We had a miscarriage. This is our story.
Before I begin, the purpose in posting this is for our story to help another. As I was going through the miscarriage, I sought stories, information, and resources online from others who have walked this road as well as my besties. So, if someone searches a few of these terms in the future, I hope this story will help them out. For even one, it’s worth sharing. Also, I feel like most of these stories are shared with a happy ending attached to a new baby and that isn’t our case.
January 6th I took a pregnancy test in the evening that showed the faintest sign of the 2nd line. Having never had this result before, I was cautious. And, our weekend ahead was booked; Cody to a men’s Blast & Cast ministry weekend out of town and my mom to our house to help me with a weekend warrior house trim painting project. So, I didn’t say anything. I wanted another day to take another test and see if it was the same.
January 7th, positive. January 8th, positive, January 9th, positive. January 10th, positive. And, Cody was due home in the afternoon, so I wanted to do something to surprise him with the news. While he was away he received confirmation to referee a state title football game and that seemed the perfect thing to celebrate; or at least work as a celebration decoy. Sunday afternoon I picked up a cookie cake, Cody’s favorite, and a sports themed balloon to have at the house.
One of our wedding ceremony songs was The Goodness of God, favorite lyrics of mine:
And all my life You have been faithful
And all my life You have been so, so good
With every breath that I am able
Oh, I will sing of the goodness of God
At our wedding, those words were my gratitude for all of the seasons God had carried me through to our wedding day. We hear it from time to time and it is always such a sweet reminder of the moment I was given away and we walked up the steps together to enter into the covenant of marriage before God, our families and friends. As I drove into the parking lot on Sunday to pick up the cookie cake and balloon, The Goodness of God came on my radio. I immediately attached this news we were about to celebrate to the faithfulness of God and what a sweet moment to have that song played as I was planning. Music has always spoken to me and connected me to Jesus.
He got home from the weekend, came in, then started unloading and unpacking. While he was in process, I got the cake and balloon out and put it on the table. He ran for the cake, realized what it said, was totally shocked and we had the sweetest of celebrations; both of us in disbelief, though full of hope and gratitude for what we expected to be a September 2021 blessing of a baby. God is good.
From January 10 through January 31 we held tightly to our news; praying for our baby, my health and what our future would look like. We left for our one year anniversary trip January 29th, which would end with our first Doctor appt on our 1st anniversary; what is commonly referred to as the “confirmation appointment”. We ate breakfast at a favorite place, left our hotel room and headed to the Doctor with the intention to come back and pack up our room and head home, anticipating we would tell our families that night as we ate the top layer of our wedding cake and celebrated our 1st wedding anniversary with “baby on the way” news.
As we sat in the room waiting, I began to get nervous. I’ve had A LOT of friends have babies, many through trials of infertility, loss at 20 weeks, losses at 6-10 weeks, and knew the risks of pregnancy are high, with every live birth being a true miracle. Cody prayed as we waited and then our sweet Doctor came in. She started the ultrasound, and I knew enough to know at almost 8 weeks we should immediately start to hear a heartbeat.
She kept looking around, went to get another Dr to look at the ultrasound and the same news was confirmed. Everything was there for a “home”; but the baby hadn’t continued to grow. I was immediately scheduled to Fetal Internal Medicine for another ultrasound and we left to go back to the waiting room in complete disbelief, shock and sadness. Cody ran to the hotel, packed up our belongings and met me back in time for the 2nd ultrasound with the specialist. The same news was confirmed, in a higher powered ultrasound view. We went to sit in his office to talk through what he saw. I’ll forever be grateful for his words.
I’m “older” in terms of child-bearing, and have had several comments about my age made to and about me regarding having children. Many hurtful and certainly no one’s business to comment. There are many things in life an unsolicited opinion isn’t necessary for unless asked, and questions like “why aren’t you married?’; “when are you going to have kids?”; “you better hurry up” shouldn’t be asked or said.
As we sat together with the Specialist he looked us both in the eyes and gave us the kindest words of reassurance, and told us that this was the third of this same conversation he had that day; it was only 11:30 in the morning. I would have to wait a week and then come back for another ultrasound to confirm and then decide what is next. Cody said as he sat there he very clearly heard the Lord tell him “patience”. He didn’t know what that meant or would look like, but knew it was said to him.
