Healing Comes through Tears

Mother’s Day was an emotional time for me when thinking about the baby we lost…it is now a time where I reflect on the fact that God entrusted me to be the mother of a very special young man.  

When I found out we were expecting another child, I was super excited and scared. How could I possibly love another child like the one I had given birth to 3 years earlier?  Those were the thoughts going through my mind, not ones about pregnancy loss and emotional chaos. My first doctor’s visit was one of sheer joy. I was able to hear our baby’s heartbeat and how healthy and wonderful everything seemed to be regarding the pregnancy. I thanked the Lord almost daily for allowing me the opportunity to have another child. We told my son, and he seemed to understand in his own three-year-old mind. We talked about the future and the possibility of the baby being a boy. We had already chosen a girl’s name, so I knew that having another boy would be difficult when it came to choosing a name. I was teaching at the time, and every name that even remotely sounded like a “problem” child was eliminated.  

A couple of months went by quickly, and it was time for another doctor’s visit. I was headed to the doctor by myself, when my husband decided he should go with me. When we arrived at the doctor, I signed in as usual and waited for my name to be called. My thoughts were on our growing baby and how blessed we were to be parents again. When my name was called, I had no idea of the news we were about to receive. 

When our doctor came in, she talked to us and immediately put the Doppler fetal monitor on my abdomen to hear the baby’s heartbeat. She moved it around several times, commenting that it was sometimes difficult to find the heartbeat if the baby was very active. I wasn’t worried at that point, just a little nervous. Finally, after trying to find the baby’s heartbeat, she suggested an ultrasound. I remember her trying to reassure us that everything was probably just fine, these babies can just be stubborn at times… 

She hooked everything up and squirted that gel on my abdomen before proceeding to view the baby. When she got the wand in position and saw the baby, she instantly started saying she was sorry. There was no heartbeat…   In that moment, I felt as if the earth had stopped spinning. I just looked at her and then my husband, with tears in his eyes, and asked questions. I wanted to know what I had done wrong. She told me it was not my fault, that it was probably something neurological. That wasn’t a good enough answer for me, I wanted to know the why!! Why my baby?  I was perfectly capable of taking care of another one, and what would I say when asked about this baby that just had a perfect little heartbeat about eight weeks earlier?  

She left the room and went to contact someone else. When she returned, she told us the second set of bad news. It was later in the day, on a Friday, so the second ultrasound would have to be performed on Monday…that was almost three days away. How could I go home carrying a child that was no longer alive?  What would happen to the baby? Would my body try to deliver the small underdeveloped child? How would I handle that emotionally? 

 I cried and cried…. the tears were uncontrollable and my heart was hurting in a way I had never felt before. I felt as if our world had come crashing down, and I could do nothing to change the outcome. The hardest part about leaving the doctor’s office was not letting any of the other women waiting on their appointments see me crying uncontrollably. I just kept thinking…we should be happy, we should be planning this sweet baby’s birth, we should be telling everyone that all is well and everything looks fine and that the most important thing is a healthy baby!! I wanted to scream why, and believe me when I say I asked that question A LOT over the next several months. God knows how we feel…He lost his ONLY son…He feels our pain…He carries us when we cannot go on another step.  

I had so many visitors, calls, cards, etc. over the weekend that felt like an eternity. I honestly couldn’t believe the number of women who reached out to me about miscarriage. There were so many…     

I tried to be thankful for all the many people that reached out to me, but I kept questioning why this was even happening…why me?  I came to realize much later on that each person that reached out to me was in fact a blessing from God.  

When we went back on Monday for another ultrasound and doctor’s appointment, I shut down. Emotionally, I wasn’t even there. I just went through the motions of it all and nodded my head…God was there, but I wasn’t.  

At first, my doctor thought I was going to have to deliver. I couldn’t even process that thought at all.  Then, when measured, our baby appeared to have passed away around week 13, give or take. So, the baby stopped growing at that point, causing the final decision to be a DNC. I cannot even begin to tell you what a blessing that was as well…sounds weird, maybe, to say it that way, but I couldn’t even imagine delivering a close to 20-week old child. God knew I was not mentally capable of dealing with that kind of delivery.  

The day of the DNC was scary and sad…I was really not mentally ready, but I knew this was the necessary procedure needed to begin the road to healing and recovering. I cannot even begin to tell you the “angels” that were my nurses during that time. Talk about putting your situation into perspective. The first nurse I had was a gem…she seemed to understand exactly what I was going through. The second nurse just held me while I cried and told me the story of her own son getting murdered. Wow…what a woman! Here I was crying over a child I had never met, and someone else took her son’s life. Who does that remind me of now?   Jesus. Think on that…God continues to use my miscarriage even to this day, even as I am typing this now.  

Don’t think that after all this happened, I went on my merry way and all was fine and well. I continued to look at that first ultrasound picture, cry and definitely wonder why yet again. I don’t have to know the why, just trust that God had a plan and there are no coincidences in life.  

I still think and talk about that child (never knew if it was a boy or girl) to this day. I have had two children. One that lived and is 17 years of age now and one that passed away before birth. I will always wonder about the gender, what the child would have looked like, how the child would have acted compared to my passive boy, how they would have loved each other and fought like cats and dogs at other times…I could go on and on. It’s really best not to dwell on the what ifs, but no one’s mind can stop the thoughts completely.  

I have to tell about one more thing…   I had a good friend at the school I was teaching at that found out, not long after my miscarriage, that her daughter had cancer at three years of age. She came to see me and express her condolences. At the time, I was really upset about myself and didn’t fully grasp the news of her daughter’s cancer. It wasn’t until she asked me to walk with her and her family to take her daughter to the room where she would receive her first chemo treatment that I realized how selfish I had been. I was so focused on myself, and from that point, I started praying for them and her daughter. She asked ME to walk with them…why me?   Who was I? I couldn’t even focus on anything but myself, but she wanted ME to walk those steps of healing with them. What an honor…what a responsibility…what a humbling opportunity I had been given. I honestly can say that I didn’t fully grasp that at the time but what a profound impact it has had on my life when the realization hit me.  

Do we ever really “get over” these experiences?  I don’t think we do, I think we learn how to deal with them, and I can tell you that God is the ONLY way to deal… I will ALWAYS remember certain things about the time I lost a child but gained a new understanding of life and how truly precious it is and how each circumstance can shape us and mold us into a completely different person than we were before. How else would we learn to truly TRUST the one who made us?