March 20, 2015

The Lord Gives, And The Lord Takes Away

In just over a week (or any day now, really), I'll be meeting my baby boy for the first time. Even though I've had 9 months to process it, it all still feels so surreal. Truth be told, this process has lasted much longer than 9 months for me; its been over a year.

March 8, 2014 was the first time I found out I was pregnant. I didn't believe it at first because the line on the pregnancy test appeared to be pretty faint. So I decided to wait until the following morning to take another test. Sure enough, I was pregnant with my first baby. I told my husband that morning, and our immediate family that afternoon. 

Ten days later, I had my first ultrasound and saw the tiny speck that was my baby. Just a week thereafter, that tiny speck miraculously exhibited a little flicker on the ultrasound: my baby's beating heart. At that point it started to feel real; I had a human life growing inside me. My next ultrasound was scheduled in another four weeks and all was well.

Except I didn't make it for another four weeks.

On April 7, 2014, after seeing some occasional spotting, I went in for a last minute ultrasound. I had read that some spotting was normal, so I wasn't really worried at that point but wanted to make sure everything checked out alright.

The doctor started with an abdominal ultrasound but couldn't get a clear picture. So we decided to do a vaginal ultrasound and the doctor left the room so I could change. As I sat in that chair waiting for her to return, the worry set in and I couldn't help but tear up. We then proceeded with the ultrasound. Silence. She searched around for what seemed to be an eternity. Then I heard the words: "I'm not finding a heartbeat."  

What followed was shock and heartbreak. How could this be when I had just seen my baby's heartbeat? All I could do as I sat in that sinking chair was cry; nothing to say, nothing to ask. With each tear I tried to comprehend the words that were coming out of the doctor's mouth, but I couldn't. Eventually, she sat and cried with me.

The week that followed may have been harder than the news itself. I was told that my body would naturally "get rid" of the baby. So I waited for my body to do what it had to do. Every day I would wake up and wonder if today was the day I would bleed out. The anticipation was agonizing and in some weird way, I felt like my body was making a mockery of me. I wanted the nightmare to end and I wanted closure. Day after day I waited with nothing coming out of my body except for tears. The emotional trauma was just too much to bear, and so I called my doctor and decided to go in for a D&C (dilation and curettage) that weekend. In just less than a week after hearing the piercing news, the nightmare was over.

While it was only a month between the time I found out I was pregnant and my miscarriage, the pain of the loss was palpable. From the moment you see those two pink lines, your mind can't help but fantasize about whether it's a boy or girl, what you would name it and what your baby would look like. 

While I don't think it's openly talked about, miscarriages are common. In fact, according to my doctor, it's almost abnormal if a woman has three or four children in her lifetime and doesn't miscarry. The statistics don't make the sting of the loss any less painful, but given how high they are, I think the topic of miscarriage should be more openly discussed among women. I feel like there may still be a certain stigma around the issue. To be honest, after my miscarriage, I couldn't help but feel like there was something wrong with me and that I would never be able to have children, even in light of the statistics. But the truth is that most women will be fine, even if they've had one or two miscarriages. If you've miscarried yourself, please know that you're not alone.

After my miscarriage, in July 2014 I again saw those two pink lines. This time I was cautiously happy. After I took the test, I used the due date calculator to find out my estimated due date. The date that appeared brought me to instant tears: April 7, 2015; the exact date in 2014 I was told that my baby no longer had a heart beat. Again I cried, but this time they were thankful tears. All I could do was thank God as I heard in my head, "The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away." For whatever reason, what the Lord took from me on April 7, 2014 would be given back a year later. Whatever His reason, I know that I have one angel in Heaven, and that I'm now days away from meeting the greatest gift He could have ever given me. Thank you, Lord, for your grace and mercy.

"I prayed for this child and the Lord has granted me what I asked of Him. So now I give him to the Lord." 1 Samuel 1:27-28


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