Saturday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. It has been said that 1 in 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. I am 1 in 4.
10 years ago, I would not have believed I would be that statistic. The day I was officially hired for my first job, Eddie and I decided to try for a baby (which was around May of 2001). We knew we wanted a big family and we were ready to get that going! We tried on our own for about a year with no luck. So we decided to talk to my doctor. He ran some tests and we decided to go the Clomid route. After several rounds, we got pregnant!!
I looked back through my pregnancy journal, and I found out I was pregnant on October 16, 2002 (which was 9 years ago yesterday). At that time, Eddie was working on his doctoral degree, so he was in class in New Orleans. He happened to be going to a friend's house for supper that night, so I called her and told her to do something special and have him call me. She wrapped up a baby photo album and gave it to him when he got there. He was confused. He was like, "Uhhh, thanks, but we don't have a baby." She told him she thought he'd better call his wife!! He called me and I told him and we were SO excited. He got home late the next night and I had left this picture for him on the door:
We had our first doctor's appointment on Halloween. We were given a due date of June 23, 2003. We had a sonogram, and saw the gestational sac. They said it was too early to see a heartbeat. Ok...no problems. We were excited. We began to dream about our little one. We talked about names. We bought baby books. We set up the crib someone had given us. We told everyone within ear shot.
November 21, 2002...about 8 that night, I started spotting. Eddie was, again, in a doctoral class, this time in Memphis. I was terrified. I couldn't get in touch with him, so I called my mom and she came over. She called a family friend who was an ob-gyn, and he told me just to stay off my feet and to come in the next day for a sonogram. Eddie came home immediately after his class. I cried, we prayed, and we hoped. We hoped with everything in us that this was nothing. Just normal implantation bleeding. Hoped that everything was well with our precious baby. Hoped that our dreams for our family weren't coming to an end.
Unfortunately, when we went in for a sonogram the next morning, there was no heartbeat. I had miscarried at 11 weeks. I had a D&C that afternoon. I'm glad I kept the pregnancy journal because everything surrounding that time is a blur in my memory. But I did keep all the cards and encouraging notes that were sent to me, and I treasure those.
As common as miscarriage is, one thing I do remember is that many people didn't really know what to say to me after that. And many people said weird or hurtful or just wrong things. I know everyone meant well, but one thing I learned is that when I don't know what to say, just saying "I'm so sorry and I'm praying for you" is usually good enough.
The card that I found that I treasure most is from my sweet husband that he gave to me on what should have been our due date. It said:
"I know this isn't the easiest time in the world for you and that the challenges you face would test the strongest faith - and yet, I see the spirit of God shining through you as each day you just keep putting one foot in front of the other...You are an inspiration and a blessing to everyone who knows you. But I am aware that hanging on and hanging in and being brave are not as easy as you make it look, and that's why you're constantly in my prayers...I ask God to comfort you, give you strength, and to bring you better days. It's what you deserve, because you are truly one of His beloved children."
I didn't think I would ever stop actively grieving. Or crying every day. Or questioning what I did wrong. Or wondering if I would ever have a baby to hold. But you know what? God did comfort me. And He did give me strength. And He did bring me better days. And as an extra bonus, He brought me 4 precious babies to hold.