The Other Miracle

The one that didn’t happen. 

On June 6, 2017,  just over four weeks ago, my daughter Elanor was born. 

Before Elanor was born I prayed and asked others to pray for her to turn from the breech position she’d been in since at least 32 weeks. We were hoping for a VBAC and that isn’t possible with a breech baby. Our primary reason for pursuing a VBAC was to avoid increased risk of complications in future pregnancies from repeat c-sections. We were not sure how many children we wanted total, but we had names picked for up to four more:

Gilbert Carlyle, after our maternal grandfathers.

James Godfrey, I just love the name James and Godfrey is an old family name, and the middle name of my great uncle, who is a wonderful man with a fascinating history. 

Beatrice Rose, two names I adore! Beatrice from my favorite Shakespeare play, and Rose from my family tree. 

Rowena Joy, for my great aunt, who is an inspiring figure in my family,  and Trey’s grandmother.

But Elanor stayed breech, and this turned out to be the miracle that saved her life. When we went in for a version to try and turn her we found I had dangerously low amniotic fluid. We scheduled a c-section for that evening. I was sad to miss a VBAC, but mostly happy to have a plan, a day of rest pre–surgery, and the prospect of a healthy baby girl! It was actually a very restful and pleasant day. Elanor was born without complications, healthy and vigorous, and she knew me immediately! I was so at peace. That would have been a great end to the story, but sadly that is  only the happy prologue. 

They used conscious sedation for the surgery, so I was very aware of the moment we found out about the other miracle, the one that didn’t happen. 

My uterus had developed an aneurysm; instead of a nice thick muscle a third of it was paper-thin membrane. This meant the uterus could not contract and doing so was essential to stopping both the normal blood loss of a completed pregnancy and that from the c-section. It had to come out or I would face massive hemorrhaging quite soon. Our routine c-section suddenly became an emergency hysterectomy. 

This had to happen. Even had they been able to save the uterus future pregnancies would have been dangerous to me and the baby. 

I was not and am not ready for this. 

I am not ready to be done being pregnant. 

I am not ready to be done trying to have a VBAC.

I am not ready to be done with nursing or holding my adorable jelly – bean babies or watching them grow and learn. 

I’m not ready to give up the dream of a brood of kids to do Molly Wesley proud. 

I love Elanor; she is perfect. But I am not ready for her to be my last. 

So far this doesn’t feel like a door closing or a mere redirection. To me this feels like my children were real; I just hadn’t meet them yet. And now I never will because somehow they have been taken from me. I will never know if I’ve lost one, two, or four children, or perhaps more. I don’t know their names, their eye color, their first word, if they looked like me or like Trey. I will never help them learn to walk, or speak, or write an essay, or read Tolkien impossibly early. To me this is a real loss, not just the loss of an opportunity. 

I waited to tell this story until I’d fully processed the events. Elanor is beautiful and nothing about her birth made this happen. It was always going to happen. My poor uterus was doomed and I didn’t want this story to overshadow the miracle that she is. 

But healing my broken heart will take time, possibly a very long time. 

So now if you see me getting weepy, know it’s not you, nor is it just post–partum hormones, though those don’t help, for sure. I’m healing. At least, I will eventually.

 
Lord, give me the strength to not become bitter;

Give me the courage to grieve;

Give me the will to accept your Will; 

Give me hope and peace to one day move out of these shadows; 

Make my love for the children I have burn away the sorrow for those I will never meet. 
In closing, we are asking all well intentioned family and friends to please not mention adoption or surrogacy. We are grieving a real loss and don’t want to trivialize that or the seriousness of those options. We need to heal first. Down the road, like 3 to 5 years down the road, we will assess the possibility of more children. Until then, we ask that these subjects be avoided in the context of our family. 

Thanks for listening. 

Christmas Updates 2013

Dear Family and Friends!

Merry Christmas! God has taken us on a wild ride since our last Christmas letter. It has been challenging for sure, but He has blessed us richly and provided continually.

Pirates

In 2011 Bizzy started grad school at the University of Washington, completing her Masters  of Communications in Digital Media in spring of 2013. Grad school was a wonderful experience, with many challenges and adventures! In the spring of 2011, Bizzy’s folks decided to move to Boise, Idaho, but asked us to stay on as caretakers of their house in Kitsap County, Washington.

In the winter of 2011, Trey debuted as a theatrical director for the

Christmas Dessert Theater production of Annie. It was the best-selling show GracePoint Church has ever produced! That year also saw the incorporation of PublishNext, an author-funded, top-notch publishing house featuring Trey as the Senior Editor. Things started off a bit rocky financially, but the company had a lot of promise.

School and publishing took up most of 2012. In the spring Bizzy planned a wedding for some close friends, and both Trey and Bizzy served as honor attendants. Trey took on more responsibilities at PublishNext, which still struggled financially due to lack of capital. Trey published his first nonfiction book in September, under the pen name H.R. Schorr. Also in the fall, Bizzy committed to planning and executing a fun but large and complicated wedding for Michelle Green and Alex Schloss, which then became the number one project of 2013.

graduation headshot

This year has been particularly challenging! In her final quarter of grad school, Bizzy joined the student-run media blog, Flip the Media, and attended Emerald City Comicon and SXSW Interactive 2013 as part of their press team. After graduation she turned all focus to job searching and wedding planning. Bizzy’s folks put their Kitsap house on the market in the summer, and much of May and June were consumed with home staging. We learned a lot about home decorating and maintenance during that process!

In July, Trey chose to leave PublishNext, which continued to have financial difficulties. He turned instead to seeking other employment and pursuing his own writing.

wedding portrait

August saw the fabulous and (nearly) flawless production of the Green–Schloss wedding at the Greens’ home in Kitsap County. It was truly magical!

Immediately after the wedding we were faced with a difficult decision: The house would be sold in a matter of weeks, and so far neither Bizzy nor Trey was having any luck finding a job in the Seattle area, despite dozens of applications, lots of networking, and even some informative workshops. It soon became clear that only one option was truly viable. God was calling us to join Bizzy’s folks in Idaho.

As we packed our things and said goodbye to Kitsap, Bizzy’s childhood home passed to new owners. Though they are wonderful people who will do very well by the house, it was a sad and difficult time. In mid-October, we crossed the mountains for good.

But what an exciting ride the rest of the year has been! In November Trey completed the first draft of a manuscript as part of National Novel-Writing Month and landed a part-time job for next semester as a junior-high drama teacher at a prestigious private Christian school not a mile away from the Greens’ house (where we are living). Bizzy has had nearly half a dozen interviews for marketing and event planning, and every week brings new leads.

We have also found a wonderful church! Despite the best intentions to be slow and intentional about making commitments at Eagle Christian Church, we have found ourselves—Bizzy particularly—jumping in with both feet! Bizzy has been invited to sing four solos at three different events and been asked to join one of the women’s leadership teams.

Even in such a short time, it has been clear that this is where God wants us to be. We are very excited to learn what He has in store for us here!

In the next year we hope to:

  • Find some financial stability, hopefully through a great job for Bizzy,
  • Publish several books and build Trey’s author career,
  • Get involved in some local theater,
  • Do lots of hiking(!), and
  • Make more great friends.

God bless us, every one!

                    Trey & Bizzy Schorr

photo booth fun