Miscarriage and infertility have been things I have always feared. I can remember writing on a slip of paper in my freshman year Sociology class at Baylor, "not being able to have children." It was my answer to the question my professor asked, "What is your greatest fear in life?".
Since before I can remember, I've always wanted children. I've always wanted a lot of children. I have always felt like God truly designed me to be a mother. It is my greatest joy!
After having Henley, Ben and I decided to wait until after her first birthday to discuss when we wanted to try for another baby. That first year flew by, and before we knew it we were throwing her first birthday party. Then, we said "lets wait until she's 14 months." Wow, that happened fast! We were so caught up in simply enjoying her, that we really didn't think about the next one. When we finally got around to talking about it, we decided on May. In May, we would start trying for the next one because Ben loved the idea of a February baby! I was counting down the months until May!
Then, life happened. Ben and I began to struggle in our marriage and were growing weary of having the same arguments (since our first year of marriage) over and over again. Around the middle of March, we began going to counseling to heal our wounds. Counseling did wonders for us, but come May, we were still not quite ready to try. I was sad and frustrated. While my marriage was my number one priority, I found it frustrating that after six years of marriage, we weren't in a place to say without hesitation, "bring on the babies!". That frustration subsided when I realized that Ben and I were truly growing in our marriage and finally getting what we needed for so long.
In June, we were ready...more than ready! At the end of June we started trying for baby #2, and on August 27th I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! I cannot even put into words how excited I was! I couldn't even hold it in long enough to tell Ben in a fun way. I just ran into the kitchen and started waving the test in front of his face! We were both thrilled!
After having such a healthy and easy pregnancy with Henley, I didn't think twice about telling our closest friends and family early. We found out on a Friday afternoon, told our best friends on Friday night, told my family on Saturday night and told Ben's family on Monday night. Everyone was beside themselves with excitement! I knew it was early, but I was confident in my pregnancy and desired their prayers for myself and the baby.
My first appointment was scheduled for Monday, September 12th. I started spotting on Friday, September 9th. Although I was nervous and felt off, I still had hope that we would walk into the doctor's office and hear our baby's heartbeat.
When we went in, the sonogram only showed the baby at 5 weeks. All we could see was the sac. My doctor told me that it was probably just too soon, that we were earlier than we thought, but she also told me to prepare my heart that the baby may have stopped growing at 5 weeks and I might miscarry. I was devastated.We scheduled an appointment for a follow-up sonogram in 2 weeks and simply waited.
Those were the longest 2 weeks of my life. My bleeding got worse each day. I went in on Wednesday for more blood work to check my HCG levels and just could not hold it together. My doctor prescribed progesterone pills that I immediately started taking as well. On Thursday, after getting home from a quick trip to Target, I was positive I was miscarrying. I was experiencing cramping and my bleeding increased significantly. I immediately called Ben, and he came home. My doctor said from what I was describing, I didn't need to go to the ER, but I just knew something wasn't right. I laid down on the couch, and when Ben got home he just held me while I sobbed. I couldn't believe that I wouldn't get to meet my baby.
On Friday, I received the news that my blood work had come back and my HCG levels had increased...total confusion. Why would my levels be increasing if I was miscarrying. This gave me some glimmer of hope, but I still felt like something was wrong. At one point my boobs started to get super sore. This also gave me hope...until they got sore like they do after you have a baby and your milk comes in. My body thought I had had a baby. My body felt like I had the flu. My appointment was on Tuesday morning, and on the Thursday morning before it, I went to go to the bathroom and something just fell out. My only thought was "that was my baby." From then until Tuesday, I really couldn't focus. I thought I had wrapped my mind around the fact that I had miscarried, but nothing could have prepared me for the sonogram.
I guess there was still just a little hope left in me. I knew that the God that I serve can make miracles happen. I prayed and prayed for the entire two weeks. I prayed that no matter the outcome that I would know that I still serve a good God.
When the doctor told me that they couldn't see anything in the sonogram, in a sense I knew, but I still hoped. It was heartbreaking. The sac that I saw two weeks before was my baby, and that baby was no longer there. I would never get to see the outline of my baby, or know his or her personality. I would never get to hold that baby here on earth and introduce him or her to Henley. Devastated doesn't even describe it.
For the next 2 weeks, I was pretty much in a fog. I was functioning on autopilot, because all I could think of was baby #2. To me, he or she will always be my baby #2. I will always remember the day I took that positive pregnancy test, and I will always remember the due date, April 27th.
Miscarriage is hard. I said to both my sister and my best friend that I don't know when the pain will ever go away, and they both said, it won't. That made me feel better. It made me feel like my pain was justified. Yes, I miscarried early, but that doesn't mean that my baby was any less of a baby to me. Yes, I am thankful that I did miscarry early, but again, I still lost a baby. When my sister and friend said that to me, we all thought and said that it will be like losing my Mamaw. The pain will never go away, but with time, I will better be able to accept it and it might get a little bit easier. But make no mistake, I will forever miss my baby #2.
One thing that I am very thankful for is that my friend, Brenda, invited me to the Belong Tour the weekend after I miscarried. Ben was out of town and it helped to have something to do. It made me feel less alone. At the conference, they partnered with World Vision, and I decided to sponsor a child. I was standing at the table and asking how in the world do you choose? One of the women working said that some people choose by birthdays. I just so happened to be looking at the "last chance children," and one little boy's birthday was April 27th. I immediately decided to choose this little boy. He will be my reminder. He will be my baby #2 here on earth while I pray that my Mamaw is rocking my baby #2 in heaven.
I never really understood the saying "I'd love you even if I never met you" before now. Dear baby #2, I love you even though I never met you, and I will love you forever. I look even more forward to the day that I get to meet my Savior, for I hope that I also get to meet you.
My friend posted this a few days after we found out about our miscarriage and it sums things up perfectly. It has been hard for me to accept the fact that my timing doesn't matter one bit, but God's timing is best. I was frustrated when we couldn't try in May, and now we won't be trying for even longer. I've had to tell myself "oh well." I can try again, and all of this is part of God's perfect plan. I have to trust that plan.
I hope this post didn't overwhelm you too much. My heart has always ached for those who struggle with infertility or infant loss. I am now with you, and I will continue praying for each and every one of you. We just have to trust in God's plan. He is a good God. He is not a cruel God. His plan is far better than anything I could imagine and I will rest in Him.