*trigger warning for those who have had a miscarriage or have lost a child.
Two weeks ago, we lost our third child to a miscarriage.
That is not a line of our story I ever thought I would have to write. And I am sure you are thinking at this point that you didn’t even know that I was pregnant. We were on the verge of sharing publicly when everything changed.
We had kept the secret for weeks. A few very close friends knew that we were expecting (we have always told close friends as soon as possible, if the unthinkable would ever happen…who knew we would actually live it).
As a photographer, I went to family sessions, pregnancy announcement sessions, maternity sessions, even weddings where no one knew I was pregnant. And I was dying to tell everyone. I wanted people to know that my growing belly wasn’t extra Covid weight! We waited and waited to announce. We told family, friends, and eventually our children. We knew I was roughly 8 weeks along. (Some of you are thinking, well that is still early to tell people, but we had two completely healthy pregnancies before, and my belly was starting to show more and more.)
Our families were excited, our kids were thrilled. We bought them “Big Sister” and “Big Brother” shirts. Leland (2) was telling people, “baby in mommy’s tummy.” Kylie (4) was talking to my belly and picking out special items in our house for the baby. We were already thinking of names, thinking through bunk beds and our kids sharing a room, and I even booked a maternity session with a photographer I had been eyeing for a while. We were all in love with the new baby and already making future plans.
The one thing holding us back from announcing publicly was my doctor’s appointment. I went to my first appointment, and everything was normal until they did the ultrasound. The baby was growing; it was the right size for the number of weeks, but the baby’s heart was beating abnormally. They told me to come back again the next day to see the ultrasound technician and to get another ultrasound.
That was the quietest appointment I have ever had. As soon as the ultrasound picture showed up, the technician and I both knew that the baby didn’t have a heartbeat. She didn’t say anything and neither did I.
After that I had to call my husband, text my friends, and tell my parents and children that we had, in fact, lost our third child.
Telling our children was the hardest thing I had to do. Leland didn’t completely understand what happened. Kylie had a really hard time with the news. I had to tell them with tears streaming down my face, that the baby had gone to heaven to see God. Kylie’s (sweet girl) reply was that I needed to tell Daddy (Daniel) to talk to God and to tell God that the baby didn’t need to be in heaven.
After the emotional roller coaster of telling everyone that we knew that we were expecting that we had lost the child, I then had to face what my body was going to do. Unfortunately, your body does the same thing it does after having a healthy baby- it contracts, delivers, and has a long postpartum healing process (on top of the strong emotions of losing a child).
Why am I sharing all this?
Honestly, I was that person at one point who just didn’t understand or sympathize with women who had experienced this type of loss. I just didn’t get it. My brain and heart never understood the physical and emotional hurt that happens when you have a miscarriage.
The Lord is teaching me a lot of compassion for those families who have experienced this type of brokenness. For a lot of families, they are excited for the new life that is growing, they are dreaming of the future, and to hear that your baby, who once had life, is no longer living is heartbreaking.
I also think miscarriages are a “hidden” experience. It is not talked about openly, like women might share their labor stories. But my husband and I don’t want this to be a hidden experience for our family.
I am also sharing because we ultimately know that the Lord is in control. When I went into my second appointment, the phrase “cloud of witnesses” (Heb 12:1) came to mind. We had a “cloud of witnesses” praying for us and over us. As I sent text message after text message, I knew that we had a “cloud of witnesses” again praying for us. And as I told our kids that the baby was heaven, the words, “the Lord is in control,” came right out of my mouth as though the Holy Spirit was leading me with each and every word I spoke to our children.
So, Baby Flamingo (nicknamed by our 4-year-old…because the baby needed a pretty name and she liked the name flamingo…) was the one that we lost.
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