9 In Faith/ motherhood/ pregnancy loss

Thoughts on a Miscarriage

Republished from October 2014:

This one is risky for me to put out there.  But, I’ve decided to share for several reasons.  Number one, I process my emotions when I struggle to put them into words.  It’s incredibly healing for me.  Number two, I have learned from other peoples’ honest testimonies that God works in powerful ways when we share our stories.  I hope this post speaks to some woman who needs this right now.  And three, I believe in respecting life and it’s been my heart’s cry to let the world know that even if it was for such a short time, life existed in me.

On the 4th of July, a day I was waiting for my whole life finally happened.  I found out I was pregnant.  On that very first day, I began to pray over my baby.  I thanked God for blessing us and choosing us to be this baby’s parents.  I prayed for the baby to be healthy, prayed for me to grow in the wisdom, patience, and selflessness that I would need to be a mom.  I prayed every day over this baby, exactly like this for exactly one week.  Meanwhile, we made plans about how to tell our parents that weekend and dreamed online looking through baby registry websites.  We just couldn’t wait.

Then, my prayers began to turn more frantic.  I had begun bleeding and was worried sick.  I was praying desperately for God to work a miracle- to let me keep the miracle He had already made.  But, that wasn’t His plan.

After 4 days of phone calls with my doctor, telling our family through tears instead of with joy, an ER visit, 2 blood draws, and lots of time to sit and worry, my fears were confirmed.  We had miscarried at about 5 weeks.

All I could think about this whole time is how private grief is when it is an experience like a miscarriage. Why is that? Why is taboo to tell too soon? Why is that miscarriages are extremely common and yet every woman who’s had one feels like they have to grieve privately, keep it a secret, and walk through it feeling alone? Women need other women who “get us”. Why don’t we talk about this more?

I think one of the hardest things about going through this is that I just want people to truly understand that a life has been lost. This wasn’t just a disappointment to me. It wasn’t just the loss of a dream. It was the loss of a life. This was more than just a failed pregnancy or a naturally aborted fetus. My baby died. I wanted the whole world to understand and cry with me. I wanted them to celebrate the brief little life and grieve with me that it was too short. But not everyone did because either they didn’t know it happened or they couldn’t quite relate because they’ve never experienced it themselves.

My baby, even though it was tiny, even though I couldn’t see it on an ultrasound, even though I’d never heard its heartbeat, was completely unique, one-of-a-kind, and a part of me and Stu. It was rapidly growing. Day by day. No one with my baby’s DNA had ever existed before and no one ever will again. When I think about that, I stand in complete and utter awe of God, even while my heart breaks at the lost opportunity to fully know my baby.

Whenever someone would say, “You can always try again.” Or, “You will have another baby someday,” I never felt the comfort I was expecting to feel. Of course, they are right and they only meant to encourage me. But my heart was screaming, “I loved THAT baby. I wanted THAT baby.” I know that I will deeply love all of my future children but none of them will be exactly like the one I lost. I am grieving the opportunity to know THAT baby.

This miscarriage has taught me a lot about being a mom already. It’s taught me that I’ll love all my kids with all my heart even if I don’t get to hold them. Life is fragile. But, it’s also precious, no matter how short. So, I’m sharing this with you all today because I want you to know that a life happened. And, if you are struggling with a miscarriage, you aren’t as alone as you feel.

When we find out we’re pregnant again, I’m not going to guard my heart. I’m going to love that baby from the first day we know it’s coming. We’re going to joyfully tell the people we are closest to right away because a life has been created and deserves to be celebrated.

And we’ll trust that the God who holds the future, holds our babies, even if we don’t get to.

“The Lord is close to the broken hearted. He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” ~Psalm 34:18

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Chasity
    October 13, 2014 at 11:35 am

    My heart is broken for you and goes out to you and Stu….you have felt such incredible love–the love that only a special bond creates. This sweet baby has a permanent home in your heart….never forgotten and loved forever…and I think that grief of such magnitude is a reflection of strong, strong love. I love you…many prayers for healing as you put one foot in front of the other.

  • Reply
    Nick Polite
    October 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm

    I’m very sorry for you guys. It’s tough to deal with a loss. God, does use tough situations for an opportunity to learn. It is this example that God has placed on your heart to provide a channel for others who have experienced this and didn’t have an outlet like this to reflect. Love you guys!!

  • Reply
    Michaela
    October 13, 2014 at 1:46 pm

    Shan, believe that someday you will be blessed with your rainbow baby/babies and someday you will get to meet your first child. Hold on to the hope of your someday… <3

  • Reply
    Chrissy
    October 13, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” ~Psalm 34:18
    Indeed He does!!! please know that even your crushed spirit is a light and inspiration to so many, myself included. Hugs to you and Stu. We love you!

  • Reply
    rmillerme
    September 22, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Followed you because of this post. So good. So relatable. We do need to speak up and share our stories. Love this.

    • Reply
      happysthoughts
      September 23, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      Thank you for following me. I’m so glad you could relate. Whenever I go through things like that, I always wonder if it’s just me!! Glad to know, it’s not.

  • Reply
    ElaineWShaw
    September 26, 2016 at 8:29 am

    Resonates with me and will resonate with many others…Along with the sadness and the aching is an unconditional love for your baby, that will always be, and will continue to grow…We never forget, we learn to manage our feelings..I lost five children to miscarriage and an ectopic pregnancy, one a set of twins, and such devastation feels insurmountable whilst it is raw, but I was blessed to be a mother many times, the most important and the most fulfilling role of my life. I learned an appreciation and innate gratitude that has continued to grow throughout my life as my children have grown and my life has moved through its twists and turns. Each of my babies, whether I was blessed to hold them in my arms, or only in my heart, have filled my life with a profound love that has helped me grow into the woman and the mother I am today, and I am truly thankful.
    Happy to follow you, and sending you love.

    • Reply
      happysthoughts
      September 26, 2016 at 10:15 am

      Thank you, Elaine, for the beautiful comment. I am so sorry you’ve had to experience this so many times. But you are right. “Whether I was blessed to hold them in my arms, or only in my heart” they are always a part of our story.

      • Reply
        ElaineWShaw
        September 26, 2016 at 6:36 pm

        Yes, take care and nurture your love, it is so special

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