A year ago today I woke up still pregnant. But by the end of the day I was empty. Physically and emotionally empty.
It is extremely hard to fathom that it's been a year since our first loss. In some ways it feels like it only happened yesterday, and in others ways it's hard to remember what my life was like before my heart was broken.
B r o k e n. I can think of no better word to describe how I feel.
On August 1, 2016 I found out I was expecting our second child. I was surprised how hopeful I quickly became. I always imagined I'd be more reserved in future pregnancies, but I found so much joy and hope through this child. Of course I was also fearful of losing this child, but I tried so hard to just trust the Lord, knowing that He alone opens and closes the womb.
O N E H U N D R E D D A Y S
Three months a week and a day
Fourteen weeks and two days
Two thousand four-hundred hours
One hundred and forty-four thousand minutes
Eight million six-hundred and forty thousand seconds
Usually I'm off on Fridays, but of course I had scheduled to work this Friday so I could take an extra day off next week. I was so annoyed with myself Thursday night and this morning as I got ready for work. I felt like I really needed a day off. But what can you do?
So while at work I worked on the blog post I posted earlier today and right before I left I posted it. Not too long after I received a text from a dear friend saying some of the sweetest things. While she doesn't text me all the time, she's the kind of friend that when she does, it's gold. I could not hold back the tears while reading it. It was so precious. The part that really got me:
Early in the morning on October 17, 2015 I took a pregnancy test. I had taken one the day before and got a negative. So on that Saturday morning when I awoke with terrible heartburn (for what felt like the hundredth day in a row) I wanted to take some medicine but thought I should take one more test to rule out pregnancy before I took any medication.
I was expecting a negative since I had gotten one the day before, so I took the test and watched it for a few seconds. I didn't see a second line so I walked out to our hall closet and picked out some heartburn meds. A minute or two later I walked back in and looked at the test again.
There's something about having physical items to help remember the child you lost and never got to meet. Having these things makes me feel so much closer to when our baby was still with us; just closer to everything that has to do with her sweetness.
Picking out verses and words of the year has always seemed kind of lame to me. A slew of bloggers that I follow always have a word of the year, and up until a couple days ago I just rolled my eyes. I'm not sure what exactly it was that annoyed me. Maybe that people are obsessed with their words for the first month or two and use it as a hashtag for everything and then it slowly fades away like most resolutions do. Or maybe it's just that, in general, I'm not into that kind of stuff. So I was already getting kind of annoyed as people were bombarding Instagram with their words of the year before the new year even began.
I've never really gone through a trial before that caused me to lean on the Lord so intensely. There haven't been too many seasons of life until now where I truly had to take things day by day, sometimes even moment by moment. I've never had to unknowingly wait. Sure, I had to wait quite a while to marry Michael since we started dating so young. But I still knew that eventually we would get married. It is so hard not knowing if we will ever be blessed with children here on earth. It is scary to have such an intense desire while not knowing if it will ever be fulfilled.
Warning: This post is real and one part sad, one part hopeful.
On November 15th, 2015 I left the hospital empty-handed. Physically not having a baby in my arms is devastating. And I imagine it will only continue to grow more and more devastating, especially as I get closer and closer to my due date. But right now, what is so devastating to me, is how empty I feel on the inside.
Today I am super thankful that my baby had a heartbeat. I often think about how I wish I had more time with our child. It's not that I'm even asking for her to have been born full-term and healthy, just that she would've been born slightly older and more developed, that maybe she would've taken a few breaths, that she would've received a birth certificate. But that's not our story. I am just really thankful that we got to see her heartbeat because it made her just a little bit more real to us.
It's common to feel so alone after a miscarriage. I felt like most people didn't understand and I just didn't know what to do. So I've compiled a list of several things that have helped me in the days and weeks after my miscarriage to heal and I'm sure will continue to help me in the coming months and years.