I would like to talk about something that not a lot of people seem to want to talk about. Not many of my friends and family know this, but Kyle and I suffered a loss earlier this summer. I know that most of you are reading about this for the first time. Please understand that it’s just as hard for me to talk about it today as it was in the beginning. It’s much easier for me to write down everything exactly how I remember it happening and how it all made me feel in one place, at one time. Retelling the story of our miscarriage is painful. Our wounds are still raw. Please do not take offense if we haven’t told you in person.
Let me start at the beginning.
On Father’s Day of this year, I just felt like something was different. My chest had been really sore, I was super tired, and I just knew. So I took a test and got a positive — we were pregnant! Kyle and I were overjoyed. We had talked about children quite a lot since we met. After our wedding, we decided that we would leave it up to God. We did not actively try to prevent, or achieve pregnancy. After the initial shock, we were truly ecstatic. My family came to visit us in late July, right around when I was almost eight weeks. I had not had an ultrasound, but I had taken a LOT of tests. I also went to a clinic to have them confirm that I was, indeed, pregnant. We decided to tell my family in person rather than wait for the twelve week mark. I wanted them to know regardless. I had an ultrasound scheduled for the Tuesday after they left.
Kyle and I drove to the doctor that day. I will never forget a single moment of it. I remember telling myself not to get my hopes up, that it was still early, that we hadn’t seen or heard a heartbeat yet. They drew my blood and ran through their questions. Then, it was time for the moment of truth: the sonogram. The tech wiggled the wand around and there he was, our baby! He looked perfect to me. She measured him at eight weeks four days, a little ahead of schedule by our calculations. Then she said, “see right there? That’s where we should see a heartbeat. I don’t see that, baby…” Kyle and I just looked at her. She had to be wrong. Maybe it was just too early. She said she didn’t want to say anything for sure, so they brought us back in the next day to meet with the doctor and have another ultrasound.
The next day, the doctor confirmed that there was no heartbeat. She nonchalantly told me it was “nothing to be concerned about” and that it “happens all the time”. I just looked at her blankly, wondering if she knew how devastating this was for us. Did she know we had names picked out? That we had started thinking about the future? We did not just lose a ‘fetus’. We lost our child, as well as every hope and dream we had for him. We lost holding him in our arms at the hospital, hearing his first cry, watching him grow and learn. We’ll never know who he looked like, what his little personality would be like, or whether he was a ‘he’. She told me I could have a D&C, take a medicine to make my body miscarry, or I could let my body do so naturally. We were moving across the country in three days, so I opted to wait it out naturally. Looking back, I think that was the right choice. It gave me time to say goodbye.
The two weeks of waiting for it to happen were the hardest two weeks of my life. Every day I felt like my body had failed my child. I felt like I did something wrong. Maybe I ate the wrong kind of cheese or lunchmeat. Maybe I took a shower that was too hot. Maybe I drank too much coffee. I will never stop wondering why my child is not still growing inside my belly. I will never have answers. My doctor neglected to even run my blood work. Kyle called later on to see if they had found anything in the tests – low progesterone, anything – and they simply told him that they never ran any.
I feel cheated by my doctors. Never once did they warn me about the physical pain I was about to experience. They did not offer me medication or advice to help me cope. Two weeks later when the actual miscarriage began, I was terrified. I remember thinking that there was no way it was supposed to hurt this badly. Something must be wrong. We were in Louisiana at the time. I remember going to a funeral for our friends’ infant the day after the miscarriage. As strange as it sounds, it was almost comforting.
I could imagine our child, beside our friends’ baby, and all the other lost children of the world together in God’s kingdom. I wish I knew what our child saw when he opened his eyes for the first time. Did he look upon the face of God? Was Mary there to comfort him? I still mourn our baby every day; however, I find comfort in God’s plan. Maybe he knew our child would suffer. Maybe he saw things in our future that we could not imagine. I would have been seventeen weeks today. We would be finding out if our baby was a boy or girl soon. I may have even felt some kicks by now. Instead, I know that our baby is up in heaven, watching over us. I hope we can give him a brother or a sister someday. We laid our baby to rest in Louisiana. Kyle said a few beautiful prayers and I cried. We painted a memorial stone together and placed it over our child’s resting place.
Some of you may wonder why I’m choosing to share this now. I’m doing so because I wish women didn’t feel the need to hide their losses and suffering. One in four pregnant women will miscarry. Just imagine that. For every four mothers you know, one of them may have suffered a loss. When women I know found out about our miscarriage, many of them came forward with stories of their own. Hearing what others had gone through helped me know what to expect. Hearing about their grief somehow validated my own. At times I felt like I shouldn’t have been so upset. Other women had lost their babies in the third trimester or even after birth. I felt like I should have been able to pull myself together and move on. The truth is, I don’t think I ever will fully move on. I may not be able to hold my child in my arms, but I held him inside my womb for ten and half short, beautiful weeks. Why is it that I, along with other women, have debated keeping that a secret? I sincerely wish miscarriage wasn’t such a taboo subject, but rather one that allowed women to support and uplift each other. Why do people feel the need to hide miscarriage? Are they ashamed? Embarrassed? I am not sharing this for pity. I am sharing this in the hopes that maybe my story can help someone. I hope some mother somewhere out there will read this and understand that it is out of her control. God needed our babies back much sooner than we would have liked. They will never know pain, hatred, or suffering. For the entire time they were with us, they knew nothing but love.
Kyle and I are hoping for our very own “rainbow baby” someday. Until then, please keep our family in your prayers. You’re all certainly in ours. God bless you all.