Thank you to Katie from Raising My Arrows for contributing.
“Do not be afraid or dismayed because of this great suffering, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:15
This is our story,
June 7th, 2016, the day after our little Berklee turned one, I found myself in bed suffering from extreme nausea. My husband, Austin, left for work and a realization came over me. Could I be? What was the date? My heart started pounding and I remembered I had a leftover pregnancy test from the previous month. (We had been trying just about 3 months) Sure enough, I saw the faint second line and the joy that took over my soul was overwhelming. My daughter had just woken up from her nap and I remember grabbing her and saying “Baby girl, you’re going to be a big sister.” My family was growing and it was everything I had ever dreamed for my life. This was about 10 days before Father’s Day, and I decided to surprise Austin with a gift on that day. He would have 2 reasons to celebrate this year.
We told close friends and family and we began to plan a life for our growing family. We discussed names, nursery ideas, how to transition Berk to a big girl bed, everything was real. We were living on cloud nine. I couldn’t wait to feel this baby grow, and for the journey our family would begin. Little did I know at this point, that we would begin a journey alright, a journey we never saw coming.
July 11th, 2016 we went to our OBGYN for our first appointment. At this point I was 8 weeks along, and Austin, Berklee, and I were so excited to see the new member of our family for the first time. I woke up extremely nauseous and my boobs throbbed all over. We saw our doctor and we instantly hugged, she couldn’t believe how big Berklee was, and we began talking about my plans for this pregnancy. She brought the ultrasound machine in, and began the vaginal ultrasound, which is the only way to see the baby this early in pregnancy. Austin grabbed my hand and we waited excitedly to see our little peanut. Instantly, I knew something was wrong. Our doctor’s face changed and she grew quiet. I looked up at the monitor and it was like the world stood still for just a brief moment. A brief moment that would forever be the point in time that my heart shattered in a way I could never have fathomed. There on the screen, was a gestational sac, and the sac was empty. I looked at Austin and the tears flowed uncontrollably. Barely able to speak, I asked the doctor, “I’m going to miscarry aren’t I?” She began talking delicately to me that it could be that, but maybe it was just too early to see the baby, maybe I had my dates wrong. But i knew. I was 100% sure of my dates, 100% sure of my ovulation, and 100% sure of the date I got those two lines. My baby was not there, how could my baby not be there? The rest of the conversation with the Doctor was a blur. I had completely checked out of the present time and my mind was spiraling. She gave Austin orders for me to get my blood done for two consecutive days to see where my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels were, and how they changed. She said when the results came in she would call me and we would go from there.
Heartbreak is an interesting thing. I always felt like it was one kind of feeling. It hurt and it sucked, and you ate ice cream and binge watched Netflix and then you moved on. But this time it wasn’t like that. This time it made me question myself.
What did I do wrong? Why couldn’t I protect my baby? What’s wrong with my body? Why did this have to happen to me?
… I let everyone down.
That was my mindset walking out of the office that day. The moment we walked through those double doors I fell into the wall. My body went numb, my knees buckled, and my eyes began to see black. I cried, and I sobbed, and I wept for the baby I would never get the chance to meet. I had blood drawn that day (a monday) and then again on Wednesday and then I waited. For 5 days from the date of that ultrasound, I waited to hear what would happen next. Where do I go from here. My husband was incredibly supportive, holding me, talking me through, and praying for strength. But even with his unending support and love, those 5 days were the loneliest, most frightening, and darkest days of my life thus far.
In those days, I was sick as could be, I craved, I smelled every scent, I ached, I napped. It was as if my body was playing a cruel joke on me. Slapping me in the face with every pregnancy symptom in the book, just to remind me of the emptiness inside. The doctor later diagnosed me with a Blighted Ovum. Which basically meant that shortly after conception my egg implanted itself into my uterine wall, and then because of a chromosomal abnormality, my body knew the pregnancy would not grow to be healthy and it stopped the egg from growing into an embryo. However your body only takes notice that the egg is not growing weeks and weeks after it has stopped, hence the shock of the ultrasound, and the ongoing pregnancy symptoms.
So, after blood work came back with decreasing hormone levels, and a second ultrasound still showed an empty gestational sac, I knew that any hope I was holding onto was gone. There was no way of changing this, and I think that was the hardest concept for me to grasp. I had no control over what was happening to my body, and that was devastating.
I miscarried July 20th 2016,two days before our family was due to go on vacation for the first time since our daughter was born. I tussled back and forth with whether or not we should still go. I was emotionally, and physically tapped out. There were no more tears left to cry, all that was left was anger. Anger at God for letting this happen, anger at my body for failing, anger at myself for being so excited too soon. And then my daughter waddled into my bedroom, her pigtails a mess, PB&J dried to her face, and the cheesiest smile you had ever seen. We had to go on this trip.
July 22nd, 2016, I watched our Berklee Rae sink her toes into sand, and stare out at the ocean for the very first time. Full of emotions, realization began to hit me all over like a tidal wave. All this time I thought I was moving through my heartache alone. But I never was, God was carrying me. I felt it on the beach that day, and I feel it now. Throughout that fateful event, I just kept saying “I want this to be over.” Only then, staring out at the sunset, did I realize that for it to be over, I had to walk through first. And I did it. I made it through.
Today, I have hope that God sees more children in our future. But for now, I hold on to my husband and baby girl a little tighter. It still stings when I see pregnant women, or when I’m asked When are you two having another one? But I also find peace in God’s plan for my family, and I give my fears to him.
“Jesus answered, What I am doing now you may not understand, but one day you will know.” John 13:7
Katie is a stay-at-home mama to a sassy little girl and wife to her grade school crush. She loves early morning coffee and novels that you can’t put down. Her mission with ‘Raising My Arrows’ is to share her journey of motherhood’s highs and lows while creating a community for all moms to interact, inspire, and motivate one another.