One year ago, we came back online. Seriously. Five months prior to that date on February 2011, we quit posting on our site and even told everyone we were doing so. We completely unplugged online. Not a single post on The Thrifty Couple, not a single email answered, not a single email newsletter sent out, not a single Facebook post on our page, not a single Tweet. We literally completely unplugged virtually and fell off the face of the World Wide Web.
It came as a shock to many. We had shared our reasons at the time, and although they were a part of why we disconnected during that period of time, we didn’t share the primary reason. There was something going on in our lives that we were not sure how it would turn out nor even how to best explain it. It was a stressful and very trying time in our lives. We came back on June 23rd with an extremely special announcement of the birth of our son Josiah Mark. We started posting again as normal on The Thrifty Couple on June 24th, 2011 and have now been back for one year after our online disappearance. We wanted to start sharing the context of what happened.
We are sharing the story of the birth of our fifth child and our second son – Josiah Mark. The reason we are sharing this story is for four reasons:
- My pregnancy with him and his birth had a big impact on our time here on The Thrifty Couple.
- We pray the problems I had and the warning signs of the risky pregnancy and birth could be helpful to someone else. I had no idea what was going on, nor had I ever heard of someone with my issues. It scared me and I wish I had some information from someone else’s experience. I know that birth stories are the worst when you are pregnant and wonder why everyone tells you their horror stories while you are pregnant. I hate that myself, but at the same time, some of them can be a huge help to give you have a better idea of what could be going on.
- Many of our friends and extended family have asked for the story and so instead of retelling over and over again, they can read it here any time 🙂
- It is a story that I want to document. It is a story with a beautiful and wonderful outcome and this seems like the best place to do it since this site is not only how we save, ideas to help you save, but it is also us sharing our lives with you online!
We also know that our story isn’t the only one out there that is truly miraculous. In fact, every birth story is an absolute miracle whether there is an exciting story or the “normal” birth from a humanly perspective! When studying the entire process from conception to birth, every birth story is nothing short of a miracle! We just want to share our story.
I need to give you some background before telling you the story that started with great fear and ended beautifully – the birth of our sweet baby boy – the story of Josiah Mark. We need to share some context that some of you might even remember this. We start with our miscarriage we experienced back early in 2010.
First, I need to take you back to February/March 2010. We were so excited as we had just discovered we were expecting our fifth child. We were so ecstatic, had already began planning out the details for the pregnancy and had started planning and talking to the kids. The older three were finally old enough to know what was going on and we all talked, celebrated, planned and loved this baby already. Any woman who has been pregnant will know how your emotions from the very moment you discover this blessing is immediately changed! You’re bond is already starting.
Well, along came the first of March and I started experiencing cramps. I called my doctor and she said that all could be normal and just to not worry about it. The next day, the cramps were worse. I talked to her again. I was very worried, they hadn’t stopped and they were very painful. She said things could still be okay, but if I was going to miscarry that there wasn’t anything I could do about it as there isn’t a way to prevent them if they were going to happen. As soon as she mentioned the possibility of “miscarriage,” I immediately started crying and couldn’t respond to what she was saying. Why? Because I pretty much knew that what she was saying was going to happen.
I called my parents and told them what I was experiencing and after my own mother experienced many miscarriages, she understood very well. We asked if they could take the kids for a day as I didn’t want them to see me so upset. They did.
Earlier that same day, I started to bleed, just a little – not a lot. The bleeding increased over the next several hours. Then in the middle of the night, I miscarried. My heart was so broken. As time has gone on I have realized how incredibly devastating this is for millions of women out there that have experience the same thing. My heart is broken for you if you know first hand what I am talking about.
Even harder was telling our kids. When they came home from their grandparents we told them what happened. Oh the pain on their faces and the tears they displayed from their own emotions was truly something we knew hit deep as our kids don’t cry over emotional incidents like adults do. They usually don’t have the understanding to have a physical emotional response – but the older three did. I knew it hurt them so badly.
And then came telling everyone that we had told about this baby and pregnancy. We even announced it here to you on our site. It was hard and quite frankly utterly embarrassing. I don’t know why it was so embarrassing as there was nothing I could have done differently. I didn’t do anything to cause this, but it is not an easy thing to convince yourself of in those moments and days, let alone tell everyone else and feel like I would need to convince them of the same.
