*** i wrote this piece while in the dark of grieving. writing has always given me life and i desperately needed life. my therapy. i promised myself i would never edit or change this. it was the only clear thing in the midst of chaos. someone would be met right where they were. not “on the other side of loss” ••• that seemed so far. it still does. there is no handbook. it’s a death without an obituary and it’s just constant heaviness. that is exactly why i wrote these words. there is no rainbow baby to announce. just a woman. one in three. hoping to meet you in a place not easily navigated and hold your hand. meet you in your dark.
this was written between 6-8 weeks post miscarriage. please read with tenderness. please, please know you are loved.
• • •
one in three. i am her.
you are here with me. in the thick of a mess. emotional, hormonal. heart break, heart healing.
the urge to share this story seems god gifted. a polite shove from the heart to share a vulnerable place in life. i almost wanted to slap a HANDLE WITH CARE label across the top of this box of written emotion. it isn’t fully healed, it’s still tender to the touch and it’s all so messy. i am writing this six weeks after i lost my second baby. one in three women miscarry. i am one.
at nine weeks pregnant we strolled into the doctor office like reigning champions. been there, grown that. having a daughter, almost one year old, we knew what the screen would show and we were prepared to fall in love all over.
silence and nothingness.
a dark, empty screen. a tiny glimpse of something but not developed enough to make out head from sweet little tail. the tone change in the voice of the ultrasound tech. her optimistic suggestion that maybe we were off on dates… not likely. i may not know the last time i shampooed but that “my period” app is thorough and totally buttoned up. so in the hour to come we would be gently prepared for a miscarriage. our first visit. but given only the appropriate dosage of hope for the next ultrasound to be scheduled one week later. i held those tears back until i was alone. i wept. i got small with God and together we banished the doubt. i know my maker. i am His child. my baby is His child too. He knows this story, he wrote it. my role is to send only positivity from ground up and top down.
those ten days were the most prayerful, positive, thought provoking days. i talked to my belly. having a baby already, the connection from a seedling to my heart seemed like riding a bike. “of course you are my baby little seed. of course you are growing as you should. i know you. i am your mama. we’ve got this. they doubt because they don’t see. but i know your heart. you are me and i am you. you are my little engine that could. and maybe, just maybe because you are due to be a leo, you are already making a dramatic story for yourself. •••i giggle a little because dad is a leo••• i love you. i love you like i love him and your big sister. grow big and strong and show them your beautiful self at the next visit. i know you are brave. focusing on growing your beautiful heart and i will handle the rest”
that was us. for those days i talked and prayed and touched my belly knowing like the sky is blue, this tiny one is someone with impact. we will grow together.
ten days, heaps of prayer, battles in positivity later••• our second ultrasound. i almost couldn’t breathe waiting in anticipation. but the screen proved a bigger plan was unfolding and the next hours were devastating. 99% chance we would lose our littlest love. the 1% banking on my levels matching that of a growing baby. a few short hours later, we would learn levels were solidifying the next chapter. no percentages left to cling to. no next check in. we were in a chapter i titled, “wait to lose”. my insides felt cold because this was a story of a due date. not a story of loss. it was all wrong.
for anyone that has ever walked this road. my whole heart goes to yours. right now. as you read. in this moment. i want to cry with you all over again. i want to sit with you in a cold pre op room, or your master bathroom. i want to hold on tight to your hand and i want to take the hurt all over again so you don’t have to feel alone. i am so sorry for your loss. i want to apologize for the ones that can’t wrap their brains or hearts around your extreme disappointment. the ones that imply not seeing // hearing a heartbeat somehow equals you being less pregnant. they just don’t know. they can’t. give them grace. i want to take every comment, question, baby announcement, gender reveal, shower invite like bullets for you. i want to say all the words you can’t say without crying. but the truth is,i can’t and you can’t do it for me either.
options in miscarriage are few.
• wait until you lose naturally, whenever that might be.
• induce the loss with medicine
• schedule an outpatient surgery. you are put under into sleep, the baby & its nest are all wiped away and you go home to rest.
my choice was to wait. God made this tiny, God will take this baby when He is ready. when He knows i am ready.
sweet friend, i lost that baby. ten days later. on january 17 God took our baby. twenty short days after our first ultrasound. twelve weeks to the day of our baby’s story start.
my husband was out of town (and country) and he facetime audio called to the hurt in my voice. for the women who have lost naturally, again my heart sits with yours. in this moment. i just remember saying, huge tears streaming down my cheeks, calm and sad “it’s happening. i am losing our baby. i am so sorry. ”
when the time comes to shed and miscarry, the human body goes into labor. my body contracted and hurt and bled like i had only felt in moments of labor for our first child. but where did it hurt worse? contractions had nothing on the heartstring pull i felt knowing it had been decided. there was nothing i could do. nothing.
for two and a half hours i sat on a toilet. this isn’t glamorous or sugar coated. this was awful. this was not fair. this was pain. i knew the second the baby passed. and it’s all a tearful blur except for the moment i heard my husband say “i don’t want you to look down. i want you to feel clean and fresh and we will flush away everything together. ” have you ever thought about the fact that a woman has to lose her cherished bitty seed to the public waste system? marinate on that for a moment. what a vulnerable and helpless second in a women’s story. there i was losing a piece of me, a piece of us. pain from the depth of my cells.
