Grieving, healing, and moving on

October 2014 has been the very worst month.

The worst month of my adult life. The worst month of our relatively short marriage. I am not sad to see it go. Good riddance. Is it November yet?

At the beginning of this month, we were waiting on a large cyst to rupture and dissipate. It finally did. Lovely.

We were able to start our final round of IUI. UPS couldn’t seem to deliver my medication. I barely got them in time, because I had to chase down the truck. Shots, shots, more shots, Jackson, another shot. The combination of shifting seasons and concentrated lady-feelings (fond nickname given to my injectable hormones by Mister) made me a migraine minefield. I took two sick days this month.
Perspective: I have taken three sick days in 2014. Two were with this cycle.
October is the worst month.
The day before we went for my progress appointment, our car and garage was broken into. No one locks their doors on our street, or no one did. My purse was in the car, so the no-good-sorry-so-and-sos made off with every form of ID I had, every credit card we had, a fat wad of cash, keys to our entire life, my favorite purse and Vera Bradley wallet, and my prenatal vitamins.
October is the worst month.
At our progress report, my levels were higher than anticipated, so we all but sped home to take our final shot and we’re back in Jackson less than 24 hours later for our procedure. With a full fledged migraine. Sick day one.
In the chaos of putting our financial lives back together, Nissan decided to take our car payment out of our account twice. Meanwhile, I’m walking around with my marriage license and iTunes account as forms of ID until everything else comes in the mail. Our lovely police department still hasn’t gotten our police report right (items stolen), despite talking to 3 different detectives every.single.day.
I woke up that weekend unable to turn my head. Somehow, in my “taking it easy, relaxing, not stressing” schedule, I strained my trapezius. I didn’t even know that was possible. I couldn’t look down or to the left for three days.
The one bright spot: we went to Memphis to see the greatest thing that’s ever come from an IUI procedure. She is beautiful, her mama is beautiful, and the Dawgs are #1 so her daddy is super happy. It was refreshing and the encouragement that my soul desperately needed (we almost broke down on the way up, though).
Despite the horrible month so far, I was incredibly optimistic and excited. This time was different. I could feel it. I knew it. Everyday for two weeks, I would go to bed and put my hand on my stomach and talk to the baby that may or may not be there. I talked to God about the baby that may or may not be there. Tuesday night, I was so anxious about my blood work the next morning I barely slept. I’d had a migraine for three days, and had gotten sick each of those days, at least once. I’d never been so excited about feeling so terribly awful. Wednesday morning, I got sick three times. Throbbing migraine. Blood work. Sick day two.
When my clinic in Jackson writes “stat” and underlines it a lot on my orders, my clinic in Hattiesburg seems to get it processed a lot faster. I had blood work done at 9:00. At 11:00, my nurse in Jackson called me and woke me up from a migraine coma. She was in tears.

You’re not pregnant, honey. I’m so sorry…

I asked if she was sure, which is a stupid question I’m sure she gets a lot. Through some choked up voices and measured breathing, we went over what we’d already discussed regarding our next steps. We went over a few specifics, and I told her I’d talk to her in the spring for IVF and egg retrieval.
October is the worst month.
Mister came home from work immediately and we cried together. It felt like we were grieving all four rounds at once. Everything that we’d been through this year seem to come all at once. How do you grieve something that never was? How do you get closure on “hope”? I don’t know the answers to any of that.
What I do know is I have amazing family and friends. Sometimes the distinction between the two is blurred, mine are so good. One friend told me:

I don’t know what to say, but I love you. Here’s some ice cream.

Another dear friend reminded me of something she’d told me years ago:

There is no Plan B.

I needed both of those responses more than I realized. While I am figuring out how to grieve what never was and heal from the most exhausting six months of my life, I know there is ice cream and there is only Plan A. The Almighty knows all of my children’s birthdays. He knows exactly how and when they will come to be, as ordained by Him. There is no Plan B, only the journey of Plan A, as full of Octobers as it may be. It’s good to know that in a world full of Octobers, there is Baskin Robbins Gold Medal Ribbon.

For the next few months, I will be (synthetic) hormone free, taking only vitamins through the holidays and new year. I will run. I have no idea how my migraines or insides will respond. I am desperately praying that my endometriosis will not spread. We are having our case reviewed by the surgeons at the CEC in Atlanta, with more on that in a separate post. I will still be “low stress” with an “easy schedule” as much as possible.

We will start the IVF process in the spring, beginning with ovarian stimulation for an egg retrieval, hopefully the only one we will ever have to do.

I know that the wilder our storm is, the more my God is glorified when it’s calmed. The darker it is, the brighter His light shines. We’re not ok yet, but we will be.

10 thoughts on “Grieving, healing, and moving on

  1. I am so sorry you are having such a rough month!! I just started following you and wanted to say we live in Mississippi too! We just moved here this summer. Praying next month is better

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    1. Thank you! And welcome to Mississippi. 🙂 Despite being a little backwards sometimes, we love havig our home here. It can only go up from here! Next month has no choice but the be better.

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  2. Words don’t suffice. But as Anne Lamott writes, “All those years I fell for the great palace lie that grief should be gotten over as quickly as possible and as privately. But what I’ve discovered since is that the lifelong fear of grief keeps us in a barren, isolated place and that only grieving can heal grief; the passage of time will lessen the acuteness, but time alone, without the direct experience of grief, will not heal it….I’m pretty sure that it is only by experiencing that ocean of sadness in a naked and immediate way that we come to be healed – which is to say, that we come to experience life with a real sense of presence and spaciousness and peace.”

    Sometimes life sucks. I’m glad we’re not alone. I’m glad that when God is hard to find, God is still, somehow, unexplainably, love.

    Love you, friend.

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  3. Anna,
    I’m so very sorry you are going thru this awful disease. My prayers are with you and your mister.
    Love in Christ,
    Patsy

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  4. I went to Jones with Matt and follow his photography. My heart was so touched by hearing of your awful month. My heart breaks for your pain but I was so inspired by your faith. You’re right! God is good and his timing is perfect. I pray y’alls holidays are jappy and healthy (no more sick days) and next year you will have great news on your blog. Many blessings –katie

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  5. I had to deal with the same emotions as you. After, this grieving passes. There just might be a plan b for you and Matt. Adoption. There are plenty of babies, toddlers and kids in the US, that need godly, loving, caring, kind and any other positive word for great parents. I understand, you 100%. I hope your next few mths and years are filled with greatness..

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    1. Please see my previous post: “Why Don’t You Just Adopt?”
      The point behind the statement is that God’s plan does not falter. He does not have an alternative lined up if his first plan does not work. His will is perfect, and He does not fail. This is all part of our journey, of “plan A”. We simply cannot see the end result.

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