Thursday, April 28, 2016

Reality

I haven't written for a little while. The road has been rough lately and I wanted to get through it first so that we could share our story and happy thoughts and feelings once we were past all the hard stuff. But it wasn't that easy. The hard stuff is still happening and recently I started thinking, maybe it's okay to write about it while we're in it. To recognize that this pain is real for us right now, and is probably real for many others. And it's okay to feel it and to process it.

Last week was April 18th. It's a day that has never meant a whole lot to me in the past. But this year was different. While the rest of the world probably experienced a fairly normal day, we were experiencing a million different emotions. Because April 18th was our due date. It was the day our first baby should have been born. The day we should have become parents. The day that should have been the happiest day of our lives. Instead, our hearts hurt that day and everyday for the baby we never got to bring home. 

We have been working through our grief ever since we lost that baby last September, but seven weeks ago it all came flooding back. Seven weeks ago we experienced a second miscarriage, this time just 9 weeks after our second round of IVF. That baby's grand entrance into this world should have been October 13th, but we know now that that will be another emotional day. A special day. 

Grieving this second time around has been different somehow. In some ways, it felt like recovery came quickly and I was able to feel joy again and smile and laugh and feel like everything would work out. And then something would trigger me, and all of a sudden it was like the whole world came crashing down all over again and I couldn't do anything to stop it. The tears would come and the more I tried to stop them the harder it became until I just stopped fighting it and let them flow. I couldn't do anything but curl up in Robbie's arms and cry as I felt all the emotions that accompany our reality.

We lost another baby.

I wish I could say that I was stronger. I wish I could say that I've been able to maintain a constant eternal perspective through all of this. I wish that I was able to shake off the negative feelings that sometimes seem to pull me down. I don't want to feel so hurt. I don't want to feel angry. I don't want to feel jealous. I don't want to feel guilty for feeling hurt, angry or jealous. I don't want to feel so scared. But try as I might not to, sometimes I feel those things. Not always. But sometimes.

The biggest battle I have fought since this most recent miscarriage is trying to hold on to hope. Losing a second child on this long road of infertility bears all the weight of losing your child and then is compounded with the weight of wondering if you will ever be able to have children at all. I know that we have other options, but there are other factors keeping us from being able to pursue those for now. How do you keep the faith when you look into your future and you can't see the thing you want more than anything?

Luckily, in those moments when my faith feels like it's at an all-time low, Heavenly Father reminds me that He knows. That He's watching. And that He's hurting too. He sends me clear messages of hope and love through inspired people in my life.

Robbie, even through his grief, still never loses hope. He is my rock. In the days following our second miscarriage, I spent a lot of time pleading with Heavenly Father to help me cope with this. I also found myself looking for anything that would help relieve this pain or help me understand how to deal with this kind of a loss. In my searching, I found this:


As soon as I read it, I fell apart into a puddle of tears. I mourned for my two sweet babies all over again. Not only for losing them in this stage of life, but for the life they would have had. For the people they would have been.

I shared my feelings with my dear husband and his response was one I will never forget. He squeezed me tight and said, "Ang, we don't have to wonder. We know we'll see them again." This guy. He was and is the answer to my prayers. With love and compassion, he reminded me how real and close the Savior's atonement is, especially right now. The Savior promised that we will be a family forever and I have had to dig deep to really ask myself if I believe Him. And the truth is, I do. Even through this darkness, I believe Him. I can't express what it means to me to know that our little ones are not gone forever. That we are their parents. That they are our children and always will be.

About a week or so after our second miscarriage, I received an unexpected package from a friend. She had no idea that we had just lost another baby but had just felt a prompting to reach out. In the package was a necklace with a charm in the shape of an anchor. She wrote me a letter saying that she had been thinking of us ever since hearing of our first miscarriage 6 months before and had been wanting to send me this necklace. She testified that hope is an anchor for our souls, sure and steadfast. That "hope makes us sure of the Lord's promises and helps us be steadfast until those promises are fulfilled." She hoped this necklace would serve as a daily reminder of that for me. Okay....There is no denying the presence of God in our lives in moments like these. It was so powerful to know that Heavenly Father inspired her with a message I needed to hear at a time when I really needed to hear it. She could have sent that letter at any other point in the previous 6 months, but was inspired to send it right after we had just suffered another loss. She brought me hope at the exact moment I was starting to feel hopeless. And her gift has been that reminder for me, especially through the past week. I am trying to hold onto that hope with everything I've got.

