The Joy in My Miscarriage
I know what you’re thinking: joy, miscarriage? Those don’t belong in the same sentence together. Hear me out. Before I get to that particular experience, I need to back up a little and explain some things so you get the whole picture of why I say there was joy in my miscarriage.
February 2017, I stopped taking birth control. I was tired of taking pills every day and feeling hormonal. I was not ready to have another baby, AT ALL. So stopping it to get pregnant was so not my intent. I have PCOS and it took a long time (years) to have my son so we naively thought it would take forever again. Wrong. We used natural means to prevent pregnancy. Fail.
I still nursed my son and it was starting to hurt to nurse him so I kind of wondered… I took a test and a line didn’t show up right away but I didn’t even wait for the pee to go past the entire window. I threw it away, didn’t look at it again. A few days later I went to pump for my son and it hurt so bad. Feeling fully confident that I was not pregnant, just paranoid, I dug through the trash to look at the test I’d thrown away. There was a faint line. My heart jumped but I told myself it was just an evaporation line from just sitting there for days and I couldn’t trust the line. I told dyllan he needed to take me to the store right now because I have to know. Right now I have to know.
So I go to the bathroom at the store and low and behold there it was. Two lines. I wasn’t sad or happy at that moment, I felt only shock. I showed it to Dyllan who was immediately ecstatic. He kept saying “There’s no way!” over and over because really, it was pretty crazy.
He was excited but I started crying because I did not want to be pregnant yet for a whole lot of reasons and I was scared. He said, “Well let’s pray.” So we did. This is significant because my husband was recently saved just a month before. I’d prayed for him for years and he finally accepted Jesus. It made me so happy to hear him say that and then pray for my fear. I fully expected negative things to happen after he was saved because right after Jesus was baptized, he was tempted by Satan in the desert. If he went after Jesus after he was baptized, I fully expected him to come after Dyllan too.
We were so surprised to be pregnant, but nothing surprises God. I was an anxious, worried mess right away about a hundred things. We’d lost before, so I was afraid of loss again but I really didn’t think it would happen again.
Since my husband becoming saved, both of us dove right into studies, reading the bible and he would ask me questions. This also made me study more because I wanted to help him. I was also so excited to have seen God’s work in him and see an answered prayer in his salvation. Since we were both coming closer to God individually and as a married couple, Satan was losing his hold on us. Surely that makes him mad and I knew he’d come after us. He really knows where to get me when I’m pregnant and my worry and fear increased ten-fold. This time though, I had a believing husband to help me and pray for me and with me.
I knew that God could give me peace and take the fear away; I just had to trust him. He gave us the baby, so he had prepared a way for us to care for her too. He had a plan and I didn’t need to freak out about anything, I knew this, but that’s easier said than done, especially for me. A couple days later I took a shower and had some quiet time to pray. I remember standing in there crying and praying, telling God I was scared, so, so darn scared, but I wanted to surrender it to him, I just didn’t know how to do it.
I’d had a meeting with a midwife at the birth center in my town and she was on board with all my wishes. I couldn’t wait to give birth there. Though I had some fear around dying this time that I didn’t have with my son, I was very excited to experience labor and birth again. Most women dread that, but I’m “one of those” birth junkies. She ordered an ultrasound with me so we could find out how far along I was since I had pcos and wonky periods. When I went, the tech wouldn’t let me see until she was done. She showed me one single picture and it was just the sac and it was empty. Right away, worry filled me.
By the date of my period I’d have been 7 weeks. I’d had an ultrasound with my son at 4-5-6-7-9 weeks so I was well aware of what I should be seeing at this gestation. I called my midwife and she said I just may not be as far along as I think I am. Logically, I knew this, but fear was more powerful. Even if I wasn’t as far along as I thought, it still didn’t look like Malachai looked. I feared blighted ovum but we’d have to wait for them to send the report over to my midwife.
