It Was Time
After years of not writing about my miscarriage, I felt that it was time.
It has been 10 years since I went through that horrific experience, and I remember it like it was yesterday. Not only because it affected me physically, but especially because affected me spiritually.
I wish I could say that “I was strong”, or that, “it wasn’t that big of a deal”, but for anyone who has gone through a miscarriage (at any stage probably), knows that it is not the case. It is something that goes so much deeper than you can imagine. There is a hurt and a pain that goes to the root of your being. There is a small part of you that dies.
My first Pregnancy-The Stormy Season
My husband and I were only married for a year when I got pregnant. I was 22 years old. It was my very first pregnancy. I had no idea how to be pregnant, and to be honest, I was a little intimidated.
I had heard about all sorts of complications that could possibly happen while you were pregnant, but I think that I was finally so excited about having a baby, that those things never really crossed my mind. At least, I didn’t think that “anything could happen to me”. But, little did I know, the “storm” had already begun.
I was already showing and was 14 weeks along when the first sign that something “off” was happening.
My husband was a youth pastor at our church at the time, and I worked at a christian camp. I began having a little bit of spotting and cramping, but everyone I talked to said that was pretty normal and that I should just take it easy for a little while. Unfortunately, the spotting kept occurring. I went to the doctor and the baby was fine. There was still a heartbeat and everything looked normal, so the doctor said that I should just put my feet up more and try to relax.
The upcoming weekend we had a youth function down in San Diego and we decided to take a bunch of the youth and couple of our youth leaders down to a youth conference. I really didn’t feel very well, but I didn’t let on about how much the cramping and headaches were affecting me.
The next morning, while in San Diego, I woke and felt like I was “leaking”. It was clear like water, and I immediately was concerned. I told my husband and he decided to take me to the ER right away.
We went in to the ER and the doctor on call examined me and came in to the little bed area where my husband and I were waiting. I remember him very vividly because of how rude he was. He came right in and said, “you’re having a miscarriage for sure”. Just “threw it out there”, just like that! He told me that I had lost amniotic fluid. He went on to tell me what would happen soon, and that I should just expect to “pass the tissue”. I asked him if there was a heartbeat, and he said, “yes..but not for long”.
At that point, my husband and I were in shock. We didn’t really know what to do or think. And here we were, in a different city. We were not at home and comfortable, which made it feel all the more awful.
I guess at that point, I really wanted to believe that God could do a miracle. Just a few days before, my doctor had pulled out the little heartbeat monitor and let me listen to my baby’s heart. It was strong and steady.
And now, this rude doctor was telling me that there was still a heartbeat, but that my baby was going to die and I was going to miscarry. He sounded so definite. So hopeless.
The ER incident in San Diego was about 2 1/2 weeks after my very first cramping and spotting. When I lost amniotic fluid, my baby’s heart was still beating, so I still had hope. I still believed that God could give me more amniotic fluid for the baby. I still believed that He could change what was happening to me.
But that wasn’t His plan.
We left San Diego after that and didn’t get back home until late. That evening, I went to bed feeling horrible, both physically and mentally. I felt like my mind was exhausted. Spent. I couldn’t take any more “ups and downs”. I kept believing that God could “heal me”, but everything and everyone was telling me otherwise. I had heard so many, “just pray, God will come through for you,” or “God can do a miracle” speeches from people who just wanted to help me somehow. I wanted to believe them. I really did.
That night, approximately 1 am, I sat straight up in bed having the most painful cramping I had ever experienced. I knew that something terrible was happening. I knew that I was bleeding. I woke my husband up and almost screamed at him, in pain. The contractions were hard and close together. I went to the bathroom and tried to clean myself up, but at that point I was hemorrhaging. I didn’t know until the next day that I had “passed the tissue”, the “tissue” that horrible and rude doctor from the ER had talked about. My baby.
My husband rushed around to help me. He went out to the car and put the passenger seat all the way down, prepped the car, and then came in and carried me to the car. He drove as fast as he could to the closest hospital. It was 45 minutes away.
I remember very clearly, through the pain of the contractions, looking up at the stars through the passenger window and asking God, “why?”. Why was He doing this to me? Why was He allowing me to go through this? Why did it have to be so horrible? Why didn’t He save my baby?
We kept speeding to the hospital.
The past three weeks had been an “emotional rollercoaster”. It started with what we thought was a healthy pregnancy, to spotting and cramping, to losing amniotic fluid, to the current horror that I was living through. It was by far the most pain I had ever felt. In so many ways.
As we drove, and the night sky whirled past my window, I think that is when I lost all hope. I gave up. My faith was lost in that moment.
