Well, it happened again. The day that I welcomed age 27 was the day that I said goodbye to another baby. The third baby in less than a year.
I struggled with whether or not I wanted to share this…yet again. But after reading this blog post last night, I felt a duty to do so, more than anything. I don’t write these blogs to receive your pity or for you to say, “oh, you are so strong to share this!” In fact, I hate that this is my story, but it is. And I know God gives us our stories to share them with others, as a way to heal and to help others do so themselves.
I’ve always felt this way, even though I am a sucker for reading them, but sometimes lifestyle blogs are just crap. I’ve heard the argument time and time again that “my blog is written because I want to remember the good times, the highlights.” Sure, we all do. And, if you’re like me, reading the highlights is pretty great. But reading the real stuff is just as good. And posting it, to me, is important. After all, the highlights usually come after the storm. The lows are what bring them. No, I’m not being a pessimist, I’m just being real. This is life, and sometimes life is wonderful, and sometimes life’s a bitch.
Sure, it’s the internet and you can post whatever you want. I always say, if you don’t like it, don’t read it. And I still feel that way, but here’s my challenge to you: Understand that by posting only your “highlight reel” that you are perpetuating the comparison, competition, and struggle for perfection that is simply unattainable. You make people like me hesitate to share a story about my unborn child for fear of seeming “less” or “unfortunate” when that is so far from the truth. Sure, we all know it’s your highlight reel. We also all know that every perfect and thin woman we see in a magazine has been photoshopped. Does it stop us from comparing? Nope. I challenge you to continue to share the highlights. But also share some of the struggles. Share your story.
Thank you to the blogger who shared their disappointment from losing out on purchasing their first home. Thank you to the blogger who shares about her struggles to get pregnant. Thank you to the blogger who lets you know her house is just as messy as yours, and that it’s perfectly okay. Thank you to the blogger who was brave enough to share her story of loss.
I share my stories because miscarriage is something we cannot sweep under the rug any longer. It’s the loss of life, the loss of a child, and it deserves the grief it’s due. I’ve lost three, and each time, I’m expected to live life normally again within a day or two. Would I be treated like that if my son passed away? Absolutely not.
Kyle and I found out we were expecting again on Easter Sunday. After having gone through two miscarriages before, we were overjoyed to have conceived so quickly, yet apprehensive to become attached. We scheduled a visit with our doctor, and were able to see this itty bitty being, about the size of a grain of rice on the screen. Our doctor told us the heartbeat was strong, and we could even see it pumping. Our fears and stress were lowered a bit more and we began to envision becoming a family of four. Another miscarriage was a looming thought, but it also seemed so unlikely.
A few weeks passed. We had only told our family at that point, which was kind of fun. It was our little secret growing and thriving in my belly. One Saturday morning, Kyle and I were getting Judah ready to head out the door to attend his first parade down the street. I ran to the bathroom, as I was always doing being in my first trimester, and my heart immediately sank. Bright red blood.
I called for Kyle and we immediately called the doctor on call who instructed us to go into the ER. There was nothing we could do but hope for the best. After an eternity of waiting and anxiety, and after four ultrasounds, they were able to find our baby and told us its heart was strong. “This must be a fluke,” they said. “Just ride it out,” they told us. “You’ll be fine, and your baby is healthy.”
We went home relieved. I researched online and found hundreds of women who testified to bleeding during their pregnancies to go on and deliver healthy babies. My spirits were high, and I felt okay.
Later that day I began to experience some cramping, and I thought it was just the effects of the multiple ultrasounds. Sunday the discomfort worsened, but I again blamed it on something else. On Monday, I called my doctor and requested an appointment just to be sure everything was fine. Though I trusted the ER doctor, he wasn’t an OB/GYN and my bleeding hadn’t slowed, nor did my cramps. Being the wonderful doctor that she is, she squeezed me in during her lunch break so that I could have an ultrasound done.
Again, we were flooded with relief. There was our baby. It was so much bigger than the last time we saw it that clearly. It was thriving and growing. Our doctor turned on the sound, and we were able to hear a steady and strong heartbeat. Our doctor reassured us that everything looked fine and that she would give us another ultrasound in a week and would continue to do so until the bleeding stopped.
Home we went, hopeful.
Two days later, it was my birthday. It started out being a fantastic day. It was sunny and warm, and we spent most of the afternoon at the park. When we got home, I was cramping pretty badly. I chalked it up to the discomfort that occurs when your body is growing and stretching, making room for your baby to live. I received some relief when I loosened my pants, and I was pretty excited that my belly seemed to have grown. But deep down, I knew better.
A few hours later, that nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach was confirmed. My cramps were now coming in waves and my bleeding was increasing. Th next thing I knew, I was fully contracting. I was in labor. I was in labor at seven weeks and six days.
After an hour and a half of intense pain, I lost the baby.
I remember falling to the floor, weeping. My child was in the toilet and I didn’t know what to do.
I called my mom later that evening and she knew immediately why her phone rang. I cried to her and told her that I just flushed my baby. She calmly said to me, “Honey, it’s okay. You didn’t do anything wrong. You know where your baby is now. That was only its earthly shell, you know where it really is.”
I do know. And that is the only thing that keeps me afloat some days. My babies are together. My babies are in heaven where they are receiving more love, more joy, and more fulfillment than Kyle or I could ever dream to provide them here on earth.
I will never erase that picture of my baby from my mind. I will never un-hear that little beating heart.
I write these blog posts to remember my children. To share their little lives and give them recognition.
I don’t understand why God took them away, and I never will. I don’t understand why it’s so easy for me to become pregnant, but so hard for me to keep my babies.
This year has been so tough. So, so tough. But also, so good. God is so good. He doesn’t do these things to harm, but to further his plans. Yes, I have often, and daily, wondered why this will further his plan for my life, but it will. I know it. And that is what I hold on to. That is my hope. That is my strength. That is my peace.