It looks like what happened to our pregnancy was a blighted ovum, but we aren’t 100%. And, I was now “in waiting” of a miscarriage, while there wasn’t a growing baby, my body was still pregnant. We were crushed and that week was a long one. We came to peace with what our next steps would be assuming there was no ultrasound change; options are (1) waiting it out, (2) medication or (3) surgical D&C. And, I asked my besties to start praying. I sought help from the ones who had been through a miscarriage for their experiences as well.
February 8th I went back to the Specialist, where I received confirmation that there wasn’t a developing baby, that my body was still pregnant and that I needed to determine what my next step was. We chose the medication; miSOPROStol, and to have my Dr administer it directly into the uterus. I was able to go back late in the afternoon for her to place the medication, I waited an hour at the office and went home to miscarry.
If you haven’t been through this, you don’t have any idea what it is like. Yes, there’s hope for the future – we believe that and know God to be good and faithful and with us every step of the way, no matter what the future looks like. It is also deep grief of hope, expectation and a baby that we never got to meet this side of heaven. So, both/and. Not, either/or. And, the future is unknown.
Monday night was one of the longest nights of my life. It started with extreme cramping within an hour of getting home. I was restless, uncomfortable, angry, sad, not knowing what to expect, and tears streamed down my face most of the evening and through the night. I turned on Amazon Prime’s worship playlist and set my phone under the pillow where I was laying on the couch, the only place I could get comfortable. The first song to play was “Graves into Gardens” with lyrics I’ve held onto since that night while I felt like my body was a grave:
Oh, there’s nothing better than You
There’s nothing better than You
Lord, there’s nothing
Nothing is better than You
He alone has the power to grant life and I trust him to do it if that is what he has planned for our future. Even if, there is nothing better than Him. Days it is hard to see, but I know deep in my heart those words to be true, as well as the ones from our wedding “all my life you have been faithful”. God was faithful through the night, and I had no complications.
Another song that has stuck with me through these weeks since that day is “Battle Belongs”:
So when I fight, I’ll fight on my knees
With my hands lifted high
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
And every fear I lay at Your feet
I’ll sing through the night
Oh God, the battle belongs to You
I literally sang through the night as songs played softly in our living room and continuously turn this battle over to God, He will fight it for me. He holds our hearts and our grief in his hands and will not let us go.
“Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
One of the hardest things for Cody was not knowing what to do, how to help and seeing me in pain without a way to fix it. If you have a husband alongside you in a miscarriage, it is equally hard for them and the grief is also very real for them. We talked a lot about our feelings through this and check in on each other and how we are processing still. And, it’s still hard for us to talk about. Cody is a servant, his spiritual gift is service, his nature is serving and his desire is to help resolve through serving. He has continuously served me; with cinnamon toast (the only thing that sounded good), slow walks with me in the neighborhood, rubbing my back, staying near me in the living room on nights I could only get comfortable on the couch and so many other things. To me those things each meant so much, to him they felt like not enough and he wanted to do more. Our advice is to talk to each other through miscarriage; it’s happening physically to the woman, but emotionally equally happening to both of you and share honestly and openly how you’re feeling and processing.
So, what happens next? I went through multiple weeks of bloodwork checking for HCG to drop back to <5, or non-pregnant. The worst unexpected angry shock in my medical records of “missed abortion”; surely the OB/GYN world can come up with another medical term to use in the instance of miscarriage. In total, it was 18 weeks before I was completely cleared by my Doctor. Almost half of a full term pregnancy. And, then your body needs to regulate again for a normal cycle. Which takes more time.
I know that miscarriage is very common, and more openly talked about now than ever before. It happens to 1 in 4 women. Most do go on to have healthy pregnancies, some have further complications. All have grief, that will stay with them forever. And, I’m convinced we don’t know how to support miscarriage grief well. Yes, I was given some good news by our Specialist and feel very hopeful. And, we will always grieve this unborn life until we get to heaven.
If I can offer anything to someone who’s alongside a couple grieving miscarriage it’s this: think about your words carefully. A life was there and lost, and that is significant no matter what they may or may not tell you about their own struggle and grief. And, be careful in asking couples when they are going to have kids and why they don’t have kids and all the other things that are no one’s business, because you never know what someone is going through. Our friends have blessed us so much through these weeks and my besties have been so consistent with checking in on me. I am so grateful for deep friendships where honesty and grief are welcomed.
Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
Most of all, we don’t know what the future holds for us, but we know who holds the future and we confidently cling to God; to his goodness, his faithfulness, his love for us. For all my life he has been faithful.