She isn't the only one that has blessed our lives by following those promptings of the spirit. We have been given so much help from friends here in South Carolina and loved ones across the miles. Since I was struggling in the aftermath, we didn't publicize this second pregnancy or second miscarriage to many outside of our families. As a result, it felt strange to know that the world was moving forward with no knowledge of this little life that had meant so much to us. It was hard. But so many messages of love and support from people who had no way of knowing about our loss proved to me that our child was not forgotten in the eyes of the Lord. He considers them both precious and He considers our loss great. He has reached out to us through the hands of our families and our friends and that has helped lift us up and strengthen us when we have felt weak.

I have learned a valuable life lesson through all of this. In these moments when life feels impossible and everything you plan seems to crumble and it feels like you're all alone, look for God in the details. Sometimes it takes a second to see past the fog, but when you do, you will always find Him there.

Life lesson #2. When God tells you to do something, do it. You have no idea what effect your words and actions can have on someone else. All you need is the courage to put into action the good thoughts that Heavenly Father sends to your mind. As a recipient of the love of those who have had that courage, I am eternally grateful.

I know I'm not through it all yet. Though they happen less and less, I know there will be more triggers and more difficult moments. But I also know that I have an incredible husband who loves me, and I love him. I have two amazing families who would do anything for us and have. I have a Savior and a Heavenly Father who actively make me aware of their existence and their love. I have angels on earth, that are willing to act when Heavenly Father speaks to them. I have a knowledge that because of Christ, we will see our children again. And I have a belief, a hope, that in the end, we will have the family we dream of. For now, we will hold each other tight, snuggle our adorable pooch, and reflect on the amazing blessings we have.

This is a good life.

8 comments:

  1. Oh Angie, my heart just breaks for you. I'm so sorry you're going through all this! But as you write about the honest and raw feelings, I can see how truly strong, courageous, and how in tune to the spirit you are.

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  2. Love you SO much❤️❤️

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  3. My heart breaks thinking of you two being in such a painful and dark place and I just ache to be with you! I honestly don't know two people more real, strong, genuinely good, and powerful than you two. I've said it for years now about Robbie- but I hope you know that you and Rob are honestly my heroes. I don't say that lightly. Thank goodness you found each other. Couldn't love you more or look up to you more.

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  4. Sweet Angie, what a beautiful outpouring of your grief, love, hope, and faith. I can't tell you how much I admire and love you and Robbie. I am so incredibly sorry for the pain you both have been through and that you continue to live with. I am so glad you have each other and this beautiful, honest perspective. You've strengthened my testimony this morning. Thank you for writing a D for being honest and for continuing to believe. I believe too and know that you and Robbie will be the best parents someday. Even more prepared than most. Love you darling girl.

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  5. My heart aches for you two. Love you so, so much. Thank you for sharing this, and for being willing to be honest. You are amazing, Ang. Your babies above will keep giving you strength. You are such a courageous example. xoxo

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  6. Sweet, brave Angie,
    Thank you so much for having the courage to share your feelings & perspective as you navigate this impossibly hard experience. I wish with all my heart that I could hold each of you & absorb some of this immense pain. How grateful I am that you have each other to lean on & cling to. You are both so strong & valiant! I love you both so much more than I can express! Please know how much we love you & how much Heavenly Father loves you!

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  7. We love you both so much and will continue to pray for you two! xoxo

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  8. You're right this is a good life and I'm so grateful you can see that through this extremely difficult and painful experience. We love both of you so much and it is so hard to watch you hurt! I'm not sure what we can do or say to help ease the pain but we are here for you. So glad you have each other and that you are both so awesome and wise and that you are gaining strength in all the right ways. Sometimes life is a challenge that we just don't understand from our perspective! Love, love, love you!!!

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