I started my blog as an opportunity to share my journey growing in to my new role as a wife early this year. The goal was to always be transparent, share the blessings and the struggles in hopes of inspiring people along the way. I have always connected to women who are upfront with how they got to where they are. I have always admired women who are honest, made me feel like we were life long gal-pals, even if I was reading their blog from my couch thousands of miles away.
Nick and I have been married almost a year. A moment and blessing I will never take for granted. Leading up to engagement, everyone wanted to know when we would get married. After we were engaged, everyone wanted to know when the wedding would be. Beginning the night of our wedding, the questions about when we would start a family started to come. Although sometimes frustrating, it is always to be expected.
You imagine announcing your news of pregnancy very similar to the pictures you see on Pinterest. “We are expecting!!”… “Brielle is going to be a big sister!!” I have a whole Pinterest board full of those day dreams, “How and when am I going to share this on Pinterest?” But God had other plans for us, for now.
We found out we were expecting on July 2nd. A March 2017 arrival date. An overwhelming emotion seeing 2 pink lines, as I am sure any mother would tell you. Who am I going to tell? When do I tell my Mom? You try your hardest to not blow up Pinterest, because you know, there is always a chance this isn’t God’s timing. I quickly called the doctor, scheduled appointments, and in we went July 7th for a “confirmation appointment”. Which really is just a series of questions, a ton of blood work, and another pregnancy test in the office with more double pink lines.
Waiting… more waiting… and trying to not blurt out the news to everyone I encountered.
Our 8 week appointment took forever to come. Our first ultrasound was scheduled July 28th. I waited what felt like FOREVER. I will spare the details of where we parked, how long we waited, what I ate, etc. There was excitement, there was emotion, and I couldn’t wait to have a selfie of my little one.
The Doctor started the ultrasound, but it wasn’t as I had dreamed all the weeks leading up to that day. I knew as soon as she flipped that screen around, something was wrong. She started to stumble over her words a little, I think even she was surprised. We had just talked about how healthy I was, no medications, no preexisting conditions. You know, all of those things I feel I work very hard for. It’s easy to think you’re in control of everything, but we cannot forget everything is in His timing. Her delivery was a little choppy, “O, okay, Anna. Well, you see, there on the screen is a sac, but there is no baby… it’s okay. let’s keep checking!” She placed her hand on my knee to comfort me and continued to give me an ultrasound tour of my body. “There is your bladder…..” and then she centered the camera again, “there is the sac.” Empty.
She began to explain to me what could be going on. I am sure I had zombie face, deer in headlights, because she went and got Nick. She began to explain to us both that this could be one of three things. The positive, maybe it’s just too early to see anything and I am 2 weeks off on my calculations of my last period. The second, this could be a Blighted Ovum (later put in simple terms a missed miscarriage). The body stopped reproducing the baby because something went wrong, but the rest of the body hasn’t caught on and naturally miscarried. The third and worst, the baby is growing outside of the sac, possibly in your tubes. To know for sure we would need to do a series of blood work every other day to watch my pregnancy hormones and go back in a week for another ultrasound.
I prayed and prayed for option #1, I am just too early. I had seen a woman post on Facebook months ago that this EXACT thing happened to her and 36 hours later there was a baby with a heartbeat. I prayed! The blood work levels started to come in though over the next few days, revealing only a tiny increase in HCG levels. Waiting that week for an ultrasound was long, still experiencing pregnancy symptoms, watching my HCG levels just come to an abrupt stop.
Fast forward, August 4th would be the big day for my next ultrasound. With my blood work not being encouraging, I expected the news we got. There was no progression. Still a sac, still no baby. My tubes looked clear, the only positive news we got that day. BUT! They wanted to wait another week before diagnosing me formally with a missed miscarriage.
The RN, who got to be the deliverer of bad news, explained missed miscarriage. The baby stopped developing, most likely a chromosome issue, but the rest of the body hasn’t caught on to naturally miscarry. They have assured us, this was nothing we did wrong, nothing we could have stopped, it happens. 1:4 women experience miscarriage of some kind, it’s just something we don’t really talk about it. Most women go on to have healthy pregnancies after a miscarriage.
So this is where we sit today. Blood work showed again a 6% increase in levels over 3 days, which should have been 75%. Waiting is hard, it’s like slow torture. I have morning sickness symptoms, vivid crazy dreams, thoughts about what’s ahead, and emotional pain. There is a lot of praying, asking God to make sense of all of this, mixed with trying not to worry.
In the mix of all of this, I experienced my first “you guys need to start trying to have kids!” from someone, too. A statement we hear often as couple, but it never hit as hard as it did that day. I have always been surprised, okay maybe a little irritated by the “should” and the “need to” opinions we receive from other people about starting a family. This time was much different of course. Quietly holding back tears and just trying to not make the other person feel awkward, “yep, we will soon!”
We sit, we pray, we wait, we hope for the best. Opening up about this journey was a tough decision. I have prayed over it for a week and here I am taking the plunge Friday morning, writing. Sharing personally with some women, I have received some incredible support AND I have been surprised by the women that say “I went through the same exact thing before I had (insert their child’s name here!)” HOPE! Pure hope and feeling understood. I pray to God I can give that same hope to the next woman who feels this pain.
We are praying for a positive journey. The most incredible thing said to me this last week was from another mom. She said, “Anna, God has a baby for you!! I know this is difficult and hard to understand, but trust that God has such a huge plan for your life and something great will come out of this crazy time.” That’s what keeps my feet moving. Sometimes we don’t understand in the moment why God chose us for the struggle, but we rest on knowing He has a plan and He is good.
I choose to continue to pray for strength and comfort. I choose to continue to pray for positive people to encourage me. I choose to pray to love those who tend to stick their foot in their mouths, whether they know or not.
We choose to pray for peace. We pray that the same incredible grace that’s been extended to us when we feel hurt, be also extended to our family during this time, too.
I choose to be transparent, not for sympathy, but for prayers and to help other women know they aren’t alone. I choose to be the one who opens up about being a part of this 1:4 statistic we face in the world to ignite a feeling of support.
There’s no true way of knowing what the future holds, but we have such assurance knowing there is a plan. Life is a journey, trials present themselves in various ways. For some people, it is miscarriage or trouble starting a family. For others it is health scares, accidents, or financial burden. There is no one trial greater than the other. It truly is just all a part of a greater plan that sometimes, we don’t understand.
Right now, praying through the waiting.