Disclaimer: quotes in italics were found, read, and written into this post by me, but have not been authored by me.
A blog post about miscarriage…pretty heavy topic for a first blog post I know, but I cannot silence my heart any longer…
My husband and I have been experiencing the pain of the loss of our first child for almost 6 months now. Many do not know we were even pregnant. Many since the miscarriage have unknowingly asked us when we plan to have children. We have heard it all: “2 years is long enough, don’t you think?” “What are you going to do with that 2nd bedroom?” “No baby bump yet…” The list goes on.
Just typing these things hurts. The ache in my heart returns and I feel the desire to lash out. I know people are curious. I know people are excited for us to be parents one day. I know that being married makes one more susceptible to these kinds of questions. What I don’t understand is why so many feel the need to voice their opinion about one’s personal life pertaining to pregnancy and children.
I will humbly admit that before my husband and I conceived, before we miscarried, I’m sure I have asked one or two of these questions, not thinking of what impact they may be having on the men and women who must respond…silently hurting inside, unbeknownst to all they come into contact with.
Here is our story.
Back in late July 2014, I started having pregnancy-like symptoms. I was late by 3 weeks but that has happened before, so I didn’t want to get my hopes up. We had been trying for about 3 months.
It was a Friday morning, August 2nd, 2014 to be exact. My husband was still asleep in our cozy bed, not yet awake for work. I had the summer off as I had been working as a teacher’s assistant during the school year.
After tossing and turning since 3 AM due to an upset stomach, I decided it was time to take a pregnancy test that I had saved for a time such as this. Not thinking it would amount to anything, I followed the procedure and waited for the response. I looked around the bathroom, with little expectation and an ounce of hope.
I looked at the view window and there they were-2 blue lines. Pregnant? Pregnant! My heart started beating faster and my mind raced trying to come up with a creative way to tell my sleeping husband that we would be parents in 9 months.
I was too nervous and too excited to keep it in, so I awoke my husband with my test behind my back. Still groggy from sleep, he asked, “What’s up?” I handed him the test and as he looked at it, I said shakily, “We’re pregnant!” He shouted, “No way!” He smiled and tackled me, wrapping me up in his warm embrace.
I remember counting with him the months until our sweet child would arrive. He kissed me and before he left for work he said with a smile, “That’ll make my Friday so much better!”
I made myself a smoothie, thinking it would settle my stomach. I was trying to be quick about it because I was supposed to babysit for some friends of ours in about 30 minutes. Too late…I was about to vomit. I made it to the bathroom in time and thought to myself, “Wow, this is really real…morning sickness.”
I texted my friend to tell her that I would not be able to come due to not feeling well. I went to lie down, placing my hand on my abdomen, imagining the growing child within me. My mom called and she asked how I was. I said I didn’t feel well and she thought it was probably something I ate. I just nodded my head, smiling sheepishly..”Mhmmm..maybe.”
Soon after, I was applying for jobs. I got a job as a Pre-K teacher’s assistant right off the bat. I was excited to work in a new place with young kiddos. One of the job requirements was to get a physical.
I attended my physical appointment and told the doctor that I needed to get started with prenatal care. A second positive pregnancy test was taken and a new OB appointment was set up. To my surprise, the doctor told me with a big smile on her face that I was actually already halfway through my first trimester…that I most likely conceived back in June. I was baffled! She told me I was lucky to have so little nausea. I thought so too!
I told my boss about my pregnancy, asking her to keep it quiet as we had not shared the news with our friends or family yet. Around 12 weeks we told my mother-in-law, then my father-in-law and grandmother-in-law. Next was my sister-in-law, followed by my immediate family and a cousin that came to visit. We were excited and looking forward to telling all of our friends and extended family next.
Little did we know that there would be no time for that.
Early one Saturday morning in late September, I awoke with sharp cramps and heavy bleeding. I didn’t want to wake my husband, so I waited it out..just thinking I could be spotting or something…what did I know? I had never been pregnant before.
