hope, heartache, healing, hope (part 2)

I’ve shared this story (read part 1 here) in bits and pieces over the years, and I’ll admit, it often makes me feel guilty, because it’s “nothing compared to what so many other people have been through.” I didn’t lose a child who was already born. I wasn’t pregnant for weeks or months before losing my baby. I never felt my baby move. I knew I was pregnant for less than a week. I didn’t even have to have a D&C.  I didn’t lose two, three, or nine babies like some women I know.

But here’s the deal. We lost a baby we had wanted for a long, long time. And it hurt. And God, in his mercy, did give us a lighter burden to bear than so many others, but even that little glimpse into their pain has given me an empathy I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

And I’m thankful. So thankful.

Picking up my story at 9:45 on the night of March 9, 2005…

The blood is bright red. And every time I sit down on the toilet it just keeps coming and coming. I’m cramping, even throbbing in my crotch when I stand up or walk around. At this point, I’m about 80% sure I’m miscarrying.

This is so strange, because I’ve felt this whole week like I might lose the baby–I don’t know if it was a premonition or what. God, I know you’re a miracle worker and can still save my baby, but I also know that you give and take away. I know most importantly that you love me and will get me through this.

Gabe has been so good to me–holding me and telling me he’s sorry and that it doesn’t matter if Ava is six years older than our baby, we’ll keep trying. Thank you, Lord, for my husband and our two daughters and the support system of friends and family. And that my book is being taken to Pubco (the publishing committee) tomorrow.

God, if my baby goes to heaven before I ever meet him, tell him I love him with all my heart.

March 10, 7:25am–I feel remarkably better this morning–emotionally and physically–but I’m still pretty sure I’m miscarrying. I’m exhausted. I went to bed at 10 but didn’t go to sleep for at least an hour. At one point, I just started bawling and asked Gabe to hold me. At 2 am, I woke up with the worst headache of my life. [almost 8 years later, it still holds the record]

1:45pm–The nurse called with my blood test results. I lost the baby. She said the worst may be over since it was so early in my pregnancy. I have to go back for more blood tests in a week. Then I need to have 2-3 regular cycles before I try to get pregnant again.

2:10pm–As Gabe was leaving for Sharathon [he was self-employed and helping my uncle’s radio station with their annual fundraiser] a little bit ago, he leaned down and talked to Livi and then Ava. Ava [2 yrs, 9 months] looked at him with sad little eyes and said, “I’m not a big sister anymore.” Break my heart. I lost it–and writing it now is making me hurt all over again. Heal my heart, God–and help me to be strong for my girls. They hate seeing me hurting.

2:20pm–Lord, I don’t understand this, but I really do trust you. I know you’re growing me–making me better able to understand the pain of others. Thank you for trusting me with a miscarriage. I feel honored that you thought I could handle it with grace. It hurts, God–physically, but mostly emotionally. Please don’t make me ever go through that again. Please, God.

I see three positives through my pain. 1.) I can empathize with others. 2.) We’ll have more time to get money saved for a baby. We’ve never done this without health insurance before. 3.) A spring or summer baby is better than a winter baby.

2:30pm–I just got a Congratulations-on-Baby-#3 card in the mail. Of course, it drove me to tears. Mom is coming in a little while to be with me. I’m trying to think of who all I need to call and tell that I’m not pregnant anymore. Hopefully Mom can make most of those calls.

Lord, to change the subject, please soften the hearts of the people reading my book manuscript in the coming week. Help them to see the good in it. Help it to be a perfect fit.

Lord, losing a baby is hard. I know now how badly I wanted one. Give us another baby soon!

7:40pm–Gabe just called and said that people at the radio station are praying for me, and four women came up to him and told him they had had miscarriages. One woman had FIVE. She told him that when you’re pregnant, you’re emotionally ready to carry a baby for 9 months, and off and on throughout those 9 months, you might have a hard time–crying and stuff. I’m thankful she told him. Now if I cry, he’ll understand.

I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. I’m really crampy and bleeding, and my head hurts, and I just ache. Lord, help me get the rest I need.

March 11, 8:25am–Joy Miller’s [she worked at the radio station with my uncle] son collapsed at the YMCA during a basketball game last night and died. Christopher was 13–her oldest of three. They closed Sharathon down early. Lord, be with Chuck and Joy and their two girls. I can’t even imagine the depth of their pain.

It was almost the girls’ bedtime last night, and Ava said, “I know who made the baby die. I did. I made the baby die.” I felt my heart rip. “No, you didn’t, sweetie. Nobody made the baby die.”

“Uh huh. I was talking and talking, and I made the baby die. Daddy said be quiet, and I didn’t.” Rip, rip, rip goes my heart. I tried my best to explain that it was no one’s fault–especially not hers.

I put her to bed, and 10 minutes later, she started bawling, “I miss my baby sister! I want my baby sister to come back!” I just rocked her, and we cried and cried.

6 thoughts on “hope, heartache, healing, hope (part 2)

  1. dani

    Thanks for sharing this. These are the stories that need to be told. I’ve been there and though we’ve added 4 more children to our family, it’s still so painful. I’ve found though, that by sharing my story with other women, I’ve been able to minister to so many. Every woman I’ve talked to going through miscarriage feels like she’s the only one. The months following, when the rest of the world thinks you should be moving on and you’re still grieving, are so hard. I pray some woman reads this today and finds hope and peace in our Savior.

  2. Deborah

    I <3 Joy…and I <3 you.

    So glad to see how God draws His people together to support, sustain and pray, even in the most difficult of times.

    I didn't realize how *closely* connected you were/are there. So glad to see God's continuing work.

  3. Ruth

    Marla, I am in tears. It would’ve broken my heart over & over if one of my kids said something like Ava did. It’s hard enough to deal with a miscarriage but when your kids know & are hurt by it too, now that’s rough. When we told Sam we lost our baby (the first time), we explained it the best we could & he said “she’s in heaven, right? Well, then we’ll see her again!” And that satisfied him. It was super sweet. Since then we have many conversations about her & he was worried my newest baby was going to die & even in the midst of my anxiety about losing yet another child, I told him I was way further in my pregnancy & he was going to live. Thank God in his grace I was able to have my son 2 months ago. Thank you for sharing your journal with us. It does help when you know you’re not alone.

  4. Judy

    “nothing compared to what so many other people have been through.”

    Ahhhh, one of Satan’s common lies. We’re supposed to feel guilty about our emotions right? How hard or easy something is. I hope this process will help you to reject that lie once and for all.

    As if someone else having their child ripped out of their arms in a rushing flood is supposed to somehow make you feel better about losing your baby. It sounds ridiculous when you put it that way, right? Yet I think we’ve all thought something similar from time to time.

    The fact is, God sees each one of us and knows the pain each one of us goes through, and I don’t think he’s up there judging us on exactly how much pain or emotion we should feel when each bad thing happens to us, and compares it to see if it holds up proportionally to what others have been through. Satan just likes shaming us for any and every reason possible reason.

    1. Ruth

      Thank you for saying this, Judy. No one seems to understand my pain of my miscarriages & if I bring them up, they get super uncomfortable. It makes me feel so guilty. But you are right. Thank you for your encouraging words.

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