Words for Loss

Caleb's arrival marked the definitive end to a hard period of time for me, and I feel I need to address that before I can explain my feelings surrounding his birth. The reason this blog was entirely abandoned for so long was that I didn't know how to write about my miscarriages, but didn't think I could just write as if they didn't happen.  I had two between Jane and Caleb.  The first at 11 weeks and the second at 20.

My first miscarriage started as a pregnancy I wasn't exactly trying for.  Jane and that baby would have been 17 months apart, so not crazy by my standards, just sooner than I was planning.  It took a few days to process it, then I was just excited. The weeks of the first trimester seem to take forever, and I was almost done with them, but when I went in for my first appointment at 11 weeks, it was clear something was wrong. The baby was measuring so small and the little heartbeat was steady but very slow.  There was nothing to do but wait for an inevitable miscarriage.  It was an awful 5 days, knowing the baby was slowly dying and I could do nothing.  When it was over, I felt on the fence about having another baby soon.  The pregnancy had helped me get excited about the thought of another, but the loss left me sad and a little disoriented.

After about 4 months, we tried again and I was pregnant right away.  I was happy, but scared.  I held my breath at my 10 week appointment, but all was well.  It was such a relief! At 14.5 weeks we went to the mall to find out the gender of our baby. 100% boy! He was measuring just right and moving all over. We had all of the kids with us, and had made a deal that if it was a girl we'd get ice cream and if it was a boy we'd get doughnuts. Doughnuts it was! We went to Harmon's and bought a box, then went to their upstairs dining area and divvied them up. It was a fun memory. :)

 My next appointment with my midwife was at 20 weeks.  It was on Valentines Day. Kevin was sick, so I left Jane and Adam napping with him and brought Austin and Noah with me.  I was excited to see our little guy again, but...there was no heartbeat. She did an ultrasound and our little boy wasn't moving. He was gone.  He'd died at least a few weeks earlier. My midwife was very kind, explaining some options I had. It was all a blur. I told her I'd talk to Kevin and call her when I got home.

I couldn't bring myself to call anyone. I was so so sad. I packed my little boys into the car and drove the 25 minutes home sobbing. Noah, who was 6, asked what was wrong.  I told him our baby had died and that it made me really sad.  Kevin was as shocked as I was. There were decisions to be made about how to get the baby out. I could take cytotech, and basically go into labor and deliver him at home. I could go to the hospital, and possibly get a d&c.  I prayed for discernment and felt very peaceful about staying at home.  Danny and Nicole came and picked up all of our kids.  My midwife sent a prescription  for the cytotech and Kevin picked it up along with some dinner for us.  We enjoyed the time alone together before the contractions started. It was hard, but I think we both felt a lot of peace that night.  Our little son was born within a few hours. We got to hold his little body and marvel at his perfect fingers and toes.

There were no complications, and physically I healed very quickly.  Emotionally, it took longer. I felt pretty numb for a while, then anti-social. I lost some of my zest for life and it took a long time before I felt like myself again. I had always thought it would be fairly easy to recover from that kind of thing. But it all hit me harder than I would have expected.  I didn't understand the losses, the second one especially.  I wasn't bitter, but I wasn't turning to the Lord for strength either.  I was just going along and some days were harder than others, but I just sort of floated through things, breaking down from time to time.  I never doubted that the Lord was aware of me, or that this was part of His plan, but I was very halfhearted in my attempts to connect with Him. I regret this, but have since felt that He understood and didn't hold it against me.  I think I could have spared myself some pain, though, if I'd allowed Him to help more.

All was not misery between my first miscarriage and Caleb's birth. We went on some wonderful trips, and my day to day life was full of children whose happiness was contagious. There were many, many joyful moments. I do wish I'd been better at recording them.

I was pregnant with Caleb 3 months after the second miscarriage, and I worried about him all the time.  I was sure something would go wrong with the pregnancy or that he wouldn't be healthy after he was born. We moved about 20 minutes away during that pregnancy (another post waiting to happen) and I had to find a new midwife. I put it off forever, I think I was functioning under that attitude that no news was good news and worried that an appointment would bring bad news.  Caleb was soothing to me, though, even in the womb. If I EVER feared that something was wrong, he would move, as if to reassure me that he was fine.  I felt a bond with him and prayed that all would be well. So many prayers that all would be okay.

And it was!

Next post: Cubby's Birth Story


  1. I am so sorry you had to go through that. It seems that so so many women must experience that at one time or another.

  2. I knew you had one miscarriage but I didn't know there were two. As soon as I knew I was pregnant the baby became part of our family. It would have devastated me to lose them even the day after the pregnancy test. But 11 and 20 weeks! Oh my. I can't imagine. No wonder you have been off your blog for so long. I felt the sacredness of what you went through in this post. You have an incredible gift of writing. This post is going to help others someday, if it hasn't already. And your written words here will mean much to your children. They will read this and know how much you cherished them, and will know of some of the sacrifices you went through to get them here.

  3. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I am so glad to see you blogging again. I have recently been back at it too. I wish you didn't have to experience such loss, but am grateful for your words. I especially loved how you put it about not being bitter, but not connecting enough with the Lord either. I think we all do this from time to time, become "half-hearted" as you put it in our attempts to reach the divine.


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