I'll Be the One if You Want Me To.

October 10, 2014

I've mentioned it before but since the loss of Jude and Brinly, it's hard to trust Him again.  Going to church is like going to the gym.  I know I should, I know it's healthy, and I know that discipline pays off, but it's hard to get there, its hard to stay there, and I'm still a bit indifferent. 

Recognizing the need to force myself to do something I know is right, I joined a Bible study on the book of Jonah (for those non-Christian's long story short it's about a guy who ran in the opposite direction God had asked him to go so he got swallowed by a big fish.  This made Jonah rethink his initial choice and in the end, he goes to Ninevah, obeying what God originally asked him to do).  I am not going to lie, it's hard for me to go for many reasons.  They call painful things "divine interuptions" and ask really tough questions that always lead me back to thinking about Jude and Brinly.  It hasn't been a whole year since there loss yet so it still is so overwhelming at times.  I'm in a room full of strangers (minus one of my best friends I drag along) so I haven't mentioned anything about our infertility struggle/loss yet.

On the first night we had to go around the room and say our name and if we had kids (cute ice breaker right?).  I was stressed to the max about how to respond:  2 but they died a birth.  I had stillborn twins last year.  None.  No living children.  My mind swirled and it finally got to me. "No children yet."  I always instantly feel like I betrayed Jude and Brinly someway in these situations but for the love of all things social I don't want to dump this on this proper group of women.

At our first meeting one of the discussion questions was along the lines of "when do you see a divine interruption as something horrible or can't see God's purpose?"  The room was quiet but then someone said "when a child dies."  I was listening.  Another mom, with twin 21 year old boys piped in, "We lost our first son as a baby."  My eyes stayed glued to her.  I needed her all the sudden.  Someone that knew my pain to some level.  Someone that would maybe take me to coffee and listen to my story and share her own.  Someone who would/could acknowledge that she truly understood what I went through opposed to be those that "can't even begin to imagine."  I wanted to grab her email but I didn't get a chance.

This Wednesday her and I showed up late, but at the same time.  I thought timing was perfect.  We were walking in together so I began the conversation:

Me: "Are you the one with twin boys?
Her: "Yes!"
Me: "We lost twins last year.  A son and a daughter.  They were stillborns."
Her: "Oh, I am so sorry, losing a baby is the worst.  I lost a baby too."
Me: "I know!  I heard you mention that last week and I wanted to talk to you and get your email, it was such a horrible experience, I was 21 weeks along...
Her: "Did we pass the house? Oh hi (to her friend pulling up).
Me: "Oh, um, here is the address, here is the house."

The end

Maybe she thought I was going to be really needy (I'm not).  Maybe it's still to hard for her to talk about (doubt it).  Maybe she didn't want to connect/share with a stranger (understandable I guess).  I wasn't hurt but more shocked.  As we discussed Jonah I just sat there thinking about what just happened.  She lost a baby.  She should know how it feels to be treated differently or awkwardly.  In those moments I felt over empowered to BE someone who will listen, talk, hug, comfort, share and validate.  I needed that woman.  She owes me nothing and doesn't even know me, but I needed her. 

When Darren's uncle lost his wife at a young age, he suddenly became the one people would go to if they lost their spouse.  The comforter of the widowers.  Someone who tasted hell, lived a nightmare, and came out alive.  When it comes to baby loss, Darren and I are professionals.  An early miscarriage at 6 week with no heartbeat, miscarriage at 9 weeks after seeing a heart beat twice, and delivering my stillborn twins 3 weeks apart, 1-at-a-time.  I get what a failed IUI feels like.  I get what a failed IVF feels like.  So much hope mixed with doubt you feel sick before you even take the first injection.  Do you need someone to talk that has been though something similar to you?  I'll be the one if you want me to.

I promise I won't be awkward or change the subject.  I promise to look you in the eye and when things get horrific to hold eye contact.  I promise not to say stupid cliché phrases or "christianese" inspirational statements.  I will validate you for the mother you are.  I truly believe we all become mother's once the desire to grow a family conceives in our hearts.  To the mom who has been trying for years, pursuing adoption, going for another treatment, waiting, hoping, praying, you are not alone.  I see you.  I know those paths.  They suck they suck they suck.  They are unfair they are unfair they are unfair.  I think faith is extra hard in these losses-although more fragile and vulnerable, my faith remains in His goodness.  Please, email me, text me, reach out.  I'll be the one.

