They’ll tell you that you’re one in four. But they won’t tell you that you’ll feel just like one. One. Alone. Detached. Isolated.
They’ll tell you that it’s okay. That if you got pregnant once, you can again. But your thoughts go straight to, “I’ve had a miscarriage once, so I’m sure I will again.”
They’ll ask how far along you were. But does it matter? You were a mom and now you’re not. You had envisioned a life that now feels like a distant memory.
They’ll tell you to just be patient. But they don’t see the months worth of negative pregnancy tests that for some reason you stash away in your bathroom drawer as a terrible reminder of how far you still have to go.
They’ll ask “When are you going to try again?” But they don’t know that you haven’t been able to look your husband in the eye for months, for fear of him seeing how truly broken you’ve become.
They’ll say to just remain positive. “Positive”, a word that carries so much weight now. A word you wait for month after month. A word that, ironically, has become so negative.
On January 7, 2020 I started having symptoms that I would later learn was a miscarriage.
Days passed and the symptoms worsened. I was sitting on the sidelines watching my own body betraying me, and while it was my body, there was nothing I could do but watch. Watch my body experience a miscarriage. While my husband tried to remain optimistic, I knew in my heart that I had lost the baby. The weeks and months that followed were a blur. I became a shell of who I once was: empty inside while trying to appear somewhat put together on the outside. The realization that I had a miscarriage settled in, and the doubt and negative talk going on inside my head was deafening and became my truth: If I couldn’t provide a safe home for a child to grow, what kind of woman was I?
I scrolled social media and it seemed everyone I knew was sharing pregnancy announcements. Doating new moms sharing pictures of their perfect new baby at the hospital. Videos of first time grandmas crying elated tears getting to hold her grandchild for the first time. And there I was, alone on my couch. Resentful of my husband for what I was going through, after all it was all my fault, right? He offered words of comfort and I’d snap back in an angry retort, “You have no idea what it’s like!” I wanted a family so badly, but I felt so broken that I didn’t think I could even pull myself back together to offer any pieces of me to anyone anymore.
At my lowest point…
2 of my best friends shared with me that they were pregnant. I could tell they were delivering the news carefully – tiptoeing around what they knew was a challenging subject for me. Upon hearing the news I immediately resented them and the babies they were successfully nourishing in their bellies. There was no part of me that could let go of my own struggles to even be happy for them. During such a beautiful moment for 2 people that I love, I threw my phone against the wall and fell to the floor in a puddle of tears. I had officially hit rock bottom.
The only place I found shards of comfort was settling into the words of the One who loved my baby even more than I did.
The One who gave me a glimpse into what kind of love motherhood could be like. The One who loved me at my lowest low and embraced me and the shell I had become. While some nights I yelled at God demanding answers for why my pregnancy had to end in a miscarriage, most nights I found comfort just resting in silence and letting His words of peace, joy and promise-keeping encompass me until they drowned out the deafening words that filled my head before.
I was once offered these comforting words that I will never forget; “What a beautiful thing to know the first time your sweet baby opened their eyes they saw the eyes of Jesus”. Those words repeated over and over in my head. When I closed my eyes at night that imagery played on the movie screen of my mind until I eventually fell asleep and got my first night of peaceful rest.
Eventually (slowly) I started climbing out of my hole of depression. Eventually (slowly) I started finding joy in things again. Eventually (slowly) I looked at my husband, and saw his sweet and compassionate eyes fill with relief seeing me again. Eventually (slowly) I gained enough strength to let go of the doubt and remain optimistic that one day we will have a family.
On May 28, 2020 I found out I was pregnant again.
They’ll tell you “Congratulations, You’re pregnant!” But you’ll think, “What if I have another miscarriage?”
They’ll ask for the baby’s name, but you don’t want to name something something that might not last.
They’ll ask if you want to hear the heartbeat, but you hesitate in fear of if they can’t find it.
They’ll ask you if you feel kicks yet, but they don’t know you sit for 20 minutes every morning counting and documenting every move she makes to make sure she’s okay.
Then they’ll ask you if you want to hold her.
And everything else fades away. The past, the future, the present. It’s just you and her. There’s no more doubt. Only hope. You only have space for hope and joy and gratitude in your heart now. You hold that baby girl with the kind of love that can only come from knowing loss. The kind of love that won’t take for granted any moment you’re blessed to share with her. The kind of love God blessed you with the ability of finally feeling again.
To all the moms who have loved and lost, I know your pain.
It’s excruciating. The path to joy is an eventual and slow process where only grace and patience can guide you. I share my own personal story in an effort to speak to moms currently sitting in that space of feeling alone. I can tell you that you aren’t alone, but mama, you’re going to feel it no matter what. I know because I’ve been there. Rest in the comfort that there is hope and joy and gratitude waiting on the other side. Give yourself the grace and patience you need to heal and give the rest to Him. I’m praying for you, mama.
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