It’s been three days since we found out our baby was gone. Three days since we found out we would never get to hold or even look upon this little one’s sweet face. Three days since our family’s life was changed forever.
On June 6th I noticed some brown spotting. I instantly called my doula, who advised I call my midwife team. They told me not to be alarmed. That some spotting is common during the first trimester. Plus, I felt great. No cramps or contractions. They instructed me to try and relax, and call if I noticed any changes. Deep down I knew this wasn’t going to end well, but tried to stay optimistic.
June 7th around 1:30 am I went to the bathroom: bright red blood. My heart sank. I knew what was happening. I called the midwives first thing in the morning and gave them an update. They told me to come in right away.
At the office, they first tried finding the heartbeat with the Doppler. No heartbeat could be found. Trying to stay positive, they said things like, “Maybe you’re off on the dates”, and “Maybe you have a tilted uterus.” But I knew. When no heartbeat could be found I was sent for an ultrasound. As soon as the ultrasound began I knew the outcome. We had lost our baby.
My initial reaction was shock. Even though I had tried to mentally prepare myself before the ultrasound, I still found myself in almost a state of disbelief. As the day progressed I found myself moving from shock to grief. My emotions were-and continue to be-a jumbled up mess. I couldn’t form words to explain how I was feeling. There simply were no words. Even my thoughts felt jumbled up.
This is the second miscarriage we have faced. The first was on September 30, 2012. You never forget the day you find out your child will no longer be joining your family. Just like I never will forget their Maybe Birthdays–their due dates.
Unlike our first miscarriage, which only a few people even knew we were expecting, this pregnancy was very public. I found it overwhelmingly hard to go through the first miscarriage almost virtually alone. Gunnar was a baby and people seemed to constantly ask when we planned to have another one. Each question or comment by unknowing friends was like salt on an open wound. Do I share what we are going through? Do I change the topic? Do they even want to hear about this? As a result, I decided that any subsequent pregnancies would be public knowledge from the beginning. I wanted others to celebrate the new life with us, regardless of how long that life lasted.
The outpouring of love and support this time has been overwhelming. So many people have reached out, to which I am so incredibly grateful. But you know what? It still feels lonely.
Miscarriage Grief is a Lonely Grief.
Even amongst the calls, texts, and Facebook posts, I still feel alone. I know I’m not. I know it’s not rational to think that way. But very little of what I feel these days is rational.
When a loved one passes, there’s a visible hole left in our lives. We mourn who they were as a person and how their life shaped ours. With an early pregnancy loss, those same feelings are not there, except for the couple who was expecting. And, at the same time, I’m the only one with the constant physical reminder of what has happened. Others can go on with life, distracting themselves if need be, while every cramp, every bathroom trip is a cold reminder to me of what’s happening. No one else can see or feel the physical pain. It is mine to carry alone.
It’s been 3 days. I find myself balancing a fence between depression and acceptance. I never know which way the wind will tip me. I can feel completely fine; accepting it, and then all of a sudden I’m overcome with sadness. It’s as if I’ve been run over by a truck. There’s a heaviness and tightness that presses down on me that literally takes my breath away. In a moment it passes, and I am back on top of the fence, waiting once again to see which way the wind will push me.
My heart aches when I look upon the faces of my children. I am so incredibly thankful that God gave us these 3 beautiful gifts. My heart is so full of love for them it feels like it could burst. At the same time my heart hurts knowing that they will never know these two siblings. Having children around can help with distracting myself, but it in no way makes it easier. As thankful as I am for these 3, there is still a piece of me-of our family-that is missing. A void that won’t be filled this side of heaven.
I find comfort in the fact that my child only knew love. I find comfort in the fact that Jesus was the first face he saw. That his brother was waiting for him in heaven. I imagine them running around, playing and laughing with Jesus up in heaven. And it makes my grief-filled mommy heart smile, if only for a moment.
And I find comfort in Who is holding my children now. And I know Who is holding me. And I know that even though I can’t always understand why, He has a plan and promises to work all things for good.
Lord, may you be glorified through it all.