Our life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the past month. I'll just start at the beginning to make this all a bit easier for everyone to follow.
Todd works at a non-profit, and like all other non-profits out there, the crashing economy has significantly hurt fund raising. Some places I imagine might have some budget cuts they can make to keep things rolling, but where Todd works (and I assume there are many others like this) the bulk of the budget is payroll for a mere three employees. As December drew near we knew that his job might be on the line, because he would be the only employee they could cut and still have some ability to function. Mid January we found out that Todd's job would be ending at the end of April. While this stinks, there are a few blessings hidden here: 1. We have until April to look for a job. 2. The board and director of the Study Center are very supportive of our family and Todd and our job search, and helping in any way they can.
The first hurdle we had in the job loss situation was that our apartment lease was going to expire in mid February. If we were to re-sign our lease we would get a discount off our rent, however if we did indeed have to move out and break our lease we would have to pay a large sum of money. We thought our only option was to sign the lease and just hope that somehow we would not have to pay that money to break the lease... yeah right! In the midst of our considerations some friends heard what was going on and offered us their studio apartment. This would allow us to get out of our lease all together and save some money in the time we are staying in the studio. There is no hidden blessing here, its very obvious. There are some very wonderful benefits to this move: 1. Marin has access to one of the most amazing yards we have ever played in, complete with dog (who does belly flops into the pool), play house, fish pond, and lots of kids to watch and play with (this is our first neighborhood to live in and its been fun to watch neighbor kids come and play... having lots of kids around is something Marin really enjoys--its her version of reality TV).
The sad news amongst all of this is that we had a miscarriage. Last Thursday I started "spotting" but it came with no cramping so our midwifes thought it was probably normal, but wanted us to get an ultrasound anyways just to check on the baby, which I was happy about because I wanted to see the heartbeat. On Friday (the 13th of all days!) Todd and I went to visit a doctor who did an US and showed us a very tiny baby that was too small to have a heartbeat... he was convinced our dates were off a bit and what he was seeing was a 6 week old baby not a 9 week old baby. This means what he saw was normal and there was nothing to worry about, however now we know what we saw was an incomplete miscarriage. While he tried to be comforting, I was really disappointed and upset that we did not see the heartbeat. Seeing the heartbeat would have meant that at that moment our baby was OK. This is not the way things were going to be. We went home and rested, and made cookies, had dinner together, and Todd put Marin to bed. Around 9pm I began to feel a bit "off" or even like I had a weird gas bubble in my stomach and went to the bathroom to make sure my spotting had not started again. This is when I had my miscarriage. I knew right away because it felt just like when I gave birth to my placenta after Marin was born. We immediately called a good friend and neighbor, who is also a nurse, and she came over and sat with us through the process, and stayed with me in the bathroom. Both Todd and I feel that having her there was a huge blessing. She brought so much support to both of us through this difficult time (thanks Megan).
Aside from our own sadness, we were also saddened by the thoughts of telling Marin about it. She is so excited about becoming a big sister, and we just had no idea how to tell her about what was going on... in 2 year old terms. I mentioned this to our friend Kim and she said that we didn't have to tell Marin that she was not going to be a big sister but that her baby was with Jesus. Which is what we did. We told her that she was still a big sister but that her baby was going to live with Jesus, and that some day we would maybe have another baby. We told her we were sad and that it was OK if she was sad too. She was too young to really get why we were sad, but she understood that her baby was with Jesus. It was really encouraging to see her understand that and be OK with it. The next morning I was laying on the couch and she came over and said, "where's other baby?". I guess she thought we would just go and get another baby the next day. Later that day she also (out of the blue) announced that "baby... she's with Jesus... eatn' at Moe's". It was comforting to know she was thinking about it and that she was able to imagine what the baby and Jesus must be doing together.
Losing the baby was really sad, and hard, and an all around bummer. It sucks. However somehow among the thorns of this loss, God brought comfort: being able to go in and hold Marin right after the miscarriage, she somehow clued in to our sadness and gave lots of hugs and snuggles, people brought meals, people played with Marin, I got to be home with Todd and Megan during our loss and not in a hospital, our midwifes and doctor called to check on me, a friend came over to help clean our apartment before the move, friends were available to talk on the phone ASAP... they prayed and listened.
We are now together in our wonderful "cabin" back into the swing of things. As the saying goes, life goes on, for the three of us, which is a weird saying in this situation..
I have been able to quickly return to work, and physically heal very quickly. Todd is leaving for some job stuff and his annual film festival in Missouri. He fully deserves this trip as he has taken on a lot of things in the past few months. I'm not joking when I say he really has had a lot on his plate (I obviously could not help with the move because it was just a few days after our miscarriage, so he arranged all of his help and did the rest him self), so getting to have the weekend to watch new documentaries at the True False Film Festival, will be an enjoyable and refreshing time for him (even though he will still be working some of the time, and having meetings about potential jobs).
I'll write more about this as I process it.