Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The feeling of helplessness

I'm writing this not because I really want to... But, because it is more important for me to address some of the issues I'm currently struggling with. There is an exposure into my grieving that I'd really rather leave alone... But, it is my believe that if I'm struggling with this, so are others and that is where my ministry lies.

Today I found myself in a state of helplessness. There were various triggers but nonetheless the "attack" began. After the first miscarriage happened, I felt such a helplessness. There was nothing I could do to keep Peter or bring him back. There was the feeling of being absolute paralyzed with fear and grieve. Every miscarriage and the failed adoption has brought with it the same attack of feeling helpless. Today was the first time since I've had this miscarriage that feeling came back.

The first few days/week after the miscarriage are always the easiest. But then the shock starts to wear off and the realization of what has happened begins to set in. Yet another one of our babies is with the Lord. On January 31st marks the second anniversary of Peter's death.

I won't pretend to understand why this has happened. I have no answers. I don't know why I'm the 1-2% of women who have the diagnosis of recurrent miscarriages (which the molar pregnancy didn't count towards the diagnosis). I don't know why I continue to watch as others are able to conceive and have healthy pregnancies while I'm still in the same trial. Women whom I've counseled through a miscarriage have gone on to have children... I'm also scared of another failed adoption. This is the 6th time we've tried to have a child (4 miscarriages and our first adoption attempt). There is no legitimate reason for me to be afraid they will back out though as this has been entirely different from the first time and they call us Mommy & Daddy. They understand the meaning of adoption more than most people do (Christan and non-christian alike).  

This is the cycle of fear. I'm so used to disappointment and death in this area that it's difficult to trust the Lord.   

It's easier for me to trust when I understand what is happening or have a specific task to accomplish. But, God is asking so much more of me right now. He is asking me to trust Him in the helplessness of where our lives are right now. To trust Him to build our family in the way He chooses (cause I'd love to have more kids). To trust Him even if I remain infertile and unable to carry to term. To trust Him if He calls us to pregnancy again. To trust Him to bring our Talitha home. To trust Him to be Holy, To be Good, To be All Sufficient, To be my Comforter. He is asking me to trust that He is who He says He is. He is asking me to trust Him when He says all of this is for my good.

Am I there completely? No. But, it is the cry of my heart to trust Him. It is my prayer. What I need to remember is how much He has saved me from. This is the same helplessness I have to get into heaven without Him. He alone has saved me from an eternity in hell... Nothing else. Not my works, not my good merit, not the virgin mother of Jesus, but in Christ alone all of my hope is to be found.

Perhaps this helplessness is what He is using to not only show me how much He has saved me from but to also teach me to trust Him now.  


Thursday, January 19, 2012

A bright spot in the midst...

So, yesterday was interesting to say the least. Our week has been such a roller coaster of emotions to the point where we are in desperate need of a vacation. 

First bit of good news, the baby we just miscarried was not another Molar pregnancy. A quick recap our third miscarriage was a molar pregnancy. It's a pregnancy complication that basically has to be monitored to for 6 months to a year to make sure there aren't complications (like development of a manageable cancer). We will be waiting a few more weeks for the next set of test results.

Second bit of good news, is that we were able to go to the "V's" Dr. appointment yesterday. We were supposed to find out next week but for various reasons the Lord allowed us to find out this week. All along "V" and family said that it was a boy. So, we anticipated we were having a boy.... When the Dr. said "It's a girl" we were so surprised. We are having a baby girl! This is our Talitha (pronounced Ta-lee-tha).

I was sobbing so much so that "V's" mother asked me if I was ok. "V" was crying when we were out in the parking lot because this is hard for her too (please continue to pray for witnessing opportunities to her). This is a huge sacrifice. All I could do is hold her and just say "Thank you" which made her cry more. Her mom was appreciative and it's been good for all of them to see us so excited.

Compared to our ultrasound last week... seeing a baby alive is a miracle and such a reason to thank the Lord. She has 10 little fingers & little toes. She is an active little girl always doing somersaults! During the ultrasound she was waving hi to us. My favorite picture is the one where we can see her little face and her little nose (hoping to post that in later so check back soon). 

There are no words to describe what it means to be adopting our Talitha. It's more than having a baby girl. At some future point I hope to be better able to articulate this.

Emotionally this has been such a crazy week. There is a part of me that hasn't had a chance to grieve for my precious baby. There is another part of me that is elated about baby Talitha. These two sides conflict and to some degree I feel guilty over this tug of war. It's a lot to process. We are exhausted to be honest.

I do ask that you all continue to help me with our memorial project. Are there any lessons that the Lord has taught you through our trials? The Israelities often made memorials as a tribute to what God has done. It is our desire to do that as well. This will help us to honor our precious babies who have gone before us.

Our prayers are for our birthmother and family, Talitha's development, Dr. Van Zandt to have wisdom in managing our case, my continued recovery, and for us to have some rest.

You all are amazing. Thank you for showing us through this all that the Lord truly does work through the hands and feet of His church. We are amazed by your love.

With all my love (and Robert's too),

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Building a memorial

I wish we were posting something different. Some different news. I would be lying if I told you losing this child wasn't hard. To be honest, I was so excited about having two children so close in age. It has been my dream since I was 7 to have twins, and the one we are adopting and this biological baby would have been very close in age.

