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the time I didn’t get my miracle..

She didn’t know what to say and neither did I. She looked down on me with pity and even though I felt her compassion I kept my head down letting my tears fall straight to my lap. I told her thank you and tried with everything in me to keep myself from falling onto the floor in bitter anger. I was furious and shocked and broken…

God was supposed to perform a miracle. I had decided that God was going to prove all of my doctors wrong. At the ultrasound that day there would no longer be an empty six week sac but now there would be a baby! A beautiful, strong, healthy baby. I was going to see a heartbeat. I was going to shout from the rooftops how my God had done a miracle!

Instead, that day I saw the same empty sac that was on the screen 5 days earlier when we had gone in for our first obstetric appointment. There was no baby. There was no miracle.

I now sat in a hallway waiting for a nurse to come and take me to another room to wait to talk to the doctor. A young girl came out from the ultrasound room after me holding a long strip of photos of her unborn child. She laughed and talked with the receptionist as she excitedly scheduled her next appointment. I scooted my feet back as she passed by me and my eyes stung with tears as I watched her open the exit door and walk out so simply.  

The nurse came after what seemed like hours and brought me to a small room with a large blue easy chair in the middle. I sat down and she told me the doctor would be in soon. I know I couldn’t have waited long in the hall but if that felt like years to me then this wait for the doctor felt like eternity.

 I went back and forth between sobbing and gathering myself as much as I could so that when the doctor came I wouldn’t lose control and fall into her arms and beg her to change what I knew was going to happen. I had to keep it together. 

I hadn’t met this doctor before and somehow I began to feel self conscious and worried what she would think of me. I hadn’t worn much makeup that morning and suddenly couldn’t remember if I had put on deodorant. My eyes were brutally red and my nose wouldn’t stop running. I can still feel how rough the tissues felt against my face. They didn’t comfort me…. but nothing could. 

I could hear the nurse outside the paper thin door discussing my case with the doctor. They spoke plainly and used the word ectopic more than once. I had already googled that possibility and the thought made me cringe. 

When she finally opened the door I was surprised by how warm she was. She didn’t carry that look of pity that everyone else had. She explained that there was a possibility that there still was a baby and that I had miscalculated my dates. She told me what would begin to happen if I did miscarry. She also told me the signs of an ectopic pregnancy. 

I felt a false sense of hope.

As long as I wasn’t bleeding heavily then there was a chance right? 

It could still happen. 

The miracle.

I decided that I would pick my kids up from school and take them to a movie out of town. Maybe if I could get my mind off of it then everything would be okay. As we drove we listened to music and sang together. We were silly and happy and unaware. I let the worry go…

Then it happened…

I felt it begin.

I was miscarrying.

I made it to the bathroom of the movie theatre and realized that there was no saving this. Now there was no possibility. My baby was gone. 

I called my doctor’s office right away and let them know that I didn’t want to come in for further tests. I cancelled all of my appointments. The receptionist was so frustrated with me when I told her that there was no need and that I just didn’t want to go through any of that. 

I reluctantly made a two week checkup appointment and sucked in every emotion I had so that my children wouldn’t know what I knew. I made it through the movie and managed to drive them home. I put them in bed with me and called my mom to come over.

 I remember not knowing how to feel.

On one hand I was just coming to terms with the fact that it was actually happening… and on the other all I could think about were my friends I kept up with on Facebook who were trying desperately to have one child! I had two healthy beautiful babies… was I selfish to want more? Was I horrible to grieve for this unborn baby?  

And then there was my husband…

My sweet, sweet husband.

He was out of town for most of the process of our first miscarriage (yes there were more) and it broke his heart to not be there with me. Our church was holding a women’s retreat several hours away and our business was providing production for the event. There was no way he could leave and ruin their retreat and leave them stranded. 

We both knew this when I called him to tell him the news. We both knew his hands were tied and I would have to go through this without him physically being by my side. But I was okay with that. I was going to be strong and I was going to get through it and be the wise woman who had gone through something so hard and came out on the other side. I have a tendency to be naive like this. 

The week of that first miscarriage our pastor spoke on God’s sovereignty. I didn’t know then that God was preparing me to walk into a season of such pain.

I grew up in church. I’ve attended countless church services, been under so many pastors and leadership, I even pursued a ministry degree in college… and it wasn’t until I was 29 years old that I heard this one single truth about God that would put His sovereignty into perfect perspective for me. My pastor said these 4 little words and they made my head spin.

“God is not surprised.”

That phrase blew my mind.

