Press Restart | Processing Miscarriage
I don’t usually like to make things a big deal, but I also don’t like to diminish the things which have a rightful place in “big deal” territory.
We found out this week that we miscarried. Writing helps me process and make sense of things, which is completely necessary as this experience has thrown me through multiple loops of emotion and misunderstanding…to gain footing again I need to try to understand how I really feel about this. And perhaps my written explanation could help someone else sift through all the intricate feelings and thoughts.
Since stepping into the role of motherhood, I’ve been rather shocked in discovering some deep crevices and caverns I didn’t know existed. I’ve found myself react to things in ways I didn’t understand, and experiencing a miscarriage has shed light on some interesting ways I tend to deal with pain.
Let me start from the beginning. Although I would be 11 weeks pregnant at this point, this past Wednesday was my first ultrasound. We waited for many reasons, one being the new year insurance, and another being I didn’t fathom there being an issue. Presumptuous now that I think about it. Multiple times in the weeks prior I had these quick flickers of understanding, not an audible voice, but what many may describe as a still small voice. I would describe it as quick, concrete thoughts of a “knowing”, as if someone implanted them in my thought life, and therefore, not of my own understanding. These flickers said, “Prepare.” I understood that it meant, prepare my heart for the possibility that this pregnancy wouldn’t make it. Little did I know, the pregnancy was already over. When I plopped into the car Wednesday morning, my Husband sweetly buckling our son into his car seat, as we headed to the ultrasound, there it was again, but stronger and with a sting of real emotion, “Prepare for not seeing a heartbeat.” I didn’t say anything. In fact, I hadn’t told my husband of these thoughts except once…the very first one being a couple days after we found out I was pregnant. We were talking about how different we felt about this pregnancy from our first, and how we now know what it is we are getting; a wonderful, inconceivably wonderful, gift of a human life. I told my husband that I felt nervous for this pregnancy, perhaps due to my knowledge of what’s at stake, but also Bc I had a feeling. I told him that I knew God was in control, and that I believed his will is perfect, far outside my finite understanding, but it was for THAT reason I was so nervous; this might mark the first time I fully understood my fear of God. Not that I feared he wanted to bring me pain; I feared his power, which is mighty. I feared his plan, which is far beyond fathomable. I feared because though God is good, and loving, and merciful, I know all too well that it doesn’t promise a life without pain, suffering and trial. It is through those things, a play on our world put in motion by the fall of mankind, that would ultimately provide an opportunity to KNOW, experience and fall in love with God more than that of a comfortable, perfect life. Because He is the Comforter.
Our conversation that night was sparked by the first thought implanted, “Prepare.” I told Matt that I chose at that point, no matter what, I believed Gods plan is perfect, and I will always choose him, even in the face of tragedy. I would still love God, even if it meant I never got to meet this baby. I prayed over my womb, and I prayed over it’s safety, over the life that was in it, and I prayed for mercy that I would not go full term if this baby wasn’t going to make it; however, IF it was better that I did, then let His will be done, not mine. At that point, according to the age of my embryo, the baby would have already passed. THAT is mercy.
When I was laying on the table, tended to by the ultrasound tech, she asked me, “Is this your second pregnancy?” I replied, “Yes.” She then asked, “Have you ever miscarried?” I said, “No, but I’m nervous, because, I think I may have this time.” She asked, “Why? Have you had cramping, spotting, or bleeding?” I replied, “Well, I did have light spotting yesterday (although, I wasn’t thinking anything due to that, as I’ve been told very light spotting can be normal), but I just have a feeling.” The tech then proceeded to look at my uterus. At that point I saw the dark space on the monitor that represented my fetal sac. I remember my first son at 8 weeks was the shape of a cute little bean, so already the look of this sac didn’t measure up to 11 weeks. Plus, there was no heartbeat that I could see, and quite possibly, not even a heart formed. I looked over at my Husband and shook my head to indicate that it wasn’t good news. I knew. The doctor confirmed that my pregnancy stopped progressing at 6 weeks. She gave her condolences and then talked to me about the options going forward. At the end of the appointment she very sweetly encouraged me to make sure I talked to someone, and to have a good cry. “It’s ok to mourn and grieve, this was a loss of life. Don’t suppress it. Ok?” She said.
