December 19, 2016 we saw those 2 life changing lines on a $10 stick. We found out the week of Christmas that we were pregnant with baby #2 and couldn’t be more excited! Our son just turned one and we knew we wanted to have two kids closer together in age. The plans began, we started envisioning 2017 and all the excitement it would hold. August would be our due date and I would be that miserable ginormous pregnant woman at the end of summer.
On Christmas morning we broke the news to our family with a wrapped picture frame that read, “We know you don’t like it when we buy you presents, so this year, we made you one. Arriving August 2017.” Tears were flowing, smiles were abundant. Plans of the next Christmas with our two babies filled the room.
The pregnancy symptoms were in full force from the beginning…the nausea, extreme fatigue, food cravings & aversions, mood swings (It was the HORMONES not ME! HAHA…), increased hunger…just ask my husband. 🙂 Everything seemed to be going just perfectly.
Then the light spotting happened. No cramping, no bright red blood or clots, just some spotting one time. My midwife was notified and I knew this could be completely normal, so I took it easy and we waited to make sure it didn’t get worse. We prayed. We waited.
The next week we had our first prenatal appointment with our amazing midwife. I am still night nursing our one year old, and only had one cycle before we got pregnant, so we were unsure of how far along we were supposed to be, but we were somewhere between 7.5-9 weeks. My fundal height felt a little under the projected time frame, but it was close. Next came the Doppler to try and find a heartbeat. We had no luck but we thought it may just be too early. While we told ourselves all the encouraging optimistic words, my mama heart sank a bit. I knew the possibilities and I began preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. The next morning we had a scheduled ultrasound and we knew we would know one way or another.
I couldn’t sleep that night. I woke up with a fake smile and anxious heart. My chest felt tight with anxiety that I tried to keep under the surface. I got ready for work as I was planning on going straight there after my ultrasound. My husband and I drove separately. The silence spoke for itself. Holding hands, we walked into that cold ultrasound room, hearts half full of hope, excited for the possibility of getting a glimpse of our baby.
The Ultrasound tech did her thing without saying a word. When she was done she went to speak with the doctor before returning. The 20 minutes she was gone felt like an eternity. Being a nurse myself, I tend to read other medical professional’s facial expressions and actions. I knew when she was doing the ultrasound that there wasn’t a beautifully formed tiny human in what she was looking at.
She came back into the room to inform us that the gestational sac was the size equivalent of a pregnancy just under 6 weeks. No heartbeat was found, but they usually can’t find a heartbeat before 6 weeks. She couldn’t tell us much more. Looking back…my heart knew. I called my midwife to inform her. She ordered some HCG blood tests for that morning and again in 2 days. It was the only way we would know for sure one way or another. If my HCG levels were raising, we would wait a few weeks and do another ultrasound. If my HCG levels were falling, our fears were confirmed that baby stopped growing between 5-6 weeks and this pregnancy was not viable.
I had my blood drawn right after the ultrasound, and as soon as I walked through those double doors into the parking lot, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. My husband held me as I sobbed into his shoulder. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to go. I take good care of myself! I’m so careful with what I put in my body! WHY us?! Jesus…you think I’m stronger than I really am. I don’t know if I can carry this burden.
My husband and I decided to go home after our appointment. There was no way I could go to work and slap on a fake smile with such a broken heart. I couldn’t even start grieving because we didn’t know 100% for sure. I had no cramping, no real miscarriage symptoms and I had to wait another 2 days for the blood work to confirm.
As we all do, I scoured the internet for stories…I found equal amount of stories of hope and tragedy with the same exact situation I was going through. Maybe it was because I have a tilted uterus…maybe that’s why they couldn’t see the baby that good. I have to believe…but I knew what might be…I have to prepare myself. I felt like my heart was in a tug-o-war of emotions.
Friday morning, I had my labs drawn again and hours later saw the numbers I was praying weren’t true. My HCG levels had dropped 1,000 in only 48 hours. It was confirmed. There was no longer a baby growing in my womb. I felt numb. I felt broken. I felt un-womanly. I felt like a failure. I felt guilty. Then…I felt like a bad Christian for feeling all those things and doubting God’s ultimate plan.
I told my husband over and over, “I know the right things to say and feel, I know God can work through the deepest tragedies because I’ve seen and experienced it. I know He knows best. I KNOW all these things….but I FEEL so broken. I don’t understand. This was so perfect. This baby girl (I knew from the beginning this baby would be a girl) could grow to be a strong and courageous world changer. Why would He let her be taken before she had a chance?
My husband reminded me…it’s ok to have a broken heart. It’s ok to feel pain and be honest and real in grieving this death. “Jesus will give you the strength you need. He wouldn’t put you through anything you couldn’t handle.” My husband’s words echoed in my mind. I knew he was right. We weren’t meant to go through these rough spots alone, that is why we have each other and our relationship with the Creator of Life.
There are two songs that have helped us through this time, that have shifted our perspectives and given us strength. Listen to the words…
This all happened within the past few days. My husband and I went on a date night last night. We wanted to celebrate the short month of life our baby had. These days have been filled with so much pain, we wanted to take a moment to breathe and enjoy each other. While at dinner, we talked about our story. We talked about all the pain we have walked through individually in our past and how the Lord has used our hardships to create so much beauty in our lives together. Our previous hardships…our story, has helped us relate to, connect with, and have compassion for others going through similar situations that we’ve been through. We know that this painful experience is no different. It is now a part of our story. A story we must share with the world. A life and a death we must acknowledge and share.
We both have realized, in the midst of all the other hardships we have gone through, miscarriage seems to be a silent struggle. It’s not one many people talk about. There really are no words. Because there are no words…because it can be so difficult to process, many people pretend it never happened and brush it under the rug all together because in the moment it is easier. We knew we couldn’t do that. Our broken roads were brought together a few years ago to be a message of hope. Heartbreak is real. Pain is real. We all have our stories. We all go through the struggle. How we get through this struggle, how we choose to perceive it, and how we choose to react to these situations is our choice and it’s what dictates our futures.
While our hearts are still broken, while my body is still processing that the baby inside of my womb is no longer living, as hard as it may be, we wanted to share our story with you. We want you to know if you are in pain, if you are struggling, you are not alone. Allow yourself to grieve. Listen to the two songs above and let your heart cry and heal. The truth is, there IS hope. No testimony is formed without a testing period. Your pain is part of your story. It is a part of what makes you…YOU. God will bring you through this if you trust in Him. Rest in Him. He hears your heart. He cries with you. He will bring you through it and you will one day be a source of strength and hope for the people who you will meet along your journey who need you to get through their tough time.
We hope our story in some way helps you. We know on Social Media and on the surface, many times, everything looks “perfect”. Know behind our professionally taken profile pictures filled with smiles, our hearts have many scars. Scars that are left from life’s cuts and wounds. Scars that are proof of both pain and healing. Scars that prove you can have life bigger than you imagined beyond your current pain.