Ok… Here we go. (Deep breath.)
The post I started this blog to write. It has taken a while to get my story together and to get the heart behind the words to match what I wanted to say. But I think with the pending due date of our first angel baby looming ever so loudly on the horizon, it has to be now.
In October 2014 we found out we were expecting our second child. We rejoiced excitedly as our little surprise showed up on the ultrasound as a healthy and strong 9 week old gummy bear complete with little hands and feet. The little heartbeat like galloping horses made my mama heart flutter and joy bubble up in my throat. My waistline was wider and I wore the maternity jeans I had just put away not even 8 months ago. Family was there to witness the beauty of life in the womb, Mackenzie just a little thing still not able to understand her new role as big sis. We walked out of the office beaming like it was our first time and excited to have two little ones so close in age. We praised God for His miracle of life and for blessing us with another miracle. We dreamed about being a family of four, baby names, and what he/she would be like, look like, and be passionate about. It was a ten weeks of absolute joy.
Braden left town for work a couple days after the ultrasound. Mackenzie had been having trouble sleeping and was not sleeping through the night at 8 months old. One early morning I pulled her into bed with me and nursed her back to sleep. I felt some mild cramping, but thought little of it since nursing while pregnant was a bit uncomfortable and caused mild uterine contractions. A couple hours later, I awoke with a start to significant abdominal pain. Maybe it was gas, I thought. But when I got to the restroom I was sure that wasn’t the case. I was miscarrying.
I immediately called my OBGYN and they wanted to see me urgently. So I dropped the baby off at her Mimi and Pappy’s house and headed to the clinic. On the way I tried calling Braden, but he was in bad reception so we didn’t talk for long. We said a little prayer, and he reassured me that everything would be okay. I promised to call after the appointment.
I walked into the familiar waiting room. Only a few days ago I was here, surrounded by loved ones, overjoyed, talking with the expectant moms and having bubbly conversation about babies. Today I was alone. I couldn’t make eye contact with the women whose bellies shone with beautiful maternity. I was breaking inside, piece by piece. I felt like a failure. I waited for what seemed like hours, my mind running between the possibility that there could still be a heartbeat, my baby could be fine, and I could leave there relieved and happy, and then trying to understand what I did wrong, why, when I had an absolutely perfect first pregnancy, was this happening to me, and trying to know how to respond when I receive the bad news.
The nurses at my doctors office are wonderful. I got to know them well during my first pregnancy with my daughter. So when the nurse saw my face, the same pain was reflected in her eyes. I took a deep breath, said a prayer, and followed her back. The monitor flickered to life and revealed that my baby had none. No heartbeat. I saw it before she told me, and as the nurse looked at me with compassion, there were tears in her eyes as well. We talked, cried, and I laid for several minutes alone in the dark of the room to search for the light of the Lord. It felt so dark. It felt hopeless, and it was hard to breathe. But He was there, quietly reassuring the deepest part of my heart, telling me that it will be alright and giving me comfort that the first thing my child saw when he/she opened their eyes for the first time was the face of Jesus instead of mine. I could do this, because He was with me.
The doctor sent me to the lab where we had an anatomy scan done to confirm the baby was in fact lifeless. I was ready to go home and crawl in bed. I could not hold it together in another waiting room. I blubbered with the broken cry of a mom who lost her baby. People stared. People asked me if I was alright. Did I look like I was alright? When I finished at the lab, Mimi and Pappy came with Mackenzie to take me home. I couldn’t drive through the tears, and wanted nothing so badly as to hold the child God gave me and never let her go. Alas, she squirmed, and we went home. I called Braden on the way and we cried together. We tried to understand God’s plan and couldn’t. We discussed our options and decided a D&C would be the best. I just couldn’t move ahead in the grieving process with my lifeless child still in my womb for several days or even weeks. So Braden hopped on a plane and headed home.
The procedure was quick and painless, except for the hurting in my heart, and Braden took me home the very same day. He is an incredible man. He was hurting too, but still managed to be my rock and remind me that even in the darkest times, Christ carries us. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:2
I healed physically much faster than emotionally. We started to get more active in church activities and joined a community group. I started my own graphic design business and kept busy enjoying my days with Kenzie and evenings as a family of three. I was eager to try again, but was advised to wait at least 3 months to give my body time to heal. So when we found out that we were expecting again exactly 3 months later, it was a bit of a surprise as it happened so quickly. We were ecstatic. This was our rainbow baby, our redemption, our second chance. We were extremely excited, and also very nervous. We had just healed from the first loss, and I feared going through that again.
We made our appointments and talked about more baby names. We dreamed, we hoped, we prayed and prayed. We told our families so they could pray. We told our friends so they also could be in prayer. We went through the first few weeks in a fit of nerves, just longing for the second trimester. Then I got sick. Violently sick. I could barely get out of the bathroom long enough to get to the doctor. I got some anti-nausea medicine to help me keep water down and prevent further dehydration. The next day I was feeling better, but still not 100%. And something just didn’t feel right.
Two days later, I had our second miscarriage. This time, naturally. I was almost 6 weeks along.
I don’t really know how to articulate the series of feelings that went through me as my miracle rainbow baby was taken from me. I was angry. The scars that I thought had healed from the first loss reopened as fresh, raw wounds. My hopes shattered, my faith rocked. I felt like I had failed once again. I felt like I have never felt before and a new wave of intense grief swept me out to a very lonely sea.
I put on a face for people so they couldn’t see the magnitude of my sadness. I was still adrift, teetering on the edge of depression. But there in the dark waters, I searched for answers, for hope, for the voice of my Savior to draw me back. There He called to me. There he wrapped me up in His omnipotent arms and held me.
This is how I feel for each of my children who do not know me. They are my lost children.
I heard His voice in my Spirit. And I knew I wasn’t alone. I knew that I wasn’t a failure, and that I would see my babies again one day. I knew that He never left me in the dark, and He was there to carry me through the storm. But not everyone has that reassurance. And it’s for those lost children I write this in order to reach. No matter the hurt, the feelings of failure, the loneliness, the depression, the trials, the hopelessness that you are facing, Christ is there, calling to you through the darkness to reach for the light. You don’t have to do it alone. There is a Creator who loves you, he calls you his child, and he can give you hope for tomorrow and eternity. And today, he holds our two babies in His infinite arms.
Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”