“This. This is miscarriage.
The belly that still looks bloated and pregnant but isn’t.
The pregnancy line that always shows up by week 7, slowly starting to fade.
The breast changes that are always my first indicator that I’m pregnant, disappearing overnight.
The extra 8 pounds I’m still carrying, because I always gain a lot of weight in the first trimester and it always takes a few weeks to get rid of it.
The headaches and cramps still left over from the miscarriage and pregnancy hormones that haven’t yet gotten the memo.
The things you CAN do that you truly wish you couldn’t, like…
The few glasses of wine on the weekend you had hoped you’d be sharing happy news with your family.
The deli meat.
The hot cup of peach hibiscus tea that I bought by accident and never drank once I realized you’re not supposed to have hibiscus while pregnant.
The almost full bottle of prenatal vitamins.
The unsolicited comments, advice, suggestions, and ‘solutions’ as to why your body isn’t working right, which only confirm to you the impossible feeling that you are somehow responsible for killing these babies.
The impossible feeling of genuine excitement and happiness for people in your world who are pregnant, while simultaneously hating that you aren’t. And feeling guilty for not being ONLY happy, and for thinking of yourself at all.
The pregnancy announcements that happen around you should-be week 12, for the same month you were due.
The little bathing suit that still hangs at the front of my closet that I bought 5 years ago during my first pregnancy after Ben, when I was sure I was having a little girl.
The loud swooshing heartbeat of a baby in utero in the room next to me, just SECONDS after being told for the 6th time, ‘I’m so sorry, there is no heartbeat.’
The waiting room where now six times I have had to embarrassingly walk by other waiting patients, puffy, red and with mascara dripping down my cheeks.
The blissfully pregnant women in the same waiting room, and the realization that no matter how hard you try, you will never be that blissful in pregnancy again.
This is miscarriage. And miscarriage can be a hard, dark, and scary place.
But you know what else is miscarriage?
The reminder of what an incredible miracle my first son, Ben, is. And how with each miscarriage I realize more and more how truly lucky I am to have him in my life.
The list of names on my bathroom mirror of other women who have struggled with infertility or miscarriage who I pray for often.
The hope because more than half of those names are now crossed off because they have gone on to have successful pregnancies.
The stories that have been shared with me as a result of being open about my struggles.
The women who reluctantly join this ‘club’ who get to build each other up, pray for each other and share their stories in inspire others.
The JOY that is constantly reinforced because my joy is not rooted in my circumstance and it never has been. It has always been rooted in the Lord.
The same thing for my strength, and my peace.
And because I still have those things… Joy, strength and peace… that are far beyond my own, I can somehow still have hope.
And THAT is why I share this part of my story.
Trust me when I say, it is NOT for the comments, or the kind words. In all honesty, that all makes me super uncomfortable.
I put my hardships and struggles out there knowing that my inspiration has come from others who have OVERCOME HARD THINGS.
So, I am determined to be that for someone else. To use this pain for good.
Knowing that millions of people are struggling much greater than I am.
I share it to inspire you to wrap around your friend who has experienced miscarriage or loss. To help you understand her if you don’t. To remind you that you’re not alone if you do.
And somehow that is healing to me. To know that the struggle and the pain, and the sweet little babies that I’ll never meet on this side of heaven, is not in vain.
And I share it because sometimes it helps to know that someone else, who has gone through hard things, has made the choice to make something good out of it.
As I said before, I truly don’t believe the purpose is IN the pain itself. Otherwise what does that say about God? God doesn’t cause these things to happen. But what he promises is that He works ALL things together for the good of those who love Him.
On the flight home from Texas after my 4th miscarriage which happened while I was out of town, I couldn’t stop crying, until I heard a voice that could have been audible it was so clear in my head that said, ‘Emily, this is supposed to be part of your story.’ I decided that week to let it be, and I began sharing publicly about my miscarriages. It was the most incredible experience hearing story after story of women who felt alone in this.
After the 5th one, I felt closure. I felt ready to stop striving and to just rest and trust God for the next step. We decided out of that to become foster parents, and here we are with 2 beautiful baby boys we get to love on.
And now after this 6th miscarriage, I don’t know yet what God is going to do. But I do know there will be purpose in it, because I am determined to find it. And there can be purpose in your pain, too.
In the midst of your Hard Thing, try to remember that the purpose in it is in who you BECOME through it. What you learn from it. How you choose to move forward through it, and to inspire others with it.
And if you have something you need prayer for, PLEASE reach out. Send a PM. I will add you to my list and pray for you.
Jesus says that ‘I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but TAKE HEART, for I have overcome the world!’ (John 16:33)
All my love,
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Emily Long of This Resolved Life. The article originally appeared here. Submit your story here, and be sure to subscribe to our best love stories here.
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