Kim & Scott
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.
On April 13th, 2016 I was packing for a trip home for a bachelorette party, I took a pregnancy test to make sure I wasn’t pregnant (I wanted to enjoy the drinking festivities with a clear conscious). I had taken a test that Monday that was negative so I wasn’t expecting anything. I left the test on the counter and went back to packing. As I passed the counter later that night I saw what I thought was a very faint plus sign. I facetimed my sister to look at the test. She knew immediately that I was pregnant. I couldn’t believe it. I instantly felt hot and sick and overwhelmed. I wanted it but seeing that plus sign for the first time was shocking. I took several more and they were positive, no mistake, I was pregnant. I felt terrible because Scott wasn’t even home; he was golfing and wouldn’t be home for a while longer. I decided to leave all the tests on the counter for him to find. I posted up on the couch and waited for what felt like an eternity. He came home and walked passed the tests about 3 or 4 times without noticing so finally, slightly irritated I said “Can you please go look on the counter”. He turned around with the biggest nervous smile I had ever seen. We were scared but so excited.
Our baby was so loved right away. That, now, is so comforting to me.
That weekend we would be seeing most of our friends and family. We can’t keep a secret to save our lives so we knew there would be no hiding it. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tell our loved ones in person. It was so much fun. Our baby was so loved right away. That, now, is so comforting to me.
Finally, we made it to our first ultrasound. I was so excited. It felt like it took years to get to my first appointment. I had downloaded all the apps, learned as much as I could about the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. I wanted more. I wanted to know everything I could know about our baby. As I was filling out paperwork in the waiting room my hands were shaking, I didn’t realize I was nervous and I didn’t think I would be. I was confident our baby would be healthy. I was just mostly worried about the due date because if I delivered before December 1st I wouldn’t get paid maternity leave. Scott was nervous but mostly excited. I was telling him that at 10 weeks we could do a blood test to find out the sex, when my doctor came in. My ultrasound began and the first thing I saw was an empty sac. She asked me how far along I thought I was and I told her 8 weeks but I could be wrong, it could be earlier. She searched for a little longer and then said there was no fetal heartbeat and not enough development for how many weeks I was. I remember trying to listen to her talking about an unsuccessful outcome, blinking back tears and nodding along. After a few minutes I broke. I was completely devastated. I never imagined the appointment going that way. I was in love with our baby. I was in love with being pregnant. She gave us a minute to grieve in private and as she walked out I saw my ultrasound picture in her hand. I was supposed to be leaving with that. I was supposed to be sending that picture to everyone in our families so they could fall in love just like we had.
I had to get blood work done to confirm the miscarriage and after a couple rounds all they could tell me was that my hormones were too low to support life, they should be doubling every 72 hours and mine were barely climbing. Incredibly agonizing to be told that you are going to lose your baby but it may be awhile. This went on for almost 3 weeks. I had to have two more ultrasounds due to my slowly climbing hormones. I tried to keep my heart in check but every ultrasound I strongly believed all of a sudden the baby would be there with a strong heartbeat, no explanation, just a miracle. Over these few weeks I begged God to be swift. That if it was over, let it be over. Don’t drag this out. I started to believe that He wanted to hurt me; that He was dragging this out to teach me something. I was slowly becoming bitter and angry with God. Was it not enough that we lost our baby? Did He need to make me continue to carry it for weeks only to be crushed with each ultrasound? You would think I would get used to hearing “no fetal heartbeat” by now but I wasn’t. Every time it felt like a punch to the gut. I was finding it harder and harder to believe that He answers prayers and cares about my pain. I wanted to have faith when life got hard but I was crumbling. I knew all of God’s promises in my head but they were not penetrating my heart.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. “ Psalm 34:18
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3
When I used to hear about miscarriage I used to think, “That’s really sad, but common, lots of woman get through it. How attached could they be that early?” Those thoughts made it a little easier to be patient and have grace with people and all of the senseless things they said. “Oh you’re young that happens all the time. What did you do?! Are you still upset? It probably wasn’t even a baby yet. Are you sure you were pregnant? You’ll have another one.”
No matter how many healthy babies I will have in the future, none will replace the love and loss I feel for this baby.
I know people meant well and they wanted to help me get through it quicker but what they didn’t understand is it wasn’t common to me. No matter how underdeveloped it was, it was my baby and I deeply loved him/her. I did not cause this. I took care of myself, thought constantly about protecting my pregnancy. No matter how many healthy babies I will have in the future, none will replace the love and loss I feel for this baby. I didn’t want anyone to explain to me why I shouldn’t be so upset. I wanted others to acknowledge the horrible loss and allow me to grieve however I needed and for however long. Despite the pain of some of those words, the overwhelming love and support we received from our family and friends was so much greater. We never felt more loved in our lives.
After my 3rd and final ultrasound we went upstairs to discuss the results with my OBGYN. Before going in that day Scott and I had prayed that whatever the results, there would be a resolution, there would be an end in sight. I couldn’t handle the thought of walking out of that office with one more week of waiting ahead of me. As we sat with our doctor discussing my ultrasound she told us there was no change. At this point I could wait and see if my body would pass it naturally, I could be given medication to help the process or I could schedule a D&C (a procedure to go in and remove everything). Scott and I had prayed about this, I had researched all of the options and discussed it with several women who I trust. Emotionally I could not wait any longer. We asked her if there was any chance of life, she assured us there was not. My hormone levels did not support life at this stage.
That night I went to our room to spend some time alone. A friend of mine had sent me a blog a woman had written about the loss of her daughter at 10 days old. I could not handle reading it before then. That night I desperately wanted to connect emotionally with what was about to happen. I was not wanting to hear anything about how this just wasn’t God’s timing and He has a greater plan, at that point I did not understand Him and had serious doubts that He heard me or cared about what I was going through. As I began reading this blog, right in the middle she had written Psalm 139:
“O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as day, for darkness is as light with you. For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, everyone of them, the days that were formed for me. When as yet there was none of them.”
I had been desperately trying to believe that my baby was real. That he or she did exist. In the back of my mind I have been fighting the lies that maybe it didn’t qualify as a baby. It was so early. Maybe it was just cells. Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you.” Isaiah 49:1 “The Lord called me from the womb, from the body of my mother he named me”.
I started to miscarry early in the morning. It went on for a couple of days when I finally passed the sac. Up until that point I had felt mostly relief. That is hard to understand, I’m sure, but I needed it to be over so that I could start to heal. The moment I passed the sac I felt this immense sense of heartache and failure. Like as a woman and a mother I couldn’t be what my baby needed. These verses brought me so much comfort those first few days. 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 “We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith not by sight. Yes we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord”. As a believer all I could ever want is that my kids love Jesus and spend eternity with Him. What amazing grace that we know where our baby is. He or she has already started their eternity. I smile for them every time I think about that.
What amazing grace that we know where our baby is. He or she has already started their eternity. I smile for them every time I think about that.
It has been a little over a year since our miscarriage and even though my heart has healed tremendously, I still think about our first baby often and am brought to tears when I think about those first few months of grieving. I learned that there is a loneliness that comes with miscarriage that is hard to avoid. As our support system began to move on with their lives I quickly started understanding that I would be carrying this grief alone for a very long time. I got to a point where there was nothing left to say, nothing left to reason through but I was still hurting and felt like I should keep it to myself. I have found that the most healing has come from sharing our story and crying with and listening to other couples who have experienced the same loss. So thankful for the opportunity to honor our baby and so proud that their short life has brought us the opportunity to love others well and possibly help them heal.
Thankful that He allowed the life and loss of our baby to draw us closer to Him.
“Let us hold unswerving to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23