Thursday, October 15, 2015

22 Weeks

This week I still took my picture because I love looking back and seeing the progress and belly growth, but I won't be sharing any "details". Not much has changed from the weeks before and as I find myself getting further along in this pregnancy, there is something I want to share. 




Today, October 15th, is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Prior to getting pregnant I rarely heard about people suffering early miscarriages. I knew it happened, and occasionally some brave woman would share her story, but it really seemed to be almost something that was meant to be kept secret. It wasn't until I had my own miscarriage that I realized just how common they are. 

Yes, this is not my first pregnancy. Collin and I were the parents to a sweet baby for only 9 short weeks before learning we had lost it. Never in a million years did I think that miscarriage would be a part of my story. When we went in for our ultrasound and were told the baby was not growing right and had no heartbeat, there are no words to adequately express how I felt. After processing the whole situation I could more easily put a word to my emotions, and the word at the time was...

alone.

I immediately felt the loss of something I didn't even really know, but yet still felt so connected to and in love with. It is hard to explain the almost instant bond that is formed when you see those two little pink lines. I started to dream and plan and wonder all about the sweet baby I was carrying inside. Of course after telling Collin we were both so elated and started to dream and plan together. Sadly, we only had 4 weeks of dreaming about that baby's future. 

I know that Collin went through his own range of emotions and was deeply hurt by the sudden loss, and he was so amazing through the whole thing, but part of me felt like I was the only one who truly understood the true pain that was happening. After just having told our families of the great news, we had to turn right back around and deliver the heartbreaking news. For about a week I felt so alone and lost and went through so many wild emotions I had never experienced before. I really felt like there was no one who could understand what I had gone through. But slowly, as more close friends and family heard the news, I learned of others who had gone through miscarriages and had powerful, encouraging words to offer. 

I couldn't help but wonder why so many of these women had never told anyone or spoken about it. I felt a form of immediate relief each time I learned of a new person who had been in that place. I didn't feel so alone any longer and each person offered me the hope that I would not feel heartbroken forever. My spirits were lifted just from knowing that there were other women in my life that had walked that terrible path and come out better on the other side. 

Others offered me kind words, scriptures, prayers, and most of all... true understanding. That is a huge part of what got me through. I stopped having thoughts of it being my fault or anger toward God for letting me go through that. I realized that we simply live in a broken world and terrible things happen, but there is redemption and healing. Just knowing I had support made a world of difference. 

But somehow I still found myself keeping my miscarriage a secret. Partly because I didn't want to look like I was begging for pity. But also because I still felt like it was almost offensive to talk about and may bother others. So for 11 months I kept it hidden from everyone but close friends and family. It wasn't until I recently read this article that I felt compelled to share my story. 

There is a quote in the article that says;


“There is something so important and so healing for myself and other parents who have lost children to be able to share that child’s story." 

After reading that line I realized that part of the reason I felt so alone during the months after my miscarriage is because no one knew about that sweet baby I had carried. It was almost like I was ashamed of it and was diminishing its memory. After all, Collin and I loved that baby. We even got to name it at the hospital after my surgery. Selah, which means to pause and reflect, which we do many times when we think about that precious creation. I don't want any woman to feel alone like I did, or ashamed to talk about their experience. And every life, no matter how small, deserves to be celebrated!

Knowing you aren't the only one who has gone through that can really change your mindset and start some of the healing process. 

God is faithful and He is for us! He is on our side and places people in our lives to help us through tough times. So many of the women who shared their stories with me have no idea how much it helped me heal. I hope that by being brave and sharing my story I can possibly help someone else who is feeling alone in the struggle of miscarriage. Hang in there! Healing is real, and chances are, God has a great ending in mind to your story! 

My story ends so happily! Five months after we lost that first sweet baby we found out God had blessed us with another. The fear of losing this baby comes and goes, but ultimately we are just rejoicing in the new life that God has placed in our care. I can tell you one thing, this precious baby is going to be loved a whole lot extra because we know how short life can be and what a blessing this little one is!




7 comments:

Deborah Raney said...

It's one of the hardest things this "Mimi" has gone through too. I'm so, so proud of the strength you and Collin have shown, and of the way you leaned on God and have let Him heal your pain. And oh, we can't wait to hold your little happy ending in our arms!

Kathleen Bruner said...

My daughter went through almost the same situation, and I'm sure she felt the same things you felt. She said it was the hardest thing she's ever had to go through. And happily she is now only 6 weeks from the birth of her first live baby, a son. She told me about a baby born after miscarriage or stillbirth is called a "rainbow baby" for the hope that it brings after such pain. It just so happened that I had already bought the yarn for a rainbow colored blanket for the first baby, so I continued making it in the hope that there would be another. She said I didn't know how appropriate that was (the rainbow) at the time that I was making it. :)

Hook Yarn Love LLC said...

Tavia, I can deeply relate, and I'm sorry for your loss. I actually lost my last pregnancy 3-4 months ago at 11 weeks gestation. But that horribly rough night I made a promise to myself and God, that I wouldn't stay silent about my experience. I've come to view my miscarriage as a blessing, because I can now relate to other women on a whole different level. I'm so happy for you and your husband on your new adventure with this little one. Congratulations on your beautiful rainbow baby! And thank you for sharing your story. It still helps months later to hear that we aren't alone when it comes to losing a little one.

Susan Snodgrass said...

What a beautiful story, Tavia. I have been keeping you in my prayers. Blessings.

Edward Arrington said...

Thanks for sharing. May God bless you and continue to give you peace about the situation.

Julie Garmon said...

This is beautiful and as I read it, I felt your experience with you and for you. Our third child, Robbie, was born full-term with anencephaly (meaning no brain). I decided right after he was born, I was done. No more children.

But then my MIL called a few months later and said she'd been praying. She said God put it on her heart that we were going to have another baby. A boy.

I wanted to throw the phone down and run away.

But God....

In His goodness... we had another baby. His name is Thomas. He's 24 and perfectly healthy. And he has two big sisters in their thirties. :)

Thank you for sharing your story. And I love your mama--she's been so kind to me!!

So happy for you~~

xo

HisGrace Saves said...

Than you for sharing I am so sorry for your loss of your baby. I too had my one and only son at 22 weeks. I had a 9 mo. old daughter at the time. I had taken it for granted no problems. Then after the birth of my son too soon. I was pregnant 3 mo. later. I now know why my daughter born loves rainbows and she is a rainbow baby and my hope and joy .She just got married in June she was the happiest and smileiest (is that a word?) at her wedding she just made everyone just about get up and dance. I completed a Grief Recovery class last year and again this year. We learn how to hide but it is so BLESSED to share. Thank you and look forward to sharing in your HOPE.

http://i1367.photobucket.com/albums/r796/tavia_smith1/signature_zps28848455.png