It is probably not too hard to tell I have taken somewhat of a break from blogging. Truth be told, I have taken somewhat of a break from most things in life, with the exception of those duties which shouldn’t be broken (you know, taking out the trash and everything that goes with being a mom). The past few months have been so hard on me. Some of you may know I had a miscarriage in December of 2015. I was almost 19 weeks pregnant, and all seemed well. Baby had a healthy heartbeat, and I was doing fine… for the most part. I had seen a few signs leading up to the miscarriage, but all the health professionals said baby and myself were great.
It’s been a long, hard six months. I finally feel ready to talk about what happened, and start the grieving process in a more intentional way. I feel as though the past few months I have been merely surviving. At first, literally. I ended up hemorrhaging a month after the miscarriage, and had two blood transfusions. It took me all of January and February to just feel like myself again. Three months that felt stolen from my life.
So, here goes.
I hope that sharing my story might help one woman or man out there currently grieving. The nights after my loss I spent scouring blogs and websites reading about other people’s losses. While it was heartbreaking, it was oddly comforting. They, too, knew what I was feeling. There is something so strange about losing a child you never got to meet. It is difficult to process the whole situation. No one else has met this person, either, so that makes it equally difficult.
I was about 18 weeks when I first felt sick. At the time I was supposed to go to Arizona. I had delayed my flight to see doctor. By the time I got there the pain had increased exponentially. I could hardly walk. I mean, lots of cramping to the point of not being able to stand. I needed a wheelchair to get up to the office. It hurt so bad. I truly thought I had the flu. I was just hoping to get put on some meds and go home.
I left my husband and daughter left at home because I had honestly thought it would be a quick visit. The X-ray tech couldn’t see what was happening, so I was referred to a specialist. I had to wait almost one hour to see her, and thought I might pass out from the cramping. I remember my phone being almost dead. The baby had a heartbeat, and I got to see the face and hands. I got the best ultrasound pics of my baby from my whole pregnancy that day. I was relieved. I truly thought all would be alright. Then the doctor came in and informed me what was happening. Well, sort of. I knew, knew, deep down something awful was happening, so I had her call my husband and put him on speaker. I couldn’t even hardly lift my arms. My whole body felt as though loads of bricks were pressing down. I remember that feeling.
There was an infection in my uterus. My body was aborting my baby. There was no information why it was happening, “these things happen…”. I was told that day I would have to deliver my baby. All I remember were those words…. “You are losing your baby.”
I wept. Let me rephrase that. I sobbed. I NEVER cry in front of people. I just can’t. But I did. Time stopped.
I had just enough phone power to finish the conversation and tell my hubby to come meet me at the labor and delivery portion of the hospital.
Next I was relocated to the labor and delivery floor of the hospital, where I was admitted as a patient. I was hooked up to the IV’s, and waited impatiently for my husband and my daughter. I remember trying to smile and reply to the nurses kind questions. I was informed that I had to deliver my baby again. He would most likely come out dead. There was a chance he might take a few breaths, then pass.
I cried again.
Let me tell you. There is nothing more unnatural in the whole world than delivering a baby you know will not make it. Nothing. Those few hours I pleaded with God above to change this circumstance in my life.
To top it off, I was surrounded by these sweet pictures of babies being born. To the right was a healthy momma giving birth to a healthy baby girl. All around me were pics and babies. It was too much for my heart to bear.
I stopped contracting for a bit, and the doctor came in and said things looked somewhat stable, and if I had a fighting chance my baby might make it a few weeks, long enough to make it to a prenatal unit. Yet, I would be hospital bound until then.
My hopes were up, until all at once I felt it. Crazy, intense cramping. I knew it was time. I knew I was in labor.
Friends, my deepest wish is that no woman has to go through the agony of what I felt at that time. Yet, I know that many, many women do. And I wish I had known that sooner. I wish I could have been there with them, holding their hand, saying “You CAN do it. God WILL enable you. This too shall pass”.
Yet, my heart just broke. I remember saying as loud as my lungs could shout…. ” I CANNOT DO THIS!! PLEASE, GOD, PLEASE!!!”.
