Thursday, June 14, 2012

Miscarriage

I've decided to share my story after many prayers and consideration.  It's tough to talk about, but it needs to be talked about.  I don't want to be a hypocrite and only praise God in the good times.  I choose to praise Him in the storms too.

I'm choosing to openly share this because it helps my heart to heal by talking about it.  I just pray that someone else can read this and find comfort and hope in my story like I have in so many others.  So many women experience miscarriage, but hardly any talk about it openly.  It really is a loss and some people do not understand that.  I grieve over this.

"Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."

We found out we were pregnant Easter weekend.  We felt shock, then pure joy and excitement took over.  We were ecstatic and just couldn't believe it.  We had our first doctor's appointment on April 23rd and everything looked great.  We saw an ultrasound of our little baby.  It was about the size of a tic tac, but it was so amazing to see.  My follow-up appointment was set three weeks out for May 10th.  I had blood work done and everything came back perfect.

Between that appointment and the next, I had every crazy pregnancy symptom in the book - from absolute exhaustion to terrible nausea and vomiting.  You name it, I probably had it.  I had the worst food aversions imaginable.  I love to eat healthy and crave vegetables and fruits normally, but I couldn't even stand to see them for about 5 weeks.  It was so bad that I couldn't go to the grocery store.  I only wanted foods that I used to eat when I was a child - Teddy Grahams, PB&J, Cheese Quesadilla, Carnation Instant Breakfast.  It was SO bizarre.  Bless my poor husband's heart.  He was amazing through it all.  He'd go to the store for me, would deal with my crazy cravings, and he didn't get a home cooked meal for about 6 weeks.  And he never once complained.  Not only could I hardly stand to look at food, the smell would send me straight to hugging the toilet.  Oranges, my pantry, coffee, and hairspray were THE WORST smells ever.  Let me just say that being an elementary school teacher and smelling cafeteria food everyday is not easy on a pregnant lady's nose.  There were a few times I'd have to dart out of the lunchroom before getting sick.  And getting anything done around my house?  Forget it.  The house had gone uncleaned for some time.  It was all I could do to drag myself out of bed in the morning and get to work on time.  As soon as I came home, it was nap time.  Even through all of this, I was so so so excited because it was all so worth it.

May 10th was our next appointment.  It was a Thursday and I can remember it being an absolutely beautiful day.  It was so sunny, but hardly any humidity.  I had just put my kids on the buses and as I walked back to my classroom to pack up and leave for my doctor's appointment, I kept having this feeling of sadness come over me.  I remember looking up at the sky and thinking "it's too a beautiful day for such a sad ending".  I have no idea where that even came from.  It was bizarre and scary...but like the Lord was preparing my heart for something.  I have had this happen to me a few times in my life before...almost a sort of intuition I guess.  I tried to shake it off and sent a text to my husband telling him how excited I was.  This was the day we were going to get to hear the heartbeat.

We went in, went over blood work results, which were great, discussed family history again, and then it was time for the ultrasound.  My doctor was able to locate the gestational sac immediately...but there was nothing in there.  The gestational sac had continued to grow at the normal rate.  I was 9 weeks, but it was just a black hole.  She stopped the ultrasound and told us she wanted us to have one done with the high tech machine to be sure.  When she said this, I just knew that it was the end of this pregnancy.  She walked out of the room and I burst into tears.  Oh how thankful I am that Jared was there with me that day.  I had actually told him earlier in the week that he didn't have to come because I didn't want him to miss too much work.  Thankfully, he dismissed that completely and wanted to be there more than anything.  The doctor returned and said we'd have to wait until Monday to come back for another ultrasound.  In the meantime, her nurse came in and told me to prepare for a miscarriage and warning signs I should be aware of.  We were crushed.  I had never even had any miscarriage symptoms.  I was still having morning sickness and exhaustion.  It was all I could do to stop hyperventilating so I could walk out of the doctor's office.  I cried the whole way home and for the remainder of the night.  It was going to be a long weekend waiting for Monday.

Jared and I hit our knees when we got home and just asked the Lord for finality on Monday.  We just wanted a yes or a no.  We weren't asking for the baby back, because we knew the Lord was taking care of it.  So, Monday came.  We went in and had another ultrasound.  It confirmed that we had in fact lost the baby.  It was heartbreaking and my worst fears came true.  BUT I was so thankful for an answered prayer.  At least now we knew for sure.

I had to schedule a D&C because I had what's called an incomplete or missed miscarriage.  My body did not recognize that the baby had died, so it carried on like a normal pregnancy - hcg doubling, uterus and gestational sac growing, symptoms continuing.  They told me it could take up to 6 weeks to miscarry naturally.  Since I knew it was no longer viable, it was just adding insult to injury to keep being reminded of what I no longer had.

I went in that Thursday for my surgery.  By that point, I was 10 weeks so my hcg levels were very high.  The surgery went as well as it could.  I woke up feeling the devastating finality of it all.  At the same time, I was thankful to have that part over with and I was anxious for my body to heal.  I can't even explain my thoughts and feelings during that time.  So incredibly sad, yet I was trying see the grace in it all.  That part was very hard.

