Making It Through Week Four

March 26, 2015

Today's post was not scheduled, it was not the one I had planned. But, as a blogger, I vowed to be true to myself, to not put up a false image of my life, to not downplay my faith, nor create a fake facade through this blog. From the start I knew that if I was going to be sharing my life with others in a public forum, then I wanted to be able to do so in the most genuine way; to open myself up for connections and for friendships based on my reality and not the highlight reel of my life. I do put my best forward as a blogger (of course I want my house clean and tidy before posting photos of it on here), but I also want to share the hardships, challenges, and grittiness of life. I think that's when we really connect with one another, when we're able to be vulnerable. So today is one of those days for me.

While I'm sure there are readers who feel uncomfortable reading about miscarriage, it has been consuming my heart for weeks now and writing about it is therapy for me. It does me good to put words to my thoughts, to send it out so that anyone going through the same thing can find someone to identify with. Today felt right to share a little more of my experiences with miscarriage, because it's not just a single event in your life, but a journey. 

This week started out particularly hard for me. Monday was the date I had so brightly highlighted in my planner as the day we would announce our pregnancy to everyone. It would be the beginning of my bump updates, sharing weekly photos of a growing belly, and the freedom to just be pregnant and no longer keep it a secret. I would finally get to hit the "publish" button on posts documenting the early weeks of pregnancy that I have saved in my drafts folder of this blog. Monday meant a milestone for us. And husband and I were thrilled for this day, to shout our good news from the mountaintop, or rather from this blog. 

As this past Monday approached, I thought I would be able to handle it fine. That I had grieved enough to conquer this hurtle. I also had an appointment with my doctor for my last round of blood work to make sure the HCG hormones (the pregnancy hormones) had cleared my body. On my short drive to the doctor's office, it sank in that medically this pregnancy was coming to a close with the last "to-do" checked off. As I sat in the chair, face turned away from the nurse and the needle, I felt all kinds of emotions wash over me. My experience with this doctor's office had been rough, it had been cold, and lacking all kinds of compassion from the start. And here I was ending this part of the journey with a nurse who seemed to have no care for what I was going through. She had been the same nurse to take my blood during our pre-conception counseling and when we found out we were pregnant. She knew why I was there, yet she said nothing. She drew my blood, got the vile she needed, unwrapped the band from arm and simply said, "you're done." It was all I could do to get my jacket on and get out of that place before I lost it. 

The rest of that day continued on in a similar fashion. I would be okay and then another unexpected wave of emotions would hit. It was so evident that while medically I was done with this miscarriage, that emotionally I was not. Like I said, it's a journey and grieving has no timeline. So I settled into my day, knowing there would be tears and heartache, but also knowing that God would see me through it. And He did. 

Tuesday started off with puffy eyes, but a sense of renewal. I've come to discover that everyday is a stepping stone. I have been so fortunate to not only hold the Lord's hand through this, but also my friends' and family's. It's made all the difference in my healing. And while I know that it's not over yet, I'm getting to a place where I'm okay with that. I know that I will always think about my sweet baby in heaven. For the rest of my days I will wonder what our baby would have looked like, sounded like, been like. Do husband and I have a girl or a boy waiting to meet us in heaven? In all my questions and all my doubts, I have found so much comfort in knowing that God's plan for our lives is sovereign. That as much as we love our baby, He loves him or her so much more than we ever could. And they're together in heaven. Isn't that beautiful?

This week wouldn't be complete without the results from my blood work, which came back Wednesday morning. A nurse called to tell me that my HCG hormones had hit one. Medically that's great, and my body is doing what it should to recover well from miscarriage. But my first reaction was to be mad that after I had been so upset on Monday how could I still have a trace of being pregnant left. Hadn't I coped with the medical part of my journey being over? Yet here I was with just a little bit left. I shared my results with husband that evening, and told him that I was irritated and mad that the hormones just hadn't hit zero. From the floor where he was sitting he looked up at me and said, "Astleigh, what if that's God saying we will be pregnant and have a baby one day? What if that's Him giving us hope?" Turning my eyes to God changed everything. More than anything I have learned so much about God's mercy, His grace, His love, and His faithfulness during this trial and heavy burden. Miscarriage is the worst and most difficult experience of my life, but through it I can boldly say that even in the hardness and sadness God is so good.