A Tale of Miscarriage: A Mother’s Day Due Date

 

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I thought about you yesterday.

It was your due date. And it was Mother’s Day.

You were going to be my best Mother’s Day present ever.

Instead, I cried every day of the week leading up to it.

I watched as several precious babies were born. I saw the pictures of their Mamas tenderly kissing them. The instinct to love and to hold and to protect written on all of their faces. I longed to hold you and to kiss you and to know who you are… who you were. I wished I could have kept you safe.

I wished I could go back to a time when I thought everything was in my control. That I could keep all my babies safe.

I hold my tummy as your brother kicks, and I repeat scripture… fighting to keep the anxiety at bay.

I look at your brothers, and I try to take them in, to cherish them as I watch them play. I pray for long, wonderful lives, and fight the fear again.

No one talks about the anxiety.

In some sense people know it hurts, but they do not understand the panic.

How one can be happy and hopeful and good most of the time, but suddenly a flip is switched. And you begin to walk around feeling like you are on the verge of a panic attack… fighting to stay in control of the irrational fear, and wondering why you cannot seem to control your emotions and get a grip.

What was the trigger?

For me, every time I feel this way I realize that the next day I have an appointment to check up on your little brother. It seems this is how my body must deal with my mind’s subconscious reaction to a deep trauma… to a deep loss.

I have cried silently in my car after most of my appointments, drowning in the relief that your brother is doing well.

I take these moments, and I let myself feel them. I try to fight the fear by acknowledging where it comes from.. by facing it head on. Sometimes this works.. sometimes it does not.

To be honest, it is a coping mechanism I have learned from a long time struggle with anxiety. I determined long ago that I would not be a slave to fear. And even now, I refuse to be a mother and wife consumed by anxiety.

Most people think I am a laid back Mom who just rolls with the punches. Easy going and calm.

And I guess am.

But this person.. this mother… I fought to become her. I still fight.

And I will fight for this abundant life that the Lord has given me. That he promised.

I fight to stay present in the joy of today.

I fight to let tomorrow worry about itself.

I fight to let go of things that just do not matter in the grand scheme of things. 2f7978365792028ed083d2530e355169

I remind myself that I am more than a conqueror through Christ who strengthens me. I am the strong Mom and wife my men need.

So this Mother’s day, after a week of crying, I chose to enjoy your Daddy and your brothers. I chose gratitude. I missed you more than I could ever put into words. I could not even speak the words “baby’s due date”, and those around me did not ask me to.

I chuckled as your brothers played “good guy” vs “bad guy”. I smiled as they pretended to be puppies and then dinosaurs and then robots. I listened to their roars, grunts, and loud laughter. I gave kisses and received them.

I watched your Dad with them, and thanked Jesus for giving me such a wonderful man. He wrapped me in his love. Flowers, new diaper bag, grocery shopping, clean car, laundry complete, all yard work done, favorite coffee, meals and snacks prepped for the week, and all with a smile on his face. How is he real? How is he mine?

Your Dad never said anything, but I know he saw me crying this past week. At night, he would climb into bed and just pull me close to him without saying a word. Just knowing.

There is nothing like it in this world… to be fully known and loved.

And that is what I can give you sweet baby.

You are known. You are loved. And someday we will meet again.

But for now your Mamma is going to enjoy every second with her sweet family here on earth.

I promise to laugh in the morning as I reminisce on your brother peeing all over your Dad and I that night. Chuckling as I look down on the blanket we used to cover the pee stain so we could just go back to sleep.

I will take a deep breath and smile when your brother asks me “Why?” for the 82435679183456014 time.

I will do my best to be thankful for housework because the only reason it exists is because of the many blessings I have been given.

I will fail more times than I can count, but I will walk in grace.

I guess that is what you have given me this Mother’s Day… a resolve to begin anew. To embrace the messy chaos of life, and be grateful.

So I will do my best.

And I will miss you and love you with a smile until Jesus calls me home.

 

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A Tale of Miscarriage: Sharing in Joy and Sharing in Grief

I prayed for my baby.

My family, friends, and I prayed for this baby.

My baby.

The decision to have another child had come easy. Taylor and I thought we had wanted to wait until the next year to try for a little one. We thought maybe we needed a bit of a break, but on the way home from a family beach trip, I had this overwhelming sense that it was time. I looked over at my Tay and told him. I knew he had wanted to wait so I was unsure what his reaction would be. Would I need to wait awhile until he was ready?

His reaction was classic Taylor: simple, secure, and full of hope and love. He thought for a moment, smiled, and replied with a “Let’s do it”. He was ready, my partner in adventure, always willing to grab my hand and jump.

We sat silently for a moment relishing in our excitement over a new bundle. Boy? Girl? Who would this number 3 be?

I could not contain the excitement when I saw those two pink lines. Like I did with the other two, I told everyone within a matter of days.

A baby.

My baby.

Our baby.

Holden would rub my tummy and tell me it was a “Baby Doy/Dirl”. My family and friends all rejoiced with us when we told them the news. A prayer had been answered.

A baby. Living. Growing. Baby.

The morning I began the process of losing my baby I had a playdate planned at my house with a large group of women. My mom was in Mexico, I was on the verge of a panic attack, and I was minutes away from welcoming women (some who I did not know too well) into my home.

I began to text and call. Friends came to play hostess and make sure that Taylor was able to take me to the hospital. My sister in law came and told me she would stay as long as she needed to to watch the boys. My pastor’s wife called and prayed with me. My aunts left work and drove to the hospital to be with me because my Mom was out of the country. My sister left school and did not leave my side those next few days.