 "There is a unique pain that comes from preparing a place in your heart for a child that never comes." David Platt:
That weekend, I had some visitors, which I cannot thank enough for spending time with me, and lots of phone calls and emails.  In the weeks that followed, hand written letters, cards, cakes, brownies, and flowers arrived.  The healing process had officially begun.  You will never know how much it means to me to have people take their precious time to write me or visit me.  I've kept all of the cards and notes and look back to them on bad days. It has given me so much hope and comfort.   There is definitely something to be said for old fashioned handwritten cards and letters.

Today I am exactly 4 weeks post D&C.  I would have been 14, almost 15 weeks by this point.  I'm still patiently waiting for my hcg levels to return to zero. God is definitely taking care of this.  It's been a living nightmare dealing with my doctor and this whole process and things have happened that make me feel so awful.  But I know it could be so much worse, so I'm thankful that things have progressed they way they have. I don't know what I would have done without my faith and trust in Him.

Physically, it's been hard on my body to go through these changes.  It's amazing how fast your body changes during pregnancy.  Almost overnight there are dramatic changes, but they went away almost immediately after my surgery.  It left me feeling gross and unattractive.  It was very hard to deal with, but I was just allowed to start exercising again so I'm able to work on that part.

Emotionally, it's been even harder because I feel like I have nothing to show for it.  I have good days and bad days, especially with these CRAZY dropping hormones.  Sometimes I think I'm insane and other times I feel perfectly normal.  Thankfully, I'm having more good than bad days now.  I still have a good cry every now and then, but I get over it quicker and don't dwell on the sadness as much.  My energy and appetite have returned to normal.  And as great as that may seem, that made me cry all day one Saturday because I felt good.  It was like I finally realized that I didn't even have my pregnancy symptoms anymore.  It still pains me to think about it sometimes, especially when I think of my due date, which was December 14th, or other landmark dates. Right now, I'd be getting close to finding out the gender.    There are just so many unanswered questions, but I've come to peace with the fact that there are just some things I don't need to know!  God is working on this part.  I'm thankful for the Biblical stories of Sarah and Hannah, just to name a few, to help me through this hard time.  God's word is so comforting.

Through this all, I've completely fell to my knees.  Jesus HAD to take the wheel.  This was WAAAAY beyond my control.  But it wasn't that easy.  I was so hurt and mad and sad.  I didn't even know where to start.  Then I saw a quote that read, "When it's hardest to pray, pray harder."  I think God showed that to me to light that fire again inside.  I started praying, even though it was difficult.  It's now much easier for me to talk to God about everything. I cannot describe the feeling of peace and comfort that comes over me when I talk to Him about my baby growing up in Heaven with Jesus.  I can't wait to meet him or her one day.

Jesus said "let the little children come to me & do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these" - Matthew 19:14

The miscarriage has brought my husband and I so much closer and we're praying that the Lord will be glorified through our hurt.  We know He tests us from time to time and I feel that the valleys we walk through bring us a closeness with Him that you can only feel during those low, low moments.  We know He has a plan for us and we completely trust His plan.  We've chosen to be His followers, not just fans, and with that comes suffering, persecution, but also a hope and peace and joy that cannot be explained.  We have been so incredibly blessed and we know He'll take care of us.

I've found some scriptures that have been profoundly helpful in the healing process.  These are a few of them:

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
-Psalm 34:18

I'm not saying I have this all together, that I have it made.  But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached our for me.  
-Philippians 3:12

REST in the Lord and wait PATIENTLY for Him. 
-Psalm 37:7 (emphasis mine)

Consider it pure joy, my brethren, when you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. 
-James 1:2-4

... For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 
-2 Corinthians 4:17

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things
-Ecclesiastes 11:5 (this one reminds me that I do NOT need to know all the answers.  God knows and that's enough for me.)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. 
-John 14:27

And of course...
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 
-Jeremiah 29:11

I cannot tell you how much comfort these verses brought me.  There are more, but these were the main ones I read over and over again during hard times.  There would be days when I was just in tears and I'd open my Bible directly to one of these.  I know there was some Divine intervention during those moments to direct me to these verses.

It's been a hard road, but we're thankful for the experience.  We know God can use this in some way to help His kingdom.  I've prayed that the Lord will break my heart until it moved my hands and feet, which I hated to pray, but I felt led to.  Now, He has done that.  


14 comments:

Lindsey said...

I love you so much. I wish I could grab the hurt and steal it away. I know the Lord has big plans for you and Jared and I am so excited for you two <3

Holly said...

Carrie,

As I read this, tears run down my face and cold chills down my arms. I am so very sorry for all you and your family are going through. I pray for strength and faith through all of this. The only thing to make this story brighter is how much faith and love you have for God. We wouldn't make it or even begin to knwo where to start each day without him. Thanks for sharing even though I know it wasn't easy. Your faith is truly an inspiration. xoxo

Amelia ♥ said...