We arrived at the hospital and my husband brought me in to the ER and told the nurses what was happening. At that point, it was a blur. I just remember being in so much pain, and them asking me what I was feeling, if I had “passed any clots”, etc. Then they gave me morphine. I had never had any before and it made me so nauseous. I began vomiting. On top of the relentless contractions and hemorrhaging, it was all I could do to not pass out from the pain.
They ended up having to do a D & C surgery (dilation and curettage surgery).
I am pretty sure that the morphine didn’t “jive” well with my body, because I remember being in the surgery room, and them strapping my arms down on the table (probably right before I was put “under”), and thinking that I was William Wallace in Braveheart (the scene where they were torturing him, at the end).
I know it was just the pain and the drugs talking, but I was sure that I was going to die.
The Recovery of My Heart
“He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake…” Psalm 23:3
A small part of me did died that day. My baby.
The recovery, for me, was the worst part of that horrible season of my life. Yes, I eventually started healing physically, but my heart was far from healed.
I had become bitter and hardened.
I think I stayed home for almost a month after the miscarriage. I barely opened the curtains in my house at all in that month and I became very introverted. I didn’t want to go anywhere. Especially not to church. I was mad at God. At the world. At myself.
Miscarriage can affect your body, obviously, but I believe that it affects your heart the most.
I think a lot of people would say that I am not a very “sensitive”, “emotional” or “deep” person. I would probably agree most of the time. But, I would say that almost anyone who has gone through a miscarriage (especially one that was that traumatic), becomes introspective. You begin questioning yourself. You begin thinking, “if only I did less of this or that”, or “if I only had caught the symptoms earlier”. The “if only’s” become your negative thinking. Your thought process. Your life.
You go from blaming yourself to blaming God. At least I did.
When I finally did go back to church, it would be a long time before I could sing the songs, or be joyful, for that matter.
I remember one Sunday, my husband and I were at church and the worship team began singing Blessed be Your name.
There is a verse in that song that says, “You give and take away”. When I finally was able to actually LISTEN to the words, that’s when it hit me. I broke down crying. I knew God was speaking to me then. I knew that He wanted me to get to that point of surrender, to finally be able to see that “His ways were not my ways”, that He had a plan for this horrible and tragic story of mine.
He works everything in our lives together for good.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
I know that He uses our stories, whether good or bad, to show His glory.
I really wish that I had that perspective early on, after my miscarriage. I am a hard-headed person sometimes. But, I believe that the journey that I went through, both physically and spiritually, was for my good. It caused me see so many things in a new light.
That “epiphany” that I had after my experience, took a while. It wasn’t until almost 6 months after my miscarriage that I could see it for what it was.
I had become so “self-focused” that I missed other important things. All that time, my husband had been suffering too. Although he didn’t go through the physical pain that I did, a part of him died too. I was so busy “wallowing” in my self-pity and pain, that I didn’t see him. His heart. I wish I could change that part of my story, and am forever sorry to him for not paying attention to his heart. However, God did use that situation to bring us closer to each other.
I later found out, that my baby was a boy. My mother-in-law and my dear friend (who was living with us at the time) had done all of the “cleanup” for me after the actual miscarriage. They had found the “tissue” (as that horrible doctor in the ER had called it), and noted the little features of him. He was a little baby boy.
I later named him Jacob.
My little Jake is in heaven now, and it is a comfort to know he is the presence of Jesus. Even though he was only about 17 weeks along, he was a baby. He had a soul. I don’t care what anyone says…Babies are little tiny humans as soon as they are conceived! But, that’s another topic, for another time.
Fast forward to 10 years later.
I have 4 absolutely beautiful children! Three boys, and 1 girl. They are my little blessings. Each one a gift from God! When I think back to that time now, it is no longer a hopeless story full of pain and sorrow. It is a beautiful story of redemption and grace. My story is beautiful. Out of the ashes of tragedy, beautiful little flowers have bloomed. Beauty out of ashes.
It is amazing to look back at that tragedy and see God’s hand in it. He truly does work all things for good.
Although I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone, He has used it in my life to show me so many things. To show me my abundant blessings, to help others who have gone through the same thing, and to bring Him all the glory.
God was there with me through it all. His love was and is relentless.
I would like to share a song with you that has been such a blessing to me as I have reflected on my experience. This song is my “hands held high in surrender” song. It is me, standing before an Almighty God with my hands open in surrender. Surrender of everything.
This song is my prayer…
If you have lost your baby, like me, then you have lived through it too. You know the feelings that go along with it. It is hard. It is emotional. It is real.
Please know that you are not alone! I pray that my story can be an encouragement and hope for you. To know that whatever you are going through or have gone through, that God is right there with you! He is your hope. He is your strength. Cling to him! Don’t push Him away like I did. He wants to be your Comforter. Allow Him to.
I would love to hear your stories! Please feel free to leave a comment below or personal message me.
You are not alone.
God loves you with a relentless love!