“Our first positive test came as quite as a surprise. We had suffered our first miscarriage in July 2017 and we just weren’t ready to try for another any time soon. It was early October 2017 when I first saw the words ‘pregnant’ on that little stick. So many emotions ran through my head. The thought that stuck out the most was fear. Fear of losing this pregnancy again. For the next few weeks my mind became completely consumed with fear. It was like I was on an emotional roller coaster every single day. I was so excited that God had blessed me with another life but so fearful at the same time.
It wasn’t until we saw the little heartbeat that my fears began to subside. Seeing that little flicker on the screen made it all seem so real. The thought of bringing another sweet baby into this world made my heart burst! When I was around 8 weeks pregnant, we told our girls the news. They were so excited; Sophia was more excited than anyone else. She now had a new role of big sister and she took this very seriously. Sophia would ask to pray for the baby every night and would even whisper, ‘I love you baby’ to my belly multiple times a day. Shortly after we told the girls, we announced the news to our families.
Because of my previous miscarriage we were getting some extra ultrasounds for precautionary measure. It was at my second ultrasound that we discovered the baby had stopped growing. Our hopes were high because that heartbeat was still strong. In early December at around 10 weeks pregnant, I noticed some light spotting. I called my doctor right away and they got me in for an ultrasound. My mom, Sophia and I all sat in a dark room eagerly waiting to see that beautiful, strong heartbeat, but what we were left with was an empty screen. There was no heart beat detected. The ultrasound tech stood and cried with us as we received the news. I saw that screen, and I heard the words they said to me, but still none of it felt real – I didn’t believe it.
My doctor and I decided it would be best to go ahead and schedule a D&C for the next day to save myself the pain of miscarrying naturally. I could barely sleep that night. I kept thinking maybe they were wrong, maybe there is still life in there! After a long night of tears and prayers my husband and I decided to cancel the procedure and schedule another ultrasound. The final ultrasound confirmed there was no heartbeat. My body was already in the process of miscarrying. The doctor came in and talked to us for a long time. He said all the right things we needed to hear. Before we left he looked at us and said, ‘The world needs more parents like you, and I know I will see you in here again, with good news to share.’ We decided the next step should be the D&C, so again I scheduled another for the next day. As soon as I stepped through those hospital doors, I could no longer control my emotions and the tears just wouldn’t stop. I cried from the time I was put under until the moment I woke up. I was sobbing so loud in the recovery room my husband (bless his heart) was frantically trying to console me along with my nurse. The emotional and physical pain all caught up to me in that very moment and it was just too much for me to handle.
The next few weeks were a blur. It was December so we were busy with Christmas parties, presents, performances, and all the other fun holiday activities. Some days were really good and other days not so much. My husband did a lot for us over those weeks. Some days he would let me stay in bed while he took care of everything. Some days he would hold me, cry with me and pray with me. Together we have grown so much. We held tight to the promise of God’s unfailing love and found peace in knowing God had a plan for our family.
We involved our daughters in every step we took. They always knew what was going on, how I was feeling, and prayed for me during those hard days. I learned a lot about the girls over this time. Their faith is unreal, and they are so much smarter than I give them credit for. They are so young. I didn’t think they would fully understand what was going on, but they did. They would pray amazing prayers for their baby in heaven. They would speak words I knew were directly from God. The first few weeks Sophia still talked to my belly and I would remind her, ‘The baby is in heaven now,’ but she would still say, ‘I love you baby,’ like she was sending a message straight to heaven. McKenzie is more silent with her thoughts but one night as I was kissing her goodnight, she looked at me and said, ‘Mommy I heard you crying. Are you ok?’ To hear my daughter ask me if I am alright was so humbling. I told her, ‘Mommy is still sad about the baby, are you ok?’ She then told me of her pain, and how hard this was for her as well. That was one of the hardest conversations I ever had with McKenzie, but I am thankful it happened. I’m thankful she has learned to tell me when she is experiencing emotional hurt and when she feels worried about me. Having that relationship with my children is so important to me and I am thankful we have learned to be more open with each other through this whole experience.
In the beginning of January we said our final goodbyes by attending a shared burial. Our baby, along with 30 or so others, were buried all together in a beautiful little white casket. We are lucky enough to live in a community that has amazing support groups for families who have suffered infant and pregnancy loss. Our hospital connected us with a group in our area where, once a month, all the babies who passed away before 20 weeks gestation are buried together in a small white casket in a plot of land donated by a local cemetery. A local funeral home also comes out and has a sweet service for all those family members attending. It was a special way to say goodbye to our baby and also feel less alone as we stood with all the other families who lost their babies as well. You can also have notes or a special present buried with the casket as well. We found this to be a great way to have closure. My girls and husband and I all wrote a note to our baby and sent it to be buried in the casket.
At the end of the service, each family had a chance to come up and spend a few moments with all the babies in that casket. My husband, the girls and I all walked hand in hand slowly up front. We kneeled down to pray, not only for our baby, but for every single baby that was being buried that day. We prayed for peace for all the families hurting by the losses they experienced and prayed for our hearts as well.
Now here we are almost a year later from where our story began. It’s October which means it is infant and pregnancy loss awareness month. It’s also the month we are hoping to welcome our rainbow baby into our family. (I’m due November 3rd but delivered both girls at 37 weeks so fingers crossed she gets the memo). It would be so special for our family to welcome this baby during such a meaningful month. We have named our special girl Josie, which means, ‘May God add to your family.’ A meaningful name for a little girl we have prayed so hard for.
We’ve experienced the heartache of miscarriage and now the joy of a rainbow baby! The emotional roller coaster of pregnancy after loss is so unexplainable. It took us forever to even get excited about this pregnancy out of fear of losing it. The anxiety I felt was so awful, the first few weeks were so intense. Thankfully it gets better with each passing day. With each symptom, the good and bad, we rejoiced and praised God. When I was sick for weeks I was so thankful to know it meant a healthy pregnancy. With every baby kick I thanked God she’s strong.
But that pain of loss never goes away. Our precious babies that grew their wings before we even met them will always be remembered in our hearts. So many other women and families out there have also shared these emotions with us. Pregnancy loss is more common than any of us realize, but it’s a silent pain that isn’t always discussed. As a family we want to do our part to change that. Let’s talk about it! Let’s talk about our pain, about the babies that never took their first breaths here on earth. Let’s talk about heaven and what it will look like one day, full of all the precious babies that were gone too soon.
For those that never experienced loss, do your part to be sensitive to the pain of others. It’s a pain you don’t understand unless you’ve lived it. We’ve received so many unnecessary comments and so much insensitivity towards our loss but it taught us that even though we don’t understand what someone is going through, doesn’t mean we shouldn’t show sympathy. This month our prayers go out to the women and families who have experienced infant or pregnancy loss. Know our hearts are with you and you are not alone. Please do your part by praying with us and remembering all the babies gone too soon.”
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