The Bible talks about sorrow lasting in the night and joy coming in the morning.  The hardest part about that is it never says how long the night actually is and how dark it will actually become.  We have had a very long night and, as mentioned previously, I plan to blog about the morning soon as little sun rays have began to pop over the mountain top giving us hope to believe that  morning isn't that far away.  The morning helps heal the darkness because the sun is more powerful. 

For you women who have been in the night for a long time, or are just entering those nasty nasty dark nights that seem the world will stop spinning forever, I know your sorrow.  I love you already.  I am full of compassion for you and I am so sorry.

55 comments:

  1. Dear Holly
    I think of you often and all you have been through since losing Jude and Brinly.
    This is a beautiful post... Truly. I can feel your love and sincerity. There is so much pain with infertility and far to many losses.
    Sadly you are too qualified in this area, my losses cannot compare but I want to thank you for writing this.
    Kindest regards, Tracey.

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    1. There is so much pain!! Your losses do compare because they are still losses <3

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  2. Beautifully written. I hope that someday you have the opportunity to be the help you so desperately needed the other day.

    I think I'm doing the same Bible study as you; is it by Priscilla? If so, she asks some tough questions!

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    1. I hope I do too. Yes, its Priscilla!! What week are you on? We just did week three. Oh man those questions!!

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    2. This morning we watch the video for three, so we're not too far behind you. :)

      This is the third study of hers my small women's group has done. Right now all the small groups are doing studies on Jonah, and the pastor is doing a sermon series on Jonah as well. It's very interesting!

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  3. This is a beautiful post. Your promise is a wonderful one and I'm sure you will be a beacon for so many.

    I wonder about the woman you met. That her reaction may have been due to shock. It's true that there are many who would prefer to sweep trauma under the rug. But for others, they get toe-tied when they are caught off guard. I'm not trying to ge your hopes up only to be dashed again, but I'm hoping that as you begin to share your story, she will open up to you too.

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    1. You are right. I'm not expecting her to do/say anything but I probably did catch her off guard!! I'm a stranger and that is a lot to squeeze into an introduction. I would love it if we get to share :)

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    2. It could also be that what she shared is all she wishes to share about it. We all process, and grieve differently. As well as express that differently. She could be intense private, she could be not willing to unlock her grief for anyone. It would be surprising and I'm sorry it wasn't what you pixtured. I pray and think of you often xo <3

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    3. You are so right. We all grieve differently and maybe that statement was all she could handle. Thank for the sweet reminder! <3

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  4. This is so beautiful Holly. I had a miscarriage 18 months ago. 7 weeks, and I have just a couple of people in my life who get it. Otherwise, nobody understands. Certainly nobody in my family. That's such a hard place to be! And I had the same realization as you--that I wanted to be someone that women can come to. The hurt of losing a baby is unlike anything else and it deserves to be talked about and expressed without judgement.
    Keep talking. You're doing beautifully.

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    1. Miscarriages are the worst. You go from such a high high to a low low. People don't realize that miscarriages don't just "disappear" to but you actually have to pass the child someone :( Not fun. I'm glad you want to be a person women can talk to and know that you "get it." GOOD JOB!! Thanks for commenting :)

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  5. This got me right in my heart. Especially today.
    I'm so sorry she wasn't there for you. You are and will be one wonderful supporter to lost moms, you are a wonderful mom to J+B, and I hope you'll be a mom to living children one day, too. A wonderful one, for sure. Much love.

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    1. Much love to you too sweet Mama!! Thank you for BEING someone who gets it and has shared her story bravely.

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  6. Holly, I've followed your story since back when you were pregnant with Jude and Brinly. I've prayed for you, cried hot tears with/for you, and loved your honest and poignant blogs.