I realized instantly that this was the one area that I hadn’t been thinking of God as God. I had been thinking of Him as me. Not the “wretched-black-hearted-sinner” me, but just the human-thinking part of me. I was thinking that God was just as surprised as I was that I had miscarried. And if God was surprised then that meant somehow He had dropped the ball. He wasn’t paying attention to me and had forgotten to give me the miracle I so desperately wanted. Those unintentional thoughts must have grieved His heart.

See now I realize through that little phrase that God really is sovereign. He knew it was coming. He heard my cries and He answered me. It’s just that His answer for me was no.

We can’t forget how good God is when we go through pain. We are going to experience it in all different forms. Life is messy. But God… God is a good dad. He wants good things for His children. We can’t think of painful experiences as God punishing us or Him not paying attention to us and letting the bad things happen. God is aware of every thing. So He is aware of the good and the bad. There are good and bad things that will all weave together to create the intricate patterns of our lives. Peaks and valleys. Highs and lows. However you choose to think of it. It’s beautiful. Even the pain.

So that’s the time I didn’t get my miracle. If I could leave you with a final thought it would be the words to a hymn that I held so dear during this time.

When peace like a river attendeth my way,

When sorrows like sea billows roll,

Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,

It is well, It is well with my soul.

If you get a chance to look up the story of how this song was written I would highly recommend it.

-Jess

Adventures of E

the time she couldn’t pee…

Disclaimer: If you have saw the show “Dance Moms” then this story will probably not shock you nearly as much.

Last summer, my daughter and I traveled a few hours from our home for her to participate in a dance competition. This was a new experience for us because this was Nationals! This wasn’t just a weekend competition where all of our friends and family could attend. This was an intense 5 day event that included classes and auditions along with the competition.

I was excited for my daughter, we can call her E. She was blissfully unaware of so much drama that tends to follow us women around. For reasons unrelated to this particular story  I hadn’t exactly been looking forward to this experience, but I was ready! We were going to bond and have fun together and it was going to be great!

I was so naive.

We checked into our hotel and as soon as I fell onto the ROCK SOLID bed I knew this week would be… miserable. My husband and son would join us later in the week so for the first few days of classes it was just me and my girl! I had been quite responsible by bringing snacks and packing a cute little day bag for us to take into classes. I had a book to read and I even remembered my glasses so really I was winning at life.

I spent the first few days observing her classes and I actually found it interesting. I danced some when I was younger so I always appreciate watching and listening… Lord knows my body is way past the point of “doing” when it comes to dance. I liked encouraging her and all of the teachers seemed so nice… minus the loud and strict Russian ballet teacher. I’m sure he was a nice man with a soft side but what he put out there felt way more like a dictator preparing his army for battle. Okay, that sounds a little intense but you get my point.

At the end of the first few days of classes there was an audition. The dancers were taught a combination according to their age group and then given a number to wear and performed in small groups to be judged. The winners received scholarships to the next year’s competition and I was so proud that my daughter wanted to compete.

Did I mention that the auditions were optional? They were. This whole experience I’m about to share with you was OPTIONAL. We could have opted out… We could have gone to the pool… Taken a nap… Done ANYTHING else… but no.

The teacher came to teach the combination and I watched my sweet girl try her hardest to get the moves and remember where they went. She looked adorable. There was a short break when they were finished teaching and they let us know that we should go to the bathroom now because once the doors were closed they wouldn’t be reopening. If you see where I’m going with this just wait! Hold on a minute!

E didn’t say anything about needing to use the restroom and since I’m not in the habit of asking her I didn’t think anything of it. She always tells me before she needs to go. My sweet son, on the other hand, will suddenly shriek from the backseat “I’m about to pee!” and he always means it. So we constantly ask him if he has to go. But not E. No… She’s my strong bladder child. Ha! She can hold it if she needs to. She’s a big girl!

After a good 15 minutes they closed the doors. Two sets of doors that lead out of a giant hotel ballroom were now guarded by two dance competition people. The groups were called up one by one. E’s group was one of the first ones to go and directly after she finished, instead of taking her spot back with her group, she ran to me nearly in tears and said the dreaded words… “Mommy I’m about to pee!” NO! Ugh! Not now! But the frustration that ran over me was short lived. It quickly gave way to panic when I realized that half of the room was staring at us.

I grabbed her hand and we made our way to the first set of double doors that was guarded by a young man. I explained to him that I was so sorry but my daughter needed to use the restroom immediately. A look of fear shot across his face and he began to nervously explain that he was not allowed to open the doors at all. I tried to reason with him but gave in quickly when the next group finished their number and the room became silent again.

I told E to go sit back with her group and try her best to hold it. I didn’t think the auditions could really last that much longer. She held out through one more group and then darted across the dance floor in front of everyone! I snatched her up and made my way back across the room to the next set of doors. This one was guarded by a woman. She would understand. She would look into my little girl’s eyes and know that this was a special exception.

