A few teacher works days stood between me and Summer. It was Quinn’s second birthday party and our immediate family had gathered to celebrate. We couldn’t think of a better time to tell our family that we were expecting again and Quinn was going to be a big sister.
It felt a bit early to share the exciting news, but we had a smooth, healthy pregnancy with Quinn and couldn’t resist the urge to share.
We couldn’t have known that only 2 days later, our joy would quickly melt into a dozen less desirable emotions.
I’ll never forget that Tuesday night for as long as I live. As I went to the bathroom before I climbed into bed, I noticed blood. I had been cramping a lot that day but didn’t think much of it, as I had some cramping during my first pregnancy. Spotting is normal, I told myself, in attempts to calm my own growing fears.
I called out for Ryan who quickly came to my side. I told him what was going on. I tried to stick to facts, not jumping to conclusions. But we both read between the lines. We both feared the worst. The M-word.
I cried. We prayed. I cried more. I Googled. I cried more.
Each time I returned to the bathroom, my heart sank deeper as I was met with heavier bleeding. It was too late to call my OBGYN. So I waited. The minutes and hours crept by.
Finally, the next morning I called my doctor and anxiously explained what symptoms I was having, hoping the nurse on the other end would reassure me and tell me it was pretty normal. But I heard it in her voice. It wasn’t normal. At least not for a healthy pregnancy.
They couldn’t get me in for an appointment until later that afternoon. So I went to work. Like nothing was happening. I went to a training, packed up the last of my classroom and finished the last day of the school year.
As I climbed into my car with summertime finally ahead of me, I found that fear had replaced my excitement for the coming months.
I thought I’d be Pinning ideas on how to creatively announce the anticipated due date of our second baby. I imaged Quinn holding a sign, her cute little mischievous grin the icing on the cake of our adorable announcement.
Instead here I sat, watching the minutes and seconds tick by on the clock that hung on the doctor’s office wall. After what felt like eternity the doctor came in. She very frankly told me what to expect to see or hear if all was healthy. I couldn’t bring myself to look at the screen.
She finally asked me to look up. It confirmed my fears. The m-word. Miscarriage. I knew we had lost the baby at this point, but she was not able to confirm this without further testing. Which meant waiting. I needed a definite answer to confirm what I already knew to be true. Instead I would return days later for another blood draw. It would be 3 days before I heard anything, as it was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend.
When I finally got the confirmation that I was in fact experiencing a miscarriage, it was via a message from my practice’s app. (If any doctor is reading this, I beg you, please don’t ever tell a woman that she has had a miscarriage via an app).
I’m not sure that I will ever fully know how to put that moment into words. Perhaps the best way to put it is that it felt like I lost a part of me. To me it mattered little how far along I was. What mattered was the life that would not be actualized. The life that I would never get to hold, the little voice that I would never know.
The following two weeks I returned for a total for 4 blood draws.
The month that followed was quite possibly the loneliest I’ve ever felt. In a crowd of people, I still felt alone. Despite people’s best efforts, I have found little solace in comments like “you’re young”, “you’ve done it before; you can do it again”, “there will be other chances”, “it wasn’t meant to be”. Unknowingly, people would ask (as they always do), “when is Quinn going to get a sibling?” or “do you want more than one?” They are harmless questions with kind intentions but my heart sinks deeper every time I hear them. If they only knew.
I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child even further along in a pregnancy or losing a child outside of the womb. My heart aches for and prays for both the women and families who have experienced miscarriage, loss or infertility.
I have journaled a lot, prayed a lot and talked less. I have thought through how and when to share all of this with you. Ultimately, I have decided that there is no perfect time and there are certainly no perfect words. I suppose over time I might be able to more eloquently share where I am and what I have learned. But right now I’m still in the thick of it. Coming up for air and trying to figure out what healing looks like. Taking things one day at a time.
One of the things that has brought me comfort is the fact that God is with me, even in this (Psalm 34:18, Matthew 11: 28-30, Rev. 21:4). I am confident that not only is it okay to mourn (Matthew 2:18) but that God is mourning with me (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, Matthew 5:4). I’m learning that it’s okay to not be okay sometimes. It is okay to cry (John 11:35). It’s okay to not understand and it’s even okay to be angry. I am thankful that eternal joy in Jesus means that it is possible to still feel all of these things while being confident that God is bigger than this (Psalm 30:5).
Not a day passes that I don’t think about the loss and the pain, and perhaps not a day ever will. Even still, I am confident that God is working this for His glory and my good. For now, that is enough.
Additional verses that have been encouraging to me:
“Have I not commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
“Peace I leave you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” John 14:27
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerers through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth nor any created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39