Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Our Story of Loss

Sweet little Landry turned 4 months yesterday. He's such a muffin - and probably our cutest one {don't tell the others!}. He's growing up fast, which I don't have a problem with, actually, but I do understand the bittersweet feeling a lot more knowing that he's my last baby. 

As I mentally celebrate the 4 month mark, I can't help but think that Landry is only here because our other sweet baby is not. Landry is not our third. He's actually our fourth. I feel like I was incredibly hesitant to say "third" child OR "fourth" child because I wasn't ready to share. It was this day one year ago that I got the big "PREGNANT" on a stick that so many of us long for. But it was only after a disappointing loss that we received it. I know so many of you have experienced something along these lines. Maybe more than once. Maybe you've not ever been able to get pregnant. Maybe you've only had miscarriage after miscarriage. You are not alone. 

A friend of mine encouraged me to write it out... our experience, that is. I've been working on it for such a long time, praying I "get it right". I desperately don't want to offend someone who has never experienced a positive pregnancy test. I do not and did not struggle with infertility. I'm just a girl who had a miscarriage, and experienced a lonely + confusing loss through the process. All I want is for our story - albeit a long one - to encourage you today.
I woke up prepared for a bad day. Actually, "woke up" is probably not the best term for it, because that would imply that I had slept, but I hadn't. It was somewhere between five and six in the morning and I was done staring at the ceiling so I begrudglingly crawled out of bed and grabbed my cup of coffee, my bible and sat in the big chair across from our Christmas tree. I knew what was coming.

In my heart of hearts, I guess you could say I always knew. It didn't feel right from the very beginning. My first pregnancy test had come out negative... but when I was still late a few days later, I took another one and it was positive. That never happened with my other two. They were positive from the five day "before" mark.

But today was the day. Today was the day that we would go to the doctor and find out that there was for sure not going to be a heart beat. Up until now it had been a lot of "wait and see" appointments. The worst kind, in my opinion. I kept telling God "just let me know!" One way or another, I just wanted to know. I wanted to grieve or rejoice... to shout or withdraw. One or the other - just give me relief. At this point it was six days before Christmas. I hadn't enjoyed any of it, really. And I just desperately wanted to let go.

When I walked into the doctor's office, arm in arm with my husband, I can honestly say that I felt sorry for the sonographer. I knew what she would find... or what she wouldn't find, I guess... and I hated that she was going to have to tell me. It was a different sonographer than the one that had done all of our others - so she didn't know our history. She didn't know that I was going to be okay. And I wanted to tip her off before we walked in that we expected bad news.

And we got it. I was supposed to be about 10 weeks preganant, according to my last period date, and there was no heartbeat. There was a sac... an empty and dark black spot of a sac... but there was nothing visibly in it. Not to our untrained eyes, anyway. I had already started cramping and was in a lot of pain - only getting worse by the hour - and my doctor told me that it had really not even begun. It had only just begun to "collapse", according to him.

We were devestated, obviously. But at that point - if I am being really honest - I didn't know what I would have done if it were good news. I had already begun to grieve... preparing myself for what I considered to be inevitable... and I couldn't take good news. Looking back, if it had been good, I would have probably braced myself every single appointment for something to be wrong, and God spared me from that... so I am grateful.

I was feeling guilty... I still feel guilty a bit... that I wasn't more hopeful. I had a tremendously hard time grieving this sweet loss. Our kind doctor said,"Becky - some people will tell you that there was never a baby. That it was just an embryo and nothing ever came of it. But I'm telling you that it was a baby and God simply had other plans."

That helped me greatly in my grieving process. It sounds weird to anyone who hasn't gone through it, I'm sure, but it sort of justified my grieving. I felt lonely and empty - even with my husband holding my hand the entire time ... and need I remind you, He lost someone too, not just me. But this helped me know how to grieve. I have many friends who have experienced miscarriage later on in pregnancy, far after a heartbeat. I kept thinking of them and finding myself feeling strange that I was grieving a loss that seemed "smaller" than theirs. Our sweet little one, although she was there, she never had a heartbeat {yes, we say it was a girl}. I've come to terms with the fact that a loss is a loss is a loss. We cannot judge from the outside how people grieve through a seemingly big OR small loss.

Some people have asked what you should do for someone going through the process. We've talked a LOT about this with my "tribe" of girls that meet often in our neighborhood. How are you supposed to grieve with someone... and support them?

For me, I wanted to be left alone. I didn't want even my dearest friends with me. They were very kind and gave me space... checking on me every so often but not smothering me at the same time. I had more than one sweet friend who left a care package on my door step without even letting me know she was there. That, for me, was the best. I knew and felt their love, but felt like I had space to mourn and feel.  I clung to a girlfriend who had been through a miscarriage before... although hers was much more traumatic.

That's the thing about miscarriage. It is extremely personal. It's like you get to join a club that you never wanted to be a part of but are terribly grateful it's there once you join. No two people are alike - and I think that I thought I'd be judged for grieving because I already had two healthy children - easily, I might add. But I wasn't. Everyone gets it. Each and every person who has walked this journey knows and sympathizes. There's not a "well, I've had three so what are you crying about" mentality. No one ever said to me "well, at least you have two kids." And that's what I would tell you.

Don't try to cheer someone up who's walking through this. Don't say "well at least ______" and fill it in with something positive. Trust me, they know. Give them a chance to grieve... to be sad and yes - even to wallow. Chances are, they've already had more than one person up in their business saying all sorts of insensitive things like "consider it all joy". I completely trusted God that He knew this would be a part of our story. I knew then, as I know now that He is always good... and for me that's enough. Chances are, your sweet friend who is walking through this knows God is good too. But it doesn't make it easy.

If you need a place to share or someone to talk to, I'd love to hear from you. I hope you know that you are not alone today, if you are walking through this season. There is an unfortunate sisterhood that is here for you, and has been a blessing to me. God is always good.


  1. 8 years since my first loss and 6 years from my 2nd loss. It still hurts everyday and I know I will see them both one day. I still have a lot of what ifs and think bout what they would be like. Thanks for sharing your heart



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