Tag Archive: miscarriage

A friend of mine connected me to Jennifer’s blog posts which she has just written and they are deeply moving and heart-breaking, but at the same time I think it can be so powerful for those who are going through a similiar journey to be connected in some way to others who have also walked or are walking this road. I really appreciate her willingness to let me repost her blog and encourage you to continue on to the three follow-up posts she has written which I link to at the end… [since the time of posting this, Jennifer has continued to blog her journey and so there are now ten posts which are all linked to at the bottom of this]:

First Ultrasound:

This morning I had my very first ultrasound. The midwife immediately commented on the strong spine, and soon after we were listening to a description of the four chambers of the heart—perfectly formed. All the things that first-time parents long to hear.

There was only one problem – that perfectly-formed heart was not moving. Our baby likely died around two weeks ago (the doctor we were sent to suggested there is no way to place a timeline on things, as the baby could have just been progressing slowly, but our hearts tell us otherwise).

We spent much of the afternoon/evening alternating between tears and numbness. As Allyn keeps saying, “it comes in waves.”

Given that we discovered the death before my body registered any signs, we decided to try medication to begin the process of passing. My midwife assured us that I should not be alone when the miscarriage begins and given that our work schedules don’t always match up, it seemed best to begin this process earlier than either of us want – during a weekend when both of us are off work.

I’ve had conflicting emotions – the desire to hold on, even though I know logically that the baby is dead. There is a part of me that believes as long as it remains in the womb, it will be safe and protected. The other part of me doesn’t know what to do with the knowledge that death resides inside me – that the tiny, well-formed being that rests within my uterus is gone.

It reminds me of a chapter in Trauma and Grace (which, unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find today—but, thankfully, portions are on google books). This book by Serene Jones features a chapter on reproductive loss and seeks an appropriate theological image. After spending time writing of grief and our lack of meaningful images and help for women who have experienced reproductive loss (in this chapter she deals with infertility, miscarriage, and stillbirth), she tells a tale of the Triune God. Apparently theologians like Moltmann and Luther have suggested that when Christ died, the death was taken into the Godhead. It was considered a limit and a contradiction that the Triune God could take death into itself and yet live. Jones suggests this may have been a limitation of the male theologians that discussed the idea – for women who miscarry do just that. We carry death inside of us, and yet (sometimes despite our desires at the time), we live. She compares the Triune God to a miscarrying woman, and I love that. It means even during this time when so few people know, I am not alone in this tangle of death and life. God, the Creator and Giver of life, has felt death within God’s womb.

It is a strange image—and one I recognize could be offensive to some—but it rings true for me. I have passed on this image to other women grieving after miscarriage, and I find that in some quiet way, it comforts me.

I took the pills, knowing it was my best option. And now I wait. Four hours after pills, there is still no blood or spotting to indicate that anything is happening.

I imagine some are wondering if I regret telling people that we were pregnant before hitting the so-called “safe” point. I don’t. We had originally planned to wait, but I began wondering why there was such a stigma around telling. Obviously I understand why some wish to wait and don’t want to grieve publicly if something happens. But it seems many of us begin to make that decision simply because we are supposed to. And I began to fear that the reason was shame. That the system is built around the idea that if something goes wrong, it must mean something is wrong with me. And to be honest, it is hard not to feel that guilt now.

The very first thing said to me by the doctor, technician, and midwife was “this was not because of something you did or did not do.” And I get that. We were planning for this pregnancy. During the waiting period, I was already following pregnancy guidelines. And I followed every guideline I found to the very letter of the law. Limited caffeine? I’ll avoid it all. No hot tubs? I’ll even turn down the temperature of the water on my showers. Lunch meat should be heated? I’ll avoid it altogether. I’ve avoided all medications. And certainly no alcohol, cigarettes, or illegal drugs.

But what if the “wrong” thing was my very body? What if it acted against my will to destroy the life inside of me? And that is certainly a possibility. But even if it is so, I’m not responsible for that.

Telling people will be hard. But it would be just as hard and just as awkward if this child died a year after birth. There will always be awkward moments of people not knowing and asking the wrong question or saying the wrong thing.

