Life After Miscarriage

I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, but what I have to share is hard to say.  Well, maybe not hard to say, but it's unlike things I've read or hear others say, so it makes me feel self conscious.  My message is this: I am over my miscarriages.  They were hands down the darkest time of my life, as I have never felt so hollow or empty before or since, but now it's like a great peace has settled over me, and with Carly in my arms, I can see that they were a necessary part of my journey.

A girl I follow on Facebook has a blog about miscarriage and she wrote a post recently about how she still mourns her lost babies and that she hates that no one on social media shares what life is like post-miscarriage (particularly in regards to having a baby after miscarriage) and it inspired me to write about my experience.

Please know that just because I feel this way doesn't mean I expect others to feel this way or that I judge anyone in any way, shape or form, for responding to their losses in a different way.  Honestly, it feels strange for me (who is typically deeply sentimental and emotional) to feel this way.  And I only recently realized I feel this way.

In the beginning, for weeks I couldn't even say the word miscarriage.  I would say, "When I lost the baby" or "The lost baby was probably a boy". I wouldn't, couldn't, say miscarriage.  I felt like it didn't give enough life to what was lost. It made it sound like a simple, one time event. What I lost was not simple, and that loss was not a one time event.  I kept feeling the effects of that loss long after the actual miscarriage.  Appointment days, my due date, the return of my monthly cycle... The losses kept on coming. Hands down the biggest loss, though, was my hope. 

Every night after I tucked our three boys in their beds in their shared bedroom in Alaska, I would sit in the rocking chair singing JJ Heller's Dream of You album to them, shedding tears particularly over:

"I Get to Be The One" 
"I"ll be there to watch you grow.... 
How does someone so small hold my heart so tightly? 
I don't even know you, I love you completely"; 

"I Know You Will"
"You don't need to let the rain clouds underneath your skin
Love sings louder than the darkness
Let the light shine in";

"The Sun Will Shine"
"Sometimes it feels like forever,
when it's dark outside
Baby the sun will rise, baby the sun will rise
however long the night."

I would sit in that rocking chair, often with Wyatt in my lap, silently weeping, grieving those babies of ours who had flown on to heaven before I even got to know them.  Wyatt's pudgy hands would wrap around my shoulders, comforting me the way only he could, falling asleep in my arms, oblivious to my heartbreak.

I remember, too, crying randomly.  Standing in the middle of the kitchen making dinner, gasping for air I was crying so hard; at bible study, or near bedtime when the house was quiet and my loss felt so heavy.  The grief felt like a cloak, numbing me to life, making dull things that before had seemed vibrant.  But slowly, as I walked myself through the heartache, the emotions, (the anger, the sadness) I started to see bits of light again. The thought of trying once more became plausible.  I had walked myself out of the darkness and was able to trust God with our family size. If he meant us to have another, we would. 

And sure enough, we did. 

It came full circle for me when I discovered I was pregnant with Carly on the due date of my first loss, and as I spent the first two months of Carly's life singing her those same songs, weeping tears of joy, and thanking God for letting me be the one.

Over Carly's bed in our new house I hung a shelf and on the shelf, side by side, are two Willow Tree figurines.  One is the figurine I bought from the hospital gift shop in Anchorage after I got the news there was no heartbeat that sad day in October 2014. The other figure is a pregnant mama.  They sit, side by side, reminding me that it is truly darkest just before the dawn.

I am beyond-words grateful for everything God has done in my life.  That he took me to the lowest low, literally carving the future right out of me, and then, in His time, brought me to a place where my hands, and heart, are full. 

I never expected to feel this way or to see the losses as a part of something beautiful.  But Carly's arrival in my life did just that.  She truly is the rainbow that came after the storm.



Emily said...

Same here. I remember taking to a friend after my first miscarriage and she shared with me that she had miacarried too, but at that moment, she couldn't remember if it was between her first and second child or between her second and third. I thought that was the strangest thing because my loss that became losses were at the forefront of my mind for so long. But now, I've realized I've moved on too and all the horrible details that were always with me, are now blurred over. Looking back, I would never want to be in that place again, but that time has become kind of sacred to me. God rebuilt my brokenness.

Holly said...

I remember reading all the heartbroken posts and I'm so glad God has brought you here! :)

Rachel said...

I just found your blog, because my family is moving to Anchorage this November and I was doing some research.
I lost my first baby, a girl, at 20 weeks. I just wanted to say your blog was really beautiful. My little one comes to the forefront of my mind, and then recedes to back at times. Now I have a healthy seven month old boy, and he helps with the loss a little, yet also makes me miss her more.
Anyway, it's lovely that you decided to write on this. God is good, through the heartache, and the healing.