I have written this post over and over in my head. I have dictated it out loud to myself on long car rides and while cleaning my house. Anything I hear that tweaks my heart, I try to remind myself to add to this post. Through all that, I still don’t really know how to start. In hindsight, I would have just made this known in January when it all went down….but hindsight is 20/20 right? I won’t try to make this poetic or pretty, just straight from my heart…
Ryan and I had always talked about expanding our family around 2 years of marriage or when he turned 30 (which ever came first depending on when we got married). On Ryan’s 30th birthday, November 23, 2008 I gave him a scrapbook I had worked on for weeks containing various letters from friends and family blessing Ryan and expressing their love for him. Ryan read through about 20-some pages until he got to the last page:
” Dear Daddy,
I know this is coming as a big surprise to you! Mommy found out only two days ago that she was pregnant with me and couldn’t believe it either. I think its perfect timing to be what you’ll hopefully consider the best birthday gift ever! From what Mommy can tell, I am due to arrive sometime in July but she hasn’t been able to go to the doctor yet to find out for sure. I know I haven’t been around very long but Mommy tells me you are going to be the best daddy ever! She says you are really funny and will probably be the first person I smile at. I hope I am as witty and silly as you! Mommy also says that you care a lot about people and love God more than anything. I know that you will be great at teaching me to also care about people and to make a difference in this world. I can’t wait for you to teach me about the Bible and how God changed your life. I’m the luckiest baby to get to be the legacy you leave behind!
Oh, and Mommy said you’ve never changed a diaper before so I will try to go easy on you 🙂
Love you Daddy!
Being fearfully and wonderfully made,
Your 1st Born”
DISCLAIMER: The next paragraph walks you through some of the physical parts of the miscarriage.
Whew, that last line “being fearfully and wonderfully made” was a tough one to write. On Christmas Eve we found out there was a heartbeat…on December 29th I started spotting. This can be normal in early pregnancy but I was in Ohio and our insurance wasn’t covered there so I couldn’t just go to my family’s doctor. I didn’t have “red blood and cramping” so the on-call nurse said to not worry and just take it easy. WORD OF ADVICE TO MY GIRLFRIENDS OUT THERE: Please get any spotting checked out. “Brown” blood is not necessarily old blood and harmless. On January 2, 2009 in the bathroom of the Las Vegas airport the bleeding got heavier and on January 3, in a hospital bathroom my body contracted for about a half hour and my pregnancy ended. It was physically the worst pain my body has ever felt as I labored to pass the baby I would never hold. I remember a warm rush through my body as I fell on the bed in my room and reality of what just happened hit me square in the face. I felt this supernatural strength and ache at the same time. I couldn’t believe that one of the, if not the, most excruciating things a woman can go through was now a part of my story and there was nothing I could do about it.
The few months following our loss are kind of a blur right now. I definitely experienced all the emotions that come with grief. Sorrow, anger, numbness, confusion, and maybe a few glimpses of hope became my companions….not to mention sweatpants and chocolate. My follow-up doctor appointments were perfect and we were in the clear of any major issues that would cause any future problems. “Its just one of those things…” (Don’t they teach compassion in medical school?) To be honest, the earlier months were almost easier than these last few. With every month that passes, every period that arrives right on time, and every new pregnancy announcement I’m reminded that I’m not pregnant anymore and not pregnant again. I’m just holding firm to the truth that He makes beauty from ashes.
“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:3
So where are we now? Hopeful. Theology doesn’t have much to say about something like this. The best non-medical answer I can figure out as to why something like this would happen is that we live in a broken, sinful world. I’m not fully on-board with that answer yet. At what point did “brokenness and sin” take over in the creation process? The one verse that makes my heart uneasy is Psalm 139 when God says he knits us together in our mother’s womb. At what point did God step back and let my imperfect body take over? Couldn’t he have taught me this lesson any other way? I wish we all had a free pass to hang on one thing in our life that says “Don’t Touch”, ya know? If God is knitting other babies together in their mothers’ wombs, then doesn’t it only make sense that he was knitting mine together too? Did he mess up? Or just give up? Does he step out of everyone else’s creation process as well or just us 1 out of every 4 women? I’m not necessarily looking for answers to these questions from people I share this with. I have a safe circle of family and friends who can say the right things but I think its important that you get a glimpse of the things I’m wrestling through as I’m sure I’m not alone in my questioning!
I share this with you all for me and for you. For me, this is part of my story, forever. This is a kind of pain that not everyone will feel. I don’t know about you, but when I finally decide to share something that has been on my heart, its like a weight lifts off of me. I may not ever have an answer for why I was chosen to go through this but I do know that I don’t want to waste what it could potentially do for the Kingdom. The worst thing we can do with our pain is keep it to ourselves. We can’t heal or help that way. For you, you need to know what is going on in my life. Maybe you need to know so you can pray for me, maybe you can lend an encouraging word, or maybe you’ve been through the same thing but have found, as I have, that people just don’t seem to talk about it…at all. I have been shocked at how many people have had a miscarriage but I never knew until I told them about mine. Perhaps you will find yourself here down the road and will remember me as someone who gets it. So here it is…I’m handing it over to God to use however he sees fit.
My due date is August 14th. That’s next Friday. My womb will be empty and so will my arms. My heart, however, will treasure the sweet 8 weeks we had with our baby and long for eternity that we’ll get to spend together when we finally do meet.