My Instagram post from back in September summed it up, for the most part:
“This was me in August when I was preparing for another perfect baby… but this time it wasn’t meant to be. A miscarriage was something I never expected, but hard things never are, and it is now a part of me and my story, as it is for so many other women. I am still mourning my March baby, but I know there is a plan and a purpose for everything. These last couple weeks I have been reminded of a few things: 1) I have the best husband on earth! Casey never left my side. He lifts me up and cheers me up. 2) I have the best friends and family; I have never felt so loved (t h a n k y o u). 3) Strength comes from above. We are so lucky to have a Savior who has felt our pains. Because of Him I have strength and peace. 4) Sometimes a dose of reality hits that reminds you that trivial things just aren’t that important. 5) Children are a miracle! I may not get this one, but I am so lucky to have three miracles who keep me happy and keep me going. They are my joy. 6) I believe we can face trials with courage and come out of them refined and stronger than ever, better able to serve and love others. A quote I love: “It will all work out. If you do your best, it will all work out. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us.” -Gordon B. Hinckley”
Everything was going so well with our family planning! Our kids are each about 2 1/2 years apart, and with this new addition, they would all remain close in age, and each would have a birthday at a different time of the year. September, November, June, and… March. How convenient! 🙂 But convenience is not always reality, and I guess that’s the lesson we need to be reminded of every now and again — life is not always easy, and our plans are not always His plans.
The symptoms of pregnancy came on quick, and I started to show really early. I always have, but this time it was more so. That’s what happens when you have four, right? 😉 My body knew just what to do. And I couldn’t hide it! I had to start telling friends and family early on because it was just too obvious. I was tired all the time, hungry all the time, emotional all the time… but also thrilled to have another.
I had my 8 week appointment and everything was looking great. Baby had a heartbeat and was growing right on track. Even so, with each pregnancy, I always worry. I think most expecting moms do! That worry in the back of your mind that something might not be right, and… what if? Will this really go well? Will I really get to hold this baby? Will I really get to smell her and love her and raise her? Will I get to see his eyes, his smile, his (most likely in my case) blond hair?
Those first three months (at least!) are full of hope and worry and uncertainty. I pray so hard that the baby will be healthy and make it to full term. Lucy was 10 weeks premature, and although I’d do it all over again in a second, it’d be really nice to avoid it.
I took my girls with me to my 12 week appointment. After a nice chat with my doctor, she went to check for the heartbeat. Silence. It only picked up the faint sounds of my own heartbeat. She tried again and again, and tried not to alarm me. But I knew. I went in for an ultrasound and the technician was so sweet. She double checked everything and quietly said, “I’m so sorry.”
I held it together pretty well, at first. My girls were with me, after all. Lucy asked what happened to the baby, and I told her, “It’s okay… Baby went back to heaven. It’s okay.”
The doctor came back to the room, she gave me a hug, and we talked about my options. I texted Casey at work, and he called me right away and said he’d meet me at home. Of course, that’s when the tears came!
The days that followed were a blur, but I was unbelievably blessed with an outpouring of love. Friends and family brought food and flowers and support. I had a D&C three days later and I was lucky to have a speedy recovery, which was a blessing while my heart was mending.
It was so strange to go from feeling pregnant to not-pregnant. To leave the hospital with no reward. To have the next year planned out, to having a different, unknown plan.
But I believe I was carried, because I had peace. Something wasn’t right this time, and that is okay. I trust Him, and I believe He helped me heal. That’s the beauty of the Atonement.
I have to add that the kids were great through all of it! They were super bummed (especially Noah who was hoping for a brother), but they were resiliant. They were extra sweet, and extra understanding. Kids are amazing.
I can’t say I’m not nervous for what’s next. I hope we can have another baby, but I am more hesitant and nervous than before. I can say, though, that whatever happens, my March baby changed me for the better. I have felt strength I didn’t know I had. I have felt more joy in motherhood. I have a greater desire to pay it forward and serve others the way others have served me. I have been more motivated to reach some of my long-time goals. I want to share what I’ve learned and what I am still learning. I think that is one of the reasons I started this blog. To share and connect with women and families around the world. We need each other! I wouldn’t be who I am today without what I have learned from my mom, grandmas, sisters, youth leaders, and cherished friends from high school, college, and today. I was lucky to have several friends who I could call for support during my miscarriage — because they had been there, too. And He is there! This Christmas season, I am thankful for that.
“The Savior teaches that we will have tribulation in the world. But we should be of good cheer because He has overcome the world. His Atonement reaches and is powerful enough, not only to pay the price for sin, but also to heal every mortal affliction. The Book of Mormon teaches that “he shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.” (Alma 7:11) He knows of our anguish, and he is there for us. Like the good samaritan in his parable, when he finds us wounded at the wayside, he binds up our wounds and cares for us. Brothers and sisters, the healing power of his atonement is for you, for us, for all.” -Dallin H. Oaks