Friday, October 16, 2015

remembering, broken hearts and hard truths

I'm not exactly too sure how to start this post off, to be honest. But it's been percolating in my mind for a week now. Just jumbled thoughts and emotions, but no concrete words. So bear with me.

Today is October 15th, which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I lit my three candles for #WaveofLight in memory of my babies.

It's been an incredible journey, one that I never thought I'd be on. But I am so grateful for the friends that I made through this, and for the love and support I received as I had my two ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage. (You can read about my stories HERE)

We still don't talk about baby loss, or pregnancy loss yet, but we're getting better. I still think it is such a personal thing, and it shouldn't be taken lightly. It's not something that we advertise.  But I have met many others with their own stories, so it's a common heartbreak. But maybe that's why we don't talk about it. It seems... "common". When really it isn't. Having your heart break into pieces, having a part of you somewhere else, having a child you loved and wanted so dearly not with can that be "common"? Even if it has happened to many of us.

I don't know if you saw the amazing photo that DMX Photography had posted on FB a few weeks ago. It was done to support and recognize a family who had lost many babies, and it was just beautiful.  I hope it is okay, but I copy/pasted the photo and what they wrote (because I'm Old Skool like that!):|

My dear and gorgeous friend Kathryn of LittleB Memories came to me with a special request for her family portrait. She and her husband longed for a family picture that showed their whole family of eight, preserving the precious memories of the five babies they'd lost due to miscarriage. This is the final image I put together for her. It took me a few days, this image weighed heavy on my heart, I can only imagine the suffering they endure on a day to day basis. My heart breaks for her and her family.

October is national pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. 1 in 4 is such a heartbreaking statistic...Please take a moment for Kathryn, her family, and ALL families who are suffering the loss of their children. Send them all your good thoughts and well wishes, your hugs and encouragement. They shouldn't have to suffer alone.

“When a child loses his parent, they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses her or his partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them. This month recognizes the loss so many parents experience across the United States and around the world.”
-Ronald Reagan

Can you think of anything more beautiful and touching to have on your wall? I really had no words. Just incredible. Touching.

I had got stuck in a conversation on a friend's FB wall where she had shared a photo that said that "abortion is more about escaping consequences than "choice"... it takes away the choices of another human being." Harsh words, but true. For the most part, those who commented were in agreement. Many were sympathetic and carried no condemnation, but generally, they felt that those words were honest. But this one woman commented on how it wasn't "that easy", and that it was very judgmental, and how it felt like an attack on women who can be the only one making the decisions regarding their own body. And her comments were very much what the world wants to keep saying.

Abortion is also a very private thing. I've never been put in a situation where I have felt that my pregnancies would be better off Not being. So it's easy for me to say that I'd never consider one, but to be honest, I don't know. (I do remember my friend telling me of her teen pregnancy that she thought of it for a bit. And I can totally understand why! 16 and pregnant? That's not something that many girls dream of for their high school years! Not the most ideal situation. She kept her baby and went through a lot of hard consequences, so it was definitely not an easy thing for her to go through with either. But I understand the difficulties of being in a hard place.)

What made the whole conversation hard was this statement: "Many abortions are performed for pregnancies that are very much wanted but something is very wrong (like an ectopic pregnancy). That woman is getting an abortion to save her life."

I had to stop and reread it a few times. Was she equating my ectopic pregnancies as to having an abortion???

That was difficult to read.

I didn't want to get emotional or spout off words that weren't true, but it stuck with me all night. I even did some google searching on the medication that they gave me in the hospital. I wanted to know what the medical field considered it. But that was a bad move too. Methotrexate is used to stop folate from growing. Does that mean that it stopped the baby's life? It was vague. So I went to bed heavy hearted and praying for the truth and for peace. (I was reminded that a Miscarriage is also considered a "spontaneous abortion" in the medical field, so searching for a clinical term wasn't helpful at all!)

I had no answers and that was hard. I wanted confirmation! I wanted something concrete. I wanted some release.

What I got was the reply my heart begged for.

"With all due respect and compassion, an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion at all! That pregnancy would never result in a live birth under any circumstances, and would kill the mother along with her baby who already has no chance of survival. That's a medically necessary life-saving procedure." I am withholding the author's name due to privacy, but I believe without a doubt that she spoke God's words to me in that comment. She was a blessing to me that night, and I shed many tears over that.

After two ectopic pregnancies that took two babies and my left tube, to even consider that I had an abortion to save my own life was very hard for me to read. I would give anything to have those babies back! (I can not think of ANY woman who have had ectopic pregnancies that they would consider their procedures an abortion! And I have talked with many!) I remember that when I first was given the shot of medication, that when my heart was breaking right there on that hospital bed, that I felt like I had just killed my baby. (I mentioned that feeling in my original post on my losses.)

But I was reminded that when I was having that powerful drug, and when they were preparing me for surgery, that those babies that I was supposed to carry, the dreams that I had held briefly, did not have heartbeats. That's what the problem was. They had ceased to live. They were just black masses in my broken tube, along with my broken heart, and that wasn't safe. My life was at risk and the medication was done to break down what wasn't a viable life anymore....not due to the medication, but due to the placement of the pregnancy. These babies had no chance. There was nothing wrong with them, but in where they ended up, but sadly there is no way to fix an ectopic pregnancy yet. Maybe one day they will be able to transplant the baby to the womb safely, wouldn't that be amazing!

But an ectopic pregnancy is not an abortion at all!  I didn't chose my life over my baby's. My baby's had already ended. And an ectopic pregnancy is not like a miscarriage either. They are both handled differently and you go through different emotions regarding the loss. I grieved my miscarriage, and the baby that could have been. Somehow telling myself that there was "something wrong" with the pregnancy didn't make it feel any better. But my ectopics had more fear.

When I struggled through the whole memory of my EPs, I was surprised at how deeply it effected me. Deep inside I still ache over these losses. I am very much able to go through life without thinking of these things, and I don't spend a lot of time remembering, and I'm not dealing with depression over them anymore, and I recognize the many many ways that my life is fruitful. But this month, I have been brought back to tears and painful memories.

Strange to think that they would be almost 15, 11 and 5 years old. How different life would be! I look at the beautiful family I have now and I wouldn't trade in any of it! A bit less pain would be nice, but I can confidently say that God does give beauty from ashes! (Isaiah 61:3)

I am praying that if you have loss in your life that you do not feel alone, but that you feel and know that you are cared for and loved. I pray that your heart will heal as your body does, and that you find beauty amungst the pain eventually too. 


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