James and I were talking today about our "Other Children". The ones we have never seen. The ones many people discount without even realizing they are doing so. My precious Babies that are in heaven waiting for me.
I had my first miscarriage on a cold day in December. I will never forget it. Every moment and every detail is burned into my brain and my heart like a very slow moving picture show. I can remember every word that was said, every thought that went through my mind, every expression on everyone's face around me. Then, nothing...emptieness...all I remember is sitting curled up on the couch wrapped in a blanket for days, it seemed like forever and yet it didn't seem long enough.
When I finally started moving around again, everyone thought I was "over it" and "ok". Ready to move on. They didn't seem to realize that my baby had just died inside of me! They thought that because I hadn't known but for a few days I hadn't had time to get "attatched" to it or love it yet. But that didn't matter. It was mine and I wasn't able to give it the life it needed! I had failed my child when it needed me the most!
I had been longing for, praying for and waiting for a baby every month. Month after month, year after year and finally I was pregant only to have it ripped from me! No, I got up and went back to life but not really to LIVING. That took a long time.
Slowly, over the months my joy came back and my laughter and over time I found myself longing even more desperately for a baby. Once again, I finally got pregant. By now we were almost 5 years into the marriage. But I was afraid to say anything until I waited a little while, Just in case...And I was thankful that I did, because I miscarried again. This time I was at home alone and my marriage was on the rocks. So I bottled the agony and pain and when some of it had to come out it burst forth in the form of anger during our arguments about other things. And in more weight gain, which I didn't need thanks to hormonal problems that had caused me to gain 75lbs to begin with and the Dr. thought was part of the reason I was having trouble getting pregnant.
So started two years of moving in and out. First one then the other of us. Back and forth from one state to another. And in the middle of all of this another miscarriage that I didn't even tell him about because by the time I realized I was pregnant we were fighting again and then he left just as I lost the baby...Life was a nightmare by then. But I kept praying and waiting and hoping for a baby and begging God for my marriage.
In the early fall of '94 he again promised that he had changed and wanted to work things out. I believed him and let him move in. He stayed three days and left. I was so ashamed I didn't tell anyone he had even been there!
Until...almost three months later and I had this "flu" that just would not go away! I had been so sick for so long! I had lost 17 lbs. I was misrable, everyone was trying to talk me into going to the Dr. but I couldn't afford it.
Then one day it just hit me and I started doing the math and realized...So I went and got a test, POSITIVE. I got another, POSITIVE. I got another 2 pack and took them both, in the store, POSITIVE & POSITIVE!!! I went to the Crisis Pregancy Center where our Pastor's Wife vollunteered and swore her to secrecy, POSITIVE!!
By now I was past the 3 1/2 month mark. I had never made it that far before. But I was still afraid to let myself get my hopes up or tell anyone. So I waited two more weeks. Then I made a Dr. appointment. You guessed it...POSITIVE.
Now I just had to tell everyone that I was going to finally have the baby I had prayed for for seven long years! Of course as far as everyone knew I had been living on my own or with my Mother-in-law for almost 8 months so I had to "fess up and admit that he had been there for three days. My Mother-in-law called him my "Steak Dinner Baby". When I finally got a message thru to my husband with the friends he was staying with, he met me after work one night where I worked and I told him, thinking he would be glad that finally we were going to be parents. His response was, "I'm happy for you. You will be a great Mom!"
So I was on my own. He made it very clear that was the way he wanted it. So that was that.
I still had fear and worry all thru the pregancy because of the previous losses! Up until the Dr. told me that he was developed enough to survive on his own if he were to be born! Oh, the joy and the love!
That isn't the end of my story, I didn't magically start having babies. After Mathew was born, when he was about six months old we had been talking and trying to work things out and so Mathew and I packed up and left the state and moved down to his apartment. Like an idiot I didn't even think about birth control because it had been a non issue our whole marriage. We has spent our whole marriage TRYING to have a baby and it just honestly didn't even cross my mind that I might get pregant. I guess we both just figured it took years for me.
But within a month I was pregnant. I didn't realize it yet, but I was. And as usual, things were crumbling around us. We made it for almost three months before he thru me out that time. I made it two months before I lost that baby. During packing to leave...I didn't even tell him. At that time in our lives he wouldn't have cared and would have thought I was trying to make him feel sorry for me so I could stay.
After being married for 11 years we were finally divorced. I had been living without him for three years by then.
I ended up falling in love with and marrying my husband whom I had known for 13 years! I had met him right after I graduated high school.
When we got married it was with the understanding that I have trouble getting pregant, and when I do I usually miscarry and with my age (I was 30) when we married. We might not be able to have any more children other than Mathew.
Within a month I was pregant! The Dr. put me on modified bed rest, (lots of laying on the couch) to see if I could keep the baby. I miscarried. James and I wept in each other's arms. This was the first time he had ever lost a child. It was very hard for him. I knew what he was feeling. It hadn't gotten easier for me. I had just gotten better at hidding the pain from others, until he was there to share it with me. Then the flood gates opened and all the stored up tears for my other babies that I hadn't shared with anyone else came pouring out! It was like a weight was lifted off my chest that day.
Two months later I had to ask my Mom how soon you could get pregant after a miscarriage! I had no idea it could happen so fast! Usually I was years between pregancies and here I was thinking that I was pregnant again! I was freaking out! I thought either my body or my brain or both had gone crazy!! She laughed at me and said, You ninny! Right away! You probably are pregant! You shouldn't be so soon, but you probably are! You need to go see a Dr. right away!
So we did, And I was! So straight back to bed I went. And spent the rest of the pregnancy there...but that is a whole other story er, book.
Enough to say from that pregancy Joanna was safely born 6 weeks early. And then we had one other, medical miricle, baby Andrew. And now I can never get pregnant again. And that too is another story that I am going to write.
I guess what I am trying to do is two fold here. I don't feel I have ever TOLD my babies stories before and I wanted to speak about all my children. And in this format. I can do that and noone who is embarassed or not wanting to stand there and listen has to. But if someone wants to read it, my heart and soul is there for them to see. laid bare and honest. Nothing hidden.
The good and the bad that I did and felt and what I was going thru at the time. I wasn't in any way trying to lay blame at Charlie's feet in any of the way I was writing this. I was writing as plain and honest as I could from my viewpoint at the time of the occurances themselves. I know that our marriage falling apart was as much to do with my stubborness, pride, unsubmissiveness, anger and temper as it was for any of his faults. And I have written to him and appoligized and told him so. So I am not telling tales out of school, so to speak, in writing about the loss of our babies in the way they really happened. Otherwise, it wouldn't be my life. Charlie was, is, and because of Mathew, in some way always will be at least a small part of my life.
Second I hope and pray that some day, in some way God may use this to help someone. Whether it be to get thru a miscarriage, Understand how their husband did or didn't react, Give someone hope that in God's timeing...it is always right. However God can use it.
I have been thru a LOT in my life and I have come to realize that it helps me if I can talk or write about it. And why would God have me go thru them and learn something if it weren't to help someone else later? But if I shut my mouth and never say anything, be it from shame or fear. Then I am doing myself harm and not helping anyone else. So this is my Let 'er Rip, and Tell it Like it Was promise that I won't lie and I won't sugar coat. I will just write my life as is and pray that what God lays on my heart to write is something that will help someone else.