Saturday, October 27, 2007

Coping

My emotions have been up and down lately. Last weekend at church during a baby dedication I found myself completely fine as the pastor shared a few words, and the moment he stared praying I began weeping uncontrollably. I may be entering a depression stage of grief, because I find myself sad beyond words. I zone out and stare off into space, and my heart feels heavy. Michael senses my sadness, and wants me to be open to talking about it with him, but truthfully, I have no words. The only thing I find myself being able to verbalize, is "I'm feeling sad today," which is usually followed by a bout of tears.

It's been good to process with our friends that I posted about the other day, who recently had a miscarriage. Knowing that someone else is going through some of the same emotions at almost the same time is helpful, somehow, because it simply validates everything I'm feeling. And, she understands the struggle to deal with everyday life (as everyone else moves on) in the midst of grief.

It's been five weeks. In some ways it feels like it just happened, and in other ways it feels like an eternity ago. Michael and I have continued to dialogue about our future, as we keep thinking about post-graduate school. The internship he is required to have next fall could be just that-a three month "internship" where we would leave after it's done-or, it could be a full-time job that is more long-term. And I find myself trying to figure out how a baby will fit into the picture-or rather, when.

I still see babies and young children at work and hear myself automatically thinking, "I want a baby of my own." And I also want to say to these mothers, "I hope you are cherishing every second with your little child, because you are so lucky to have a healthy baby." Sometimes I think more deeply, "Well, maybe they have had a hard time too. I don't know their story."

And then I find myself looking around, wondering how many others are grieving some kind of loss, but are forced to carry on with life, pasting on a smile and going through the motions of every day life.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Busy

I haven't had much time with the computer because Michael usually has it for school. Plus, our "free" internet is no longer available in our apartment, so we are limited that way.

I've been busy lately, with interviews and working. Yesterday was my first official day substituting! It was anti-climatic, because all I did was push play on a DVD player for three periods. Today I have another interview with a district much closer, and I have a third interview next week, in a district that is a block or two from our apartment. I think three districts will be good for now. We'll see what happens, though I had to turn down a sub job this morning because of my interview today.

Last weekend we went to New Jersey to see Oregon friends. I'll post some pictures of our apple-picking adventure later.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Shout outs to the in-laws

Today was a good mail day.

I finally received my Pennsylvania Teaching License in the mail!! I've spent the last couple hours putting together my application packet for a local school district, and tomorrow I am going to sign papers with the other district that I am already hired in. We received a new copier/printer from Michael's brother Nick in the mail a couple weeks ago, and it has already proved to be extremely useful. For every position I apply to I have to make multiple copies of clearances, forms, and certifications. Usually I have to run to the store and make copies, but here I am at midnight making copies from home. It's awesome. (Thanks again Nick!)

The other exciting piece of mail came as a result of a previous post in which we had just discovered that this area of the country has no maple bars. My mother-in-law sent us a package today with maple bars! We are so excited, and can't wait to show our friends this Northwest treat. (So, thanks Bev!)

Monday, October 15, 2007

Please Pray

We found out today that our friends who were due a week before we were had a miscarriage today. Because they were further a long they are going into the hospital tonight to induce labor. Please pray for them.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Processing

It's been three weeks since the miscarriage. I've been keeping myself very busy, and have been surprised how emotionally drained I feel when I finally stop and breathe. The devotional book I'm reading has talked about how this can be a coping mechanism, I just didn't think I was busy for the sake of being busy. I'm noticing though, that it seems to help keep my mind not focused on the grief.

Today I met with my doctor who performed the surgery at the hospital. I'm back to "normal," and everything is fine (at least physically).

Lately what's been hard is realizing how far along "I would be." One set of close friends is about a month further along then I would have been, and another couple is about a week further along. As I get updates, and realize they are beginning to "show" or even feel the baby kick, I am reminded of what I am missing out on. And I also realize that I will be making these comparisons in my head throughout the rest of their pregnancies, if not even longer than that.

I also just found out that my brother and his wife are expecting in June. I am very excited for them, especially because of the grace God has shown in completely restoring a broken relationship between us, not to mention seeing them go through the process of dedicating their lives to the Lord. It's been a direct, tangible answer to a lot of prayer. This is their second child, and I am so excited to get to be a part of their lives for this pregnancy. I know they were somewhat hesitant to share their news with us, because of our recent loss, but I am so excited for them. I did find myself calculating that this would have meant our child would have had two cousins within six months.

It's hard knowing that my grief process is so different from those around me. Months from now when I may be still feeling the loss acutely, others may barely remember. But that's ok. Whenever anyone asks how I'm doing, I almost always reply, "Just taking it one day at a time." Because that's all I can do.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's About Time...

