The headphones weren’t working, the drugs weren’t strong enough. The sound was the most horrifying thing I’d experienced. The pain was strong. The nurse held my hand sympathetically and I employed all the hypno-birthing relaxation methods I could. I tried to shut my mind down and go somewhere else. I remember everything – all the details – and I am beyond glad that I was the only one who went through it. I’m glad he was spared the experience. If I could go back and choose again, I’d risk the emergency for this was more traumatizing than I counted on.
The suggestion was that I wait 6-ish months to get pregnant again. My doctor said that physically this was a good marker but, emotionally, it would be up to me. She stressed the importance of emotional readiness. It took a year. I think it took a full 6 months for my body to get back to normal, for my cycles to be what they used to be without any weirdness. Medically, I was probably fine before that but I knew my body and it took 6 months before it felt “normal” again. The other 6 months held the battle of the mind and heart. Deep down I knew that I wanted another child. I knew that I didn’t want to end my pregnancy journey with that loss but getting over the fear of going through that again was hard.
I am a woman of faith, raised in a family of faith, surrounded by people who share my faith. Faith is what sees us through. Faith is what battles the fear, the guilt, the memories, the “shoulda coulda woulda” days. My faith is different because of this. My marriage is stronger because of this. My God is more tangible because of this. I had a friend ask me if I had questioned God through it all… or if I had lost my faith at any point. My immediate answer was “No”. I never lost my faith. I never wavered in my belief that God was in control and He had me in the palm of His hand. But, yes, I had questioned Him. I asked why. I also thanked Him for not letting me feel that baby, for not letting me get even more attached, fall even more in love. There were times I wondered if it were better when my arms ached to hold that child and my eyes longed to see its form – even silent and still – but, no, I remind myself it was His grace that the baby passed so early.
Through my doubt that I could handle the sadness, I received the comfort of His promises in the Bible.
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“I knit you together in your mother’s womb.”
“I know the number of hairs upon your head.”
“Nothing can separate you from the love of God.”
“His thoughts are not my thoughts…His ways are not my ways.”
“You are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
“Do not be afraid.”
“I will be with you wherever you go.”
Our faith grew even when our babies didn’t.
So, we took that plunge again. In September of 2009 I was pregnant. I was excited. I was scared. I walked on egg shells for the first 12 weeks, breathed a little easier the 20th and then felt like I was out of the woods. It was my hardest pregnancy so far. I was in lots of pain for the last trimester. 2 weeks before my due date our little girl, Keira, was born. Easiest labor, most intense delivery, beautiful baby girl. We were so thankful!
In January 2011, I found out I was pregnant. I had miscounted the days and we don’t use birth control… oops. I was due in September. I truly worried that my body wasn’t going to be able to handle all of this. A 3rd child who was still an infant, 3 surgeries, full time work, graduate classes…I prayed very hard that God would protect this child and give me strength. I waited until a friend I had confided in told me I was starting to show enough to make people wonder before I announced it. Again, I walked on egg shells until the 20th week and was nervous until near the end. I was on lots of natural supplements for my adrenal system (which was so tired) and had to undertake a strict diet for my hypoglycemia, which was causing blood sugar issues. Other than the fatigue, it was one of the easiest pregnancies I’d had. Little nausea, little pain, fast labor/delivery (3.5 weeks early), horrible nursing issues for the first month but pure bliss at the new life God had entrusted to our care.
It is estimated that approximately 50% of pregnancies end in miscarriage (that includes those who didn’t even know they were preg and figured they had a late period). It isn’t IF you will miscarry but WHEN you will… though some escape it by not continuing to get pregnant like I have!
I speak openly to those who ask about my miscarriages. I feel that miscarriage shouldn’t be so hush-hush. I feel that there is healing and freedom in open discussion of pregnancy loss. I think too many women stuff their feelings and feel they must trivialize the loss. They feel silly for being so attached to something that “never was.” I disagree. I firmly believe that life begins at conception. EVERY life has value. EVERY life lost is worth mourning and celebrating. Talking about it helps. I journaled, very detailed, about my first loss. I didn’t about the 2nd one. I am very open about discussing my journey but stop short of sharing about the D&C. I say that I had to have one and that, if given the option again, I would refuse. I say I wish I hadn’t but leave it at that. For me, it’s a memory I’d rather not rehash often.
Have I really healed from it? Have I really dealt with it? Perhaps not. I still have my moments of guilt for willingly participating in the D&C. I felt, at the time, it was the most logical choice but now I know that logic has little to do with choices concerning miscarriage. I wish I had waited and taken the risk of an emergency. I wish I didn’t have the haunting memories of that day. I wish I hadn’t miscarried. I’m glad I know so that, if someone is in the same situation, I can give them my opinion (though I have never given details of my memories of that day). I am glad that I can help someone else. I wish the drugs had worked better. I wish the headphones had blocked out the sound. I wish I had been put under. I wish I hadn’t miscarried. I wish there wasn’t a 3 year gap between my kids where I constantly see that little life that never was. Another baby didn’t fill the loss…I waited a year…enough time that the baby would have been born and then some…enough to see the gap filled by a little one who never joined us. I wish I hadn’t miscarried. The 2nd loss was, by far, the hardest for me. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t prepared for all that came with it. I still tear up when I think of those babies…but even more so for the 2nd lost one. I am excited for the day I will meet them when the Lord calls us Home.
So, have I “moved on?” I don’t think we move on after a loss. I think we move forward. And by God’s grace I move ever forward, though little bits of my heart remain behind.