I haven't blogged much the past month (actually at all) talking about the ectopic pregnancy and recovery process I have been going through since my surgery where they removed the baby and my left fallopian tube 7 weeks ago (if you are new to my blog you can read more about it in the blog archives here). Partly just because I've been so darn busy I haven't had much time to write. My husband has been so busy on a huge project at work where he has been putting in 80-90 hours each week, so I have been taking on the extra work at home as well as getting ready for the Arnold Sports Festival next week and documenting everything in my 4-week Shred program (a 4-week program where I am journaling exactly what I do as I get ready for a photoshoot - workouts, macros, meals, mindset, that members of my site get access to)....each day I put up a post takes around 1.5 hours to write and by the time I get the kids to bed, get caught up on work stuff, there is just no time left for any other blogging. I enjoy writing and talking about this experience, it has been a really healing process for me. Being quiet about everything this past few weeks have forced me to self reflect on some of my feelings and I guess the best way to describe everything is just....confusing. Grief is a really confusing thing.
The majority of the time, I have peace in my heart about everything that happened. I've accepted that this experience is now a part of my life story and I've wrapped my head around the fact that there truly was nothing I could have done to prevent what happened. But then sometimes, out of nowhere, something tiny will happen that will cause me to feel sad all over again. It's weird. It's as though in those moments all the healing I've gone through the past two months just disappears and all the same raw, painful, hurtful, fearful feelings creep right back up. For example, I volunteer at our church each Wednesday night watching the 1-5 year olds while their parents attend Small Groups. One of the moms came in last week and as we were chit chatting she casually said that she was so thankful she is finally out of the nausea phase. I didn't know she was pregnant and was really happy for her, congratulated her, and asked when her due date was. I heard the date and felt a lump start to form in my throat. Her due date was two days after my due date (or, rather, when my due date would have been). I was really taken off guard that something so small as the mention of a date made me feel so emotional. The sadness had nothing to do with that mom....I was then and still am so happy for her....it was just a random thing that for whatever reason triggered those grief feelings.
There have been so many times where I have found myself walking through the grocery store, or at the gym, or in any other random place thinking to myself, "these people see me with my two cute kids and have no idea of the pain our family just went through and that we have a third child in heaven." Sometimes I wish I could either just hole up in our house and not have to face real life, or I could somehow have a sign on my back saying, "we just went through a really hard event as a family, please be sensitive to that". But, of course, neither of those options are realistic or would even be helpful. I guess this entire process has really opened my eyes and helped me remember that so many people are facing hard trials in their life, really hard trials, and most of the time we have no clue the heart wrenching trials other people are silently struggling with.
At first, people would say to me, "at least you already have two healthy children" and at the time it felt like a slap in the face. Yes, I have two beautiful, wonderful children who I love so much but that doesn't take away the pain from wanting this baby. However, it has actually been the smiles and joyfulness of these two who truly have made me so happy at some of the times I felt most sad. I'm going to share a few videos of my sweet 1.5 year old little girl, Phoenix. She is so fiesty, and strong willed, and bull headed, silly, and sweet all at the same time. Videos like these just make me so happy.
(And just for the record so you don't think I was just being a mean mom....I didn't actually have any candy or anything she just asks for it 24/7) 🙂
The other area I have really been struggling with is the idea of wanting more children. It is something I have truly felt so conflicted over the past two months and I don't have peace with either decision (stopping with two or trying for another). On one hand, I look at my two healthy children and think I could be really happy just having a family of four. It would be so much easier to just have two kids, would be so much less expensive, family trips would be easier, we are young parents to begin with so we would still be young when our kids graduate from high school, it would be easier for my work, etc etc. There are so many times (more often than not) that I feel like I could be at peace with this little family of ours being complete. But then, in my heart I really do think I would be sad in 10 years if I looked back and knew I didn't try for another baby just because I was afraid. Gosh, even just typing this up makes my eyes water because it brings up so many emotions. It's just a hard decision and one that I don't feel like I have a strong answer for either way. I guess the only thing stopping us from trying for another baby is fear. I am so, so, so afraid of having to go through that experience again. An ectopic pregnancy is something I wouldn't wish on anyone and was really traumatic for me (still is). I think it would just tear me up so much to have to go through that again, and I don't know if I want to risk putting myself in that situation again.
I was talking with one of my best friends, Holly, yesterday and I was trying to explain to her these feelings (they still are confusing for me and I feel like I'm not great at really describing how I'm feeling) and like she always does she really gave me some beautiful insight and guidance. She reminded me how the Bible talks about how we aren't meant to live in fear and that I should probably try to resolve the deeper issue of living in fear before I attack the issue of another pregnancy.
Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”"
2 Timothy 1:7 "For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control."
This is something that I thought a lot about last night. I think, regardless of your religious affiliation, the idea that I need to come to terms with the fear I am feeling instead of the logistics of another pregnancy is really wonderful advice. I am hoping that with time I will feel peace with either decision and not feel so conflicted like I do right now.
Listening to music has, surprisingly, been a really healing thing for me. Here are a few of the songs I have listened to over and over again when I start to get that sad feeling.
Have you ever been in a situation where you truly just didn't know which decision was the best one to make for your family? Have you ever felt paralyzed to make a decision out of fear? I would love to hear any advice or insight you might have. Truthfully, hearing and reading some of your stories has been one of the most helpful and healing pieces of this whole experience. I would love for you to put your input in the comments below.
If you are just stumbling across this post, I wrote quite a bit when I was going through the entire surgery and recovery process. Here are the posts I wrote in the order they were written starting from the day of my ectopic pregnancy surgery.
- Some Sad News
- Avocado Tree
- Not Fair
- Life Goes On
- Thank You
- Grief is a Funny Thing