When life happens
Updated: Feb 12
My first pregnancy was characterized by uncertainty, fear, doubt and a lot of anxiety. I've been telling myself that the next time around, I wanted to make sure I thoroughly embrace all things pregnancy and count it all as joy. I think this second time around I have a better understanding of what to expect and how to handle it, however each pregnancy is different. The first time, both my husband and I were scared out of our minds mixed with a little nervous excitement.
This time around so far has been characterized by pure happiness. Once we saw how quickly our son was developing and how independent he thinks he is, I think both of us were longing to still have our tiny baby and so we agreed that it was time. I’m excited for this new season we will be entering into, but there are still some fears and anxieties that are present.
I haven't been able to verbalize our experience and how much of a mental strain it is to lose your baby. As a nurse, I have faced death in emergency situations; I have called code blues and had to perform CPR to revive my patients. I have had patients pass and had to put the bodies in body bags and send them to the morgue only to receive a brand new patient ten minutes later. I have never been able to properly mourn in those situations in real time because there are always new patients that need to be seen and taken care of.
Outside of work, I have never faced death like this.
To be a living and healthy young woman and to hear that your child has died in your womb is UNIMAGINABLE. To watch my body expel the contents of my pregnancy, to expel my baby is INSANE. To go through labor pains without producing birth but death is HORRIFIC. But to actively miscarry and still be expected to go through life as if nothing has happened is overwhelming.
I don't think people who have never given birth to death can say they understand. To hear nonsensical platitudes about how "I know what you're going through or I can't imagine what you're going through" is annoying to me. I CAN'T EVEN IMAGINE WHAT I'M GOING THROUGH, AND I'M ACTUALLY GOING THROUGH IT. Unless your body physically rejected a child, then no, there is no possible way you can know what I am going through. Of course, there is no way for you to imagine what a woman goes through in a miscarriage because you have never experienced it. To hear "I can't imagine what you're going through" is a slap in the face and does nothing but make me, at least, feel even more isolated and ashamed. Another nonsense question I've been receiving is, "how far along were you," why does it matter? Why did you think it was an appropriate question to ask right now? Even if it was just a missed miscarriage, that does not diminish the sting, the pain, and the grief that comes with a pregnancy loss. If this baby had made it out of the first trimester and we lost them in the second trimester, the suffering would still be there, albeit to a different degree of suffering and grief. For the short amount of time, this baby was alive in my womb, I think the hardest part to deal with is looking at my 13-month-old son and grieving what could have been. This baby never got the opportunity to be born, breathe air, meet its parents and big brother, and feel the warmth and love of mom and dad. Those are the things I think about that hurt me the most; what life could have looked like with this child and the experiences we never get to experience with this life gone too soon.
I think people genuinely mean well but are utterly ignorant of the choice of words or platitudes they use when trying to comfort a grieving mother. Sometimes you just don't need to say anything. I think people try too hard to be relatable, and sometimes it's warranted but when someone is grieving a loss or death, just let them be in it. A part of me wishes I didn't feel the need to tell people, but from a Christian perspective, it is biblical to let people mourn with and grieve with you. All my family needs at this time are prayers, just prayers…but of course, how would people know that if you don't share your struggles… There's a quote from John Piper that I've been clinging to in this season; "Suffering is not meaningless." Somehow, someway I believe the Lord will use this for His glory and for our good. It sounds so insensitive to say that this baby's death can be used for good. Still, I do believe that the Lord is able to turn what the enemy meant for evil, shame, guilt, and grieving into a blessing; again, I don't know how, when, or even if this is something that I will see on this side of eternity. Still, I have faith that it can happen.
As much as I am grieving and suffering, I can trust that God feels and knows exactly what I am going through more than anyone else, and that has been the greatest comfort to me. I know I have grown in my faith because my first reaction was not to blame God. Did I question Him, of course, "if you are a good God, then why let us experience something like this? Why even let me conceive in the first place?"
I don't know the answers to these questions, and I am not meant to know because He is God and I am not, but I can say I have felt comforted by my Father in that we do not serve a high priest unable to sympathize with our weakness.
We were so excited for this child, but apparently, the Lord had different plans. My fear is that this child's life will go unnoticed. This baby was living and was forming in my womb, but unfortunately, its life was cut short. This baby made me a mother of two, and I want everyone to know they existed. I want to commemorate this baby's life because they were real and lived, even if only for a short time.
A hole formed in my heart the day my baby's heart stopped beating. I am not done grieving, and I don't think I ever will be done grieving. Quite frankly, I don't want to ever stop grieving this child because they existed, and I don't ever want to forget that.