the night was the longest. the blood loss was major. scary and almost ridiculous. soaking through pads, panties, towels, sheets. that night was sleepless. hopeless. a death.
i wasn’t able to rid my body of all of the nest that baby tried to collect so in the days to follow i was given the medicine vaginally and when that didn’t work, i was then scheduled for the surgery. i knew why. it wasn’t medical for me, my body listened to every word my heart told it for twelve weeks. “don’t let go. don’t doubt. we are made for each other”. my body held on like my heart did.
recovery for bodies is minimal. recovery for the spirit is to be decided in my case. while others celebrate new babies, big life, i feel the greatest loss.
and it sucks the most in this moment.
during the “wait to lose”, my house was full of my mamas, biological and adopted. friends that i more so consider sisters. all waiting with me in those ten days. i was warned by my doctors i was not to be alone. that once this happened, i would not be able to care for our 1 year old. i would be debilitated. truth.
you know when someone you love dies and the funeral and the services and the million cards are all there. it’s busy and it’s a to do list, sorting, logistics seem to push you from one moment to the next? but then quiet. a completed task list but an empty space.
and suddenly the world keeps moving on
but you don’t
like you are frozen in a place because you aren’t done feeling it all the way.
that’s now for me. i am positive, i laugh. i count my blessings. i am beyond thankful for our daughter. she was our first try pregnancy that became an incredible piece of our life. she is everything. she has shaped me.
but i can’t help but hurt for myself and for everyone of you reading this that know those tender horrific moments so intimately. or those that have watched someone you love lose in such a tremendous way.
i am sorry this isn’t a happy ending piece of my heart on paper but i do have a couple of things to offer. my PHD is in perspective and so i share this bit of view in my dark & healing days :::
like any life event, miscarriage sheds a massive light. true colors cant hide from light like this. my tried and true friends and family were steadfast, stationary, unwavering. some of my tribe cancelled vacations, redirected flights, worked from home, just to be here. to watch our daughter, to make me soup, to let me cry, to allow my anger and my hurt to be misplaced in moments. to wash my sheets & towels. to throw away any bit of battle evidence so hour to hour could be as clean visiually as it could be to press into the next step, the next dr visit, the next minute. to walk in those delicate moments with me. truly walk WITH me. unparalell love in its rawest form.
i have learned to be more compassionate to strangers. no one at whole foods or the coffee shop knew my pain. that the coffee i ordered was a false fuel to a failing body. a tired body getting faux energy to smile for a baby at home that needed mama to be mama. they just all seemed to be exactly as tender as i needed them to be in those weeks. they were a smile, a hug, a free starbucks in a world of real hurt. ambassadors of God in moments of ruin.
i have learned that my marriage is bulletproof. that the man i married and the name i carry is unbreakable. that man is my hero. there arent enough words for what he was and is. and what he allows me to be. moving forward is hard. it isn’t an even road. he walks that path with me like he carried that baby too. he is healing too. we cried together, we lost together, we create new minutes together. we having matching scars.
i have learned that i have a piece of me and that wonderful man on both sides of heaven. ahhh a baby on both sides of heaven. isn’t that truly a beautiful comfort? a person i never met but loved completely is waiting for me and for us.
i have learned that world does keep going. babies keep introducing themselves and those precious souls deserve to be celebrated big. time heals. we know it. it still sucks. it still isn’t fair but they get a different, beautiful story of their own. of course you love those sweet babies, of course you’ll shower them, cherish them. probably more than ever. that’s therapy in itself. hold them close.
the greatest lesson in all of this is about empowering yourself to recover. that you need to heal. You need to feel. You need to sit inside of each minute until it pushes you into the next minute and feel every bit of it and keep feeling it until you feel less or until you feel rehabilitated from your heart out. there is no time limit there is no “have to”, all you have to do is feel.
i have tried to frame it all sweet friend. i have tried to compartmentalize it into helpful emotional boxes but the truth is the sorting may never be done. it’s ugly sometimes but promise me you’ll feel it all the way. every bit of it. feeling the loss is exactly what it is, loss. i am in the fog. i have learned the fog is the part where you need the companionship. i was going to wait to write until i was on the other side of it. but this place seemed more honest, more needed. i am here.
one in three women miscarry a baby. one in three women reading this know all the layers to this. one in three women read all the things that aren’t written. one in three women will be gently asked if they need the ultrasound screen turned off at their next visit. one in three women will list a number of pregnancies that doesn’t match the heart count in their home. one in three stories are all different. one in three stories ended the same though. one in three hearts are a braver, more beautiful and more seasoned version of themselves. living in a light that can’t be dimmed because it was grown so thoroughly. know and remember this, two in three women wish they could take your pain away. two in three wish you didn’t hurt. two in three wish they were planning your baby shower.
and know and remember this, this one in three walks with you. i am one in three. i have lost. i am one.
::: this is full heartedly written in memory of Brust Baby Lion two due 8/3/2017. i never knew i could learn so much from a person i never met. until our “someday” sweet one. i love you the most. love, mama.
this picture was from a prayer circle ::: i was privileged enough to read this piece and share very precious moments at a women’s retreat this summer. seven months after our baby found its way to heaven, i found my way into a circle that was the most healing.
• • • when life changing becomes life giving. • • • ❤️ we are whole after all.