That is a horrid title, but it's the best I could come up with. Not trying to minimize what happened, so I pray that it's not offensive to anyone. But, also don't want to focus on the bad either. So, that's the title.
They say that 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage, then I had 4 wonderful, healthy, fun children. Then...
Yes, I had a miscarriage.
We found out that I was pregnant on the 4th. We don't wait to tell people, but being in the middle of this concentrated time with God, Lent, I wanted to wait until Easter. I knew that if I told people about the pregnancy right away, my focus would change...my life would quickly become about answering the 'congratulations' messages from others (which is so fun) and focusing on the exciting news of baby on the way...planning and dreaming like we all always do. I did that personally of course, but was able to keep my life/dreams/plans simple and controlled by not telling just yet. Therefore, maximizing my time with God during this time.
Unfortunately, last Monday night I began to bleed (only a week after the positive pregnancy test). Some women spot during their pregnancies and some even bleed and that is the norm for them...everything is just fine and they have a baby at the end of 9ish months. But, I had never bled...never even spotted. Even when I had my first miscarriage, I never bled (the heartbeat that I had seen by ultrasound at 6 weeks just wasn't beating anymore at 8 weeks...and I had a D&C the next day). So, when I started bleeding, of course I felt that something was definitely not right.
But, there can technically be many causes of bleeding in pregnancy. Many. It's not always miscarriage. Implantation, cervical changes, and infection are just a very short list of the possible reasons for bleeding other than miscarriage. And sometimes there are no 'reasons' that can be seen. You just bleed...and have to trust God. So Tuesday, off we went to determine my cause for bleeding. The bleeding started the night before as bright red, but not that much...spotting basically. Actually, what it looked like (and felt like to my body...I have a little practice with this) at the very first was like my mucus plug coming out. I knew that wasn't good. And during the night, it felt like my uterus was very tight and in a constant contraction. Tuesday morning the bleeding progressed to something like a light period. I wasn't cramping, but knew that (the bleeding like a light period thing) wasn't a good sign of course.
By the time we were able to get an ultrasound Tuesday afternoon, I was back to minimal bleeding and still had not really cramped. It was a very interesting afternoon.
The ultrasound showed no signs of my pregnancy. Well, what it showed was that there could've been a pregnancy, but that everything had exited already (my corpus luteum was there in my right ovary and I had a thickened area in my uterus, but no sac or anything), OR that there was a pregnancy in progress and it was still too early to even see anything. The first option was the case, because I know my body and knew what was going on. Then, the radiologist called a doctor in town who had actually requested the ultrasound for us (a doc here in town had to do it instead of my own doctor who lives and practices in another town) and he thought that maybe I hadn't been pregnant at all.
Long story short, which includes the ultrasound, going to meet with that doctor, going back to talk with the radiologist, and having my HCG blood levels checked (the result was 430, which according to this is right on for where I was in my pregnancy)...yes, I was pregnant and I had a miscarriage.
As of Tuesday I was 5 weeks 5 days along. Very early (my first miscarriage was at 8 weeks along). I was due on December 8th.
I'm doing fine...physically, mentally, emotionally. It's sad, yes. But I generally view a miscarriage as, well...a blessing in a way. An act of God's mercy. I just think that when a miscarriage happens, something was wrong. And God in His mercy takes that wee one to be with Him.
There are a couple of things I'm bummed about (other than the obvious...it is a death after all). I was excited to have a baby this year. And even if we decide to/God decides to let us conceive again, 2011 won't be the year for a baby for us. Silly maybe, but our last baby was born in 2008...2011 was a good year for the next. :)
3 days after we had our pregnancy test show positive, Joel's brother called to let us know that he and his wife are expecting a baby. So fun, we thought. Our 3rd and their 2nd were born 2 weeks apart. It was going to happen again, this time 3 weeks apart.
As of right now the first quarter of our years are pretty full...as you saw a few posts ago. January is when everybody kind of recovers from the holidays. But we also have Grady's birthday. February brings Joel's birthday, our anniversary, and Hadley's birthday (and of course Valentine's Day when we celebrate that the American way). March is Cass' birthday. So, I was glad when this baby was to be due in December...kind of spread things out a bit. December 8th is a busy time too (smack dab in the middle of holidays), but I was already dreaming about how sweet it would be to have a brand new little newborn to snuggle with on Christmas. :)
So, disappointed, yes. Those things are all things that I'd already thought about and daydreamed about and even planned a bit. But, then I realize how silly those things are in light of what God must know. Obviously, He must know some information that is a bit more substantial than all of those things I was thinking of. My timing is not perfect, His is.
Plus, there are many things to be thankful for. 2 sweet babies that we get to meet in heaven. 4 sweet kiddos here with me in my home all day every day. As far as miscarriages go, mine was very painless and straightforward and the ultrasound showed that I was already all 'clean' in there (for the most part...I will have a follow-up ultrasound next week to confirm that nothing remains). I got to experience pregnancy again, even if only for a couple of weeks. I do love being pregnant and consider it a privilege. And, if we and God so choose, we can 'do this again.' :) I'm a healthy, not-so-young-but-still-young woman who has all her parts and they are all working. :)
We told the kids that night before we prayed at bedtime. They are so grown up and understanding. They said, "Awww." and actually asked why we hadn't told them yet that we had a baby in our belly. :) Grady: "Why didn't you tell us?" :) We explained how the baby was very, very tiny and we had only found out ourselves. They talked about how both our babies were in a house that God gave them for us, up there waiting for us to meet them there. After a while, Grady did say he was kind of sad..."What if that was a brother for me?" :) Sweeeet. I assured him that God would send him a brother if that is what He thinks is best for him. He smiled and was fine. (I personally hope God gives that to him, but then again I know many guys who have multiple sisters and no brothers and they are just fine. And, Grady recently recognized the fact that I have no sisters, and found pleasure in us being alike in that. So for right now, we just focus on those things. :) We'll see if a brother comes along for him someday...I do hope so, but we'll see.)
Interesting sidenote: Cass randomly came up, put her hands on my belly, and prayed "for the baby in my belly" Tuesday morning (I was bleeding at the time...they had no idea). They occasionally talk about the baby in my belly...mostly just wishingly I think. But, they've never prayed for the baby in my belly. It was very, very sweet. And very timely.
People definitely handle miscarriages in different ways. I know that God knows and for me that's enough. I trust that this was best for whatever reason. And I don't have to know any answers. Therefore, I truly am fine. It also helps that I've been through a miscarriage before and that I have 4 sweet precious 'babies' at home already. I was a bit sadder the first time (although HUGE needed lessons during that time as you can read about...Part 1 link there and Part 2 here)...and I had no babies at home to be swept up in gratefulness about. So thankful for my babies this time...and thankful that I'm still 'Mama' even after miscarriage. That's a huge difference in the amount of disappointment and sadness that can be felt in miscarriages.
Easter marks the end of Lent. That's when we had planned on telling our family and starting the announcing process. Very cool and special, too, because exactly 8 years ago on Easter we were announcing our pregnancy with Grady. We thought we'd be sharing the wonderful news of new life and God's blessing.
But, this is still news of new life and God's blessing. A little life that is now with Him...and the blessing of many things that we can be thankful for that I've already listed. And...health, family, and peace.