“Where is the flicker of the heartbeat? Why can’t I see the flicker?”
It felt like everything went into slow motion and all I could think was, “not again, we can’t have lost another baby!”
The screen showed the chalky outline of our baby girl but everything was still, and I had experienced enough ultrasounds to know what it meant before the doctor could find the courage to speak the heavy words.
Finally, and as tenderly as humanly possible, the doctor replied, “I am so sorry, there is no heartbeat.”
A few days later I would go in for my DNC shaking so badly that it appeared I had a seizure disorder of some kind. Between the hormones, my lack of strength, and whatever positioning happened on the table that day, I woke up with my pelvis a mess, and a nerve in my back very, very angry. That was one year ago this month. The photo on the left was taken about a month later, the one on the right was taken today by my teenage daughter.
A year ago I could barely walk the short distance in front of my house, 10 yards maybe? My body ached, my heart was broken, and I truly felt like I had descended into some level of hell. I would love to say that I handled it all well, but that would be a lie. So much hard happened all around the same time, so much loss, so much physical pain, that I did what I do so easily- I gained weight.
I allowed myself a two month pity party before I decided it was enough. In two months I gained 30 lbs. Then COVID hit and I couldn’t seem to get the medical help I so desperately needed with the nerve in my back. I needed to continue to build strength, to continue to correct the imbalance I have from my hip surgery, but the nerve made the pain from strength training unbearable. So, one step at a time, tackling what I could, in what has felt like the tiniest of steps, I decided again to fight for me. And finally, about 3 months ago, I finally got a shot in my back that has allowed me to start strength training again.
Thanks be to God, I can swim a mile again, I can hike 4 miles now, walk upwards of 6 and I have built SO much strength. I am at levels I haven’t known since before my hip surgery (almost 4 years ago now). There are still countless setbacks, I still deal with pain every day, but I am not where I once was.
And that is why I am sharing this. Everyone reading this has “THE battle” they are wrestling with, the struggle that threatens them, and some of you are struggling to believe that you will ever overcome it. Maybe you think the setbacks get the final say in the journey? Maybe you think it will never change? Maybe you need to stop and look back for a moment to see that you aren’t where you used to be? Maybe you need to see how brave you are, and show yourself the kindness I am sure you show others? Maybe you need to decide that the hard of fighting FOR yourself is better than the hard of GIVING UP on yourself? It is messy, it is hard, but you CAN KEEP GOING. You CAN PRESS THROUGH. You ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. If I can make progress my friend, I promise, so can you. Take the next right step for you! I will be here cheering you on.