Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Word Miscarriage (this is a very detailed post about my most recent pregnancy)

The beginning of August was bliss for this family. We found out we were expecting again, baby number four. It came as a little bit of a surprise, but we love our babies, and there is always room for more in this family, if that's what God sees fit. August came and went, and I had my first appointment, the pregnancy confirmation on September 3rd. 

There the baby was on the screen, the tiny little peanut that we all start out as, with a heart just thumping away! Seeing that little babe and all of its glory on that screen was just the thing my mommy heart was craving. I was 8 weeks and 6 days, and everything looked great. With 3 uncomplicated, healthy, normal pregnancies before, we had nothing to worry about. Plus, my doctor informed us that once the heart starts beating, chances of miscarriage drop drastically. 

We were SOO happy! So the weeks went by, and I scheduled my next appointment for October 1st. In the meantime, my baby brother and his fiance' were in the middle of beautiful wedding plans, in which my hubby, our three flower girls, and this tired preggy mamma were all a part of. Talk about Crazy Busy! 

My second appointment came, the one where they just check the heartbeat with the Doppler. My doctor has been in this field for somewhere around twenty years, and knows very well how to find a heartbeat. She searched and searched, listening and waiting...... nothing.

My heart sank, but I thought perhaps the baby was just too little for the Doppler. She went to grab the ultrasound machine, and checked on there. The baby had not grown, was not moving, and had no heartbeat. Immediately we all knew the case. She informed us of her diagnosis, and offered to have her partner double-check, or send us to the more official Ultrasound Tech if that would help us. I knew in my heart Our sweet baby had been called to Heaven, and was in the arms of Jesus; and told her I trust her with my life, and know that she has seen this more times than she can count. I was so glad hubby came with me that day. I can't imagine going through that alone.

I have always heard the word "miscarriage", but, up until this point, I had never experienced it. To anyone else who has ever gone through a miscarriage, all I can say is I am so sorry. There are no words to describe, no way to emote or express the way it feels to lose a child this way. 

Since we had announced our pregnancy on good ol' Facebook, we announced the diagnosis on Facebook as well. I am so glad that we did. The love just started poring in. 

It was very odd to me the similarities that occur between bringing a baby home from the hospital and having a miscarriage. My sister-in-law came for the next two days to take care of the girls, and my cousin came the day after that just to hang out. My dad and brothers came with flowers, and my mom took me out to a special girl dinner; just her and I. The phone calls came ringing, and the cards came too. While I was so very grateful for everybody's expression of love (and would have been so lost without all of the help and words of encouragement), it sometimes was eerily too similar to the attention received after having a baby.

I allowed myself a week of grief where I just kind of checked out, and I waited the whole time for the cramping to come. I was lost in sorrow at the thought of carrying my sweet little child, who I would never meet. The cramping did not come. I told myself that I would start praying for a miracle, while knowing very well the reality. I believe in God, as my Loving Lord and Savior, and I know that He has a plan and will for my life far greater than anything I could ever imagine. I submissively prayed the hardest prayer of my life,  "Lord, please allow us this child, but whatever is your will is ultimately what we want. Use us God, and use this experience for your purposes, no matter the outcome." Then I waited.... and waited... and waited. 

The week of the wedding came, and still no cramping. The smallest little part of my heart dared to hope, but my mind clearly knew the facts. It is the most unsettling thought to know that where once there was life, that now it is gone; and yet I still carried that child in my womb. While some people told me they couldn't bare to handle that kind of a situation; I secretly treasured that extra time. I knew the fate of our child, and that their spirit was no longer with us, and yet I had this window of time to have the honor of carrying the baby. It was somewhat of a blessing in the midst of a great storm. 

I had scheduled my next appointment on the Monday following the wedding, and prayed that either the baby would come before the wedding, or wait until after. The wedding came, and I was able to completely let go of my situation and I was able to enjoy, with all of my heart, as my brother and his beautiful bride became one. We danced our hearts out, and ate delicious food, and laughed the night away. 

Monday came, and the whole process of the actual miscarrying part hadn't came. I went to my appointment where she confirmed that the baby was not alive, and still there; and that my sac was actually measuring very large, meaning my uterus didn't catch the message that it was over. She, at this point, recommended that we have a medical intervention, which I was relieved about, and sad about. Something inside me longed to do it my body's natural way, but I was glad the waiting was going to be over. 
She then gave us time to decide which option we would like to have. I decided to have the D&C procedure, which a little bit freaked me out, because I know some of the potential risks involved; however my doctor reassured me that this would be a good choice considering my circumstances, and she addressed my concerns. She even walked us back to the operation scheduler herself, and had it scheduled for the very next day on her lunch break so she could be sure to be the one to perform the procedure for us. (I will write another post about the actual day of the D&C and all that we experienced emotionally. It was a very difficult day for us). 

I find it funny the things people will say when doing their best to encourage you. Sometimes the things they say, especially in this situation, do not come off as very considerate or comforting. I tried my hardest to remember that they had good intentions, and that they probably had not been through this themselves. The most comforting of all things to me during this time were the understanding looks, flashes of grief behind long remembering eyes and soothing embraces from other women who had themselves experienced the miscarriage of a precious child. There is nothing like feeling alone, and so many women do feel alone, and don't share in their grief during this process. I cannot imagine going through this heartache alone. 

I am so glad in the end, that I have a good, loving, and all-knowing God who has a plan in all of this. I feel that it is my job to trust Him completely, take comfort in His promises, and in His word, and share my life with those around me who He has placed there. I can't imagine going through this without Him, or not knowing that my baby is in His arms, and being loved more wholly than I could ever love them myself. 

One of my cousins shared this verse with me the night before my brother's wedding: 

"Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails 
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my savior.

The sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, 
He enables me to tread on the heights."

Habukkuk 3:17-19

I have found so much comfort in this verse, along with another of my favorites:

"and the peace of God
 which surpasses all understanding 
will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus"

Philippians 4:7
(bold is my emphasis)

If you are going through a similar circumstance, I would just like you to know that I am so sorry. If I could bring you a card with loving words, and a bouquet of beautiful flowers, and if I could just come and sit with you while you grieve, please know that I would. I hope your heart finds comfort and peace during this awful time, and I pray that His peace will cover you like a blanket, and that you will feel His love despite your grief. 

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