Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sometimes, things just go wrong...

I have been blessed with five beautiful children. Each one is so full of life and personality. They bless my life in countless ways. My oldest was born about a year and a half after we were married, after two miscarriages. Thankfully, I haven’t had to experience a miscarriage since, but that doesn’t dull the memory of those heartbreaking times.

I remember, for the first pregnancy, going in for an ultrasound at about 10 weeks. I was so excited. I kept asking the technician if she saw twins. I was giddy. She had to excuse herself and got the doctor on the phone. That was when I heard that horrible word… miscarriage. I heard sentences swimming around in my mind as he talked. Something about spontaneous abortion, he mentioned D/C, a little more about resting and scheduling the procedure. What had gone wrong? What did I do? I kept asking myself these questions over and over.

For some reason, I had it in my head that I had done something to cause this. I had eaten something I shouldn’t, lifted something too heavy… maybe I was just built wrong. The phrase “at least you can get pregnant” brought little comfort to me from well meaning loved ones. I was sure I had done something wrong to cause this.

Then came the second miscarriage and I was sure I had done something.

A well meaning doctor told me that us kids “get pregnant too soon anyway” “wait a good year and a half before you try again”. I never was one to handle authority very well. Thankfully I didn’t take her advise. Ten and a half months after my visit to her, our oldest was born.

My story ends happily. But I will never forget those feelings of failure I experienced at the loss of those two pregnancies. And shame! I was so ashamed and embarrassed. Why is that?

I would never even begin to believe that a miscarriage is due to something that someone has done. I would never think that “so and so” ate too much fried food and that is why she can’t keep the pregnancy. In fact, I know very few people that would blame the mom -- or dad -- for a miscarriage. All I have ever felt for someone who is experiencing this horrible event, is sympathy.

So, why am I writing about this now? I happen to know someone who I love very much who is going through, yet another miscarriage. It isn’t fair. I don’t know why. But I do know that it is not her fault. There is nothing “wrong” with her. She isn’t a failure as a woman. She shouldn’t be embarrassed. But this is what we do to ourselves. We expect perfection and when we can’t achieve it, we try to find the reason why, then blame ourselves.

I wish so much I could change things for her. I wish she could sustain a pregnancy. I wish her heart wasn’t broken. I wish she didn’t have the emotional and physical pain that comes from having a miscarriage. But most of all, I wish that little "blaming voice" in the back of her head would disappear. Finding a solution to sustaining a pregnancy is different than assigning blame for why it didn’t take. I wish that she will know that difference. I wish the smartest doctors in the world were on her insurance – instead of “Dumb and Dumber.”

Not too long ago, our stake president spoke to us about surrendering our will to the Lord. That is difficult to do in the best of situations. But I can’t even imagine how difficult it is to do when it involves such an emotional issue. I do know, however, that the Lord knows everything. And He knows when it is that another little spirit will bless this family. But I ache for them. I know it is hard.

I often wonder why we must struggle through certain challenges. Heaven knows we all have our own. But, why does this dear person have to struggle through this? I don’t understand. But I do have faith that it will be for her good later. Still, those seem like empty words when trying to mend a broken heart.

I realize I can not say anything of comfort. I can not offer any Balm of Gilead. There is only One who can do that. AndHe has promised (John 14:27) He will not leave us comfortless. He tells us “And ye cannot bear all things now; nevertheless, be of good cheer, for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours and the blessings thereof are yours, and the riches of eternity are yours (D&C 78:18).

So, my dear loved one, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I wish I could make it better.


Sharla said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharla said...

Your friend is so blessed to have a special friend like you who not only can empathize, but understands. I think only those who have experienced this trial can truly understand and support needed. Back then I bet you never dreamed that your pain would be able to soothe someone else's heartache today. You are an incredibly wonderful and thoughtful person, Kathy. I hope your friend finds peace and comfort.

b said...

My heart goes out to your loved one going through that. There are no words that can soothe the soul in the middle of a situation like that. Just being there is all that we can offer.

On the other hand, I have noticed that you are quick to fault doctors (dumb and dumber comment). By personal experience, doctors go through a whole lot of training. More sacrifice than you can imagine. Although they may not have all the answers, they try and they are still human and make mistakes. Just consider the stress that you would have as a mother never being able to make a mistake. And when you do, never being able to live it down because you are getting sued or what not. I apologize, I guess that I am just sensitive when people are quick to judge doctors. There are some really good and talented ones out there.

The Reese Family said...

Your "loved one" is blessed to have you, as you are to have her. I can't imagine the heartache you two have been through, but we've all had our share of heart-wrenching, life changing experiences. Heavenly Father does not give us more than we can handle, as long as we look to him every step of the way.

As for the doctors, I feel her pain. Thanks to my well-trained, board certified, top of the line, stupid, puffed-up, didn't take my sickness or symptoms seriously, I nearly died after giving birth to my first baby. Sure, all "doctors" go through a lot of training, but that doesn't make all of them fit to do their work.

I will pray for "your loved one", that she may be blessed by the Atonement, along with all of her faith, and use them to help heal her broken heart. Much love.

Kathy P said...

B, thank you for your insight. I agree, doctors sacrifice a lot to do their job. I would suggest that the majority of them are in their profession because they really want to make a difference and help people. I have had some wonderful doctors. People who have made a difference. However, I have also noticed that some -- and only some-- doctors refuse to have an open mind to seek out the real problem. My issue is only with these particular doctors. Thankfully, not all doctors are like "dumb and dumber" or the "resse family" doctors. Thankfully, most are like the ones you refer to.