Every time a friend suffered a miscarriage, I’ve never been able to comprehend the devastating loss that they’re going through. I have said to myself, “I’m so grateful I never have to go through that. I can’t imagine how hard it would be.”
When we had Jude 17 months ago, I declared “shopped closed” to my womb and fully satisfied myself in mothering my two boys. The shop was SO closed that I got rid of EVERY baby item we owned. Because Jude is so big for his age, we literally only have size 2T clothing and up at this point.
In July, my husband realized that my monthly visitor seemed to be late. He encouraged me to take a pregnancy test. When I did, and it gave me a plus sign, I was the most shocked/surprised I’ve ever been. I cried tears of mixed emotions. Tears of joy because every life is worthy of being celebrated. But also tears of utter overwhelm, because honestly, I have a hard time just handling the two kids I have now.
Yet over the next few weeks, I came to a place of acceptance. A place of joy at the prospect of the little life growing inside of me. My husband was elated when I told him the news. So we did what every parent does when they learn a baby is on the way — we began thinking of how we would have to rearrange our house to make way for a new little one, coming up with a list of baby names, etc.
On my first ultrasound, the doctor said he could see “a flicker of a heartbeat.” Being eternally optimistic, I thought, that’s good enough for me! However, my HCG levels were not increasing like they should have been. So the doc wanted me to go to radiology a week later for a more detailed ultrasound.
“At that ultrasound, taken at 7-8 weeks gestation, I could see the baby in the sac! Teeny tiny baby. I got the same photo printouts that I had collected from my previous pregnancies, with BABY! typed by the area where the tiny baby was chillin’. Yet, the heartbeat was slower than it should have been. The ultrasound tech let me hear the heartbeat, and I remember thinking, “That’s not as fast as my two other babies’ heartbeats were.” I could tell my husband was concerned, but he wasn’t telling me all of his medical professional thoughts. He wanted to keep hope alive.
A week later, we went in for another ultrasound, and there was no longer “a flicker of a heartbeat.” The baby had passed away.
It’s crazy how someone you’ve never met can leave such an impact on you. It’s crazy that you can love someone you’ve never met, even if it’s only for a few weeks. It’s crazy that you can feel so much loss at the absence of someone in your life, even if that someone was unexpected.
I know my miscarriage is not “typical.” You hear of rainbow babies — babies that are born after the parents have lost a previous baby to pregnancy. For us, there will be no rainbow baby. We feel contentment that at this stage in our lives, my womb is finished. I honestly don’t have the answers as to why God allowed me to get pregnant or why the baby didn’t survive. Maybe it’s so I can help others. Maybe it’s so I can experience and empathize with others’ pain on a deeper level.
Would I have loved this child just as much as my other children? Absolutely. I already did during that month that I knew he or she was inside of me. God made room in my heart to love one more child. Even if that child wasn’t mine to keep. And somehow, through this loss, He is giving me a greater love for my two children. Because life is such a miracle. Even in the midst of my pain, I can read Psalm 139:14 and thank God for the miracle of life that I am, that my husband is, that my children are.
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. your eyes saw my unformed body.“
Did you know that of known pregnancies, 10 to 15 percent of babies are miscarried? Obviously, the number is even higher since many women don’t even realize they are pregnant and mistake miscarriage bleeding for a late period. This loss that I’ve experienced is heavy, but it is also common. So many people experience miscarriages, and the loss is real and tangible.
If you’re experiencing a miscarriage, I want to encourage you with a few thoughts:
- It’s most likely that there’s nothing you could have done differently to have caused the baby to survive.
The majority of miscarriages are linked to a chromosome problem. I can speak from experience that other than being surprised by this pregnancy, there was nothing I did differently with this pregnancy and the pregnancies of my two healthy boys. Do not blame yourself for the loss of your baby.
- You are not alone.
Since hearing the news of the baby’s miscarriage, my thoughts and emotions have been all over the place. If you are married or in a serious relationship during your miscarriage, it is great to have your partner to lean on. However, miscarriage feels like a very personal loss. It feels like an attack on your body. I have felt physically ill ever since losing the baby. This is a burden that my husband simply doesn’t fully understand. While he’s also devastated at the loss of the baby, he isn’t experiencing the loss physically.
But even though he can’t fully grasp everything I’m experiencing, that doesn’t mean I’m alone. He is here for me. I have also reached out to family and friends, and they have responded in love, phone calls, texts, etc. More than anything, know that God is here with you during this time, and always.
“...for He has said, ‘I will never (under any circumstances) desert you (nor give you up nor will I in any degree leave you helpless), nor will I forsake or let you down or relax My hold on you!” Hebrews 13:5 Amplified
- It’s OK to not be OK.
Sometimes we gloss over sad things and just try to move on with life. But experiencing a miscarriage is not easy. The emotional and physical burden may be too much for you to handle. If that is the case, please consider talking to a counselor, and/or a wise, loving family member or friend.
- There are resources out there to help you cope with miscarriage. My friend Lauren started an amazing organization called I Am Fruitful to help women dealing with infertility and miscarriage. Check out their encouraging Instagram. I’ve also found several YouVersion Bible reading plans on miscarriage. My husband and I are currently going through the a plan called “Walking Through Miscarriage with God.”
If you have experienced a miscarriage, please share resources or advice that has been helpful for you!