When You Just Need A Hug

As many of you (oh, so sweet and wonderful) readers of mine know, Wednesday marked four months since losing Joanna. You also probably know that I have been in California for a work trip.

The down side of this is that I was not home with Bill on this four-month mark. No hugs from Joanna’s daddy to squeeze my heart with comfort and tell me it’s OK to cry and it’s OK to be sad and it’s OK to miss her. I also miss my puppy, who of course knows when I am feeling down.

On the plus side, I love the marketing team as it stands today, especially the fact that I call the girls on the team friends. We’ve had a fantastic time this week, margaritas and Mexican food in Laguna Woods, putting our (OK, just mine) toes in the sand and the Pacific Ocean, handmade Italian dishes in Carlsbad during our team dinner, and the most gorgeous California sunset I’ve seen to date while walking Manhattan Beach. Not to mention spending an evening with a great new friend having a pizza dinner in my hotel room watching Chopped.

It’s been a great week. But smack-dab in the middle was that day, April 29. Some people let the day come and go without thinking of Joanna, while others sent a little message or posted on my Facebook wall. It really can help a heart heal to know how much others love and care for you, and how much they loved your child, even if she arrived silently and they didn’t get to hold her or see her pretty, little face.

But there is one problem. As a human being, sometimes you just need a hug. No text, email, call – can replace a hug. Away from home all week, I was struggling through the day Wednesday. I was happy on the outside. But on the inside, I was hurting and missing my baby. It’s true! I just needed a hug – a physical acknowledgement of my pain, and a reminder that I’m surviving.

Instead, I went back to my hotel room and tried to sleep.

But today, this great thing happened. My wonderful, sweet friend took some time to get away for a few minutes, just the two of us. She bought me a coffee and we caught up with each other between meetings. As always, she listened to what I had to say, and I knew she really cared. Just like I knew she cared four months ago when Joanna died. Just like I knew she cared when I felt like I couldn’t be at work on my first few days back and she called to check in on me. And you know what? She hugged me today. Whether or not she knew how much I needed it, it happened. And I am so grateful.

So today, I am finding God’s grace in co-workers, co-workers I can call friends. Who care about what is going on in my life, who take the time to make sure I’m doing OK, who laugh with me, who make work enjoyable and fun (even on the stressful days). Gracious friends who take good care of me, with kind words and comforting hugs.

I am going to miss being in the same city as you (“amazing, wonderful, perfect”) ladies.

See you tomorrow, East Coast!

Manhattan Beach

Canceled Appointments and Dashed Hopes

On Monday I was supposed to have an appointment with my high-risk specialist. This is a doctor that was recommended to me by my OB and is supposed to monitor patients who are high-risk (a stillbirth automatically makes you high risk for any subsequent pregnancy) and hopefully make sure these pregnancies have positive outcomes.

My appointment was canceled. The office called me the day of the appointment and told me that the doctor was unable to see me and asked if we could reschedule.

Of course we can reschedule. Bill and I know that eventually we do want to have another baby. Joanna needs a baby brother or baby sister. At least one.

However, having my appointment canceled made me feel like I was not supposed to be having another baby. I’ve been waiting for this appointment for more than a month and it’s very hard to get in with this doctor. When they said it was canceled I thought they were going to also tell me that I couldn’t get in for at least another month.

That meant postponing making a plan for a healthy pregnancy. Not having a plan for healthy pregnancy makes me already anxious that the next one won’t go well. This canceled appointment turned my day upside down and immediately made me fear for the future.

Of course I was overreacting. Within the next five minutes we had found a time that works for both of us to reschedule the new appointment that was within a week of the original appointment. One week. No big deal.

I so badly want to hope that we will have at least one child living here on earth with us in the future. It’s crazy how quickly that hope can be pulled away. Pulled right out from underneath you.

But praise God for his grace that sweeps in and saves the day. He comes in to remind us that He is good, always. His grace wraps us in an embrace and says, “It’s going to be okay.” It says, “I got you a new appointment in only six days.” It reminds us that God’s timing is perfect.

Grace says no matter what your circumstances, no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what is in your future, God’s got you.

Be reminded today: God is [still] gracious. Always.