What a strange post to write and yet here I am writing it anyway.
How different our life would be if I was, in fact, delivering a baby today.
Loss makes you think of those things – the “what-ifs” , “could have beens” and “should have beens“.
After our first miscarriage I experienced so many emotions and shock was probably the most prominent. I asked questions that started with “why us” and “why me” a lot. I was overwhelmed at the thought that this was happening because “things like this don’t happen to people like us“.
Part of me wanted to hid the truth like a skeleton in a closet – don’t talk about, don’t think about & maybe we can pretend it didn’t happen.
But I came to the realization that I needed to affirm that life more than ever before – no matter how short lived it was.
Just 15 days after publicly sharing our first miscarriage story, we lost our second pregnancy.
So many emotions were similar, yet so many were so different.
This one felt more shocking than the first. It felt harder, colder, scarier… more finite.
This really was – IS – our story. And I struggled to accept it.
Our second pregnancy was so different from our first. I became pregnant immediately following our first & experienced what many would consider to be a “healthy” first few weeks. (The polar opposite of our first.) I was so nauseous, already feeling food aversions & napped every single day.
Much like our first, I’ll never forget taking the test. I took 5 because, well, why not? 10 pink lines verifying what I already thought was true.
Now, I’m going to say the things that we don’t always say. I’m going to write the truth in hopes that those of you walking the same path feel less alone:
I didn’t cry happy tears when I took those tests. I didn’t cry out of excitement or joy … I cried out of longing to NOT be taking another test & to be 22 weeks with our first pregnancy; and I cried out of fear that this pregnancy would have the same fate as the first.
Man. Talk about an array of emotions. My heart didn’t know WHAT to think or HOW to feel.
The first 72 hours after taking those tests were hard. I was a wreck. I felt guilty for having another baby so soon after losing our first. I felt fearful that I would lose this baby too & every weird cramp or trip to the bathroom brought on a racing heart.
I’m so blessed to have a husband who just let me feel. He didn’t try to “fix me” or offer cliche words of encouragement. He was just there – a present strength in my life when I was literally falling apart – and that was just what I needed.
We passed all the initial blood work with flying colors; when we passed the point where we lost our first, we both started to get excited. It was like we needed to get to that point before we would allow ourselves to become even more invested. We started talking about how we would tell our families on Thanksgiving day (we both so desperately wanted to have that “We’re pregnant” in person surprise so up until that point no one knew), I began pinning nursery ideas & we started talking about what the next summer would look like with a newborn.
The day before I left for Memphis, TN for the 6th Creative at Heart Conference we had our first ultrasound. I was 7.5 weeks so while it was a bit early, we wanted to have that appointment prior to leaving town. I remember sitting in the waiting room feeling so much nervous energy, yet at the same time I remember thinking “There’s no way this will happen again. I learned so much through the first. Our marriage is stronger, our desire to become parent’s has never been greater. God wouldn’t do this again.”
We went to a different ultrasound room then we were in for our first & I took that as a good sign. I remember lying there & wondering if we’d hear anything or if we’d just see a flicker of the heartbeat on the screen. And I couldn’t wait for them to hand me the ultra-sound picture because I have mourned the loss of never getting one with our first so deeply.
Yet the minute I saw the tech’s face, I knew. Call it intuition or whatever you want… but it was like walking into a black room with no sense of where the light is. My chest felt heavy, my eyes filled & it took everything in me to not jump off that terrible table, grab Matt’s hand & run far, far away.
“NO. Not again. Not us. WHY, Lord? I thought I learned my lessons? I thought you taught me all I was supposed to learn? Why are you doing this again?!”
It’s funny how much can change in the span of 10 seconds. Before that moment, we were getting our rainbow baby. And now… now it was happening all over again.
I felt vulnerable & raw & desperately HATED that place … a place that should be filled with good news & happy tears, yet for us it’s been all about death & fear.
We sat with the doctor & he told us that maybe, just maybe, our dates were wrong. I was to come back in a week to confirm what I already knew: we were experiencing another miscarriage.
5 days after that appointment, on my drive home from Memphis, I began to lose our baby.
To this day, there’s a rest stop off of 81 I will never, ever stop at again. It’s filled with dark memories I will never be able to shake.
The next few weeks were terrible. Walking your body through 2 miscarriages in 4 months is incredibly tough – not to mention the emotional & spiritual stress that piles on top of the physical. Thanksgiving – the day we planned to tell our families – left me feeling utterly exhausted & emotionally drained.
Yet despite it all, I could see the Lord working on my heart. Despite the emotional rollercoaster the last 12 months have held, I know He’s never left my side & I know He’s good.
He’s been calling to me. Reminding me of His provision. Reminding me I was not – and am not – alone. Reminding me that He understands my pain, my heartache. Reminding me that He has a plan – however confusing it may seem. And He’s been slowly turning my face toward Him through daily whispers, texts from friends, quiet, still moments & loud, chaotic situations.
I don’t have all the answers, and I probably never will. We’re not pregnant, we don’t know what the future holds & some days the loss of those first two is a weight so heavy on my chest it hurts to breath.
But I believe that God is good. I believe that He is at work & I believe in His character more fully than ever before.
He is not a god of punishment or a god of evil. He’s just the opposite – He is kind & gracious & loving. I am not being punished. He has not turned away from me. I believe He’s actually calling to me more than ever before… and I will cling to that truth when I feel the isolating weight of grief.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of his tent; He will lift me high upon a rock. I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” Psalm 27: 1, 3, 5, 13-14
I don’t know if my desire to carry a pregnancy full-term will ever happen. I don’t even know if we’ll ever become parents. But I believe this is our story – my story. And while the last 12 months have been the hardest 12 months I have ever experienced, I will have hope in Jesus.
To our second baby: I don’t know if you’re a boy or a girl. I don’t know if you have Matt’s sense of humor or brown eyes or green. But I know that I love you. I love you so much. I hope you are with your sibling; I hope you’ve met your grandparents – my Mamaw & my Papaw. And I hope you know that you change my life every single day.
I will never, every forget you, and I carry you with me in my heart always.