I never imagined I’d see the word abortion next to my name in a discharge summary.
I never imagined I’d be going through a miscarriage.
I never imagined I’d be writing about this from a personal standpoint. And I absolutely never wanted to.
But here I am at 33 with four healthy children and one now angel baby. Here I am on day 6 of a miscarriage caused by a spontaneous abortion.
Four weeks ago our almost 4 year old clambered up to me and patted my tummy, saying, “Mommy, you’re almost gonna have a baby!” Little did I know how true her words would be. She told me she wanted two babies–because we had baby Quinn and we needed a girl baby. I told her that we had a happy family and asked her if she was happy with our four cubbies. She said yes but that she really wanted a sister too.
So I did what I always do when something strange or funny happens. I texted my sister and asked her what she thought. She said kids have a sixth sense and I should take a pregnancy test.
An hour later, I walked a positive test into our bedroom and broke the news to Christian. We were incredulous. Here we go again we laughed.
The next weeks were full of the symptoms I remembered so well from my other pregnancies. I felt warm and tingly, just full of life, literally, and anticipation at the coming months. I took my week by week pics and tried to see if I could see a difference in my tummy…I didn’t want to gain weight, but I was super eager to have that familiar bump!
Then a little over a week ago I began to feel nervous. I wasn’t experiencing hypersensitivity to smells. I wasn’t having morning sickness. I wasn’t as exhausted as I had been. I even called my sister and told her the same. I hope nothing is wrong I told her.
At the same time a college friend of mine had shared that she’d been to the doctor and learned that she probably was miscarrying. My heart sunk. I was immediately heartbroken for her. We were due the same week in May. We had both found out we were pregnant the same week. We were even running fitness groups of our own and sharing our successes and learning from each other. How could this be happening to her?
But the next thought sent me into a cold sweat.
What if it was happening to me?
It couldn’t be.
But that week at that next week’s milestone, I didn’t take a belly shot. I decided not to buy a cute count down to due date chalkboard from Hobby Lobby. I experienced insomnia several nights in a row, something I’d never done before.
I saw the chasm in front of me. I walked my heart up to the chasm and sat. But I still refused to look into it.
When the first physical sign of trouble appeared that very same day, I couldn’t think straight. I spent hours googling possibilities. Was this deciduous bleeding? Was this a blip? Was this just like so-and-so’s experience? Surely there was an explanation.
When it became more pronounced over the next 24 hours my heart rose and hovered over the chasm. Did I dare accept I might be miscarrying? I couldn’t confront that edge. I wouldn’t.
The call back nurse I talked to that second day wasn’t concerned. I tried to comfort myself with her words of this being normal and etc. I tossed and turned through the wee hours of the night, alternately googling answers to my fears and dropping off into a panicked sleep. I even slipped in a few hymns, though I could barely finish two lines of those I tried to sing silently.
Saturday morning. I knew what I was experiencing was not normal. I was crumbling. I timidly mentioned my fears to Christian as he was off to work, but he too said it would be fine. I’d had a sudden eruption of pregnancy symptoms the night before, he reminded me. I could smell our fresh cut flowers so strongly that I couldn’t sit down in the kitchen. I held my breath walking through the hallway because the laundry detergent was so powerful. Surely, my hormones were rising, not dropping.
But the sweat on my brow, the tears sitting at the edge of my eyes and that looming chasm in the distance told me differently. I knew I was about to fall in.
I scooped up my four happily oblivious children and drove to the park. Every bench was wet with the night’s rain. Each time I sat down, “the baby’s gone” hit me like a thud. I moved to a different bench. I let the kids play in a different area. The thought kept following me. I knew I was tumbling. The thoughts hit me faster and faster. As the park filled up with children dressed in Halloween costumes, the reality of miscarriage landed squarely at my feet. I stopped brushing water away from the benches and began brushing tears from my eyes.
I was pushed and prodded toward that vast chasm of darkness, and over into that space of unknown where the reality of the terrible and horrible looks at you. My kids danced and jumped and climbed rock walls. I blinked back tears wondering why I was losing my baby. Worse. I knew I could do absolutely nothing about it.
I’ll save the wretchedness of the following days for your imagination though those days were filled with words like “you’re pregnancy will end in the next few days” and “you’ve had a spontaneous abortion” and “here are some places you can get help if you need it.” Each of those words, just words on a page, were angry and hateful, hitting me in the softest places of my heart.
I was helpless. I am helpless. I could do nothing to revive my lifeless child. Though less than ten weeks old, I was inexplicably attached emotionally, spiritually, physically. The one time I saw her was in the ER on Saturday through the ultrasound…minus a heartbeat. Today when I had a follow up ultrasound, she was gone. Not a single piece of evidence that she’d ever been lodged inside me remains.
Audi told us that our baby was a she. We went with it. We sent a gift to her the very next day after we found out we’d lost her. We released a balloon to heaven and asked Jesus to carry it to her, to tell her we loved her and to tell her we were so sorry we couldn’t see her grow up to become big and strong.
I know I couldn’t protect our baby, that I didn’t do anything to make this happen, yet I am filled with a desperate sorrow. She was ripped away from me before I ever said hello.
I don’t even know if I ever want to know the reason why it happened.
When I spoke to the ladies in my lifegroup four weeks ago that God has something great in mind for us, that He had something specific He wanted to show us and do through us in these last months of the year, I never imagined that this was part of that.
I still cannot fathom how it might be.
Yet, somewhere from outside the chasm a horizon lies flat and expansive. A voice lists through the still, dry air. He is faithful. Will I be? He is abundant. Will I be? He is true. Will I be?
I can only half-grasp the answers.
People want to know how I am.
I don’t know how I am. So I am writing this. What I do know is that reflecting through the process will help me survive my fall through the chasm, through this terrible dark place and that through this ending something else will be born.
In the meantime, don’t mind me brushing away tears, and feel free to sit with me as I navigate the empty spaces.