Today I am sharing with you my miscarriage story. Two years ago this week I found out I was pregnant with my third baby. I have written this story many times but have never shared it publicly. Today I share it for two reasons; one to bring God glory and two, to give others who have suffered pregnancy loss hope. Please be aware this is my story and I use some vivid language.
In the spring of 2015 I took a pregnancy test. I had turned 32 two days before. It was positive.
My story, like so many of yours begins with joy. The elation that I felt that day was indescribable and a welcomed surprise. With an eight and five year old already, I was far from the raising babies stage of life. But that joy turned to despair weeks later as I sat in a beige room, feet in stir ups, waiting, praying for a heartbeat. Hoping with everything within me, that it was a mistake. That I wasn’t as far along as we had previously thought.
My steps were slow and languid, as I walked back to my car. With the phone pressed up against my ear I whispered to my husband, “there is no heartbeat.” Tears pouring silently down my face like an April rainstorm. I couldn’t think the word that day, let alone speak it out loud.
Everyone makes a point to tell women who lose a pregnancy that it is not their fault. I must have been told a million times. You know it’s not your fault right? You have nothing to feel guilty about. Yet the very word conveys I did. Miscarry. The prefix mis means mistake, wrong, incorrect. I carried a mistake, I carried wrongly, incorrectly.
Here is the thing about miscarriage. It is more that the loss of life. It is the loss of hope; the hope of that life. It all ends, the life, the hope, all of it.
My doctor had tried to persuade me that day to take medication to begin the process of removing the baby- because that is what it was (and still is) to me- a life, a baby, my baby. But I refused. I wanted it to happen on its own. I felt if my body could start, grow, and carry life then it could begin the process once it ended it as well. I didn’t want or need to help it along.
A week later a second ultrasound confirmed there was no change. No heartbeat and still no blood. My body, like my heart and mind, couldn’t let go.
Reluctantly, I drove to Target and I filled a prescription. While I waited, I wandered the aisles watching as moms loaded milk and bread into their carts. As children chose a birthday gift for a friend. A man read the back of an antacid bottle. Life went on. The metaphor was not lost on me. All around me life continued while within me it had ended.
I had kept it together until the day I passed the large ball of tissue. I was locked in the bathroom. The blood, so much blood, then the clot. I didn’t know what to do. Flush it? Flush my baby? Bury it? But I couldn’t bury it? The doctor didn’t warn me about this. What was I to do? How was this happening? I was so angry. And sad. And mad. How God? Why? With the push of a lever it was gone and with it a part of myself.
I spent the next month bleeding and mourning. Each morning I’d awake to the reminder of my constant loss all over my bed sheets, pajamas, and legs. Even the thickest pad didn’t seem to help. I’d clean myself up, put the bed sheets in the wash and rinse away any trace of my despair. Emerging with a smile for my family. But in the few minutes to myself I’d sob and let God have it. I’d tell him how furious I was. Why I couldn’t understand. He gave me this unexpected gift just to take it away. I needed answers.
People don’t much like to talk about pregnancy loss let alone all the emotions attached to it. They want to know we are all right but don’t care to help us get there. It’s a little too messy. Much like the process of miscarriage itself. So I continued to suffer in silence. Talking only to a few friends who had experienced it themselves.
Slowly my pain lessened. As the blood got lighter so did my despair. A friend who had also gone through a pregnancy loss told me it helped her to do something as visual reminder of the life she lost. She cut her hair and bought a print that she hangs on her wall. Her hair has since grown back but her picture still hangs as a reminder.
I decided that instead of a visual reminder I needed more of a spiritual reminder, I needed to know that this loss of life, had a purpose. I couldn’t stand the thought of being a bitter, angry woman my whole life or the idea that my baby’s loss of life was for nothing.
I began to read and search God’s word. I also read Ray Steadman”s book, Let God Be God, on the book of Job. Steadman says “Ultimately, we must accept the fact that God does not exist for man but man exists for God. We are God’s instrument and we exist to carry out His plans and purposes which transcend our limited understanding.”
I don’t know why miscarriages happen. I don’t understand why people suffer from infertility, cancer, disease. I don’t know why there is war, poverty. But I do know God’s purpose is much great than my small mind can ever fathom.
As the months wore on, I was reminded that I had a choice. I could continue to hold on to anger and blame God or I could accept that I am human and have a very limited understanding of God and his plan. By staying angry and abandoning my faith I’d be doing exactly as the enemy would have me. Instead I chose to hold strong to Jeremiah 29:11-14, ” For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you, says the Lord. I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.”
This is the end of the story but not the end of my journey. Each day I am confronted with the reminder that I live this life with only two of my three children. I also live my life knowing that I serve a mighty God. Some answers are beyond my understanding. But that doesn’t mean we can’t come before God with our questions. Just like Job, I’ll accept good from God as well as trouble. And I’ll count it all joy (James 1:2).
If you have suffered pregnancy loss please allow me to pray these words over you today:
“Dear Lord, I thank you that you are the Lord of All. The beginning, and the end, the alpha and the omega. . You are creator and comforter. Right now I ask in the Father’s name that you would comfort my sister in her pain. We don’t understand Lord. But you do. We don’t see the plan or purpose of it Lord, but you do. Allow this sweet child of yours to rest in that today. I pray that you would bind her wounds and give her rest as it promises in your word. In your holy and precious name. Amen. “
Please know that I am praying for you in this time of despair. Losing a pregnancy is a life lost no matter how far along or what stage. Please know your grief is real and warranted. If you need someone to talk with or walk alongside you please reach out, alana(at)alanadawson.com