“It’s been one year since the most traumatic thing in our marriage occurred. That’s twelve months. Fifty-two weeks. Three-hundred and sixty-five days. Over eight thousand hours. A year since our light of hopefulness has been dimmed, since our plans to grow our little tribe has been altered. It’s been one entire year since we lost our second child. Wow. Just when I think I’m over it and we’re moving forward, it sucker punches me in the uterus all over again.
I’ll never forget driving home from taking Jaxon’s sister back to her mom’s house. On the way home something felt off, so I stopped at the Walmart in Charlottesville and got a pregnancy test. There was no way, no flippin’ way was I pregnant. We had just suffered a miscarriage at the end of January, barely three months prior. Hadn’t my body been through enough? Hadn’t our hearts been through enough? All the words in the world could never explain the emotional trauma we went through when we miscarried. Still to this day, I have yet to find the words to describe that pain.
I didn’t even wait to get home to take a test. I decided in the Walmart restroom, in the early evening, to take a test. We were pregnant. Again. Two pink lines. Again. Drops of blood. Again. My heart ached. I didn’t jump for joy. I didn’t shed one single tear. I put the test in my back pocket, walked to my car, and drove home.
Once I got home, I went into the bedroom and saw my sweet husband sitting on the bed. He noticed the stick in my back pocket. I wasn’t keeping anything from him, but I wasn’t trying to rip his heart out too. He saw the look on my face. I told him we were pregnant, but I was already spotting and for us to not get our hopes up. He put his head down and was so understanding. He didn’t say a word. He knew he didn’t have to.
We figured out I was most likely two weeks pregnant, just like our last pregnancy. It seems crazy to only be two weeks along but in every single pregnancy I’ve had, I have always tested early. It’s not impossible. Finding out early also had a disadvantage when I did have a successful pregnancy. I felt like I was pregnant for years. Anyway, we were roughly two weeks pregnant and waiting it out.
Three weeks later, I went to have an ultrasound done. I didn’t call our doctor to have one with his office because I knew what was happening. I knew we were losing another baby. It was too emotional last time, too traumatic. My mentality truly could not take it. I remember the nurse’s words as if she’s whispering it in my ear, ‘You are pregnant, but there is a lot of debris in your uterus and there is no fetal heart tone.’
No fetal heart tone? So there’s a baby inside of me and their heart is not beating. ‘There’s probably something wrong with the baby and this is nature’s way of taking care of it.’ Let me tell you, the second set of words she said to me did not make me feel better. All it did was bring back what happened just a few months prior. All it did was make me question my faith, again. All it did was make me go over everything I had ever done wrong in my life to end up back here, for the second time. I was pregnant and there was no sight of a baby coming at the end of it. Hadn’t Zachary and I been through enough? Hadn’t we persevered? Hadn’t we danced in the rain long enough? Where was our rainbow?
The nurse told me I was showing signs of a miscarriage and to return within a week to see if I would need to have a D and C, also known as dilation and curettage. It’s a surgical procedure to basically sweep the uterus so I wouldn’t get a bacterial infection. I didn’t even tell Zachary. My heart was breaking enough for both of us. You can say you’d tell your spouse right away, however, until you’re in the same situation, you don’t know what you’d do. I waited for seven days. I bled all weekend, thinking for sure I miscarried. Talk about heartbreaking, waiting to pass yet another potential baby. The thought still brings me to my knees.
I went back to get another ultrasound. The nurse looked around in my uterus, called in another nurse, and that nurse called in ANOTHER nurse. They looked at the screen with wide eyes and dropped jaws. ‘There is still debris in your uterus. But…’
I thought, ‘BUT maybe my baby is okay, maybe it’s just a hiccup,’ as I waited for her response.
‘There IS a fetal heart tone,’ she said. Well, praise Jesus. I took with a sigh of relief. Wait. Where’s the but? ‘But, it’s in your tube.’ Excuse me? What is in my tube? My legs fell out of the stirrups and I shot straight up, confused as all get out. ‘What do you mean it’s in my tube?’
