life

Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

Truthfully I didn’t know we had a day for this until I woke up today and saw photos and posts circulating around. I’m glad we do. I’m glad people are talking about it more. I hope those who experience such a deep loss know they are not alone in their grief. Here’s some of experience.

A little over two years ago we lost our little one right after we announced we were pregnant. Right around 12 weeks. It’s a pain I still feel even all this time later, and with our girl due so soon, and it will never leave me for good. It hurts when people ask if this is our first kid because I never really know how to honestly answer – I usually just say “yes.” Because saying no would lead into a conversation that sometimes I don’t feel emotionally able to go into with a stranger.

I posted the section below to Facebook a month after it happened to start the process of sharing about it, hoping it would help (it did, for me. Don’t expect your friends to process their loss the same way though – everybody grieves differently). I’m thinking about deleting my Facebook soon so I wanted to make sure I never lose this, so thought I’d repost it here. This was the hardest and deepest thing we ever have had to go through. I remember at the ER, after they hand you papers with facts about miscarriage and an emotionless Dr. mumbling “It’s nothing that you did” – I went outside to the noisy parking garage and hid behind a pillar and just allowed myself to cry harder and louder than I ever have in my life. It felt like part of your life being stolen from you – a very important part.

——

June 18th, 2011

“A month ago yesterday my friend Julie sat for about 9 hours with me in the ER in Nashville, while I was traveling. It was the hardest, saddest day of my whole life.

 

Nobody really talks about miscarriage. It wasn’t until after ours that friends and relatives came comforted us with their own stories of loss, and we totally never knew. I just wonder, why doesn’t anyone talk about this? Isn’t it in times of hurt and loss and brokenheartedness that we need our friends the most? I feel so blessed to have had that myself in amazing friends, and the best family anyone could ever ask for. But I never knew what miscarriage was like, how difficult and painful and emotional a thing it is, and if I would have known, I would have wanted to pour out so much love on our friends and family members who’ve gone through this.

 

So, I guess we’re going to talk about this.

Like I said, 9 hours of ER time. May 17th, I was almost 12 weeks along at this point when I knew something was wrong and Julie took me to the ER. (Thanks Julie for being a constant friend. You are amazing and your presence that day was ordained by the Lord.) It was especially difficult to make that decision alone to go to the ER, without Josh there.

I saw our baby for the first time that day as they took the ultrasounds. I was so happy, convinced everything was fine. But then they didn’t find a heartbeat. It was really hard news to hear. I cried with all of my soul.

 

My mom was able to get off work the next day and drove to Nashville and back – ended up being 16 hours of driving for her that day! Our friends Wendy and Ott helped us get a buddy seat plane ticket and Josh flew out a few hours after we booked the flight that night. It all worked out so perfectly and what a relief it was to be with Josh again, and with my family.

 

The pain came the next day. It was hard. It was labor. I felt so many times I would pass out. I almost blacked out at one point and thought I might die at that moment. This happened 2 days in a row – the second day was much worse.. 4-5 hours each night curled up in agony. My sweet husband comforting me the whole time.

 

The next day was my birthday. Despite how sad it could have been, I got to see some of my best friends on that day – Cory, Kristy and little Owen, and Tyler and Christine. We laughed so much together and got to go to church in the park.

 

As it turned out, not everything passed and I had to have the surgery the day after my birthday. The surgery was fine. They knock you out totally which was kind of a huge relief – I wasn’t sure I could handle much more pain.

 

(And all of those details to say if I had to do this over again – I would just do the surgery without having to try and do it all naturally. Might as well, because the chances are good that surgery will be required anyway. I know a lot of people disagree with me, but I don’t care at all. I know what we went through and I’d really like to not be judged by people who haven’t gone through this.)

 

God’s timing to me through this whole situation was the hugest comfort to me. The biggest thing being that for some reason we couldn’t for the life of us book a May 21st wedding. I can’t tell you how many brides / couples we met with and emails we responded to that just simply never contacted us back. It was so strange… but obviously the Lord was working this all out before we even knew, since on May 21st I was curled up, unable to move.

 

Huge blessings were that I got to spend so much time with my family, that Josh was able to fly out and be with me so we could endure it together, and that I was able to spend so much time with close friends back home. I love you all SO MUCH. Another encouragement is even knowing that we are able to get pregnant! Which is awesome!

 

The physical healing was quick but the emotional healing still continues. Pray for us. Some days are still really hard. I think since this all happened while I was traveling, we weren’t able to process much of it at the time but it’s been really difficult lately. So thankful Josh and I have each other. I love my husband so much and I know we’re closer now having been through this than ever.”

—-
Of course we are joyful and thankful that we are expecting again! But this will never replace the occasional feeling of grief, when I think about our little one that was due December 4th of 2011, how they would have been turning two soon. How different life would be! It’s weird to think that joy and grief can exist in a person at the same time but they can, and one doesn’t cancel out the other. So think of your friends who have experienced a deep loss and give them a hug, even for no reason, let them know you never forgot about them and ask them how they’re doing. I think healing can exist without the support of good friends but it’s certainly much harder. 🙂

 

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8 thoughts on “Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day

  1. julie.holmes.photography says:

    I love you so much, and I am so thankful that God allowed me to be with you that day…miss Imogen is going to be born into a family full of so much love, and I’m so excited for that moment when you hold her for the first time 🙂

  2. I had no idea you went through this but agree that it’s all too common and never talked about enough. My cousin had a miscarriage before she had her first boy and when my mom called me to tell me, I cried. I was probably 18 at the time but I knew how devastating it must have been.

    Sending my love to you both today ❤

  3. sarahrichter says:

    I came across your post through Rachel’s blog and I applaud the bravery of both you for sharing your stories. I appreciate your authenticity and when you shared how you saw your baby for the first time in the ER, only to have to say a painful goodbye, it immediately took me back to a very similar experience. At 9 1/2 weeks I was admitted to the ER and discovered that the baby was growing in my Fallopian tube and both my tube and the baby were lost. Hello and goodbye. All in one night. It was three months later I lost our second baby. The Good Lord blessed us with our daughter in 2009 and our son in 2011. He has redeemed our hurt and pain and given us such joy. Right now I am 12 weeks pregnant with #3 (or #5….you get it 🙂 and while I still struggle with fear, I am thankful for that tender pain where the moments of loss and grief feel fresh again because it means I can remember all the more the value and worth those little lives had. They meant something. To mourn with those who mourn and be able to comfort those in pain is a gift to be given by those who know the road of trials. Thank you for sharing your gift. And how exciting to be on the brink of bringing your own little one home and into your arms!! Xo

    • Oh gosh. My heart hurts thinking about that quick hello and goodbye, and imagine that happening twice in a row seems like too much pain to bear! You are a strong lady and that is a beautiful story – I love how you said God has redeemed your hurt and pain. Perfect way to phrase that. I’m excited for this new life in you and I’ll be praying for you and the little one to grow strong! 🙂

  4. iambutonesmallinstrument says:

    Sarah, your experience required so much strength from you, and sharing it with us required an additional amount of strength. Thanks be to God for providing you with that strength, and thank YOU for facing it head on and not giving in to fear. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – you and Josh are amazing people!

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