Tuesday, October 15, 2013

This is not the post it was supposed to be.

This was supposed to be a pregnancy announcement, filled with the excitement my husband and I felt about our second child.

Instead, it is an acknowledgement that we have lost a baby, filled with the emptiness and pain we feel.

As many of you know, my husband and I struggled with his period of unemployment and underemployment because we wanted so badly to grow our family.  When he received an offer from his current job in early summer, we immediately began trying to make that desire a reality.

Just as with Lucia, it took us four cycles to conceive.  I got a positive pregnancy test on September 1st.  Our due date was May 8th.  So perfect!  David would only have a few weeks of work after the baby was born and then would have the summer off to spend learning to be a family of four.

But it wasn't to be.  On October 10, I miscarried our second child.  I was ten weeks pregnant, although the baby most likely had passed a few weeks prior.

I've written out the detailed story of our miscarriage, but I'm not sure yet if it's just for me or if it's something that I want to share.  But because miscarriage isn't often talked about, there are a few things I do want to say about my experience:
The physical pain was excruciating, second only to labor.  And in fact, it felt much more like labor than I ever imagined, complete with contractions, back pain, hip-spreading pain, and shooting pain down the tops of my thighs.  But in reality, it was much worse than labor, since there is a clear and beautiful purpose for labor: a baby.  It felt like the only purpose of this pain was to add to my already excruciating emotional pain.
People don't know what to say.  The thing I heard most often and appreciated most was "I'm sorry".  The truth is, I don't mind that they don't know what to say, because I wouldn't know what to say in their position either.  And I still don't know what I want them to say.  I have been told a few things that were very painful to hear, but I know that those people didn't mean to be hurtful, those comments just came from a very different belief system than mine.  Sometime down the road, I may share some suggestions of what to say to someone who has just experienced a miscarriage.  But for now, just know, you can never go wrong with "I'm sorry" and offers to help, especially to bring over food and watch any living children the couple might have.  And don't forget the fathers.  They are mourning too. 

Miscarriage is heartbreakingly common.   As we began to tell family and friends about our loss, we heard countless condolences from people who had also experienced miscarriages.  Although I appreciate having people with which to talk about the experience, I hate, hate, hate that it is so common.  I wish no one ever had to experience the pain that I am feeling.  And when I hear of people going through it more than once, I just can't bear the thought.  Isn't one miscarriage enough pain for a lifetime?
I'm not angry with God.  I've been searching for miscarriage resources online and many have talked about dealing with your anger toward God.  But I'm not angry, it's never even crossed my mind.  Miscarriage is not God's doing, but the result of living in a fallen world.  I'm also not asking, "Why?"  Other than, you know, the literal "why" - do I have any medical/cyclical history that points to a reason behind this?  Anything that suggests this might happen again?  (The answer to those is "no".  We were told, that most likely I'm just a statistic - one of the 1 in 4 women who have had a miscarriage, the majority of whom will go on to have healthy, full-term pregnancies and never find a specific reason for their miscarriage.)  All I feel is sad, sad, sad. 



So now, I have these stupid pregnancy announcements sitting in the blog's drafts and it pains me to see them, but I don't want to get rid of them because they are some of the few things we have to remind me of this child and I don't want to forget the joy, however brief, that this child brought us.  I also still have the pregnancy test I took.  I never kept Lucia's.  And the only reason I kept this one is because I wanted a picture of it (we did that with Lucia's too) and I kept forgetting to take it.  And now, I don't know.  Do I throw it away?  Is a picture enough anymore? 

And somewhere, deep inside, I keep thinking that this is all a mistake.  That somehow, the baby did survive and I'll still get to make that pregnancy announcement and then later a birth announcement and someday send out graduation announcements, and maybe even engagement announcements, and that I'll get to raise that beautiful child.  But that will never happen.  I knew in my heart of hearts on Thursday night as I bled and the cramps started, even though the midwife said that there was a chance everything would be fine, that my baby was gone.  And I saw the ultrasound.  My womb is empty.  And so is my heart.


Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.  How fitting.  Won't you pray for us and all parents who have experienced the pain of losing a baby?




57 comments:

  1. I am so very sorry for your loss, Mandi. I have never personally experienced a miscarriage myself and I really can't comprehend the overwhelming pain you must be going through. I have no words of wisdom for how to walk through this trying time, but you will be in my prayers.

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  2. I'm sorry Mandi. Been following your blog for a while now. Just wanted to express my condolences. I can't imagine going through that experience. I hope you find consolation in the loving arms of the Good Lord. And know this: God loves you and your family and He WILL provide.
    Prayers and blessings out your way

    Aggie

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  4. I am so sorry Mandi. I have been reading your blog for a while now, and I love reading about you and your family. I know your faith will carry you through this pain :-) x

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  5. So sorry for your loss. I will be praying for you and your family.

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  6. I am so sorry for your loss. The fear of losing our children is excruciating; an actual loss is unimaginable.

