On This Day, We Said Goodbye

*A fair warning to any readers, this post is extremely personal and written in total transparency, and I feel comfortable doing so. A lot of what I will write about I’ve never shared before. Miscarriage is an experience that is so extremely unique for each and every mother. It is always dealt with differently, and this is my story of loss. I hope to encourage those who have gone through similar situations, and I hope to show you through my complete honesty the love, fear, anguish, and longing I felt through these times. I also wish to be here as support to anyone who needs/wants it. If you feel uncomfortable discussing this topic, please kindly move on, you don’t have to read a single word more if you don’t wish to.

 

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I’m sitting here today, watching my two favorite little boys play with their tractors,

completely coated in dirt, and while my heart is so beyond full from these two precious babies God has given me, I can’t help but think about and long for my two babies in heaven.  5 years ago, Blake and I were living in Alaska when we found out we were expecting our first. 481171_4308283111017_1065490006_nWe were over the moon excited, and each day of that pregnancy felt like a fairy tale. It was too good to put into words. I was eating healthy, staying active, spending most of my afternoons walking the shoreline at Lowell Point Beach, watching otters and porpoises play in the cold waters of Resurrection Bay, bordered with towering mountains and glaciers. 470632_4090174778445_1511614262_oIt was a beautiful start to a beautiful little life. We started looking into all things birth and had so many great plans for a little nursery back at our house in Joplin MO where we would be having the baby. We dove in head first to this new parent thing because, by-golly, we were SO ready. One day while we were at church I started having severe pain in my stomach. I thought I would just get up and walk it off, cause-well-pregnancy. It’s pretty weird all around. I walked outside for a little bit by the river and under the pine trees, taking deep breaths and wondering what I must’ve eaten wrong. It never dawned on me that something was very “off”. After about 20 minutes I was in even worse pain, so I asked Blake if we could head home so I could maybe lie down. On our drive home I remembered noticing the pains were coming in waves, but never thinking anything of it. After being at home and trying to rest for only a few minutes, something like an electric shock went through my body when I realized I was bleeding. I just wondered if that happens in normal pregnancies, because this WAS a normal pregnancy. It was perfect and it was meant to be. We decided to drive to the nearest hospital which was about an hour away just to get things checked out. It was one of the most painful drives of my life, but only physically, as I emotionally had not come to realize what was happening. I remember it coming into my head for a split second, “What if… No. Nope! We’re good!”

