Personal | Navigating Through Miscarriage
Let me start by saying YES, we are still pregnant!!! But before we announced the joyous news to the world, we experienced the pain & shock of miscarriage. This post was written back in August as a way to heal… I wasn’t sure if I would ever share the post but after months of healing, becoming pregnant again and talking to friends about our story, I decided that perhaps my words would do more good out in the world than inside of my head.
It’s been a long time since I’ve shared a personal post on the blog, partly because wedding season is in full swing and partly because the most personal thing happening in our lives was too hard to talk about. The word miscarriage is hard to hear and possibly even harder to say… in fact, I haven’t been able to speak about it without bursting into tears.
I’ve been starring at this blinking cursor for some time now, trying to find the right words to say… but there aren’t any. It’s entirely possible that this post will spend eternity in draft-land (so if you’re reading along, I somehow found the courage to hit PUBLISH) but I’m hoping that letting these words flow (along with the tears) will push me into a place where I’m able to comfortably talk about it with others since miscarriage is so common, yet rarely talked about… so here we go.
In early June we found out we were pregnant and after the initial shock set in, we were absolutely overjoyed. We called the doctor, set our prenatal appoints in the calendar, and celebrated with sparkling juice. We ordered “What to Expect” books, gifts for our family to share the good news, and started dreaming of baby names. On a Friday night, we stopped over at my Mom’s house to surprise her with our pregnancy announcement… we recorded their reaction, shared hugs & plenty of tears, and talked about how perfect God’s timing was. Less than 12 hours later, I stood in a hotel room documenting another beautiful wedding, when I realized the exciting changes happening inside of my body had come to a sudden halt. Panic set in, soon followed by shock & fear but those feelings would all need to be set aside for the next 10+ hours so that I could serve my bride + groom without distraction. The wedding continued as if nothing was happening inside my body and the wedding day was absolutely flawless but when I finally got to my car at the end of the night, everything fell apart.
The following days weren’t any easier — retelling our parents the news, canceling the doctor appointments, hiding the packages that we ordered as they showed up at our door, trying to understand God’s plan, and hardest of all… making sense of the incredible surge of hormones that were now running through my body.
The hormonal aftermath
My family has always told me that I have a great balance of emotion & logic. Let me tell you… logic went out the door and I became an emotional basket case but given my normal balance of logical thinking, that became the most frustrating part. Why was I fine one minute and sobbing the next? Why did the smallest irrelevant things send me into a spiral of tears? Why was I creating problems with my husband that weren’t there? My breaking moment came when Ben turned to me and said, “I WANT to help you, I just don’t know how…”.
My point here is that the body & hormonal changes don’t stop immediately just because the life growing inside you did.
You feel robbed
Obviously, your brain needs to adjust to the fact that you won’t be meeting the life growing inside of you. However, that’s not exactly where I felt robbed…. I felt robbed of joy. The happiness when you tell your husband for the first time that he’s going to be a Dad? Gone. The surprise you had for your family because they didn’t know you were trying? Done.
I truly felt robbed of all the special “firsts” that you should be excited to experience with your spouse and I feared that any future pregnancy would now be shadowed by the looming possibility of another miscarriage.
The sub-conscious guilt
I know that I didn’t do anything to cause this miscarriage.. I KNOW that. But your brain has a funny way of tricking you into believing things that you know aren’t the case. The weeks that followed our miscarriage, I would catch myself saying things like “Why did my body do this?”, as if it was a conscious decision. As I shared the news with my brother, I said “Ben was so excited to be a Dad and I took that away from him,” and my brother stoped me and said “YOU didn’t take anything away from him. It wasn’t you.”
I KNOW that it wasn’t my fault… but doubt & fear seep into your brain like a vicious disease and they take root without your say.
Grief comes in waves
As I previously mentioned, I would be completely fine one minute and out of a nowhere, a wave of immense sadness would hit me. It took me a few days to realize that this would be my life for a while until my brain & body caught up with each other.
Almost 3 months later and I finally feel like the wave of grief I’ve been riding is subsiding. Who knows, it might hit me again as the tides of our life continue to change but what I’ve learned is that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to feel the crash of sadness when it hits… but more importantly, it’s okay to share with others about the storm you’re going through.
Where we are now
It’s been 6 months since that day in June. We struggled… we cried… we struggled some more. I praise God every day for a husband (that although was struggling too) supported me and loved me in the best way he could.
If you’re struggling with the isolation that surrounds miscarriage or infertility, my prayer is that you know, you are not alone. Healing comes from tiny unexpected moments of joy, the slow passing of time, and the support of those around you.
We’re now over 22 weeks into our second pregnancy and I’m thinking about sharing another post on pregnancy after miscarriage because trust me, that is a process too. It took me a multiple weeks of being pregnant to feel excited again for fear of losing this baby too. Every cramp, every pain, every tiny thing that didn’t feel “normal” sent me into a state of panic. However, as I sit here writing this little update, I can feel the sweet kicks of baby M inside of me and it truly reminds me… Through it all, God is good.