We recently went to Disney for a short visit. Disney is like our second home in some ways, being that we used to live in Orlando and both me and my hubby worked there. Many of our happiest memories have been shared there, including getting engaged. So this trip we decided to be a little more chill and set out to do a few things that we hadn’t done on our previous trips. One of the things I wanted to do was meet Rapunzel. Tangled is one of my favorite ‘newer’ Disney movies and I was thrilled to meet her! Later that evening we saw a line of people getting their pictures taken while holding a lantern from Tangled. We hurriedly joined them and I stood there thinking this was just the icing on the cake, then Nathan took the experience to a whole other level.
For those of you who may not have seen Tangled let me briefly recap, the princess is kidnapped at the beginning of the movie and every year on her birthday her parents and their whole village light lanterns and let them float into the sky. The princess not knowing she’s a princess or what the lanterns are for sees them from afar and wants to take a trip to see them in person. This reminded Nathan of the lanterns we released on our due date after we miscarried, he explained that the picture of us holding the lantern was a symbol of Our lost princess. My eyes immediately watered. The girl taking our pictures looked a little concerned when she was scanning our bracelet after and saw our watery eyes. Such a simple but beautiful moment and memory.
We miscarried two years ago. It was one of the most difficult things I’ve ever experienced. I’ve tried to write about it before and sometimes it seems like there is too much to whittle down to a blog post, but I want to try again. Why? Because I know that every.single.thing. we go through can be used for good. I know that my pain and loss & the questions I asked myself after are things others feel & ask too. I also know that when you see someone else who understands what you’ve been through you feel less alone and that’s an amazing gift.
We felt that in the brief time we were expecting that it was a girl. This could be simply wishful thinking, but we went with it & we named her Jemima Kathryn. Losing her after many years of trying I believe made our pain radiate. The following is something I wrote a few days before what would have been Jemima’s due date. It’s a recap of sorts of what happened, almost like a journal entry. I never published it and I’ve decided that now would be a good time to share it. Here it is:
I sometimes blame myself.
Maybe I’m too overweight.
I’m too anxious.
I’m not having enough sex.
I’m having too much sex.
I should have stood on my head longer.
I should take more vitamins.
I’m not a good enough Mom to the kid I do have.
I’m thinking about it too much.
I’m trying too hard.
I’m not doing enough.
and after years of these wonderings & thoughts running rampant through my head the day came when I had that “feeling” or intuition that I was expecting again!
I was hesitant to be excited because my emotions & hormones are constantly playing tricks on me.
But it was different than the many false alarms before, something inside of me just felt different.
I scheduled the usual blood test to verify my hunch.
I tried my best to prepare my heart for the negative result I had grown accustomed to hearing.
We waited 48 hours for the results.
That night as we laid in bed we started to dream aloud about names, rearranging rooms, & how excited we knew Gideon would be.
The next morning I woke up & felt the usual cramps that signal my monthly friend’s arrival. I felt that familiar sadness that I just never seem to find adequate words to describe…& I tell Nathan that it’s not going to happen, we were wrong again.
I wish away the sadness I see sweep over his eyes. I throw out meaningless encouragement, to find hope, that it will eventually happen & our little trio will grow and I head to work.
Sure enough “she arrives” with much more intensity than usual.
I become nauseous from the pain & can’t concentrate on anything. I’m taking ibuprofen like candy, naproxen, anything my coworkers have stashed away in their desks & nothing is even touching it.
On one of the trips to the bathroom, I remember looking down & wondering to myself…I wonder if this is our baby. What if I’m miscarrying? My eyes watered & I prayed. Oh, I prayed so hard while I held my stomach & I begged God, please. Please if I’m pregnant please keep our baby safe. Please.
I was able to make it through the day at work & was ready for a night on the couch trying to recover from the disappointment of not being pregnant yet again.
The phone rang halfway through my drive home. It’s the doctor’s office. Ahhh, yes the call to tell me my test results are negative. blah blah blah.
Tell her my name.
She says that she’s calling to let me know that my pregnancy test results came back…positive.
Wait, what?! I am shell-shocked. Words start spilling out of my mouth…questions I already know answers to…buuuut I’ve been bleeding all day…is that bad? I mean I could still be pregnant right?
She replies coldly…oh you’re probably miscarrying. You’ll need to call back Monday to set up a follow-up appointment.
I get off the phone & feel everything and nothing all at once.
I call my Mom-in-Love crying.
Why me? Why OUR baby? I’m not even sure if she can understand my words because I’m crying so hard. I don’t want to call Nathan because he’s just started a new job & there’s nothing he can do other than be sad & distracted at work.
I sit at home. Call my parents who urge me to accept my Mom in Love’s offer to make the drive over from Detroit to be with us. Both encourage me to call Nathan.
When he gets home, he looks excited. As if he’s refused to accept the fact we’ve lost our baby. That granule of possibility that we haven’t miscarried is all he needs & he clings to it. Others close to me do as well.
When I wake up the next morning I feel nothing but grief & loss.
Everyone is respectful, they try to be encouraging, I feel like I should be laying still….maybe if I lay still enough somehow the pieces will fit back together & this will just end up being a very scary beginning to a healthy pregnancy…that intuition/feeling of being pregnant is gone…is that me just being too negative? Am I not having enough faith?
Monday morning I’m not sure if I can get out of bed. I need to go get another blood test to determine if I’m still pregnant.
I’m crying. Texting my Mom & Mom in Love & Michelle.
Every text back from them makes me cry more & also makes me feel hugged.
Michelle offers to drive me
& then she sits with me at my house while we wait for the call with my results…
Hours later the phone rings.
Being someone who always seems to have something to say it was odd to just have no words.
I curled up on the couch & just cried..a cry I hope I never cry again….
Michelle came over & just ran her fingers through my hair, she let me cry. She didn’t try to fix me or put me back together or offer some crappy consolation that would have probably stung more than soothed…& it was one of the most painful & comforting moments of my life.
Today is the beginning of a New Year & if we had not lost our babe “she” would be arriving sometime in the next week or so. I’d be super pregnant, most likely uncomfortable, putting finishing touches on the nursery, prepping G as best as we can, there would be so much nervous excitement…oh, I long for that.
I was reading a post by one of my favorite authors Glennon Doyle Melton over @ Momastery about the new year & the following line struck me & reminded me of that sweet moment my friend did just this for me not with her words, but with her actions:
“This is awful. I know it hurts — and I can’t take it from you. But I’ll stay right here and hold you until its better.”
The hole I feel inside is odd to me. foreign. strange.
I’m journeying through, but it’s lonely.
People are awkward & few have replies to the comments I make.
I suppose I’m expected to cry for a weekend & be over it.
I suppose it’s perceived as me making a big deal out of something, maybe for attention?
I mean honestly how attached can someone be to a baby whom you only knew existed for a few days before you lost them. 5 weeks pregnant is nothing!
I honestly can’t tell you.
Maybe all the false alarms & wishing, hoping, praying for a baby has culminated into this one loss.
I don’t have all the answers.
BUT I’m positive that I’m not the only one feeling these things or asking these questions.
As much as I feel it, I KNOW that I am not alone.
Just because people don’t talk about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
I know you are out there & I’m sending prayers up for you & loving hug filled thoughts your way.
The amount of healing my heart has experienced since writing this over a year ago is monumental and I plan to write about that healing going forward & I hope you’ll come along.
In the meantime Friends, please know you aren’t alone. Your pain is valid. Keep your hope alive. Our stories aren’t over!
Every.single.thing. can be used for good if we allow it.
Until Next Time, Keep Moving Forward!