    I am so sorry for the blindsiding you got by that woman. I know that situation all too well and hate that feeling. When you finally put yourself out there, share the most deep and wounded part of you, only to have the person completely not get it. The one you thought might help you, hold you, walk you through it to some extent - even if just for right that moment. I quickly found out, when opening up for people about the immense pain and struggle of infertility, that it doesn't usually turn out well. Few people want in on the pain.

    I remember one of the first people I opened up to: I told her that we'd been trying to get pregnant for about 3yrs, explained all we'd tried, our feelings, the darkness, the sadness, the struggle with God and prayer and faith, the whole shebang... Well, a few months later I got a FB message from her. The message was that they had been trying to get pregnant with their first child for the past 2 months, had not been successful, were devestated, and would I please keep them in my prayers because they reeeeeally wanted to get pregnant. Years later I still can't get over that experience. That friend was and is a full-time youth pastor with her husband. That is not the kind of church that people need.

    It is so easy to stop telling your story and sharing your pain because you quickly learn that the way people respond usually feels much worse than the burden of holding it in. But it doesn't have to be that way. It's rare to have someone do what you're promising to do for others. I'm so glad you will be a beacon to love them and listen through their pain, through the messy times in their lives. That is how healing happens.

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    1. Wow that is so obnoxious about trying for 2 months and asking for prayer after opening up like that. My husband has had to remind me 1029539205 times to give people the benefit of the doubt, to forgive things like this quickly (but they still sting) and to try to not get too caught up. It is hard.

      I agree few people want in in the pain. It's uncomfortable and awkward forsure. I hope that you still are able to discuss your struggles with people-there are SOME people that are wiling to listen/take us in with open arms <3

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  7. I am so sorry that woman was so dismissive. I have no doubt that should the role reverse your kind heart would give the woman seeking compassion exactly what she needs to hear. I think of you often. xoxo

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    1. Ah thanks Suz!! I'm so pumped for you!

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  8. What a beautiful strength you have. I have had 3 miscarriages but aside from my husband and a close friend nobody knows. We were waiting until 12 weeks to announce and have never gotten that far. Time has lessend the sting but I don't like to speak of them. I have a friend who just lost her first pregnancy and have no idea how to approach and be that shoulder when I so rarely talk about my loss. You have such strenght

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    1. 3 miscarriages is so hard. Waiting to get to that 12 week mark feels like 1 million years. I agree time helps but the sting is there. I'm so sorry for your friend. I think sometimes just acknowledging that this is so sad and so crappy helps. You are strong too-I think keeping is secret takes as much strength as broadcasting it to the world. <3 to you!!

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  9. I am sorry she wasn't there for you. I know what it's like to have that need to open up and have someone understand. Thankfully, I have found a few people who have been wonderful. They're like you. So open and caring. I hope you find a person to be your shoulder.

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    1. I'm so glad you have some people in your circle!! Thanks for commenting!

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  10. This is so good, Holly. And you're right. You've been through just about everything now... you have the ability to understand and empathize with just about every situation. It's a hard burden to bear, to be the one for everyone else, to perpetually live in a place where people find you for their sad, broken hearts. But I hope it also brings you some sense of comfort, knowing that you are not alone and that you are helping so many others.

    It reminds me a lot of a friend of mine who lost her husband at about 30 years old. Not only did she lose her husband but the circumstances were extremely violent and tragic (he fell off of Stone Mountain). She has since found some way to find direction and passion again and now ministers to young widows. She honestly says she'd take her husband back if she could, she'd still trade and go back to the life she planned, but helping other women has given her a purpose for the pain.

    Can't WAIT to head about the little sun rays!

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    1. YIKEs. Losing your husband at such a young age is horrific. I agree with her-if given the choice I would choose to KEEP J and B. But, since I didn't get the choice, I want to help others going through the grief. I know you blogged about this awhile back and you are such a great/sweet friend to so many of us!!

