The little pumpkin loves dressing up...what little girl doesn't, right? So today she was super excited to don her butterfly fairy costume and head to Lovi's Ladybug Birthday Party.Bzzz, Bzzz...sweet friends McKinley & Grace ready to have fun at Lovi's. Three little ladies having fun decorating ladybug cupcakes...Red velvet - YUM!Jewelry...a girl's best friend ;)
Off to the land of unicorns and fairies, I go... Everybody gather around for......LADYBUG RELEASE!Happy 5th Birthday, Little Lady!Changing course for a sec...
Today is National Infant & Pregnancy Loss Day...a "club" I wish I didn't belong to, no one does.Before we had our sweet Grace, Lance and I had a surprise pregnancy. Unplanned by us...but not by our sweet Lord in heaven. From the moment we found out about our little miracle-to-be, we were overjoyed. Head-over-heels in love. I remember wanting to wait a bit to tell our family and friends, but Lance was sooo excited to become a dad, he wanted to shout it from the rooftops. We ended up deciding to tell our families and closest friends. Everyone was surprised - as we were - but excited all the same.
Then on April 28, 2006, at my dear friend Bridgette's rehearsal dinner, without a single symptom other than a full bladder, I went to the ladies' room and suddenly realized something was very wrong. Lance and I made the 1-hr drive back to our city and headed straight to the ER. One of the longest hours of my life! I remember the silence from the ultrasound tech...I remember looking at the screen, knowing by now we should have been able to see more, a heartbeat. But nothing.
The doc came in, tried to reassure me by saying maybe I was just mixed up on my dates and I was only about 5 weeks along. Nope, no mix up on the dates. The baby had just died between 5-6 weeks gestation. An ultrasound 2 days later at my then OB's practice - thank you Dr. L, the on-call doc, for opening your practice on a Sunday afternoon to do a courtesy ultrasound! And thank you for making that call, Mom! - revealed a little pocket of blood where the placenta was already separating from the uterine wall (sorry if TMI). Things weren't looking good.
A couple of days later and several labs later, a D&C was scheduled for May 3rd since my body was not reacting as it should. I remember riding up to the OR and the well-meaning nurse telling me, "You are young. You will have other babies. It happens all the time. I had 3 miscarriages myself." Well-meaning, but not the thing you want to hear when you are in the middle of losing your baby. The baby you love, the baby you want to still be growing inside of you.
I remember the diagnosis on all the paperwork..."missed A/B"...that's "missed abortion" in case you didn't know - a medical term meaning your body has not spontaneously released the baby following a miscarriage. By God's great love, why on earth would you put the word "abortion" next to a person's heartbreaking miscarriage. Adding insult to injury - that's exactly how it felt. I wept.
The physical recovery was very easy. The mental & emotional recovery, not so much. I remember completely breaking down the day before the D&C, sobbing in my bed. Lance trying to console me. My mom on the phone loving me through her words. Feeling like my world was crashing down around me. But God is good. He is faithful. He was there for me even when I felt completely alone and abandoned. Even when I questioned the purpose of what I was going through. And 2 months later we were blessed beyond measure...we were pregnant again - this time with our sweet baby girl Grace.
I know everyone is different but for me the 2 hardest things from losing a baby through miscarriage were this: 1. having people pretend it didn't happen/afraid to acknowledge the loss/thinking you should be "over it" and 2. losing the ability to have a worry-free pregnancy the next time. Once you've lost a baby through miscarriage, every other pregnancy is one scary ride of "what if...", "please God, not this time" and so on. You worry over every little symptom. You count down the days until 12 weeks (end of first trimester), 20 weeks (mid-way), 27 weeks (viability greater than 90%), 37 weeks (term) and so on.
Don't get me wrong, there is still joy all along the way, but it's not that free, glowy, nothing-could-ever-go-wrong joy. It's a cautious joy. It's a let's-wait-to-tell-until-it's-safer joy. It's a please-check-my-hcG levels-over-and-over joy. It's a check-the-progesterone-levels-too-while-you-re-at-it joy. It's a forget-running-and-exercising-maybe-it-had-something-to-do-with-my-previous-loss joy.
If you've made it this far reading - thanks for still hanging in there! - Maybe it's because you've had a loss yourself, and for that my heart is heavy for you and I pray you've been comforted by our Heavenly Father. If you have not experienced a loss, I hope you take away this: don't be afraid of bringing up the loss to a friend for fear of "reminding" her of something hard. Believe me, she has not forgotten. Your kind words will not hurt her, but silence will. Compassion heals.
To my sweet angel in Heaven: I can't wait to meet you one day!
To sweet baby Hannah (08.15.07 - 08.15.07), my BFF's baby girl born at 19 wks. gestation - I'm thinking of you today too...you touched many lives in the short time you were here with us on earth.
Dear Lord, I would have loved to have held my babies on my lap and tell them about you, but since I didn't get the chance, would you please hold them on your lap and tell them about me? - author unknown
This scripture has always been special to me and it has carried me through some dark days more than once...
Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not into your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.