Its a big girl world now…

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.

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22 responses to “Its a big girl world now…

  1. Lundsay,
    My heart aches for your loss. Words alone cannot bring all the comfort we need.
    My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage. I believe it is truly the death of a child. I need to mourn the loss entirely. And I did not understand why God would let this happen.
    Then I got pregnant again…..and now we have Katie in the world. What a blessing she is to me and those whose lives she touches. Comfort comes in knowing that in God’s wisdom, He took the first child so that we could have Katie.
    All my love and support.
    Brenda

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience so candidly. I can only imagine the pain you experienced because I have not gone through it myself, but stories such as yours never fail to deeply resonate in my heart. I encountered a range of emotions leading up to learning of my own pregnancy, from worrying if I was even physically capable of becoming pregnant to questioning if I even wanted to become a mother, when BAM, suddenly I was. Cody and I weren’t planning on becoming parents any time soon, and we were scared out of our minds, and in many ways we still are. And then when I learn of stories such as yours, and so many others, I thank God for a healthy pregnancy (so far…), and ask for forgiveness for ever doubting His timing and purposes. It never seems fair the way these things happen, and to whom. We can certainly question God in times like this, and I am glad to hear that you did. He will bring you even more clarity than He already has, and he will use your story for the Kingdom. You will be in my prayers, especially on the 14th 🙂 I know we don’t know each other very well, but I have no doubt that you and Ryan will make great parents when the time does come!

  3. Tara McIntire

    Thanks for sharing Lindsay. This made me cry. Not going to pretend I can imagine what it’s like – Praying for you guys.

    Tara

  4. I am so sorry, Lindsay. I hope that God continues to heal and show you His purpose in this tragedy.

  5. As unaware I am of everything that is going on in yours and Ryan’s life, my heart is still heavy for your loss. I’m always thinking about you and Ryan; I never knew there was a third in the family, other than Bella. I also can’t at all imagine losing a child, and because of my own circumstances, I may never know what it’s like to have one. So I may be as far from knowing/relating than most, but I love you both very much, and I honor and respect you in every way. I may be wrong, but I believe that a common dream that most parents have is not only to raise them right, but for their child to make it into heaven. I think God couldn’t wait to have him/her up there with Him. I don’t know a ton, but I do know for a fact that God works in beautiful, confusing ways.

    Thank you for sharing.

  6. Lindsay,
    That is an incredible story. My heart also aches for you and Ryan though I know neither one of you well. I just returned from my cousins house and holding his wife and his new baby. It is a truly amazing miracle to behold. I couldn’t imagine the pain of losing a child would be. When your time comes to give birth, I just know that you will show more unconditional love and compassion to that little one than anyone can imagine. You truly have the heart of a mother and parent. I hope that the Lord blesses you soon with a child. The future of your family is in my prayers.

    Nate

  7. Annette Smith

    Hugs Lindsay. I am glad you posted this. I think about you and your angel constantly and I have so much hope for you. From one angel mommy to another, I am so sorry for what you’ve been through.

  8. jesswilliams

    I know how you feel Lindsay. I’m always here for you as you keep moving forward. This is hard and not having answers is even harder. I am always praying for you… And always here to understand and talk if you need it. You know that… 🙂

    Love you always dear friend…

  9. Audra Garbinski

    Lindsay,

    thank you so much for being so honest and sharing this part of your life. I think in doing this, God will allow you to experience a bit of relief and connect with others on a much deeper level. Your absolutely right. This is part of your story and for some reason, God has allowed you to go through this. I can’t pretend like I know what you went through, but opening up like this will make other women know that they aren’t alone. Thank you for your boldness and I pray that God blesses you two with many, many babies. much love,

    Audra

  10. i just want to let you know that you are not alone in your questions and despair, i struggle with the same things with what happened to my claire. my eyes have really been opened that pregnancy, childbirth and even the health of our children are not always the easy, uncomplicated situations that we expect and see around us. i’m praying for you and ryan. i don’t know why these things happen lindsay but i just keep reminding myself everyday that He has our whole world in His hands and loves us. it’s the only thing that gets me through the pain.

  11. I am sooo glad you decided to share. I hope there was a lot of healing in writing this, and others who felt healed in reading this- knowing that they’re not alone. Now you know you’ll have many MORE thoughts and prayers on August 14th! I love you! 🙂 Wish you were close enough to hug right now!