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  7. I am so sorry! It is not an easy thing to go through, but trusting in His plan always makes me feel better! I myself just experienced one, with almost the exact same timing as yours (found out the long weekend, with a due date of early May, ended around 7 weeks) We want a large family so bad, and now I have a feeling like He may not want us to have another...but we shall keep trying. I will pray for you, and all those struggling with infertility!

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  8. I am so very sorry for you loss! It is such a tough thing, physically and emotionally, to go through. I am so glad to hear that you are not angry, I have never been angry with God when I have had a miscarriage either (I recently just had one as well, with very similar timing to yours). The only thing that ever really helps me emotionally through it, is knowing that God has a bigger and better plan for me. If we are meant to have a larger family like we desire, He will make it happen.
    I will pray for you and your family, and all those suffering from fertility issues.

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  9. Oh Mandi - I am so sorry for your loss. Hugs and prayers for you and your family during this difficult time.

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  10. I am so very sorry Mandi. I am sending a mountain of prayers your family's way.

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  11. I am so so sorry for your loss. You all will be in my prayers.

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  12. God bless you, Mandi. I'm very, very sorry. Your trust in God is evident even through your pain and it is inspiring. I'll pray for you!

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  13. Mandi, I am so, so, sorry for the loss of your child. So, so sorry. Many prayers for you in your grief.

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  14. Take the picture of the test. File it away on your computer somewhere. I have a folder of a few pictures from my first pregnancy, which was a miscarriage very very similar to yours. I look back on it and the blog post I wrote sometimes to remember how strong I was and how the support of family and friends and my faith in God pulled me through that. I'm truly sorry, and I know it hurts, and it probably will continue to hurt for a while. May 8th is my husband's birthday, so I'll be thinking of you then, too, because even if you are pregnant viably then, you'll remember and grieve your lost child.

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  15. I am so, so sorry Mandi. Will be praying for you and your family.

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  16. Mandi, I am so sorry to hear your news and to know that you and David are experiencing this pain. Praying for you, that you find deep consolation in God's love.

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  17. Ugh, sorry if you get this comment numerous times. Feel free to delete them. I'm on my phone, sometimes I have trouble commenting while on my phone.

    Oh Mandi, I am so, so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious child. Did you name him/her? When we lost our first pregnancy it really helped to name our baby. And about the pregnancy test? I JUST threw it away a few weeks ago and we lost the baby over three years ago. And it was still hard to throw away. I say keep it as long as you need/want to. Praying for your sweet family.

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  18. I am so sorry Mandi! May God grant you and your family peace and comfort.

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  19. Having just gone through this in July, know that my heart hugs you so, so tight. May your little saint and mine be playing together on the lap of Our Lady as they pray us home.

    <3

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  20. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. I see that someone else mentioned naming the baby...my parents found more healing and closure 20 years after the fact when they decided to name 2 babies they lost. For what it's worth...many prayers for you!

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  21. So sorry for your loss Mandi...know we are all covering you David, and Lulu in our prayers and sacrifices!!!

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  22. I'm so sorry... Know that you and your family are in our prayers. My mom had several miscarriages and she named each of them. She also did a baptism of desire for each of them, as a priest she talked to suggested she do that.

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  23. Thoughts and prayers to you and David. I had a miscarriage 4 years ago and it still hurts to think about the baby we lost. I don't think the pain will ever go away. I'm so sorry.

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  24. Prayers for you and David! I am heartbroken for you. God bless you for being willing to share your experience so honestly and beautifully.

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  25. I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been there five times (sadly), so I know what you're feeling like right now. Please give yourself some time and plenty of grace. It's important to share your grief, like you're doing now, and it will continue to get you through. God will carry you through it all! <3

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  26. (((((Mandi)))))

    Wishing I could be there in person to hug you and let you know that God will get you through this. Thank you for being vulnerable and sharing all of this. I think someday, it will help one of your readers who deals with a miscarriage to see this and know that they can make it through the physical and emotional pain of it.

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  27. I am so sorry for your loss, Mandi. I saved the positive EPTs from both children we lost to miscarriage and put them in our healthy child's baby book. It is the only tangible thing we have of his siblings other than their names. God love you in this sad time, Cindy

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  28. I am so very sorry that you and David are experiencing this pain. As a new mother I finally know the joy of having a child - and can only imagine how excruciating it must be to lose one. You will be in my prayers!

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  29. Our thoughts and prayers are with you, David and Lucia. We will light a candle for Baby R this evening.

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  30. I am so very sorry for your loss. I totally understand you not being angry with God. When we lost our second child at 5 weeks pregnant, I thought I was going to end up very angry with God. But like you, I surprisingly never was. My husband and I were devastated of course, but we never became angry with God. If anything we clung to Him more while we grieved. It is totally up to you on how to remember your child. I took several pregnancy tests with mine. I have 6 total, including the one that showed up negative after my miscarriage was confirmed. I keep the tests, a rosary, a journal, and several prayer cards in a box. I keep it next to my bed. I never want to forget our baby, so I like having something physical to see everyday. ....My thoughts and prayers are with you!

