It’s 2:00 AM and for the better part of an hour I’ve been lying here in the dark, desperately pleading for sleep to take over, but it just won’t. And so, why keep up the fight?
As I type this, exhausted and bleary-eyed, I’m being serenaded by the subtle sounds of my husband’s even breaths on my left and the white noise machine wooshing through the baby monitor on my right, gently reminding me that while I may be lonely, I am not alone.
Which, at this juncture in my life, is a powerful blessing.
Several weeks ago, this was me. Dan and I had just discovered that I was pregnant with our second child. We were so excited to welcome a sweet little sibling for Dax.
A week ago, we were at a friend’s birthday party. Between laughs and hugs with these new friends, we’d sneak away for a little bit to gush about our little secret, hoping no one would notice that I was mysteriously avoiding the beer and wine. About halfway into the shindig, when I went to the rest room, my stomach twisted into stinging knots when I noticed that I had started to bleed.
We left the party in a rush, citing a made-up excuse about how Dax was too fussy for our babysitter, and went straight to the emergency room. Four hours, blood work, and an ultrasound later, they couldn’t tell us why the bleeding was happening. They just ordered me to be on bed rest and to come back if it got worse.
Monday it got worse. So we went back. Then, more blood work and another ultrasound confirmed what, at that point, we already knew.
We lost our baby.
And so, you see, I am not only literally in the dark, but my spirit has also found itself swallowed up by a powerful darkness. One I’ve never experienced or thought I ever would experience. The agonizing pain of grief, coupled with the painful physicality of what it means for my body to go through miscarriage. Each cramp in my abdomen brings with it the most wretched feeling in my heart, as if part of it is also being broken down and expelled.
Some of you may be upset that this is the way you’re finding out. Please don’t be offended. The thing is, it’s hard enough to have to tell this story right now, let alone having to tell it several times. Please understand.
My mom came down to be with us and care for Dax while we grieve, which looks much different for the two of us. Dan’s been pretty sad, but functional, only letting his emotions show when we’re alone. Me, on the other hand? I’ve gone from sad, to angry, to frustrated, to questioning, to really freaking pissed off, to sad, and back to angry again, all making me completely incapacitated. All I can do well at this point is day-sleep.
But last night, Mom watched Dax while Dan and I went on a date. Just the two of us. We had dinner at a cute local place (complete with copious amounts of booze for yours truly) and then dessert at the Cheesecake Factory where, in my loopy, grief-stricken state, I forgot that I actually don’t like cheesecake. But we laughed. And we kissed. And we were grateful for each other and the chunky little boy at home who didn’t know that he’d lost a sibling and was happily waiting for us to come home and kiss him goodnight.
Sunday night, as I was laying in bed praying to God that what was happening to my body would just stop and that my little baby would be okay, God quietly laid a name on my heart. A name I knew was the name of the child I would never hold. And so the next day, when we got the confirmation at the ER, I shared the name with Dan. And he accepted it, too. (I don’t really want to share it here, but if you want to know it, you can ask.)
It is common, the doctor told us. One in three pregnancies will end like this. “Better luck next time,” he shrugged, as he awkwardly backed out of my hospital room.
And that was it.