A Hard First

March 5, 2015

Written late afternoon on Wednesday, March 4th:

It's a mild 51 degrees outside, and while that's no heatwave, I had husband open the windows in our family room so that I can get some fresh air. The smell of rain is floating in, the birds are chirping, and I feel spring coming. Sitting here, wrapped in a blanket, feet propped up on husband, and a heating pad on my back, I finally feel ready to begin writing our most recent story. A story that won't define our lives, but will most certainly hold a very special and fragile place in our lives. It's a story we never thought we would call our own, and somehow here we are in the middle of it.

Husband and I had been anxiously waiting since mid-January to share our biggest news. That we would be welcoming a sweet baby, whom we had been calling Baby Bean, in early October this year. The moment we found out we were pregnant, I felt God more tangibly than I ever have. Our family of two was expanding to three and we couldn't have been more thrilled to experience God's most precious blessing. 

We began preparing for our tiny new addition. Buying a box of diapers and wipes (a monthly tradition we would do until baby arrived), browsing through the baby clothes and picking out the cutest gender neutral item, and making room for baby by beginning the transition of guest room to nursery.

Last Monday, I went in for an ultrasound out of precaution because I had slight spotting from the night before. Just as soon as the ultrasound began, we spotted our sweet Bean at 8 weeks and 2 days, heart beating at 176 BPM. It was the biggest relief to hear that sweet heart pumping just as it should, to see our baby doing well. What we didn't expect to see was a subchorionic hemorrhage. The doctor quickly alleviated some of my fears by stating that these types of hemorrhages are common and aren't a big concern. Since our baby's heartbeat was so strong, there were excellent chances that we wouldn't miscarry. I was told to rest well and take it easy for the week. The following Monday, we would come back for a follow-up ultrasound to check on the hemorrhage and the baby.

Regardless of the doctor's assurance, I left that appointment feeling confused, shocked, and scared. Our sweet baby was at risk, even if the chances were excellent for nothing bad to happen. I rested for the week while husband took care of everything. We prayed constantly and so did our friends and family, for God to heal the hemorrhage and protect our Bean.

March 1st came and so did more bleeding during the very early hours of Sunday morning. I tried not to cry in the shower. And I tried telling myself that this was normal for a hemorrhage. We'd read and researched, finding that some women had experienced heavier bleeding with a subchorionic hemorrhage. Even in telling myself that nothing was wrong, I didn't believe it. While the bleeding wasn't enough to go to the ER, it was enough to make me scared, to keep me from moving a hair that day. With an ultrasound appointment first thing in the morning, we knew all we could do was pray and wait. 

Monday morning came slowly, and my conditions had worsened overnight. I thought I could feel dull cramping, but wasn't sure if it was really happening or all in my head. Our ultrasound confirmed my worst fears. At 9 weeks and 2 days our sweet Baby Bean no longer had a heartbeat. I crumbled instantly, and my tears were too quick to even try to hold back. Husband just held me.

We waited in a cold and empty office for over an hour before we could see our doctor. We waited again while in the examination room. And waited once more until being sent to the hospital for a second and more detailed ultrasound. In the hospital we waited for another hour and a half before being seen. Waiting made it all the worse.

After all the time spent waiting we were taken back for the ultrasound. In the silence I shouted at God in my head to make the heartbeat appear, to make a miracle happen. And when it was over, again we waited, but this time for confirmation that we really didn't want to hear. 

After five and a half hours of waiting we made it home, emotionally and physically exhausted. In the quiet and privacy of our home, we let ourselves truly begin to grieve. To grieve for the loss of our child, for the dreams we had as a family of three, for the plans we had made, for the news we wanted to be taken back. We felt breakable and raw. And ahead of us was the decision to make about miscarrying. What method to take, how to proceed. We prayed for God to make the decision clear in our time of hurt and need.

Monday was a long and heart breaking day. My mom dropped everything to come be with us, to take care of not only us but our home. And just when we thought the day had settled, our gracious God answered our prayers and allowed me to miscarry in the comfort of our home, with Pete and my mom there to get me through. He made the decision we didn't feel capable of making, and gave us the gift of walking through the hardest day of our lives with Him.

Over the past couple of days we have felt the deepest sadness we've ever known. Yet, husband and I have certainly not been alone. We have been loved so very well by our family and friends. From sweet messages, flowers delivered to our door, and meals prepared for us all week long. Through my brokenness and hurt, I've never felt more loved. And we know just how much our sweet baby was loved too. Our community has carried this loss with us, and for them we can never be more thankful.

Since Monday, our world has felt as if it's standing still, while normalcy continues on around us. As we find our way back into our routines, I know there will be reminders everywhere of what is no longer, that little things I saved for certain dates will catch me off guard, and bring a lump to my throat. I know these feelings aren't going away any time soon. I know that there is a long road ahead of physical and emotional healing. I know that the unthinkable of losing and miscarrying a baby was never something we thought we would experience. And I know that our God is greater than all of this, and He will see us through. That He has plans for our family in His good and perfect timing. In the meantime I'm working on getting to a place in my heart where I'll be able to say that it is well with my soul.

If you've ever experienced a miscarriage, know that I am praying for you too. I welcome your words of advice for how you found you healed best. I'm grateful for a community where I can share the deepest parts of my heart, being vulnerable and true to my story.