My life has been nothing short of a really awful whirlwind lately. I don’t think there’s any easy way for me to say what’s been going on with us, so just bear with me.
I was pregnant.
And then suddenly, somehow … I wasn’t.
I found out about my pregnancy right away — the beginning of April — and made my first appointment to see my midwife on May 10th, when I was 9 weeks. We had told the kids and they were thrilled — we all were — and we all went to the appointment together. I had an ultrasound right away that morning and it was very obvious there was something wrong. My husband took our kids into the waiting room, while I sat in what could only really be described as shock. My mind was reeling. A very sweet patient that was also there waiting took pity on my husband and watched our kids for us so he could come back into the room with me and speak with the nurse. She tenderly explained what was happening and brought my midwife in who cried a little bit with me, then told me to go home and wait for my body to accept the inevitable and let things happen naturally.
So that’s what I did. I spent the better part of the day curled up in a ball on our bathroom floor, sobbing on the phone to my mother. While I had definitely had my problems with fertility issues (which this wasn’t one, but at that point I didn’t know what to think), after having two very healthy, successful pregnancies, I suppose I felt somewhat immune to any problems. My husband and I spent the rest of that week trying to make sense of it all, praying and trying to keep things normal for our kids. By Thursday night I had started spotting. It was very irregular and I wasn’t sure what to think. I decided to keep waiting things out and kept my appointment for a follow-up ultrasound and talk with my midwife that next Tuesday.
At this point I really feel like I need to mention how absolutely amazing my husband is — he never faltered once. After working at his job all day (which included OT), he would come home, take care of me and the kids, clean the house, do anything I asked him to do. He kept the kids busy, kept me as happy as I could be and kept our family running as smoothly as possible – grocery shopping, laundry, piano lessons, cleaning, baths, etc. I have no idea how I would have been able to handle this without his strength.
For my appointment on Tuesday, Brian stayed home from work with the kids. I drove myself to my appointment, hoping and praying for a miracle. Even though I had been spotting, maybe they were wrong. Maybe there was a tiny, healthy baby in there. I only waited about 15 minutes, but it seemed like an eternity. No miracle. After the ultrasound, I spoke to Margaret, my midwife and cried with her. (This is the wonderful things about the midwives at The Midwife Group & Birth Center of Coastal Georgia — they will cry with you, they will hold you, they will tell you everything will be okay.) I gathered strength and courage from her and came home to tell the kids what had happened. How do you tell your children they will never see the baby they had already named and loved? It was certainly the most difficult thing my husband and I had ever done. My 6 year old son kept saying to me, “Mom, why can’t we just tell God ‘no’? Doesn’t he know we wanted that baby? I want to tell him ‘no’! Why does our baby have to die!” (If you’re crying after that, you aren’t alone — every time I think of it, and right now typing it, I’m crying.)
My midwife had given me the choice to continue the miscarriage naturally, or to have a D&C. I knew right away that unless something happened and my health was compromised I would not want a D&C and Margaret felt that there was no reason to not let it progress naturally. So that was the choice I made, and things did progress, and even now as I type this, I am in the midst of it.
I want to say that no matter how difficult this has been — and it has been the most difficult, most emotionally devastating experience I have ever had — I have not been angry at God. My heart is broken and I am grieving and while part of me wants to ask “Why?” I honestly feel like I don’t need to know why. God has never given me anything before that I haven’t been able to handle. He has given me strength and courage and hope. As hard as it is right now – losing a child - I know it happened for a reason. I don’t need to know the reason. My husband keeps telling me that God is in control. I think that above all else has brought me comfort. The short time that my child was being knitted together in my womb (Psalm 139:13), God had a plan and it wasn’t the same as mine.
I decided to tell you all my story for one reason — miscarrying a child is not shameful. It should not be hidden. I hope that as time goes on and I heal from this that I will be able to come out on the other side and be able to minister to other women who are hurting and grieving from losing a child. One of the things that has brought me comfort has been hearing stories from women who have gone through this same experience — that I am not alone. I am not the only one who has felt like their heart has been ripped out of her chest, who doesn’t know how to go on, who doesn’t know what to do. We should be able to grieve together, to pray together, to heal together. To any of you ladies out there who have had to experience losing a child like this — I am so very, very sorry. And many grateful thanks to everyone who knew and prayed so desperately for us — and to those who knew something was going on but didn’t know what it was and offered up prayers on our behalf anyway — thank you.
We have chosen to plant a blue hydrangea (my favorite) in memory of this lost child. When we see its beautiful blossoms unfurling, we will cry. When we walk past the bouquet of petals on the table, we will cry. But we will heal. And we will never forget.
(If you’re going to make well-meaning but insensitive comments, like, “Don’t you already have four kids?” or “At least you already have kids,” or “You’ll get over it”… don’t bother.)
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