At that point, I had already shed a couple tears as we were transferred from the ultrasound room to the normal exam room where the doctor would confirm the miscarriage. But when she said “Have a good cry,” I found myself wondering if I would need to talk about it or even “mourn and grieve.” I know myself; I tend to not like to make things a big deal. I can move on quickly, and go on about my life. But was this “suppressing it?” I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to give it the attention it deserves, mostly for the sake of all the women I knew that had gone through this and were devastated. I wanted to honor the weight of the circumstance. I wasn’t feeling devastated, I was feeling disappointed. That’s like a scrape verses a deep wound.
We went home, my husband encouraged me again to have a good cry, and to talk to friends. We prayed, mostly over what to do…let it pass naturally, or seek medical intervention to get the embryo out. Here is where I began to shock myself. I did cry…as soon as I started reaching out to friends via text (don’t judge me, I’m much more articulate with written words than verbal), I burst into ugly tears. My son was watching the wave of emotion and was terribly concerned. Lol! Which, unfortunately, closed up the dam real quick. But still…I DID cry! Whoah! I didn’t feel like I was feeling the emotion to cry. It just… BURST out. I decided that there was some very obvious emotions underneath a hard surface that were wanting to escape. So, I did the only thing I knew to do, I went to the Lord. He is where my help comes from, he reveals secrets, he sheds light on darkness, his Holy Spirit is called the Wonderful Counselor, and He was given to me when I believed Jesus Christ was the son of God who gave his life that I would have eternal life in heaven. At that thought…right now…I cry. What a gift I have to go to my Wonderful Counselor and ask for counsel! To ask for clarity and understanding in things that would otherwise NEVER make sense.
Let me skip now to all that was revealed to me by our sweet Heavenly Father. He gave me words to articulate all my emotions, ones I didn’t even know existed but that he so sweetly revealed to me so I could say “hello” to them, confront them, and speak to them. So I could know them, which caused me to more deeply know ME. Words I could write down, get out, cleanse, and heal.
I discovered that there was a two edged sword in this. One was disappointment for not getting to experience the gift of pregnancy quite yet (as I know I will carry a life again), and subsequently the addition of a family member come August. But then there was the other side; a life that was, now wasn’t. A life was cut short in my womb. Like, wow. That’s strangely heavy, and surreal. Can I even grasp the reality of that? I didn’t yet feel deeply connected to this baby Bc I hadn’t felt it, I hadn’t even seen a heartbeat flickering on the monitor. But it’s life was very real, and very present in my day to day life. I felt sick, I avoided Foods and drinks, I changed my workout routine, I started noticing my body changing, preparing to carry life…I was protecting it. I asked the Lord to help me grasp this reality, and help me to feel the emotion of it, because I couldn’t. I didn’t want to miss out on healing simply because I couldn’t connect with the depth of the situation. I noticed that underneath the initial disappointment, although I didn’t feel devastation for the loss of life, I noticed something completely different. The morning after the news, I woke up and felt…anger? I’m angry? Yes, I’m angry! At whom? Am I angry at God? No…I know Him, I know he’s good; he’s never been anything BUT good, gracious, gentle, kind, loving, merciful, a PROTECTOR. No, I’m not angry at God, I’m angry WITH God, beside Him, feeling as he is feeling. He was inviting me into his broken heart for the fallen world. I worshipped Him for that. So what do I do with this anger? I felt weak in it, my patience on a very short leash, and all too easily manifesting towards my little 16 mo old son, learning his own ups and downs of emotions. After praying about what I should do to confront and deal with this anger, which seemed to want to hide in the depths of myself, there were two things that came up I felt a deep need to do: I wanted to chop off my hair, and I wanted to workout REALLY, REALLY hard.
But why? I felt upset and hurt, again, not towards the Lord, towards ALL the painful things we have to go through in this world. That’s not to say I’m not also thankful for them, because I AM! I’m thankful for this. I can say that I’m hurt by this, AND thankful for this, because God is near to the broken-hearted. I get to experience a deeper connection with the Living God through my pain. For that I’m SO thankful, because if you’ve ever experienced Him, you know that his presence brings a peace that surpasses all understanding. It’s a feeling of pure bliss no drug, no vacation, no material possession, no amount of wealth could ever replicate. Ok, so I still have this anger amidst a trusting, hopeful, and thankful heart; what will chopping off my hair and working myself out into oblivion accomplish? There was only one way to find out.