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  11. This is perfect and exactly what I needed today!!! My faith is wearing thin! I'm having a hard time trusting and believing for our miracle. We have been trying for 3 years, with two miscarriages. It's hard, but you are such an inspiration to me!!! To be so positive after all you've been through is amazing! A lot of us here can understand the highs and lows and the good days and bad days! It's amazing that you have come out to shine your light for other people so they don't have to experience what you did. Majority of the people don't understand, and I pray never will, the loss of a child. No matter how "far along" or how old your child is when you lose them. Thank you for being honest in your journey! I'm always so happy when I see your posts pop up on my feed!!

    You are in my prayers!!

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    1. 3 years and 2 miscarriages is so so hard. I hate pregnancies that end in miscarriage so deeply because it brings so much hope so fast and then BAM. Thanks for the prayers too <3

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  12. I cannot imagine your pain but I do understand the dismissive attitude of people you think should understand...coming from someone who has been trying to conceive for 2+ years and having 2 or more friends that went thru similar experiences before having their children I thought for sure I'd have them to share my feelings with unfortunately it seems like motherhood has erased what they went thru. I guess lesson to be learned like you said Is that I will not be like that...Once God grants me my child I will not forget the journey and I will be a friend to others that have to walk this road....praying for yall!

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    1. YAY I agree. So important not to forget the journey.

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  13. Holly...you are amazing. So few people really know how to grieve with others well when they are hurting. And it's really really hard to be on the receiving end of that "awkwardness". Really hard. But for the few who get it- they are lifesavers. You are that lifesaver, too. You are so brave. And if you're anything like me- you might hate that I just said that ; ) But it's so true.

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  14. I am sorry she wasn't more attentive. But I wanted to say - I completely understand the pain of not trusting in Him. We have been battling infertility for 4.5 years now. We FINALLY got pregnant via cycle #3 (frozen) only to have a m/c at 8 weeks. That was in April of this year. Right after - and I'm not making this up...my husband lost a good friend to stage 4 cancer, my mother told me she had stage 1 breast cancer (which they found early and only had to do radiation! no chemo! yay!) then my best friend's (growing up) mother told me she had stage 3 breast cancer, my cat - my beautiful cat of 12 years passed to the rainbow bridge in August and just last week I found out that my Godfather's wife has stage 2 breast cancer. All in a matter of 5 months. It sucks. We ARE going through a brand new IVF cycle right now (transfer next week!) and I am praying every day to God and trying to give my life to him - but it is so.damn.hard. How can I trust him again and believe in him when all I've had this year is heartache? My husband and I constantly get frustrated by people who say "Thank the Lord, X-person was healed from X-disease" when - really? Why did they have it in the first place?! I don't know. It's really really hard anymore to trust in Him. :( I don't want to lose my faith - but stuff like this just does not help.

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    1. I 100% agree with you. So.so.hard. All I can cling to is His promise to someday make it right. #3 FET miscarriage at 8 weeks sucks because it took you so long to get there :( Hugs to you.

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  15. I wonder if maybe you have opened a door for that woman? I don't know how long ago her loss was (it sounds like it was 20+ yrs ago). Maybe that has something to do with it? Opening up about losses is kind of a new thing it seems like. I know a lady who lost her 8 yr old (25+ yrs ago), she talked about him, but never really expressed grief towards him (if that makes sense) anyway, that was 25 years ago. (before i was even born). And when i lost my son, she called to me, and cried with me. It's like she was holding it all in, for all that time, and she was finally able to release it to someone she could relate with. I just stayed on the phone with her as she reminisced and cried about the son she lost all those years ago. It was beautiful and heartbreaking.

    I wonder if that could be the same for this woman. Like the lady i know, she openly talks about her son, but the grief part isn't ever talked about, or the effect the loss had on their life. But maybe since you opened up to her, she will come back and open up to you. She could have just been holding it in all these years.

    Anyway just trying to find a different perspective on her. Opening up about a loss and getting shut down is hard.

    Also! The question of how many kids you have. Seriously, that's the toughest question to be asked ever. I totally understand. It's like you want to avoid awkwardness so you want to say zero, BUT then you feel like you're betraying your kids. There's no right answer with that question it's awful. So now, when i meet people i NEVER ask how many kids they have, ever. Just incase they've lost a baby too (1 in 4 lose a baby so there's a big chance of that)

    For me it definitely depends on the situation, stranger i'll never see again i exclude my son (that sounds so awful doesn't it?). Situation where I will see these people again i usually include him, and i try and make it in a way that it won't be too awkward, like i will include him, note that he died, and then i keep talking and end with something else. So that the loss was one of the first things i mentioned, but it wasn't the last. So they usually won't comment about it, and it keeps the conversation going. But again, it all depends on situation. And no matter what, it's a hard question to be asked.

