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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Love and Hate Relationship with God

I have been reading Nancy Guthrie's Holding on to Hope and Philip Yancey's Disappointment in God. I knew that God had been my only stability under the dark circumstances. It just didn't make sense to me that He could "allow" this to happen in His Sovereignty. I had to talk myself through some irrational thoughts that came to my head. Was this a punishment from God for something? Did God have to teach me something? If this was a way of teaching a lesson, I thought it was the most horrible way to teach a lesson... Sometimes the Christian cliches like God had a plan for John and me felt like blah, blah, blah. We weren't ready to hear all that right after losing Joey.
Nothing in my mind made sense about God. I knew that I loved Him but I also felt so much anger towards God because I tried to understand what was going on. I was hurt by the unfairness of life. I don't think that I can ever summarize my conversations with Him for the past six months. I can say that Philip Yancey's book was nonjudgmental towards bitter Christians. His gentle approach made me understand that suffering does not necessarily happen for a lesson to be learned but God can turn our pain around to bring purpose from it.
God's ways are mysterious and I will never know why. I know that John and I are forever changed from this. My spirit is broken and I am taking baby steps to learn how to trust God again. Someone who mentored my way through this journey reminded me that God was able to handle John's and my anger. I may not agree with His ways but that does not change His Sovereignty. I may not always sense His love but I know that He has always loved us in spite of our anger, doubt and bitterness.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Anger and Guilt

Anger... I remember right after losing Joey that I did not want to be angry at God. My despair from missing her quickly led me to a deep dark hole that trapped me in anger. October through January were filled with family holidays and trying to act "normal" by attending family events didn't help. I was angry at the whole world... the doctor...myself...dysfunctional parents who were pregnant at my school...at life...

For a long time I could not find closure with my last OBGYN doctor. I felt like he could've done more than send me home and not put me on bedrest/antibiotics after telling me that this was potentially dangerous. For a patient who was uneducated on PROM I was confused and I actually trusted his words. My coworker's story and other stories that I have heard after the loss confirmed that some doctors still placed their PROM patients on antibiotics and bedrest. I kept wondering what could've happened if this doctor took another approach to save my child. My unresolved anger slowly changed when I shared my story with other moms at kanalen.org, the PROM website. There were moms from UK and nationwide who shared that their doctors were quite passive also. There is no "standard care" for PROM unfortunately, especially if it happens so early before the baby is viable at 24 weeks. I felt like I was unlucky even though I didn't believe in luck. Hearing from other moms who were hurting from their trauma gave me comfort that I was not alone. This little step of venting and being understood by other women gave me some comfort.

Guilt -- There are so many things in pregnancy that I can't control but it took me a LONG time to forgive myself for my ignorance of what a premature rupture was. The first 4 months after the loss, I kept analyzing everything I ate and drank. I reviewed every activity that I did and thought it was a mistake to go to a chiropractor even if the rest of the medical professionals said that it was okay. Then it was also swine flu season... The list is endless. I was in constant despair. I felt like a failure as a mom to not be able to carry my own child to full-term and I feel like I failed as a wife to give my husband a daughter that we always wanted. I kept thinking that I should've known what the amniotic fluid looked like. I should've been more proactive to call for second, third, fourth opinions with other OBs. My mind kept rolling to the "What if's" and where Joey could've been right now if I changed one event that led all of these things to happen. Even though I knew it was unhealthy, I couldn't help wondering how and why I lost Joey. That is probably why it was harder to be around pregnant ladies because they reminded me of my feelings of failure and of my broken body.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Joey's slide show

My husband created this video. We asked for a collection of candlelight pictures in memory of Joey this past Christmas and used these pics for the slideshow. I regret not having many pictures of her growing in me during my pregnancy. But this slideshow shows faces of family and friends who validated our Josephine whom they've never met. John and I thought it would take us a while to look at her pictures from the hospital but now I treasure those pictures so much. Like many other blogs this song "I will carry you," written by Angie Smith (wife to Todd Smith singer in Selah), was the perfect song for my little Joey. I've been reminded that it will be our duty as Joey's parents to CARRY her legacy as long as we live here on earth. I am also reminded that God who created her loves her even more than we do.

video

What is PROM Premature Rupture of Membrane? (click here for the PROM website)

SO what happens after you rupture? Every doctor approaches the PROM cases differently... I truly believe that there are more proactive things a doctor can do for the patient but unfortunately the OB's I dealt with during and postpartum pregnancy did not provide me with the necessary information. I searched the medical term "oligohydramnios" and it did not retrieve relevant information for me. I found out through my support group what the other term was - premature rupture of membrane. What happened to me is called preterm premature rupture of membrane since it happened prior to 37 weeks. Most babies are able to survive if PROM happens as close to full term as possible. PPROM (preterm PROM) happens to only 2 percent of pregnancies - ONLY 2 percent! It is heartbreaking to be a part of this statistics. The link above is the most resourceful website on PROM that I've found and I didn't even find it on my own. I thank the moms online who responded to my questions. Kanalen.org was started by a mom in Sweden who also couldn't find any info on PROM while she was pregnant and it offers many suggestions on how to proactively advocate for you and your baby during PPROM.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Life is Short










I feel like the theme throughout my life has been "life is short." My adoptive mom passed away when I was 11 years old after fighting leukemia through chemotherapy. My grandma or "hal-muh-nee" in Korean whom I became very close to also passed away while I was in college. Although my mom and I didn't have the best mom-daughter relationship, I missed her while carrying the baggage of our unreconciled relationship. It was hard to visit my mom's grave at times because my anger would resurface. This past spring break John and I went to see my adoptive dad and mom's grave without Joey. It was another step of grief for me. The least I could do was show him the memorial card that we made over Christmas and it had Joey's footprints on it. My dad is a retired sergeant major so he never showed much emotions with me but this time he briefly showed his sentimental side by whispering "Bless her heart." Then of course he changed the subject because he didn't want to cry. After losing my little girl, I realized that life was too short to stay angry at my parents for the mistakes they've made in the past. Death feels so near - not knowing when I will lose another loved one again. It was reassuring to see my dad "happy" and make the most of his life at 72 years of age.
Then there is our daughter who lived her short life for 21 weeks under my heart. We went to Joey's memorial site yesterday for the Easter weekend. I could only be grateful that she's in heaven because of the Cross...