A few years ago (4 years and 15 days ago to be exact) my husband and I suffered a miscarriage. It was a tragedy; although, by some standards it was not nearly as bad as it could have been. But to me it was and always will be a tipping point in my life. Up until that moment I knew life wasn’t fair and I knew that being a good person didn’t buy a free pass to the “good life”; however, I never dreamed I would ever encounter such devastation.
To most people a miscarriage is something to move on from – it isn’t significant to even cause a blip on the radar screen of life. In some instances it almost feels like there is a hint of shame associated with losing a baby. And yes, I said baby because that is what it was.
I wasn’t supposed to be able to get pregnant on my own….not to mention I was taking birth control pills. Surely, my infertile body was not capable of getting pregnant without the aid of some kind of foreign sonogram wand exploring the inside of my body, a handful of pills or countless doctor visits. Ha! Imagine my surprise when I returned home from a cruise and peed on a stick. It was a hunch – I had been tired and seasick and just felt off. It was a long shot, a ridiculous notion that soon became a terrifying reality. See my husband didn’t want any more children. He was perfectly content with our 2 boys…..I was happy but my heart longed for another baby. He hadn’t totally stonewalled me but another baby certainly wasn’t in the forefront of our mind yet here I was – hands shaking, terrified of how I would break the news.
In hindsight, I laugh at my naivety. My husband took it all in stride and much to my surprise, he was excited. I immediately made an appointment with an OB for the next day. I learned that next day that I was a little over 6 weeks pregnant – I saw the flicker of a tiny heartbeat on the screen and I knew that this life was meant to be. A week later I began spotting – I called my doctor and was told it probably wasn’t a problem but to come in. The found a subchronic hematoma (a blood clot if you will) around the baby – my body would absorb it, take it easy, bed rest, etc. etc.
I drove home that evening with a sinking feeling…..almost like God was preparing me. I laid in bed all weekend and countless times I placed my hand on my stomach and prayed for the life I was carrying. I bartered with God, begged, pleaded and cried. As the bleeding got worse I became less and less optimistic. By the time Monday I had rolled around I was convinced it was over.
I made a deal with God that if this baby was meant to survive that I would see a heartbeat Monday afternoon at the doctor’s office. I remember seeing a billboard that flashed “For I know the plans I have for you”. For the first time in days I felt positive. At the doctor’s office, the sonogram tech pointed out the flutter of a steady heartbeat. I let out a sigh of relief…….almost as if I had been holding my breath for days. I called my family and we rejoiced – now I was certain that everything was fine.
The next day (Tuesday) I remember getting out of bed and making my way to the couch. I watched William play in the floor and my back started to hurt. I assumed it was a product of too much lying around. At lunch time I got up to take a shower and realized that something was very wrong. I will spare you the details but as my husband rushed me to the doctor’s office and the contractions rolled through my body, the tears came. I cried for what felt like hours – I don’t remember much about that appointment other than my doctor crying with us. A room that had at one time brought us so much hope and joy now brought us fear and doubt. I couldn’t figure out why God would do this – what did He hope to gain out of this tragedy. What was my suffering supposed to bring about? Was I not thankful enough for my children, was I being punished……what did I do to deserve this?
I’ve asked myself that question a million times. I know that God’s timing is perfect but I would be lying if I said there aren’t times that I just want to shake my fist and say WHY??! Infertility, miscarriage, heartache, sorrow…..what was the point of all of it? I still don’t know, I can’t answer that question for myself or anyone else. I remember in the days after, putting on a brave face for my friends and family. Convincing everyone around me that I was fine all the while, letting this loss eat away at my faith. I felt betrayed, hurt, broken. I’ve thought back to that billboard over and over – I have to cling to the promise that He knows the plans for my life. That He is the one who writes the story.
I’m not exactly sure why I typed this all out – I guess it is because no one ever talks about the raw, gory details of what it is like to suffer a loss like this. We gloss over it and put on a brave face because that is what is expected. It is almost like a miscarriage is its own scarlet letter. It makes me sad to think that I don’t celebrate that life the way I should because I’m afraid of the judgment of others. I’m afraid of offending someone or drudging up past hurts if I mention the “M” word.
There isn’t a good way to end this…..it is a complicated, messy post. What I will tell you is that even after this tragedy - even after and during my dwindling faith - God saw fit to bless us with the cutest red headed girl in all the world. It was a broken road to get to her and I'm not so sure that I'm at the place where I can smile at the thought of the journey we had to go on but I can say that my girl has certainly helped dry any tears I shed.