‘You need to call your regular gynecologist right away. You’re going to need surgery.’ That sentence hit me like a ton of bricks. Surgery? For what? I wasn’t familiar with infertility. Jaxon was a thriving, healthy, perfect seven-year-old. Our miscarriage knocked me senseless. I had heard of an ectopic pregnancy, but the details of it, not a clue. I left the clinic and called my regular doctor, who fit me in right away. This man has been delivering babies for over thirty years and his words are gold. He had me do another ultrasound to confirm. This sweet nurse chose not to tell me anything. She took a lot of pictures of my uterus. I saw the screen. I saw the tube. I saw what would’ve been our baby before it was really a baby. It was our baby none the less. That is a pain I don’t wish on the worst kinds of people. The room was freezing but I was on fire. When I left, she hugged me and told me she’d be praying for me. I didn’t even need to hear from my doctor to confirm what the clinic had told me. Her face said it all.
I drove home in a trance that day. I don’t even remember how I got home. I don’t remember what road home I took or what was on the radio. I just know I was really pale, and I only know because Zachary told me when he saw me. I had called him after I left the clinic and told him I needed to go see my regular doctor to confirm. He knew when he got home what was going on. He tried meeting me at the hospital, but I begged him to stay at work. I thought it was to protect him for just a little longer, but I realize now, it was to protect me.
My doctor called around 7 p.m. that night. He told me it was, in fact, ectopic pregnancy and I was scheduled for emergency surgery at 1 p.m. the following day. Otherwise, I risked my fallopian tube rupturing, which could cause internal bleeding, and well, I could die. No need to sugarcoat that part. I could die if this wasn’t taken care of right away. My doctor is pro-life and if he could save a baby and a mother, he would. We did what he told us.
Wow. When you’re saying your vows to your spouse, the pastor, preacher, officiant, whomever — they never bring these situations up. Zachary and I hadn’t even been married for nine months and we were on our second loss. What was happening? Why couldn’t I give this man a baby? The man I wanted so desperately to create a life with, not just raise life with? That’s probably what stung the most. At this point, it truly all does run together. It hits home and it’s raw. We called our pastor and his wife, and they prayed fiercely over us both. They prayed for Zachary so he could find the strength to remain my rock. They prayed for me and my body. They prayed for Jesus to lay his hands on the doctor who would have my life in his hands. They prayed for our baby we wouldn’t meet just yet. After speaking with our pastor, the rest of the night before my surgery was quiet, but so much was said. Jaxon’s last day of school was the next day and we really didn’t want to upset him. He knew I was pregnant, and he knew I had to go to the hospital and I wouldn’t come home with a baby. He mainly knew because he overheard the conversation, but once he heard it, we couldn’t take it back. We told him the best way we could without stealing his innocence. No one has to agree, and we really don’t care if you do or don’t. We’re honest with our child and will always be.
I couldn’t eat or drink after midnight. I tossed and turned all night long, as did Zachary. I think we may have gotten five hours of sleep between the two of us. Zachary woke up the next morning, got Jaxon ready, and took him to school. His Neena would pick him up that afternoon for a sleepover so I could rest. I tried to snooze or zone out watching Netflix before it came time to shower and get ready to go to the hospital. I was able to shower but needed helping to get out because I hunched over in pain. Something wasn’t right. I couldn’t stand up. My insides felt like they were on fire. I distinctively remember it felt worse than active labor with Jaxon. My husband had to help me get dressed. I couldn’t move. He had to load me into the car. He couldn’t drive the speed limit because any imperfection in the pavement put me in excruciating pain. I couldn’t breathe, I was crying so hard. At one point, he had to pull over because I thought I was going to throw up. All I could do was dry heave because I hadn’t eaten.
