“When you’re sharing your story over and over, just filling someone in, the experience begins to lose it significance. The words lose their meaning and the sentences become mundane and distant. Like an echo that drifts further and further away and fails to retain its original sound.”
That’s what I wrote when I originally thought about writing out my story. And then I shared my story again today, and it was not that. It was not what I wrote. I suddenly realized that every time I share my story with someone new, pieces of the story change. Every time I talk about heartache, I see more beauty and I feel a little more whole. My motivation for this is not to get it off my chest once and for all, but to SHARE it over and over. To talk about it again and again and again, keeping my messy beautiful story in the light, so that it never festers, and it never grows dark or dim. It remains a story of hope, a story of healing, a story of you’re-not-alone and you’ll-be-okay-too.
We found out we were pregnant when we were just 3 weeks along. It was a crazy idea, but I took the test anyway. A story that deserves its own post, but WE WERE PREGNANT. I stared at the positive pregnancy test, jaw dropped for a long time. I set it on the counter, picked it up to look at it, half expecting the positive line to disappear, countless times over the next hour. Shocked at first, the initial holy-crap factor turned to joy which turned to tears of joy which turned to laughter.
I was full of emotions, so excited I couldn’t WAIT to tell Geoff. When he came home, I handed him a box with the positive test in it. When he opened the box, he just stared in silence for a good 30 seconds, stood up, kissed my forehead, and sat back down. Still no words. Then we both just started laughing and smiling and “Is this REAL-ING” each other.
We decided to wait to tell our families until we saw them face to face at the end of Aug / beginning of Sep, with a few exceptions. We told friends that had visited us, as well as one of my sisters who visited, and a close friend here in MI. Other than that, no one knew, and no one would know until last weekend.
On Tuesday, I started bleeding. Just a little, but immediately my heart sunk. Grasping for faith, I was drowning in fear. I clung to promises God made to His people, promises that God made to me. I prayed for healing, for health, for what I thought was happening to not actually be happening. I was about to be 9 weeks, and I was supposed to hear my babies heartbeat in SIX DAYS. I reached out to my prayer warrior friends and we wove our prayers together and prayed for peace and His presence.
But the bleeding continued, and my emergency ultrasound revealed that there was no heartbeat, and the baby stopped growing at 6 weeks. So we waited…
I miscarried on Sunday. Contractions began naturally, I never had to have any surgical or medical intervention, thankfully. But it was done; it was over. Most of the miscarriage happened in triage, there was too much blood and too much pain. Even the vicodine I was prescribed wasn’t enough to counteract the contractions.
“I have the amniotic sac” the midwife said.
My heart sunk. There it was. The baby that I talked to, prayed over, hoped for, dreamed about. Only 6 weeks grown, still an embryo in medical terms, but very much so our baby in my heart. My husband sat stoically by my side, holding my hand. Eyes wide. There were no words. What words do you say? Just a flutter of emotions. Eventually, the bleeding stopped and I was sent home. We were so exhausted, we practically fell into bed that night. Geoff took off work on Monday to stay home together, best decision ever.
Just a moment to boast a bit on the man that stood next to me through the poking, prodding, and all the other things that happened that night. He was so brave, and so compassionate. If chaos and struggle reveal your inner man, my husband’s inner man is a beastly saint. He was so strong for me, but so tender and thoughtful of my needs. I could not have asked for a better partner.
Now that we’ve walked through the physical loss, we turn our hearts towards the emotional one. That’s a much longer road, and a much more complicated one. I have a lot of questions, and lot of grieving, and still, a lot of hope. I’m not sure why God answers some prayers, and not others. I do know that this world is broken, there is a ruler here that is out to kill and destroy. I know that God is still good, that He comforts me when there is struggle. We were never promised Heaven on earth, but we were promised peace that surpasses understanding, and a love that can never be taken from us. I will hold on to that, I will praise Him, and I will say “Thank You”.
When I asked off work this week, the Momma that I’m working for shared that she too had miscarried before she had her now, 5 month old. She too wrote a blog post about her experience and her struggle with faith. She reminded me that “God has not called me to be successful. God has called me to be faithful.” The wise words of Mother Teresa. I don’t have to be good at faith, I just have to show up.
So when I go for a cup of coffee and instinctively look for decaf, I remind myself that this is not the end. When my hand gravitates to my belly, I remind myself that life will again be there. When I put away the baby books and close the tabs of nursery furniture in my web browser, I breathe deep and lean into peace that surpasses understanding. I don’t understand, I don’t know. But sometimes in the midst of suffering, in the cracks of life, we get to see the beauty and restoration that we might have missed. We get to share war wounds, and war stories, and rejoice in the overcoming.
We get to say, YOU ARE NOT ALONE and YOU’LL BE OKAY TOO.