Sunday, July 18, 2010

A Turbulent Week

It's been a hard week for us grief-wise.  There have been a lot of factors, but for me the biggest one came Wednesday morning when I found out that I'm not pregnant this month.  It was pretty devastating to me even though I had suspected it was the case.  That morning I had plans with a friend and her boys, so thankfully the first half of the day passed without too much ache, but once we got home, I cried for several hours straight.  I couldn't seem to stop the tears, and they just kept coming and coming.  I think I had stored up a lot of hope in the months we were told to wait on getting pregnant, and when my hopes didn't come to fruition right away, a lot of the disappointment I had held at bay came swooping down on me.  I kept thinking how very much I miss Samuel, how very much I wish he was here with us and trying to get pregnant with another baby wasn't even on our radar.

A major component of my sorrow is August's ever-growing proximity.  Even the day Samuel died, I pictured August 2010, and I imagined myself pregnant.  At the time I imagined myself very pregnant -- due in September.  As time went by, that picture had to change, but always the tangible hope and comfort of the month was the baby growing in my womb.  This week showed me that my picture will not come to pass.  I will face Samuel's birthday, two weeks from today, with an empty womb and empty arms.  I have never thought another baby would replace Samuel in any way, but it would be new hope, a tangible image of redemption.  Knowing that August won't offer that picture of the future was nothing short of devastating.

Honestly, it was a wretched day.  I cried sitting on the bed, typing on the computer, tucking my boys in for naps, cleaning the house, making dinner, eating dinner, driving to our counseling session, through our grief counseling, and everywhere in between.  It was the worst day I've had in five months.

Since then I've asked myself why I am so deeply sad about not getting pregnant this month.  I think the bottom line is that I'm truly scared God's answer isn't just, "Not this month" but, "Not ever."  I've learned that God doesn't have to answer "yes" to my pleas for good things.  He didn't save Samuel, and He doesn't owe me for that.  He doesn't have to make it up to me by blessing us with a healthy child from my womb.  If He ever does grant us another baby, it will be pure grace -- an undeserved blessing from His abundant love and care.  I can't earn a baby.  I can't endure enough heartbreak to tip the scales in my favor.  There are no promises of more children for us.  God could say no to our requests for another child, and that terrifies me.

I've been revisiting Psalm 86 this past week, and one verse keeps jumping out at me.  Verse 12 says, "O Lord Almighty, happy are those who trust in you."  I have not been happy in the past week and half as I've feared the onset of my period and then been crushed by its appearance.  And I've been asking myself, "Am I trusting God?"  I think the answer is yes, but I am not resigned to accepting His answer if it's, "No, Kathryn, I will not give you more healthy children from your womb."  I trust Him to be good and faithful and present.  I trust Him to give me what I need to face even the worst of outcomes -- even another baby who dies.  But I don't want that.  And I desperately want more children.  I am having a hard time joyfully moving forward into the unknown when what's ahead could be more heartbreak.  I will walk whatever road God gives us to travel, but I am having a horribly painful time surrendering my dream of another baby (babies!) to Him.  I know He can say no, and I don't want to hear that. 

I'm not really sure how to change things, but I know I cannot face an indefinite number of months with this intense of a rollercoaster and this deep of a pit when I don't get pregnant.  Something has to change.  Something in my heart has to be more willing to lay down my vision of our future.  Something in me has to say, "Ok, God.  WHATEVER it is that You will, I accept it."  I'm not sure how to get there, but I am confident I cannot endure more months like this one without seriously taxing my own well-being and my family's.  I covet prayers in this.

And as August approaches, I confess I find myself trembling in my boots.  Its dark cloud has already cast a shadow over me, and I'm afraid I'll be sucked into its eddies and stay submerged for the duration of the month.  I used to think that once people made it past the first year without a loved one, they could breath a sigh of relief.  I would think, "Phew!  The first year is over.  I'm glad that's behind them.  Now life can get easier."  How absurd.  Now that I am grieving, when I think about our one year anniversaries approaching, I don't feel like a significant amount of time has passed.  Samuel still just died.  It wasn't yesterday, but it was so recent.  And so what if a year is nearly behind us.  That just means I still have the rest of my life without him.  It's no different than it was 6 months ago.  Life is still devoid of Samuel.  We are still grieving.  It is still hard, so hard.

So, needless to say, it's been a tumultuous week.  And I have a feeling harder weeks are yet ahead.  Oh, Jesus, hold us close and comfort us as only You can.  How we need You!


  1. Dear Kathryn,

    I heard a message today about when life deals Plan B. After reading your post, I thought I'd share the link in hopes that it will provide some encouragement for you.

    Keeping you and your family in my prayers - especially as the anniversary of Samuel's life and death approaches.


  2. Sweet Kathryn,
    Just wanted you to know that my heart is heavy and aches for you as you continue to walk this tough journey! Praying for you, especially in the next few weeks/ months! May God just wrap you in his loving arms and carry you through this time!

  3. Hi Kat and Bryan,
    I ran across your blog today. I remember you both from Wheaton (I was Kristin Hammond then . . . I'm Kristin VanderEnde now). I am so sorry for your loss. Last year, when you were at Egleston, I probably walked past the building a few times a week - I am a student nearby, and also a mom with two young boys. If had known who was inside, I would have run up to see you and your precious boys. If you head this direction again, please let me know, as I would love to reconnect. -Kristin (

  4. Thinking a lot about you these days. I am praying for you.

  5. Kathryn (sorry this is so long)
    My heart aches for you and with you…I pray for your dreams of more children to come true! I want to share something with you on the lines of God doesn’t always answer our prayers the way we expect or in the timing we’d like!

    I remember the agonizing months of trying to conceive a child…counting days…rushing to get alone time…the pressure…and then the disappointment each month…the feeling like a failure…everyone telling me to just relax it will happen…the tests…the pills…the procedures…all with no results! As two months became 6 months and 10months became 17 months…I just knew I wouldn’t ever get pregnant.

    After 18 months of too much trying… I gave up!!! I tossed all my cares to the wind and with that my calendar…my log of my failure to conceive another child…I didn’t even mark my period start date anymore!

    Then about 2 months later…I was cooking dinner and felt sick…Yes I was pregnant with Susan! My gift from God my fourth child was on her way!

    Then I prayed…Boy I wish we could figure out a way for me to be able to stay at home with her like I did with the older children…If only I didn’t have to work…I would love to be a stay at home Mommy again! I prayed and prayed that God would show me a way.

    He did as you know…I am a stay at home Mommy! My prayer was answered; not as I had seen it when I was praying and imagining my life with my baby. He gave me Susan with a broken heart that required me (forced me) to stay at home with my beautiful gift he had given me. He answered my prayers…I am thankful and I feel blessed.

    He saw my life…He knew what I needed…He knew what to do…and when it was the right time…He gave me what I had prayed for…and I believe today he knew best. Continue to trust him as I know you do and he will grant you your prayers…He is listening!

    I love you and I just thought maybe this long story would give you HOPE…You are a beautiful person, a wonderful Mother and you are not alone on this journey!