:::this is the way the world ends:::

That saying about life being hard is sometimes true…

I mentioned in the Music Thursday post that I was sorry for my lack of involvement over the last week.  This blog has been a great outlet for me, and I hope to come back in full force soon.  I know there will be ebbs and flows…last week was a tough one for many of the HM.  J.E. and Shotts, I think, had mentioned a tough week also.  This last week was particularly hard for Steph and I, and I’m glad to be able to have a group of friends I can share this with. 

It started out hard, but I thought it’d get smoother instead of more difficult.  I had some deadlines in the beginning of the week that caused a lot of stress.  I still was feeling like I was coming out of my post-vacation pining (which makes it really hard to sit in front of a computer screen).  I had to hit my workload hard, and started up BirdBox activities bright and early Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and worked until 9:30 or so each of those days.  It really takes it out of me to filter my world through an LCD monitor most of my waking hours.  Steph knows I’m not much to talk to after days like that.

Let me preface this next bit with something Steph and I found out about a month ago: we were pregnant.  Steph and I were excited, to say the least.  We were also restrained because we know sometimes things can go wrong, especially early on.  Well, Steph had been feeling badly the last couple of days, so we scheduled an appointment with her OB/GYN.  They were really great and got us scheduled us immediately.

At our appointment, one of the nurses took us into a sonogram room.  She later told us she expected everything was going to be fine; that what we were describing was pretty typical.  However, when we looked at the sonogram, she realized the baby had no heartbeat.  It was one of the hardest things I’ve heard. 

We were in great hands at the clinic Steph goes to.  The nurse was awesome, and talked to us about how she had gone through two miscarriages in the last year.  She didn’t give pat answers, celebrated that we had gotten pregnant in the first place (they see many who don’t even get that far).  She told us we needed to grieve…which is advice that needs to be given more often.  Then there was a stream of nurses who came in and talked to Steph about how they had been in our spot before.  It was great to not have people handle it with antiseptic distance, but help us with grace and dignity.

So Thursday morning at 5:30 we went in and had surgery for Steph to avoid complications.  

It’s an experience that seems easier and harder than I thought.  Steph’s recovering on the couch right now as I type.  She feels tons better, and I am doing all I can to help her be comfortable in her recovery. 

However, I had someone ask me how I am doing…and I can’t answer that yet.  I’ve had the responsibility of keeping deadlines met (I got some grace from my clients, too) and keeping Steph upbeat.  However, I find myself strangely emotional at times.  I cried when the person above asked me how I was doing…

…but mostly I find myself being grumpy.  It comes through even when I am trying to be Steph’s cheerleader and frustrates me.  I’m trying to be the strong one, but I think soon I’ll need to let that mask slip off for a while.  In fact, I think these words — knowing that they will be completed in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Texas — start to heal.

Thanks, HM.


  1. J.E.

    Toby and Steph,

    I hope that by sharing your sorrow we may shift a fraction of grief to our shoulders and ease your burden.

    You are in our thoughts.

    J. E. and Liz

  2. Ned

    I called Sunday afternoon, hoping to speak with you, but it was good to hear Steph instead. We were saddened to hear what happened. Know that we are thinking of you.

  3. Shotts

    Dear Toby–

    I left a message on your mobile phone, which is the only number for you that I have. I’m so sorry, and know you and Steph need some grieving time now and ahead. I hope this weekend afforded you some time together.

    I’m glad Steph is alright physically, and I’m glad to know you are such a support for her, and she for you. Jen and I are with you.


  4. Pete

    Tob- My sentiments echo those of the others. I am sure you know that you guys are in our thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to let us know if there is any thing you are needing – even just time away. If October is too soon, for example. Don’t hesitate to ask. peace be with you.

  5. Shotts

    Hollow Men–

    I sought out this archived post from Toby–from over three years ago. Thanks, Tob, for posting it, and sharing about this. It’s given me a bit of solace. A few weeks ago, Jen and I confirmed we were expecting, and we were excited and hopeful. But ten days ago, in much the same way as Toby details here, we found out that this pregnancy wasn’t to be.

    This has been sad and a real loss, and it continues to be those things. Jen is doing well, and physically, it has gone far better than we were expecting. We did not go through surgery, but we go in next week to the doctor for follow up.

    This experience has made us all the more grateful for Beckett and for our families and friends and support both here and elsewhere. It’s also been both sorrowful and yet comforting to realize how frequently miscarriage occurs–and I know it’s been something that has by now personally affected many of us.

    For now, I wanted to let you all know, and in a way to let you all know at once. Tob, thanks for opening up this subject those years ago, and for letting us into your grief in that time. Petes, I wish we could have joined you and Amanda in welcoming in a new one this next year.

  6. Ned

    So sorry to hear that news. I agree that it is so easy to take much for granted and forget how this affects so many, often so close to us. Nice that Toby did open this up for you to feel you could share. We’ll be thinking of you guys. I hope that you and Jen and B have a splendid Christmas.

  7. Shotts

    Thanks for this, Ned. I appreciate it.

  8. J.E.

    Liz and I are very sorry to hear this, but thank you for letting us know. Also sorry it took several days to check the blog.

    Indeed, we all have much to be thankful for even as we grieve with you.

  9. Shotts

    Thanks to you all for these good words. Petes, good to talk last night, and I appreciate it. Toby, thanks for your kind voice message. I hope to connect with everyone at some point during the holiday break. Enjoy it. And here’s a glass raised to you all.

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