Carrie, thank you so much for sharing your story. Although I probably shouldn't have read it in the middle of math class this morning because I started crying and a few people were looking at me weird...but this just goes to show that God has a PLAN for all of us and even though we may not understand or even agree with Him, we just have to trust that He knows what He is doing. And He does! I admire your courage and strengh SO much. <3

Kathleen Harmon said...

Amazingly beautiful, Carrie. Thank you for sharing your difficult journey. I am the "miracle Baby" of my family. My brother and I are ten years apart because my mother had multiple miscarriages between us. It's a tough thing to go through but it also a bond held together by so many women. <3

Carrie Louise said...

Thank you, ladies. It's all HIM, it's not me. I couldn't have written this 3-4 weeks ago. I was too angry and hurt. I actually drafted it 2 weeks ago and it's amazing how much I changed and added to it before I published it. It just showed me how far He's brought me through it all. Kathleen, I love that story. I hate your mom had to go through that, but you wouldn't be here otherwise. My mom had 2 miscarriages before I was born and neither my brother or I would be here if that hadn't happened. I find hope in little things like that. <3 There's grace and healing in all of that hurt.

Savannah said...

Thank you so much for sharing your painful story! It brought tears to my eyes, but I am faithful that this is just the beginning of a beautiful pregnancy ahead. Keeping you in myth outs and prayers!

kristiana said...

Bless your sweet heart. I just found your blog on pinterest (yummy recipes) and happened to read this post. I am so sorry. Praying for your healing in every way. We serve a BIG God. :)

LH in SD said...

Carrie--

I either "stumbled" across your blog, or found you on Pinterest, but the post that I had found a few months ago has kept me following your blog from the Midwest. (I'm not officially following you, but I have your blog bookmarked!) I have been looking for some strong Christian bloggers, and was so happy to have found you!

I am SO very sorry to hear about your miscarriage. My mom is a nurse, so whenever we hear of someone dealing with this, she says "You know, that happens so frequently", but the emotional toll I'm sure can be exhausting. Please know that I am praying for you as you trust in God during this time. I am wondering if you know about the blogger Casey Weigand? ( http://www.thewiegands.com/ )
She is a Christian and has also experienced a miscarriage and has written some beautiful posts about her experience and words that have helped her.

You don't need to read them if you don't want to, but I just wanted you be aware that they are there! I'm sorry if this feels as though I am butting in where I don't belong. Whenever I go through something difficult, I love hearing other's experiences with similar things and how they managed through them. So, I like doing the same for others. Again, sorry if this is unwarranted advice.

Yours in Christ,
LH

Kenli LeAnne said...

I am glad that you shared this. I have enjoyed praying for you and walking this journey and hearing your amazing testimony! I am so glad God brought you to our school. I am glad we have gotten close. I cant wait for God to bless you and Jared with a precious family and he will :) love you girl!

Nicole said...

Carrie you are a strong beautiful woman!! God has amazing things in store for you and your hubby!! I know this has been tough but God has a plan that is so much better than you can imagine!!! Thinking and praying for you!!!:)

mel @ the larson lingo said...

Carrie, Thank you so much for your comment on my blog. I am SO, SO, SO sorry about your miscarriage. Yours sounded just like my 2nd one that I had at 10 weeks. I am so incredibly sorry that you are going through this. It was for sure the hardest thing I had to go through. I know there is nothing I can say to make you feel better, but please know that I am praying for you. I pray God would heal your body, heart and mind. I pray that he will give you hope in the midst of all this. Please email me if you ever need to. I have walked this journey & although it isn't fun, I am thankful for each step of it (even though it was so hard).

Sarah said...

Carrie, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I will never understand why this happens. This will be one of my first questions when I meet God one day. Right after, "where are my babies?" My husband and I lost our 2nd baby at 12 weeks gestation and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through. I got so emotional reading this and going back to some of those feelings again. The days were so hard, so confusing, but with God each day got a little easier. Looking back I still wonder why we had to endure that. I don't know for sure, but I do know that God has used our experience to grow my faith and my reliance on Him. I am thankful for the trials..for the closeness and perseverance they bring.

After that miscarriage God blessed us with a 2nd son. We discovered a serious heart condition when he was 1, and God gave us so much peace and comfort and faith during that time. Had we not experienced the loss before that, I don't know that we would have been in a place to handle that situation with such prayer and faith. We witnessed a complete miracle of our sons heart. I don't mean to say we lost one baby to save our next, but you just never know what God has in store for you or how one trial with strengthen you for the next.

He is so good, even in the trials. I am so thankful that you are able to turn to Him during this time. What do people do without him? I pray that His peace will comfort and wash over you during this healing time. He will not waste your pain, allow Him to turn your pain into purpose!

God Bless!

Nicola said...

Ive just found your blog via the comment you left on http://thelarsonlingo.blogspot.co.uk/I too have recently suffered a MC. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, thank you for sharing your story.

Carrie Louise said...

You ladies are all so wonderful. THANK YOU, thank you, thank you for taking your time to write me words of encouragement and hope. Trust me when I tell you that it lifts me up to have people I've never even met writing me some of the sweetest things I've read. For those of you dealing with losses of your own, please know I'll be praying for y'all. God's love will never fail and He'll take care of each of us.