My Pennsylvania Teaching License Application has been officially approved, and according to my status on the Dept. of Ed website, they have issued me my license and sent it in the mail!!! That was yesterday, so I should get it by Friday.

Finally!

Children's Footprints

Some children come into our lives and go quickly.
Some children come into our lives and stay awhile.
All our children come into our lives and leave footprints-
Some oh so small;
Some a little larger;
Some, larger still,
But all have left their footprints on our lives; in our hearts,
And we will never, never be the same.

Doreen Sexton

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Starstruck

Tonight at work a man and woman walked in and asked for a corner booth. A few minutes later I walked by and recognized the guy: it was RYAN GOSLING!!

I walked to the back of the restaurant and asked a couple other servers. We all were pretty sure it was him, though he had a thick, bushy beard. I'll be the first to admit...we were absolutely starstruck. "The Notebook" is one of my all-time favorite movies, which Ryan Gosling stars in, and ever since that movie I've always tried to watch his movies. I actually texted Michael from work because I knew he knows how much I like that movie and Ryan Gosling!

Every server except one was a girl, and some were acting like complete schoolgirls. (OK-all of us were). We decided to leave him alone for most of the night, and thought that maybe we'd ask him for a picture as he was leaving. I took the opportunity to take him his pizza plates and pizza stand, just so I had an excuse to talk to him and see if it was really him. As soon as he said "thank you" I knew it was him.

The last bit of confirmation came when he paid the bill, and his credit card said R Gosling. So, we had the manager ask him for a picture as he walked out the door and a group of ten or so of us servers took pictures with him. He was very friendly. When we asked him if we could take a picture, he said, "sure, as long as you don't think I'm Ryan Reynolds." We all laughed. I guess he gets that a lot?? He also told us we smelled good, because one of the girls had put on perfume! He told us he is filming a movie nearby. I came home and looked it up. The movie is "The Lovely Bones." Sounds like an odd movie, although I heard the book was really good. The book's setting is right near here, around Valley Forge National Park (which is only a few minutes away), and they are filming there as well.

Well, that was my moment with a movie star. I know he's just a person, but I was amazed how easy it was to get caught up in the hype of being near a super star.
I am going to post the picture as soon as I get it.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Grief

Michael bought me a devotional book, "Grieving the Child I Never Knew." I have only worked through the first few days of it, but it has already been a good resource for me. It asks me tough questions, and it prompts me to journal, which is my way of processing just about everything.

Yesterday's section told the story from 1 Kings 3:16 where two women have come to King Solomon. One woman claims the other's baby has died, and has switched their babies in the night. Solomon, in his wisdom, asks for a sword. He then proclaims that they will simply cut the baby in half, to share. The real mother immediately cries, "no, let her have the baby. Just don't kill him!" The other mother says, "yes, if I can't have him neither of us can." And Solomon knew the first woman was the real mother.

The point of the devotional was to empathize with (but not condone) the woman who stole the baby. She wakes up in the middle of the night to find her baby is not breathing. She panics, and aches to hold a real, living baby again. Maybe she just wanted to hold the other baby for a minute, or maybe she was disillusioned somehow. Who knows? But the point is that she ached so badly for the loss of her child that she wanted to hold a real, alive baby. I believe this was her defense mechanism. She just didn't know what to do with her sudden, deep grief.

As I read this story I remembered that a few nights ago at work I served a couple who had their 10 1/2 month twin girls with them. They were beyond adorable-happy, sweet, and smiled at me every time I came to the table. I began talking with the couple, asking them about their experience with twins. I have always had an acute interest in twins since I had a twin who died before birth. Eventually, somehow, as they encouraged me to try to start having kids sooner than later (they were probably at least ten years older than me and felt that their age made the pregnancy more difficult), I ended up sharing with them about my recent miscarriage. And I found myself aching to hold their little precious ones.

As I read this account in 1 Kings, I related to the woman's desire to be comforted in her grief by holding a baby. And I look forward to the next baby I will get to hold and hug and be reminded of God's grace.

Give Thanks in Everything...

One of my biggest struggles over the last two weeks has been patience. I've already written about this some, but as I read through my journal entries over the last week, I realize it's a constant theme.

Some days I feel like the girl on Willy Wonka, who gets everything she wants when she wants it. I have wrestled with God over this, at times feeling like the girl, thinking "But I want it NOW!" I felt like I was ready for a baby, and my need for immediate gratification causes me to feel impatient that MY timing wasn't the right timing.

I do think in other ways, however, I am realizing all the areas I need to grow, and am learning to be thankful for this unexpected opportunity for growth. I also feel like Michael and I have grown so much closer already through this shared experience, and I will be forever grateful for the way he's handled this, and the way we are grieving and coping together. The Lord has been so good to me to give me the gift of my husband.