We were so so excited, and were planning to announce the happy news to our family the next week on vacation. We had braced ourselves for staying home for Christmas, because I was due in early January. We had Rory watch the Daniel Tiger episode about his baby sister to prep her to tell her she was going to be a big sister. My sister just had a baby in March, and our babies would be less than a year apart. Rory was so ready, we were so ready, our world seemed so ready for our growing family.
I had Rory in California, so I'd never met with an OB in Utah before. I'd done my research and read really good things about the OB we were meeting with and in the first two minutes, I knew I'd done a good job. He was gregarious and kind, and had incredible bedside manner. We wouldn't have made a different choice if we could've. My pregnancy had been relatively easy, and I hadn't been nearly as nauseous as I was with Rory. I chalked it up to being at home (instead of working full time) where I could rest more often and graze with a whole pantry of options at my disposal. Jay chalked it up to the baby being a boy. I'd been taking better care of myself and going to the gym 4 times a week wanting to keep that up as long as possible, and wanting to run a race with Jay's family in October if I could. It had really been a breeze, and I was feeling great. I had spotted a little here and there, but I spotted quite a bit while I was pregnant with Rory so I didn't think anything of it. The morning of my appointment, I bled ever so slightly. Jay asked me on the way to the appointment, "on a scale of 1-10, how worried does that make you?" I said a 5- I honestly wasn't worried.
But the moment the ultrasound started I knew something was wrong. He kept searching and searching for what I knew from having a Rory should have been relatively easy to find. He couldn't find the baby, and when he did- he couldn't find a heartbeat. My reaction then was the same as it is now, almost two months later as I write this. My breath started coming rapid and shallow and I tried with all I had to hold back the tears. I pressed my cheek into the seat and tried to slow my breathing, but it didn't seem to matter what I did. By the time he told us out loud that our baby had no heartbeat I was sobbing. The kind of sobbing where you can't speak, and you can't move. He gave me a hug and told me he was so so sorry. That sweet, sincere man was an angel. He left the room and told us he would be back in a minute so we could talk about what happens next. What happens next is for another time, but giving birth to a baby no matter how small is a terrible thing to have to do if there's no screaming, pink, chubby-cheeked love on the other side.
There was so much kindness shown to us those few days after and the subsequent week which I will never be able to adequately repay.
Before this all happened, I really feel like God had prepared all of these tender mercies for me. Months before, I was painting my friend's nails and somehow her two miscarriages came up and she shared her experience. A friend in my neighborhood had a second miscarriage in a row and was brave and vulnerable enough to post what had happened and a public thank you to all of those people who helped her with meals and support. Family members had told me they had experienced miscarriages, and I knew they were not uncommon.
In all the pain of miscarriage, of losing a tiny person that I held and loved and planned for for months and years- I never felt alone. I'll never, ever forget sitting in the car after that appointment with Jay, just crying together and wondering what to do now. He turned to me and said, "You're joining a sorority of strong women". It resonated with me. It spoke truth to my soul. In all this heartache, there was this sorority of women who knew what I was going through and had gone through it before. There's something about standing together, even if it's only symbolically.
And that's why I share these things that are hard and vulnerable and close to my heart. Every time I go to write things like this, I almost don't, because I don't want to bring undue attention or pity or judgement on myself. I share these things because somewhere out there there's somebody who had a heartbreaking miscarriage and felt all alone. And I want them to know it's ok, and it's painful and it hurts. But you aren't alone. And if you need someone to reach out to, I'm listening. Come join this sorority of strong women who have survived the pain you are feeling right now, and they will stand behind you and succor you. And instead of alone you can feel validated and strengthened.