This woman saw me coming. Instead of looking at us with pity and helping us quietly exit she chose to put her arm through the bars of the double doors and brace herself against it. I thought maybe she didn’t understand. MAYBE she hadn’t been watching this whole ordeal and hadn’t noticed my 5 year old little girl jumping around trying not to pee on herself. But I was oh so wrong. Before I made it all the way to her she spoke first. “I can’t let you out” I calmly explained that my daughter could not hold it and we needed to leave. I assured her that if she let us out we would not come back in. She responded coldly “I can’t let you out”. At this point the obscenities I was screaming at this women in my head (hey it’s real talk okay?) were horrible and I still think about that day and repent.

She was large and in charge and it was clear that if I tried to push the door open on my own she was going to wrestle me to the ground and win. She had no compassion and showed no mercy. I clenched my jaw and told her in my most stern “mom voice” that she WAS going to let us out and she was going to let us out immediately. I also bit my lip so that I didn’t burst into tears at this ridiculous injustice. She stood firm. There was no winning. I argued as much as I could before I realized she really wasn’t going to move. She tightened her grip on the door and I turned and walked away. I brought E with me to my seat this time and had the real thought that she was probably going to pee all over herself right there in that hotel ballroom. I was going to be cleaning up pee. Ugh!

Then it happened…

A woman stood up as we were walking back and nearly yelled at me asking me if they were really not going to let her go to the bathroom. I just shook my head because the tears were welling up… tears of defeat and anger. She said “I don’t think so!” and grabbed E’s hand and headed for the doors guarded by the young boy. He told her when she walked up that he couldn’t let her out but that didn’t matter because she was headed for the door! He hadn’t been so prepared as to physically block the door so this woman just pushed right through. I ran after them and scooped up E and took her to the restroom. We both cried.

I hurried out of the bathroom once she was done and found my hero! I introduced myself and thanked her profusely. It turned out that she was from our dance company. She was a mom to one of the older girls so we hadn’t met before then. She didn’t even know that we were from the same studio she just knew that she was going to help us. How did she just do that? How did she just rescue us?

I wanted to be this woman.

I won’t go into details about the reactions from our studio about the ruckus that we had caused but let’s just say that I’m pretty sure the general consensus of that room was that E should have popped a squat in the corner of the ballroom rather than open the door during auditions. But I don’t care one bit. I’m eternally grateful to the woman who barreled through those ballroom doors that day with my child in tow. She did something that I couldn’t do.

It’s hard to encounter situations like this as a parent and not let yourself feel discouraged. I couldn’t help my daughter that day. I failed. Yes, I failed, but I’m not a failure. It was just a big lesson learned. That situation actually encouraged me. This woman did whatever it took and that’s why I want to be this woman. Next time I’m barreling through that door. Actually, next time I’m going to remember to have my child go to the bathroom beforehand but you get where I’m going with that.

So that’s the time when she couldn’t pee. If you were wondering, the auditions lasted another 45 minutes after we left the ballroom. It was terrible and ridiculous and I’m so glad that season is over! Thanks so much for listening!

Fun Fact: The large and in charge lady that was guarding the second set of doors was actually the same lady I had to turn in E’s photo to for the photogenic competition. I was certain that she would toss our photo… or burn it… but it turned out that E won for her division! Sweet, sweet victory!

-Jess

 

About Me

the time I decided to blog…

I have a very sweet friend that told me I was meant for great things. She was actually echoing several sweet friends that I have ignored over the years. Sure I’ve thought I could do great things… but they were my things; things I wanted to do; MY great things. My sweet friend was telling me that I was meant for great “God things”. Those are scary things to me. They carry with them a responsibility that I have no idea if I’m ready for.  Nevertheless, she told me that I have a lot of stories to tell and that I need to stop procrastinating and just tell them!

So here I am…

I’m 30 years old. I have a sweet, hardworking husband, two incredible children, a large and loving labradoodle, and two newly acquired hermit crabs that seem to be clinging to life daily. I feel like God has been leading me to share stories from my life. Some of them are intense and life changing and cry-your-face-off kind of good… and some of them… some of them are questionable but so real life that I just need to share them! I need someone else to read them and say “ME TOO”!

I have this plan to write hundreds of witty stories that are intriguing and really capture everyone’s attention… but really my goal is to share my heart with others and pass on some humble wisdom. So I hope you decide to join me on this journey and maybe we will both learn something from what I get to share. So that’s what I’ve come up with for my introduction. I don’t think it’s very fancy or well written BUT it’s a beginning!

Thanks for listening!
Jess