I passed some heavy clots and knew that something was wrong. I began sobbing in shock and sorrow. My husband comforted me and agreed that we needed to get to the ER.
We arrived and told the receptionist what was going on. We were seen by a kind gentleman and he admitted that he did not have much experience with this kind of thing. He tried to see what was going on inside my womb via a portable ultrasound machine but he did not have much confidence in his ability. So, he called in an ultrasound tech to come in on her day off and help us out.
The tech was silent the entire procedure. All that could be heard was the sound of her clicking mysterious buttons on a keyboard. My husband sat nearby..waiting.
We went back to our original room and waited some more. The doctor poked his head in and said, “From what we can see, it doesn’t look promising that there is a viable life. I don’t want to rule it out though, so we’re having a radiologist look it over. We’ll let you know as soon as possible.”
My husband and I both felt that his response confirmed what we already knew in our hearts. We would not be meeting our little miracle. Not in this life.
The same doctor returned and said,”I’m so sorry but you have had a miscarriage. We don’t know when you lost the baby because sometimes it takes the body awhile to catch on. You will have to set up some appointments to make sure that your HCG levels are continuing to go down, as is normal in cases of miscarriage.”
We said “thank you” and I held my tears.
As soon as he left I said something like, “I don’t understand…I don’t understand how this could happen.” I let the tears fall freely and my husband held my hand.
I wiped the tears from my face, put my sweats on, and we walked out of that emergency room silent and forever changed.
We went to Wal-Mart afterward and got ice cream and movies. We didn’t have much to say. We just knew we lost our baby and this is not how we planned to spend our Saturday.
My husband led worship at church the next day and I sat silently in the pew, my pain unknown to those around me. My mother-in-law sat next to me and her presence offered peace.
The worst part was telling our families that they would no longer be expecting a niece or nephew, a grandson or granddaughter anymore. The pain seared my heart and the hot tears made my chest heavy. I couldn’t even call to tell them. I was exhausted and grieving. I texted them the news. There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.
“There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes.”
It took about 4 months to work up the courage to tell the women in my small group. 3 of them were pregnant and I would not be sharing in their experience. It hurt to be so vulnerable but they thanked me for it.
It was healing to share and still is. Posting this is therapeutic.
Losing our baby before he or she was born has created an ache in my heart the likes of which I have never experienced before. I have had to surrender my pain over and over to my Heavenly Father, daily choosing to have a heart of praise.
The road has not been easy. I have longed desperately to see my belly grow, to feel a kick, hear a heartbeat, to see an ultrasound image of our child. I was not granted any of these blessings. My womb and arms are empty. Dear one, I may have only held you in my womb for a moment but I will hold you forever in my heart.
“I may have only held you in my womb for a moment, but I will hold you forever in my heart.”
Regardless, my heart continues to rejoice in God’s continued faithfulness in my life, despite circumstances. Jesus’ love is not diminished in the midst of pain..it shines brighter.
He has never left my side, not even for a moment, and it is in His strong, loving arms I find rest. My husband and one song in particular helped ease my hurt. It’s called Find You on My Knees by Kari Jobe (Go here for the music video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LGumE9nkP3o). Another song that was salve to my wounds was shared with me by an understanding, kind hearted friend who had experienced 2 miscarriages and sensed my need for encouragement. It’s called Watches of the Night-Jesus Draw Me Nearer by Kristyn Getty. (Find the music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IIyXwldPup4).
I hope that my vulnerability in sharing this with you encourages your heart. Maybe you’re a person that has asked someone questions about having children without thinking of their effect. Maybe you have lost a child or several to miscarriage. Maybe you are a mom of 7 and are praising God that you have never had to endure this hardship or have a relative or friend who has grieved the loss of a child.
Whoever you are, thank you for allowing me to share a piece of my heart and life with you.
I am choosing to wait on the Lord who is worthy of praise forever and ever. He holds the future and my heart.