I remember the ride home from the first 8 week ultrasound. The baby was only measuring 6 weeks and the heartbeat was too small to see. Everything was fine, I was probably just off on our dates and we’d come back in a week and everything was going to be fine.
I remember the ride home from what should’ve been a 9 week ultrasound, stunned and numb. There was no heartbeat. The baby had only grown 1 day past the last ultrasound. I felt numb. The ultrasound guy called to inform my doctor, he’d be in touch. I was just numb. Shouldn’t I be crying? Is this really happening?
That night we went to Jacob’s work Christmas party. Jacob had told a few coworkers we were expecting so I got to tell their wives the news just hours after telling my family. The emotions were starting to come and it was hard to keep them back. One of those wives gave us a blanket the next day to snuggle and cry into. I did just that.
This pregnancy had been us following a promoting. Many promptings to be exact, all pointing to us having a baby girl. Starting from a day or two after we found out I was pregnant we felt the baby’s spirit, more than we had ever felt with any of our children. It was our girl. Her name would be Lily, not Eleanor like I always wanted or even Lillian like Jacob wanted. Just Lily. For the first few weeks and months I was ok. It wasn’t her time to come, but she would come. The first negative pregnancy test came and that’s when I broke down. What if we didn’t get our baby girl? What if we didn’t meet her until heaven?
A few months later I get pregnant again, we’re certain it’s Lily. It has to be. Until we find out it’s Thomas. Maybe we felt her sprit so strong so we’d know that was enough of a body for her. Maybe we’d never get to hold out daughter in this life.
Emotions are a weird thing. I can be just fine then I’ll see something or hear or read something and I’m crying like a baby. I remember being pregnant with Henry and Jacob and I were on a little couples get away. We were sitting in a church we’d never been to before and I start bawling; Jacob was very concerned. I was fine, I just saw a little girl who I imagined would’ve looked like our daughter, and my heart ached for her. It often ached for her and all the what ifs. I had 7 beautiful boys in my arms but my heart ached for the piece that was missing.
I knew there was a boy who needed to come to our family after Henry. I had known it since Henry was 6 months old, so when I got pregnant I assumed it was that boy, that it was Peter. But on rare occasions I would let myself imagine it was Lily, and instantly tears of joy would come. What would that be like!? How wonderful would that be!? But just as soon as the emotion would come up I’d push it back down. No, there is heartache we have to endure in this life and this is mine. To have a piece of my heart in heaven.
After we found out we were having a girl I openly wept in Walmart. We went to get an outfit and pink suckers to tell the boys they were getting a sister. I randomly told workers our story, how I was so happy to finally get our daughter. Not just a girl, but our daughter. One phrase was on repeat in my mind: God is good. God is SO good.
I feel fortunate that our story has a happy ending. I have so many friends and family who will never meet their angel babies on this Earth. Never get to hear their laugh or hold their cute hand. My heart goes out to them. To everyone who has experienced pregnancy or infant loss, no matter how far along they were. The moment you find out you’re pregnant you become attached to that baby and love it more than you ever thought possible.
It’s interesting to me that still to this day, even with my happy ending, I feel those emotions that were so raw for so long. I was reading a friend’s experience and instantly I was crying, remembering all the emotions that surrounded my miscarriage. Just like each pregnancy is different, so is each miscarriage. I know some, who like me, feel the baby they miscarriage came back at a later time. Some are holding on to the hope they’ll hold that child in heaven. And others don’t feel any connection to a spirit of the child they loss, just the deep emotions that come from a loss. Every baby matters, every pregnancy matters, and every woman matters, now and forever.