A year ago today, I never could have imagined what this birthday would look like. I could barely get through 9/21/2016 without crying. A week prior to my 27th birthday I lost my first pregnancy.
In the months following, I dreamt of how I would tell Corey I was pregnant again when it happened, getting the nursery ready, and what it would be like to feel a first kick someday. I imagined all of these moments so vividly but it was still so hard to believe any of them could ever be real. I felt overwhelmed with guilt for being so undeservingly blessed, but still feeling an emptiness. I wrestled with the constant tug of the calling God gave me to be a mother, and the pull of it so easily becoming an idol. We prayed a lot in those months following; For a baby, yes, but mostly for completeness in Christ and contentment in the season we were in. The first month I let go of expectations and surrendered, God gave us Grace: Our sweet daughter, and truly the definition of the word.
My heart will always mourn the soul of the one we lost. There are so many of us who have experienced miscarriage, and I never realized how common and devastating it was until I went through it myself. It is isolating. When emotional situations arise, I notoriously “go into my shell” – as my best friend lovingly describes it, but I found myself consumed with grief and wanting to talk about it constantly but feeling like a burden if I did. It was by far the darkest time in my life and perhaps that’s why almost a year later, I still have hesitancy in sharing such a personal piece of our story.
But… there is always a sense of thankfulness for our rainbow and cherishing each and every flutter, elbow jab, and unpleasant symptom that reminds me our little one is with me. Her heart is next to mine, both of us so fragile.
Mid-flight: Orlando, FL → Baltimore, MD
He reigns over all
calms my worried soul
Paints his masterpiece
A white blanket of clouds stretched between rainbow skies
He has no need for the obvious
His timing isn’t rushed
Air fills my chest
My first true breath in months
Rejoice in this brand new day
Siesta Key, Florida
On the pathway by the beach, I pick up the tiniest shell I’ve ever seen. I trace the spiraling grooves, shift it between my fingers and wonder all the places it has been. I think about how it was molded into beauty by violent thrashing waves, before washing up on shore. Each line, each curve tells of travels in sea and land. Perfectly in tact. And I tremble at the thought of this little one growing within me, barely the size of this shell now. So small, but so powerful it has shaken our world in an instant…crafted by the hands of God, the greatest gift we will come to know. I tuck the shell inside my bag. God finds ways to speak to us in the ordinary if we look closely enough.
I miscarried 3 months prior to writing this. I remember feeling like I should have been over it at this point, and failed to be honest with those around me about how much I was struggling.
The holidays have a way of making everything beautiful look even more beautiful, and everything tragic feel even more tragic.
My heart aches today. Not as much as yesterday, but a little more than the day before.
That’s the thing about grief, you never know where or when it will find you. Grief doesn’t mind if you have things to cross off your to do list, events to attend, or if you have to make good on promises to show up. It undoubtedly reappears from thin air, leaving your insides twisted and your eyes welling, when moments ago the world felt still.
It’s avoiding places with too much happiness because it’s draining to pretend.
It’s long quiet drives.
It’s waking up each day feeling that you’re forgetting to do something.
it’s sitting in your car in parking lots, alone in tears because you don’t want anyone to see you this way.
My heart aches today. I hope it will ache less tomorrow.
Today is a birthday different from any other I’ve had before. 1 month ago today we found out I was pregnant. 1 week ago today I had a miscarriage.
Each year, I have planned dinners, cocktails, small get togethers… To celebrate the past 12 months and welcome in the next. I would use the day as a reason to get all of our friends together…I would buy a new dress. Eat a fancy dessert. Use the day as an excuse to be totally selfish.
I’ve been told that once you become a mother, it’s never all about you again. Your child will come first forever, and you’ll make sacrifices, and it won’t be comfortable at first, but you won’t trade it for anything tangible or not in the world. I won’t have a baby in my arms come May, but I can tell you I will be forever changed because of the 3 short weeks I grasped that I would become a mother.
When we found out, Corey wanted to share the news with everyone we knew. I didn’t think I could love him any deeper than I already did, but seeing the pride he had for our growing family made my heart explode. I knew it was hard for him to hold back the news. “If something happens though…” I would say. The thing is, “something” did happen, and I find myself wishing I would have told everyone with whom I crossed paths. What a gift we had been given. I celebrate the blessing of being able to become pregnant, and I mourn the loss at the same time.
This day isn’t the day I pictured, and I can’t help feeling like I’m missing someone as my 27th year begins, but I’m so thankful for God’s faithfulness and I pray that He works through me to connect with other women who have experienced this, and to talk about it…because sometimes the most comforting thing someone can say to you in a hard time is “me too.”
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18