We arrived at the hospital and watched the Olympics in the waiting room while they got things ready. They told me they would do an ultrasound and I was actually excited, thinking how fun it will be to see our little 10 week old muffin, cooking away. I wasn’t in denial at this point, I had shut out my earlier dark thoughts, yes, but it wasn’t like I needed to constantly quench those worries. I really just had no thought of this happening at all. The doctor, a sweet red-head with some of the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen, performed the ultrasound. Even then, I had no nerves, just happiness. Then I saw the perfect form of our child. It’s adorably big head, little arms, hands, feet. The umbilical cord which connected me to my my baby. Everything looked perfect. Then I realized how silent the room had become. It had been a while too. Without taking my eyes of the screen, off the form of my perfect baby, I could feel it. The shift in the room. My baby was perfect and tiny and… still. Completely still. Then she said it, the doctor turned to me with pain in those kind eyes and told me, “I’m so sorry, there is no heart beat.” I remember I couldn’t breathe. I felt like I didn’t have a throat anymore. I couldn’t see then, either, past the tears that wouldn’t stop for days to come. I remember a nurse, one who earlier had noted that I was “Only 18?!” ask, “Were you guys, like, even trying?” One look from the doctor silenced her immediately. I remember saying saying something to her along the lines of “Does it matter?” Yes, we had been trying, for months we had wanted and wished for and prayed for this baby. We had friends and family praying with us for this child. I wanted to be mad at that woman for assuming this little life, or any life for that matter, meant less because of some reason or another. The doctor handed me some tissues, then, this stranger who just delivered the worst news imaginable, held me. She let me cry into her shoulder. She didn’t rush a single thing. She waited till I somewhat caught my breath and grabbed onto Blake. The next few days were a blur. I couldn’t handle the pain of it at times, the pain of child labor which I had been feeling all along. They offered to let me go home and work through the process in private, as long as we kept an eye on my health. We went home and we mourned together. I couldn’t believe it at times, that my first baby, my perfect baby, was gone. It was all over. All the plans we had, all the hopes for the pregnancy, birth, nursery, it was all for nothing. I had just started writing in a journal for this baby, something I thought would be so fun to read with them on their birthdays, and I now looked at it as nothing. Useless. She won’t ever get to read these words that were meant for her. Then I realized I said her. Who is she? Who was she? If this all just “ended”, was this little one anyone’s? She was mine. I loved her fiercely, wether she was here in my arms, or laying still and silent in my tummy. I realized I didn’t have to love her any differently because she was gone. I loved her just the same. This was the same day she was born. July 30th, 2012. We named our baby Eve. The hardest part about loosing a child is not knowing who “has them” now. I remember frantically panicking about any pain or suffering she felt, or was feeling, then I realized what a beautiful hope I had. I knew God was already holding her tightly for us, comforting any pain or fears or loneliness she may have. As a daughter of Christ, there was no one I would trust more to take care of my little babies than the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. I felt God “hugging” me through the entire process and I was not afraid. I was wrought with sadness and longing for my little one, but I was mourning. Nothing more, nothing less. A woman hugged me one day after she heard what had happened and told me, “It’s ok! It’s ok to be so mad at God. I don’t understand why he does such horrible things, I don’t know why he would put you guys through this, it’s ok to be really mad at him!” What? Why on earth would I be mad at God? I don’t know why my baby had to go so soon, but blaming God for such horribleness? No, it wasn’t happening, naturally or forced. My sweet one came and went just as she was supposed to. My Lord was in control of it all, of course, but If I stopped and tried to understand the intricate and complex workings of God, where would I get? His works are not for me to always understand, this is where fait comes into my relationship with God. Even to this day, I don’t know the reason why He swept my little Eve away so soon, but I don’t blame him for a horrific act against me. If I were to understand and know all the things and ways in which God knows and works, what then would make him so special? What would make him worthy to be praised, worthy to be glorified and loved? He is who He is, and it isn’t always for me to understand. I just know he loves me as fiercely as I love my child, if not more. Some people don’t get this way of thinking and that is OK. I have come to these thoughts on my own, through my own walk with Him, and I am grateful for the steadfastness he shows through thick and thin.

 

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My baby was gone with Jesus, my heart was broken, my family lived hundreds of miles away.

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Blake surprised me by flying my twin sister out for our birthday and I will never forget the healing that took place during that trip. Life does go on, but that doesn’t mean it went on without our child in our lives.

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She is still in our hearts and on our minds often, and we are so thankful that she was there to meet our second child after they went to heaven too soon as well. I had already given birth to two beautiful sons, within 14 months of each other when we found out I was pregnant for a fourth time in three and a half years. I was shocked but we were so excited. 12162919_10208293567082553_1869334273_oI had horrible morning sickness which is supposedly a great sign (I had HG with both of my boys, the worst form of morning sickness, hooked up to IV fluids for a lot of the first trimester. I was never sick a single day with Eve, not even a little.) I had my blood work done to make sure my hormone levels were rising well and baby was growing happy and healthy. We got the call from my midwife that “Your hormone levels are awesome, super high! You’re in the clear!” We announced to our family and friends that our next little bun was cooking and went in for an early ultrasound at around 9 weeks. The second we saw the baby, I knew again. No one needed to say that our little love was gone, we could see. Another still, sweet body. For some reason this one resonated differently with me. I felt like I had failed my child. I felt like my body was at fault. We decided to go home and let things happen naturally again. They didn’t. I got sicker and sicker, and my hormone levels kept rising. Not a good sign. Once I developed a fever we had to intervene. They gave me medicine to induce labor. The pain of labor is hard enough, but the pain of laboring for a child you don’t get to keep is pain of a different kind entirely. I knew what was happening this time, I knew the familiar contractions and I knew my time with my baby was ending. I was still angry at myself at this point, angry that I somehow let my little one down. One particularly sick and miserable day during the miscarriage, I stopped and realized I was making this situation as horrible as I could. That all the stress and turmoil I was wallowing in was how I was choosing to let my little one go. I stopped right then and there and lay down in my bed, cradled my tummy, and sang the goodnight song my mother sang to me each night she put me to bed. I sang over and over through tears and sadness and poured all my love for that little one into my sobby song. I fell asleep to soft falling snow and woke up that evening-turmoil free.

