Laura Rennie

the bad and the ugly

Laura R.2 Comments
I've really struggled these last few months with being honest about everything—the good, the bad and the ugly. It was easier for me to skim over the bad parts ("we're devastated," "I cry a lot," etc.) and focus on the good parts. There's this need we all feel to keep conversation lighthearted... as if people won't want to be around us if we're honest with them. No one wants to be a downer. Plus, it was important to me to speak of the good that was coming out of our situation: God's faithfulness and compassion, the outpouring of support from family and friends, the increased intimacy in our marriage... we may have been facing terrible, unimaginable news about our precious firstborn, but we were still SO blessed.

Still, the bad parts were still there. Ugly parts. Parts that were really hard to share with people because voicing them made them real. I kept most things inside. People would say, "I don't know how you're doing it... I would be crying all the time." I hated hearing that. I did cry. I cried in the shower every day for weeks as I held my stomach and sung "Soon," changing all of the "my's" and "I's" to "you." (You will be with the One you love, with unveiled face you'll see Him. There your soul will be satisfied, soon and very soon.) I cried when the lights were out and my face was smushed against my pillow. I cried against Andy's chest. I cried in front of my friends. I cried in front of strangers at the pool. But I couldn't cry ALL the time. I hated all the crying! I hated being sad, because I hated the reason why I was sad. I wanted to smile and laugh and not lose sight of joy. It was a huge relief to me when I could be at a party or out for coffee or wherever and not cry!

I was extra irritable, extra impatient, extra prone to thinking (and sometimes saying) cuss words. I filled my social calendar so that I would be distracted, and then when that got too exhausting I practically fell of the face off the earth and became a hermit for a while. I stopped going to church. Public worship was too hard—I wanted my sob-interrupted praises to be kept private. I couldn't follow sermons because I'd hear a baby cry or a toddler babble and all I could think about was how much I wanted my home to be filled with that noise.

Andy and I had to have conversations about what we were going to name the baby. Those conversations are supposed to be fun and filled with anticipation. They weren't fun. We had to talk about if we were going to hold the baby, if we were going to have testing done, what we were going to do with the remains... all totally crappy conversations to have.

Then, on top of all that, I bled, puked and peed for three days in a hospital room in front of the guy that I have a huge crush on. We held our stillborn son. My body started producing milk not long after I left the hospital. My chest hurt so much I thought I was going to scream. It especially hurt whenever I cried, which was (and continues to be) multiple times a day.

It continues to hurt to laugh, cry, turn over, sit up, sit down, get out of bed, use the stairs, ride in the car... it just hurts. My incision looks horrifying and huge (to me, at least) and all of the severed nerve endings feel like flashes of lightning inside my lower abdomen. My legs ache because they hardly get any exercise.

Oh, and our fridge broke the day before we left for the hospital and it has still not been repaired.

I don't really feel better after typing all the bad and the ugly. I much prefer to share the good. The good is what is important. The good is the moral of our story. The good is what will endure... and what I hope we will choose to remember.