And today has taught me that I desperately need people. Neither of us ate much today. We ate sandwiches for lunch because we were supposed to. We tried to drink water, because the ultrasound technician made us promise to do so, fearing dehydration and sickness in addition to the pain we already felt. We talked about how we knew we needed dinner, but neither of us was in a state to do anything about it. Enter my family. My parents and sister loaded the car with more food that any 5 people can eat and sat with us. It was the first time that we were able to laugh a little and talk about something other than loss. And we needed that. We will need friends and colleagues in the coming days. Our excitement and joy and hope was not a mistake. And neither is our grief now.

Author’s note: This is the first in a series on pregnancy loss/miscarriage. It was written the evening of the ultrasound, so if thoughts seem disconnected, etc., you will note there is good reason. 

You can connect more with Jennifer’s blog here and also read the ten follow-up posts she has posted:

Still Pregnant – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/05/28/still-pregnant

How are you? – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/05/29/how-are-you

The pants can’t win – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/05/30/the-pants-cant-win

Of angels, rainbows and resentment: http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/05/31/of-angels-rainbows-and-resentment

Out of control – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/01/out-of-control

Sonnet 10 – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/02/sonnet-10

The business of miscarriage – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/04/the-business-of-miscarriage

The broken things – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/05/the-broken-things

Counting the days – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/06/counting-the-days

This is what a miscarrying woman looks like – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/07/this-is-what-a-miscarrying-woman-looks-like

Hush baby – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/09/hush-baby

The Long Road – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/12/the-long-road

Of Laundry Ladies and Goblins – http://jenniferharrisdault.com/2013/06/13/of-laundry-ladies-and-goblins

i thought i was finished with this series on people who have lost a child and then i received this email from a friend of mine who lost a baby. i knew this was one more to be shared and i imagine it will impact a lot of people deeply. i want to encourage those of you who read it to refrain from doing what we often do when hearing someone’s story – justifying, rationalising, critiquing, judging, preparing our response and more – just try and read the story and really hear the voice of a parent who has lost a child and is still in that place of it not being okay. just hear what is being courageously shared. [my friend asked to remain anonymous to protect the people in their life that this speaks to/about]:

Don’t tell me how many times it’s happened to you, I don’t want to know the possibilities of this ever happening again. I can’t see my way through now, how can I comprehend ever going through this again?

Don’t expect me to be better after the time you’ve set out as being reasonable, It may take 5 years, it may never be over. Look out for me, make sure I’m not stuck in a season, but don’t expect me to be fine by now

Don’t treat me like I’m over it, When you see one day that I’m the person I used to be before all this happened, then you can treat me like I’m over it.

I will never be the person I used to be before all this happened

Don’t tell me 4 weeks after my baby has died that you’re pregnant and expect me to be happy for you. I hate you, I hate the God who has allowed you to be happy and not me, I hate the people congratulating you. I am working through asking God for forgiveness for hating. How do you ask a God you don’t trust anymore for forgiveness? I am working through feeling guilty for no longer trusting a God I have always known. How does a God you’ve always known to be one thing suddenly change? I’m working through not seeing God as I’ve always known Him to be. Do you see what your “announcement” has set off in me?

Don’t judge me when you don’t see me singing in Church, I’m reading every song in a different light and with a different perspective, I’m evaluating whether or not I can honestly sing any of those words and mean them even a tiny bit anymore. I’m feeling judged for sitting in church week after week without praising, I don’t want to be here, I want to be in bed feeling sorry for myself, but I’m not…I’m here, I’m with you, it’s a massive step…recognize that

Don’t tell me it’s all going to be ok, you don’t know that. You told me it was all going to be ok when I went for my scan, we know what happened after that…Tell me you love me and you’re there for me, tell me you’ll walk this road with me no matter how long it is, tell me you won’t judge me, tell me you’ll try

Don’t tell me you understand. Really? Your puppies got run over, you understand “exactly what I’m going through”? You will never understand. Maybe one day (hopefully never though) you’ll have some kind of idea, but you’ll never understand. I don’t pretend to understand what someone else in my same situation is going through. That’s because they are unique, their situation will be perceived from the point where their personalities and outside influences affect them. I’ll never 100% understand what they are going through. You do not have the capability of understanding so telling me “you understand” only minimizes my experience of this to the size of your ability to comprehend it. I don’t blame you for not understanding though, I envy you.

Don’t tell me you’re sorry for my “unfortunate situation”. My baby died and was torn from inside me, you term that “unfortunate”?

Don’t offer empty words of consolation, hug me, I’ll know exactly what you’re saying.

