Recently my name was added to the list of countless women who have lived through the trauma of a miscarriage. Sadly I won’t be the last name added, as the statistics suggest one out of every four women will become a part of this group that no one wants admission to.
My miscarriage took place during the first trimester, so we weren’t quite “out of the woods” so to speak. Yet going through this has been one of the hardest chapters of my life thus far, honestly maybe the hardest. The moment Brandon and I found out we were pregnant, my reality shifted. I was no longer a mother of three, there were going to be four. Every decision I made from that moment forward was with that new reality in mind. Beyond that I loved our baby. With the birth of each of our sons, I felt that there was no way that I could love any more, all of it had been divvied out. But when we found out about the next addition it was as if all of the sudden more love materialized. As soon as we found out about this baby, I loved him/her with my whole heart.
Now I know there are all sorts of biological reasons why miscarriages happen, especially those that take place in the first trimester. I also know that it happens far more often than most of us are aware of since for some reason it has become taboo to share news of experiencing this trauma. All of this knowledge didn’t ease the grief I felt, nor did it keep my heart from breaking. Regardless of all the “good” reasons that miscarriages happen, the only thing that matters to me at this point is that the future I had envisioned, the life that was going to be added to our family, the baby we expected to welcome to the world in July… well all of those dreams are gone.
Just as my reality shifted when we found out we were expecting, it did again this morning when we found out officially that we miscarried. The last week has changed me and exposed me to a pain that I wish I didn’t know existed. So why share this sadness? The world tells us that it is “private” and our burden to bare alone. While in a way that is an unavoidable truth— I know what it is like to feel completely alone even when surrounded by people who love me, I know what it is like to feel responsible for something that was completely beyond anyone’s control— I also know the truth is that we are not supposed to do life in that way. This whole process started as I preached a sermon on the story of the Good Samaritan, calling others to strive to love each other and to realize that sometimes that love means inviting each other into the most vulnerable times of our lives, the messy icky stuff that we want to pretend didn’t happen, the times when everything seems broken. Well here I am, this is the mess of life and we are called to do it together. There are no wounds that can be bandaged, but we do find strength in the support of each other. Thank you for lending your strength, thank you for loving the mess that is me.
To all those men and women who have walked this road before me, I know your pain is not over, I expect that it never really goes away, the “what ifs” will always remain. Your are in my thoughts and prayers and thank you for the strength that you display as you live life to the fullest even in the midst of that burden. To those who may join the ranks of this type of loss in the future, I will be here to love you through the mess and pain. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
So why the picture? There are no appropriate pictures to illustrate this chapter, but these three boys don’t understand at all what has been going on, yet they love me and provide me with the strength to move forward. I will continue to make peace with this reality and I am more grateful for them now (if that is even possible) than I ever have been.