A few years ago I was in Georgia on a hot and humid spring day. I was single at the time and sitting in the back row at Cascade Hills Church on Mother’s Day. As the service opened the pastor began with the speech I had expected. He acknowledged the amazing women and mothers within the room. They all stood and received a flower. What I wasn’t prepared for was what he said next.
He continued “For all of the women in this room sitting down right now that have been hoping and praying for a baby or have lost a baby, God sees you too and is with you in this moment.” That’s when I saw multiple women start to cry. I’m not going to lie it even made me tear up hearing his words, despite that I was not one of those women.
Two years later.
My husband Dan and I were in North Carolina on leave when we unexpectedly found out we were pregnant. We were on leave because he was preparing to leave for deployment. We were ecstatic, surprised and I was slightly terrified too haha.
As the weeks went by, I became extremely sick with nausea and vomiting. One morning I couldn’t stop vomiting. I was on the bathroom floor on my knees crying as Dan held my hair and rubbed my back. He sat on the floor with me and held me as I swore I never wanted to do this again. He smiled and assured me we could talk about it later.
When I wasn’t sick, I was constantly sleeping. I would sit down on the couch to pet the dog and I would fall asleep for 2 hours. The combination of being sick and constantly sleeping was my reassurance our baby would be healthy, because I felt miserable.
On the day of our first ultrasound, I woke up and ran errands because I was starting to feel better. I was emotional to say the least. Dan was leaving in a week for deployment and this was the only appointment he could attend. He was almost late because he left work to make it to the appointment. I joked that because he was running late we would definitely have a girl. He made me laugh in the waiting room. He always makes me laugh. We were incredibly happy and excited to see our sweet baby for the first time.
The moment she put the ultrasound probe on my stomach I knew something was wrong. The baby was far too small to be at 10-14 weeks gestation. As we took a closer look, the baby had no heartbeat. My heart sank and silent tears began to fall down my face. Dan couldn’t tell right away but I saw the happy smile and color leave his face when he realized what was happening. Our favorite OB doc came in and confirmed our fears. He hugged us close and prepared the paperwork for a D+C.
As they prepped me for surgery, the tears continued to fall. When I woke up in PACU the first thing I said was “I feel like I’m waking up from a bad dream.” Dan was incredibly loving and supportive. He held me close and let me cry. He assured me that today, it wasn’t ok but eventually it would be. He reminded me that God’s timing is always perfect.
Loosing that baby was like loosing someone we never knew but already loved.
The first week I felt like I was drowning in grief. I cried all of the time. I cried myself to sleep. I prayed and prayed, and prayed for peace and healing in my ever so shattered heart. No one really talks about this kind of pain. I needed to, so I did. Dan is not the best at keeping secrets. So a lot of our close friends and coworkers knew about the pregnancy. I’m not sad we told people, I’m just sad it didn’t end up the way we thought it would.
Dan deployed and I went back to work. The sadness and anger took a long time to fade. One day before work I was sitting in my car reading a blog post from a close friend. It was about her experience with loosing a baby. It made me ugly cry, rivers of tears poured down my face. I cried so many tears I needed a Kleenex but all I had was the dirty shirt I ran in that morning. I didn’t care, I used it anyway. After reading her post, it gave me hope that maybe someday we would have a sweet little miracle baby.
To the women that were sitting down in church that day and to the women that have experienced this kind of love and loss, You are not alone. Your pain is real. Your tears are real too. Let them both come, holding them in will only prolong the pain. We may never have the answers to why these things happen. However, even as I cried myself to sleep multiple nights in a row and even as I said goodbye to my husband I knew in my heart, God has a plan for us. In our vows, we promised that our faith would always be the steady ground we would stand on. So I decided I had to live up to that promise I made. I would stand on that steady ground and I would smile through the pain, tears and heartbreak.
To our friends, coworkers and family, thank you for your outpouring of love, support, prayers, kind words, warm hugs and beautiful flowers.
Thank you Vera, for your silent sweet hug as you prepped me for surgery. Thank you Heather, for holding my hand in the operating room, your face is the last thing I remember before the propofol kicked in. Thank you Mindy, for sharing your heartbreak with me, so I didn’t feel so alone. Thank you Gina, for the beautiful flowers. Thank you Grace, for sending me Trauma Life oil, I diffused it when I couldn’t stop the tears from falling. Thank you Marcie, for bringing me pink cupcakes with lemon frosting, you always know the way to my heart. Thank you Dan, for your kindness, friendship and love. Forever will never be long enough with you.
There are never really words to say in moments like this in life. However, the words of that pastor echoed through my mind that day and for weeks to come. “God sees you too in these moments and is with you.”
The picture above was the first morning I woke up and wanted to drink a cup of coffee. Most of my friends know how much I absolutely love coffee, espresso and cappuccino but while I was pregnant I had an aversion to coffee. As I sat outside with the dogs that day watching the sun come up, I knew there would be healing and so much grace to come.