Don’t make every “coffee date” a time for you to find out how I’m doing, I want to be able to go for coffee with you without the anxiety of what questions you’re going to ask me, and how those questions will affect me on this specific day. Let the conversations happen naturally, but listen…because somewhere in that conversation I will tell you how I’m doing…

Don’t pretend awkwardly that you haven’t heard me mention something about my baby or how I’m feeling today. Follow up, listen and talk with me, I’m feeling strong enough to open up and talk, don’t ignore me, that’ll only make me feel as if you think I shouldn’t be talking about it.

Don’t let me eat alone in the days right after everything. I feel guilty for even feeling the need to eat at a time like this. Bring food, it’ll make me realize that you think I should be eating even at a time like this and then I can feel just a little less guilty. Don’t ask me what I eat or don’t eat, I feel guilty for being hungry remember? It’d probably make me feel a little less guilty by eating food I completely dislike so I really don’t mind

Don’t make every meeting a somber event, make space for me to have normal times, you know, like when we lived life innocently and we’d go to each other’s houses and play games or watch a comedy together, or we’d go have breakfast in the park. I want ‘normal’, I crave ‘normal’, I can’t get ‘normal’ on my own, I need you to make it for me

Don’t look at my tummy in the months after, to see if I might be pregnant. I’m aware of not being pregnant every day, so keep your eyes off my tummy. Believe me, you’ll know when I’m pregnant again, I’ll be shouting it from the rooftops. So please, don’t make me insecure wondering when someone’s going to ask me about my tummy just because it’s a bit bigger…maybe from being pregnant before, maybe from a bit of extra weight that sadness has added on

Don’t tell me it was probably for the better. Would you ever go to the mother of a disabled child and tell her it would’ve been for the better if her child had not lived? That’s what you’re saying when you tell me that. I would’ve loved a disabled child, or a sick child, etc inspite of all that. That was my baby, I don’t care what was wrong with him/her

Don’t forget the important dates, I’m remembering them, I’ll never forget. The date we found out we were pregnant, the date we heard our baby’s heart beat, the date the doctor told us our baby was dead, our baby’s due date, what would’ve been our baby’s 1st birthday, it goes on, it forever will. When I’m still raw, remember the dates

Don’t tell me I have a choice as to how I’m going to let things affect me. Do you think I would ever choose to have things affect me like they do sometimes? I don’t have a choice in how things are going to affect me, from one day to the next I have no clue how even a simple question will affect me. You asked me yesterday How I am, I said fine, You asked me today…I burst out crying. You asked me this morning how my day has been, I said great, you asked me this evening…I got angry at you. You asked me at 13:00 what I’m up to later, I said I was going out, you asked me at 15:00…I was curled up comatose on my bed. You asked me at 20:00 how I was, I said good, you asked me at 20:05…I was cursing God. I don’t know from one minute to the next how things are going to go, my life is in turmoil.

Don’t expect me to be your support. I don’t want to know whether or not you’re coping, I don’t have the emotional capability to handle your feelings. You have your own support system, go to it so you can be mine.

Don’t get upset if I react negatively to something you say to me. I’m sorry for hurting you, but right now you’re the stronger one, can you carry that for me? Please?

Don’t tell me (as you roll your eyes at something your child is doing) “one day you’ll understand”. I understand now. I am a mother. I became a mother and my husband became a father on the day our baby was conceived. I may not have a living baby to prove it to you, but he/she will forever be alive in our hearts. We are parents, we just ‘understand’ a different area of parenting than what you do.

Don’t think that when I’m laughing I am not grieving anymore. I feel guilty, I feel as if I am betraying my baby’s memory.

Don’t forget that I’m still grieving. I know it’s hard for you to be aware of things you say to me, but please, is it such a burden to carry in light of everything? Will you carry that for me?

Don’t think my pain is healed. A part of me will forever be broken, but I will learn to live with that…in time

Don’t get annoyed or hurt when I don’t rejoice with you when you tell me you’re pregnant, I haven’t slammed the door in your face. I want to, but I haven’t because I care for you and want to protect you from me so that you can have the space to rejoice for you. I can’t right now, because I’m using all my energy to fight against hating and envying you, but I’m quiet, and that is my way of saying I care enough to be silent.