  12. thanks for being so honest and vulnerable. may God use this in some way. prayin’ for you guys.

  13. Hi Lindsay,
    Your words were beautiful and honest and vulnerable and so honoring to the Lord. I remember having the same revelation in my mid-20s when several friends and my sister-in-law experienced miscarriage – I’d had no idea it was so common or so painful to process through. And then in my mid-30s a very similar revelation as friends and my sister faced the equally painful process of infertility.

    I truly believe miscarriage, infertility, stillbirth, birth defects, childhood illnesses and disorders are all things we will never understand “why?” while we are on this earth. But we can stay true to God in our struggle, even as we wrestle with him, and somehow find ourselves wiser and more grace-filled because of it.

    You are awesome.
    Natalie

  14. lindsayguard

    Thanks for all your kind words, encouragement, and prayer. I hope this post serves a much bigger purpose than I even planned!

    Brenda, thank you for sharing your story. Miscarriage can feel like a shameful thing for a woman because we’re “supposed” to be able to carry a baby. Its probably equivalent to a man getting laid off….we feel like a failure even though its not our fault but we’ve so wrongly been taught that that’s how we’re valuable. There is nothing more bonding than sharing a painful experience with someone else who gets it.

    Natalie and Nicky, I know questioning God when it comes to your children is not an unfamiliar thing to both of you. You both have such strength and you’re an encouragement to the rest of us!

    Patti, miss you! Thanks for physically being there for me in January. Wish I could go spend a day at Disneyland with you again 🙂

  15. xoxo! this blog post alone is a huge part of healing as we talked about yesterday. God has already used the loss of your first baby in powerful ways! you’re always in my prayers. xoxo!

  16. I am glad that you have found the strength to talk about your experience and the even greater strength and wisdom to not “blame” God to see it as his will for your life at this time in your life. There are so many things that I wish was different in my life but I know that God has it all undr control. Keep praying, and sometimes you can’t even do that because of the weight on your heart. Just know that God hears our hearts even when we are not saying a word!

  17. i wish i could just reach through this computer and wrap my arms around you! thank you for speaking freely…for you and for us…and as you’ve said…for the Kingdom. love you, lindsay! may Hope continue to grow and light the future love you and Ryan will bring your little ones.

  18. I’m really proud of you for sharing all of this. You’ve been so strong. Thank you.

  19. Allison Yates

    Hi Lindsay…thanks for sharing your story. I will be praying for you and Ryan as God brings you to my mind. I have experienced a miscarriage and so I know what you are going through. It would have been our 4th child and my kids still on occasion talk about the baby that we lost. (It’s been 6 years) God is good and gives us the grace that we need to get through these tough times. I think that sharing your story is one of the best things you could have done. It takes courage to do that and it is so obvious that you are relying on the Lord for strength. I believe one day we will be together with our child in heaven and you and Ryan the same. Just think of what a reunion it will be. I pray God’s blessing on you and Ryan. Love, Allison

  20. Kim Robinson

    Lindsay,
    I had no idea. I want you to know that I am committed to pray for you and your feelings and your strength. I will pray for clarity and for new life. I myself had a miscarriage between Maddy and Ty. Actually the exact same way that you did. When I was reading it just kept bringing up memories for me. I also had no clue as to how common it a miscarriage is until I had one and shared with others and then they shared their story with me. I dream about my baby I lost even though I never knew her. Not even sure it was a girl but that is what I dream about. I am always here if you want to just talk or whatever. But I am going to pray and be committed to it. Please keep me posted on your journey and please let me know if there is anything I can ever do for you.
    -Kim Robinson

  21. Pingback: 11.21.08 « Lindsay Guard

  22. I feel sorry to hear about your loss. Thank you for sharing it here. We could feel the pain you must gone through- the way you wrote it. Beautiful feelings.
    I was 12 when my mother told me I had a degenerative twin, only one of us could survive. She was never born. I know it might seem absurd to some but there are times when you feel their presence and suddenly you start missing them, wishing that they were with you.
    The last line will make every reader say goodbye to a tear that will trickle down their cheeks. And with every tear that rolls down, your baby is being remembered.

    Sruti (India)

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