A Life Lost

I’ve had this post saved in my drafts for a few days now, I think it’s about time to share.

Some may think this, and several of my other posts for that matter, are “too much for the internet.” Sure, I think a lot of people over-share via social media, and I will openly admit, I am one of them. Who cares what I had for lunch? No one. Do I snap a photo and post it to my Instagram (bethanyruthalcock) feed anyway? Of course I do! That being said, I think there are certain topics of conversation people avoid because it’s too personal and usually kept private.  One example being my post on my struggle with an eating disorder. However, I think there is healing and empowerment in talking about some of these “personal and private” matters. Everyone was given a story, and stories are meant to be shared.

A month ago, I had a miscarriage.

It’s weird. It’s sad. It makes me feel guilty.

Last month, I had the suspicion that I was pregnant. I had many of the same early indicators that I did with Judah. I was super tired, my hormones were going crazy, and I wanted to eat everything we had in the house, all day long. And, I was late for my monthly visitor. When she finally came, it was different, and I knew it. I trust my instincts a lot when it comes to my body, I really believe God designed our bodies to tell us what we need and don’t need. He’s pretty smart like that. I knew something was off.

I called Kyle and told him I thought I was experiencing a miscarriage, and he immediately came home from work. I told him not to, that I’d be fine, but he knows me, and I’m so glad he didn’t listen to my stubbornness. Just having him around was such a comfort.

I called my doctor and spoke with a nurse who ordered up some lab work and later that week, my results confirmed that I did in fact experience a miscarriage.

I had what is known as a “chemical miscarriage,” meaning I wasn’t far along, and in fact, many women have these and don’t even know. But, I knew, and it hurt.

No, I didn’t get to the point of celebrating that positive pregnancy test, of going to the doctor and hearing the heartbeat, or seeing that little, growing body, and then later being told it was gone. For those of you that have, I simply cannot imagine that pain. For risk of causing upheaval, to me, a woman becomes a mother from the moment of conception, whether she knows it or not. When you have a miscarriage, you lose a child, no matter how early they are in their development.

On July 12, I lost a child.

I still feel the weight of that loss, and I feel so guilty. I know that it’s silly to feel guilty about something that I cannot control. But I still feel it. I didn’t even concretely know I was pregnant, and I feel guilty that that little life didn’t receive the proper love and grief it was due. I feel guilty when I look over at my little boy playing so well by himself. I feel guilty that my body failed in some way and that I lost his little brother or sister–his playmate.

I feel guilty. I feel sad. I feel loss. And that’s okay.

Just because I didn’t know for sure that I was pregnant before it happened doesn’t make it any less of a daily struggle. In fact, earlier this week, I broke down crying while getting dressed for the day. I’m crying right now, as I compose this post. A loss is a loss, no matter what stage.

Going through this has made me realize how precious these little lives our bodies carry are. I am so grateful for my son. I am so grateful that he defied the odds he was given after his first ultrasound. I’m so grateful for his smile, his endless energy, his laughs, and the joy he brings to Kyle and I.

This one is at the top of that list of many questions I have to ask the Big Man when that glorious day comes that I get to meet him. Why does it happen? Why does it always seem like the women and men who would make the best parents have to struggle when it comes to so easily to others? Why do you create something only to take it away so quickly? I guess I just have to chalk this one up to His infinite wisdom and my minuscule, earthly brain that couldn’t possibly understand the complexities of His creation.

All I know is it’s hard. It makes me stop and think. But I’m working through it, and sharing this with you was a big step in that process. So thanks for listening and helping me heal.

Now I’m off to play with this gem and give him a couple extra squeezes.

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Four Years!!

It’s been four years with this gem and I can’t believe it’s already been that long.

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography

I feel like we’ve known each other forever, but I still feel like newlyweds, and I think I always will. See, I’ve got a good one. He tells the corniest jokes, does crazy dance moves around our apartment, cooks a mean omelet, and loves me unconditionally.

Kyle and I formally met, dated, were engaged, and married within a year. Some might say that’s a bit crazy, but I say, when you know, you know. And we knew.

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography

Because of our quicker pace, our first year of marriage was the typical adjustment and then some. Yes, it’s hard to get used to living with someone and being around them all the time, even when you are head over heals in love with them. It’s difficult to pick out dishes, throw pillows (ask my husband about that one), and decide on our bathroom schedule and who does what around the house. But Kyle and I also had to learn how to disagree, how to fight with each other, and how to communicate through that. Luckily for us, it only took a few months until we finally got it together…for the most part.

We continue to grow and learn with each other, constantly figuring out what makes the other tick. And that’s what marriage is, it’s continual, it’s not giving up, it’s pushing through and sticking it out, even if you don’t end up sleeping in the same bed when you’re fighting. (I know some people say, “never go to bed mad,” but come on, sometimes you just gotta sleep.)

This past year has been our most defining yet. We’ve had some of our highest highs and lowest lows. Highest being the birth of our son. I have always thought Kyle was the best lookin’ guy around, but then to see him as a father — SMOKIN’! (or should I say…steamin’ hot?…inside joke.)

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This year we have both changed jobs, moved twice, become parents, lived with parents, soothed a colicky baby, went through a miscarriage (more on that later), and determined we are going to move, yet again. Phew.

To say there weren’t some testy moments this year would be a complete and total sham. There were some. There were some nights sleeping in separate rooms. There were also some great discussions, deeper understanding of one another, encouragement, laughs, and a sense of family. I would venture to say, this has been the hardest, but best year of our marriage.

Kyle is an outstanding husband. He defends me, nurtures me, respects me, trusts me, and loves me more than I deserve.

Four years ago, I made a choice and promised Kyle that I would love him through the best and worst years, through thick and thin. It was the best promise I have ever made. Cheers our beautiful family, the last four years, and the next 65 to come. Happy Anniversary, Kyle.

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography

photo courtesy of Ashley Ray Photography