One in four. That is how many pregnancies end in miscarriage. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan made October National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, “When a child loses a parent they are called an orphan. When a spouse loses their partner, they are called a widow or widower. When parents lose their child, there isn’t a word to describe them.” National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness months’ purpose is to inform and provide resources for those who have experienced their own loss. Loss comes in so many different ways whether through miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, molar pregnancy, stillbirth, SIDs, and other causes. May we be a community that not only Sparks joy and light for those battling cancer, but all of life’s battles. We say it all the time around here, but this life thing was meant to be a “we” thing. We cannot fight or face these battles alone and we do not know the pain someone is carrying each day.
It was an honor for me to interview my sister, to share the smallest part in telling her story. To know my sister Nicole is to know her tender and loving heart, but it is also to know a quiet, strong and mighty bravery. One she would never admit to, and I am sure would gladly trade for a different story yet she has pressed into the pain and loss, seeking to find joy. I am so very proud to call her my friend and sister. Today, on October 15th which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day if you know a friend or loved one that has experienced this loss, would you reach out to them? Say their child’s name let them know you have not forgotten the child or children not here on earth in their arms that they carry with them in their hearts. Our words and actions, even a simple smile or hug can truly make all the difference.
When we found out we were pregnant with baby number 2 I was so excited. Excited for Caleb to be a brother, and that our almighty God wanted us to be parents again. The next 4 weeks I felt all feels you get while pregnant. I could have never imagined or prepared for what was going to happen next. I will never forget when we went for our 8 week appointment and the nurse asked me are you sure your last period was on this day. In my head I was thinking yes I’ve been tracking for months it’s right!!! Before the doctor came in I looked at my husband and said something is wrong, I felt it in my heart.
I just knew and I was right, when the doctor came in and started the ultrasound, there was silence it felt like eternity as she moved the wand around again and again, and nothing. Since having a baby before I knew what we were supposed to see, a tiny little baby with a tail and a heartbeat. But there was silence and inside my heart was breaking. The doctor then told me what to do next, for the next couple days they would run blood work to watch my levels. The next 10 days felt like years. I spent a lot of time with the Lord, praying for this sweet baby to be ok and grow. It was a Tuesday when I found out I was 1 in 4. 1 in 4 women have a miscarriage and it was happening to me, this child we prayed for didn’t make it. My heart was crushed, inside I was screaming, and asking why the Lord was letting this happen to me, to us.
I had to go back in for a follow up appointment on Thursday. I knew there was no baby and when they did another ultrasound to double check the pain just sunk in this isn’t happening baby number 2 won’t be here in December, Caleb won’t be a big brother, I won’t get to feel this baby grow, this baby has grown its wings and is a child of God in heaven. The doctor informed us he thought a D&C was best. My heart wanted so badly to wait but my levels were too high. I almost felt like my heart and body were clinging to the hope of having this baby and I was not ready to let go yet. The world kept moving, people lives kept going. But my world had stopped.
What has this season been like for you emotionally?
Emotionally I feel like it has been a rollercoaster ride. So many ups and downs, there would be moments where I was fine and the next I would see someone pregnant or something that reminded me of my baby in heaven and it would crush me.
What are things that have helped you?
My husband who I knew felt sadness was there to hold me when I cried, prayed with me when I felt sad and told me it was going to be ok when I needed to hear it. I was surrounded by amazing godly women who sent flowers, dinner and sat and prayed with me. The one thing I can say is surround yourself with the Lord and people who love you. Let people in to help you. I also joined a group called Hope Mommies of Tampa bay, they also have a bible study I am going through with other women who have experienced losses called Anchored that helped Hope Mommies. Two other great books that have helped are Grieving the Child I Never Knew a devotional and Empty Arms by Pam Vredevelt.
Spiritually what has this season looked like for you?
Spiritually I feel like it has brought me closer to God in many different ways. My faith has grown stronger but I also feel like I was angry with him at first I realized I had to put all my trust in him. I taped this verse to my mirror and feel like it has helped me remember that spiritually I need to trust him and not fear.
The Lord is close to the broken hearted he rescues those who spirits are crushed. Psalm 34:18
What has been hurtful and not helpful?
Most hurtful is when people say “o you can just try again” “you will get pregnant again one day” “at least you already have one healthy child”
No matter how thankful I am to already have one living child those words strike so deeply. I would just prefer I am sorry I am praying for you over any other comment if someone doesn’t know what to say.
What are ways we can also encourage and support the husband in their grief?
Honestly I don’t know if I have a good answer for this because I was so emotional and selfish at times because it was my body that was going through it and not his, I forgot that my husband also experienced the loss. I think what helped us most is talking about our emotions and praying together for the next steps and understanding of how to get through it together.
How can we pray for you?
Flash forward to when we were able to try again. Little did we know it would happen again this time only being a chemical pregnancy. The doctor still calls this a loss. It’s heartbreaking and terrifying all at the same time. I have asked the Lord many questions over the past couple months, especially the second time I woke up to a pool of blood and it was happening again. Why me lord? How can you let me loose another child? I do not think I’ll ever know the answers, this is a journey I am still walking through, still wrestling with.
I want you to know if you are going through this, you are not alone. Making a baby should be a beautiful gift of love from God. However, it has become a fear and I will not let fear win. When you have lost before it is hard to be excited when you get those 2 pink lines. Just know you are NOT alone I feel your pain, anger and sadness.
Nicole, thank you for sharing your story. We all face battles and hardships and I am thankful for this space and community that means we do not have to walk it alone.
Reach out and love on someone in your own community today.
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