As most of you know, I love love. A lot. I’m a swooner, I love “awww” moments, and I’m super embarrassing when it comes to mushy love-ness. So, it would follow that Valentine’s would be the perfect opportunity to embrace the chance to shower Michael with love. I had plans to finish another 14 Days of Valentine’s for him, as I did last year, with small treats or presents each day to show him I love him.
Alas, this year it was not meant to be. We didn’t celebrate this Valentine’s with romance; we had different kinds of love. But to have this make sense, I must go back further. Sort of much much further.
A little over two years ago, Michael and I got married. While our life together hasn’t been perfect, it certainly has been wonderful.
Michael and I first discussed trying to have a baby at the start of 2009. In January, we discussed it and prayed about it. In February, we continued praying about it, and the doctors proclaimed me a picture of health and gave me the go-ahead.
Then March came.
March was an exceptionally difficult month filled with some very significant, emotional challenges. We felt like the answer to our prayer was to wait. And we were devastated. Months passed, and in the fall, we finally felt like the time was right.
And a few months went by. And we waited. And nothing happened. And my heart ached.
The night before Michael and I left for Colorado to visit his family for Christmas, my oldest sister announced she was having a baby. It was such a happy and heart-wrenching time. I could hardly hold back the tears. I was so happy for her and so heartbroken over still not being pregnant myself. It was like the scene from Julie and Julia where Julia Child receives a letter announcing the pregnancy of a loved one. Her voice breaks as she says “isn’t it wonderful?” And you can just tell that while she’s truly, really overjoyed, she’s also terribly heartsick.
The Christmas trip was a difficult and painful one for me. I spent most of it fighting off tears and holding my months-old niece for comfort.
A week after arriving home, I decided to take a pregnancy test. Miracle of miracles, it said I was pregnant. I cried and laughed all day long with Michael, so happy I could hardly help myself. We told our immediate families and were just delighted. I found projects to try, looked at nothing but baby things, and read baby books. I dreamed up ways to tell my friends, family, and blogging world.
Just as my sister and grandmothers had, I handled the first few weeks of pregnancy beautifully. I felt all right during the day, and only felt a little sick at night. I had very few food or smell intolerances and my body only underwent a little pain. My first doctor’s appointment confirmed my pregnancy and my exam showed everything to be normal. I was so excited for my next appointment to hear the baby’s heartbeat.
A few weeks passed and days before my ten-week appointment, I had a little spotting. My mother and sister both experienced quite a bit of bleeding without any harm to their pregnancies, and the nurse assured me everything was probably fine.
Three days later, I awoke to the horrible sight of blood.
I spent most of that afternoon waiting for an emergency ultrasound to determine whether my baby was okay or not. The results were confusing and inconclusive. They asked me to call my regular doctor on Monday to see what we could do. In the meantime, I was told to lay down. Always. If I was up for more than ten minutes at a time, I was bleeding. On Monday, I was told I’d need bloodwork done and that we wouldn’t know till Friday.
So I waited. And waited. And waited. And it was horrible.
On Thursday, I started feeling a lot of pain. The doctor told me to come right in, and after 2 hours of waiting, she finally saw me.
The results were bad: our baby had died.
Over the next few days, I had a lot of pain as I miscarried at home. It was terrible to know that there was nothing I could do and that the baby was already gone. No amount of “well, this is probably for the best; the baby must not have formed correctly” or “it’s not your fault” comments made me feel better. I know, medically, reasons for miscarrying, but no amount of medical knowledge makes my heart feel better.
After all of these details, I’m sure you’re wondering what the love part is? Well, I’ll tell you.
1. Familial love: during the horrible physical and emotional pain, I received so many emails, texts, phone calls, visits, and cards from the people who love me most. I honestly don’t know how I could have gotten through without my mom being there for me. She and my sisters provided meals, flowers, visits, cleaning, and more. I never had to be alone, when being alone would have been awful. Our families truly rallied around us to show their support.
2. Compassion: several girls I go to church with brought meals and cards to show their love. My generous co-workers stepped up for me and found extra sick hours for me to take as I was home for an entire week.
3. Grief: my mom once told me that “grief is the price you pay for loving.” It’s true. Although we never held or kissed this little baby, we loved our baby from the moment the test read positive. More than that, it had been nearly a year since I decided I was ready for a baby and months of trying before finally becoming pregnant. I’m still incredibly brokenhearted–will I miscarry again next time? How long will it take to get pregnant again? There a lot of pains that only time will heal.
4. Peace: the Lord shows us He loves us by sending His peace. I can honestly say that through all the tears and pain and worry of the past two awful, awful weeks, I’ve felt peace. Peace that somehow it would be okay. Peace in that I don’t hate anyone who is pregnant or has been pregnant. Peace that mourning is okay and that time really does heal all wounds. Peace that this is part of a wonderful plan.
So there you have it. Much more detail than you ever hoped for, but something I need to say so that I don’t have to say it again and again. So that you know why it’s going to be hard to write over the next few weeks. Anyway, all this to say, we’ve had a much different February than I’d imagined we’d have. It hasn’t been romantic, but we’ve still had a lot of love surrounding us.
Thank you to everyone who’s given us their love and support. We feel blessed to know you!