Monday, March 25, 2013

a story of loss

I wasn't sure how to start this post.

Does the story start when we found out we were pregnant eight days post conception? Does it start the day we didn't hear the heartbeat? Or is it when my little baby was surgically removed from the womb?

It's a story with no beginning and certainly no end. In the gap there were 64 days of prenatal vitamins. A dozen positive pregnancy tests. Morning sickness. Lots of apples and ginger candy. Half cups of coffee. Preparation for a fun pregnancy announcement along with some actual announcements. Prayers of safety and healing.

Images of a baby. A baby without a heartbeat. Tears of despair. The telling and the untelling. Shock. Hope. Pain. Fear. Soul-swallowing grief.

3/11 - Today the cashier at the grocery store asked if I was having a good day. All I wanted to do was scream. "NO! My baby is dead inside of me. I am not anywhere near OK." Instead I said I was fine and swiped my credit card. The bag boy packaged my groceries as if the world was just continuing to go on. I got into my car and sobbed with my whole body.

It's a chapter in many women's stories. But I never thought I'd get my name picked. That happened to other people. Until I became one of the 25 percent. Who feel the grief no one else seems to understand. Who have the joy of pregnancy ripped away. Who look at family pictures years later and always look for that missing face. Who wonder about a life that could have been.

3/11 - Henry pointed to my belly and said baby today. Crying, I told him yes, the baby was still there. Because it is. That's his brother or sister in there. We just may not get to meet this side of heaven.

I know it's not my fault. They say it was the baby. It just wasn't knit together in the ways that allowed it to live on earth. Instead, it will go to live with a God that can love it even more than its own mother.

3/12 - People at work keep asking if I feel better. They think I was just sick. I say I am OK. I am not OK. I feel like I weigh 600 pounds and there is a bowling ball in  my chest. I have to remind myself to breathe. But I still have to smile in the hallway and do work like it matters.

We waited a week from the initial ultrasound. There were prayers for a miracle. For some sort of mistake. The longest, worst week of my life. With a husband who was out of town. And morning sickness, exhaustion and all the signs of a healthy pregnancy.

3/14 - Today is the day we get confirmation. I feel nothing. We walked to our appointment. Through the busy Plaza of Big 12 tournament fans and shoppers. They smiled as they passed. They had no idea the destination we were walking to. The things we were about to be told. The way our world is being shaken as they bought new lipstick.

We got the confirmation. Not of a miracle but of a baby without a beating heart. With a sac that measured where it should be and a baby measuring less than it did a week before. And my body that was showing no signs of letting it go.

3/15 - We went to the zoo today. God didn't give me my baby but he did give me an 80-degree day. It felt calming to eat ice cream, look at polar bears swimming in circles, feel the sun on my skin, watch Henry's face light up. His world is so innocent. He doesn't notice all the pregnant moms with alive babies in their bellies. He doesn't immediately think of the ultrasound picture of his baby brother or sister. The baby that's still there. Sucking the oxygen out of every room.

On Monday, that baby left my body, the place that's supposed to be safest. Our baby left in a way I care not to think about and thanks to anesthesia I will never remember.

3/18 - I had to sign a paper releasing the remains of my baby to the hospital. Incineration they called it. The little body, which had fingers and toes, out with the other "medical waste."  

The medical appointments are done. Physically I feel unpregnant. I had 48 hours where my body still miscarried the rest of the tissue and blood. Rhythmic contractions, two minutes apart. Pain that left my knuckles white while gripping the steering wheel.

But now, there is little to remind me any of this even happened. Like maybe the last three weeks were just a fog.

Instead, nothingness. With no clear next step. Except attending class. Going to the store. Giving Henry a bath. Making dinner. Smiling at church. Vacuuming up cat hair. Doing laundry.

Like it all never happened.


  1. Words are inadequate to express how sorry I am for your loss.

  2. I'm very sorry for you and your families loss. While I (and many others) can never exactly know how you feel or understand your pain, I do know the power of prayer. I will say an extra prayer or two for you and your family; that God comfort you and hold you strong in his arms. God Bless.

  3. Sarah, we all deal with this in our own way, but know that you aren't alone. I have been where you are twice and the pain and loss are real and your feelings are ALL VALID. If you ever feel the need to talk with someone who has been there, feel free to get in touch. Prayers for you and Shea. -Lindsay Kinsinger

  4. I am so so sorry to hear about your loss. Prayers and hugs. XO

  5. I am so sorry Sarah. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. Sarah, I am so sorry for your loss and the heaviness of the days past and still to come. I suspected this was your situation from an earlier post and have had you on my heart and in my prayers. May God's peace be upon you.

  7. I am so sorry. Your beautiful writing...your gift to put in to
    words things we deeply feel... speaks to many.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  8. I know it won't feel like it for awhile, but it does get better. I have a healthy child and like you never thought it would happen to me. I had an unxpected 2nd pregnancy followed by the excitment and planning and then by the loss as well. I is a terrible thing to go through, but I found joy in putting all of myself into the healthy child that I had at home and by knowing that for some reason God had a different plan for the very teeny tiny angel. stay strong :)

  9. Well, shit. Sarah, I am SO so so sorry. I know this grief all too well, and I know there are words that'll never make it better. I can only offer that over time, the sting won't be as bad. I am just 2 months away from what my due date would have been... and seeing all the pregnant people around me... there's still a bit of a sting. I wish I could give you a hug and just give you the reassurance that God knows your pain. And we WILL meet our babies in Heaven. To me, Christian will always have had an older brother, and a younger sibling too. I sometimes imagine what that family would look like. But God has a perfect plan for our lives, despite the sadness that happens in this world. Again, I am so sorry, I know it sucks. Hugs.

  10. Phil and I are sending you and Shea hugs and many prayers. Your baby will be waiting for you in Heaven and what a joyous reunion that will be! Much love.

  11. Your words are so beautifully raw. I pray your soul is mending!

  12. Your words are so beautifully raw. I pray your soul is mending!

  13. I am so so sorry to hear about the loss of your precious baby. I went through a similar situation last year with the miscarriage of our first baby. I had a D&C and just felt heartbroken for a while. During that time though it did help to hear from others (even total strangers) that that had gone through something similar, and that they were thinking of me. So please know are not alone and you are in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing nothing but comfort and peace for you and your family during this difficult time.

  14. Sarah, even though I don't know you, I know & have felt your pain. Years ago, we went through this debilitating pain three times. I know those three beautiful babies are waiting in Heaven..& we will know them one day. I remember the days our precious son cried out, "Why?" We pray for you now & know you will one day feel peace through the loving arms of Jesus who is holding you close during these days.

  15. Sarah, your words are so filled with grief, but really help us "get it" more than we could have without them. You are amazing. We are with you in this super hard time and we are grieving your baby with you.

  16. Sarah, thank you so much for posting this. Last night I just experienced the horrible pain of miscarriage and a D&C. My friend Kelsey Curtis sent me over to here to read this, and I think you put into words everything that I have been feeling. It so helps to know that I am not alone when I so often feel like it. I am extremely sorry for your loss also. This miscarriage thing, it is hard. Praying that the peace of God is surrounding you in more ways than you've ever know.