That whole weekend felt like I was frozen in a space of impending doom. I started to miscarry Thursday and did not officially find out I had lost the baby until Monday. I attended a lifelong friend’s wedding that weekend and enjoyed visiting with old friends while trying to ignore the fact that my heart was breaking.

It was a beautiful wedding.

I had been looking forward to that weekend for a very long time. It definitely provided the distraction I needed while I was waiting on the official diagnosis. I prayed fervently. I begged everyone I knew to pray. But deep down, I knew.

Spontaneous Abortion.

My body had betrayed me. I felt like I had been robbed of my innocence. My blind hope raped. Something precious had been stolen from me, and I would never be the same. I was angry. I was sad. I was anxious. I hurt.

I cried out to the Lord… and He answered.

He answered by carrying me through the fire.

I cannot explain it, but at times I felt like I was sitting in a dark, cold pit, seemingly all alone, and then suddenly there was warmth. I was being hugged and comforted in the midst of my despair.

In Psalm 34:18 it says, “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

I know this to be true because I experienced it.

He answered with the big hug that was my community. 6a06eca627b15cf92a6bb9aea7ec8467

My parents spent time with the boys, Tay, and I. They got me a necklace in memory of my baby. One sister in law took me shopping and the other bought me wine and candy. My sister sat in bed with me an entire day. My other siblings called me often. My father in law held me and prayed with me while I cried. My mother in law offered to watch the boys. After returning from their honeymoon, my friends brought me wine and flowers. Out of state family emailed, called, and texted condolences.

The same women who had prayed for my baby now prayed for my heart. Calls and texts to check in… they listened to me. They offered to take the kids. They sent handwritten notes. They hugged me. They brought me flowers and chocolate. They shared their stories of loss. I even made new friends.

They VALIDATED my loss, and for that, I am forever grateful.

Just the other day a friend hid a present in my trunk and when I opened it I found a handmade sign that I had been wanting, but didn’t possess the talent to make it or the money to buy it.

These people were the hands and feet of Jesus for me.

They had shared in my joy and now they shared in my grief.

Because I told.

Because I told them about you, my precious baby.

My precious little one, you were known. 

I wait anxiously for the day I get to hold you. I don’t know if I will get to count your toes or your fingers, but I know I will know you.

We loved you for seven weeks in my tummy and forever in heaven.

My little bean.

My little one.

My momentary hope.

My forever love.

My baby.

 

 

 

 

Author’s Note- I realize that some people are very private or they keep their community small and thats ok! Please understand that this is a post to thank those who have loved me well, as well as a post to let women know that it is ok to talk about a pregnancy before week 12. But guess what… if that is outside your comfort zone that is ok too! Tell a few, tell a lot, you are the boss.  In summary, my personal opinion is that, in my experience, it is important to have a couple people you can tell (a spouse, a relative, a friend) so that they can love, support, and rejoice with you in the early stages of pregnancy no matter what the outcome.

Also, there is something I have observed in my own, as well in others, dealings with grief. I have found that there are always people who say awkward, non comforting things or people who don’t say anything at all. Shoot, I have been one of those people. I would encourage anyone that is grieving to give grace. Some people don’t know what to say, have a hard time with grief, don’t understand, or just don’t know. That doesn’t mean they love you any less! If it bothers you greatly, talk to them about it. Ten bucks says they never meant to hurt your feelings. Better yet, just let it go. There is no reason to add more hurt and a little bitterness to your plate. Love always wins. Grace always wins.

And if you need a friend or someone to talk to, I am always here. 

 

 

 

 

Miscarriage: A Marriage Letter

Dearest Tay,

The other day I stood at our open refrigerator, staring blankly at the neatly arranged meals you made for me, and I began to sob.

I have cried a lot this past month.

You and I, we never knew there were different levels of crying. Last month showed us what it is like to grieve and cry from the deepest recesses of our hearts.

There is a cry that comes from deep within the soul. A cry reserved only for the bereaved. It takes you out of your body, and you wonder who it is who is making all these sounds.

And you wonder how to comfort them. But it is you.

Miscarriage.

A word that sticks to the top of my mouth like peanut butter, dries me out like a mouth parched for water, and pierces my soul in a place I did not know existed.

A word you and I share.

A loss.

A trauma.

A baby that was ours.

A tiny hope, a little spirit, a piece of you and me.

You and me.

We survived.

It is a pain that takes you to a place where there are no words.

Thinking back and attempting to tell the story feels like falling. Falling and grasping for the words, but all that is left are colors and feelings. Even now, I struggle to put my thoughts to pen. Sometimes there is only darkness.

But in the darkness you were there. You and my Jesus.

And somehow, amidst the pain, I felt as if I was being carried… as if I was being hugged. The Lord tells us He is close to the broken hearted, and oh how we know that is true. He was there, but He also gave me you.

You.

Going to work. Picking up clothes. Washing dishes. Bathing kids. Making meals. Grieving. Holding me. Loving me.

After a week of all of this, you sent me out that day wanting me to have time with a friend. Wanting me to have time for me. And I came home to swept and mopped floors, folded clothes, clean sheets, and happy kids.

So when I saw that you had cooked and shopped and arranged my food for the week so I would not have to worry.

I broke.

Because..

You.

Kind. Caring. Selfless. You.

Amidst your own pain, you have carried me when I could not walk, and I will forever be grateful.

I love you.

Forever Yours,

Shelbi

 

— Miscarriage is not often talked about so I will be writing a miscarriage series as I process through my thoughts and feelings. This will not be every week. I will still be posting my funny stories and life as we know it in our home. I am just hoping that I can bring some hope, some companionship, and some understanding to those who have experienced this type of loss. Love you all so very much <3

 

 

 

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