I’ve written and re-written this post several times.
Isn’t that how we always start really personal, private posts? Like we have to justify how hard it is to write, how hard it is to put into words. And it’s true. It IS hard to write. It IS hard to see in black & white. And I’ve debating on writing this post for a while now. I’ve prayed. I’ve cried. I’ve felt conflicted.
But I think it’s time.
October 15 was Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It’s also around the time we would be learning the gender of our sweet baby.
That part makes my breath catch a bit. I’ll always wonder if the “she” we thought she was would be wearing pink polka dots in February; or be a chunky little man in Redskins attire (because who doesn’t love babies with rolls?!).
I thought it would get easier; and in some ways, maybe it has. But in other ways it feels harder, and my cry to the Lord becomes more desperate. I see adorable bumps, gender reveals, happy couples & sweet, sweet infants. And my cry becomes a call that only the Lord can & will answer – in His perfect time.
I miscarried on July 6. We were on vacation, we had just told my family (we have the most joyful video!), and we were so, so happy. But instead of soaking in that goodness, I ended up in the ER with the words “not viable” echoing over & over in the room.
The last three months have been a blur of grief. It’s strange, really. Grief follows you around like a rain cloud. Some days are completely normal; everything seems & feels fine. Then other days you wake up & wonder how the sun can still be shining, why people seem so joyful & when you will ever be again.
I’ve had to reconcile in my own heart that I am mourning THIS baby, not A baby … because this life mattered. And while we may celebrate the birth of a child one day, he or she will not replace this one. This one mattered in God’s eyes because she was created in His image … and she was created with a purpose in His perfect plan.
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:13
Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you… Jeremiah 1:5
Perhaps this is the moment for which you have been created. Esther 4:14
I’ve wondered why we won’t get to hear the sweet thump of the heartbeat on an ultrasound for this baby. Or paint a nursery for this baby. Or crave silly things, suffer through morning sickness & pick out a name for this baby.
I wanted to see her cute face & feel her little toes & know her more than I got to. And I’ve wonder how this baby could make herself so known in my heart, when she never even occupied a room in our home. It makes me sad to think of her as a secret. To think that I know the impression she made yet you don’t … and I WANT you to know her, too.
That’s ultimately the reason of this post. Matt has been so steadfast through this, and I’m grateful we can lean into each other. I told him I was ready to share about our baby because her life mattered immensely. And for me, sharing about her is step in the healing process.
Miscarriage is such a different kind of grief – not better or worse, just different. We grieve what never was, what never got a chance to be. It’s also a lonely kind of grief. There’s no funeral, no public affirmation of life lived & goodbyes said. For me, that meant there have been times in the last 90 days where I have felt silly for being sad (I know that’s not the truth, but sometimes our heart & head don’t match). I felt like I needed to get over it & move on – and I needed to do it quickly. I’ve thought things like – “I don’t have a reason to be sad; I was only 6.5 weeks pregnant. Women go through so much worse.” And while that may be very true – there are women with stories far different from mine – this is my story. This is my grief. And it does hurt.
I’ve felt weak crying over diaper commercials or walking the long way around the store so I bypass the baby aisles. I’ve felt like I shouldn’t get upset when people ask: “when are you two going to start a family” or be anxious about seeing another “positive” test because that’s been stripped away… a positive test doesn’t actually mean a healthy, happy baby 9 months later.
As personal & private as this is, I know I’m not alone. It’s actually a terrible reality. I know that somewhere out there, someone is reading this & connecting to it. Unfortunately for both of us, I know that someone has thought similar things, walked a similar path & battled (or is battling) your own fertility & loss journey. Please know I am thinking of you. Please know I think about you daily. And I pray for you. This terrible “club” is one we never asked to be in, yet here we are. You’re not alone. Your feelings matter. And your baby – whether 6 weeks, 16 weeks or 6 months – mattered.
Part of this post is very selfish; I want the world to know how much she changed my life by living for just 6.5 weeks inside of me, because I will never get to tell her myself. I needed her in my life, and while I will forever miss what she would have been, I’m so happy I had her when I did. Chugging two bottles of water so I could take those tests, seeing the joy on Matt’s face when I placed 2 pregnancy tests & an adorable teal-and-gray onesie in his lap, crying & laughing with Momma when we surprised my family with the announcement, hearing Daddy say “I know it’s a girl” & my brother excitedly exclaim “No way, no way, no way!” over & over … those are the things I will never forget.
While this pregnancy did not end the way we hoped or wished or prayed for, I’m glad it happened. I’m forever changed because of it, and I don’t want the old me back. The new me (with the knowledge of her) is far better… harder & still healing but better. And for that I will praise the Lord.
Be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord. Psalm 27:14
Matt and I are so grateful for your kind words, prayers & encouragement; this is an incredibly personal & private process of healing for us; and at the moment, we’ve shared all we’re willing to share publicly. We are finding comfort in our close friends & family & leaning heavily on the phrase “Thy will be done”. We love you!