That night was another hard night. We told the girls that it turns out we weren’t getting a baby right now after all. Stella didn’t mind much, but Harlo seemed a little confused. She wanted to know where our baby went and after trying to explain, she just suggested we get another one. That request seemed to work for her, and she climbed right into bed and changed the subject. I was so thankful they had taken it easy on me.
In bed, I kept replaying the words my doctor had said, the image of the empty ultrasound haunted me every time I closed my eyes. My heart felt like it was in a hundred pieces, each piece raw with agony. Along with the hurting though, was an immense feeling of love. I couldn’t have ever imagined the outpouring of love I was receiving. As painful as this process was to go through, I felt so connected to God and could see his grace surrounding me in all things.
I tossed and turned all night, feeling despair and pain in some hours and overwhelmed with kindness in others. It still hurt too much to think ahead at all and I tried to avoid thinking of any future plans we had made. I watched as the hours passed in disbelief that my body, being as exhausted as it was, could still not sleep.
Pretty soon, the girls were up for the morning, earlier than usual. Brady got up to help them and I prayed I could stay in a semi-state of sleep. But the morning noise and cartoons and breakfast shuffle made it impossible for me to slip into slumber and I groggily walked out to the kitchen. I quickly snapped at Brady, “the TV is so loud!” I caught myself overreacting and tried to cover, “I’m sorry, I just didn’t sleep last night, I’m.. so… tired…” and the sobbing took me over. Brady wrapped me in his arms and told the girls not to worry. He walked me back to our room, opened the window so I could see and smell the beautiful crisp morning and snuggled me back in bed. He was perfectly sensitive and sweet and I wondered when in our life together he had learned it all? How he knew me so well? How in the world I got him?
Stella climbed in bed with us and snuggled up to me as closely as she could, I knew she was worried about her mama. We looked out the window, marveling at the gorgeous pink sky as the sun was rising. I woke up three hours later with Stella wrapped tightly around my neck, snoring in my ear. I wondered right then if her sole purpose in this world was to come here to heal this very broken heart of mine. She was doing such a great job.
Harlo climbed up on my bed, happy to see I had woken up. She came to give me some morning love. “Mom, did your baby come out?” she asked. “Well, honey.. it just never really made it to my belly. We’ll just have to try again next time.” I said, wishing I had better words to explain to her. “ohhh, mom. I’m sorry. We’ll try again, okay? Let me go get you a sticker.” and off she went to fetch a sheet of stickers, which she let me pick my favorite colors. I was surprised by how much the stickers really did help.
It was this morning that I was able to see the Lord’s tender mercies. In large and small ways, He was showing me that He was there. He was taking care of me and my heart. I was able to see that even though I was struggling in this life right now, and that it was looking different than I had expected during this time, it was still so wonderful. I could see His mercies in Stella’s bedhead, which makes my heart skip a beat. I could see them in Harlo’s tender heart, nursing me back to health.
In a time that I was wondering when the pain would ever fade enough for me to feel happy again, I was surrounded by happiness. I was sad and broken, but He had filled my broken heart with so much love and happiness as well. I knew this was going to be a hard road, but I knew I could make it through. I knew it in Harlo’s smile that morning.
My dear friend had offered to take the girls that morning so that I could have some time to rest. I got them ready and watched as they excitedly headed off to a day adventure without me. Never realizing before now, as I watched their little swim suit bottoms scurry off without hesitation, exactly how big they were getting.
I reluctantly went to my closet. I knew I had to get ready for the day but the thought of facing my closet, all the new clothes I had purchased in consideration to a growing belly this summer, seemed like cruel and unusual punishment. I took a deep breath as a wave of agony washed over me. As hard as it was to see, I was grateful that I had things to hide my belly that was still plump although vacant. I couldn’t face myself in the mirror as I slipped on a sun dress.
During the time my girls were gone, I was able to just be for a minute. The first minute I had had to myself all week. I was able to sit and truly count my blessings. If I had gained anything from this experience, it was perspective. I felt so grateful for the things I had. So thankful for my sweet family and friends who were loving me well. My life felt surreal at the moment. Although my head was a mess of emotions, my life seemed crystal clear. I felt more connected to God than I had ever felt in my life. That night, another delicious meal was delivered to our door step. Friends had stopped by, family had called. It seemed I was on everyone’s mind and I was wrapped up in the comfort of love and support. How blessed my little family was.
On this day, although my heart was aching, I was feeling peace. The Lord was with me in this from the very beginning. Before I even became pregnant, I was given an impression that I would experience this loss. The impression was not alarming, but strong. It left me almost as soon as it came. When I found out I was pregnant, I thought back to that impression. I brushed it off, telling myself I was just worrying. I’m a worrier by nature and it was easy to blame myself for these thoughts. At 8 weeks along, I told Brady I was having a hard time connecting to this baby. With my other two, I had felt an immediate connection to their little spirits. I felt connected to them through my whole pregnancy and at both of my deliveries, I knew exactly who they were as they reached my arms. This time was different though. I didn’t feel the same. I sensed something missing. I loved this tiny little being growing inside of me and wanted it desperately, but I somehow knew it wasn’t there. I looked for all the positive signs in my pregnancy. I had been horribly ill through the weeks, more sick than I remembered being with even my first pregnancy that was especially nauseating. I had nearly every symptom a pregnant woman could have in her first trimester and found comfort in all of these wonderful signs. The closer I got to my 2nd trimester, the more I was able to sigh relief. For the last few months, I had been living in fear of this exact moment. And then it came.
I would have thought all of this would have helped prepare me for the pain, but it didn’t. Where fear once resided, pain from loss filled its place and expanded into the depths of my soul. But I felt peace now knowing it was over. I felt peace knowing this is something I had been called to do. I felt peace knowing who was in charge of my life and for the first time, I was trusting Him fully because I had to, not only because I wanted to. I gained faith in knowing I could do hard things. That God would prepare me and take care of me through my trials. My love for Him grew immensely in these last few days. I could feel my soul being moved and shaped into the person I needed to be, and even though it hurt, I knew it was all part of the plan.
This week has been the very hardest of my life. I would have never thought having a miscarriage would hurt so much. I am anxious for the pain to fade and the perspective to grow, and I know it has already started to. I am taking things a day at a time and letting my body truly feel what it needs to feel. Miscarriage is incredibly common, but when it happens to you it feels truly unfathomable. Even still, I can’t help but have a new appreciation for my body that knows exactly what to do in these cases. Pregnancy is such a miracle and I am so grateful to have the ability to experience it, even when it didn’t end up the way I wanted. I am so incredibly thankful to be a woman and a mother and to have these wonderful and sacred callings in this life. Each one of my pregnancies has changed me for the better and this one has been no different. I carry the scars of womanhood and I am proud to do it.