I went to the ER the following day because later that night I felt so awful. I had worried myself so bad to the point of making myself so sick I got so dehydrated so fast and I just felt plain terrible.
I got fluids and some medicine to settle my stomach and the doctor ordered an ultrasound for me which I was so thankful for. The tech this time let me see and I saw what I thought was a little shadow inside the sac this time. But it still didn’t look like what my son did. The doctor came in to tell me it measured 5 weeks 4 days but there was no fetal pole or yolk sac seen but that was ok because that’s very early and sometimes you don’t. My hcg level was 25,000 which was a huge increase, my last one was only 550. So that could have also been why I felt so bad. I wasn’t sick with Malachai, but this pregnancy was already proving itself to be different.
I felt better, but there was a thought in my head that questioned it because with Malachai, we saw a fetal pole and a yolk sac at 5 weeks. I wondered maybe the ultrasound machines at the fertility clinic were better quality than the ER, so that’s how I made myself feel better about it. The next day I left for vacation to Georgia to see my mom. Dyllan was joining us a week later.
While on vacation I had days where I felt bad, especially in the evening. I still had many signs of being pregnant. I also took more tests just to make myself feel better. We had to drive home to Texas from Georgia, and I felt kind of crampy a little bit along the way. I told dyllan but he told me I was just paranoid. We kept praying. I kept praying asking to see my baby, for him to show her to me somehow, a dream, an ultrasound, something, because all I could picture was that empty sac I saw. I kept telling myself I am in God’s hands, my baby is in God’s hands, stop panicking.
I almost went to the ER because I was worried. The cramps weren’t even bad, they were random and I couldn’t tell if it was my guts or me just over analyzing every little sensation since I was so nervous. I talked to Dyllan, I told him I wonder if this is some sort of test or teaching moment that God is using to get me to trust him and have faith in him. So maybe we shouldn’t get an ultrasound because I should just trust him.
I slept on it. The next morning I just couldn’t shake the feeling. God can use ultrasounds too. Maybe if I get one that’s God answering my prayer to see her. So my midwife ordered one for me and I went and got one two days later.
Backing up just a smidge, we’d been home less than a week from vacation. My dog, Arizona, when I was taking a shower, would lay right against the tub. She would even use her snout to move the curtains back to rest her head on the ledge and stare at me while I showered. She’d stare for a few minutes, then lay back down, then check on me again, moving the curtains to stare. She did the same exact thing when I miscarried before. There’s been years between that miscarriage and now, and during that time, she never did that. It made me suspicious, but I prayed again asking to see my baby and to help calm my spirit. I can’t even count how many times in the last weeks that I prayed for the same thing again and again.
Okay, back to the ultrasound. That day I was slightly crampy, but didn’t know if it was my guts or not. I felt like it was uterine cramps, but I was telling myself they weren’t. Twenty minutes past my appointment time (talk about anxiously waiting!) they called me back. I said, “Ok God whatever happens you’re in control.” Deep in the back of my mind, I knew there wasn’t going to be a heartbeat. When I look back at all this now, my womanly intuition was peeking through.
First she did abdominal. She asked if I’d been cramping, I said not really. I knew that wasn’t a good sign. When she left for me to change to do a transvaginal, dyllan showed me the picture he took and there wasn’t anything there. I told him that but I still don’t think it’d clicked yet, but I knew. If I was 5 weeks before vacation, I was supposed to be 9 weeks now. We’d seen Malachai at 9 weeks so I knew what we were supposed to see, and it wasn’t there. It was just an empty sac–a blighted ovum. I believe that life begins when sperm meets egg, so even though a baby didn’t continue to form along with the placenta and gestational sac, there was still life at some point.
The whole time she was doing my ultrasounds, I just laid there emotionless. Numb. I got sad when I finally saw the reality hit dyllan’s face and he’d lost his light of excitement. When it was over I took Malachai and walked out. I still didn’t cry though. I didn’t pray for help either, I was mad at God, I yelled at him, and then didn’t come to him again the rest of the day for anything. He got the silent treatment from me.
