I have experienced several forms of loss, but the kind of loss I experienced recently is one that so many women hide. Every woman can choose to deal with this loss however they need. I respect their decision to remain silent or tell only a few people. However, my heart gets so overwhelmed that I cannot bear to hide it. Sharing it helps me heal and work through the pain that is so difficult to express. All week long I have tried sitting down to write about my miscarriage, but it has been so difficult to find the right words. Then last night I remembered the verse I have chosen to be my life verse. Isaiah 40:31:” But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”. I want to share how God is our strength and carries us when we cannot move on our own.
The last few weeks have been a whirlwind or emotions. It started with elation that we would be adding to our family. I prayed for this new life inside me and started early preparations. Organizing the house, going through my 2 year old’s baby items, dreaming about whether the baby would be a brother or sister for our delightful Levi….I felt invigorated. It is incredible how immediately and strongly I had love for the new child in my womb.
Everything seemed normal. The signs were all there. However, I lost a baby at 8 weeks the first time I got pregnant, so I was a little nervous again. I honestly couldn’t imagine that it would happen again. Nonetheless, my first OB appointment was emotional and disappointing. The doctors couldn’t tell if I was just earlier in the pregnancy or if something was wrong. Two weeks later, before my next ultrasound, I felt life leave me. I know it seems strange, but in one moment I knew something had changed and I felt loss. My fears were confirmed 3 days later at the doctor’s office. They told me that the baby didn’t really grow much and that there wasn’t much tissue left. I had already started bleeding, so I decided to let the process happen naturally.
With my first miscarriage, I chose to have a D & C because we didn’t know how long it would take for the baby to naturally deliver. It was a terribly difficult decision then because I kept hoping the ultrasounds were wrong, but every one showed the same thing: the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. Also, in my heart, as much as I didn’t want to believe it, I knew this tiny life had left me. I was driving down the road on the way home from work a week before that 1st appointment. Suddenly, I felt really strange. It was as though I was aware of every bone and organ in my body. In an instant, I thought maybe I was dying, because I felt something in my body quit. It’s hard to put into words the feeling that overcame me. When my husband and I were explained to that our baby’s heart was not beating and that the baby had died, I couldn’t believe it. I didn’t want to believe that the baby on the screen we had seen had no life, yet I knew the feeling I had experienced that day was my baby’s death. Eventually I accepted it and healed. A huge part of my healing was God giving us a house to work on and a new baby growing inside my womb. On October 18, 2012, we welcomed our second child to the world. We rejoiced that he was healthy and have watched him grow into a vibrant toddler.
2 1/2 weeks ago, when I felt emptiness again very similar to my first miscarriage, my heart broke. “Not again,” I cried inside. My son Levi comforted me as though he knew something was wrong. I was relieved that I wouldn’t have to have surgery, but I wasn’t prepared for how difficult the natural process of my baby’s lifeless body leaving my womb would be. The doctors had said the baby was about the size of a thumbnail. They said it would be as painful as a bad menstrual cycle. Last Wednesday I woke up feeling like I was in early labor. The pain was terrible, and there was so much blood. Yes, I know this is graphic, but I wish someone had prepared me for this. I am sure it is not always like this for every woman, but I was horrified. A trip to the emergency room proved to be wise. It all continued to get worse and the doctors provided some strong pain meds and something to help speed the process. They sent me home giving me hope that it wouldn’t be long. 3 days passed with much pain. On the 4th day, I woke up feeling like I was having terrible contractions, and then all of the sudden I delivered my dead baby. I was confused at first. I didn’t realize what had happened. The baby was much larger than a thumbnail; he was almost as big as my hand. I had been further along than we all thought.
So many women have gone through this experience, and I know I am not alone. Yet, it still cuts deeply. My heart aches that I will never hold my 2 unborn children on this earth, hear their giggles, or watch them grow. I believe their souls are with Jesus. No matter how small they were, no matter how early their life on this earth ended, I knew they were alive inside me for a time. Now, I am comforted by the thought of my grandmother, who left this earth 6 years ago, holding my two unnamed babies in Heaven.
I still grieve my grandmother’s death from time to time. I go through waves of sadness about losing her, but I know she is with her Creator and that I will see her again. I will miss her greatly, but the life she lived on this earth was phenomenal. She and I were very close. I do not believe there was anything left unsaid or undone between her and I. I know God had a purpose for my 2 tiny babies. I don’t know what it is, but perhaps their purpose is to be companions for my grandmother. Maybe God needs them in Heaven more than on earth. These thoughts make my acceptance of this loss much easier to bear.
Whatever the reason for all of this heartache, I know God has a purpose. His timing is perfect. He walks me through it all. To paraphrase a quote from “Call the Midwife”, I will continue to live until I am alive again.
My sadness will pass and God is good through it all.