My husband was certain everything was going to be okay. We sat in the examination room waiting on our fertility specialist to come in, and my husband was strong and sure of a good outcome. He offered soft kisses to my hand that he held so gently, trying to encourage and reassure me at the same time.
I was covered by a white paper sheet – like countless times before this. But this time there was more hope than ever before. This time there was a baby.
After a four year long battle of unexplained infertility our third IUI (intra-uterine insemination) was successful and blood work revealed that we were expecting our first baby! It was a dream come true, and even though our doctor had warned us that my blood levels weren’t quite where he wanted them to be, our hearts were hopeful and we reveled in the newness of a realized dream, rewarded faith.
When the bleeding started I panicked. We called my doctor in the middle of the night and he told us to come in first thing the next morning – on a Saturday. Our fertility specialist is three hours away, so we arose early the next morning and journeyed to his office, and for the entire drive I was all fear and nerves.
The ultrasound was inconclusive. And we were sent home to wait out the weekend and recheck blood work on Monday. My husband remained hopeful, but I think in my heart I knew our outcome would be bleak. And when our doctor called us on Monday night he confirmed that our pregnancy was over.
We grieved deeply. We grieved the loss of our baby, a whole lifetime of purpose and importance snuffed out too soon. And we grieved our lost dream of parenthood and expanding our family.
Grieving was hard. It felt like we were alone, even though we knew we weren’t. We knew our close friends and family were grieving with us, for us, but in the darkness of grief you sometimes feel like you’re navigating the shadows by yourself.
As we grieved it became immensely important to us to honor the too-short life of our baby. Our child’s life was short, and the years we’ll face without him or her will be long, and honoring the value of that life, and how important our child is to our family, became a passion that we could not resist.
We commemorated our child’s life by creating a special vase – my husband and I painted it together. Creating something beautiful together was cathartic for us. Neither of us are all that artistic, but we paid attention to every detail, every color and brush stroke as we created a priceless treasure that will commemorate our precious baby. Oh, it was painful. We hated why we were doing it, but we loved that we were doing it. Today that vase sits in our kitchen window, a daily reminder of the precious life taken away too soon.
Finding emotional healing in miscarriage, finding purpose, was hard. Sometimes I wondered why God would answer our prayers, grant our dreams for such a short time – what purpose is there in a life that has not yet lived?
It was important for me to share about our miscarriage. When my heart had healed, just a bit, I created a sort of “memorial” video for our baby, and shared it on our blog. We never named that sweet babe, but we refer to him or her as our “glory baby” – inspired by the song by the same name by WaterMark.
Sometimes when we share our deepest hurts we experience the greatest healing. When we opened up about our pregnancy and subsequent loss, our friends and acquaintances wrapped us up in warm thoughts and prayers. They hurt with us, they grieved for our baby. And knowing that there were dozens, if not hundreds of people grieving our sweet baby brought so much healing to my broken mama heart.
The morning after we received the heartbreaking news from our doctor I spent many hours writing in my journal. Writing is soothing to my soul, and helps me understand my feelings. In those painful moments I wrote a love letter to our babe. Putting into words how much I love that sweet soul helped dignify the precious life I would never know. In a way it connected me with my unborn baby. And in a subtle way it helped reinforce my marriage.
You see, my husband and I grieved very differently. For the first time in our married life my grieving was internal, his was external. When I read the words I’d penned to our sweet babe my husband understood my heart. He saw into the broken, cracked places and was better able to understand my grief.
We read several books that helped us process our pain and offered hope in the midst of darkness. But grieving a miscarriage is a painful, bitter process. I suppose in a way we will always grieve the baby we lost – our glory baby.
This month, as we honor our babies lost too soon, I encourage you to find purpose in your miscarriage. Maybe the purpose is to honor the child your heart loves so much, but your arms will never hold. Or perhaps it is to make your marriage stronger, more resilient. Or maybe you are one of the women who will walk alongside another in the trenches of miscarriage and pregnancy loss. Every purpose is important.
Would you share with us? Will you tell use about your own loss, or offer encouragement to those who are facing the indescribable pain of miscarriage?
Hello. I am new to this community but I had to leave a comment to say thank you for sharing your story. I am so saddened to read about your loss. Your situation is so similar to mine. I too had a pregnancy in May through IUI but it turned out to be an ectopic pregnancy. This is proving to be the most difficult test of faith in my life. I am a very private person but I really need to connect with others who have gone through or are going through this because it’s just too hard to do it alone. God bless.
I just found your blog this morning as I process, grieve and search for answers after my fifth miscarriage in seven years. My husband and I are blessed with a beautiful two year old boy but even he couldn’t come before we experienced the horrific grief of two miscarriages early in our marriage. The December after his birth, I became pregnant and miscarried at 7 weeks.
This summer, I learned on Mother’s Day that I was pregnant. A few weeks later, a sonogram showed I was carrying a twin pregnancy but only one viable fetus which showed a heartbeat. Over Fourth of July weekend, I began bleeding. This was one of the most horrific moments of my life. That miscarriage tour me to pieces and shook the very core of everything I believed in. I still question why God would create two beautiful lives and I wasn’t able to keep even one.
As we continue our journey to have a second child, I found out at the beginning of October I was pregnant again. I thought we had a good chance since it was soon after the previous pregnancy… I began to bleed this weekend.
It can all be incredibly discouraging and sometimes I just want to stop. I feel like a failure. Like the only thing I’m really supposed to do as a woman, is seemingly impossible. But, here I am. I want to take a different approach next time. I want to begin now fueling my body with everything it needs, caring for it, nurturing it, loving it. It may not work but it is worth honoring my body, the one that has tried so hard to grow our family and, the one, through gestational diabetes and seemingly impossible odds, did give us our son. I will encourage it and cherish the vessel in which I have been blessed to live this life. It is the one God made for me and so, it is perfect.
I don’t know any of you but I feel a strange sense of love toward anyone that has suffered any form of infertility or pregnancy loss. It’s heart-wrenching. May God Bless You.
Thank you for sharing your experience. I am 41 and just returned home from the ER after having a miscarriage. We have been blessed with two beautiful children and a strong 23 year marriage. This pregnancy was a surprise and the miscariage was unexpected. The last few days have been a roller coaster of doctors exams. We are unsure how to begin the healing process and I am so thankful to have found your site. We know God has a plan for us. We recently moved and are away from our network of family and friends so it is soothing to hear that we aren’t the “only ones” to go through this.