I didn’t cry until I had to say it out loud when I called my mom who was in Indiana waiting for the Lord to take my uncle Kevin home as he had been removed from life support just a few hours before my ultrasound. He was in a bad motor cycle wreck over a week before this. Also, a week before he was in a wreck, my dog jumped out of the truck before my husband was ready to help her (she’s old and arthritic) and she paralyzed herself. We had to put her down. Within the last three weeks, it was nothing but a snowball of death. God why on earth would you allow all these horrible things to happen?! I was so mad.
My midwife called me before I was headed to bed to talk to me. She’d ordered my ultrasound STAT so she had the report. She told me it was okay to wait for my body to naturally do its thing if I wanted and that’s absolutely what I wanted. I still feel like it’s giving birth in a way and it’s healing for me to experience it.
Later that night I woke up in the early morning cramping. I went to the bathroom, when I wiped it was red. With my other loss that’s when I came unglued and hysterical but this time, I felt a wave of peace and calmness come over me. I didn’t even cry. I felt peace that surprised me because I am such an anxious person. I went back to bed, laid with Dyllan for a second and he put his hand on my head. I thought his embrace of comfort would bring on the tears. Last time he hugged me I fell to the floor crying and he had to pick me up. You know, you can be fine until someone gives you a hug then it’s over, the tears pour. But that didn’t happen surprisingly. Still peace.
Then the next day, all morning I felt okay and didn’t cry or feel anxious. I went to bible study then went home and waited for things to pick up. It’d been so very light so far. The cramps started to get stronger then at 530 pm I started having contractions, time-able as if I was in labor, and knew that my body was about to let everything out. I went back to the bathroom where I felt the peace of Jesus come over me in the middle of the night because I wanted to feel that peace again while my body worked. I put a towel down on the floor and got down on the floor and just waited. Arizona came up with me and laid at my feet on the floor, occasionally coming to sniff my face. Love her to pieces, she’s a great dog. Dyllan didn’t want to see anything so he sat outside the bathroom door to support me so I wasn’t alone. I love him to pieces too.
With each contraction stuff would come out. I prayed and asked to see her a lot before I even had conformation that this would happen. My previous loss did not come out with anything to see, this time, with one huge strong contraction everything came out at once. I looked down and saw a little sac, poked it, realized what it was and that I could see, got teary eyed for a second, but then felt peace and calmness again. I had asked God to see so many times, and he did let me see, just not the way I had hoped which was alive on the ultrasound but he let me see!
Call me crazy but I explored it for a while looking at everything and even though it was sad, I got to see the creation of God in it and I found comfort in that. Pregnancy is such a hidden thing, all that goes on to make a baby is just incredible and God is the orchestrator of that. I got to see his handiwork.
I felt so much physical relief when it was out, I got up and we went to church for worship night 20 minutes later. I bled a ton on the way there. I kept adjusting in my seat which made dyllan ask me several times are you sure you don’t want to go home? I said “No, I want to enter the throne room at least for one song. Satan is not going to keep me from at least one song.”
I went to the bathroom before the service started. When I sat down on the toilet blood and huge clots poured out of me with several strong contractions. Not going to lie, it scared me cause that didn’t happen last time. It was so much I was getting concerned. I didn’t feel light headed or anything yet so I told myself at least one song, if the pouring doesn’t stop I’ll call my midwife and leave. The contractions stopped enough for me to clean myself up, said a quick little out loud prayer “Lord, make it stop bleeding and heal me,” and I went to sit with Dyllan.
I tried to stand to sing but it was uncomfortable and I felt a little weird. I was shaking now just a tad and felt a little woozy which I knew I needed to pay attention to and not be dumb about how I was feeling. Hemorrhage was serious and I knew that.