I remember the doctor, hearing the doctor, say, “We are all here for you… just push.” I remember my husbands grasp, his deep blue eyes searching for mine. I remember looking to him and asking him for one thing. “Show me my daughter. Show me you and my daughter, show me memories.”
And he did. He pulled out his phone, and scrolled from photo to photo. Us on the beach, us eating dinner together, us making funny faces. Each photo strengthened my resolve. “Not for me, but for HIM.”
If this was my only chance at being a Momma, I was going to do it right.
My son was born. He was beautiful. He looked just like one of us. We held him, as long as we could. We took pictures. We loved him.
All too soon the moment passed. Yet, forever, he is etched into my mind.
I know, within the depths of my soul, that I will see him again.
I carried my son for 18 weeks, and I gave him the best little warm womb I could.
One day, I will hold him and tell him how much I missed him.
I truly believe that.
If you have experienced grief or loss, from one mother to another, please know that I love you and am feeling your pain.
Time doesn’t always heal, and sometimes we experience grief, anxiety, or pain further down the road than we expected.
Sometimes we think something is “wrong” with us because it just hurts… for months… for years.
Please know you are not alone.
I share your struggle.
Until my last breath, I will miss my baby. And I will rejoice the day I see him again.
Special thank you to my husband, Brian… for being there, by my side, every second. You are my knight in shining armor in a modern world… you were the strength I needed when I didn’t have it. Your love was evident every moment. I felt loved, adored, cherished, and precious.
To my sister and her hubsand Ben- Thank you for responding immediately and bringing us food as well as picking up Lillian and caring for her for the week. You were amazing and everything you did for us and Lillian will never be forgotten. Thank you for helping Lillian to process the whole situation while feeling valued and loved on, and for providing her a safe environment for her while we dealt with so much. You two are the best.
For my friends Jim and Erin- Thank you for taking our amazing little girl Lillian and taking the sting out of her wound. She was expecting a little brother, and it was not easy for her three-year old heart to understand the pain of death. You fed her, loved her, held her, and befriended her when we needed to grieve and cry. Thank you.
For the hospital staff at Swedish- Thank you for the dignity you reserved for us. For the white rose you placed on our door so others would know what we were going through. Thank you for the chaplain who so beautifully addressed our spiritual needs. Thank you for the many, many juices, popsicle’s, and IV’s. Mostly, thank you for the soft and gentle “touches” that enables us to keep persevering and helped us feel respected.
Thank you to all my family… Dad, Mom’s, friends, grandparents, church, pastor… who helped us with visits, flowers, phone calls, and chocolates. My sister who watched our daughter for days and was my anchor- and her husband Ben who was so loving. My pastor Shane who drove out to us at almost 10pm in a snow storm to be with us, and his wife Kelly, who came for a visit a few days later. My church for the food and baskets, prayers and support. Denver Metro Moms Blog for the flowers… my husbands friends from work for another bouquet. Friends for food deliveries and company. My parents for chocolates and love and phone calls… it was boundless.
I am forgetting people, and for that I am sorry. You know who you are, and I love you.
We had never felt so loved in our entire lives.
God is Good. Even in the most difficult times, he brings peace, love, restoration, and goodness.
Thank you for letting me share my story.
PS- This post is not in any way intended to frighten currently pregnant women. My first child was a healthy, happy baby with a great pregnancy. Most of the time, pregnancies go great. That is the hope. This post is for those of us who have experienced loss at any stage… a few weeks or a full term… and the many variables in between and outside. I wanted to share my story since I had indulged in so many others stories for hope and a sense of connection.
If you are nervous about having a baby or losing it, from a previous miscarriage or a family member who struggled with one, I do encourage you to take heart. As I have shared with some of my friends… all you can do is love that child, pray for his or her health daily, and provide him or her the best home as long as possible. Celebrate every step, and enjoy every moment. Anxiety and worry is a giant robber of joy. Please don’t feel ashamed to share in your journey around friends who experienced miscarriage- I love celebrating my friends babies and deliveries. In fact, a few days after my own miscarriage I went and visited our friends new baby. Side rant, but one I feel that is important!