I feel like sharing our miscarriage story could be very therapeutic
This is by far the most personal thing I've ever posted on the internet. Normally, I'm more of the opinion that the internet is not a diary, so this feels pretty strange. I'm posting this for two main reasons...
One is that I feel like sharing our story could be very therapeutic. I've grown so tired of feeling like I have to keep this whole experience that has changed my world in so many ways a secret.
The other reason I felt led to share our story is that I am hoping that others who may be in similar situations will be at least in some way comforted that they are not alone. One of the things this whole experience has taught me has been that you really never know what private struggles people are dealing with that they feel like they can't talk about.
[You'll find links to more miscarriage stories on this page.]
Where to start...
Well, the biggest miracle of our beautiful life came in January 2012, when my husband and I completely unexpectedly found out we were expecting! I'm beginning to appreciate even more than ever how incredible God is for making such a wonderful plan for us to become parents!
Even though nobody we were close to at the time were new parents, I love, love, LOVED being pregnant! Although it was isolating at times, I truly fell in love with motherhood with every kick, ultrasound, heartbeat, nursery project, and baby class along the way. Hearing my son's first cry was the moment that changed me forever, and I will never ever forget it.
As time passed, my husband and I began to develop stronger and stronger "baby fever," which heightened soon after our son's first birthday. We had originally thought we would plan to have a second child about 2½ years after him, but we stopped wanting to wait any longer around the time he turned 13-14 months old. It only took a couple of months before we got a positive result on a home pregnancy test. We were so elated that day!
The first trimester of my pregnancy with our son had been spent worrying constantly about the possibility of miscarriage, but this time was different. This time, I knew my body could handle it and handle it well. We laid the digital test on the dresser in our bedroom, and for the next 24 hours (before the test stick ran out of battery), each of us stopped by every time we passed it to read that miraculous word again... Pregnant.
Life was pure bliss
We were nothing but purely blissful, and in the days that followed, we talked constantly about everything from pregnancy announcements to family and friends, nursery colour schemes, childcare options for two kids, what an incredible big brother our son would be, and how excited we were that my forever best friend, as well as our sister-in-law, were both due close to our due date. Life was so amazing that I remember feeling like I didn't deserve such a charmed life.
I have two sisters that I've grown up with and loved my entire life. My husband's brother is in every sense of the word his best friend, and throughout life, we've both been blessed enough to have additional siblings enter our life through marriage that we adore. Family means everything to both of us, and that sibling relationship is treasured so much. This is the love we want our son to know. But then it all changed completely.
I wasn't panicking
I knew a little spotting was normal, so I wasn't in panic mode when I made my way to the OBGYN to get everything checked out that Friday afternoon... just to be on the safe side.
After a thorough exam, the doctor told me that there didn't appear to be any kind of real complication to the pregnancy... but there was a significant amount of blood and a significant chance my body was about to miscarry this baby.
I headed home dazed but hopeful that things would still turn out ok. We prayed that night for God to be our strength and for His will to be done... Whatever that may be. But on Saturday morning, I woke up and immediately knew what was happening.
I immediately knew it was a miscarriage
It was immensely painful, but the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional pain we felt that our son would not have this little brother or sister. In a strange way, I felt comforted by the physical pain, because to me it meant that maybe Baby was still with us, if only for a little bit longer.
The only image that seemed to comfort me was the picture I had in my mind of God holding Baby and rocking our little one side to side like I had done so many times with our son. If our baby didn't get to be with us, at least there's a Heavenly Father to take care of her.
I clung to my faith to get through
I've never clung so hard to my faith in all my life. It felt like I was swimming in a deep ocean with a strong tide trying to pull me under. I was clinging to that inner tube of faith for dear life. I just knew that if I loosened my grip at all, I was a goner.
Through the months that followed, we were on an emotional roller coaster. We stayed firm in our trust that God would provide us with the family of His plan, although we had our moments of doubt that our dream of giving our son a sibling would ever come true.
Every time someone would ask us how many kids we had or if we were planning to have more (which was more and more common with every passing month), we were at a loss for words. Surely, this person doesn't really want to know our heartbreaking story...