During worship I felt the Holy Spirit on me and continued to feel such peace and I prayed for the bleeding to stop. “Heal the wounds in my womb,” I said. One of the songs we sang that night has a line about how Jesus carries healing in his wings and how he is our healer. Coincidence? Nope. I went back to the bathroom to check how my bleeding was. It had stopped. Praise the Lord. For a brief moment there I was afraid I was going to hemorrhage it was so much, like a facet. Then there were barely drops!
Everyone feels the Holy Spirit in different ways. During worship I ask for Jesus to touch me so I can feel his presence and that night he did. I held Dyllan’s hand and the other I had raised to worship. I asked him to reach down and touch my hand and just two of my fingers felt pressure and tingled like the feeling when your leg falls asleep and it’s trying to wake up. It overwhelmed me because I knew it was another answered prayer and I cried happy tears.
The following Saturday my midwife came over to my house to give me a rhogam shot since my husband and I have conflicting blood types. I also asked her to look at what I passed because I had saved it for her to identify everything for me. To both of our surprise, there were two gestational sacs, one inside of the other. We’d had a twin loss four years ago and now another. I’m glad I asked her. It made me a little sad, but I still felt peace. I became more confused than anything else. I guess my body can perfectly handle one but two it has trouble? I may consult with a doctor to see if any tests can be run, but ultimately I’m still and always will be in God’s hands. We will have lots of angel babies to meet when we get to heaven.
Scripture says that what Satan intended for evil, God meant for good. Even though I cursed him after my ultrasound and was so angry at him, he didn’t leave me to grieve alone, he did more than just not leave, he filled me with his peace and presence and healed me. We live in a fallen world, bad things happen to everyone even followers of Christ. Jesus said we will have sorrow in this world, but he promised to never leave us. And he didn’t leave me.
After my ultrasound, my human response was anger and I was angry and turned away from him for a few hours. He still didn’t leave me though. I have this illustration in my head: a little kid holding his father’s hand and he’s screaming, crying, trying to make his dad let his hand go but he won’t release him because he would run away and get hurt. That’s pretty much how I was after that ultrasound. Screaming, crying, yelling get away from me, let me go, I’m so mad at you right now. But just like that father, Jesus didn’t let me go. He let me be mad and when I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night he followed me to fill me with peace instead.
While I am sad, I have found such joy in this experience because I saw the work of God in so many ways and I felt the literal hand of Jesus on me which was awesome. He said he gives us peace that surpasses all understanding, and I felt that truly for the first time in my life and I’m so thankful I felt it. I think all of this happened so I could learn all these things, so he could show me who he is. So many people, believers and unbelievers, would turn away from God in anger or say how can you trust in him after that? See God doesn’t care about you. But I had this thought: That’s exactly what Satan wants you to think and do, not trust him and turn away. Well I wasn’t going to let the devil win.
The world says that time heals all wounds, but that’s not true. Jesus heals them and he can heal you right on the spot, physically and emotionally. You know sometimes if you see somebody who did you wrong and you still feel angry when you see them? Or you remember some situation and you immediately have a strong reaction? Maybe you haven’t gotten over it yet and need to ask God to help you find peace. I’ve gotten on facebook several times and have seen many, many posts of people posting their positive pregnancy tests, their newborns, their birth videos, and this morning I noticed something when I watched my friends video: I didn’t feel jealous or angry that I don’t get to do that now.
See I just miscarried a few days ago, so the world would say I should feel sad and angry and jealous when I see that because it’s only been a few days. That’s not enough time to get over it. And if you’re over it already I question if you cared in the first place. The world has it wrong. Time doesn’t heal your wounds; Jesus heals your wounds when you ask him to. (Thanks Sadie Robertson from Duck Dynasty for that little gem-can’t take credit for that one haha)
I do have moments of sadness and grief, but I picture Jesus walking beside me, holding my hand, sitting on the couch beside me, because he really is there. I can’t see him with my eyes, but I can feel him around me holding me together.
Sometimes the hardest thing to say is: I want your will, Lord, not mine.
The Joy in My Miscarriage