I don't even know where to start to be honest. We found out just after Thanksgiving that we were pregnant. We were not trying to get pregnant. We were elated and surprised. I called the Dr., and they started to run some test on me. My hcg was low but increasing. There was the possibility of an Ecoptic pregnancy, a miscarriage, or a viable pregnancy. They scheduled me for an ultrasound. To our surprise we saw a small flickering heartbeat. This was week 5 of our pregnancy. There was no reason to suspect that anything was wrong.

Two days shy of the 10 week mark, I had some light spotting. We were supposed to go to the Bahamas the next day. Not knowing what medical care was there, I called the Dr. to make sure everything was ok given my history. We went in for the ultrasound, and there was the most precious baby. There were two little stub arms and two little stub legs. But this time no heartbeat. The ultrasound tech Sandy did three different types of ultrasounds to make sure. There was no doubt. The baby had died around 8.5 weeks. Sandy knew my history. She took my face into her hands and told me "This isn't your fault." Those are some of the most powerful words when dealing with a miscarriage. Sandy and nurse Kim stayed with me talking with me until Robert got to the office.

Dr. Van Zandt gave me a quick physical check up. Then she said "Come into my office so we can talk." Neither of us have ever been into a Dr.'s personal office. She went on to explain in great detail what our plan of action was going to be. We found out our last Dr's office found some minor things (the blood clotting issue) and decided to stop testing there. This miscarriage was not caused by my blood clotting issues. She talked with us for about a half an hour. She recommended that we postpone our Bahamas vacation (which we did). She also recommended that I have a D&C, so that we could test the baby's DNA in order to rule out some of the causes of this miscarriage. We scheduled the D&C for the next day.

When we went into the hospital many people recognized us from last time, including the woman from registration. The Lord was so gracious in so many ways that day. My dear sweet nurse was Talitha, who took care of me last time (see September 2010). She is a believer and was such an encouragement. She went out and bought me this necklace.

Last time, my anesthesiologist nurse during surgery was Sandy (a different Sandy then the ultrasound tech). She was a believer who prayed with me after surgery. It was such an encouragement for so long after my first D&C. Praise the Lord, she was my anesthesiologist nurse this time too. And, she remembered me. Both Robert & Sandy prayed with me before surgery (and I got Sandy's number so I can keep in touch with her).

Dr. Van Zandt also visited me before surgery. She told me she looked over my file for an hour the previous night and then went on to say that there is new research into what causes recurrent miscarriages. She also visited Robert after surgery.

As of this point, we don't know why we miscarried this baby. We are not naming the baby until we find out what he or she was (which they should be able to tell from the DNA testing). We should have some results in about a month. But there are many many blessings in that the Lord has given us a Dr. who cares so much. She said if they aren't able to find out why I'm miscarrying they will refer me to a specialist who deals specifically with our type of infertility (yes, she used the word infertility). Unlike all the previous miscarriages, we have hope because the Dr. has given us some hope in finding an answer.

Emotionally there are ok days and bad days. If we didn't have this adoption I think we would be back where we were a year ago (which was not a good place). It doesn't take away the grief of losing yet another baby as we are heartbroken but the adoption is a ray of sunshine in the midst of chaos. It is God's way of giving us hope.

This month also marks the 2nd anniversary of our miscarriage with Peter (our first).

We need you now more than ever. Here are ways you can help.
1) Please continue to pray for us through these trials. We can feel your prayers and treasure them.

2) Please continue to encourage us from the word of God because this has been so hard (if we don't respond right away, please know we still treasure your encouragement). 

3) I would like you to tell me how the Lord has used these miscarriages in your own life to teach you something. This is no longer just about us losing another child. This is so much bigger than Robert & I. It would so encouraging to us to hear how the Lord is working through this trial. Please either email me at, post on Facebook, or post under the comment section here. We are hoping to somehow turn this into a memorial to honor not just this precious baby but our others who have gone before . This is so vitally important to me right now!!!! In a future post I will explain more why memorials are so important.

4) We still need to raise the rest of our funds for the adoption (any help is appreciated at this point as my recovery will be slow).

5) Please pray that we will be able to witness to others and glorify God through this.

Today we also find out the gender of the baby we are adopting. This is an emotional day for us.

With all our love,
Robert & Darbi

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Tears of Grief and Joy

It's been quite a while since I've written a post (many of you probably weren't even following the blog the last time I wrote), but I wish I was returning to write for a different reason.

A little over a month ago, we learned Darbi was pregnant.  Everything seemed to be going well until yesterday afternoon, when we found out we were having our fourth miscarraige.  An ultrasound revealed the baby's heart had stopped beating about a week ago.  Darbi had a D&C surgery this morning and is now resting at home.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers during this time.  While we know this little one is with our Father in Heaven along with Peter, Faith, and Eve (our first three), it doesn't change the fact that we miss this child.  With loss comes grief.

There is no way I could explain the mixture of grief and joy when I think of our four children in Heaven.  There is no other place I want them to be, but I miss them.

Over the last 24 hours, God has been amazingly gracious.  I'll let Darbi share all that with you, since I know she'll post about it soon (well, probably within a week).  The short version is that He put the right people in the right place and the right time.

With tears of grief and joy, I leave you with the words of Psalm 73:25-26...

       Whom have I in heaven but You?
          And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides You.
       My flesh and my heart may fail,
          but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.