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Navigating Pregnancy Loss

Navigating Pregnancy Loss

This post is about navigating pregnancy loss. I will be sharing my story, and at times it may be hard to read. I want to provide this disclaimer because you may not be in the space to read about a loss right now. And that’s ok. Give yourself the peace and grace you need at this point. 

Before I share my story, I want to pause to honor yours. More than likely, you’re reading this because you, or someone you love, is experiencing, or has experienced, the loss of a child. The pain you feel, the loneliness you feel, and the brokenness you feel are all valid. I sit in those emotions and thoughts alongside you. However, I won’t let you stay there. I hope that my story can help make you feel heard, hugged, and hopeful for the future.

 

My daughter is a middle child to siblings she’ll never meet.

My first miscarriage happened in January 2020, just days after taking a positive pregnancy test. I barely had enough time to celebrate the idea of becoming a mother to a child before I had to reframe my mind to the idea of becoming a mother to an angel. I remember sitting in the bathroom stall at work when it happened, hearing people coming and going, laughing, and reapplying their lipstick. Meanwhile, I sat behind a thin metal door sobbing, watching as my body betrayed me. To this day, I don’t think there is a lonelier place in the world than a public bathroom stall.

The days that followed were filled with questions, with “what ifs,” with enough Google searching to write an encyclopedia, with feeling utterly and completely alone with no answers. I was sad, but honestly, I was mostly angry. I was angry at my friend’s baby announcements, angry at my husband for not knowing what it was like, angry at the mom pushing her baby in a stroller down our street, and angry at myself for failing. In the deepest part of my valley, I felt my first trace of hope, peace, and calm. In the deepest part of my valley, I felt the reassuring arms of God pick me up and hold me. The only thing that got me through those days and out of the pit was my Faith. 

My second miscarriage happened in March 2023.

I found out we were pregnant again, and while we were so excited to grow our family and give our daughter a sibling, I couldn’t shed the apprehension and anxiety. We had been here before. I had celebrated too early before. I had felt like a failure before. So, I kept myself guarded.

I was lying on my back during the eight-week ultrasound, staring at a poster with a quote about “perseverance.” My thoughts were going anywhere but to the screen, anywhere but to let myself be present in a moment I was terrified of. I remember hearing the nurse talking, but I was too busy thinking they needed to update the posters in their office because no woman wants to read a quote about perseverance while someone is examining the most intimate parts of their body. 

Then I heard, “There’s the baby!”
There’s the baby.
There is a baby in me.

I immediately had to dab the corners of my eyes as tears streamed down to my ears. I let myself look at the screen, and sure enough, there it was. My tiny little peanut. But it only took me moments to realize something was wrong. Ultrasound technicians have the best poker faces in the world, but a mother always knows no matter how much they try to remain neutral. A mother’s intuition starts at conception; I am sure of that.

We were handed the picture of our baby we were simply told, “The Doctor will be in to talk with you shortly.” 

The time between those words and the doctor coming in are excruciatingly long. I started to think about all the people who have experienced that phrase, followed by waiting and life-changing information. People are being diagnosed with months to live, told they finally have an organ donor match and told their loved one didn’t make it out of surgery. People are being told the cancer is no longer traceable. Why is it that time becomes almost palpable when you’re waiting for the information you know will alter the course of your life?

Then the news that I already knew came… “The heartbeat is incredibly weak,” “Hope for a miracle,” “We’ll see next week,” “Bad luck,” “Nothing you could have done.”

I couldn’t move. I just watched her mouth form phrases I hope no pregnant woman ever has to hear.

It wasn’t until she asked me, “Do you have any questions?” that I realized I had been silent and immobile. I had a million questions, “Why me?”, “Why me again?”, “Why am I broken?”, “Is the baby in pain?”, “Do I need surgery?”, “What’s going to happen in the next couple of days?”, “Does my husband still love me?” “Will this happen again?”…But all I could say was “Nope.” 

It was a couple of days after that the baby’s heartbeat stopped. I knew it had stopped because I watched as my body betrayed me again. This time longer, this time more intense. But this time, I hit my knees in prayer harder than ever. I submitted my baby, my pregnancy, and my desire to control my outcome to God. I started to think about the valley I was pulled out of with my first loss and knew I couldn’t let myself go there again. Not this time. Not as a mom of a beautiful and innocent 2-year-old daughter. So, I prayed. As soon as I let it all go, the peace, reassurance, comfort, and clarity that entered my heart was one of my life’s most unexplainable, beautiful, and sanctifying experiences. 

As I write this, I am still processing. I am still grieving.

This is all so fresh that my body is still miscarrying. But my Faith in God so convicts me that I know this part of my story; my testimony is intended to be shared. It’s meant to help other women experiencing the same thing. It’s meant to help other women come out of their valleys. As I reflect on the “perseverance” poster that distracted me in the doctor’s office only days ago, I get it now. We must persevere through suffering because, on the other side is hope. When I think of that poster that represents such a hard day, I now think about it in the context of one of my favorite bible verses: “… We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope….” Romans 5:3-4

Both of my stories of miscarriage have one thing in common – being pulled out of despair by a loving God.

And my prayer today is that any woman experiencing her own loss can be brought closer to Him, and out of her valley, through Faith. No words I could write, no hug your husband could give, no flowers your friend could send will help you, mama. I know because I was searching in all those places as well. What will help, I promise, is leaning harder into God than you ever have before. And if you have never turned to God before, I invite you to.

If you’re unsure where to start, let me start you with this prayer, and then let Him take it from there… 

“Heavenly Father, You know the sorrow of my heart. You know what it feels like to lose a child, because you gave yours for me. God, you tell us that you are near the broken and save those crushed in spirit. God I feel broken and crushed. I am coming to you with many questions that may never have answers. So, I will leave these burdensome questions, this sadness, this idea that I have failed at your feet. I pray that you replace my questions with clarity, my sadness with sanctification and my failure with Faith. I praise you that the first arms that got to hold my baby were yours, the first eyes my baby looked into were yours and the first lullaby my baby heard was of a thousand angels. I invite you into my heart to help me remain steadfast in my Faith, God. Help me to climb out of this valley and walk with you among the mountains. In the name of your son, who you lost as well, I pray. Amen”

Faith-centered words that have helped me

  • “The cross is evidence that in the hands of the Redeemer, moments of apparent defeat become wonderful moments of grace and victory.” – Paul David Tripp
  • “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4
  • … We rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope…” Romans 5:3-4
  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you. You are being guarded by God’s power through Faith for a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. You rejoice in this, even though now for a short time, if necessary, you suffer grief in various trials so that the proven character of your Faith  — more valuable than gold which, though perishable, is refined by fire  — may result in praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him; though not seeing him now, you believe in him, and you rejoice with inexpressible and glorious joy, because you are receiving the goal of your Faith, the salvation of your souls.” 1 Peter 1:3-9
  • “Be careful how you make sense of your life. What looks like disaster may in fact be grace. What looks like the end may be the beginning. What looks hopeless may be God’s instrument to give you real and lasting hope.” – Paul David Tripp
  • “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
  • “…I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand that I may not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; my flesh also will dwell in hope.” Acts 2:25-26
  • You find find more here as well

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