This is a very personal post for me. I wanted to tell the story of the loss that recently touched the lives of my family-my miscarriage. Caution-this post contains uncensored descriptions of my emotions during this time-even the ugly ones. I originally wrote this post for a support group I started on CafeMom. I hope it touches your heart in some small way. . .
I am 32 years old with one child (born in October 2004). My husband and I tried to get pregnant for 10 months before conceiving what I believed was our “miracle baby”.
Everything went normally at first. I was not as sick as with my first pregnancy, but thought I was just lucky or it was a boy or something (some women say girls make you sicker). We saw that beautiful heartbeat on a transvaginal ultrasound at 8 weeks. According to most of the stuff you hear/read, after that (the heartbeat) you are mostly “out of the woods” for miscarriage so to speak. Technically, I know that your risk only drops to around 5%, but I never thought I’d be in that small percentage. Over the next week or two, we told everyone. I told everyone I work with and we announced it at church (or rather we had our daughter announce it-the memory of that is heartbreaking). It was so cute at the time. My husband and I are both on the worship team, so we had our little 3-year-old cutie pie come up and gave her the microphone. She proudly announced, “I’m gonna be a big sister,” and everybody clapped and cheered. It was the sweetest thing. She was so excited to be a big sister. . .
Later, at almost 12 weeks, I had one small spot of bright red blood on the toilet paper after using the bathroom. This was after a day when I’d done a lot of walking and housework, so I just thought I’d overexerted. I called my doctor and he said it was probably nothing, but to come in the next morning and he’d do another ultrasound to make sure everything was fine. I spotted a little with my daughter early on so while nervous, I had convinced myself there was nothing to worry about.
The next morning (a Saturday) I got up early and went in to the doctor’s office. He tried a transabdominal ultrasound, but had to get the “wand” out and go internal. He looked at the screen for a long time before he turned it towards me and said, “I’m looking at the inside of your uterus.” I couldn’t see a heartbeat. He said the baby must have had a chromosomal abnormality and stopped developing, because it wasn’t measuring 11 weeks 6 days as it should. I was crying so hard by this point that my OBGYN (one of the kindest men I’ve ever known) actually hugged me for a few seconds. That was one of the darkest days of my life.
Over the next few hours and days, we had to “untell” everyone we had told. I did it grapevine style because I couldn’t bear to talk to all those people with such awful news. The worst part was telling our little girl that she wasn’t going to be a “big sister” after all. She was devastated once she understood that the baby had died, and sobbed about the loss of her title. That was really awful for me.
Next, I asked for a confirmation ultrasound before scheduling the D & C (my body would not miscarry on its own, apparently I’m really good at pregnancy, viable baby or not), and I had a D & C on Tuesday morning. I am so grateful that my doctor was sensitive to my emotional needs and ordered the confirming test, as well as the quick D & C. If anything could, that made it a little easier.
The thing that really shocked me was the depth of my sorrow. At first, crying didn’t even seem like enough. I would lie in bed and groan from what felt like the depths of my soul. It felt like crying came only from my chest area, and the grief was coming from deep in my guts. I “prayed,” but I have to tell you I told God what I was really feeling. I told Him I was furious with Him for letting this happen, and asked Him why He did and how He could. In the next breath, I begged for comfort and peace. I had a dear Catholic friend look at me in horror when I told her this. She could not fathom being that honest and railing at God (have you read the Psalms?). My response to her was, “He’s a big God, He can handle it.” Basically He knew I was thinking it anyway so what was the use in lying? I believe our relationship with Him is like any other. . .honesty is the best policy and communication is key.
Some things that are helping me through this time?
-Realizing that there isn’t always a “reason” behind everything that happens to us, and that it’s no reflection on our spiritual walk: Matthew 5:45 “. . .for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.”
-Understanding that God did not “cause” this tragedy, and that He alone can bring good out of it: 1) Romans 8:28 “. . .And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” 2) Genesis 50:20 ” . . .You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good.”
-I bought a book written by Pastor Jack Hayford called I’ll Hold You in Heaven. He shows scripture that indicates that God does not come down and put together egg and sperm, then change His mind and take it away. He created us to procreate without his individual intervention for every conception. When he breathed into Adam and Eve, He breathed “lives.” This was very freeing to me, as part of me was seeing God as very cruel to give and take away like this. He created our bodies to work the way they do, and sometimes abnormalities are detected and dealt with by our bodies. It is the natural order of things.
-A friend who’d been through a horrible ordeal with a baby who died after a few hours of life gave me a book called Mommy, Please Don’t Cry (by Linda Dey Maz). I sobbed through the whole thing (ironic given the title) but found it very healing. It is a short illustrated book showing a baby’s life in heaven with Jesus. I highly recommend it.
-Music, music, music. I personally find music very healing. The words to a few songs totally describe where I’m at emotionally:
*Praise You in This Storm-Casting Crowns, “You are who You are, no matter where I am.” The character of God never changes even when our circumstances do.
*Give-Third Day, “Were I to leave, where else would I go? The words of life and of truth You hold.” Some days this was all I had to offer. “God, all I can promise is that I won’t leave You.”
*The Valley Song-Jars of Clay. The whole song is just where I’m at.
*When the Rain Comes-Third Day. When I’m wondering where Jesus is in all this, this song helps me see it.
*Glory Baby-Watermark. Painful but poignant.
-Another book (yes, I am a book nerd), an oldie called Hind’s Feet on High Places (by Hannah Hurnard). The part that spoke to me most was when Much-Afraid (the main character) told the Shepherd that if she had to endure such sorrow and pain to reach the high places (grow closer to Jesus), she didn’t think she wanted to go. The Shepherd (representing Jesus-it’s an allegory, wow. . I am SUCH a book nerd!) didn’t show anger or aggravation. Instead he laughed at her lovingly, and told her he knows her better than she knows herself and knows her heart is not to turn back from following him. He stays with her in her pain. It blessed me so much to think that Jesus wasn’t annoyed or aggravated with me for my crisis of faith, but was lovingly guiding me through it.
-Finally, allowing myself to lean on the faith of close friends and family. On the days I couldn’t bring myself to pray, I knew they were holding me up in prayer. On the days I wondered if my faith would make it, I knew they’d help me hold on.