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Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

My baby ... swept away in a take-out container

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I wrote the following journal entry over seven years ago. Seven years later, and it is still fresh in my mind and these words can still transport me to some of the rawest moments of my life. When I decided to share this publicly, I was the first person I knew to post this type of taboo topic on social media. It just wasn't talked about, let alone shared with the world.

But I knew others had struggled silently and my goal was to open up this conversation, share what this experience can look like, and encourage anyone who had been there. Since then, I know so many more who have poured out their hearts to the world about their own pregnancies cut short, not being able to hold their babies this side of heaven.

As a family, we have a few more children now and honestly most days this isn't something in the forefront of my mind anymore, but this baby will always hold a place in my heart. This baby mattered, miscarriage matters...

I am writing right now alone in my bed, with no kids running around or even a hungry husband asking me every two hours what we have to eat. It's nice and quiet, I have some time to be with my thoughts and with my God, but it's not the typical kind of "mommy time" I desire.

Late Thursday night, my hubby and I headed over to the emergency room; everything is "fine" now, but I have to take it easy and recover with some good old-fashioned rest. Thankfully, my husband took over all of my daily duties for now and seems to be holding up alright, but I'm up here alone in bed, grateful for the break, but almost wishing I had some things to busy me right now...

Just a few weeks ago, when my man came home from work, I told him there was something on my stomach I really wanted him to take a look at. He nervously lifted my shirt and saw written across my belly in eyeliner "Baby #3" with hearts all around. He was so excited, we were overjoyed! The next week I had an ultrasound and was able to see our beautiful baby's heartbeat - but the doctor was confused because they saw other stuff in there along with the baby. Tumors, masses, polyps, bleeding? They weren't sure what to call it. So the doctor just said to keep coming in every 2 weeks so we can keep an eye on the baby's heartbeat and just make sure that everything is OK. We were a little scared, but my husband was sharing scripture with me like, "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14) and "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act." (Psalm 37:7)

So that's all that we could do... wait. And our kind of waiting is hopeful, prayerful, confident. Worry creeps in, sure, but we have such a Hope.

So we waited and prayed and thanked God for this life that was inside me.

"Right now, we have a baby," we said. "In this moment, we have three kids and we can be glad for that!"

We knew this baby already had a unique genetic blueprint, DNA present for several weeks now that would determine every characteristic this child would have all the way into adulthood, not to mention a strong, beating heart apart from mine that I got to see with my own eyes! It was amazing because it was life, and life is something to be celebrated. So we did, but I asked my husband to please keep it quiet until the next ultrasound, for my own piece of mind. So as difficult as it was, we didn't tell our observant 4-year-old or most family and friends, but still, we were so happy and so in love already.

This past Thursday though, less than a week before my next follow-up ultrasound, I started bleeding. It started out so slight, but when I went to bed that night, it had turned intense, even accompanied by the familiar feeling of early labor contractions. I was in so much pain sitting in the bathroom that I couldn't even walk to wake my sleeping husband. I just knocked as hard as I could on the bathroom wall until he heard me and came running. We had an idea of what was happening, we just hoped that it wasn't.

"I think we need to go to the hospital," I said, just before midnight. We made arrangements for our two kids and quickly left. We prayed together in the parking lot, and headed in. After settling in at the ER, I felt the known feeling of downward pressure followed by a natural push. I wasn't sure of it when it was happening, but soon found I had delivered my baby completely on my own - just way earlier than I had ever wanted to.

I cried and cried as I watched the nurses put my helpless tiny baby in what looked like a plastic take-out container to be sent out to a lab somewhere. After spending the entire night in the hospital with tests and ultrasounds, it was finally confirmed that I had a spontaneous, complete miscarriage.

We were sent home, babyless, around 6 a.m....


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