Don’t get upset when I don’t talk or open up to you. My words are coming from a place of pain, anguish and turmoil. I love you, that is why I’m silent. My words will only hurt you, so I keep them inside.

I used the analogy once when someone asked me how I was, I said it was like that earthquake that hit Japan last year. One week Japan was thriving, nothing on the horizon that was going to turn their world upside down. The next week everything had changed, all there was for as far as you could see was rubble. Lives that had crumbled into little bits that were no longer recognizable, nothing visible that was still intact. Nothing remotely resembling the life they had, the dreams they held for their futures.

Hopelessness, deep, deep sorrow, utter disbelief. The week before they couldn’t imagine anything like this, they didn’t have the ability to even comprehend the devastation lying ahead for them. In the first few days, no one knew where to even start. Where do you start to begin putting your life together again? How do you begin to fix years and years of life that has been broken down to nothing in just a matter of minutes?

Slowly you pick up a brick and move it out of the way. After a while the bricks become too heavy because your arms are tired, so you start moving pieces of broken brick instead. You rest a while. You’re tired, but your life is in limbo at the moment because you have no security, you have no confidence, you have no dreams for the future, you have no hope. You keep your head down because to look at the ruins of your home, your life, your dreams, as a whole picture is too painful, you can’t bear it. So you keep plodding on with your head down. Eventually you reach the base of where your house once stood. There’s a lot more rubble here because of the size of what once stood there, but you’ve made progress. What lies ahead is a much bigger task than what you’ve gone through already but you have nothing else to do, no other reason to do anything. So you keep going. You think of giving up sometimes because of the strain of it all, but you don’t. You don’t know what drives you, you don’t know what pushes you to keep going but you do. Maybe it’s the fleeting thought that one day you will have a house again, if you just clear this mess, you can build a life, build hopes and dreams and a future. The size of the task is daunting, but you keep going.

After days or weeks, or months, you lift another brick, but this time you see something underneath it. It’s dusty and dirty, and you can’t see it clearly, but you know it’s something you recognize and so you reach for it. It’s a vase, a simple thing that used to hold such beauty. It’s not damaged. Maybe a little dusty, but it’s still intact. You can’t believe it. How did anything survive? You cling to it as if it is the most precious thing in the world. You carry on clearing up. More things slowly start to appear while you’re clearing away the rubble. They begin to form a pile and the pile grows and slowly… keeps growing. Every now and then you go and sit next your pile, and admire the things that are still intact, the good memories start to fill you and give you strength. You get enough strength to go back and clear a bigger section. The times between clearing and resting grow bigger. What once used to fill your days is still there, and always will be, but you have hope now, it may be only a little, but you see how far you’ve come, you could never have imagined getting to this point but somehow you have, you’re a survivor, you ARE strong enough. The road ahead is long. Your house will never look the way it did before, but you start to recognize it as home, you start to see the possibilities in your future. But you never forget, to forget would mean to nullify everything you’ve been through and besides, how could you forget something that impacted your life so much, no, you never forget, but you begin to learn how to live with the memories…

when i started writing this blog series on people who have had miscarriages/lost babies, i was overwhelmed with the response i got, because in my life experience i had never come across many stories of this happening but i had heard that it happens a lot more than we think. And so i really am truly grateful for everyone who shared personally and for those who linked me to friends of theirs. With people being so brave i didn’t want to leave anyone out and so i have compiled a few more links to stories and websites that other people shared with me. Every story is different and unique and it has been a huge encouragement [and a very painful one, especially for those people i know personally] that you all have invited me [and so many other people] to share in your stories of loss and hope, love and devastation and healing. i KNOW it has made a difference for some people who had previously been suffering quietly by themselves and feeling alone in this.

i want to end off with links to five more stories, most of who are good friends of mine and thank each of you for the sharing of your story and in some cases the resources you have set up to help other people with theirs. may each of us continue to experience the God who is able to work good out of the most tragic circumstances and give us hope and a future.

[David and Sarah Seabrook] 53 hours: The story of Daniel Kiran Seabrook

[Lindsay Bresler] Cathy was at school with me (a year or 2 younger) – basically had kidney problems when pregnant and they lost the baby AND will never be able to fall pregnant again due to health risks… she has written a lot of stuff relating to it and you can see some of it on this link…

[Margaret Ann and Adam Schaaf] My husband and I have been through the loss of our child(ren) more than once. It is something that I have written about in my journals. You can read my poem, “The Day Grace Died” at http://mypoetry.scriptmania.com/custom.html as it was written in response to losing our child.