Walking away from this very emotional experience caused two very deep emotions to develop in me: First, a spirit of thankfulness that it wasn’t until my fifth pregnancy that I had experienced something like this. God was gracious by allowing me to have four children, especially after my doctor told me that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I was so thankful for this! And then second, I started to build a feeling of paranoia before I was even expecting again!
So fast forward to November 2010, just eight months later. We had a positive pregnancy test! I was excited, but not as excited as I have been in previous positive tests. That paranoia that I had just mentioned overcame me immediately and I started filling with worry. I told Alex that I didn’t want to tell anyone until I was further along. In the past we had always told everyone immediately so that they can pray for us and our child so they could know what was going on in our lives.
I started crying – I wasn’t sure how to feel because Alex wanted to tell everyone and I didn’t. He was confused and didn’t understand fully what was going through my mind and heart – he wanted to excitedly share (he does mention of his own fears) after many months of wanting and praying since the miscarriage. The problem wasn’t that I wasn’t happy or excited, but I was so confused. I didn’t want to allow myself to be so excited and feel so attached to lose the baby again and feel that deep hurt again. Now don’t get me wrong, I wanted another baby so badly and had been praying even after the miscarriage to have another child as soon as the Lord wills. I thought I was ready emotionally, but these few minutes proved me wrong.
Alex finally agreed that we would not announce it to everyone, but rather to our immediate family (parents) and our church family so that they can be praying. He knew we needed prayer and I knew as well. I was okay with that and needed to humble myself to realize that I needed their prayers. And I needed those prayers as I was so filled with worry that it consumed me. I needed to trust God, His purposes, His timing and His good providence. But I couldn’t stop worrying and just trust.
So all things were going well, just like the first four healthy pregnancies. I was thankful for this, but I couldn’t wait until we hit 10 weeks. That is when we lost the first baby. I felt like that was my mountain emotionally to stop being so consumed with worry. Ten weeks came and went and things were looking good. We had a couple of ultrasounds (as part of my regular check-ups) and everything was on track. But I discovered that 10-weeks was not my mountain to get over my worry. I was still filled with worry, so in my mind, my next mountain was hitting 14 weeks – getting to the second trimester as the risk of miscarriage drops significantly. We still hadn’t told anyone other than our immediate family and our church body. I still wasn’t ready to announce it!
A few more weeks passed – I was at 13 weeks. Alex and I talked and we both started feeling a bit more comfortable and was ready to tell a few others – friends and co-workers of Alex. I was still worried, but trying to mask it as I told Alex that I would feel better at 10 weeks. He was wanting to start telling others and I finally agreed, but not a full-blown announcement until we were out of the first trimester safely!
A few days later I started cramping. It wasn’t the same cramping I had many months before, but it was a type of cramping. I went to the bathroom trying to rule out miscarriage possibility by checking for evidence of spotting/bleeding and there was nothing. I was trying not to worry as I also have digestive issues that can often feel the same. But I was feeling uneasy. I called Alex who worked 45 minutes away. I told him that something wasn’t feeling right, but it wasn’t the same kind of cramping I experienced with the last pregnancy. He said “why don’t you just call the doctor and see if we can get an ultrasound today when I get off work to help you feel more at ease and just check.”
I agreed that this checkup would make me feel better. So I called the doctor’s office to talk to a nurse first and then planned to make an appointment for that day. I was sitting down when I was talking to Alex and when I called the doctor’s office. I was on hold for a few minutes and my stomach, or something down low in my pelvis just felt crampy and irritable.
The nurse picked up after a few minutes. I started to explain the situation about being just over 13 weeks and then started experienceing a weird crampy feeling……… and then I stood up………
I felt a more intense cramp and a warm sensation as I stood up. I paused….. I then said, “I think I am bleeding”. My heart started racing and I was visibly becoming very panicked even over the phone and she said “okay, calm down – this could be perfectly normal, how bad are you bleeding?” I rushed to the bathroom while staying on the phone with the nurse. It was bad…….
Here’s a link to all three parts to his story: