Thank you so much to all of you who shared in the excitement of the news that we were expecting our seventh baby. We were so thrilled. Sadly, last Friday, just shy of 13 weeks, I miscarried that little one. It’s been an emotional week of ups and downs, but I’m doing well. I’ve been surrounded by the love of friends and family, reminded of how blessed I am even in such a difficult time. After a few days of recovery, my husband and I made the decision that it was best for me to continue with my plans for Market next week. Everyone is different when it comes to dealing with early pregnancy loss. I have a need to keep my hands busy and having something constructive to focus on has been very healing for me.
I’m going to share a bit of the story and some of my feelings in the following paragraphs. I totally understand, though, if it’s too much, and you’d rather just skip the rest. I have a tendency myself to avoid things that might make me cry. Things will be back to normal here soon.
Miscarriage is such a difficult subject to discuss. Many, including myself, deal with it in silence for the most part. This is our sixth pregnancy loss, and each has its own story. A positive pregnancy test is so full of joy and excitement for all of us, but when you’ve experienced a loss in the past, it’s met with a measure of caution, as well. Because of our past losses, we keep our pregnancies just between my husband and I until I start feeling those familiar strong pregnancy symptoms. In the past, that has been our sign that the pregnancy is healthy and will continue without a problem. That wasn’t the case this time. I had just breathed that sigh of relief to be past the high risk 12-week mark. I was allowing myself to really dream of who this little person would be. Our conversation was full of guesses as to gender and suggestions of names. We’d started the process of gathering the baby items that we’d loaned out to loved ones. We were chatting with our little ones about their new little brother or sister. I was even feeling those little occasional baby flutters. The bleeding came on suddenly and without warning. I was in the middle of a photoshoot for a new set of patterns — I’m so thankful that I had decided to do it here in my own backyard. Within a few hours, it was all over. Traumatic is the best word that I can find to describe it.
Like everyone who has walked this path, I wondered if there was anything that I could have done to change what happened. I’m thankful that I’m confident in my knowledge that nothing comes as a surprise to God. It’s not easy, but I’ve been able to see glimpses of His hand in all of this, even through my anger that He would allow this to happen to us . . . again. If you’re walking this path right now, I think it’s okay to be angry. Don’t hold onto that anger too long — it’ll take over — but if you’re like me, it helps to yell at God like a two-year-old having a temper tantrum. Sharing your real feelings is part of having real relationship. He’ll still love you and still draw you back to Him . . . even if you refuse to pick up a Bible for a week. He’ll send along friends to share His word or sneak in a song that speaks to your heart.
If you happen to have a friend or loved one who has recently experienced a pregnancy loss, my advice is to offer your prayers, do something practical or just loving, but be understanding. If she doesn’t want to see you and chat, don’t take it personally. If she’s like me, she doesn’t like for other people to see her cry. We’ve had meals and snacks provided by friends all week. We’ve received cards, notes, emails, texts, Facebook messages. The flowers that you see above were hand-delivered by two very dear blogging friends along with chocolate a few days after I came home from the hospital. (As a quick side note, I am so blessed to work in the fabric/sewing/blogging industry. I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of kindness and support that I’ve received from the people that I work with and alongside. This industry is truly one with heart.) Every message, meal and gift helped to lift us and get us through.
Even just being willing to pretend like everything is normal can be a blessing. I had an appointment to get my hair done on Tuesday, and I really couldn’t reschedule it. I texted my hairdresser on Monday evening, told her what had happened and asked her to tell me everything that she wanted to tell me via text so that we could just act like nothing was out of the ordinary on Tuesday morning. Since it was my first time leaving the security of my own home, it was so nice to just join in the everyday busy salon conversation. It’s amazing how encouraging it can be to just experience normalcy for a bit.
I have quite a bit of work to get done over the next few days, but I’m being kind to myself and not worrying about getting everything finished. Things may not end up being quite the way I had expected them to be, and that’s okay. If you happen to run into me at Market or anywhere else, please feel free to act as if everything is normal. I promise that I’ll appreciate it. If you ask me how I’m doing, I can’t promise that I won’t fight back tears, but chances are I’ll be just fine. I’ll probably say that I’m doing okay. Really, I’m sad, but joyful, too. When I run across the co-sleeper in the garage or my youngest asks again about the baby coming, the sadness comes crashing back in on me. My dreams of getting to know the baby that I was expecting are not going to happen. I can’t change that. In spite of that, though, I am so blessed with so much, and for that, I can find joy in the midst of my sorrow.