1 in 4: Finding Light In the Darkness of Miscarriage
I bought some new maternity clothes. I put away things that wouldn’t fit. We made and sent a sidewalk chalk “I’m going to be a big brother” photo announcement.
I hesitated as I did all these things. I had doubt. But I convinced myself it was just anxiety from the last time. It really wouldn’t happen again, right? Right. But really, I knew.
I felt the same way during this pregnancy as I did in the fifth week, right before my first miscarriage. I just didn’t feel pregnant. But this time my belly continued to grow. I convinced myself everything would be fine.
When I went to the bathroom and saw blood, I’d like to say I wasn’t surprised since I suspected all along. Except that I had gotten to eleven weeks, I was almost in the "safer zone" of the second trimester.
I was terrified and thought this couldn’t be true. It just couldn’t. But it was.
I called the midwife and she reassured me spotting can be normal and there probably was no need to come in over the weekend for an emergency ultrasound. So I waited as the spotting increased until Monday. But I knew.
And Monday’s ultrasound confirmed. No baby. An empty cozy little home in my belly for an embryo that hadn’t developed past six weeks.
I declined the offer for a D&C. The miscarriage process had already begun. So I decided to let it run its course naturally. I wasn’t sure what to expect exactly but I knew it would be painful and I knew it would change me.
And I was right.
The cramps began the next day. The pain escalated to labor-like intensity and I was soon doubting my decision to decline the D&C. But there was no turning back now.
I spent an hour in the bathroom breathing through contractions and attempting to mentally and emotionally distract myself. My two-year-old stayed with me the entire time, completely unaware of what was actually happening. In a way, it was a helpful distraction from the pain. He waited patiently, talking and offering me toilet paper.
I finally felt some relief and was thankful it was time for my son's nap.
I laid down with him completely exhausted emotionally and physically, ready to just get the rest I knew I needed.
What happened next was completely unexpected.
As I lay there in the quiet drifting in and out of sleep one of my favorite songs, The Hurt and the Healer by MercyMe, suddenly played in my head beginning at this point:
“…To hear you say it’s over now.” I felt so reassured the painful part was over.
Then very clearly I felt a gentle, invisible hand on the back of my shoulder.
And the song continued in my mind,
“So here I am all that’s left of me where glory meets my suffering. I’m alive, even though a part of me has died. You take this heart and breathe it back to life. I fall into your arms open wide. The hurt and the healer collide.”
I felt this overwhelming wave of peace and calm come over me. All my thoughts, my pain, my grief were gone if only for a moment as I fell into a deeper sleep.
There is no logical explanation for where this peace came from or whose hand was on my shoulder.
But I knew.
I knew this miscarriage would change me. And it did. But not in the way I thought it would.
I thought it would send me spiraling downward. I thought I would find myself in a pit of grief unable to find my way out. Instead in the middle of a very dark situation, I found some light. A light that brought gratitude for the life that we have. A light that brought hope that I will be reunited one day with my lost babies. A light that there is life beyond what we know here.
So if you’ve been through miscarriage or infant loss, please know you’re not alone. We are a sad but strong support group of women. If you need help dealing with grief please reach out to friends, family, and support groups.
The Hurt and the Healer has been one of my favorite songs since I first heard it. But now I listen to it with an entirely new perspective and EVERY WORD seems so fitting for the circumstance of miscarriage.
If this message speaks to you, please connect with me. I am 1 in 4. We are here on this journey together.