Whelp, I am writing now after weeks of nausea, exhaustion, and a serious case of “baby brain”. Adrian and I found out we were pregnant in October but recently discovered that the baby had passed away.
I apologize ahead of time, if you are reading this in hopes of uncovering something short in length or profound. In fact, let me stop you right now on the profound part. You are at the wrong blog. haha. My intent today is to journal. Journal what it was like- and is like- going through pregnancy and undergoing a miscarriage. My desire with this blog has always been to post events in our life, thoughts about whatever we are going through, and any tidbits of wisdom God graces me with along the way.
It was Tuesday, November 20, 2012. On this day we had big plans for our pregnancy. My dear friend Dawn was coming over to take a few Christmas pictures of my family and then later in the evening another friend had offered to take some ultrasound pictures of the baby for us. It was an exciting day.
Let me back track- when Adrian and I found out we were pregnant we chose to keep it a secret for as long as we could. With it being our third child, and 10th grand baby for my parents, we wanted to be creative in how we told everyone. Christmas card! We immediately started looking up cute Christmas card ideas that we could use as announcements as well. When none were able to fully satisfy our creative cravings- we came up with our own idea. 🙂
Back to November 20th. Dawn arrived and took a few fun Christmas pictures of our family and also the secret “announcement” photo we wanted to use to tell everyone our good news. At the end of the photo shoot she asked every pregnant girl’s favorite question, “Are you excited?” Without hesitation I assured her that I was incredibly excited but also anxious to hear the baby’s heartbeat. My good friend, newly mother of 3, smirked at me and responded, “hmm, I didn’t know that was an option”. Immediately I thought, oh no… is it natural for me to be so anxious to hear the heartbeat. A big part of me just wanted to hear a heartbeat to have total peace about the pregnancy.
The incredible irony. Tuesday evening, November 20th, my husband and I loaded the kids in the car and drove off to meet up with another friend to have our very first ultrasound.
The baby looked beautiful. Measuring around 8 weeks and 5 days. You could see its little olive sized body AND yoke sac. (A yoke sac is what nourishes a growing baby early on in pregnancy.) I wanted to cry tears of relief when I saw the little peanut on the screen but I held my breath. Our nurse hadn’t said a word and I had yet to hear the heartbeat.
There was no heartbeat.
Our sweet friend, and nurse, prayed over the baby and us. She asked for us to come back in a week to take a second look. Maybe the ultrasound just didn’t pick up the heartbeat. Maybe the baby was going to be okay. After all, it measured right on track and had every other indicator of being a healthy baby. We left, and we waited.
We visited family for Thanksgiving but decided not to tell anyone about the pregnancy. I took it easy and we prayed. Everyday we prayed. I was still nauseous but less nauseous. I was able to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner but I hated it. The food was delicious but I wanted so badly for the smells of Thanksgiving to be stronger and my feelings of nausea to remain. I hated enjoying thanksgiving food. I hated every bite.
It was Tuesday, November 27th. We went back for our follow up ultrasound. At this point I was once again able to button my jeans but was still having some of the nausea, moodiness..etc. Maybe the slow disappearing of my pregnancy symptoms was all in my head. You know, confirming the horribly insensitive people all pregnant women hate who say that pregnancy symptoms are all in our heads? 🙂
We saw the ultrasound. We saw the baby. We saw no yoke sac. We heard no heartbeat.
We drove home.
I cannot remember the last time I cried that much.
“The Notebook” doesn’t hold a candle to the tears I cried that night. We picked up my husband’s car from his work and he drove home with the kids. As they drove off I sat in the car in the empty parking lot and cried. I prayed and I praised God. My pain was so strong but for some unearthly reason not unbearable. I praised my God for taking the baby. I praised Him because I was confident that His will was greater than my own. I praised Him for giving me this confidence and pleaded with Him to hold me tight. My God may give and take away but my God always loves. And I knew that. As I cried my heart out in the car, I wasn’t alone. I praised God for that. I praised God for what I knew He could do through my tears and through my pain.
I drove home. On the way I called my Mom and told her the news. At home my husband called his parents and told them of the news. As he assured his Dad that “oh we will keep trying” the tears built up again and I couldn’t help but let them flow. That night, and for many nights since, I have struggled with the notion of being pregnant with any other child but the one I lost.
That same night a sweet friend showed up at my doorstep just to hold me tight. She sat. We cried. We talked. We cried. Then, she handed me a package that had been sitting on our doorstep.
Our Christmas announcement cards.
|Cute family photo courtesy of dawnhaasphotography.com.|
Horrible copy of the picture courtesy of my just taking a
picture of the cards.
