I was about 12 weeks when we found out via ultrasound that the baby had stopped developing and ended up having a D&C the day before we flew out. Once we arrived in Kona, Hawaii we literally hit the ground running with classes, homework and getting to know our new community. There wasn't much time for me to process the loss and really go through the grieving process. I just had to bottle it up for the most part and keep moving along. About halfway through our 12 weeks in Kona we found out that somehow I managed to get pregnant again - well I know how but we were surprised to say the least. We were so amazed and overjoyed that so soon our loss had begun to be redeemed.
As things go I started having some pretty heavy bleeding and generally freaked out! The Dr. I was seeing in Hawaii felt I was having another miscarriage so he sent me for another ultrasound. Miraculously our little baby was alive and well at 7 weeks. During the next 2 weeks we prepared to depart for 4 months of overseas travel with our school to Panama, Costa Rica and South Africa. Throughout our time abroad I was hit with severe morning sickness and weightloss, stress of ever changing living situations, raising a toddler among 40 adults in a small church, attempting to parent, be a spouse, grow a baby and participate in our field assignment. Life was very very stressful and really not at all what I had envisioned this season looking like.
After a month and a half in South Africa we made the very long journey home to Washington where we arrived October 25th. In my mind I had really set this next season up for being one of setting my life back up as it had been prior to leaving. I had day dreamed about decorating my own home, cooking, nesting for our expected baby and spending time at the park with friends and their kids; all things I could not do on outreach. The reality of my life upon arriving home was much different. We found ourselves broke, living in a strangers basement, trouble with extended family, exhausted and just as stressed as before.
So our home has become a small daylight basement that is filled with our hosts belongings. In this space we fight, love, cry, laugh, plan, work late into the night and dream of our own place. I would say that this season of transition as we launch PhotogenX Seattle, raise support, work side jobs, raise children (we had our 2nd son Jude on February 3rd) and learn to love in all circumstances has been the hardest of my life. I am exhausted emotionally, physically and spiritually! I feel far from the woman I had hoped to be at almost 30 (next month).
This past week I realized my life is generally what I make it out to be. I realize not earth shattering news and I technically knew it to begin with but sometimes it hits you in a new and fresh way. So, while the circumstances may not be what I had hoped or dreamed of that doesn't mean I should give up to the depression that ebbs at the corners of my mind nor the anger that at times seems to be all I feel. It doesn't mean I should give up on the dreams I have for my life nor should I stop hoping for all that is to come - the promises God has given me completing a good work. As I pondered how I could hold onto all that I want three things came to mind
- BREATHE - truly inhaling and exhaling life both literally and figuratively
- HOPE - for all the dreams I have bottled up in my heart for my family, friends, ministry and work.
- LIFE - not allowing life to just be but rather to truly make my life what I want despite circumstances. To shape it in all its glory and messiness because it gets pretty messy with a 2 year old, infant, husband, starting a new business and non profit all at the same time.
In my attempt to capture the journey of the next year I decided to create a virtual diary of sorts. I hope that you enjoy the journey with me as I learn to Breathe.Hope and live Life fully. Its going to be quite the ride I'm sure!
Jenn aka Wife, Mother, Daughter & Friend