[Rory and Debbi Windell] Hi Brett, not sure if you know but Debbi and I lost our son, Nathan Ross Windell due to a ruptured uterus and have now created a Foundation in his name called the Live in Hope Foundation and you can see our story and get some help and assistance for parents who have lost a loved one especially a child! go to www.liveinhope.co.za as well as our Facebook page: Live in Hope Foundation

[Adrian and Benita Wright] Hey Brett: Here is a note I posted on our story a while back: https://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=10150540969965001

one imagines that once you are pregnant all goes well and a perfect offspring is born. that’s how i felt cos i’d had an easy 1st pregnancy and my daughter(Ro-anne) was perfect.

so when i was pregnant again i was soo shocked when i started bleeding, the doc told me to go to bed but nothing helped i lost the baby. i was devastated especially as i did not have a DnC but flushed my baby down the toilet. we are talking 30 yrs ago. also these things were not spoken about then and you had to muddle through by yourself.

the same story happened with the next baby.

praise God baby number 4 (Bronwyn)was full term and healthy.

again two more miscarriages. the hours of silent weeping in the middle of the night, blaming myself for doing something wrong. in the 3rd miscarriage i went to the doc and was lying on the examination bed, i was alone in the room and there was only one door which i could see. all of a sudden i felt a presence in the room, i calmed down and suddenly i felt that it didn’t matter why i lost the babies, God knew the full story and He is sovereign. the doc came and gave an ultra sound – i saw the baby in the middle of the womb but not attached, but this time i was comforted although i still cried. it was a peace that passes understanding.

another beautiful daughter arrived (Valerie)

after that i had 2 more miscarriages. the last 1 the baby had reached 4 months and we could all feel it moving and then it died, i had to have a DnC. i had a battle with myself cos i did not feel i had the emotional ability to face another miscarriage, but felt i could not leave my 3 daughters with such a negative view of pregnancies so i tried again. the baby went full term and was another beautiful daughter (Shana meaning Blessing) I felt that was an appropriate name considering the miscarriages.

how did i stay sane through all this? by the grace off God: he said my strength is sufficient for you. i go on without a shadow of doubt that i will see 6 children in heaven that i have not had the privilege of holding here. the 4 daughters i have have been an untold blessing to me. ‘all things work to the good of those who are called according to His purpose’. sandra.

when i have walked this road with people and they have had a stillbirth i have encouraged them to take a photo of the baby and hand and feet prints. they have all said it has helped them.

To God be the Glory Great things He Hath done.

[Sandra and Shane Duffield]

Itʼs July, Mauri phones to tell me the news, weʼre pregnant again. Whoohoo! We had been trying and Mauri had had a dream in which a date for a birth of a baby was given. So the news was, well, wow perhaps God had spoken to us about the actual birthday! We did a calculation and due date was in the ʻdate proximityʼ. Sure it was very early days, but God had spoken hadnʼt he, and so we started dreaming: is it a boy or a girl? What will they look like, be like? And how will they play with Kristen?

A couple of weeks later Mauri comes into the lounge with an anxious, slightly panicked look on her face, she is spotting and the bleeding was getting heavier. The next day we are in our doctorʼs surgery and he confirms our fears. A miscarriage.

Itʼs only a miscarriage, just a miscarriage, we carry on with life, right? Hey in the old days no one would have even known, and the bleed put down as a late period. Thatʼs what some have said. I begin thinking along those lines too: itʼs not like weʼve lost a baby. Or have we? Almost as if right there and then i have the wrestle of our time: when does life begin? Iʼm struggling to know what i should be feeling in the midst of Mauriʼs emotions, strengthened by hormonal changes in her body. I write to a mentor of mine and his wisdom to us is that we need to name the baby and say goodbye. That shouldnʼt be too difficult? Mauriʼs instinct was that it was a girl. We had a name we were going to use if we had another girl, and so we named her Bethany, had to name her Bethany because to choose any other name would be to discount the life that had been there. It was at that point that Mauri and I wept together. I was so surprised by how pained i felt, how disappointed I was.
It was so much harder to say goodbye that i had imagined.

