We should be publicly announcing our 4th child around now. But we have lost him/her.
On the Wednesday before Valentine's day I peed on a stick. It was positive. We had done fertility treatments again and I sensed it had worked. Shawn was out of town, so I was excited about being able to tell him in a fun way! I have never had the opportunity to tell him before, as we've always waited for the docs phone call after blood work together. I put together a video, that maybe one day I will share. He actually didn't believe it and when I reassured him that I had peed on over 5 sticks, all positive, he started to believe, and cry a little. Needless to say he still wanted to see one more pregnancy test.....positive.
I had solid blood work. At 7 weeks, I had my early ultrasound appointment. Everything looked great, beautiful heartbeat and measuring on track, and the following weeks were uneventful! Baby #4 was going to be a part of the family. The baby would be 15 months younger than Miles. Mostly we were rooting for a baby brother for Miles. Power brothers.
Overall I was feeling ok- just tired. I didn't have many strong pregnancy symptoms. And then things never changed. At all. I had been tired in the beginning but that kind of went away. It all seemed odd, but I also knew every pregnancy was different. And in all honesty I’ve been thoroughly blessed during my pregnancies and thoroughly enjoy being pregnant. The thing that had me worried was the lack of growth in my belly. I ALWAYS unbuttoned my jeans from about 8 weeks on with my other kids, for comfort. But I never had that uncomfortable feeling. I just had some mommy intuition that things weren't right. Shawn would try to quiet my fears, but I've always been pretty dang good at knowing my body. I asked to move my 12 week appointment up a week. They agreed.
That office visit will forever be engrained in my memory so there's no need to blog about it. It's raw and private. But the baby had passed. It had passed right around 8 weeks. And now that little child is in the presence of our amazing God. That little child knows none of the earthly sufferings we feel. And never had to know them.
It's been an emotional time. But I also have never felt more loved on than I have these past few weeks. Flowers and treats were at my doorstep within minutes of telling our close friends. Hugs and tears shared with other mommas who have experienced similar pains through miscarrying. Dinners for our family placed on our table. Childcare for my little ones. We were loved on so much that all of our energy was able to be poured into grieving over this little life we never met.
It actually was quite honoring in a strange way to go through this during Holy Week. I found out on the Tuesday of Holy Week that we had lost the baby. I ended up having to have a d&c on Wednesday evening. The time between those two events I was able to have moments in solitude outside in God's creation. Walking along I kept imagining both how the disciples and Christ felt knowing of his departure. Confusion. Loss. Fear. And the "what now?" And then to know that on the other side of the cross promises remained. In all honesty I'm still battling this loss. It's nothing like I had pictured. I thought I could be strong and "move on" if I had ever miscarried. For me, it's not what I thought. I don’t want to forget this life. A miscarriage isn’t something one just “moves on” from. As mommas we yearn to hold our little ones...
The main lessons I’ve learned from this experience I’m praying I forever hold on to and apply elsewhere. I’ve had some sweet and dear friends cry with me, walk with me through the muck and mud, and reach out to me in small and big ways. I pray and desire to love like I have been loved. To not think twice on “how to love” but to act instead. To not be generic in how I love but to seek out what others need and love on them in ways they need it. To be willing to listen, to pray with my friends, to deliver flowers or coffee. I also want to hold on to the sweet faith I see in my children. Their trust, their quick response to turn to prayer, and how this hasn’t thwarted their desires for more siblings. I want to hold onto any empathy I can have towards others struggling with such loss. Infertility is a bitch. And I’ve always prayed that despite having three children that I will remain sensitive to those aching and yearning to be mothers and fathers. As I had some pretty hard days in the two years trying for children. And now we add miscarriage to our list of experiences. I know the pain of infertility and miscarriage can be so different among individuals. And I know I fail at being sensitive A LOT, but I pray God continues to show me how to love on those struggling for parenthood. And I want to hold on to my dependency on God throughout this situation. I can be so easily fixated on what I can do and what I can accomplish. I’m type A, there’s no doubt, as much as I don’t wanna be! But God doesn’t see that type. He sees a woman who needs His love and needs to rely more and more on Him to get through each day. I want to continue to draw nearer and nearer to Him and not just in times of loss or pain. I want my children to see that dependency.
And these are my current thoughts and cries.
I'm on my knees and trusting the promises of the cross. God is good. And my family is loved. And I am very thankful.
(And because I don't have time at some point I'll upload a pic of the baby in my belly at 9 weeks when I ran the Shamrock with our 4th. Sadly it had already passed. But I'll always remember that sweet race connecting with God's creation and my little one.)