Simple Bounty

Finding Beauty, Grace and Sanity in a Busy World

He Gives and he takes away July 1, 2011

Filed under: Family Life,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 8:33 am
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*This post contains discussion of miscarriage; if this is an issue you are sensitive to, you may not want to read on.*

The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord. Job 1:21

June 29th. Eleven weeks pregnant and bleeding on Jonas’ birthday. The doctor confirms by ultrasound: the baby is gone. This is not new for us – miscarriage number five, in fact. But the shock and the grief don’t seem to change, no matter the number. I really wasn’t expecting this, though it seems I should, and I don’t think it has really sunk in despite the red and the machine showing no heartbeat. Yet this is the reality God has planned for us, by no mistake.

June 30th. Too much bleeding and frequent clots, some the size of my palm. Eventually I am weak and dizzy. We end up back at the clinic by noon where I am dilated so the doctor can try to get the clots and tissue moving out. I pass the baby as he works. He needs to monitor the bleeding for a while, so I lay, knees up, covered with a white sheet in a sterile room. They give me Pitocin and Methergine to encourage my uterus to contract and the bleeding to slow. Time passes and there’s still a lot of blood. I may need a D&C, and I really don’t want that. I squeeze eyes shut. The doctor pushes hard on my stomach and we give it some more time. And I pray repeatedly that the bleeding would slow because I want nothing more right now than to avoid a D&C and go home with my family.  I breathe a jagged breath and exhale, and the sadness swells, but I am okay. I am held. I feel safe, despite the circumstances, even here, staring up at ceiling tiles while resting on a hard table  – and I am surprised by this calm. You see, I am the one who too often chooses fear and distrust, instead of just resting in the One who has never broken a promise.  Now I sigh a thank you for His peace that truly is beyond our understanding. And I am thankful, even today – maybe especially today. Thankful in the midst of grief. I know that even my gratitude is not by my own strength, but a gift from the God who works all things for good. I feel a deep peace in the midst of sorrow. A strange joy even. Joy? It’s inexplicable, but as I lie there, I have a sense of joy as I recognize God’s working in my heart, there in that lonely room. Joy as I think about my two children sitting in the waiting room, and how this cycle of miscarriages could be my only fate were it not for God reaching down and protecting two of my little ones who grew in my womb. And I realize once again how very precious they are.

I am sorrowful over the baby that will not be in my arms come January. If I had my way, none of this would have happened. But I know it isn’t my way, but His, and though I don’t understand, somehow it is the better way. I would never let that baby go. I would hold on with all my strength. But it was not my child to keep, and God’s purposes are greater than my own, and his strength is greater too. And somehow, only by his grace, he has made this okay in my heart, and I can feel free to cry and grieve, free of fear and anger and confusion and guilt and all those things that rob a person. And I give thanks for pure grief. And I give thanks that it is often in the hard things that we feel most alive. That there is something worthwhile at the heart of pain. That we can see God more clearly, even when we can’t see the why. That we can feel His love for us and be reminded of its truth in a way that surpasses our everyday existence. And I give thanks to an answer of ‘yes’ to my prayer. Another hard push on the stomach, one more clot with some tissue, and my body’s work is done and the bleeding can slow.

I don’t know why this happened, and I don’t feel compelled to ask the question. And that is a very good feeling. I look back over my life, and I see God’s hand, and I know I can trust Him. And I tell myself to remember this truth when I’m back in the midst of the everyday where frustration and anxiety are too often my companions. I am still such a child, and despite God’s faithfulness, too often I choose not to rest in that. Too often I try to do it by my own strength. And today is a good reminder to me that God is all-sufficient and I don’t need to struggle, but can relax into his arms that do not fail. Today, by His mercy, I can say despite my circumstances, “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

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Acupuncture Update July 15, 2008

Filed under: Health,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 12:58 am
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Well, I have been seeing my acupuncturist, Michelle, again for, what, a few months now, I guess. My body has straightened itself out enough this cycle to start trying again. I am just trying to focus on being low-stress.

I’m not stressing about the possibility of another miscarriage, at this point. God has really taught me to rely on him more fully through this whole ordeal. It is amazing the peace that he can provide in the midst of trial. I’m just trying to take things a step at a time. I pray that the treatments and herbs will give our next baby the protection that s/he needs to come to term, but I am leaving it in God’s hands. I don’t want another miscarriage. It’s hard to bear, but I know that God’s plan is good, even when I don’t understand.

It may sound strange, but I would never wish away the losses we’ve experienced, simply because God has used them to work in our lives, shape who we are, and reveal himself more fully. His ways are right, and it is such a tremendous comfort to truly believe that. It is liberating not to have fear about the future of our family and to know that everything is bearable because he is our strength when we have none. And God has allowed me the opportunity to comfort others who have suffered the same loss, which has been a tremendous blessing to me.

I guess the miscarriages are just a part of who I am. That being said, I really don’t want any more, though I will accept whatever lies ahead.

