We knew this new stage of our lives meant drastic yet exciting changes were on the way.
We felt like we would definitely be ready to bring life into our world and ready to add to our family of two. So we shared our great news with our family and friends, and everyone was ecstatic with excitement. We felt blessed because we had found a great midwife who would become a wonderful friend as time went by. In addition, we enjoyed our prenatal visits. It was fun learning about all the changes that were taking place in my body as the weeks progressed.
I’m sure every woman is a little nervous throughout the first trimester, knowing that the miracle of life growing within her is still so fragile, still in such a critical stage of development. We had started to shed those fears as we approached thirteen and a half weeks. I felt like I was expanding and healthy. We went in for our next prenatal visit to hear the baby’s heartbeat, something every parent looks forward to.
When our midwife told us that she wasn’t picking up the heartbeat, we started to worry. She sent us to the hospital for an ultrasound. We felt excitement and fear; excitement to see our baby and fear that something was terribly wrong. The ultrasound revealed that our baby had died at ten weeks. We were shocked! I still felt pregnant; how could this be? We were told that a D & C (Dilation and Curettage) would be the common procedure after a ‘missed’ miscarriage of this type. How could we think of surgery to remove our baby, when only hours before we were thinking about diapers, birth, and loving our baby?
The next few days, after the miscarriage and procedure, were like living in a darkened haze. We felt empty, alone, and confused. Some of the questions that plagued our minds were, Why did our baby have to die? What could we have done better? How would we get through this? We received an abundant amount of support from our family and friends in the form of cards, meals, flowers, and hugs. We felt, and still feel, as though this expression of love was, and is, the only thing that kept us going every day–that and God’s great love.
As the days passed we moved back into our daily schedules of work and classes, but our hearts were still heavy with grief and disappointment. We wondered if we would ever feel the same again. We began to keep a journal that expressed our feelings and emotions and dedicated it to our baby. I wrote a letter to our baby and sealed it in an envelope to open and read someday in the future. My husband and I learned that crying was sometimes the only thing that made us feel better. We learned that it was okay to grieve for as long as we needed to. We knew we wanted to try for another baby but were scared of going through this tragedy again. But we knew it would be worth it when we remembered how much joy the first pregnancy brought into our lives.
About a month later, another pregnancy test revealed that we were pregnant again! We were thrilled but a bit more reserved with our joy. We are currently in our fourth month of pregnancy and doing well. It’s hard not to worry about something going wrong, but we pray each day that God will protect our baby and give us the strength to deal with whatever life brings.
Even in the midst of our devastation and heartbreak, God had another miracle awaiting us within a month of our loss. When we told our midwife we were pregnant again, she left a post-it note on top of one of my routine lab slips that read, “Congratulations! Isaiah 26:3.” I immediately went home and looked it up in my Bible and read, “The Lord gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm” (CEV). We have held this verse, among many others, close to our hearts as a reminder that we are not alone in this sometimes frightening yet miraculous journey of life.
Erika Gladden writes from the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2021, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.