He called my doctor’s office and they moved my surgery up and informed the hospital I was on my way and needed to have my room right away. Martha Jefferson Hospital was amazing. Zachary strolled me through those doors and straight to a room where two nurses were ready to help. They helped undress me, move me to my bed, and gave me pain medicine within 10 minutes. Just like that, I could breathe again. I’ve never seen my husband more terrified of anything in his life. My doctor came in and explained some things. I signed the paperwork and waited. In the waiting room, Zachary prayed over me. We prayed together. Then we sat in the silence. I was wheeled back shortly after that. I was in surgery for about two hours. While in surgery, our pastor packed up his wife and six children in their van to drive from Gainesville to Charlottesville, roughly an hour and a half, just to sit with my husband and pray with him. The way our church family warred with us during that season will forever place them on the highest of pedestals.
Surgery was over and I went to the recovery room for about a half-hour to an hour before going back to my room. When I was wheeled in, Zachary was just sitting there. He looked so scared. Our doctor told us I had lost three units of blood and he couldn’t salvage my left fallopian tube. It just didn’t feel real. It felt like a dream we couldn’t wake up from. How would we ever make babies and add to our little tribe? Was it always just going to be us three? If you think swallowing the news with your spouse is hard, try telling your seven-year-old, ‘We’ll have babies when Jesus wants us to, buddy,’ over and over again. We wanted more children and now the odds were even more against us.
We got home at around 6 o’clock that evening. I was so sore and scared to move the lower part of my body, due to my stitches. Zachary never left my side. He brought me bags of frozen veggies to switch out with a heating pad onto my lower abdomen. He constantly checked on me, helped me in the shower, and all the other things I needed. That’s marriage. It’s not the cuddling and the passionate kisses. It’s helping you go to the bathroom because you can’t even bend over to take your own shorts off. It’s helping you back into bed because you can’t lift your legs. It’s covering you in prayer and reminding you in your moment of defeat, he loves you and if it’s just you three, then that’s okay. It doesn’t change his mind in choosing YOU. Despite that season we were in, it strengthened our marriage and reminded us of a foundation we had built. We also realized we had growing in our marriage to do. We refused to let losing another baby shake our faith like it did the first time.
Don’t get me wrong, we were shaken this time around too, but not like the first. I don’t think we’re bad parents or bad people. I think there is a reason for everything. I think situations are brought to us to test us. I think there were MANY things going on around us — Zachary’s decision to join the Coast Guard, my job, a handful of other stress factors. We prayed about it a lot, for clarity and peace. We know the desires of our hearts will be fulfilled. We also know it will be done in His timing, not ours.
It’s been an entire year and we’re still not pregnant. I know I do not owe a single soul justification, but we have done a handful of tests to see where the problem lies, and it’s absolutely me. How discouraging, right? It’s going to be okay. We will have babies when we should. In the meantime, we get to enjoy the child we have now. We get to continue to grow in our marriage. We get to continue to go through this life together, loving one another hard and praying even harder. We get to remind each other there is not a thing in this world we can’t face, as long as we face it together.
Infertility does not have a face and it should be talked about. Those who suffer should not feel shame, worthlessness, nor should they feel isolated. Infertility is more common than it is not. I ask that you be kind to your fellow woman, freshly married couple, the couple that’s been married for years and still doesn’t have children, or the couple that has one child. You don’t know their story. You don’t know how long they’ve hit their knees and prayed. You don’t know their struggle. You don’t know how hard they are on themselves every day. Be graceful, be gentle. Do not add to their pain. You have no idea how brave they have to be, day in and day out.
To those who suffer like me, you are worthy of all the babies Jesus can give you. The desires of your heart will be filled and if it’s not His will, I pray you to find peace in that. I pray you allow yourself to be led in whatever He leads you to for His glory.
We are the one in eight.
We are the one in four.
We are the one in fifty.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Shannon Jobes. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
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