We'll start with The Facts.
Wednesday, February 27 - I happily discovered I was pregnant. It was a week before Hibou's birthday. Perfect spacing - it was the week of Papillon's birthday we had discovered we were expecting Hibou. Babies 20 months apart. Perfect.
Sunday, March 10 - Mon Amour leaves for 2 weeks in Indonesia/India
Tuesday, March 19th - Had an ultrasound and learned it was not a "viable" pregnancy. I should have been 7 weeks, and the baby had stop growing before even developing a spine. I was alone for the ultrasound. Mon Amour, in India, learned the news via email. We decided together that he didn't need to rush home....but gosh it was good when he did get back.
Thursday, May 2 - Much to our surprise, we discovered we were pregnant again.
Saturday, May 4 - Mon Amour leaves for 2 weeks in Turkey/Korea
Monday, May 20 - Heard baby's heart beat. Fast and steady, nothing to worry about.
Monday, June 10 - Mon Amour leaves for 10 days in India
Monday, June 24 - Had 2nd doctors appointment. Couldn't find heartbeat. Ultrasound confirmed that the baby that should have been 12 weeks along had stopped growing at 9 weeks. Mon Amour was with me to hear the news, but so were the girls.
4 months. 3 business trips. 2 babies. 2 miscarriages.
It still feels weird to say that - "the miscarriages". The first miscarriage, while sad, seemed to make sense. Miscarriages happen. Especially early ones. Who was I to dare to think I would never have one? Super sad, yes. Within my scope of "reasonable suffering", yes.
The second miscarriage....devastating. Completely unexpected. Life changing in more ways than one.
I won't even try and put into words all the things that I have been feeling and thinking over the past weeks. But I do want to share a few things.
Let's start with The Good. While I don't think I'll ever get to a point where I can say I am glad that this happened. There are things that have come from it that I am thankful for it.
- Truth and Hope - Never before in my life has Biblical Truth been clear to me. Songs and scripture I've known for years suddenly seem to be speaking truth to me afresh. Truth about hope. About heaven. About sin and brokenness. About life, love and the gospel.
- Friends - I knew I had great friends. But yikes am I blessed. The support of family and friends has been overwhelming. In a good way. I am so thankful.
- God's Hand - In the midst of all the bad that has been happening, God has continued to make it clear that he is in control. The doctors He's brought our way. The timing of appointments, and vacations. God is in control; He's made that clear.
The Bad. Bad feels like an understatement. It's been horrible. Miserable. And so hard.
- The Obvious - My babies that I'll never meet. I know I can't be sad for them; they got to bypass this broken world and skip right to the good part...heaven! But I miss them. With each pregnancy, plans were hatched, expectations raised, excitement grown.
- Little Ones - We hadn't really told Papillon about the first baby. But the second baby we had talked about a lot. She was excited. But more than that, she was totally traumatized by the experience of seeing me sob my way through the doctors appointments. She didn't know why. But for more than a week she walked on pins and needles around me and wasn't herself. At one point she was pretend talking on the phone and told the phone "Well, I can't go to Maine (our then upcoming vacation); cause I am too sad" "For real sad, not pretend sad" she told me.
- Pregnancy Joy - I used to love love love being pregnant. Sure, I knew miscarriage was always possible. But I still loved it. I loved the days/weeks between when I found out I was expecting and when I actually told people. Walking around with a happy secret was the best. Now instead, I wonder if I am walking around with a happy secret, or a sad one. After the first miscarriage I daily coached myself into being excited/not nervous about the next pregnancy. When another pregnancy happens, I don't know if I'll have the emotional energy to coach myself out of my anxiety
- Fear - I have found my anxiety has generalized. There have been other events that have contributed to my general sense of fear. The kitchen cabinet falling off the wall certainly didn't help. I am pretty sure I used to be decently optimistic; now I seem to have succumbed to this idea that if something can go wrong, it will go wrong. It's a miserable way to live. I mean if you have to live in fear of your kitchen cabinets...what is there NOT to fear. I know, with God, there is no reason to fear. But knowing it, and feeling it are proving very different.
- Looking Back - Whenever I look at pictures from this year, I find myself thinking "I was pregnant then. Not pregnant then. Oh, pregnant, there. Nope, not there". It seems the whole year is being shaped by "pregnant / not pregnant" "first baby / second baby". I wish I could stop seeing life through that lens. But I also don't want to forget my babies.
Where we go from here.
I wish I could say that I felt better, now. I thought I would. I tried to give myself what I thought was a reasonable period of time to give myself grace to grieve. My personal, self inflected grace period has expired and I am fed up with being sad. At this point I am trusting it will get better, I think it has gotten better. But it's still really rough.
Lots of songs have been hugely encouraging to me. This one. This one. This one was on repeat for hours on end one day.
But the song that has been jumping out at me recently is this one. It's not as obvious a connection. But I listen to it and really do feel like that's my prayer. That ultimately what would come of these experiences is that Jesus would "steal my show". My life is not about me. It's about God. And I am not sure how, but hope that as we come through this experience that what would shine through is not what I have done or not done, how I have struggled through it, or how we have come out of it. But that what would be clear in the end is how God worked His plan in our life. How He protected us. How He cared for us. How He got us through it.
What does that mean exactly? I don't know.
I hope it means being able to encourage others in hardship as I have been encouraged.
I hope it means that when people ask me how I am, I stop complaining about this baby-less-baby-weight and start talking about how God has been with me.
I hope it means living in hope, not in fear.
I hope it means seeing every one of my children, Papillon, Hibou and the two in heaven, as the beautiful miraculous blessing that they are.
Every day, I live amongst miracles and I am very blessed.