This Sunday, February 11th, is a day that will be honored in our household, for the baby we only met through the ultrasound monitors. I didn’t think I was going to share this pregnancy loss story on the blog, but it felt fitting for this weekend would’ve been his/her birthday.
The steps to healing are different for every person. I’ve felt a season of winter over me the past months since our loss last July. But what is so powerful is seeing God’s hands at work. Trusting the pain is a different story, though. Questioning doesn’t resolve anything either, just as we know from our friend, Job, in the Bible.
I’ll never forget the encounters with God during that painful time.
I hold those moments dear to my heart.
After all, He is familiar with suffering.
But, I find my thoughts wandering back to the early weeks of pregnancy.
Pinpointing the moment I faulted as a mom, unknowing I was growing the life Alex and I prayed for.
I remember anxiously going into my first appointment at eight weeks with concerns. We came with Jack, who was SO excited to have a “baby sister” (his suspicion), but he must’ve felt my nervous energy. He sat in my lap and held my hand during the appointment. <3 Fortunately, our OB reassured us that everything was fine and there was a heartbeat. I allowed myself to be excited while also being cautious, especially since I was dealing with minimal symptoms, which was not the case with Jack’s pregnancy.
Our Pregnancy Loss Story
I have to admit, once we were at the 11-week mark, I really thought we were in the clear. We were just starting to talk about how we were going to share the news with our families.
Alex was away for a week-long work trip in Seattle. Fortunately, he decided to take Friday off from work to unpack and enjoy a family day with us. Jack caught croupe earlier that week, so I was relieved to have Alex back home. And I was getting ready to leave for a trip to Banff, Canada, on Saturday, so it was a busy week for our family.
That Friday, July 21st (in between our trips), I noticed blood. After calling my OB’s office, they suggested going to the ER.
I’ll never forget the solemn car ride to the ER while listening to worship music, just praying everything was okay. The ER was a slow experience… Transferred from room to room with blood tests and minimal contact with nurses/doctors. Three hours later, my low HCG blood work result came to me via email before we heard anything from a nurse. We knew then we were miscarrying.
An ultrasound tech came in 45 minutes later, but I refused to look at the monitor. Ultimately, we were there for four hours only to be told there was no longer a heartbeat and that we were miscarrying. The nurse advised that I shouldn’t go to Canada the following day and sent us home.
Jack didn’t understand the news, which was difficult to explain over the weeks ahead. But we are ultimately grateful that God blessed us with Jack before experiencing this loss. We got to share the joys of the pregnancy with him and the sadness. And he comforted me through my tears, even when I tried to be strong. <3
As upset as we were leaving the ER, I remember looking at the Rocky Mountains and seeing the most beautiful sunset. I felt like God was letting me know that EVERYTHING WAS GOING TO BE OKAY. <3
I know too many friends who have experienced the pain of miscarriage. My heart ached for them more because I lacked an understanding of their internal and external pain or the words I tried to speak to encourage them.
If I had known what my body was going to go through for a natural miscarriage, I probably would’ve canceled my trip to Banff. But it’s better than I didn’t know. Just an hour before I drove to the Denver Airport, my body went through the contractions of the miscarriage. It was way more intense than I imagined, and I’m grateful I was home with Alex when it happened.
Looking back on that weekend, I’m grateful for the timing so I could go to Banff. After all, nature is so healing to my heart and soul. I dealt with one more miscarriage episode in my hotel room, but I’m grateful I had a little time to rest/heal.
I’ll never forget my encounters with God during my time in Banff. I found a peaceful spot by the Bow River in Lake Louise Village to sit and journal/listen to worship music. I reflected, prayed, cried, and read scripture — I felt comforted. It was just the start of my healing.
To be honest, coming home was a hard reality after an incredible trip. The day after my return, I had to get blood work done to monitor my HCG levels. I received a phone call hours later (thinking it was regarding my blood work). Instead, it was a nurse prepping me for my 12-week ultrasound appointment – I choked up the words to say that we miscarried and broke down. I also found that sharing the news with our Virginia families was tough after we were just days away from sharing exciting news.
The isolation turned into a sadness I hadn’t experienced before. I could barely get out of bed in the morning. Coincidentally during that season, we had many friends of ours share their pregnancy news while they didn’t know we were battling with our pregnancy struggles. So we had to put our sadness aside to celebrate them and hide our grief behind closed doors.
Two weeks later, I wanted to push my body and prove that my body can do hard things. So I conquered my first 14er (Mt. Huron) with Alex. That was the best thing I did for myself during this season of finding joy! As I mentioned earlier, nature is so healing.
And this was my turning point. <3
Even though I still find myself reminded of our experiences in July, I’m grateful for my closeness with God during that time and for my husband/family! Even though we aren’t celebrating a Birthday this weekend with a baby in our arms, our angel will always have a place in our hearts from our pregnancy loss story.
I’m not sure where I found this quote, but I have it noted in my journal and it stuck with me ever since… “For every moment your baby was here on earth, your love and protection was all it knew.”