Saturday, October 15, 2011

Stepping aside

It's amazing what a couple of days can do for one's perspective.

When I wrote my last post, I was about 1.5 hours into a 6 hour crying jag. No kidding. I cried off and on (mostly on) for six hours on Tuesday. Needless to say, when I woke up on Wednesday morning I felt like I'd been killed, or maybe had a giant hangover (and we don't drink in our house, so that's a stretch). I had a headache, my eyes were so puffy I could barely get my makeup on (and yes, when the swelling went down mid-morning I did look a tiny bit clown-like from the "off" makeup placement), and worse than that, I felt so dull and blah I couldn't concentrate. I ended up leaving early from work that day, too, but it was a much more peaceful afternoon.

As a couple of days went by, I gained a little perspective. It used to be it took me eons to figure out what was behind my feelings. Thank you, God, that's no longer true. Yes, sometimes it does take me a little longer than I'd like, but I usually "get it" within a few days.

Part of my anguish on Tuesday was that I don't like having decisions made for me. I've always been a very strong-willed, independent woman with a good, thoughtful head on her shoulders and no one gets to tell me how my life is going to be! To have my body rebel against my head and heart and make a very important decision for Paul and me - without our input, if you will - was devastating. This stupid life of ours has gotten so unfair. We didn't ask for any of this, would never will this life on anyone we care about. I still fight this reality of ours, that we'll forever be "those people who lost their babies." That label will stand until the day we die, whether known by others or simply (not simply!) within our own hearts. Whine, cry, gnash teeth, rinse, repeat.


Here's the thing: Paul and I don't often speak about our spirituality to others, and we don't feel called to join a church, but we are very, deeply spiritual. We get how this works for us. To put it simply, as Paul shared after our support group meeting Thursday night (and this applies to me, too), "Sometimes my complicated mind can't grasp a simple truth, and I have to bash my head against the wall several times before I get it." We have many, many examples of God working in our lives, and it ALWAYS follows that exact moment when we realize we're bashing our heads against the wall, trying to get our way, it's not working, and perhaps, just maybe, we ought to stop and let God give it a good college try instead.

Case in point: trying to sell our house in Tacoma so we could move further south into the country. I bought the house, a 1910 Craftsman on a decently busy street (but not an arterial), as a single woman. Paul moved in with me, hated the city and his horrid commute, and we decided to give it up and move to a more peaceful location. We hired a Realtor who specializes in flips, absorbed all his ideas on how best to renovate the house (which had lots of original items but some very outdated spaces and finishes), and got to work. Our self-imposed timeline was VERY short...I think we gave ourselves originally a few months to get it all done, but in reality it took six months to get it all done and the house listed for sale. It looked fantastic and I was sorry we hadn't done it sooner because it was so much nicer to live in...all new flooring (except the original hardwoods), new kitchen cabinets and countertops, remodeled bathroom (we even refinished the original clawfoot tub), new plumbing, improved layout, new built-ins, new paint, etc. The Realtor made lots of promises of showings and marketing strategies, and took us into the next county to look at houses. We fell in love with one - this one, actually - and put in a contingent offer, never imagining our house wouldn't sell like hotcakes. But it didn't. We tried everything. We had several showings, but never any follow ups. No offers. Tick tock, about 4 months later we finally had to let our contingent offer expire. To say we were frustrated was a vast understatement. The Realtor said we needed to drop the price another $15,000, which was shocking. We stopped and thought about the whole situation, and realized we hadn't felt very listened to by our Realtor, or our business valued. (We were, after all, the lowest-priced listing he a long shot!) There was a young female Realtor who had very enthusiastically showed our home to three different buyers. On a whim, we fired our guy and hired her (yes, there were hurt feelings and threats of taking her commission because he "did all the work." What a lie!). And you know what? She got us a full price offer and two back-ups within days! Not only that, but Paul had driven by the home we loved in Tenino, noticed it appeared the owners were readying it to go back the market (it was now spring), and our Realtor jumped and helped us get a new offer in. Our home sold, and we simultaneously bought our dream property, where we have lived now for 3.5 years. Better than that, we got it for more than 1% less in interest rate and $30,000 less in price. When we get out of the way and stop trying so hard to get our way (as we think it needs gotten), things happen for us!

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this.

See, in our current situation, it occurred to us that God has been throwing a lot of obstacles in our way, trying to get us to open our eyes and stop trying so hard. We both questioned whether we'd be ready to try again so soon. Last month we clearly weren't - especially me. This month, my body told us to piss off. You can't make a baby while on birth control pills, so there! And then November, sweet November, with your dang big deal elk camp trip right when I'd need Paul home most, not only for shots twice a day, but also to make getting his "sample" and being next to me as the medical making of our next potential child(ren) happen as stress-free as possible, you just don't want to play nice! I've had many women offer suggestions for how we can make November work...but that's the thing, it's TOO MUCH WORK! Well, duh. Duh! When something is supposed to happen, we've found, the path is usually pretty smooth. It's time for us to get out of the way, stop trying so hard, and let it be.

The answer came quickly, peacefully: we might try on our own, naturally, in November if Paul's able to come home from elk camp at the right times, but we're not going to pursue our next injectible IUI cycle next month. I will finish these nausea- and cramp-inducing birth control pills on November 1st, and will go in for a baseline follicle scan that same week as Dr. M. ordered, but only to make sure the cyst is gone. I will use OPKs in November for timed intercourse and Paul will do his best to come home on the right evenings. If it works out, cool, but we have no expectations that it will. We'll plan to go forward with an IUI cycle in early December, when the schedule is, gasp!, completely uncluttered, our calendars are clear, and we've (by then) had FOUR months between us and our loss. Hopefully by then our minds and hearts will be less burdened, too, so that I can feel as free and easy that cycle as I did in May...I still believe that's what helped us conceive the twins.

It's always so much better when you stop trying to push the river! Thank you, God, for giving us the clarity we needed to stop the insanity!


  1. This post gave me chills, Amy. I just recently read an old email from you about the houses and how it was so frustrating and difficult at first, only to fall perfectly into place. For me, God is the universe, and the universe always balances its books. But often not in the manner or timeframe that we want. I love you!

  2. One of life's most relaxing moments is when you try to walk alongside God and talk with him about what his plans are for you rather than trying to run ahead of His perfect time. A moment of contentment that you have a wonderful man, incredible friends, a beautiful home and animals and just a moment of peace. Just for a moment of thanks for the blessings of today. Those moments of thankfulness and listening to God vs trying to challenge him are the two things that got me through 5 years. I am sending you many hugs and much peace, friend.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about your loss, my daughter lost twin boys last year. We were all devestated. Sherie was well prepared with the names and that helped. A year later almost to the day she gave birth to a 32 week baby boy. Doctors don't know why she's delivering early but Brandon is now almost 6 months old and is doing great. Though we still think about the twins often she's glad she got pregnant again right away to take some of the pain away.


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