My heart sank as I listened to the nurse tell me, “I wish I was calling with better news…”
I had left the office about 20 mintues earlier and stopped to grab some lunch for Ross and I before heading home where I was going to meet my mom and talk. I was standing in the kitchen talking to Ross when the phone rang and I remember answering it, looking at Ross and shaking my head in a “no” motion. I tried to hold it together as I asked the nurse if this was it? Was there any possible way it could still be too early? She asked if we wanted to come in for a consult with the doctor that day, or to be added to his call list at the end of the day. I preferred the phone call.
I got off the phone and broke down. Twice. Okay, maybe three times. Ross held me as we stood in the kitchen and I wept. I kept looking out the window to watch for my mom. I was eager for a reassuring hug from her. There’s just something about a hug from my mom that can make things a little better. Mom got to our house, I told her the news, and I received the hug I had been waiting for.
The text message marathon began. I had at least 15 people waiting to hear the news. I just wish it would have been more positive. Although my news was negative, the responses I received back from those who love us were all positive. They were uplifting and encouraging. Some told me it was okay to be mad or sad. Most everyone told us they loved us and would continue their prayers.
Earlier in the day, I had posted this picture on my Facebook newsfeed:
My brother-in-law posted this picture on Facebook today, and I felt it described this journey very well.
This day was filled with
tears (red, puffy-face crying). An army of people came over, called, or sent text messages. Ross called his parents to let them know. My mom was able to stay the rest of the day. My best friend was able to come by for a few hours. My dad came over before he had to go to work that evening. My cousin’s sweet wife and dear friend came by for a while. Another good friend and neighbor stopped by. We were surrounded by love all afternoon. This did not always stop the tears, disappointment, and hurt, but it did go a long way to ease the pain.
People all left to go finish their days and Ross and I were at home figuring out what to do with the rest of our evening. My doctor called just after 6pm that night. All of a sudden, I thought I might have to cheer him up. He sounded almost as disappointed as I felt. He was on speaker and talking to both of us, telling us that he really thought we would be having a different conversation. He thought we would have been “high-fiving” and that this would be a much happier discussion. He explored a few options on the phone with us, but, more than anything, he wanted us to talk about what we wanted to do next and to get back to him when we were ready.
We went to dinner that night, came home, and I started this blog; although it has just been a week, this blog has already proven to be therapeutic. You see, I have dealt with depression for the last two years. Well, more accurately, you could say that I have only dealt with it for the last year. The first year I was experiencing depression, I was not dealing with it at all. I was not coping with the 4 losses we had experienced. This affected me personally, but it also affected my marriage. I.Was.Depressed. It was bad. I was numb. I had no motivation. I sat in the doctor’s office and cried as I asked the Physician’s Assistant if she was sure. Through my tears, I asked multiple times if she was sure I needed help. She gently told me “yes.”
I am a therapist. I already knew this. I had mentioned to several people that I thought I was depressed, but I never followed up. I never reached out to ask for help. If I leave you with just one thing today, please, please, when you know something is wrong…When you know something just doesn’t feel right…please know it is okay to ask for help. I waited too long. I was a complete mess. It was much easier to focus on the problems of others and help them process their hurt and grief rather than accept the hurt and grief I was experiencing.
The same night I started the blog, I also reached out to a counselor who specializes in infertility counseling. I knew I did not want to go back to the low point I had been to. I have made a lot of progress with my depression in the last year, but I wanted to be proactive this time and reach out for help before I might even need it.
I want to thank you all for the support and encouragement I have received through starting this blog. I have always wanted to write about my experience, but your kind words have kept me going.
I’ll leave you with one last thing tonight. I received a text message from my cousin that was very powerful and encouraging on the day we found out the test was negative. I wanted to share the hope I received from her with you. Part of the message validated that it was hard and frustrating when you feel disappointment, but that what we see is only a small square inch by square inch section of a beautiful mural that only God can see. She shared with me that she was hurting for me, but that as she sat there crying and grieving with me, she felt God’s arm around her and Him saying to her “It’s okay, it’s okay…just watch!” This BLEW me away. I was touched beyond what words can describe.
Something I am always telling the teenagers I work with:
Just one day at a time…Just one moment at a time.