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    1. You are right about her grief and maybe just deals with things differently than me. great advice on how to mention our kidos. Some times I say "I lost twins but we are really hopeful and are still trying." At least it ends on a positive note but still so hard. I HATE dumping awkwardness on people but I hate the feeling of betrayal too.

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  16. I am so sorry that lady was dismissive. I cannot even begin to comprehend the pain you have been / are going through. I pray for you and your husband that you will soon know the joy of holding your little one in your arms xxx

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  17. Thinking about you and your babies on this special day. Your journal is one of the most heartbreaking things I have read. I still choke with tears when I remember your dramatic delivery (or rather deliveries)... I lit up a candle for your babies today. The fact that you opened up and shared was still a positive thing. Praying for you!

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  18. This is really beautiful. For you to set aside your own troubles, and open your heart to being there for others, is such a selfless act. I had three miscarriages as well. And, while I've been blessed with two wonderful boys since then - that I know would not exist had I not miscarried - it's still a raw pain. I had a hard time talking about it with friends as well, mostly because none of them could relate as they were all having their own children, and sometimes a second, while we continued to try.

    I applaud your courage and your empathy for others. You are a wonderful mother to J+B and do a fabulous job honoring them. I know your earthly babies will be just as lucky to have you.

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  19. I think about you and what you've gone through a lot. I prayed for your sweet twins and when it didn't end well I cried and hurt for you. I think it's amazing that you are willing to help others dealing with the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss when you've experience so much pain yourself. And I will admit when I read the words that you are here for me and with love and compassion, I felt so validated. We've been trying for 8 years (15 IUIs, 5 IVFs with 3 miscarriages- all early losses but one after a heartbeat) and I feel so lost. We've done donor embryos and that even failed. We've got 2 frozen donated embryos left and I have zero hope that it will work. I'm just so sad. Thank you for listening. Sometimes we all just need each other.

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    1. Exactly, sometimes we all just need each other. A miscarriage after seeing the heartbeat fills like an extra kick to the gut because he/she was alive :( It's such a tease and miscarriages are so awful because not only are we defeated but we have to deal with the physical aspects too. Keep fighting little mama.

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  20. I just love your heart! Excited for you guys! And praying for you guys!!! Can't wait to hear more 😊

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  21. I'm terrified my morning will never come 10 years after losing Iran and three terrific sons later. God, help us

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    1. Yes, exactly. God. help. us. I am so happy you have 3 terrific sons and so sorry for your loss <3

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  22. Holly, I think of you more than you know. Through this pregnancy, I am reminded that just because you struggled through infertility…it doesn't mean you get a free pass for an easy pregnancy and birth. Of course, I hope for it but I know better. I can't believe that woman blew you off after you opened up to her. I've been dismissed like that when I needed to connect with someone about infertility. Its hard.

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    1. But we should huh? Gosh, I really felt entitled to earning an easy pregnancy and birth. I felt like I had put in my time and even had faith that God would bless us with a smooth and fun pregnancy. It was really smooth until the unthinkable happened, but I had 3 which is so much more high risk. You are very wise in transferring 1 sweet little boy at a time <3 You have fought hard and I am wishing you the funnest/smoothest pregnancy ever!

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  23. Holly, I found your blog almost a year ago, shortly after my first miscarriage after 6.5 years of struggling with infertility. I have tearfully followed as your biggest nightmare unfolded. I shared your latest blog post on my Facebook last night. A friend of mine shared this in response...an amazing ministry her friend has just started...so those dealing with infertility know they are not alone. http://www.thecarrycamp.com

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    1. Oh man it was a huge nightmare huh? So so sad :( Thank you for your prayers! That website sounds awesome!! I will check it out!! Thank you!!

