“Dude, seriously?!?!? What the H?!?!? After the past year this is how things are going to roll???”
These were the thoughts that were immediately running through my mind last Tuesday when we heard the words “there is no heartbeat”. We were having a miscarriage.
Allow me to back up.
In case you haven’t noticed, this is Tim. Lindsey said I could write a follow up to her posts from the last week week. Many times when I write in it is because something that we have talked about has sparked something in me. I found myself thinking, “what should I write about? What does she want me to say?” Her response was simple: “write what you are feeling.”
I guess, let’s start with the pregnancy. NOBODY ever told me what all was going to be involved in this. Just a quick history, I am an only child who has NEVER been around babies and has never held a child younger than a year old. That fateful day that we saw the 2 lines on both sticks, I felt a mix of joy and fear. The joy came from the fact that we could conceive. One of the things that we had worried about was whether or not we could, whether because of her health issues or my ability. I mean, “Cool!”, I thought, “I am not firing blanks!!!” This fear was a mix of whether or not I was ready to be a dad and, as Lindsey has mentioned, we did not expect to get pregnant right away The other part of my fear was, “Will I make a good dad?” Here is a new life, a new life for whom I am responsible. HOLY CRAP! As the weeks went by the question of being ready was pretty much rendered mute because it didn’t matter if I was ready, Squirt was on the way. (Side note, Squirt is the nickname we gave the baby since we did not want to know the gender and we REFUSED to call the baby an “it”.)
I never really got to wrestle with the question of getting over the fear of being a good dad. But as for my experience during the pregnancy, I would say that it was difficult. Not knowing anything, I was constantly asking questions and many times feeling kind of stupid. I had to learn all the things that Lindsey’s body was going through and then stand by and be able to do NOTHING about it. I was a bystander at this point, an active one, but a bystander nonetheless. So I began to focus on the things that I could. What carrier did I want? (For all the dudes, Mission Critical is totally cool.) What are all the things a baby might need? Stroller, crib, playpen, changing table and everything else one needs. These were things for the baby that I could do. We were going to need a new car (mine is a two-seater and I surely wasn’t going to bring the baby home in Lindsey’s shitbox…Sorry babe, but let’s call a spade a spade.) We need a bigger place and ultimately a home. These were the things that I could focus on and in the meantime do what I could do to get a better job.
But all of it came crashing down on the Tuesday. Everything else in life was looking up. I was in a new job. Lindsey was looking at joining a new private counseling practice. The fog was beginning to clear. Why would God give us this incredible joy, only to take it away?
Linds and I had driven separately to the appointment. I had a job, a job that needed me to show up and do the work for which I was being paid. Not that I couldn’t have called my friend and said I needed to stay home, but I NEEDED that job for us. After the appointment, I held Lindsey for a while while standing in the parking lot, both of us letting some of the tears flow, but something still felt off. I WANTED to shut off. I didn’t want to feel. Even as I write this now, I feel a sense of shame. Should I have stayed with Lindsey? Should I have gone home and let her continue to cry on my chest or my shoulder? I did tell her that I wanted her to stay in communication with me through out the day. I wanted to know she was ok. I was concerned about what was going to come, i.e. the body’s natural response to removing everything that was now no longer living. When I got home that night, I had to take another phone call regarding our future that sort of required me to shut down for a little while. At this point, I was jammed pack full of emotions.
In that moment, I made a choice. I looked back over the year we had experienced. God had truly had taken care of us. There were many times when some problem would present itself and we would look at each other completely lost and ask, “How are we were going to solve this?” And poof!, something would come in the mail, someone would call, or something would happen that would allow us to solve the problem in front of us. And I believe all this happened because we had learned to trust. Trust each other. Trust Him. So I made the choice to trust and I was going to do everything thing that I could to stay on the positive side of things. I NEEDED TO do this. Lindsey can tell you that due to her upbringing and other circumstances, she is a bit of a “glass half empty” girl. I needed to be the half-full-glass for both of us.
But let’s be real for a moment. I am also the only one who could be in that moment. Over the last several days, Lindsey has had a constant reminder of our loss as her body has excised all the remnants of the pregnancy with it all coming to a head on Saturday. At the very worst moment of the miscarriage, I found her in the bath tub sobbing. I pulled up a chair and just sat there allowing her to rest her head on my lap. Here again was something I could NOTHING about. I couldn’t take away the pain. I couldn’t take away the reminder. I couldn’t bring Squirt back to life. I was helpless. The only thing I could was rub her back. I will NEVER know what it is like to have a life inside of me and then realize that life has ended. I will also never know when that life continues and is born, the bond that will happen between my wife and our child. That is something special that God has given to a woman. But what I can do is support her and occasionally try to make her laugh.
So what does life look like moving forward for us, you may ask?
Even though this weekend has been a rough one for us and especially for Lindsey, I am proud to say that we are both maintaining a positive outlook on things. Only the direction and focus have changed. We firmly believe that we WILL conceive and raise the children that we believe God has for us. In some ways, this has been a little bit of a blessing, due to the “insurance” we have for Lindsey, this pregnancy was almost not covered. That would have been a little rough. We now have to wait to try again. Our doctor is recommending that we wait at least two months for Lindsey’s body to heal and to help reduce the chance of miscarrying again. As for our focus, we are now looking at where we want to move while ultimately looking to buy a house. (I have totally found one that I want, but also want to make sure we put all the ducks in a row at the right time.) I have been so incredibly proud of Lindsey, because even though this past week has been rough, she is still maintaining her positive attitude. Lindsey is looking at growing her counseling practice, and I am looking at what He has set up for me job-wise and what that could mean for our next try at having kids.
One thing that I hope happens from these words is that someone reads them and realizes that they are not alone in anything that they do or are going through. God is always there. You and I may not see it. You and I probably won’t understand it. But as sure as the water is wet, He is there watching our six. That was one thing that Lindsey and I both agreed on as we sat at dinner Saturday night in Epcot. After our waiter brought out our drinks, we both held them up and started to throw ideas around as to what we should toast to…new jobs, a fresh start, coming out of the fog, but nothing seemed to fit. And then it hit me….
“Here’s to moving forward…..”