The family photos that I’ll never forget…

***Trigger warning***

It was a Friday Morning. I was in pain and I knew I’d need the root canal THAT day. Sure enough, after I had been on antibiotics for a few days- it still did nothing. So I quickly showered and saw my home pregnancy tests sitting there– staring at me. I figured it would probably be good to know before my appointment, right? Right!

Logically I knew it was still “early”. My cycles were slightly unpredictable since I am still breastfeeding. But before I hopped into the shower I took the test and let it sit as I rushed into the shower – I had 30 minutes- YIKES. Mid-way through my mind NEEDED a sneak peak.

Positive. Holy cow. Super positive. Insert ugly happy cry in the shower! Afterwards I immediately text my friend who I had planned on asking to do our family pictures. I was eager to surprise my husband with the news and she was gracious enough to sneak in some pictures that night.

I rushed through my routine and flew out the door to make it to the dentist on time – joyous, ecstatic, grateful, incredibly happy. All the details to surprise Connor with the news came into place and all I had left to do way pray my face was un-numbed by that evening.

Sure enough, I was completely un-numb and felt mostly great! It was so much fun keeping a tiny little secret and I couldn’t wait to tell Connor. I’d never been able to surprise him before!

The next morning I woke up in searing, horrific pain – in my face. It stretched across my jaw, into my cheek bone, up through my eye and sinuses. It tore down through my neck and made my entire body stiff. It was then my doubt crept in- knowing I would need more antibiotics. Don’t get me wrong, I know most antibiotics are considered “safe” while pregnant- but my brain- just couldn’t truly believe it wouldn’t have any impact.

I suffered through many more days of agonizing, debilitating pain until someone listened to me and I was seen by an Endodontist. Right there, on the spot, they determined that I would need to have oral surgery- and due to my pregnancy status and emergent situation they would not be able to sedate me- and typically they will not do this type of surgery without sedation. I was terrified but also willing to finally be pain free. I needed it. My kids and family needed me.

It was horrific. It was worse than I could have ever imagined. It was traumatizing and horrible and incredibly painful- even with TONS of local anesthetic. They were so patient and kind. If I felt anything they attempted to numb me more. But due to the location and issue some things just could not be fully numbed. They allowed Connor to come back and sit by me and hold my hand while I sobbed and begged to be finished. I was so vulnerable and needy and scared. They were, again, so patient and kind. So understanding and encouraging me along the way.

In that moment, I knew my body was not a hospitable environment for new life. In those moments I heard clearly from the Lord how much He loved me and He was there with me. Little did I understand those words would be the words I needed to carry me through.

A week later I felt empty. I just knew and when I got out of bed that’s when I saw. I was lightly spotting. This can be a completely normal symptom and one that is very common in early pregnancy. But I knew. I spent the entire day trying to convince myself that it was truly ok.

When my phone rang around 430p I was prepared. My beta HCG had dropped significantly. I know they talked me through the “what to know” and “what to do”- but it was drowned out. I was blank. I heard. I responded. But it was like my own personal ground hog day.

I’ve done this before. A few times. But a part of me was so confident and so prideful that this wasn’t a part of me anymore. I thought I was “over this”. I thought I was suddenly immune to more loss. Shame on me.

I wish I had some happy ending or some “ah-ha” moment or even some enlightenment. But I’m not there yet. My rage and anger and sorrow and grief was delayed as I was still healing from a profoundly traumatic oral surgery, the loss of a high school friend, and a friend of mine now fighting for his life. All my personal things got pushed to the side. I truly had (and still have) some peace. And I fully believe God is still speaking peace and love into my life. But I am deeply haunted by my past losses bringing in RPL PTSD, fear, trauma, and grief.

Due to the extent of the oral surgery and injury I was literally forced and unable to cry. It made the pain intense and the swelling caused so much pressure that I forced myself to stuff things in. I literally had to choose between physical pain or emotional pain and I was so incredibly overwhelmed that I felt – and still feel a so much chaos inside me.

No happy ending. No sermon of hope. All I know is He is near. What He says IS true. Those words spoken to me during intense physical pain have stood the test of time and I believe His words. So there is hope in His word. There is comfort- I just haven’t been deeply impacted by it yet. I’m still waiting.

I am now a Momma of 7- 5 in the care of the Lord and 2 placed here on earth. It’s incredibly hard to fathom and understand that His ways are indeed higher and better- but in the midst of it all- He is still so so good.