
*For more on the initial, God-filled meeting I had with the woman who strongly felt God may very well be calling her to be our surrogate, please see Part 5.
*For more on the extremely disheartening news we received the day after I met with the woman who appeared to be an angel sent by God to carry our biological child, please see Part 6.
*For more on the strange, but strong, intuition I was feeling just a little over a week after our dream of surrogacy seemed to be slipping from our hands, please see Part 7.
*For more on all the signs that just weren’t going away and ultimately pointing to my intuition being most likely true, please see Part 8.
*For more on the dramatic turn of events that took place one early morning, please see Part 9.
*For more on the painful drive, and then wait at the hospital, I endured while waiting to hear if my intuition was true, please see Part 10.
*For more on the internal conflict I felt when I found out my intuition was wrong, please see Part 11.
*For more on the decision I made to go seek a second doctor’s opinion on what had (or hadn’t) happened, please see Part 12.
*For more on how we found out we had actually miscarried our baby, please see Part 13.
*For more of how the miscarriage affected me emotionally, and why I chose to share my grief, please see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of my “Redeeming Miscarriage” series.
*For more on the messiness of life, in particular my life, please see Part 14.
*For more on what I never told you had happened after the miscarriage, please see Part 15.
*For more on the possible reasons why I was suddenly not in the best of health, please see Part 16.
*For more on my two days of testing to try to figure out the problem, please see Part 17.
*For more on the uncertainty that came with the initial results, please see Part 18.
Waiting. That is pretty much all I got done health-wise for well over 2 months. To say it was a test on my faith and my patience, as well as John’s, is an understatement. There was nothing else we could do, though. It was our cross to bear . Just when we thought answers were just around the corner, we waited, and then we waited some more.
In the meantime, we tried to operate as if life were normal. Thankfully, the whole time I felt absolutely fine, so trying to go about life really wasn’t that difficult. We weren’t fooling ourselves very well, though. No matter what you say, life isn’t normal when you’re sitting around waiting to hear if you have to undergo major treatment. Due to the indecision, we couldn’t move forward with our family plans while we waited. I couldn’t guarantee my employer I wouldn’t be taking significant time off soon. I couldn’t promise my sweet friend that I wouldn’t be a sickly-looking bridesmaid.
I think of one of the hardest things, though, is I couldn’t even fully process all the emotions from the miscarriage, since my health had seemingly been suddenly hijacked since our loss and therefore demanded my time and attention. If you followed it, in my “Redeeming Miscarriage” series, I did do my best to be honest with myself (and you) about my grief. Now that you know what was really going on at that time, though, could you understand how emotionally spent and conflicted I truly was? I loved the Lord, and I believed strongly in His sovereignty and goodness, even amidst my suffering, but I was still human and very much feeling the effects of living on this fallen earth.
I had to be on constant guard for the enemy’s attacks. I was weak, and he knew it. If I wasn’t careful, I was either coveting my friends’ families, or wallowing in self-pity for my lot in life. I was either partly upset I ever even conceived a child, or extremely upset thinking about John getting to marry and have a family with another woman after I die due to us unexpectedly conceiving our biological child, who also died. Yes, I realize that last example is slightly dramatic, but when you live my life, you know that dying before your spouse, and him re-marrying, most likely is your reality; my current situation just brought to surface the emotions that surround that probable fate, emotions to which most could never relate.
There were also those nagging questions that plagued me late at night. “When is enough, enough?” “Lord, is it wrong to want to glorify You through “normal” life, instead of through trial after trial?” “Am I really going to end up dead after all of this?” “Will John resent me, if I do?”
For the first time in a long time, I felt like I was going to break under the pressure of life. I longed to go back to January 1, 2013 and re-start the year. I longed to go back to when were just going to adopt and be done with it. I couldn’t turn back the hands of time, though. I had to live in my present reality, and that reality was filled to the brim with uncertainty.
Answers were finally promised toward the end of June.
The miscarriage had happened the first week of April. I was first approached about there being a problem the end of that week. Over two-and-a-half months later, I was ready to know the direction in which my life was going. I was ready to know if motherhood was in my immediate future, or if I was once again going to have to put my desire for a family on the back burner and deal with more pertinent, life-threatening issues. I didn’t know what was ahead of me that day I once again drove down to Columbus, but I knew that I was coming home with answers; after weeks and weeks of waiting, that was enough for me.
Going into another day of testing that Monday, I did thankfully already have one good piece of news. I would not need the dreaded Nissen surgery! Praise God! Neither my doctor nor the GI doctor were convinced that the decline in pulmonary function was being caused by any acid issues. All of my 51 “episodes” of “silent” reflux had occurred very low in my esophagus, which meant that it wasn’t a danger to my lungs. As excited as I was about keeping my ability to throw up (you would be, too!), I also knew that meant there had to be another reason why my lung function had decreased; namely, most likely that was because of the antibodies. We had waited several weeks to re-test them to give them time to either stabilize out or show that they were going to continue to rise. If they continued to rise, and my lung function continued to go down, I knew treatment was inevitable.
I also had another problem and another secret. I was afraid there was a chance I was pregnant – again.
I hadn’t missed my period (yet), but my body certainly wasn’t acting “normal.” I was having a few of the same pregnancy-like symptoms I had before the miscarriage. I wasn’t having nearly as many as when I actually was pregnant, but I wasn’t far enough along in my cycle at that point for the majority of them to start making their appearance. I had purchased a few pregnancy tests that weekend, took them a few mornings, and thankfully found them all to be “negative.” I just didn’t feel right, though. I knew the chances of having a false negative before your missed period were extremely high, though, so I didn’t have much confidence in my $3 pee sticks. I also knew that your hormones can cause bodily changes after miscarriage, so I took that possibility into account, too. I didn’t understand why those wouldn’t have occurred right away, but “blaming” my new-found weird cycle on hormones made me feel better. In all my life, though, I had never had such strange things occurring other than the time I was pregnant, and it was only after the fact last time that I put two-and-two together. Last time, I hadn’t even began to think I was pregnant at that point, so trying to decipher if I was again or just being paranoid was difficult at best. What was occurring wasn’t the exact same as just 3 months prior, but it certainly wasn’t my “normal,” either. I was also very aware of my hyper-sensitivity to things of this nature after the miscarriage. I knew my mind could actually be playing tricks on me this time, instead of warning me like last time. After all, like I said, I wasn’t exhibiting nearly all the symptoms I had before, but then again, I hadn’t given myself the time to be showing them, either.
I wasn’t feeling like the Lord was telling me I was pregnant like last time, but I wasn’t feeling like He was telling me I wasn’t, either. I felt He was silent on the issue, which didn’t help me feel any better. John was skeptical. One minute he didn’t believe I could possibly once again be with child, and the next he was wondering if lightening had indeed struck us twice. I felt conflicted, too. One minute I felt calm about things, and the next I felt overwhelmed and scared. That morning, though, I was completely at peace, which even shocked me. The Lord must have known my emotional limits. I couldn’t sit around like last time and wait to find out what was going to happen, though. I had to know, and I had to know now. Waiting wasn’t an option.
Just like last time, during my commute down, I picked up the phone and let my transplant team know that morning I would need yet another blood draw for a HCG level. I’d know soon if my antibodies and lung function were still out of control. I would also know if I was most likely soon going to be experiencing déjà vu and consequently making my health situation even more complicated. I just wasn’t sure if I was ready to hear all of those answers.
Part 20 to come!