Life...& loss...

I’ve thought long and hard about when I would open up about an event that rocked our world this last year. For as much as I’ve shared about our story, this part was so painful I didn’t know if I would ever be brave enough to tell.

Recently I began to feel that stirring. The thing that happens inside when I know what I’ve walked through isn’t just about me, it serves a greater purpose. And if there’s anything I am at my core-it’s someone who believes our stories are bigger than just us. So here’s to sharing. And here’s to hoping-my truth gives wings to my words, and healing for someone’s heart.

I had a miscarriage this last year. I don’t know an easier way to say it.

It was horrible, awful, terrible & every adjective I could use to describe such an event. But most of all, it was painful. So very painful.

Let me start at the beginning...

My long history with infertility has been well documented. I walked through years of trying to get pregnant. I was poked & prodded through a million tests. I had a major surgery to remove cysts from my ovaries. I’ve been on countless fertility drugs & had procedures done to my tubes. Basically anything & everything in order to conceive.

It finally came down to IVF-twice, which thank God was successful. I can’t imagine what it’s like to go through so many months of Doctors appointments & shots only to come out empty handed. It was a long road to motherhood for me. I would do it a million times over for my babies, but it left its scars.

When DeAngelo & I first started dating we talked about having kids. He knew my history with infertility & also knew conceiving in my late 30’s would make it all the more miraculous. We decided we would love to have a child together, but we weren’t going to force it.

No infertility treatments this time, no doctors, no medical intervention. No charting things & arranging our intimacy to the “fertile days”. Been there-done that-never again. We had 5 beautiful kiddos already. We would be grateful for what we had & if we were meant to have more we would welcome that too.

Imagine my surprise though, when I got pregnant immediately. We were shocked. Never in my life have I felt a pregnancy symptom, took a test & saw a positive sign. I was over the moon excited. DeAngelo was beyond belief thrilled. We couldn’t keep the news to ourselves for long-so we told our families & kiddos, all of whom were so excited to see our family grow by one teeny member.

For two weeks I held my belly, I talked to my baby. I told our child how I couldn’t wait to meet him or her. After all we had walked through the last few years, this child seemed like the most unexpected blessing-the most amazing gift. I couldn’t stop crying most days. Marriage, a new family & now a new baby. What joy.

And then, life happened, like it’s happened so many times before. And our joy was robbed from us, in ways that still wreck my heart.

It started at an event DeAngelo & I attended. Light spotting. I was concerned but knew it was somewhat normal in the early stages of pregnancy. I had my 10 week appointment in 3 days-to confirm my pregnancy with an OB. I decided to just stay calm & wait for the day to come. I never got there.

2 days later I woke up to bright, red heavy bleeding & jolting cramps. I knew what was happening. I desperately wanted to stop it but my heart knew there was nothing I could do.

That was the worst part of all. I was losing my child & there was nothing I could do.

I called my husband, who raced home from work to be with me. Right before he came in the door, I was in the bathroom, when the last remaining part of my pregnancy left my body.

It was over.

Just as quickly as it began-it had ended.

My heart was shattered into a million pieces. I wept. My husband wept. We both held on to each other in silence. Both in such deep pain-both of us wondering why.

In the months following I grieved deeply, in ways that stunned me. I had miscarried once before. Milo was a twin & I lost that twin at 11 weeks. As terrible as that was, I was still pregnant with a child who I had to remain strong for. I had to keep moving forward.

This time I was left with...nothing. Except a massive hole in my heart. I was a mother who wanted her child & knew there was nothing I could do to bring him back to me  

Recovery wasn’t quick, in my body or in my heart. I’ve lost so much before. I’ve grieved many things before. Even so, I was taken aback by how deeply I grieved the loss of this child. It was raw & it was painful.

I’d wanted this baby. Oh how deeply I had wanted this baby.

I kept a lot of it inside at first. We were a new family, still trying to adjust & acclimate to so many things. I didn’t want my pain to be added to the mix. I tried to just keep going, yet for awhile every day was a struggle.

But my sweet husband, he saw me. He knew I was struggling. And the turning point for me was when he held my hand & softly said “I lost a child too, you know.” It broke something in me & healed something all at the same time. It was time to mend, time to release. We were in this together, somehow we will be ok.

The months that’ve followed have been a continual healing process for me. My due date was a hard day. As were so many days where I’ve thought about how our child would be with us for this event or that. How our child should be with us. But our child won’t be with us. 

There’s many things about it all that confound me still. I don’t understand why I would’ve gotten pregnant so quickly, only to lose our child just as quickly. I don’t understand why, a family that has walked through so much, has had to endure yet another round of pain. I don’t understand why in the months that’ve followed, we haven’t been able to conceive, a sadness that only amplifies the loss in many ways. I don’t get any of it.

So what do we do when things don’t make sense? For me, I trust that there’s purpose & meaning in it all somehow. Even when I don’t understand. Even when I don’t see.

There’s so many times in my life I’ve stood in that tension, of not knowing or understanding, but trusting. Of saying “I know He won’t ever leave me” even when it kinda feels like He did. The why’s come with the “But You are here” and for now, that has to be enough. I’m never alone. I don’t understand, but I trust. He’ll take it, he’ll use it. He always does. Beauty always comes.  

As a person of faith, I do hold deeply to the thought of meeting my baby one day. Both of them. They are a part of my story. Part of my heart forever. And one day, they will both be the greatest thing my arms have ever held. Until that day...I wait, I trust, I hope.  

“But baby let sweet Jesus hold you, till Mom & Dad can hold you. You’ll just have heaven, before we do. You’ll just have heaven, before we do.”

*Sharing my story in honor of Pregnancy & Infant loss awareness day. If you have lost a child, you are seen, you are known & you are never alone*