A few weeks after my hospitalization for cardiac issues in May, we began to wonder if we might have a surprise on our hands – or in my belly, rather. God spoke to my heart a couple nights before we took a test, telling me I was indeed pregnant and that I could rest in Him.
I felt such peace melt away my concern and I was grateful, but still hesitant to believe I was expecting. However, a pregnancy test proved our suspicions right. We were expecting a little one, due in February.
It was unplanned so it floored us…we’re having a baby now?! Yet within moments, our surprise and fear was overwhelmed by happiness and deep joy. A burst of sunshine in the midst of a long, dark season was more than welcomed in our hearts.
We were going to be parents and we were thrilled.
We knew this would be hard in the season we’re in. In my battle with Lyme, my body continues to be very limited, but we were met again and again with peace that “everything would be okay.”
We had lots of help if we needed it and we knew with treatment we were heading toward me getting better eventually. It’s hard to think about those reminders of peace now. In the aftermath, our hearts are more pained by those memories than anything.
We had told our parents, siblings and some of our dear friends our happy news. It was such a joy to have friends enter into our news with excitement. Early offers of babysitting and help were warm and comforting.
The whole being a new mommy thing is an amazing feeling. I was taking weekly bump pictures of my tiny little expansion and had purchased a few gently used maternity pieces off eBay. I created several secret Pinterest boards to organize the hundreds of pins I was heart-eyes over.
I even decided to forego waiting until later and made a couple of early purchases for baby because the deals were too incredible to pass up. (Super planner here).
And then, around the start of week eleven, my body started sending us messages that something wasn’t right. After nearly a week of progressive symptoms we found ourselves in the ER early on Saturday morning, hoping it was unrelated to baby.
After multiple tests and dealing with far too many insensitive doctors and nurses, we met our greatest fear head-on.
We were losing our baby and there was nothing we could do about it.
Everything pointed to a terminated pregnancy and though we knew we could pray for a miracle (and we did), our situation felt hopeless.
There was no heartbeat.
My pregnancy levels were incredibly low on the blood test.
Our baby had stopped developing in the 9th week, even though I was now on week twelve.
Out of all the physical pain I’ve lived in and experienced, nothing has felt more emotionally crushing than those moments of miscarriage and this gut-wrenching after-pain of losing an unborn child.
In the hospital, I held Trev’s hand through the intense cramping and wept openly in that hospital bed while others moaned in their own agony throughout the ER. I told Trev I didn’t understand why this was happening and that I was hurt and feeling angry with God. He assured me I wasn’t alone and we gripped each others hands as silent tears fell.
As we waited to be discharged, nurses in the room next to us discussed in detail the miscarriage that had been taking place several feet from me. Seeing the agony on my face as I tried to cover my ears, Trev asked them to stop.
When the doctor told us I was starting to miscarry, he said “you want a healthy baby, though. you’re young, so you’ll have more babies.”
The insensitive comments of finding the “silver lining” in the depths of grief and pain are beyond understanding for me…I don’t understand how those are thought to be appropriate in a time of sadness.
If you find yourself wanting to tell someone who’s experienced miscarriage that “God has a plan in this” or “everything happens for a reason”, please don’t.
It’s more hurtful than helpful to hear those words. Few things can comfort more than being reminded that we aren’t alone.
We believe God is sitting with us here in the ashes. We are frustrated with him and hurt, but we know he can handle our honest emotions and bring us healing. We believe he grieves with us over our loss.
There seem to be reminders everywhere and they’re painful. This pain has felt all-consuming for both of us.
On the day of our follow-up appointment with our OB, a package I had ordered for baby arrived at the front door. Later that day the OB confirmed the baby was gone. Another package arrived today, carrying tiny newborn cloth diapers and I cried painful tears as I unpacked each one. A simple touch to my belly reminds me it is empty, even though it has a small bulge where baby was once growing.
We see babies in strollers, pictures on Instagram and Facebook, our sonogram picture framed in our living room that we can’t yet bring ourselves to take down. All reminders of the little one we won’t be able to hold. The baby we already loved so much and couldn’t wait to meet face to face, skin to skin.
The ache is deep and the questions hollow without answers.
I’ve struggled these last few days through false senses of entitlement. After all of the depths we’ve been wading through these past few years, why couldn’t we have this gift? We didn’t plan to start our family for another year or two, but now after our surprise and then joy, we have to sit crushed by the weight of this blow?
We are wise enough to know that life often doesn’t allow us the things we feel we deserve, or dream of, or feel entitled to, but our hearts aren’t strong enough right now to understand the why. In an already heavy season it was easy to embrace this bundle of happiness. And it is even harder to let it go.
We decided to name our little one Ricki. It was too early for us to know the gender, so we chose a name we would have been happy giving to either our son or daughter. We wanted to be able to remember him or her by name and not just refer to them as “baby” and there’s something comforting about having a name for our little love.
There’s no “silver lining” in losing a child and in these heartbreaking moments (or any moment beyond) we do not have to look for one.
For now, we grieve in this season of loss. Our family and friends grieve with us, for they knew how precious this gift was. We invite you to pray for comfort and healing, grace and strength in the weeks and months to come. And instead of words that try to fix the pain (which is impossible), words of comfort and love are welcome as we try to navigate this ache and loss.
Thanks for walking with us. We are thankful for those who have been brave enough to step into our struggle these last few years and have also embraced us in this new season of grief – some of you that I’ve met through blogging. We are very grateful for the measures of kindness and support we have been shown. <3
Kami & Trevin