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I may as well tell you...

I had a miscarriage. I’ve debated for weeks whether or not to acknowledge it publicly. It’s such a personal thing…and this is such a public medium. But a few months have gone by and I’m no closer to feeling ok about it and truly nothing else on my mind really compares, so here I am, letting the world in on my secret. Over the past few weeks I’ve found very little comfort in the fact that only a small handful of people know about the miscarriage. It became nearly unbearable this week, during all our wonderful family Christmas celebrations. Being surrounded by so many people who love me and support me and have no idea how my heart has been broken – it’s a lonely place to be. Not that I would want them all to bombard me with pity or questions or sad looks in their eyes – I realize I can’t have it both ways. But a little acknowledgement goes a long way and I simply can’t ignore or deny the fact that something major happened in my life and impacted me, impacts me still.  
It was a warm, sunny Saturday in September when Matt and I found out we were finally pregnant. After twelve years of hoping, praying, and a myriad of fertility treatments we had finally achieved success. I can’t tell you the stream of thoughts that went through my head when I first found out…but almost immediately a series of thank-yous burst from my lips as tears of joy streamed down my face. I was so intensely grateful – over the moon with happiness. I had just lost my friend and co-worker days before in that tragic car accident and I actually had my blood test to confirm the pregnancy the morning of his funeral. I felt as though God was truly working in my life. I felt my baby was going to have a guardian angel in Terry. I was sure that as I mourned the loss of one dear life I was given the beautiful gift of new life to treasure. It felt right – part of the plan.
Matt and I spent the next few weeks with giddy grins on our faces – making plans, reading books, and preparing mentally for the journey we had so longed to begin. We told our little circle of family and friends who knew we were trying and we all celebrated with disbelief and joy.  And then, after only a few weeks, things went wrong. I started to bleed. We hurried to the doctor for an ultrasound and to our amazement, we saw the heartbeat. A tiny little flutter – but it was there. The doctor told me to hold my breath a moment…and a second later he played the heartbeat for us. He told us it was the baby…and Matt’s voice cracked as he teared up and said ‘it was!?!’ We heard the beating of our tiny baby’s heart. It was amazing. It made it all real – I was actually pregnant. There was actually a baby. We saw it. We heard it. We left the office reassured. Some bleeding is normal – not to worry. Baby looked fine. But by the next morning I knew it wasn’t fine. The bleeding intensified…I suffered all night on the couch, doubled over in pain – convinced I was losing the baby, but too afraid to take ibuprofen…just in case. The next morning we were back at the doctor for another ultrasound – to confirm what I already knew in my heart. The baby was gone. The doctor and nurses were apologetic and comforting and encouraging…telling us that we didn’t do anything wrong, that we’d try again and shouldn’t worry, blah, blah, blah. But in that moment all that mattered was THAT baby…MY baby was gone.  I couldn’t make heads or tails of it. I must have questioned why a million times since that day. Why, when so many pieces seemed to fit perfectly in to place, would this happen to us? What on earth was I supposed to learn from this? Almost immediately I tried to put it behind me…picking myself up to try again, believing that this was the only thing that would make it bearable. I still believe that. But I can’t help but think of all the plans I had already made in my mind. Daydreams about telling our extended families and friends, about being pregnant at Christmas – what to wear to my dear friend Gina’s wedding in April when I would be HUGE. All those plans washed away…back to square one. No baby.
It took us a long time to get to a place where we wanted to try again. After Matt’s stroke we had pretty much put all our baby dreams behind us. Buried them in our former life. But the past few years – spending time with other kids, especially our goddaughter, has stirred the embers of the little fire in our hearts that wasn’t quite yet smothered. Gradually we opened our hearts to the idea again…knowing it would be dramatically different and aware that it would be difficult. We realized how much love we have to give and decided to try again. And I have to believe that this stirring…our mutually open hearts, happened for a reason. I have to believe that soon there will be another pregnancy and this time it will fine. I have to believe that eventually we will have a baby of our own to love. I have to believe Jeremiah 29:11 - For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
But in the meantime, I mourn the loss of the baby that almost was. I realize how much worse it could have been. I realize that I only had a few weeks to love the baby. I realize that others have suffered far worse than me. But this loss was huge for me, for us.  
This week we celebrated Christmas and the past several weeks we spent in the Advent season – waiting for Christmas to celebrate the birth of Jesus. But this year, the Christmas story stung a bit. Thinking of babies and all that…which is silly and ridiculous, I realize…but I may as well be honest. I am a selfish, imperfect human…and I was deeply sad not to be pregnant.  I had hoped that I could write this post and end it on a happy note that while we suffered a miscarriage we did have good news of hope to share in a new pregnancy – but that has not yet happened. I am hopeful, I have hope…but I also grieve for the baby I lost. I hope that soon I can post about a new pregnancy, and share in that joy with you all – but for now, I ask for your prayers of comfort and healing…and I’m grateful for them all.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Emily - My heart aches for both of you. I remember every time we tried a new treatment and it failed. But I never had a miscarriage, I can't imagine the pain and disappointment you are facing.
I do know that God knows right where you are, and He knows how to get you to where you need to be. His hand is on you. I know that God is working behind the scenes on your behalf, and that He will lead you into the life of blessing that He has prepared for you.
I pray that you feel his strength and encouragement during this difficult time. I believe in you and your faith and I know you guys will get through this. It just sucks that you have to go through this. HUGE prayers are being lifted up for you both. Trish M.
Em, I really do sympathize. My first wife and I lost twins on new years eve. This time of year always puts that in the forefront of my mind. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it must be to add to that how difficult it was to get pregnant in the first place. At least for us, that part was easy. Clearly, I'm not a "God's plan" kind of guy, but I do believe that things eventually work out the way they are supposed to. It will get better, that I can promise you.
Matt and Emily said…
Thanks both for the words of support and encouragement. I know that in time things will work out how they're supposed to - it's just hard to be patient sometimes and wait to see the bigger picture. In the meantime, we are very grateful for our circle of friens and family who are there for us!
Joy said…
Emily,

Just read your blog...my heart aches for you. I will pray for your grief and for the hope of new life to continue to grow in your heart through your sorrow. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love your depth and am here on the other side of the screen bearing your burden as a Sister in the Lord. You and Matt are a beautiful testimony of love and courage in the midst of struggle which will be a blessing to the children God brings to you. Press on....

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