Itʼs so easy for me to delegitimize my feelings because otherʼs have had it much harder. Which is true. But thatʼs not right either. When life is formed it is only right for us to expect that, that ultimately life will be birthed. When it doesnʼt there is the sense of something stolen, of an incompletion. I sometimes still cry when i have to think about or share that experience (like now) and know the deeper pain of many others who have lost their babies.

Mauri fell pregnant, quite unexpectedly, not long after that and our little boy, Jesse is about to turn 2. I canʼt imagine life without him but sometimes wonder how Bethany would have fitted into our family.


There’s a glimpse of heartache and pain in 31-year-old Debbie lvin’s eyes, but just for a moment, and then it’s gone, swallowed up by a smile, a nervous chuckle as she launches into an account of her painful journey through infertility.

It’s a much greater problem than people think. It was only after I started talking openly about it, that I discovered that some of my friends and their friends were going through what I was going through. It was knowing this that got me through my bad days. I wasn’t doing it alone and it also gave me something else to focus on. Instead of wallowing in self-pity and depression, I focused on how my experiences could perhaps help someone else. It got me through the dark times she says.

Her story, much like the woman she is, can only be described as remarkable. Her journey through infertility has made despair, disappointment and bitterness constant companions, but in the process she has discovered new friends in the form of hope, faith and courage. Throughout it all, she has had the constant support and love of her husband.

“I take great pride in my role as a wife and my husband and I work hard at keeping our marriage strong. This is essential to ensure that this experience brings us together and doesn’t tear us apart.” she says, a softness in her eyes as she speaks of the man who has been at her side throughout this journey. “When my husband and I found out we could not conceive naturally, I felt broken inside and filled with despair. At first, we chose not to tell anyone and as a result, this private pain gnawed at me constantly. Nothing seemed to soothe my aching heart. I spent hours wondering why it was happening to me, why my body didn’t want to co-operate. It was only made worse when my friends fell pregnant with ease. Babies were everywhere and even being surrounded by prams in shopping centres became too much to bear. I was so focused on the one thing I couldn’t have, I lost sight of everything else in my life.”

“I’ve been battling with infertility for seven years and have tried everything, from complementary therapies to in-vitro fertilisation.This was a huge financial and physical sacrifice for us and involved enduring drugs, injections and surgery. Our first attempt at IVF resulted in me carrying twins for a few weeks, before suffering a miscarriage. After all the anticipation and watching the embryos moving around, I could hardly endure the physical and emotional pain of losing them.” Debbie smiles bravely as she recounts those painful times. But determined to keep trying, she underwent another IVF procedure a year later and on the third and final attempt, she miscarried again.

The root cause of Debbie’s infertility lies in hormonal imbalances. “When I discovered my hormones, or rather, lack of them, were the cause of my problem, I took it very personally. It struck the core of who I was as a woman and I felt my body had let me down. I felt as though I had failed as a woman and it was easy for me to sink into the depths of self-pity.” It took an extraordinary will, for Debbie to drag herself out of the dark and make a conscious decision to be happy despite the circumstances she found herself in.

“Somehow I knew I’d have to let go and release the control I thought I had over the situation because it really wasn’t in my hands at all”. Naturally shy, Debbie says the experience in talking to other women who have suffered loss or those in similar situations as herself has forced her out of her shell. “This experience has helped me grow into a more self-assured, confident person. I force myself out of my comfort zone and set myself a challenge each year.”

This year, her challenge has been to keep herself strong, fit and healthy. “I joined a running club!” She laughs as she explains she has never been much of an athlete. “I think I surprised myself more than anyone else. I joined the Chiltern Athletics Club in December last year and ran my first 50km marathon a few months ago! I’m really enjoying it, and it’s making me stronger.” she says proudly. “Because my hormone levels are so low, I have to take care of my body. I will never give up hoping for my miracle baby and I want to make sure that when it happens, I am strong, fit and healthy. It has taken me years to reach the level of maturity I am at now. To leave the bitterness and self-pity behind and realise that although pain is inevitable, it is possible to choose joy despite this. I still have bad days, but it on those days that I’ll indulge in my favourite pick-me-up, peanut butter! It always makes me feel better she says laughing.”

“I realise now that I don’t have control over this. I have done all I can to make it right. I don’t want to feel like I didn’t give it my all. I have tried so hard and at times felt like a slave to my timetable of drugs and injections. Now it is all in God’s hands. Right now, I’m happy, I enjoy my life and like to think I’m a mother-in-waiting!”

