This will be a story of the most personal kind. I think God gives me the opportunities to experience a lot of things so that it will make me a more kind and compassionate friend, doula, and woman.
We found out in July that I was expecting our #3 baby. I have had two healthy pregnancies (however my first was a twin pregnancy and we lost the other baby); so I kind of assumed this one would be no different. It was a total surprise. We had been talking about expanding our family but I was not yet ready to be pregnant. We had talked about adoption and were leaning in that direction we had even called the adoption agency the day before we found out. Well none the less this was the path for our family and we were elated. David was over joyed- Elijah had been asking for a brother for months and he was clearly so excited. I found out at 3.5 weeks so we waited until we had a good ultrasound to let others know about this baby. Around 7.5 weeks we had a great ultrasound with a sweet baby, heart rate in the 130s and we were thrilled. We let the world know that we would be expecting our “unexpected blessing” in April.
This pregnancy proved to be no different than the ones previous, other than being placed on progesterone really early because my numbers were low. Lots of stomach upset, gaining weight rapidly cause all I can eat is carbs, and ice cream, (I am 99.9% sure it’s a boy), and general excitement for what’s to come.
9/11 seems to be a day in history and will be a marker for our family for years to come. I took the kids into a routine midwife appointment- joking how on your third baby you don’t do your paperwork till you get there, and your kids are tearing the place apart while daddy is at work. I love love love these midwives and am so thankful for their care. My kids were literally tearing apart the office, leaving pita pieces all over the place and causing general chaos. In walks my sweet midwife and friend Renee to the chaos. We chatted about tests and things I’d like to run, questions I had about this pregnancy (included can I sky dive? How about Mexico?) Overall the most enjoyable and causal appointment around. Renee decided to check baby’s heart rate with the doppler. Elijah was thrilled about this part as we had been talking about it for weeks. He helped Renee with the doppler while finally losing interest and watching Thomas on my phone. She fumbled around with the doppler for a long time- having to stop in between because Norah stuck her hand down her poopy diaper and was walking towards Renee (i kid you not- it was like a sitcom). We both laughed about it, I cleaned her up and we tried again. She brought in the ultrasound machine- I really wasn’t worried at all. I just chalked it all up to the chaos and we just laughed about it. She started scanning my belly and I didn’t see a flicker. We had had an ultrasound a few weeks before and the flicker was visible on the screen- I started to watch more intently. Thankfully my kids were oblivious to what was going on and happy to watch Thomas the Tank. Renee thoughtfully told me- baby looks appropriately sized, but I don’t see a heartbeat or movement. That’s when I lost it. I feel like someone punched me in the stomach, and knocked the wind out of me at the same time. She told me they were sending me into a higher level ultrasound to get answers and that I needed to call David.
I got myself together- it’s amazing what you can do when you need to and made sure the kids felt like nothing was wrong and we were just coming home for naps. I literally balled all the way home- I was afraid I was going to get in a wreck because I couldn’t see through my tears. I turned the music on loud and the kids were oblivious to it all. I just needed to get them in bed. I texted my sweet friend and doula and she immediately offered to help. I asked if she could watch our kids in the afternoon so that we could go to the next appointment alone. She graciously offered and even made us dinner in the process. (God’s people are so so good.) I texted David as I knew I could never make it through a phone conversation and told him to come home before the appointment. Since he didn’t see the first ultrasound I feel like he really wasn’t prepared for what was coming. We dropped the kids off and headed in for the ultrasound. We could barely talk the whole way there- I had spent the entire day crying; so my face was literally swollen. But I just kept praying (and had an army of people praying- God just get me through this day.) I was surprisingly calm in the next ultrasound and told the tech, I need to see that screen, and could you please give us some good pictures. I knew almost instantly we were just confirming what we already knew. Our baby’s heart had stopped beating sometime around 9 weeks 6 days, which was just 3 days before. My body has had no signs of miscarriage, and still very much thinks I am pregnant- includes peeing all night long, and eating at 2 in the morning so I won’t get sick. David got his turn to weep as I told him, there is still no heartbeat.
I feel like I have been lost in the maze of just putting one foot in front of the other, to not knowing which way is up. We came home and told Elijah- he kept saying, “Why?” and “I’m sad.” All I could say was- me too buddy.
So why do I share this intimate and very real story. I have always said, I really don’t care who knows we had a miscarriage- and here’s why. So so many women have walked this road. It’s so easy to feel isolated and alone. I want to share my story so that others can feel the freedom to tell theirs, and find healing.
This happened yesterday- I am in no way healed. I am raw, emotional, and pretty much crying constantly right now. I now have to navigate how to end this pregnancy as my body just doesn’t seem to want to let go. I want to share my process of healing, so that hopefully others will also find hope and healing here.
“ The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21