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