It was the most depressing 3 months of my life. I honestly didn't really know why I was so depressed. I am sure that my hormonal balance was off and my body was trying to figure out what was going on, but the grief of my loss was consuming my thoughts..
This has been something that I wanted to share with you guys for a while now but was waiting on the right timing. I wasn't ready to share my "tragedy" with the world. Even though it has been over 3 years since that day, I don't regret waiting to share my story with everyone. I remember this experience like it was yesterday. At the time, we told about 4 people what happened and we asked them not to share it with anyone else because it was just too painful. We simply needed someone to help us overcome that season, but not just anyone. Those who we confided in were the few people that we trusted to guard our secret and help us share the heaviness.
It was March 15, 2015, when the world as I knew it came to a halt. The grueling process that led to this day took over 3 months, and it has taken years for me to be able to finally let the world in on my heartbreak.
In the fall of 2014, we found out that we were pregnant with our first baby. We were so excited. I was going to be about 12 weeks around Christmas so I took my time prepping my family's gifts by attaching a tag on each one that announced to them that they were going to be Grandparents, Aunties, and Uncles. The gifts were wrapped under the tree while we eagerly waited for our first doctor's appointment--the first ultrasound that would confirm our pregnancy.
I remember leaving work and arriving at the doctor's office where Ryan met me. The technician was quiet while she was doing our ultrasound and then she stepped out of the room. The doctor walked in and told us that they couldn't find the heartbeat. He looked at the ultrasound and confirmed it. I was shocked. I wasn't expecting to hear something like that. He told us to come back in a week to recheck the ultrasound. He said there could be a possibility that it was too early to see. So we waited for an entire week not really knowing how to pray.
We wanted to believe that we would receive good news when we came back, but it was very hard not to allow worry to consume our thoughts. So we came back the next week and it was confirmed. I had a miscarriage.
I remember going home and having to rip open all the presents from their packages to get those announcement tags off of each gift. I double or triple checked each gift so that we weren't faced with an awkward situation of having to tell everyone what happened. I was definitely not ready to share this news with anyone.
At the doctor's office, we were told that we could allow everything in my body to process naturally or we could schedule an appointment for a DNC procedure. I'm not going to go into the details of the whole procedure but we just decided to allow everything to take its course. I have heard too many things about DNC procedures and how it can affect you having children in the future so I wanted to allow everything in my body to adjust as naturally as possible. I know some women have DNC procedures, and that's okay too. I understand that different situations call for different decisions than the one I made.
It was the most depressing 3 months of my life. I honestly didn't really know why I was so depressed. I am sure that my hormonal balance was off and my body was trying to figure out what was going on, but the grief of my loss was consuming my thoughts. There were many times when Ryan would try to lift me up and I would just sit there and cry. Every man knows how frustrating it is when you have no idea how to help your wife. I honestly didn't know how to get out of the hole myself. It was some of the weirdest and the hardest months I had ever experienced. I was dealing with the shock and grief of losing our first child and blamed myself, feeling like a terrible mother. Did I do something wrong? What I later learned is that this thinking is very common in women who have gone through a miscarriage.
After three months, I was beginning to be a bit concerned about my body because nothing had happened and my monthly cycle had still not returned. When it comes to that time of the month, I am normally spot on every time. I was so used to knowing my body's rhythm and not knowing made my entire life feel a bit out of sync.
On March 15, 2015, I woke up around 4 am because I was experiencing pretty sharp cramps. I usually do really well every month even when my period cramps are more painful than normal, but this was something different. During this time, Ryan was on staff at a church and we were supposed to be there bright and early that same day because we were launching a new life groups ministry. What interesting timing for everything to happen!
I don't want to go into too much detail, but within an hour it was all over and I miscarried our first baby. I'm not sure if I'm using the proper language but that was the moment when my body finally completed the process.
Now that I have had two kids naturally, I know now that I was going through a "mini labor." However, at that point in my life, I had never experienced anything like that, so I could only compare the pain at the time as "the worst pain that I'd ever experienced." Ryan was very gracious and helped me through this whole process. We got ready and made it to church to fulfill our assignment and officially launch the life groups ministry.
To make matters worse, I felt extremely sore and had to sit on stage while our Pastor was preaching both services. We set up a living room set on stage for the day to market this new ministry to the church. There I sat, having to put on a fake smile and push through the emotional grief from what I had just gone through at home. There were so many times I had to choke down my tears because the emotions just kept bubbling to the surface. Here is a post that I put on my Facebook that day. No one knew what I was talking about except my hubby.
“Maybe I had to go through that season for a reason, to let other women know that they are not alone.”
I understand that I am not the only woman that has ever experienced a miscarriage but at the time you couldn't comfort me with those words. I felt so depressed. I felt like a failure. I told myself that it was my fault. I felt like a terrible mother.
Why am I sharing this story with you guys? Honestly, I've learned a lot over these past few years. Becoming a parent has changed me in so many ways. I have a new perspective on life. This is not to say that I have completely forgotten about that season of my life. Maybe I had to go through that season for a reason, to let other women know that they are not alone.
We all go through different experiences that help us see the world from a new perspective. Because of the way that I grew up, I felt like God was punishing me for something. Even now, I have to constantly remind myself that God doesn't operate that way. The picture I had of God had to be changed. I've learned now that our God is a loving Father who wants what is best for us.
I am reminded of the scripture in Matthew 5:45 that says, "His sun shines on bad people and on good people. He sends rain on those who are right with God and on those who are not right with God."
Life is hard and everyone has their own set of unique challenges to face. Challenges that will either make you stronger or pull you into a deep hole of fear, anxiety, and condemnation. It is important for us to grieve but that process should be seasonal. If we don't acknowledge how we feel and simply put it on the shelf, it will take root and become a great tree of bitterness that will be a lot harder to deal with later.
We must have hope that God can work a miracle, even in the hardest of the situations. And maybe the miracle that we expect is not the miracle that we end up receiving. Hope is frail but it is hard to kill. Hope is what drives us to face another day, even after we have endured tragedy. When we lose hope, we lose our ability to dream for the future. This brings about despair. We must hold on to hope with all of our might.
Proverbs 13:12 says, "Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life."When we fall into despair, we put off hoping what we are waiting for will ever come to pass. We are afraid that we will be hurt again, like before. When tragedy strikes, we as humans retreat into our shell and stop dreaming. It's like not wanting to work towards a goal because you are afraid of failing.
When we got pregnant with Mila, I had a lot of fear because I didn't want the same thing to happen with this pregnancy that happened with the first. God is a faithful God, and we are now a family of four. Having a family was one of my biggest dreams growing up and it still is. Don't get me wrong, some days it doesn't feel like a dream because parenting can push you to the edge, but my dream has been fulfilled and through time, prayer, and the love and support of my husband, God has mended my broken heart.
If you've lost a child because of miscarriage or maybe more than one, as many women have experienced, I understand how you feel. You may be in the pit of depression but I want to encourage you that God still has a plan. I pray that God would help you overcome this season and turn your mourning into joy. The sun will come out in the morning and you will come out on the other side stronger than ever. You are stronger than you think you are.
If you know someone that has gone through a similar situation, share this post with them so that they can be encouraged. :)
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