Wednesday, February 17, 2016

One year later

I feel like this is a pretty downer post, so for that I'm sorry? I'm writing this post in an effort to ease some of the pain I am feeling today. Not physical pain, but a very frustrating emotional pain.

One year ago I woke up early after an uncomfortable night of the worst abdominal pain. I was so bloated and cramping so hard that I could barely use the bathroom. I couldn't seem to find any position that was comfortable. I left Greg in bed and tried the couch and I think I managed to sleep a little longer.

I had been experiencing this pain for two days on varying levels. When I woke up again I texted my mom and sister. My mom insisted I needed to go to the doctor. I felt stupid at just the idea of it. It was just bloating! What was the big deal? It was also my first day of my new position at work. Calling in sick might be a bad start, ya know?

I did it anyway. I called the doctor and they were able to get me in right away. I emailed work saying I was going to the doctor and I might not be in or I would be late. Greg went to work and Nanny drove me to the doctor. Of course as soon as I got up and started moving around the pain eased and I felt even more stupid for going.

The doctor pressed on my abdomen, asked me questions, asked me where I was in my cycle (the answer was, according to my knowledge, only a couple weeks in). Basically he had no clue. We discussed the possibilities of lady problems, a cyst maybe, I don't really remember. I believe he offered me birth control, to which I responded gently that that might be counterproductive to our desire to have a child (something we'd been attempting for about nine months at that point).

When he learned we were TTC (trying to conceive) he said, "Well! Let's do a pregnancy test just in case!" They already had a urine sample so he slipped out of the exam room, leaving the door cracked, and I waited.

I saw him coming back through the crack in the door and he was smiling and my heart almost stopped. Indeed, when he walked in he still had the smile on and he informed me cheerfully, "It looks like you're pregnant!"

I was pretty much in shock after that. He gave me the down low about needing to call my OBGYN and set up initial appointments and I numbly just shook his hand, my eyes watering a bit, and hurried out. I didn't say a word to Nanny though I think she could guess (most of our immediate family was aware we were trying), because I needed Greg to be the first to know (after me and the doctor of course). I was texting my sister all the way and she pretty much guessed what was going on when I told her I couldn't tell her anything until I talked to Greg.

Nanny dropped me off at work, and I was relieved because all the cramping and bloating stuff really had eased up. I went to Greg's building and pulled him aside to give him the news.

He had the biggest smile. :) He said, "I thought that might be the case." Of course, I was very confused about the timing of everything because I was almost certain I had had a period, but we were happy. FINALLY, am I right?!

And then I went to work and the bleeding started, and I was filled with dread. Greg called the OBGYN for me maybe that day or the next, and they had me come in for some blood tests. The results were very positive and they told me, "Well, you're definitely pregnant!" There were other things, more details, more questions. And they told me to come back on Monday for more blood tests to check my levels were rising.

So I went through the weekend. I woke up on my birthday (a Friday - I took the day off work) and was just depressed. I felt hopeless and despairing and certain that the worst was happening. I Facetimed Trina and she made a last-minute decision to come visit. So that was nice. I had my sister there for my birthday, a splendid birthday party, and the following day we went to a baby shower for a cousin.

It was nice having Trina. She made me feel excited and hopeful, and I got to enjoy the feeling of being pregnant for the little time I had.

To make it brief...I guess I was miscarrying pretty much the whole time. Obviously we were devastated. I was in shock for practically a week after. Honestly, the actual pain of the miscarriage has eased over time, including the chemical pregnancy I experienced in August (essentially a very early miscarriage that never really stuck). The real pain that has compounded since then is the months of trying and trying and not being able to get pregnant. We've found underlying reasons for that struggle, but overall it has been a hard year.

I have had high times and low times and sometimes they both happen at the same time! Strange, I know. I can't even go into all of the feels. Too many feels. I will just leave it at - I am grateful. I am grateful for Greg, for the gospel and the comforting power of faith and hope, and I am grateful for my body even on the days I am mad at it for disappointing me. I am very happy and grateful for my life and for our blessings. I'm also sad too. That's about all there is to say. I am good, and I am happy...I am just sad too.

I've been thinking the past few days about what the purpose of pain is. I still don't really know. I know it is natural and that it is important. One talk I read said, "Pain is a gauge of the healing process and often teaches us patience." Ain't that the truth!

I didn't want to let the year mark pass without acknowledging it. Thanks for your love and support. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Father's Day Miracle

First, I want to tell you a joke. It is one of the few jokes of its nature that I actually find amusing. More on that in a bit.

So this guy asks Jane on a date. She is SO excited. He comes to pick her up and as he's walking her to his car she realizes she has to fart SO BAD. He opens her door and she gets in the car, and as he walks around to his side, she lets it rip loud and hard. Whew! He gets in the car and says, gesturing to the back seat, "This is Bob and Sarah, they're doubling with us tonight." Jane turns around and sees a guy and girl looking a little green around the gills.

Heh. So yeah, I don't do "potty humor." I am a bit of a prude in that way, but I had an experience tonight that has changed my perspective forever...

First of all...

HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!

I don't know about you, but I have a great dad. He is one of the hardest working men I know: at work, at church, and at home. Besides that, he's like a big teddy bear that loves his kids like crazy and shows it in so many ways. An example of this was a moment when I was visiting home last month. My dad came home from Youth Conference and was sharing an experience where he was comparing one of his kids to ME and as he started talking about how proud he is of me he burst into tears. It was really sweet. That's my daddy.

