Thursday, November 4, 2010

Relinquishing Control

"Control is never achieved when sought after directly. It is the surprising outcome of letting go." James Arthur Ray

If you asked most people who know me well, I like to have control. I like to have a plan. Surprisingly, my job often involves very dynamic situations. We have to react quickly to changes in patient condition, and I manage to handle those crises pretty well. I like a plan, though. When my sister decided to plan her wedding in three weeks, she knew that I would be more than happy to be very involved in the planning process.

Over the past four weeks, I have been frequently reminded that sometimes life doesn't go according to plan. It just doesn't. Sometimes the changes are minor (a sick child, a car problem), and sometimes they are life-altering. They say that God doesn't give you more than you can handle, but I definitely think sometimes He tests your limits. I have commented before about people who "overshare" on their blogs, but I have come to realize lately that getting my thoughts on "paper" is healing for me (so this is me oversharing).

I found out last week that I was pregnant. We have two beautiful, amazing children. Lately, we have been enjoying the fact that our youngest is becoming more and more independent at 4 years old. We hadn't planned on a third, but apparently that plan was going to change. I selfishly thought about the things that I would put on hold for a few years. No triathlons in 2011... "Ok, I'll shoot for 140.6 when I turn 40" (that would give me 6 years). No more disaster medical team.... "Ok, that can be put on hold. I can still attend the trainings and keep up my skills." "We can't afford three kids in childcare...Ok, we will revise our schedules to eliminate before and aftercare for the two older kids." In a week, I had come up with a potential plan. It was a rough week. A lot of crying. A lot of guilt, for being shocked by this pregnancy when I know there are so many people who are trying so hard to have children. I felt tired, and nauseated, but tried to push through. Of course I started to become attached to this new little one.

On Monday, I started to feel uncomfortable. Pregnancy can make you uncomfortable, so I prescribed myself a dose of "Suck it up". Hours later, the pain was intense. (It should have been a sign when I put my jacket on the floor of my office and lay down for a few minutes trying to get comfortable). Eventually, my OB sent me to the ER. I was an emotional and physical disaster. I always feel fortunate to work with such amazing people, but even more fortunate to experience their skill and compassion when I needed it most. It took a ridiculous amount of pain medicine to get me comfortable, but they did. Tests showed that the pregnancy was ectopic (it was taking place in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus). This can be life-threatening, but thankfully they caught it in time. They were able to give me medicine and avoid surgery. It took an overnight stay to get the pain and nausea under control. The medicine (methotrexate) is a chemotherapy agent. It stays in my system for over a week, and causes nausea and other symptoms. I still have a fair amount of discomfort, but it gets a little better every day.

Three days later, I don't think I've begun to process it all. I went from thinking about how life would change with a baby, to not being pregnant in a week. I know I need to grieve, but I think I am too emotionally exhausted to be there yet. I do know that I don't have control over when it will happen, and just have to let things come as they may.

Above all, I am thankful for the love of my family and friends. Tommy has taken time off to take care of me, the kids have kept their fighting to a minimum, and everyone has been so wonderful with their offers for help. I couldn't ask for more. I am sure there is some lesson in all of this for us, I just don't see it yet.


  1. Kiersten, wow, I truly feel for you during this time. Sorry you have had to go through such an ordeal. Hugs!

  2. Kiersten, you are matter how much we plan, we can never anticipate everything, or how we will handle them. I have told my children you can not control all the things that happen in life, but what defines you is how you react, how you get through them, and ultimately that you allow them to make you stronger,not weaken you. You are an amazing woman and I know that in time, you will come through stronger and shine1 I am thinking of you and here for you, should you need anything. hang in there...and along the way find the little things that make you smile :)

  3. Thanks for sharing this in so many words. I hope that you do not feel bad about the emotions you might feel over the next few weeks; whether its sadness, guilt, or even relief. And who knows, you might not feel anything, either. And that's ok too.

    You are dealing with it in the best way possible. What you went through is rare and scary, but you are so strong, so smart, and so brave to be handling all of it the way you are. *hugs*

  4. Thank you all for your support. Today has been a hard day, so it is helpful. I am thankful to have so many wonderful friends and such amazing family.

  5. Wow. That is a rough week. God won't give you more than you can handle, but he will test your limits. Sounds like you've got a great group of family and friends supporting you and that is what matters.

  6. I've been off the google reader for the last couple of days and am just seeing this! I'm so sorry. I can't even imagine what you are going through! I'm a planner too... I'm sure you were thrown through a loop, but had set into high gear to "work it all out" .. then this. A big hug to you. Hang in there!!!