A Father’s Day Tale (2/3): 2018

Danny and I spent the first couple years of Olive’s life learning to navigate our new roles. Parenthood was nothing I expected and so much more than I could have imagined. It has been joyful, hard, fulfilling, full of tears and fears; a blessing.

It has been a very humbling experience; it has caused me to reflect on who I am and make some needed changes. The biggest lessons I had to learn were to let go of expectations and try as I may, I am not in control. Lessons I thought I had learned well enough, but continue to be educated in.

When Olive turned two, obstacles we had been facing felt more manageable. What felt like months, years of barely keeping our heads above the water, turned into finding our footing. There were still rough waters, but we were better prepared to face them. Boosted by our new found confidence, we decided we wanted to grow our family again.

This time around, we didn’t get the luxury of naivety. We had two years of experiences under our belt. And unfortunately, our experiences caused us to move forward with caution and fear.

I expected overcoming these fears would be our biggest obstacle. We waited longer than initially planned to try again because we wanted to be mentally, emotionally ready to welcome another little one into our family. Getting pregnant with Olive happened quickly for us, and I thought once we made the decision to try, we’d have another Little Lindsay to snuggle within the year.

Month after month I symptom spotted and convinced myself that this would be the month that I get a positive pregnancy test. I would squint and hold them up to bright lights begging the test to show me a faint line. Maybe if I tested with a different brand it would show positive. I’d send pictures to my friend hoping she too could see the faint line I’d convinced myself was there.

Fortunately, this only carried on for six months. It was a stressful, angry, sad six months. But in the end, we were blessed to get a positive pregnancy test without any intervention. I know this is not the case for many. This small period of time was enough to make me feel broken, and it makes my heart break for those who must endure far more months, years of negative pregnancy tests. I see you, and my heart goes out to you.

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I was crazy excited. I grabbed the Big Sister shirt I had ordered months before, slipped it on Olive and called for Danny. We were relieved and looking forward to seeing Olive and her sibling grow up together. But our excitement was short lived. A week later, my body let me know I no longer was carrying the sweet little life I had already imagined a future with. Blood work confirmed I had, had a chemical pregnancy.

I felt heartbroken and embarrassed. Was I crazy, had I imagined the whole thing? After trying for six months, my hopes fulfilled were crushed. Ashamedly, I felt like I shouldn’t grieve that little ball of cells for too long; that I was weak if I thought of it as anything but that. Truthfully, I still don’t know what to refer to this experience as. I brushed it off and pretended it wasn’t a big deal. It was time to move on. Time to keep trying.

Two months later, God blessed us with another positive pregnancy test. We were able to get an early ultrasound at 5 weeks due to an uterine anomaly I have. We saw our little peanut and felt safe enough to let ourselves dream again. As I’m penning this, I’m wishing I could go back to that ultrasound sound room and pause time. Soak up the image of our little one inside my womb; the optimism and congratulations of all present. I can’t though, just as I wasn’t able to stop what happened next.

I began spotting around 10 weeks. The doctor had me come in for an examination. I will never forget the look on her face as she was gingerly searching for a fetal heartbeat. It was a look of kindness and sadness. She told me she was going to order an ultrasound so we could see the heartbeat instead; her words were trying to fill me with optimism while her facial expressions were gently telling me the truth.

Three years after the Father’s Day we spent welcoming Olive into the world, I spent feeling her sibling slip away. Father’s Day weekend, a time I had hoped to join family in celebrating the great father’s in our lives, I spent curled up on the couch. I was miscarrying.

I was broken; physically, emotionally, mentally. As I reopen this wound, I realize I am still broken. For the first time in a long while I was finally still and quiet. I didn’t know what to think or do; I only knew I was really sad. In those days, I leaned into prayer, worship and scripture. I felt like God was leaning in and giving me the biggest hug. He was whispering peace into my heart. I honestly have never felt as close to God as I did during that time.

I was blessed with friends and family who supported me and allowed me to mourn the way I needed to mourn. And I had my beautiful little blessing, Olive, to get me up and going. Even in the sadness, God was still good.

I love our peanut and think about our Little Lindsay often. But I know it’s not goodbye forever and I am looking forward to being reunited one day in Heaven.

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