Whenever this time of year rolls around, my thoughts go to the miscarriage my husband and I experienced four years ago. It happened a week and a half before Christmas. We all have our own story when it comes to pregnancy or fertility. Today I felt prompted to share mine.
My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for almost a year. It seemed like everyone around us had no trouble getting pregnant within one or two months and I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt a little that conception didn't seem quite as easy for us. But I was genuinely happy for those around us. When we finally found out we were pregnant, we didn't tell anyone and kept it our own little secret. I felt gloriously exhausted.
For about two weeks.
One day I woke up, and I wasn't tired. I can't explain it, but that "feeling" had vanished. I didn't think much about it and went about my normal day, grabbing some coffee and heading to work. While at work that morning, the miscarriage began. I was really shaken up and didn't know what to do. I called the doctor, crying, as my boss stood next to me and patted my back. They told me to go to the emergency room, so I did. Once I got to the emergency room, the blood test showed I was pregnant, but the urine test showed I was not. My husband held my hand as the doctor explained that I was in the process of miscarrying.
The next hour was hard. I know specificities can be uneasy, but there was a lot of pain and a lot of blood--something I wasn't expecting. It's amazing how our bodies begin to rapidly prepare to carry a child at the point of conception and what happens in our bodies when all of that is undone is hard, to say the least. I didn't know why it was happening, but God gave me the greatest sense of peace through it, even though the following weeks and months were some of my hardest.
I can only speak from my experience in saying that miscarrying our first baby was devastating. I hadn't ever been pregnant before and now my only experience with pregnancy had ended abruptly and harshly. When I found out I was pregnant with Cub just two months later (it was a complete surprise), I was completely unprepared and terrified. I wasn't overjoyed. I wasn't excited. I just knew in my heart that this pregnancy would end early, too. I was twenty weeks along before I allowed myself to believe that maybe he might be okay.
The hardest part was hearing people say that "thankfully" I was "only" six weeks along when I miscarried. Walking through any life-changing experience, be it miscarriage, pregnancy, marriage, or what have you, typically warrants a good deal of unsolicited advice and comments and I feel convicted to accept such advice and comments with grace, even if they make me cringe. But I'm going to go ahead and say that if you've never miscarried, never tell a woman that it's a good thing she wasn't very far along. A woman who is six weeks pregnant is "just as" pregnant as a woman who is thirty weeks pregnant. Pregnancy is pregnancy, regardless of how far along you are. If you believe life begins at conception, then a life is lost no matter what.
There are a lot of unknowns that surround a spontaneous miscarriage. What I do know is that the experience has given me a softened heart towards those who go through the same thing. Here we are with two children and one on the way and I know that I do not understand infertility--I don't know what it is like to try for years with no answer. But I know what it's like to wonder and I know what it's like to have a much-anticipated moment disappear, beyond your control. It doesn't take a miscarriage for someone to understand that life is truly a miracle, but I know my own life was changed because of it.
For those of you who have walked through a miscarriage, you have my truest sympathy.
Lift up your eyes on high
And see Who has created these stars,
the One who leads forth their host by number,
He calls them all by name;
Because of the greatness of His might
and the strength of His power ...
... not one of them is missing.
Have a lovely day, friends.