When it comes to planning a family one is filled with excitement, maybe a healthy level of nervousness, but most of which, one feels things inside them that they never had felt before. At least, that is what it had been like for my husband and I. Ever since we began dating we’ve always talked about our love of children and that we were both excited by the thought that one day we would bring our very own baby into the world. Maybe two.
Last month we both decided that we weren’t necessarily trying to conceive, but rather we were not preventing it from happening. In doing so we were excited to see if our efforts would produce those magical positive lines on the pregnancy test…but all-the-while remembering to not get our hopes up if it doesn’t happen on the first attempt. However, one morning I decided to take a test after I hadn’t gotten ‘aunt sue’ the previous weekend and it seemed we got it right and ‘pregnant’ appeared on our at-home test. OMG.
In that moment I stood still looking at the test, making sure it was real. I was flooded with emotions that ranged from disbelief, excitement, fear….everything you could possible imagine. My husband was working that morning and my first thought was to call him immediately to tell him the news. However, I knew that the building he works in gets poor reception and frankly it would be a long shot to get through to him right away. After a few failed attempts to get a hold of him he finally calls and I tell him the news. His reaction was priceless. There was this small pause and the only thing he could utter was “really?!”. To hear the excitement in his voice will be something I will remember forever.
The following week we were excited new parents of a tiny being the size of an orange seed, or so the What to Expect app told me. Philip and I were beginning to think into the future of what it would be like to have a baby around the house, planning ahead in terms of the furniture we’d need for the apartment, and coming up with fun ways to tell our parents in the coming weeks. I had the beginnings of cravings….meat and a lot of it. I felt especially tired. All. The. Time. Although I didn’t ‘look’ pregnant, it’s a funny feeling because I believe each woman just knows when her body is different. It’s a weird but enjoyable feeling all around. And setting that first doctors appointment makes it all the more real.
For many days that week my husband had been working mid-shifts, which means he goes into work at midnight and returns home around 8am. It was a Sunday evening and a few hours after going to bed Philip awoke to get ready for work. I noticed I had been experiencing some minor cramping, but nothing to alarm me. After he left my cramps were becoming more intense, almost like when I start my period. I was beginning to feel a bit nervous but tried to remain calm and pray for God to watch over me and our little orange seed.
Another thing you’ll notice when you get pregnant is the need to pee all the time. So, around 3am I got up to use the restroom and what I found terrified me and broke my heart all at the same time. Blood. Not just the ‘normal’ spotting everyone tells you is fine; actual blood. I knew deep down what was happening but it was almost like I didn’t want to believe it. I was miscarrying at 5 weeks.
The worst feeling beyond what was happening was experiencing it alone. With Philip at work I couldn’t process that at that moment the fact that I was losing our first pregnancy. I was filled with guilt because I thought I had one job and I couldn’t do that right. For some reason my body was rejecting something my husband and I looked so much forward to and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. All I could do in that bathroom was pray.
When you miscarry, no matter how far along you are, it isn’t just one event that occurs. It’s made up of a bunch of smaller events that almost makes you relive the previous one, making it feel that much worse. So, not only was my body going through this process, my mind was racing, my emotions were all over the place, and now I had the job of telling my husband….while he was at work. I got him on the phone and all I could do is cry and tell him that I was losing the pregnancy. The heartbreak I could sense over that phone call was even more heartbreaking. You may not know, but pregnancy is an exciting period for both the expectant mother AND the father. To know that this news crushed my husband, and me having to be the one to tell him, shattered me. After having a moment to process what I had told him, he told me to call our doctor and see what we should do next. I did. At 3:30am and the doctor told us to come in when the office opened at 9am. I took off of work to make that appointment and Philip came home right then.
If I didn’t already feel like a failure, sitting in a doctors office filled with pregnant happy women and couples who are making their routine visit didn’t make me feel any better. Here I sat, in sweats and oversized sunglasses to hide my swelling eyes, trying to blend into the walls so no one could see me and the pain I was feeling. I was sitting there, continuing to bleed and lose what would have been our baby, embarrassed and humiliated. Finally it was our turn and the doctor confirmed what we already knew. He sent me to get blood work done and we are to make an appointment for two weeks later and we would reconvene and make a plan to move forward. The rest of the week the cramps continued and I experienced what is like my period. 5 days. 5 days of being reminded of what we lost and what I couldn’t provide for my husband and I.
However, amiss all of this pain, the one thing I didn’t do was try to find blame. I didn’t question “why is this happening to me?!”. I understood that, for a reason beyond myself, this pregnancy didn’t take. It wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do. It was simply that it wasn’t meant to be this first time around.
I learned a lot throughout this process and my faith kept me strong even through the toughest of chapters. I didn’t question God’s plan for us, I didn’t question why He would allow such a horrible thing to happen, and I didn’t distance myself from Him. I kept Him close. From the joy we shared when finding out we were pregnant to sitting, crying, alone in the bathroom. I kept Him close when feeling humiliated in the doctors waiting room and when I had to sit there to get my blood drawn to confirm I had miscarried. I continue to keep Him close and I know He continues to walk with my husband and I as we navigate the next few steps in our walk towards a family.
Through this experience I may have lost our tiny orange seed that would have been our baby, but I’ve gained so much more:
+ this brought my relationship with my husband to a new level of love and compassion
+ my faith and relationship with God is so much stronger
+ learning we can get pregnant and that infertility isn’t an issue
+ we know more than ever that we’re ready for a baby
+ this isn’t going to keep us from trying again
+ I am less fearful of the things I cannot change
+ I am more than a statistic
+ puts the petty nonsense of life into perspective. this experience gives you focus.
I share my story because I am no longer ashamed, humiliated, or otherwise feel like I’ve failed at being a woman. I know our story of starting a family is not over and both my husband and I are eager to begin trying to conceive again. My hopes in sharing my story is that it somehow finds someone who needs to hear it. Someone who may be experiencing, or have experienced, the same pain as thousands of other women.
You are not alone and it will get better although hearing it won’t make you feel better about what happened…yet. You are strong and will pick up the pieces and know that He is with you every step of the way. Share in your praises but also share your pain with Him as he experiences this with you.
Thank you for allowing me to share this with you.