I was unaware when I woke up this morning that it was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. But, sadly, because I have so many friends that have experienced this loss, I quickly saw all the cute thumbnails on Facebook to let me know. I wish with all my heart that not a single one of them had had to post that today to remember their losses- that they had never lost those babies at all and that today would just be another normal, cool October day.
In November of 2005, I was blissfully pregnant. I hadn't been that way since the beginning though. I found out I was expecting our third baby the month before, and I will admit there was no joy at first. We had our perfect family- one boy, one girl. I had stopped nursing my youngest just one month prior and I was so thrilled to have my body back to lose that baby weight that was plaguing me and I had no intentions of giving it up again.
So when I found out I was pregnant again, it took several weeks to embrace the positive pregnancy test and daydream about the day I would hold my sweet newborn in my arms while cuddling my older two. I admit I was completely selfish. It was all about me and I knew it was wrong. But it didn't stop me. I did finally get there though, and I started to enjoy the changes my body was going through (okay, some not so much) and long for that day I could watch my daughter become a big sister. Our perfect family was about to become more perfect.
Right before Thanksgiving, we spent a day and night in the mountains with my sister-in-law and enjoyed ourselves. We all had a blast and suspected nothing. However on Sunday after we returned home, I had the tiniest speck of blood when I used the restroom. I let my fears get the best of me and researched every possible thing I could find about miscarrying. But then it never happened again. My fears were unfounded and I realized it was nothing. Until Tuesday, the day after my husband's birthday. Nothing could prepare me for what I was about to experience. My husband was letting me sleep in (I was sick), but I ran downstairs really quick to get a cough drop. As I walked back up the stairs, I felt a gush and I knew. I knew my world was falling apart and there was nothing I could do. Strangely, I just went back to bed and cried. I told my husband what was happening, but I didn't rush off to the doctor. I just pleaded with God and cried. I spent the rest of the day wondering when all of the horrible things I had read about would happen, but realized in the evening I was just impatient. I remember sitting on the bed with my kids in incredible pain right before they were to go to sleep, and I was watching TV. During a commercial I switched the channel to some music awards show and Rob Thomas had just come on, singing "Ever the Same". I completely broke down. That song has ever since been my song and will almost always guarantee a few tears from this woman.
That night, I had to take myself to the ER because my bleeding had become so extreme, and Big Hunk had to stay home with our sleeping children. I endured 3 hours of tests and insensitive medical staff to finally just go home and deal with the emotional and physical aspects of my loss. Though I dealt with the physical burdens of losing my baby for over 3 weeks, it was nothing compared to the emotional torment and heartache I experienced. It truly rocked my world like nothing else. During those days I was so thankful to God- for my wonderful husband that would do anything to take away my pain in a second; a very special friend that admitted she didn't always know the right words to say, but was there for me with a listening ear and a shoulder; and a loving mom that could never understand the pain her daughter was going through, but cried with her.
I made it through.
I learned so much during those days. I learned that it wasn't all about me. I hated myself because I hadn't appreciated the gift God had given me. I got through to the other side and realized that God knew all along that my baby would be with him in Heaven long before I ever held it. I learned that I really did want to have another baby, and that nothing could fill that yearning in my heart that my loss had created.
I got pregnant again, twice, and lost my babies in March and August 2008.
Each one has taught me something and strengthened my heart just a little. They have helped me to a be a better friend to those that have to endure it. They have helped me appreciate God's plan for my life more than my own. They've helped me hold on to my kids tighter and see them for the amazing gifts they are.
I would never wish the pain my losses have caused me on anyone. Yet I know that so very many women endure the same pain everyday and it breaks my heart. If you have endured this type of loss, please leave a comment so I can pray for you today and remember your baby with you. Our babies may not be held in our arms this side of Heaven, but their legacy can live on now.