So, as far as stress goes, I’m trying to concentrate on making my life as low stress as possible, so I can give my baby, whenever s/he is conceived, as positive an environment as possible. This is hard because I don’t always recognize when I am stressed. I’ve always just dealt with it without feeling the effects until it has built up to the point that I crash, seemingly out of nowhere. Things aren’t bad right now, but I need to be mindful. Taking care of four kids for 20+ hours over a two day period is draining.

Last week, when Michelle was listening to my pulses, she asked how things are at home and with the kids. Apparently as soon as I began talking about watching the kids, my kidney pulse totally crashed. The kidney is associated with growth, fertility, sexual capacity – everything that is important right now, so that’s not good. She was really stressing to me my need to let go of the stress, so it doesn’t put unnecessary stress on the next pregnancy. She says she views kids having an electrical cord which is plugged into their caregiver, and they are continually feeding off your energy, and she suggested I do some meditation to visualize them hooking up to their guardian angels instead of me, and seeing them provide protection and energy for the children. While the truth of this doesn’t jive with me, I get what she means, and what I need to do is ask God to provide everything the kids and I need to get through the day well without wearing me down too much. I just need to be better about taking some time for myself too. Relaxation exercises do work wonders, but I always feel like I have too much to do to stop for something like that. I need to slow down some and focus on myself and the next baby, just a little.

I’d really appreciate any prayers with regard to all this.

 

Back To The Acupuncturist April 15, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 1:17 am
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I have my first appointment with Michelle, my acupuncturist, on Wednesday. Feeling a bit apprehensive – not about treatment itself, I always enjoyed that – just about future pregnancies in general.

I’ve conceived five times, and obviously I’ve only been able to carry Jonas to term. My pregnancy with him is the only time I received treatment from Michelle. So, it seems that the treatment worked for me, but of course, we can’t know for sure at this point, having had only one success. I like to think that TCM is what allowed me to have a successful pregnancy, and TCM does have a good track record treating infertility issues, but it could be that Jonas was just a healthy one, and he would have made it regardless.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I feel like this is a moment of truth. Next time I get pregnant, if I miscarry again despite treatment, it’s going to make it that much harder to keep going. Right now, I have hope that the acupuncture and herbs will protect the next pregnancy, but if that doesn’t turn out to be the case, how do we keep on going?

I truly believe that God will give us more children, but I’m not sure how much more we’ll have to endure before getting there. It’s been a hard journey, yet I see the ways the Lord has worked in our lives through our losses. Strange as it may sound, I wouldn’t trade this experience, despite the pain. And if there is more loss in store, I guess I can accept that if it means God working in our lives, refining our character and revealing himself in deeper ways. I don’t want to lose anymore babies; the breath catches in my throat at the thought, but what can we do, short of closing ourselves off from the possibility of more children. That would be a lack of faith and trust, and I don’t think I am willing to do that.

On a more positive note, if the next pregnancy is a success, that will give us all the more reason to have hope for future pregnancies with treatment.

I’m just trying not to think too much about it all right now.

 

Bad News… March 19, 2008

Filed under: Family Life,Health,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 5:15 pm
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Well, I started feeling mildly crampy an hour ago or so, and when I checked, I was bleeding. So, it looks like miscarriage number four.

Of course everyone always says that bleeding during pregnancy can be normal, but considering our circumstances, I think not.

I can be thankful that at least this one is early. Waiting for three more weeks, just to lose the baby is so much worse. Right now, I just feel sad and disappointed. It hasn’t really sunk in.

I will probably call my acupuncturist soon to see when I can get in to see her. I saw her during my pregnancy with Jonas, and I went back and forth about it before this pregnancy, but I thought we’d just wait and see. She’s in Madison, which is an hour away, and I’ve just been so busy and would have to find something to do with Jonas. Now I know, I need her.

All I can think right now is I am so thankful for Jonas. I will be holding him extra tight today!

 

Ready or Not… March 13, 2008

Filed under: Family Life,Pregnancy and Childbirth — katieosborne @ 2:08 pm
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Here we go again.

I just got a BFP this morning. That is internet fertility speak for Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test).

It saddens me that I can’t get excited about this. I should be ecstatic, but having had three miscarriages before Jonas, I can’t do much more than hold my breath and wait. I don’t feel much of anything about it right now. I guess I’m trying not to think about it too much.

We lost two of the three in the 8th week, and the other was earlier. So, if we can just make it to week 9, I will be able to exhale and relax a bit.

With Jonas, I was sick about a week after conception. I just knew I was pregnant. I have felt a little “off” sometimes over the last week, but that’s it. I know that it’s probably not usual to be really sick so early like with Jonas, and the fact that I’m not feeling too bad yet, isn’t necessarily a bad indication. I guess it would just make me feel a little better, but maybe the Lord is just being gracious to me. It was a rough week with Jonas, and it would have been made much worse with strong morning sickness.

So, I guess there is not much to do but wait and pray.

I am trying to decide if I want to have an early ultrasound. The babies usually stop growing around six weeks and then the miscarriage starts a couple weeks later. So, having the ultrasound either brings relief or prepares us for what’s ahead. But, I don’t know. Part of me just wants to go with the flow and wait it out.