That was the day our second child went to heaven.

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This process was still different than the first, as my body didn’t recognize that there was no longer a baby present anymore. It kept dumping HcG into my bloodstream like there was no tomorrow.My Doctor speculated that the placenta did not detach all the way, and an ultrasound proved her suspicions. I had to go through another round of those horribly painful meds. I still suffered from fruitless morning (ALL DAY-ALL NIGHT) sickness. After another week or two of these symptoms attacking me at full force, I developed a high fever and was in the hospital. I had to have surgery to remove whatever was confusing my body. The doctor let us know after the procedure that it went smoothly and that we could finally start healing from this process. The follow up ultrasound was clear and I was sent home to rest and recover. Only a week or so later did I realize I wasn’t getting better, and my fever was back. Another ultrasound showed more (new) tissue. My doctor let me know at this point this could be something more, something cancerous. I could have cancer. My HcG was still really high, even now,  weeks from any actual pregnancy. I had to endure a third round of this medication which, thank the Lord, worked. My HcG slowly dropped in the following weeks and I finally was past the worst. The entire process from start to finish lasted four whole months. I was not diagnosed with any sort of cancer, but cautioned that this put me at a higher risk of developing it down the road. I felt like I could finally focus on loving my baby instead of losing my baby. I wonder all the time what four blond curly heads would look like instead of two. 13920097_10210710586826536_3116019813022654937_oMaybe someday I will get to experience it, but for now, I am so grateful that my children are loved. All of them are so, so loved. I can’t wait till the day that I get to hold them all in my arms, and tell them to their faces how darn stinkin’ loved they are. Until then, I will remember the beautiful time we spent together on this world, and I look back on it with such a sweetness. It is not an ugly thing, to create life, it is a hard thing to lose it, and it’s a sacred thing to remember it. Everyone deals with loss differently. Some people mourn in silence, and I thought at first that was the “proper” thing to do. I felt very alone with all the deep hard feelings of my miscarriages, until I realized they were mine, no one else’s. They were mine to experience, and mine to deal with in my own way. In the way God created me to mourn. I respect and encourage anyone who has dealt with this loss to deal with it exactly the way you feel you need to. If that means keeping it completely to yourself, mourning with only friends and family, or reaching out to others for support, it is YOUR choice and YOURS alone. Never let someone take that right away from you. It is your child. Your experience. I cannot stress this enough. To anyone who has dealt with the loss of a child, my heart is with you. My love is with your little one, and my prayers are for your healing. May you feel loved, and may you love the time you had with your child. To anyone watching or helping a loved one through this, let their journey unfold the way it was meant to, not the way society has forced upon us. Love, support, encourage, give space when space is needed, hold tight when comfort is wanted, and have patience and understanding for the journey they are going through. Do not be ashamed for the life you created and the love that was born.

2 thoughts on “On This Day, We Said Goodbye

  1. The image of you one day holding all of your babies in your arms is so beautiful. Your rainbow babies are so loved and you are such a strong woman for keeping your faith through something like that. I have never been pregnant and it’s hard for me to understand what it must feel like to see that baby on the screen, but as a woman I can imagine some of that connection and I thank you for sharing this story. I know so many women who feel like they have done something “wrong” by miscarrying, but our bodies are strange machines and picturing all those baby souls together somewhere caring for each other is beautiful. -SunDee

    Like

  2. ….Praise God!
    Thank you for sharing your heart in such an intimate and loving way.
    It is truly a blessing to me….

    Like

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