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  31. So very sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. I can't imagine the pain your hearts are feeling. I remember when a good friend of mine lost her baby I found this book: http://www.amazon.com/In-Company-Angels-Memorial-Book/dp/098418791X. A little way to remember your precious child that you will forever hold close to your heart. *prayers*

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  32. I am so sorry for your loss, but I am so grateful to you for sharing your story, your pain, and your heartbreak - as well as your faith. I did not have that when I went through my losses in 2001 and 2003. I wish I was where I am now in my faith when I was going through those losses years ago. It was wrong of me to blame God. While I don't understand what His plan was in all of that, I do know that He is a faithful and loving God. Thank you for linking up your post on my blog today.

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  33. I'm so sorry for your loss mama *hugs*. I was in those shoes back in May this year and nothing prepares you for a miscarriage. Time does help, although I think it's one of those things that you can never completely recover from - we can never forget our little ones who just weren't meant to be born into this world.

    My sister sent me a book after my husband and I lost our baby called 'Jesse, found in heaven'. It's just a very short read, but for me, it definitely helped with healing.

    Thinking of you x

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  34. Mandi you are in my prayers every day, but especially today. Know that that are many people praying for you. I am so sorry.

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  35. I am so very sorry for your loss. You, David and Lucia are in my prayers. Maybe you can find some comfort knowing that you have a Saint in Heaven... praying for you. Always.

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  36. i have never been through something like this, I am so sorry for your loss.

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  37. Thank you for putting to words what I cannot. October 14th, I had a miscarriage. My pain can be described exactly like yours. I never thought there could be such a whole in my heart, such a loss, emptiness over something that I didn't know existed. (I didn't know that I was pregnant even though I was just over 7 weeks. I chalked my tiredness up to school, work, home and family life, and chasing around two young boys.) Not realizing until after I was holding the beautiful amniotic sac and looking at my tiny baby with the spine and arm and legs buds so clear, what I was losing. My prayers are with you and your family.

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  38. I am so so sorry and our family will be praying for you, Mandi.

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  39. Mandi, I am so sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

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  40. Mandi, I am so sorry for your loss. I stopped by your blog to see what you've been up to and this was not at all what I expected to read. Thank you for sharing your experience, as it gives strength to others. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers.

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  41. Hugs and prayers. May God give you and your family strength.

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  42. Love you, sweet Mandi. Praying faithfully for your sweet mama heart as it grieves the loss of your precious baby. I am so sorry.

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  43. I'm so, so sorry for your loss, Mandi. I will be praying for you and your family during this time of sadness and healing. Hugs, sweet pea!

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  44. This weekend marks what would have been the 3rd birthday for our little saint born into heaven. It is a common, yet completely unique sorrow to each mother's heart. God be with you, I'm praying for you.

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  45. I thought this was beautiful and honest. Prayers for you in your time of sorrow. I hope you experience God's comfort and peace.

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  46. I am so sorry. Thank you for sharing this with us.
    I miscarried on September 12 at 11 weeks pregnant (our baby would have passed a few weeks before) and I experienced grief like I never have before. And like you said, this is heartbreakingly common, which didn't make me feel any better when it was said to me.
    I found comfort in the Miscarriage Prayer and especially this part, 'Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor.'
    May the peace and blessing of Almighty God descend upon you and your family. Prayers for you and your family.

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  47. So sorry Mandi. It's brave and good of you to share this. I know it will help other grieving families.

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  48. I've been praying for you. I'm so so sorry.

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  49. Every word you wrote speaks to me. I miscarried on October 5th. Our first baby. I still don't have words to encompass all that I feel and everything we are going through. You are so right about feeling empty. And about imagining that it didn't happen, wanting to believe it was a mistake. Thank you for this.

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  50. I'm so sorry. My first pregnancy ended that very same way after two years of trying. Two and a half years later we had a healthy baby. God's timing is mysterious but perfect. Do take a picture of the test. Do keep a journal of your feelings and put them all together. Sharing things like this is so helpful. I blogged a lot about it only to find out a few years later that it had helped some friends of ours who we didn't know were going through infertility too and miscarriage too. Your clear and transparent writing is inspiring and uplifting, even in this troubling time. I'll pray for you and your husband to get through this sad time through our Savior, Jesus Christ.

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  51. I'm so sorry for your family's loss, Mandi. It's just devestating. I'll be keeping you in my prayers.

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  52. I'm not sure how I found you, but I had a link in my email draft folder bringing me to your page. I can now see why I may have been brought here.

    You see, the email was originally dated a couple of months before this post. The email was dated back when I had my fourth miscarriage. I'm not sure why I was brought here, but I know why I'm supposed to stay and read along.

    My thoughts and prayers still go out to you guys. I know the road you are traveling as I , yet again, travel the same path. If you ever want to correspond with someones who has been and is there where you are, my email is harper . elisabeth @ gmail. com.

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  53. I'm so terribly sorry. We lost our first child 34 years ago, right after we were married. It helped to have four babies after that, but nothing really takes away the desire for that particular baby. God bless you and your family, however many children will be in it.

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  54. I'm coming from Haley's blog after reading your post there. I am SO sorry for the loss of your little one. Just wanted to let you know I'll be remembering you in my rosary tonight. And I appreciate your take and honesty and witness. God bless!!

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