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:
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?