The Ups and Downs

Heck of a week, folks. Last Friday, I was unanimously approved by the Board of Ordained Ministry for ordination this year. They had some great feedback, and some constructive feedback (which is also great, just in a different way), about which I had planned to reflect and stuff.

Then I did manage to get myself into a controversial position by being quoted in part and largely out of context on the evening news. I do plan to post about that specifically a little later, including my best reconstruction of all of my statements, and open it up to comments. Please do not comment on this post about that newscast. Later, okay?

Literally as the broadcast was airing Wednesday night, my body began to go from mild discomfort and symptoms about which I was concerned to unmistakable and painful–physically and emotionally–signs of full miscarriage. By midnight, the worst was over, but that doesn’t make it any easier. A trip to the doctor on Thursday confirmed that I am no longer pregnant. I had been eleven weeks and five days.

People have been incredibly gracious and supportive with prayers, notes, calls, hugs, and even a bouquet of flowers. It’s amazing how many couples come out of the woodwork to tell their similar stories, and makes you wonder about why we don’t talk about this pain very openly. Do we still attach a stigma or blame to the family? Are we confused about what exactly it is we are mourning? Partners of those who have miscarried particularly, help me out here– what’s a spouse to do? Mine seems to not know which end is up, which is fine, but I wish I could make it easier for him.

For me, it’s moment by moment. Sometimes I’m fine. Sometimes a contraction-like pain reminds me, oh yeah, I’ve lost my baby, and then I lose my um, stuff. Yesterday there were big reminders that made me cry: the ultrasound photo on the fridge (now safely hidden away for when I want it sometime later–much later), the pregnancy test that I still had on my dresser, which I never want to see again. Big pain.

Today, it was the little things: talking about the diversity of people being certified, commissioned, and ordained in our conference– a vast array of ages, ethnicities, vocational callings, and even a young woman who will be visibly preg– I thought before I stopped myself. A leftover bottle of gingerale which I almost offered to take home because I drink a lot of it to get through the nausea… oh, right. Asking for Tylenol and being given a generic brand, so I checked to see if it was safe to take… I can take anything I want and it doesn’t matter.

So we plug on. Day by day, moment by moment. One hug, one prayer, one phone call at a time. And try not to think too much about what happens tomorrow and next month and six months from now when we get to the day that was already circled on the calendar and ingrained in my mind. And we give thanks for what we have– an amazing, healthy, beautiful, loving four year old, a strong marriage, a community of support, a faith to sustain. The rest I can weather, as long as I have those things.