Disclaimer: This is a looong post, and I feel a little dramatic about that, but it was really therapeutic to write. I know you all come here for recipes, but I just feel the need to share parts of our story like this in order to feel like we really connect on a more human level than just this internet, no touch, no face-to-actual-face level. I really debated publishing this because my problems seem so small compared to what’s going on in the rest of the world, and I do not want pity. Ultimately, I decided to share in the hopes that if someone else is struggling that they know they’re not alone.
April 4, 2016. This past Monday slowly crept up, and I’m still not sure I have the right words. Monday would have been my due date for our second baby had I not miscarried at nine weeks. Had it been anything like my last pregnancy, I would have had the baby yesterday and today’s post would be an adorable announcement. I’m not sure why I’ve been so fixated on the “due date,” but just chalk it up that it’s the absolute end date of this chapter. I know that some of you are reading this and thinking about that time within the last six months that you asked us when we would have another baby, and you’re probably feeling bad. PLEASE DON’T. We’ve all seen the blogs of the moms that get all bent out of shape and angry that other people are being nosy. That’s not us – if you’ve felt comfortable to ask us, then we just take it that 1) you care about what’s going on in our lives and 2) you think we’re awesome parents that should definitely have another tot ;). For most of you, I probably just gave an answer like “eventually,” but I spared you the awkwardness of saying “well, actually, we just had a miscarriage, so…” This is probably news to most people, so the rest of the post is about how Andy and I are doing, and is probably relatable to anyone that has been through miscarriage. Per my usual, I’m putting this in list form, so it won’t seem so crazy and all over the place.
- We’re still sad. I can honestly say this was the toughest thing we’ve been through. We didn’t intend on getting pregnant when we did, but once we got past the shock we were really excited! This due date was just a few weeks after my due date with Anna Ruth, and I was thrilled at the idea of having a similar pregnancy. AR was easy, and I felt good the whole time. I got pregnant mid-Summer, so the bulk of my pregnancy was in the cooler months —–> hello, no swelling! When I was pregnant with her, I didn’t fully appreciate the sweetness of that time. Sure, I gushed about how much I loved the kicks and the little life inside me, but I didn’t really *get* the feeling until I realized I would not be having it with this one. I didn’t find out the gender in mid-October, and I didn’t have the awesome 6-month baby bump during the holidays. It sounds pretty surface level, but these are some of the things I was looking forward to, and it made me re-appreciate a really special time I had with AR the first go-round. Andy is still sad, too, but it’s not still on his mind like it is mine; he’s sad because I’m sad. He has always been much better than me at taking things as they come, for better or worse, and I love that about him.
- We’re still waiting. At first we thought we would immediately try to get pregnant again, which made me think it would be like “okay, if I hadn’t had the miscarriage, then we wouldn’t have this new baby Pea, so THAT’s why it happened.” However, we looked at the calendar and realized that if I had gotten pregnant right away, we would have a due date in early August. August for Andy – aka beginning of a new year of teaching – aka beginning of a new year of grad school. August = bad timing for a new baby. Andy was the perfect new father when we had AR (and still is). He was super present, encouraging and, more than anything, helpful. Having a baby at the beginning of a new school year would be more stressful (for us) than having a baby later in the year. So we waited, and we’re still waiting. I’m not sharing details of our plans for trying again, but, don’t you worry, it will happen.
- We’re grateful for the Lord’s timing. Yes, we definitely questioned, “Why did this happen – we weren’t even trying yet?!” BUT we would have started trying soon after, so I have full faith that this was the Lord’s way of saying, “wait.” Honestly, we could make it work to have a second baby right now, but it would be really really hard. I know – people do it every day. If I were a stay at home mom it would be different. Since I work, though, the cost of play school is a major factor. I’m sure we could spend less on childcare by sending AR to a different place, but we LOVE our play school and I absolutely refuse to have my kids anywhere else. If I can’t be with her each day, then this is where she needs to be. Looking at the figures on paper, we are grateful that we’ll have one less year of having two kids in childcare at once. Please don’t take this as we’re grateful for the miscarriage, but financially we’ll be in a much better position for the next one. Other than finances, we’re also grateful for the Lord’s timing because we’re just not ready for Anna Ruth to not be an only child. She would be a great big sister, but I’m not done giving her the majority of my attention mornings, nights and weekends. There’s also this other little venture I took on in the beginning of the year that I can say with near certainty would not have happened if I was pregnant. The Lord had been nudging me to start a blog for a long, looong time, and around Christmas I really had an “it’s now or never” moment and went for it. This little blog has reminded me just how much I enjoy writing and sharing with others, and I honestly don’t think I would have ever taken the leap had I not started well before bringing another baby on board. Lastly, I’m grateful that I didn’t miscarry before taking a positive pregnancy test and confirming it at the doctor’s office. More on that below, but if I hadn’t known for sure that I was pregnant then it could have resulted in repeat miscarriages moving forward.
- We’re grateful for the healthy two-year old we do have. For her, and for the fact that I had a healthy, viable first pregnancy. I’m not sure what the medical term for it is, but I have O- blood and Andy has A+, which means that I have to have a rogam shot during and after each pregnancy so that my body does not attack the next developing baby thinking it’s a parasite. I’m sure the doctors would have eventually figured it out, but I sometimes think about what if my first pregnancy was a miscarriage, and then just had several after that because we didn’t know about the blood discrepancy. Modern medicine FTW.
- Life moves on. This has been one of the hardest parts about this. At times it seems like anyone that could possibly be pregnant is pregnant. I’m completely happy for every one of those moms and dads, but with every announcement came a twinge of pain reminding me that I was not pregnant, too. Nothing debilitating, but just little reminders that my baby was gone. Going to showers has been hard, but I go because I am genuinely excited for my friends. To be honest I’ve just had to make myself zone out a little. I went to one shower in the *most* amazing farm house I have ever been in in my life, and found myself fixated on all of the old character and charm. Later I was trying to figure out what my deal was (you guys, I fan-girled so hard it’s embarrassing) and realized it’s probably because there were like 10 pregnant women around me. I was there and present for my friend, but had to focus some of my attention elsewhere. I was hesitant to include this section because I know it sounds super selfish, but I decided to leave it because I want other moms going through this to know that it’s normal and okay to be really happy for others while still feeling a little sad for yourself. I will say, however, that if that feeling is so overwhelming that you can’t cope or feel happiness for others then you might need to talk to someone. Then again, I’m not a doctor, but that’s my two cents.
- One thing I learned. I will say the biggest thing I learned from this experience is the number one thing not to say to someone going through miscarriage: “it is so common.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m first in the guilty line on this one, and even still have to catch myself from saying it to people now. Yes, we know it happens to 1 in 5 pregnancies, however, for the mom that it’s happening to it is anything but common. It is heartbreaking and scary and lonely. It doesn’t matter that it happens a lot. I know it comes from a very well-meaning place, but just say what she really needs to hear: “I’m so sorry this is happening to you, it really sucks.” Then just let her know you’re there if she needs or wants to talk.
A huge ‘thank you’ if you’ve made it this far in reading. Basically, we’re ok, we’ve coped, we’re still coping. I only had a short time with this baby Pea, but I will never forget him/her. As much as I wish we didn’t have to go through the pain, we can’t discount that there is another little soul in Heaven praising Jesus, and for that we are thankful. We love you, little one.