Alan and I were married in October seven years ago, and three months later we found out we were pregnant for the first time. We told our family and a handful of friends and marched on through the morning sickness. That baby was due in September. I’m not sure I remember the due date. It might have been the 28th. I was 12 weeks along and we were trying to decide if we should go ahead and make an announcement, when I began to bleed. I hadn’t even chosen a practice or seen a midwife yet (insurance shenanigans) so we ended up in the ER enduring a very quiet ultrasound; there was no heartbeat and the baby had stopped growing at 10 weeks. We went out for breakfast and quietly cried together at the table. We returned to the hospital for a D&C procedure, which I really didn’t need (wasn’t medically necessary), but I didn’t know any better; I felt like I was living in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from until it was “over”, and I didn’t want to wait for that. How can you live with death inside of you? I was afraid of miscarrying naturally because I was unwilling to press into the fear of what I would face. When I woke up I felt empty like a slate wiped clean. I thought that was how I wanted to feel.
More than anything, I mourned the loss of my expectations, my hopes, my time. I didn’t really mourn the loss of life. Either I couldn’t grasp it or didn’t want to.
Two months later we were pregnant with Indigo, and in many ways it felt like the first pregnancy had never happened. Even now, when I think back, they blend together in my mind.
It has taken me three living babies and almost six years of motherhood to fully recognize that we lost a life. I look at my babies and I think, this! this is what we lost! When the miscarriage happened, all I wanted was to put it behind me; at the time it felt like the end of something. But it was really the beginning of a soul that would go on eternally, a little soul I truly believe we will get to meet some day. How can I not be in awe of that?
It might seem strange, but my biggest fear in my decision to trust my fertility to God and remain open to life is not that I will have too many children, or that I won’t have the patience for them. It is that I will have more miscarriages. The irony is that in order to face that fear, I don’t need to devalue that little life, I need to value it more. When the miscarriage first happened I could only see it as a waste of time, but once I recognized that for those few months I participated with God in the creation of a little soul who lived safely in my love before going to be with Love Himself, how could I possibly view that as wasted time? I lean into that fear with the same assurance with which I lean into every baby that God gives me: that there is no better use of my time, no thing on earth more valuable than a soul, and that the Lord is with me always.