A little over a month ago, David and I experienced an early pregnancy loss. We’ve only shared this with our immediate family and a few close friends. This is something I have been very hesitant to share publicly. One reason being that I don’t handle sympathy or pity very well. I don’t like attention on me, especially when I’m down. The other reason is that I feel as if our loss will be viewed as less “big” compared to others who lost their babies further along. I feared that people will think “you were barely pregnant, what are you crying about?”
In spite of all these hesitations, I decided to go ahead and share anyway because I feel as if miscarriage is a topic that is not spoken of nearly enough.
Many women keep their miscarriage a secret, possibly for the same reasons I had planned to, or maybe for other personal reasons. I have learned that sharing leads to healing, as hard as it may be. Each time we shared this news with a new group of people (each of our families, close friends), I found myself so nervous I was shaking inside and had major butterflies in my stomach. I didn’t want to bring down the mood by sharing sad news. But each time we were greeted with empathy and comfort.
Let me back up and tell our story.
The week of Thanksgiving I had a suspicion that I may be pregnant, so I took a home pregnancy test, which was positive (then I took a few more after that just to be sure). We were not trying to get pregnant and it was not on our agenda any time soon. Before this, when people would ask if we were going to have any more, our response would be “probably not unless God has something else planned for us.”
As I took the test and waited for the results, I prayed continually “Your will be done.” However when I saw “pregnant” on the test, I freaked out. I was admittedly shocked, but also worried. A million thoughts ran through my head and tears streamed down my face because this was not in our plans. I started worrying about having to buy a bigger car that would fit three car seats, what we would do for the baby’s room since our extra bedroom is now David’s office, all the baby stuff we’d have to re-buy because we’ve sold so much stuff, how I would be due in August and be miserable in the summer, was I really ready to start all over….so many things floated through my head.
I just got done praying “Your will be done,” but instead of trusting His will, I was doubting it and even a little sad about it. Where was my faith?
David got home and I showed him the test. He was immediately happy! His reaction put me at ease and made me finally realize that it’s all going to be okay. We prayed about it and “the peace of God that surpasses all understanding” made its way into my heart, because this is His will, and I know it will all work out. He knows what is best for us, and we began to become very excited about this new little addition.
We kept the secret from our families all Thanksgiving weekend. We started to think about the ways that our lives would be different next Thanksgiving. We decided on how we would tell our families when everyone was in town for Christmas. We had even decided how we would announce it “officially” on Facebook and IG. I bought a pregnancy Happy Planner sticker book. We made our first prenatal appointments and were counting down the days until we could see the baby on ultrasound. All of these things in just a few short days. It basically consumed my thoughts.
Then a week after I found out I was pregnant I started bleeding. I had heard of people having periods their first month of pregnancy and not realizing they were pregnant because of this, so I thought maybe this was normal. For some reason I decided to take another pregnancy test. I’m not sure what made me do that, but I did, and it was negative. That’s when I started to get really confused and worried, especially since these new pregnancy tests claim that false-positive pregnancy results are now extremely rare. I called the doctor and they had me come in for blood work that would not come back for another two days.
I’ll spare you the details, but the bleeding continued all day and night and was very heavy and clotted. So much so that I thought I might hemorrhage (I’d honestly like to know my EBL during those two days). I knew then that something was not right and suspected that we’d lost the pregnancy, but I wouldn’t find out for sure until two days later when the nurse called from the OB office and said my HCG on my blood work was negative. I asked what it all meant and she said it was either an early miscarriage or a chemical pregnancy. To me they’re the same thing – we had a baby and now we don’t.
We had never experienced this before. Our first two pregnancies came so easily and without complication. We only knew about this baby for a week, but it’s amazing how the mind adjusts in such a short amount of time. We had this entire path ahead of us and then all of a sudden it was gone.
I know that this is God’s will as well. First I questioned His will when I read “pregnant” on the first test, and then I questioned His will when it was gone. I am reminded through this experience that God has a perfect plan for us. It may involve some heartache along the way, but there is a reason for it and I must trust that.
I am thankful that our loss happened before we saw the baby on the ultrasound or heard the heartbeat. My heart goes out to all the parents who lost a baby after that point, and even later. I’ve never understood miscarriage. I always felt for those women who lost their unborn babies, but I couldn’t truly empathize because I never knew that pain.
I’d like to plug this in here – please don’t forget the dads. I have been guilty of this, of only sending my condolences to the mom and not the dad, but it’s as much their loss as it is ours. It was his baby and his future too.
Honestly, I don’t know what I should be feeling. I didn’t know if I was supposed to grieve, even though it felt like a loss. I’d think “I’ve only known about this baby for a week, am I allowed to be sad about it?” I’ve come to realize that I’m allowed to feel whatever I feel. The sadness is real, the grief is real, and the sense of loss is real. Even though we still had some anxieties over the uncertainties that the baby would bring, we never felt relief at it’s loss. We only felt sadness. So David and I grieved the loss of our baby as best we could. Silently, together at first, then we opened up to a few more people at a time.
We are healing, but we still have twinges of pain here and there – on the dates of our would-be appointments, and at Christmas time when we should have been sharing happy news rather than sad news, just to name a few. I do believe the age-old saying is true – time heals all things – but so does prayer. We’ve been prayerful about our loss, for comfort and understanding, but also for our future. I continue to pray “your will be done” and I’m trying to truly mean it this time, even if His will is different than mine, because I know His is better.
When people ask us “does this make you want another one,” that’s a hard question. Yes, I was excited for what we had because it was God’s plan for our family, which meant everything would be perfectly fine. But when it’s up to us to decide if we want to try for another baby, all of those human anxieties start to creep in and push us away from it. I voiced this to a few friends saying “I just want Him to decide for us” and my dear friend Audrey responded by saying “you know you can let Him do that.” That is what we’re trying to do, as hard as it is to let go of control of the visions we have for our future. Because whatever He has in store for us will be perfect, we will be fine, and we will be happy.
Have you ever experienced anything similar? If you are comfortable sharing, I’m here to listen. I’ve found that sharing is very therapeutic. Feel free to comment below or message me privately through email or social media. My hope with this post is that it will reach someone who is going through/has experienced a pregnancy loss and provide encouragement.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”