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  24. I wonder if her loss was so long ago, in addition to the fact she had two other boys, that it's been pushed to the back burner? Although, since she brought it up, I'd think she would still understand the pain. I don't know. People deal with things in different ways. One thing I can say is that at least she has helped solidify the path you want to follow yourself, in being there for other woman. Maybe she did help you, but in a way unexpected. Thank you for putting yourself out there for others. By helping others, I've learned it can also be therapeutic for ourselves.

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  25. Although not on the same level, I get really annoyed when people who have gone through infertility, miscarriages and IVF develop amnesia when they're finally survivors. My cousins (who were a first time IVF success at the age of 39) give me the "when are you going to have kids?" line. I so much want to say "don't you remember how much you hated that question when you were infertile?" Anyway, I'm sorry she wasn't more receptive, but thank you for opening your doors.

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  26. Holly,

    I wish she responded differently. I wish she could be the friend to you that you have been to so many online, and I'm sure in real life too.

    You continue to be an inspiration to me. Your strength, humility, courage and honesty are amazing. Knowing you (online) has changed me.


    Sending love to you,

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  27. Holly! I love you! Thank you for sharing your heart! I understand that feeling of wanting someone to understand what you are going through! When you are going through something unless you have walked the path, you don't know or understand! You are amazing to not let the lady who ignored you make you bitter, but use it to open your heart to others who have walked or are walking your path. God has good plans for you girl! xoxo Aunt Priscilla

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  28. Holly,

    I've just read your whole blog, and my heart goes for you!!!

    I write you now from a hospital bed in Germany, where Ive been lying in bed for almost two weeks now. My water broke at 16w5d, and as soon as I got to the hospital they said I would go into labour in at least 48hrs. Nothing happened. I am still waiting, still losing water, but my baby is still fighting and I just cant agree on inducing labour while my little boy is still alive inside me.

    Everyday doctors come, asking if I have pain, or blood. the answer is always no. Today he came again, saying we will have an ultrasound and we have to decide what to do. I keep losing water and this isnt good for babys development.

    I feel terrible, as if I've failed nature, my husband and my baby.

    This is really something no woman should ever have to go through!

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  29. I can't even right now. I mean I'm literally crying right now reading this. I've never read your blog before and I don't know you but just everything you said felt so real. I lost my son at 20 weeks five years ago and the pain at times is still so fresh. I've been trying to get pregnant for 19 months with three rounds of clomid and no luck. Most days I feel at the end of my rope with everything. If your offer was sincere, my name is Christine and my email is cristine.lynn@gmail.

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  30. I am shocked and a little angry for you. God has mightily blessed me THROUGH my pain of infertility (three years TTC with two early miscarriages, a uterine surgery, rounds of drugs and a failed IUI. One baby boy, resulting from our second IUI. Another early miscarriage. One baby girl, born traumatically and spent 10 days in the NICU. Another early miscarriage. Currently 18 weeks with #3) Through ALL of this, I blogged. And to this day, women still "find" me and ask for counsel. Wisdom. Prayers. i will never ever NOT respond to another woman, on a similar path as mine, even though I'm now a blessed mother of living children. Even though much of the storm has passed, I will NEVER forget the pain of infertility. Of miscarriage. I am so sorry this woman (though of course I don't know her story, her circumstances etc) didn't jump on that opportunity to stop, look you in the eye, and hug you. I hope you try again! I followed your story a year ago, and you come to my mind often. Prayers for you, fellow warrior, as you learn to trust our precious Lord through the midst of intense sorrow and loss.

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  31. I just found your blog looking for music to help carry me through infertility. Our journey is just beginning, so I don't have any stories to tell yet other than we're off to a rocky start with my low AMH and a failed round of provera. My heart aches for your losses. I can't imagine going through such pain, and I am so incredibly sorry. No one should have to endure so much. I am so inspired by your strength. I know the road ahead will not be easy, and I have no idea what is in store. The infertility community is one I never hoped be a part of, but I am comforted to know I don't walk alone in this struggle and that I am in the company of some of the strongest and most courageous women I have ever seen. My prayers are with you in your continued journey.

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