On Wednesday evening, I finally started bleeding. Wednesday night I started to have contraction-like feelings in my stomach and couldn’t sleep through the pain – I ended up staying up until 5am and wasn’t able to go to the pregnancy center to start training at all this week. That was pretty frustrating and now I’m going to have to explain why I wasn’t able to be there. Perhaps it will be healing to open up to someone.
I was in a lot of pain yesterday morning and afternoon and finally started to feel a little bit better by the evening and was able to cook some chicken for us to have this week.
I’m not sure how to feel about the miscarriage. Loss is just kind of part of my life now and I’m used to disappointment by now. It was almost more difficult being pregnant and not knowing what to expect than it is to deal with the loss. I’m good at loss by now – I handle this like a pro. It doesn’t shock me anymore.
The only thing that makes me nervous is that someone close to me will end up being pregnant and due around the same time as this baby. I don’t think I’ll have a graceful reaction – I’ll probably throw a huge fit over that. I so hope that doesn’t happen!
I’m also feeling conflicted on naming this baby. I didn’t really have any strong feelings as to whether this was a boy or girl. I didn’t even have a name in mind for either. And then yesterday, I saw the name grace and I thought that would be nice, but I kind of feel like it might have been a boy. So I was thinking about a name that could be kind of similar to Grace: Grayson. I’m still thinking this over. I named my 4 other babies, I feel like I have to name this baby too. But in my mind I worry, “God, I’m running out of name choices! I can’t keep losing babies!” I know that sounds ridiculous, but it matters to me.
On Wednesday night we picked up another fur baby to add to our family. His name is Maxi. I have to tell you guys the back story to this really quickly.
After I lost baby Hope (our 3rd baby), my mom-in-law thought that I needed a little puppy to hold and comfort me and she brought home Elmo to give to me. But I told her that I didn’t want him because at the time we still had Sweetpea and Pebbles and Sweetpea would have been totally jealous. She was already irritated with me for bringing a cat into our house!
Later that year in October 2012 we had to say goodbye to Sweetpea. In August 2013, Jon’s parents left to teach English in China for a year and asked if I would take Elmo while they were gone. Jon’s sister was taking care of their other two dogs and their house, but Elmo was terrified of my nephew who is 3, and Jon’s parents thought that Elmo would be happier with me. So we brought Elmo into our family and we fell in love with him and he with us and now his parents have said that he is ours, like he was always meant to be.
We wanted to bring his brother Maxi with us too so that he could have a little buddy, but we still had Pebbles at the time and it was already a lot for her to have another dog in the house. She was stressed out easily and with her old age and kidney disease, we wanted her to enjoy the end of her life as much as possible. She and Elmo got along nicely so it worked out but two dogs running around her all the time would have been too much.
On December 31, we said goodbye to Pebbles. Jonathan and I have both been shocked that although we’ve cried here and there, we haven’t grieved heavily like we did with Sweetpea. We both love Pebbles just as much as we loved Sweetpea, but I think after you face so much loss, like I said earlier in my post, you just don’t have it in you to keep grieving. You just get used to the heartache. I know that sounds depressing, but somehow, we are okay and life continues to be beautiful through the struggles.
This month I started to talk about bringing Maxi over for Elmo to have a buddy to play with again, but when I got pregnant, I wasn’t sure if I could handle two puppies. But when I started to miscarry on Wednesday, I said, “This house is too lonely. Let’s go get Maxi.”
I’m so happy that we brought him over. Elmo was extremely excited to see his brother. They are so cute together and love playing with each other. I can tell that Elmo is happier now. I think he was sad when we never brought Pebbles back home. He kept looking around the apartment like he was searching for her. It’s definitely interesting taking two dogs outside to go potty at the same time, but it’s nice having their company and seeing little Elmo happy.
It is definitely weird having two new family members in the Mueller household and not our original two fur babies. I did start crying over it the other night thinking about how much I miss Sweetpea and Pebbles. I enjoy these 2 little cutie pies very much and I’m thankful to have their company, but I definitely do miss the way things used to be, when Pebbles and Sweetpea were still here and they were both healthy and happy.
Somehow life goes on and my husband and I are stronger than we ever knew. I used to be so afraid of loved ones dying and when I first started to experience loss, I really didn’t think it was ever possible to be happy again. There was even times when I was so depressed that I thought, “Even if I have a healthy rainbow baby, I don’t think I’ll be happy.” I was so damaged by all of the loss that it broke me and changed me in a way that I doubted even God could heal. But heal, he did. Slowly and surely. And here, we are still suffering from loss, and yet, I’m alive, I smile, I love, I care about others, and I desire to make the most of the time I am given.
Life is precious. There are so many people hurting in this world, in ways that I cannot even begin to imagine. There are young children sold as slaves in the sex trafficking industry (there should be a better word to describe this evil). These young CHILDREN are forced to have sex with evil men multiple times a day, day in and day out. It makes me want to vomit thinking about it. There are places in this world where people die on a daily basis because of extreme poverty. In 2011, I read a story about a mother and several of her children trying to walk to shelter in Africa during the extreme drought and famine. She had to leave her young toddler behind because he was dying and she couldn’t save him. If she had stayed with him, her other children could have died. I cannot even begin to imagine the horror of making a decision like that. I cannot imagine the gaping hole left in her heart after a loss that like.
If I focus on my own suffering, I’m going to miss out on making an impact for the world. What if, somehow my small influence could save a child from the evil of human trafficking? Or provide a life-saving meal to a family in need. What if, by just simply being there for someone, I can give them hope that there is more in this world than the tragedies we face?
If you’re like me at all, you probably feel overwhelmed by the huge need in the world. Sometimes that can paralyze me into thinking that I can’t make a difference because I’m just one small person and I can’t possibly make a dent. BUT, if every one of us chose to see the beauty of each person joining together to do their small part, the need would decrease, and the world would be reached. And as a believer, we have the power of the Holy Spirit living in us – meaning that every little thing we do, makes a difference for God’s coming kingdom. It all matters to God, even the little things you do.
You might not think that eating a meat-less meal a few times a week to save money will make a difference, but Jesus Christ, the Son of God who multiplied 2 small fish and 5 small loaves of bread to feed 5,000 hungry people, can still today, work miracles, to multiply your efforts.
“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Just in case you’re wondering how my post seemed to go off topic and change to talking about hurting people in the world: I was working on this post throughout the day and when we were out driving, I heard this song from Matthew West:
I seem to lose my focus pretty easily (anyone else?) and sometimes I start to drift towards self-pity and feeling bad for myself. Thankfully, God in all of His grace, gently reminds me of my purpose in this world and always sets my focus back to the beauty of this gospel that is worth reaching a hurting world in need of love.
If you struggle with me in staying strong during the hard times of recurrent miscarriage and infertility or any other life struggles, don’t let any of my words make you feel guilty. I share this because I’m talking to myself here too. I’m hoping to encourage you and at the same time, I’m also teaching myself to keep fighting and to stay focused on my mission for Christ. You have to give yourself grace and allow yourself the time to heal, but my hope for you and me both is that we won’t remain in grief, but will choose to look at the opportunities around us. What can you do today to make a difference for a hurting person? It can be simple – maybe even just a smile, or a letter, but do something. You won’t just be a blessing to someone else, you’ll be blessed yourself.
“Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Acts 20:35
I hope you all have a happy Valentine’s Day,