Recently in another post of (over?)sharing I admitted that Daniel and I had been walking in the world of God’s timing for starting a family since we had lost our luggage, and our only form of birth control, on our way to the Grecian finale of our Euro tour back in May. So you can imagine my shock when a single cycle into our family planning journey, a second faint line began appearing on one (of the twenty-pack!) of the cheapo pregnancy tests I had bought on Amazon.
Have I said I love Amazon Prime?!
I might also mention that in order to take said test, I had snuck into our second bathroom before six AM and before I had any reason, or viable symptom, to suspect pregnancy. Per usual, I was trying to not explain my crazy to my husband. Well, mission failed…
So with hands shaking, I immediately woke Dan up from a dead sleep and showed him the evidence that our lives were about to change. Talk about a wake-up call! Convinced that the test’s price tag was responsible for its overzealous representation of a positive test, I ran downstairs to the Walgreens on the corner and was able to confirm the news with a top-shelf First Response that we were officially “expecting”.
It’s hard to explain what happens in these first few moments of life-changing news like that. I wish I could say that we were both instantly thrilled, but I think the better descriptors would have been disbelieving and overwhelmed. When you’re without any physical evidence that a new member of your family is on its way, it’s hard to feel like anything has changed; other than my ability to eat cold cuts and snarf down wine! And given my penchant for always accepting a glass of my favorite Sauvignon blanc, I knew that we would never make it through the upcoming holiday weekend with our families without blowing our secret; especially since Dave Bray and his rolling cooler were coming to town!
So sticking with my theme of rocking people’s worlds that morning, I called my parents in tears before 7AM in Colorado and sufficiently freaked them out. After I was able to explain that I was indeed alive and okay, I gave them our little life update and my Mom’s reaction probably woke up the rest of the neighborhood. To say she was excited was an understatement. My Dad, while touting that he was definitely too young to be a grandfather (let it be known that he is 57 and the only thing keeping him from complete baldness is a cul-de-sac of thinning white hair), was completely thrilled for us as well. He just kept laughing which I’m interpreting as utter joy. Another fun phone call to my very excited in-laws rounded out the momentous start to our Wednesday morning. Shortly after, we had to put ourselves back together and get our butts to work! With my anxious mind on overdrive, I was already worried about being the fitness instructor that was starting to look a bit chubby. Mental note: I needed to see if Lululemon sold blouses…
Since Dan and I have never been shy to let our people into our lives, we made the decision that while our news was literally brand new and still in the scary zone, we would choose to share it with those closest to us and ask for their prayer. There wasn’t one person in our inner circle that wasn’t totally supportive and joyful and loving and prayerful. And we found that as the outward momentum took off around us, our excitement began to match its stride. Every night before bed, we would lay there and say, “Can you believe we are going to be parents?!” and after a couple weeks, we had really started to believe it.
So when we were still a couple weeks out from the OBGYN appointment where you get to hear your baby’s heartbeat (around 8 weeks into pregnancy) and I had some light spotting, we called my doctor and they had us come in to make sure everything was okay. They started with an ultrasound and a blood test to check my HCG levels (a.k.a. the pregnancy proof hormone) and assured us that since we were only about six weeks in, the test results and my light spotting were totally normal. The plan was for me to come in a couple more times that week for monitoring and to make sure that things continued to develop properly.
But you know that gut feeling you have when something is just not right? Well that’s exactly how I felt as we left to go fetch our car after running into thrice-expectant parents, Jay Cutler and Kristin Cavallari in the waiting room. Yes; I see a doctor to the celebrities. Don’t worry Dad, I didn’t shame you by saying hello. #gopackgo
I held it together until I climbed into the passenger seat, but once I had slammed the door, I started full-on sobbing. If things went well, I didn’t know how Dan was going to make it through eight more months of my pregnancy-induced emotional instability…I’ve told you I’ve married a saint, right?
But later that afternoon, while napping my emotions away, I awoke to severe cramping and knew that our worst fears had happened. The next two days, my body physically experienced the pain of our hearts breaking. Every time I went to the bathroom, I was forced to face our new reality all over again and every time I looked at my husband, I couldn’t help but cry. By God’s grace, Dan was my rock during this experience and all of our loved ones were there in the way we needed them.
People will tell you that at six weeks, there isn’t a real baby yet. And since we didn’t have evidence of a developed fetal pole yet, it was just my body’s way of ridding itself of an embryo that most likely had severe chromosomal abnormalities. But even if the evidence of the baby is just a few cells the size of an orange seed, when your body is losing its ability to keep that orange seed safe, you feel every bit of that loss. The only way I can describe it is that when it’s over, there is an emptiness that feels like something that should be there is now missing.
This is my only experience with pregnancy so far. And it’s my only experience of personal loss in this way. But I would say it feels like there was a death, albeit a small death, in our little family. So instead of rushing to get over this loss, we are letting ourselves grieve.
And I don’t care if people tell you that this was so early that it doesn’t count. Based on my personal experience, it felt like I was losing a part of my soul that week; and that’s probably because I had another one sharing my body with me for a while…
So in our grief, we honor that little life that was with us for a short time. And we turn to God who is always Light over our Darkness. And we decide to choose hope each morning. And we praise Him that someday, we will get to meet that little soul that left us too early and is having the perfect time right now with Jesus. She shouldn’t be too hard to find once we get there; I’ll bet she’s at the front of the praise line just like her Mama or in the *library just like her Dad.So in our grief, we honor that little life that was with us for a short time. Click To Tweet
Our sincerest prayer is that we will be blessed with a healthy pregnancy soon. But until then, there is extra coffee in the morning and Sauvignon blanc with my people at night. And if it’s up to Dan, there will be a whole lot of seafood.
Miscarriage can be a quiet, unspoken, and lonely loss that families experience. I have chosen to share our story because I know we are not alone and I would love to be praying for those who have felt this loss in a personal way. So please share our story in hopes of reaching those who need it today.
*Dan has always hoped that when he gets to Heaven, there will be an eternal “library” of sorts where he can learn everything there is to know about the whole world and how God made it for all of eternity. Meanwhile, I’m obviously praying for unlimited Chipotle. To each their own.