I just HAPPENED to have a hair appt scheduled for the day after the ultrasound. So I went in, sat in her chair, a sweet friend that loves talking all things motherhood, design, and innovation with me. I told her, “I’m chopping it off.” Her eyes immediately lit up with excitement, as she loves change and doing fun new things. I told her my reasons, and her eyes so sweetly lost some flicker out of respect for the situation. But I told her it was GOOD, I was fine, but I was feeling angry, and I just needed to chop my hair off, cleanse, liberate, and press the restart button. She knew exactly what I wanted, like EXACTLY what I wanted, without me even telling her. Right down to the “paintbrush ends”, the lack of layers, yet textured enough to stack heavily and move effortlessly. Haha, I laugh because it’s so odd that God knew I needed HER, and only her, to connect on an unspoken, artistic level, to help me start over and heal…through my hair do! Because he cares guys. He cares about all these silly, seemingly insignificant things that we care about…why? Because he made us. He knit those silly, insignificant things right smack into the depths of our beings. I teared up as she started chopping off more than half of my hair. Not because of losing hair, but because of what it represents. NEW. Fresh start. Forward movement. God makes all things new, and I was shedding my old self, putting on my new one.
The workout didn’t come until the next morning. I woke up earlier than my son so I could squeeze one in. I only needed 30 minutes to ruin myself. 😂 I worked out hard, I was breathless, my lungs felt like I swallowed dry ice, my muscles deeply ached, and sweat was dripping from everywhere. This body represents a temple, one that I’ve allowed the Holy Spirit to dwell in on a spiritual level, and one that carries new life on a physical level. It’s sacred. The journey through a workout often brings me back to my walk in life; it’s hard, it’s painful, sometimes it feels like I won’t make it, but I persevere. I push past physical to draw from the spiritual, a strength that comes only when I’m at my weakest point. God’s strength is said to be perfected in our weakness. Probably because at that point we are incapable of getting in the way. That morning’s workout was what I needed to be reminded of this truth. To get myself to a physical point of weakness so that I could sit there, and invite the supernatural power of the Lord into my life.
That’s why I needed those two things to deal with my anger; first a cleanse, reminding me that I’m a new creation in Christ Jesus, and that means my womb is safe, it’s worthy, and it will hold life again. Also, it’s OK that I am different after this experience, and OK that I’d like to start fresh. Second, weakness; reminding me that it’s God’s strength that is perfected when my strength is removed, and a place I would like to be more often. These two things have helped me understand unfathomable things. To understand that God is present, victorious, and drawing all things to himself. To remember that he PROMISES to justify all the pain one day; but he’s waiting until every ear has heard of his offer for relationship with Him so that he could have as many as possible of us with him for eternity.
Consequently, I draw hope and peace from these three things: I will one day meet that little life I held for only 6 weeks, I’m now in touch with Rachel in a deeper, better way, and I have gotten to experience MORE of the Lords sweet presence, voice, and ushering through life’s complications. What a gift this was.
This is just the beginning of the healing process I’m sure. There very well might be more things that come to the surface. But I intend on keeping that line of communication with the deepest part of myself open and available for more work.
Ladies, I always thought I knew how I might react to certain things in life and then they happen…I think I know myself, and then I’m continuously shocked at how certain things affect me. For example, I might know that I would certainly feel sad or devastated if I had a miscarriage. However, it was through this process that I discovered there was no way I could imagine all the shards of intricate feelings which nuance a situation such as this. Talking about it, confronting as many broken pieces as possible, and asking for prayer was the only way I could be sure I wouldn’t miss picking up a shard for me to step on later. I encourage you to not just allow feelings to happen and then address them, I encourage you to SEEK out feelings that live in deep places. Uncover it all so you can really truly heal. If you don’t pray yourself, ask someone that does to pray on your behalf! Girl, it works, and it’s the only thing that does. If you don’t know God as your Heavenly Father, I encourage you to seek him out, ask him to reveal himself, and talk to someone who can help point you in His direction. Life is too hard and WAY too sucky to live without the help of a merciful and loving God. Not just for the deep dark places but also for the revelation of truly beautiful things he has to offer you in this life. We live in a broken world, but he wants to make it as sweet as possible for you; with and without the hard, sad, painful things.
Thanks for reading, and I hope somehow, someway, I’ve been able to encourage you. If not, well, then thank you for allowing me to continue healing through writing this out. 🤗