If I were to write just one sentence about miscarriage, it would be:
I hate to use the word “sucks” when I speak or write, but really there is no other way to put it without saying a bunch of things I would rather not.
Instead, I’ll start by saying I have focused on this verse:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.
Right now, focusing on that verse is all I can do.
As many of you know- whether you are friends, family, or have read my posts in the past: Real Life and Heaven’s the Perfect Way to Start, Will and I got pregnant for the first time last August and miscarried. That particular miscarriage really changed me and sent me through all kinds of emotions. Soooo fast forward to now, and Will and I finally found out we were pregnant again! Hallelujah! We had waited a little over 7 months for the next positive test and we finally got it! This summer had quickly become one of the best summers of our lives! I got a job to teach this upcoming school year (which I’m still incredibly pumped about!), we celebrated our second anniversary, we were FINALLY PREGNANT AGAIN, and we were going to take our first TEN day vacation together! (Will and I haven’t had a vacation that long since before we were married, due to jobs and a very small amount of time off). Needless to say, things have been great!
This week we are in Michigan, and have been since Friday night. Friday morning we headed out for our long 12-13 hour drive, most of it spent talking about the fact I needed to pee a million times, and the next appointment we would have once we got home! Around dinner time during our drive I started spotting. That can honestly be pretty normal, but I had a bad feeling it wasn’t and started freaking out. We weren’t but a few hours from where we would be staying, so we knew we needed to keep going rather than come home, plus it was a weekend…
Before even heading to Epworth we went straight to the ER. They ran all of the usual tests- blood work, ultrasound, pee tests. Because it was an ER, I actually wasn’t even allowed to see the ultrasound. They turned the lights off and kept the monitor that faced me (Will wasn’t even allowed to come with me) turned off. They didn’t tell me what they did or did not see. Instead I was wheeled back to where Will was and we waited a long time for a doctor to come visit us. It was maybe 1:30am at this point. The doctor explained to us that what she did see was something had grown, but there was no heartbeat, and didn’t look as far along as the almost 10 weeks I should have been. Will and I were hoping that since I’ve had some trouble being regular since my D&C in October, that maybe I just wasn’t as far along. She told us there was really nothing we could do but wait it out and see… So we did. Horrible way to start a vacation.
Monday things definitely took a turn for the worse, and did so very fast. Really I knew that’s where things we headed in the ER Friday night, but you always find yourself clinging to the little bit of hope you muster up in horrible moments like these… I called my doctor in Memphis and they suggested coming home so they could check on me, they said it would be fine if we needed a couple of days to think about it, or to just go back to the ER and they could tell us what was happening.
To be honest, I hated that answer. TWO out of every THREE pregnancies end in miscarriage. 80% of women after one miscarriage go on to have a successful pregnancy. I just became part of the 20% that don’t. I just became that person and am not even 30 yet. I just became that person who has had 2 miscarriages in a row in less than a year. I just became that person and don’t have a baby to hug on to remind myself that I can do this. Instead I was told “wouldn’t you like to be near your doctor, I would if it were me,” by a nurse 12-13 hours away on the first extended trip Will and I were going to have since before we got married. No, no, and no… Because either way the outcome was going to… Suck. I most certainly understand there is only so much they can do, especially over the phone, so I was not mad at them, it just didn’t make me feel any better. Will and I talked about it a lot. We decided staying in Michigan was the right choice for us. I ended up miscarrying naturally last time the day before my D&C and it hurt like Hell, but I knew I could get through it. We didn’t want to drive home to hear what we already knew, when I knew I didn’t want a D&C this time, and have us both stare at walls and be sad. At least here there was plenty to do to keep us busy and there were still walls to stare at here just as well if we really wanted to. So we stayed. Plus the hospital in Ludington was a wonderful place, so we knew we had good doctors near by.
I knew the hardest part was still to come. They tell you to not do too much when you choose to do this naturally, and honestly I think it’s because it can start the miscarriage more quickly and it is painful! We were okay with that, so we didn’t hold back on walks and activities, and spending time outside. Tuesday morning around 5:30am, after not sleeping but 4 hours, I woke up to the horrible pain I knew would come. For three hours I cried, shook, and moved into a million different positions. I still don’t know what real childbirth is like, but I believe what I have read from others that miscarriage is worse that labor. At least when you’re in labor, you get to see a beautiful, crying baby that you created… And with miscarriage you experience the pain and are left with nothing but heartache, a million emotions and cramps for days, and the emptiness of no baby.
We both have cried this week, and we have talked about it a ton. Honestly, I couldn’t have a better partner by my side than Will Cashion. We really do get each other and I really do feel like we can get through it all together.
I myself am sad that this happened, but really just feel more lost.
I trust God’s timing, as much as I hate that once again this was not our turn to become parents. With our first miscarriage I learned a lot of facts. I learned that the odds were on our side for our next pregnancy. I learned that miscarriage is more common than many people think, but never talked about. But what I really feel like I learned is patience. And happiness. True happiness for others even when it’s not meant to be my turn. Honestly it took me a good six months to feel confident enough to go to a baby shower and not fall apart…. But I did it, and it got a little easier each time. The pain of our loss got a little smaller.
But now it has happened again. I know it’s still God’s timing, but why not now? What else am I supposed to learn from this to make me a better parent when it does become our turn? What facts do I find to tell myself that the odds are greater we will still become parents than the fact that we may not?
I look at Will daily and love him more as my husband every day. We joke about who’s going to do what, and what we will do with kids and our family. I look at him and know without a doubt he will be an AMAZING father to our kids one day, but when will that day be?
People tell you not to dwell on things like this. They tell you it’s okay. They tell you that your turn will come. They tell you it just wasn’t your turn now. They tell you it makes you stronger. All of those things are true, but it’s still okay to question if it really will happen.
Will and I have talked about hoping it happens, what if it doesn’t happen, and everything in between. Those talks are uncomfortable. They are scary. They are eye opening. They are GOOD. They are NECESSARY.
Reality hits now as we have left Michigan and our finally in our own home. The tears are not over. The pain is not gone, but honestly, we couldn’t have been in a better place to deal with this before reality hits than where we were.
We have looked at sunsets like this every evening:
We have honestly found irony and laughter in a lot of things this week too, because really that’s all you can do. Like going to the movies- seriously I’m pretty sure every very pregnant person also decided to go to the movies that night! Or the fact that we had a ton of candy left over from a trick or treat event here.. And obviously you have to eat some horrible-for-you-food when coping… So why not the left over candy?!
Here’s why- make sure you read the joke on the left side of the wrapper, and the answer to the joke on the bottom left of the wrapper:
I mean seriously Laffy Taffy?! We JUST lost our second baby… And you have THAT joke on your wrapper?! We did laugh at the pure irony of it, and still ate the candy. Another prime reason I’m glad I’m doing all of this with Will… As horrible and as sad as this is… We still find some way to laugh, and we will continue to do so.
This has once again changed from what was going to be a very happy post to a very difficult post to write. Miscarriage is a quiet topic, an awkward topic even for a lot of people. It shouldn’t be.
Really all we need are your prayers that we will get a turn!
Now to get back to true reality…
“The wisdom’s in the trees, not the glass windows
You can’t stop wishing if you don’t let go
But things that you find and you lose and you know
You keep on rolling, put the moment on hold
The frames too bright, so put the blinds down low.”
-Jack Johnson, “Breakdown”