I know that many women experience miscarriages, and a lot don’t want to talk about it. Everyone grieves differently. I do want to talk about it. I find healing through talking and writing about my memories of pregnancy and loss, and in a small way, I feel that my baby’s memory is kept alive through telling the story. For anyone who is suffering from a miscarriage, whether you choose to go through it quietly or by sharing with others, I hope that our story may be an encouragement to you.
A week ago, I was eleven weeks pregnant. Very few people knew we were expecting. Our children knew, of course, and we had playfully shared the news with the grandparents by shipping jumbo sized fortune cookies with a customized fortune inside: “Spring will bring sweet new blessing to love.” Aside from them, we told only a small handful of close loved ones.
I had been waiting for the first sonogram before making a big announcement and telling more people. But as the day of our sonogram grew closer, I grew concerned that a different kind of announcement might need to be made. Nagging doubts of a miscarriage grew in my heart. I had no pain or physical discomfort; on the contrary, I felt too good. My morning sickness had begun to lighten up in the previous weeks, until one day I realized I had gone an entire week without any nausea at all. The lack of morning sickness had been the first sign of my loss three years ago when I miscarried our little girl, Lily. I held onto the hope that maybe all would be fine; perhaps my dates were off and I was further along than I thought… or perhaps my nutritional supplements were helping me to feel better than usual… or perhaps God was simply blessing me with an easier pregnancy. Still, God prepared my heart for the possibility of another loss.
My husband scheduled Friday off work to go with me to my sonogram. I had been to plenty of sonograms alone in other pregnancies, but he and I both knew this one might be different, and I would need him there. As we sat in the quiet room looking up at the screen, a small image of a baby appeared. My first thought was that the baby looked so tiny and still. I was pretty sure… And then came the heartbeat line that confirmed my fears: a straight, quiet line.
I looked at my husband and he looked at me. I held out my hand, and he came over and held it. The ultrasound technician (who did not have the best bedside manner) abruptly stopped, handed me a towel, and told me to wipe up while she went to get the doctor.
In the doctor’s office, the nurse hugged me. She was the same nurse who took care of me after I lost Lily, three years ago, and she remembered me. Then the doctor, who had suffered two miscarriages herself, warmly hugged me and expressed her sympathy. She was the same doctor who delivered Joy two years ago.
Later at home, we broke the news to the children. Most of them knew of my concerns and were prepared for the news, but the lack of shock did not make it any easier. They were broken-hearted at the loss. Chelle and William seemed to take it the hardest.
The next days were difficult and painful, but God sent us many comforts along the way.
My children blessed my heart beyond words. Sweet Joy, barely two years old, had no understanding of what was going on, but she seemed to sense that something was wrong. I spent most of time in my bed over the next few days, and she spent most of her time snuggled in my arms. For anyone who has met little Joy, you know that while she is incredibly affectionate, she doesn’t sit still for long! For her to quietly cuddle as much as she did is remarkable. She was a balm to my heart!
Gentle little Faith, four years old, had her own sweet way of comforting me.
“I’m sad about the baby,” she told me the morning after we learned the news. “I will get us another baby. I will tell Jesus to give us another baby.” Oh, the sweet faith of a child!
A loving friend sent flowers from over a thousand miles away. I set them on the nightstand next to my bed, because that was where I was spending most of my time.
Another precious friend gave me a beautiful footprints bracelet, that I can forever think of my little one when I look at it.
Once, I lamented to my husband in tears, “Two of my last three pregnancies have ended in miscarriage! I don’t know if I can do this!”
He replied, “Yes, but they are not gone forever. And, we have Joy.”
“Yes. Yes we do,” I nodded. I needed to hear that.
I had a D & C on Tuesday. We will learn in about two weeks whether our little one was a boy or girl. We have names chosen either way, but I have suspected a girl from the start. I’ve only ever had a feeling one way or another in one of my previous pregnancies, and that was with our Lily.
Feeling strongly about a girl, I dreamed up baby girl names from the first week I learned of my pregnancy. Almost from the beginning, I wanted to use some combination of both grandmothers’ names: Ruth Michaela, or Michaela Ruth.
After we miscarried, I thought back to how we had chosen Lily Hope’s name. I had been so sad that I would never be able to take care of her and raise her myself, but it gave me such comfort to know that God was caring for her better than I ever could… as he cared for the lilies of the field. So Lily. And Hope, because of the hope that we would see her again in Heaven.
I wanted this baby’s name also to reflect something that brought me comfort through this loss. One thing that has actually made me joyful is the thought that Lily has a friend in Heaven with her now. Ironically, Ruth means “friend.” So, Ruth. And Michaela means “who is like the Lord,” a sweet reminder that God has made our little one perfect now in Heaven. Ruth Michaela.
If a little boy, David Jonathan. David, because I love to think of the words of King David when his baby son died. He said, “He will not return to me, but I will go to him.” How often I need to be reminded that this is not the end – that my little ones ARE waiting for me in Heaven and I WILL be reunited with them! David’s words comfort me. And Jonathan, because his friendship with David makes me think of Lily and her little sibling together.
I wish I could have had this little one here on earth, but I am glad that all the sadness is on this side of eternity. Our baby is not sad at all! Our baby will never experience sadness or suffering of any kind. For now, I take comfort in all these things and look forward to the day when I will meet him or her face to face.
Update on September 18:
I learned today that our baby was a little boy! His name is David Jonathan, and he is with his big sister, Lily Hope, in Heaven. I am sad that I won’t get to meet him on this earth, but I will never, ever, regret that he was conceived! God is the author of life, and he does not make mistakes. I don’t know God’s reasons, but I do know His ways are perfect and I can trust Him.
David means, “beloved, friend,” and Jonathan means, “God has given.” It is so sweet to think of Lily and David, sister and brother, friends together in Heaven! God HAS given us this precious gift, and we just have to wait a while until we get to meet him. David was made to live forever. He and Lily will be waiting for us.