After losing our baby, we needed time. Time to heal. Time to talk. Time to ourselves. Time to fight. Time to comfort one another. Time to let it sink in. Time to decide what to do next.
A year passed. It was Father’s Day weekend once again. It was an emotion filled day. I was grateful to have Olive here with us and to be prepping for her 4th birthday. I was sadden as I thought about how many years had gone by since my dad had passed. I was still mourning the child we had lost the year before. And I was eagerly anticipating revealing to Danny the little secret growing in my belly.
Danny got off work and I gave him the new fanny pack I had ordered him for Father’s Day, packed with some candy and a few positive pregnancy tests. A year had passed, and the feelings and memories of the year before were still there. But we were also very excited.
I was pinning ideas for Rainbow Baby pregnancy announcements. I was looking online for a double stroller with a sit and stand. I was shopping gender neutral baby clothes when they were on sale. I had miscarried the year before. I was broken and at my lowest point. God came in and brought me healing and peace and He lifted me up. My thinking was, God wouldn’t bless us with another child just to let this little one slip away too. I felt like I had earned the right to dream again and move forward with preparing for our baby. And so we did.
I regret not having invited God into my experiences with Olive and attempting to get through it by myself. If I have learned anything from losing our baby the year before and working through Olive’s struggles it’s that I cannot do anything on my own. I need God with me. And I needed to invite Him into this experience with me. So I bought a book, Praying Through Your Pregnancy. It gives week by week insight into what is happening with the development of your baby and a prayer for the week. Each week I jotted down the dates, journaled our experience and bookmarked it with our ultrasound. This treasured book still sits in my night stand, bookmarked to Week 11.
I don’t remember how far along I was when I had a familiar inkling; the feeling that something was not right. I had felt the same the year before and tried to push the thought away until I no longer could. I remember telling my friend through tears, I don’t feel pregnant. She lovingly encouraged me to keep believing the baby was well and pray. And I did.
Around 11 weeks, I went in for our next doctor visit. I had spent the week dreading and, at the same time, looking forward to the appointment. This would be the first time to hear a heartbeat. Hearing those sweet little thumps would mean I could relax, breathe a sigh of relief, and could finalize plans for publicly announcing our pregnancy. But, not finding a heartbeat would mean being hit with waves of grief once again.
On this side of the appointment, I was still pregnant. I could still dream. I remember sitting in my car before going in and rubbing my tummy, begging God to reveal to me that my fears were unfounded. Praying the doctor would find a strong, healthy heartbeat. I took a deep breath and went in.
The doctor searched once again and could not find a heartbeat; a fact that did not seem to bother her. She was optimistic and told me it was probably still too early to hear it. They had a new ultrasound tech working that day with no appointments on the book. She was eager to have a patient. My doctor sent me down in hopes of easing my mind. Unfortunately, it confirmed my fears, I would be miscarrying again.
This time was different. There was still heartache, a lot of heartache. But it was coupled with anger and resentment. I know God is good all the time, making navigating these feelings all the more difficult. I want to be angry with someone, blame someone. This has to be someone’s fault, doesn’t it? I found, and ashamedly still find, myself bitter. Bitter when I see a pregnancy announcement. Bitter when I see siblings together. Bitter when I attend a baby shower. I find myself asking, why not me? Why not us? While these thoughts, feelings and questions are valid, they have not been serving me or my family well. After a while, I realized I needed a change.
I still struggle, but I’m learning to search for truth in my pain. It hurts to see others pregnant or with a new born, but I know that doesn’t mean God loves me any less. It hurts not having all of our children here with us, but I know one day I will see them again. We all have hurts and pains that we struggle through. Our feelings and questions amongst this pain are valid. But we don’t have to stay stuck here friends. Lean on your loved ones. Search for truth; God is good.