You see, in the excitement of having our family photos taken- before we found out the baby had no heartbeat- we ordered our creative Christmas announcement cards. Remember November 20th? That entire afternoon my incredible husband sat at the computer editing our photos and crafting the most creatively cute Christmas card for us. We were so excited and proud of our work. We ordered them.
They arrived exactly one week later on November 27th. The night we confirmed, our baby had died.
Thank you God for giving us these adorable keep sakes. He didn’t have to but He did. I may not have that child, but I have prayed. God I pray that you let that baby know how much Adrian and I loved him/her. God, Madi and Aaron can’t wait to meet him/her in heaven. God thank you for holding onto our child until the day that we can meet him/her in heaven.
Do you believe in Heaven?
I forgot to tell you. Over Thanksgiving break- I don’t remember the exact night because I had just chalked this up to a dream. Looking back I wonder, could I actually have seen this? I saw a man (In my mind I knew it was God) and He was holding a baby.
Who knows what God will look like or what our child will look like in Heaven. God speaks to us in ways that we understand. Because even when He gives and takes away He always loves us. God loved me enough to let me see that. He showed me Himself holding our precious baby. For that I cannot thank Him enough.
The days following the news of our miscarriage were long. My body refused to give up the baby. After a 3rd ultrasound confirmed the death of our baby I was put on medication to induce labor and abort the miscarriage. Without going into too much detail, it took 5 rounds of this medicine and 2 additional medications to complete this process. The physical and emotional pain combined was beyond what I could have imagined.
As I took the meds and waited for them to “do their job”- I went crazy. With each coming contraction (they were constant) I knew I was one contraction closer to experiencing the pain and loss all over again. Some nights I laid in bed, my insides screaming at God. Other nights I begged Him to let me sleep as I fought feelings of loneliness and overwhelming sadness.
Through it all, I have learned so much and my journey is not near over. Here is what I have learned so far:
1. God’s love is so evident in my life through the grace and love I receive from my husband. In another blog I will bore you with how my husband and I ended up together but in short- God made it happen. I wasn’t looking for him and… well, he didn’t know what he was getting himself into. lol. Today I can say that my husband is more than any list I could have made in high school/college. His love for Christ compels him to love and serve in ways that give so much glory to God. Adrian I love you. Thank you for holding my hand during the nights when I couldn’t sleep. Thank you for holding me and asking me how I was feeling. Thank you for laughing off my moodiness as my pregnancy hormones raged. Thank you for winking at me on November 27th and lovingly affirming “oh, we will keep trying”. I love you and I praise God for giving me you to spend my life with.
2. Following Christ holds no promises of avoiding pain in life. Here has been my revelation through all of this: Look at all the people groups around the world and think for a minute. How many people can relate to joy? I am sure the number is not that large. But how many people can relate to pain? There is not one grown person (or very few young people) who can say they have not had pain in their life. If I, as a Christ follower, lived a live void of pain I would end up loosing probably the most valuable common denominator I could have in relating to and loving others in this life who experience pain. We are called to live in this world. In this world there is pain.
In painful times we have a choice.
We can allow our pain to distance ourselves (emotionally/physically) from others AND God. OR we can choose to let it draw us closer. Now you see, when we choose to trust God through our pain He will give us hope, peace, and joy. But we have to choose to trust Him. I cried to him. I pleaded with him. I even yelled out in rage and anger but through it all I trusted Him. He is faithful to always help us through and give us good gifts of joy and hope that we cannot have without Him.
When we think it is not fair- we look to Jesus Christ. There is no pain we go through that He can’t relate to. Remember the “common denominator” point? Christ was perfect and sinless. He did no wrong to deserve his penalty. Other religions that deny him as God’s son still recall him as a blameless steward and servant. Christ was abandoned. Christ was alone. Jesus Christ was neglected. Jesus Christ died an unfair death. Jesus was murdered. There is no pain I can go through that He cannot walk beside me and not understand. Why did Jesus Christ die on the cross for us? Through this experience, I have regained a simple glimpse at the answer.
Well, I warned you this would be long but my heart has been heavy to write. I want to always remember this time of my life. I wanted to post this on the web if there ever is someone else going through a similar pain and looking for hope and help.
I may not be able to hold you through your pain but there is One who can. He did with me. He never let go. His love for me is one I want to share. Through my pain, may you be blessed.
– Have you or someone you love recently experienced a miscarriage, still birth, loss of a child, or abortion? Here is an incredible resource for you to read I’ll Hold You In Heaven. A great friend recommended it, and I am currently reading it too. -thanks Jo Ellen 😉