Anyway, tonight I was celebrating Father's Day with my FUTURE father-in-law! Greg and I had dinner with his family and were playing games. So here's how that perspective changing tale went...

It was a riveting game of golf (Greg wrote that first line :) he's great). That would be the card game, not the one with clubs. Greg's sisters and parents faced us across the table, Greg and I beside each other. The game was proceeding as could be expected. Shuffling, dealing, drawing, discarding. playing---you get the drill.

There we sat in good family companionship when BAM! In the midst of a friendly family rapport, someone let one rip. It was shocking. It was loud. It was me.

I was mortified.

What had I done!!? I barely knew these people! My life was over! I'd have to change my name and move and find a new fiance and family to start over with. I'd ruined my chances with these people. I saw their heads turn slowly in our direction. Then it happened. Something I was not expecting. Their eyes slid past me and landed on Greg.

"Ewwww, Greg!" says Kilie.

"Come on, Greg! Really?!" his mom said.

Really? I thought. Were they really blaming it on Greg? I looked at him to see what his reaction was and he just shook his head laughing. Was he really going to let me get away with this?

"Sorry, sorry, everyone!" he said. I stared suspiciously. Did he rip one at the same time or was he just a  wonderful person?

(I just had to hush Greg because he was trying to tell the story for me. Sheesh, get your own blog, buster!)

"You better get used to that, Tess, he does it a lot," Stacie said. "I'm surprised he didn't blame it on the chair!"

"It was the chair," Greg said. I wondered if he really thought it was the chair or if he really was just a wonderful person. Everyone was laughing heartily and teasing him endlessly. He was blushing A LOT and they pointed it out. I felt very self-conscious as I KNEW my face was BURNING.

But I laughed right along with them, mocking the poor fool. I imagined talking to him about it later, laughing then, and laughing for forever. I thought, "Dang, I sure love this guy."

As the minutes passed, the family laughing, I wondered how they weren't getting suspicious of HOW MUCH I WAS LAUGHING. Surely they'd notice my panicked laughter once everyone else had calmed? Surely they'd wonder? Surely they'd KNOW! I had thought all the while, "Well, this is great, they'll just think it was him forever and my reputation will be secure." I was going to let it go, let him be my fall guy.

I'm horrible at dishonesty though. My eyes get shifty and my cheeks get red and I get a little loud and obnoxious. Just ask any of my relatives that have tried to get me to cheat at Pictionary. I decided I had to come clean.

"It was me."

I raised my hand and buried my laughing face in Greg's shoulder. There was a hesitation as his family took in the news. Then I heard his dad roar. His sisters laughed. I looked up, and we all laughed harder. His mom rubbed her eyes. For ten minutes, there was solid laughter. We were all tearing up.

I assured Greg that I would love him forever for this service he had rendered to me.

What kind of guy just takes the blame like that? He didn't blink an eyelid, he just went with it. That, my friends, is true love. Ladies and gentlemen, the future father of my children.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Dog's Best Friend

I thought a good follow-up to my last post would be to share tonight's escapades! Don't worry, it wasn't the cockroach again. That demon hasn't reemerged thankfully. I am pretending its disappearance is permanent–like fell-into-an-incinerator-and-died kind of permanent. Do you think an incinerator could kill a cockroach if a nuclear bomb can't? Don't answer that. I don't want to know.

Anyway, the parentals and I went and got foot rubs tonight, leaving the miniature schnauzer, Ranger, my adopted brother, to roam the house freely. Upon our return, my mother found him in the living room thoroughly occupied.

"Ugh. Ranger found a gecko."

I joined her in the living room and we both examined the gecko from a safe 6-foot distance.

"Did Ranger kill it?"

"I can't tell."

"It doesn't look dead."

"I can see its eyes..."

Indeed, right as we said this, the gecko tried to make a break for it.

I don't think it was dead.

I don't know if you have ever seen a gecko move, but its movement is almost as bad as a cockroach. It does this weird little thing where its body moves like a squiggly line, like it is trying to shake its hips while it walks. I don't know if I had ever seen a gecko move before. Well, my mother and I SQUEALED and split like a banana.

I'm really impressed by the amount of movement elicited by creeping things. I know I did at least a two-foot leap in the air, my legs moving in something like a jig, and then I ran to the kitchen where I climbed onto the far cupboard. I smiled and said "Hey" to my dad, who hadn't made it into the living room yet. I don't know what my mom did, but I know she jerked away just as I did.

Once I'd gathered my courage, I went back into the living room. Ranger had followed the gecko under the table where he was trying to engage it in conversation. Or something like that. He had his paw on its tail and was watching it out of the corner of his eye, just waiting for it to move again.

"Look, Ma, I found a friend!"

I'm pretty sure he wasn't being mean, and that he had no intention of ever eating this gecko he was playing with. I think he just wanted a friend. He would watch him, it would slip out from under his paw, he'd grab it again, and stick his nose on it, maybe nip it a little. To be honest, it's how he treats me, so I didn't feel TOO bad for the gecko.

My mom tried to summon my dad to save it, but he said no. She said, "I thought you dealt with geckos in Hawaii?" He replied, "Yeah. I squished 'em." I found it ironic that when he DID come a few minutes later, he still told Ranger not to hurt it. The gecko finally escaped under the couch, and Ranger is once again a sad little lonely dog whose only joy is to follow Tess around and get in her face. Lucky gecko.