At the beginning of 2013, my husband and I were celebrating our 7th year of marriage. We had just moved back to TN with our daughters (ages 5 and 2), bought a home, started new jobs and overall, life was “happy”. By the end of 2013, I would never have guessed the heaviness of grief that would fill my days, the anxiety that would take over my nights, and the depression that would completely consume me.
Let me back up a bit.
In August, 2013, I found out I was pregnant after about 8 months of trying. We had fairly “by the book” pregnancies with our first two children, so naturally we just assumed the same for our third. Unfortunately, about a week after we learned of baby number 3, we miscarried. I was devastated. My only prior experience with miscarriage was just through statistics I had heard. I knew miscarriages happened in 1 out of 4 pregnancies and so I felt like maybe it was just my turn. The significance of that loss was never fully expressed because I felt ashamed taking something that happens to so many families and turning it into a personal tragedy…if that makes sense. It was common, our baby wasn’t special, we needed to move on. And outwardly, we did.
A few months later, on Thanksgiving morning, I was elated to find out we were pregnant again. Only this time I wasn’t even able to hold on to the excitement for more than one day. The following morning I was rushed to the ER having labor type pains and doing everything in my power not to lose conciousness. We found out I was actually closer to 10 or 11 weeks pregnant and had experienced a ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I was bleeding internally and needed to be taken to surgery immediately. I was numb and confused and scared. It was all happening so fast, and once again I felt like my pregnancy-my baby-wasn’t important. I had only just learned of my child that had been growing bigger and stronger for close to THREE months!? How could that even be. My brain and heart couldn’t process-there just wasn’t time.
But, thank the Lord, I was okay-physically. And once again, we moved on-outwardly.
It has been almost 4 years now and it is only recently that I can say I am grateful for those babies we lost and the journey they set for our future. Next week our family will be celebrating one year home with our youngest daughter, Mae, who was born in South Korea. We are blessed more than we deserve to be called her parents. Our experience with loss has taught me a few things. 1- We need to talk about it! We are not alone. I know my healing started when I began to hear other women’s stories. In our losses we all shared a special bond that connected us at the core and that brought comfort I was longing for. 2-Each and every baby/pregnancy is special and unique. Maybe like me you were never able to hold your baby. Maybe you held your baby still. Maybe you said goodbye too soon. Don’t diminish your loss. A child is a child is a child. A loss is a loss is a loss. 3-There are so many seasons of life. Some seasons are just plain awful. If you are in the middle of the hard, in the middle of a loss, it’s only fair to yourself that you do what you need to do. Allow yourself to grieve and to grieve well. I’ve been to counselors, sought medical help, cried, screamed, read books, called friends, asked questions. You name it. But please know you are not alone. Know that there will be another sunny day. We don’t forget about our losses, but we can grow through them. There is a bible verse that remains my hope: “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, to Him be glory forever.” Ephesians 3:20-21
Keep on asking and imagining. And know you are loved!