So we kept our baby mostly between the two of us, like a deep secret that no one else should be burdened enough to know. But the truth is... Our baby changed our life. She changed everything we thought about. She changed the people that we are, and we will never forget her. We WANT the world to know she was here. She was real, and she was beautiful.
Grief isn't a predictable process
They say grief isn't a predictable process. They say there isn't any single particular pattern that it follows, and it's different for everyone. That sure has been the case for me.
Just when I think I've made a little progress towards moving on, it hits me like a ton of bricks and knocks the wind out of me. You should be showing by now, you should be setting up the nursery now, you should be preparing your son for brotherhood by now... It comes and goes, and it's hard to even feel like any progress is being made at all sometimes.
And the guilt. Guilt for not being further along in the healing process. Guilt in knowing that others have been through worse. Guilt when grief keeps me from enjoying the things I would otherwise be ecstatic about. So many emotions that are so hard to explain...
But the truth is I just MISS her. Every single hour. Every single day. I understand that she's being well taken care of by her heavenly Father, and for that, I will be forever grateful. But I miss her.
Another pregnancy five months after the miscarriage
Five months after our miscarriage, we found out we were pregnant again. This time was very different than both of the other times we had seen that positive test. This time, we forced ourselves not to get caught up in the daydream and get too far ahead of ourselves. We were determined to take things one day at a time. Thankfully, summertime made this easier than it otherwise would've been because we were so busy.
At my pregnancy establishment appointment at the doctor's office, I thought I was going to be sick. My nerves were going crazy, and I can't even really explain why. I gave my urine sample, and when the nurse walked into the exam room afterwards carrying a black plastic baggy, I thought I was going to burst into tears on the spot.
I knew what that baggy meant. I had seen it before. There would be prenatal vitamins and pregnancy literature inside... Because it's not a dream. It's really real. It was almost too much to take in for a while. Would our dream of giving our son a sibling finally be coming true?
Then the nurse pulled out her flip chart, without having said anything else to me, and she announces that it looks like I'll be due on March 9, pending the first ultrasound. After telling my husband the due date, he almost cried too.
March 9? Really? March 9? In my haze, I had somehow completely forgotten about the significance of that date in this family. My husband's mother's birthday is March 9. And so was her father's. At a time when we were so afraid to hope, we kind of felt like... well, maybe we can.
The ultrasound confirmed that due date, and even though it isn't likely that this baby will be born on March 9, that due date served its purpose in the meantime.
The nurse left the room, and the doctor came in. Among many other things, she asked about second-trimester testing. I asked if it was ok if we hold off on those decisions, as we really did not feel ready to think down the road at all yet.
She also asked me about my preferred method of delivery. This was really when it hit me... She's asking me this. We actually need to start talking about this!
You see, due to my son's heart condition at my 38-week checkup, we ended up having to induce. My body wasn't ready, and after 4 days of labour, we had our son via c section. Ever since I've been talking about how much I really want a VBAC next time around.
So that day is finally here! It's finally time to start talking about what we want that delivery to look like and planning for it. Insane.
Maybe it really will be okay
Well, since then things have really started to sink in. Seeing that 8-week ultrasound and hearing that heartbeat was such a huge milestone. I've been having pretty terrible morning sickness (which I never had the first time around) but it's just another thing that makes us hope... Maybe it really is going to be ok this time.
At our son's 2nd birthday party, we told our friends and family our news. I am now 12 weeks, and we're at a place where I thought we'd never be... Ready and excited to tell people we're pregnant again!
This child in no way replaces the one we lost. The pain is still there, and I'll always miss that baby. But I feel like it helps to have people know she existed because maybe I don't have to miss her enough for the entire world.
September 27 will be a tough, tough day, but we will get through it. It's a day we had so many plans for... The day we thought our son would learn what it is to be a big brother. We've gotten this far, and we at least have something amazing to look forward to. We will never, never forget you, Little Sweetheart.
Terms mentioned in this story
This is short for "vaginal birth after cesarean" and refers to giving birth vaginally following a previous pregnancy where the baby was delivered by c-section (cesarean section).
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