[Debbie and Bruce Ivins]

The 18 August 2009 is the day that life changed for Mike and I.

It was the day that we saw our baby on the sonar screen for the first time, but instead of tears of joy, tears of indescribable sadness flowed as we saw our quiet, lifeless baby on the screen with no heartbeat. At home that evening Mike and I sat very quiet on the couch, staring at the tv feeling completely numb. 2 days later I was in hospital to have the baby removed. I tried SO hard to be strong but as I was wheeled into theatre I looked back and saw Mike in his mothers arms in tears, my heart broke.

6 Months later I was pregnant again. It was a new year with new beginnings. After 1 successful ultrasound we were reassured that things were looking good. However, 2 weeks later at a routine ultrasound appointment the doctor once again had the awful job of telling us that she ‘was sorry’ but there was no heartbeat! I lay there thinking no, no, no, not again – this really cant be happening again? She wanted me to try miscarry naturally as during the first procedure my uterus was perforated and she wanted to limit as much trauma to my uterus as possible. But after a week I had to go back to theatre to have the baby removed. What pained me most was signing a paper that stated that I gave them permission to “burn all contents of my uterus”. Is that it all was? The “contents of my uterus” was a little boy!

We were then referred to a specialist at a fertility clinic who did tests and discovered that I had a septum in my uterus which could “possibly” have been the cause for the previous miscarriages. So, once again, I was wheeled into theatre to have the septum removed. Mike, again, my constant supporter and encourager!

10 Months later I was pregnant again. To find out on Christmas day that we were expecting was the most amazing feeling ever! This had to be it? The weeks leading up to this occasion had been incredibly stressful as it involved scans and blood tests to assess my ovaries so that I could start taking extra hormones at exactly the right time. Unfortunately, our world came crashing down again. This pregnancy was very short lived and once again we said goodbye too early.

Very soon after that I fell pregnant again! This HAD to be it? People were praying, my uterus was healthy, I was taking the right amount of hormones – everything was perfect? After 3 fantastic ultrasounds, our baby boy was growing so well. Good strong heartbeat, growing perfectly. Until the 9 March 2011, when our world collapsed again. Routine ultrasound showed out baby’s heart had stopped beating. My doctor just held me and we both sobbed. 2 days later I was back in theatre having yet another operation. 7 weeks later after being referred to yet another fertility specialist, I ended up back in theatre as there was still placental tissue that hadn’t been removed from my uterus and was causing problems. This was all we could handle – enough was enough!

It has been a journey that Mike and I NEVER thought we would go on. It was not something we had discussed before we got married – “what if we struggled to have kids?” It just seemed like a given – like a package deal when you get married – you have kids too.

We have been through some very low patches emotionally, spiritually and financially. It took months to get through a church service without sobbing and it took a year since the last loss to pay off our medical bills. We held a special memorial service in June last year with close family and friends. That was a turning point in our journey. To be able to openly share our pain with those who love us the most was so special! The grief we feel is definitely for the little souls we have lost, but also for the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Will we be parents? Are we willing to put ourselves through another pregnancy which might or might not work? This journey has caused us to drift from certain friends and get closer to others. The lessons we have learnt along this journey are invaluable. The things we have discovered about each other are just so special. We have definitely grown closer through this process and have a much greater appreciation for one another. It bothers me when people say “oh, look how blessed you are because you are pregnant or have kids”. Where does that put the couple who have lost kids or are struggling with infertility? It makes us feel like we have done something wrong to not be blessed? I have learnt that I mustn’t measure how blessed I am by what I have or don’t have. We are all blessed because of the fact that Jesus died on the cross – not because of what we have or don’t have.

I don’t know what our future looks like? It doesn’t have the fairytale ending that we had hoped. We still have baby clothes but no baby, so much baby love to give but no baby. But one thing I am SURE of is that we serve a faithful God who loves and cares for us beyond what we could think possible. Through all our hard times we have KNOWN God’s peace and healing in our lives. We came to a point where we thought that we actually can’t go on, but here we are. Sharing our story with others in the hopes that it encourages others to keep going.

I can’t wait to get to heaven one day, meet my babies and for God to say to me “Well done, My good and faithful servant!”

Blog: http://www.sandalsgilmour.blogspot.com

[Sandi and Mike Gilmour]

%d bloggers like this: