Over the last 5 months my life has drastically changed. But even before that it was changing in significant ways. We wanted to have another baby, I had felt it for a while. I was waiting for the ‘right time’. We prayed about it towards the end of 2015 and decided we would start trying early 2016. Based on my other three pregnancies, I assumed not only would we get pregnant first try but that it would be a perfect, low-risk pregnancy. I was so sure I would get pregnant quick that as soon as we started trying I ordered myself some cute maternity jeans… and immediately started wearing them… they were real cute. March, April, May, June, July, August, September… nothing. I began to understand the struggle that so many other women know too well. How frustrating it would be to start your period every month. How you feel right before you start is stupidly close to how you might feel newly pregnant. How in your moments of excitement in the trying you spoke to numerous friends, who then in their excitement, ask about it. each. month.
I had felt out of sorts for about a year by this point. Ideas and dreams about my career hadn’t panned out. I felt stuck in my beautiful house… if only it had one more bedroom, if only we had enough money to redo the master bathroom, not to mention the maintenance on the siding. What if we made a loft in one of the rooms up into the attic?! What if we used the playroom as a bedroom… WHAT IF we just bought a fixer in this amazing market and made some money and then bought a 4 bedroom with loads of potential to finally have my picture-perfect home. NOPE… nothing budged. I was constantly researching Real Estate Schools and asking everyone questions, and searching for like-minded people who might want to flip a house with me… with their money of course. Nothing budged. I couldn’t change anything about my situation, I couldn’t force it. I liked where I was but I wasn’t content.
One night it became overwhelming… panic set in and the anxiety caused me to cry uncontrollably. I make terrible decisions. I can’t trust myself. I can’t hear God. We can’t have another baby. I can’t move. I can’t breath.
Then in a week, everything changed. We were moving back to OKC and we were PREGNANT!!! That first week of October, 2016 was nerve-wreaking, sad, extremely happy and exhausting all at once. We had a ton to think about, plan and work towards. We started looking at houses in Oklahoma and started planning life with a forth baby. We waited a couple weeks and started to tell our closest friends. I took like 4 tests to check and double, triple, quadruple check, just to make sure I was really pregnant. I called my midwife and we agreed we would wait til I was back in OK to start care, which was standard.
Everything I wanted seemed to be happening, all at once. I now knew I wanted more space in my home, I didn’t mind if it was ugly as long as it had a ton of potential. I was looking for a long term home, I was sick of moving. I wanted a place where my girls would grow up and stay in the same school with the same people and have a strong feeling of being grounded, knowing where they are from. See, I’ve moved over 20 times in my life, ministry not military. I have no idea what feeling grounded is like. My dad was in ministry and so is my husband. I remember one specific move that was really hard for me and I would even venture to say it changed me, really changed me. When I was 13, we moved from the greater Houston area to a small town in southeast Oklahoma. It was not glamorous, it was not a ‘city’ at all, it was not what I wanted. I wanted exciting, an adventure, something new! But this was where my grandparents had lived all my life so I had visited more times than I could count and was not impressed. I left the only friends I could remember ever having. It somewhat broke me. I shut down, I didn’t want to make friends, I just wanted out. This was when I stopped living in the moment and started rushing onto the next best thing. High School was a disappointment, onto the next thing… College was a disappointment, onto the next… my degree and career choice was a disappointment… lets move on, change, keep changing, keep searching.
I see now, how these experiences have molded me into who I am and how my discontentment has driven me to want to be content and settled. I don’t want that for my girls but I guess it would do the same for them as it did for me. Light a fire in me, give me passion for community, for home, and for staying in the moment. Do I have or do any of those, no, not at the moment but they are my frequent prayers.
Back to Octoberish… We set the date for moving, December 16th. When that day came I already had been struggling with my pregnancy. Nothing crazy, it just wasn’t my normal pregnancy. In the forefront of my mind was A BOY!!! However, in the back of my mind was something wrong. I didn’t ‘feel’ pregnant, I hadn’t thrown up. I wanted to believe so badly that it was a boy, I wanted to trust that my body knew how to be pregnant because it only had healthy pregnancies but somewhere in my mind, I wondered if something was terribly wrong. I had called to get a doctor appointment but no one could get me in before the move. I was talking with my midwife daily, she was such an encouragement and a calming help. I resorted to taking it easy and staying focused on finding a home and the move.
We arrived in OK, without a house, so we rented a portion of a home from a family we didn’t know: the garage had been turned into a studio apartment and then inside the house were three vacant bedrooms where our girls would sleep. It was just what we needed and we didn’t have to sign a lease. YAY!! Okay, time to find a house… wait… time for Christmas.
Christmas day I was 11.5 weeks. My light bleeding had stopped and I was feeling fine! We announced the pregnancy with a beautiful photo college including one with Stephen’s arms wrapped around my waist with his hands in the shape of a heart over my belly. Perfection! Now.. to find a house!!
Two days later…
In the evening I went to the bathroom as usual, no cramps, feeling just fine. But I began to pass blood clots and then a larger mass looking a lot like a miniature placenta. I began to shake and cry and could barely call for Stephen. A whimper of a cry like I was unable to suck in enough breath to get my voice to carry. Disbelief of what I had feared all along, was true. Stephen, clueless as to what to do, just said, “Call Yvonne!” I spent the next number of minutes setting up appointments and being calmed by my midwife. The next day the blood work confirmed I was miscarrying.
I felt lost, numb and very disappointed.
I had no home, none of the friends I felt so close to, and no baby. God had allowed me to be stripped. If I’m completely honest, I knew I would remain in that place until I learned to completely depend on him. He had to become my home, my closest friend, I had to understand that I was his baby, and that he cared more for me than I could ever comprehend. But I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to pray. I didn’t want to believe. He had let me be crushed. How was I supposed to believe this what his plan?! My head new that it was, that he had me, that he cared… but my heart was broken. I wanted to crawl in a hole and sleep, hibernate, until every bad thing had passed.
That was impossible. I had three little girls that needed me constantly. A husband who wanted to help but didn’t know how. He did great at giving me space and letting me sulk, he let me stay in bed and not talk. I just wanted to pretend it didn’t happen but 3000 facebook friends had just been made aware and there was no avoiding it. People were reaching out left and right. So many women had experienced this but I just wanted to disappear. Nothing really helped except time. As my body began to feel normal again I began to default: move on, change, keep changing.
I wanted to be distracted by a house so badly it consumed me. I looked at my phone every 3.5 minutes for new listings. I went to look at houses I knew I didn’t want. Pintrested a perfect home that I couldn’t wait to create. But days turned to weeks, which have now become 2 months and I am no closer to a home today then I was then… I have traveled down every rabbit hole from building to restoring to renovating slowly over time to buying small, flipping and moving again. I look all the time… ALL. THE. TIME. I felt like a shell, like a robot set to ‘find a home’ mode and couldn’t switch off. I seriously couldn’t or didn’t want to think about anything else.
The only time I spent with God, was the act of forcing myself to read my positive affirmations that he did indeed love me and that I was not holding on to anger. That I could relax and be patient and still. That I had everything I needed to be who He was calling me to be. No matter how I didn’t believe those things I still read them as often as I remembered to.
After the miscarriage, my closest girlfriends in TN sent me money for a plane ticket to visit. I scheduled it out far enough to give my body time to heal, or so I thought. My trip was scheduled for February 8th-13th. More than two months after the miscarriage had started. I just didn’t realize how long it would take, I thought it took like a week. I had felt normal so I must be passed it, long passed but the night before I was suppose to leave for TN, my body decided to complete the miscarriage. I had taken all three girls to the doctor for possible flu or strep. I was tired and hurting. Cramps verging on birth pangs began to start while I was at the doctor’s office. I called Stephen to tell him that I didn’t feel good and would love for him to pick up dinner instead of me cooking. A friend was in town and I just wanted to relax. As soon as that friend arrived I had to excuse myself to the restroom. I stayed there for what felt like forever, no pad was going to help me in this moment. I was confused and slightly alarmed but after a short conversation with my midwife I just resumed to the fact that this was normal and I was perfectly fine. Emotionally I was long gone. I waited until I could move and tried to act normal for the evening which was difficult. My two year old was miserable as well with coughing and restricted breathing. I stayed up almost all night with her trying to make her comfortable all the while I was worried about bleeding through another pad. I finally fell asleep around 5 am. I woke up groggy and panicked. I was supposed to fly out that morning, “I haven’t packed and I have no idea what time it is!” In two hours I packed a bag for myself and my two littles so they could go to grandma’s. Ten minutes before I was suppose to leave we got a call that my oldest wasn’t feeling well and needed to be picked up from school. “WHAT THE HELL?!?!?!” I can’t leave like this!!! But I did. I just walked out.. without my phone. Halfway to the airport I realized what I had done. Needless to say I made it to the airport with 30 minutes to get from the door to the plane. I made it.
My trip to TN was so sweet, so relaxing, so reenergizing, so wonderful. I slept so hard, having zero responsibility results in some really good sleep. I spent quality time with important people. I shopped guilt free with the budget I had set for myself before I left. I created art, pressure free. I missed my kids for the first time in 7 years because this was my first time to leave, all by myself for myself. I realized I had been in survival mode, drowning in motherhood for almost my whole motherhood. Sounds crazy but I just had no idea how dry and at the bottom of the barrel I had gotten. We had focused on my husband, when he needed to take time off, when he was low and stressed but never about me. I was so low, so stressed, so worn out. I came back with a renewed desire to care for my kids, to protect my newly overflowing bucket of energy and to fully depend on God to be my provider.
Note to reader: If you are a mother and you find caring for your kids, bathing them, cutting their food, kissing their boo boos annoying, then you are dry. When you are that dry the internal voices telling you that you aren’t a good mom and that everyone else knows what they are doing and are better than you take over. You have no power over them because you are wasted, used up. Schedule a time, do whatever it takes to get away and find what builds you up, and miss your kids before you come back.
I thought I had gotten to that place, that place I needed to get to before I would find my home. But I hadn’t really gotten there. It took a little more disappointment, a little more frustration before I finally, this morning, through my hands up and said I give up. God had told me to write down what I wanted, then had told me to wait and watch him do a miracle on my behalf but I just couldn’t get out of the way. I thought he needed me to work tirelessly to find the home he had hidden in plain sight. Not really how he works. He promises to take care of us, period. M’LEA, RELAX, PLEASE!!!
He wants to do this for me, without me. So that when it is complete all I can say is that it was God, 100%. I can’t wait to give you that update, but until then I will be still and ask with anticipation. I hope you find encouragement in the waiting. If you need a little help…