They say that ignorance is bliss. And they are correct. I went off of birth control in July of 2006. I was so excited! I had finally talked my husband into having a baby! I just knew that I’d get pregnant right away and have a bundle of joy in my arms within a year. Eight months later, I finally got that long awaited positive! My excitement could not be contained. I blissfully told everyone I met I was having a baby. And if they didn’t ask, I came up with a reason to tell them. Oh, you like cheeseburgers? Well, I’m pregnant!
My doctor wouldn’t see anyone before their ninth week so I took the first available appointment after that, making my first appointment scheduled for 11 weeks. My husband had to work that day but that was ok. I would bring him a picture of our amazing little one. I talked excitedly all through the ultrasound. My ignorant bliss blocking my ability to see that the ultrasound technician wasn’t excited. She listened to me tell her how excited I was. How much I wanted a son. How I’d already picked out names. How I couldn’t wait to start showing. Bliss. Ignorant bliss.
She smiled and excused herself to get the doctor. I sat in the room, thrilled. I didn’t see it coming. For a first timer, pregnancy means a baby. It means happiness. There is nothing else. I didn’t see it coming until my doctor said those dreaded words, “I’m so sorry…”. My baby stopped growing at eight weeks. No heartbeat. Only heartbreak. The doctor said a lot of, what I’m sure she felt was comforting words, and left me compose myself and dress. I cried so hard all the way home that I don’t know how I made the 30 minute drive. It was still early in the day and my husband wasn’t due home for hours. I sat on the couch and cried. No, I wept. I broke.
It took almost two months for the baby to pass naturally. The doctor wanted me to get a D&C but I simply could not. I refused to believe that my baby wasn’t going to miraculously get a heartbeat and grow. When I finally passed my baby, I saw it’s tiny little body. I sat with my head on the toilet and wept. I woke my husband, hysterical, and begged him to flush the toilet. I couldn’t. As I heard the toilet flush, I broke. My heart was gone. I spent the next months feeling strong emotions hit me in waves. Mostly guilt and anger. I spent every night crying myself to sleep. I got a new job and busied myself with work. 50-60 hour weeks just to avoid thinking about my lost baby.
Then I found myself pregnant again. I tried to be happy. I tried to feel that same bliss. But I was no longer ignorant. I just waited. And when I lost that baby, I barely felt it emotionally; the pain of the first lost baby was still too strong. My innocence was shattered. I spent that time in a blur. Two months after that loss, I forced myself to go home for Christmas. The first time facing family since my losses. I forced myself to face my sister-in-law, who had just given birth to her son. Her son was put into my arms shortly after arriving there. I gave him back as quick as possible and cried in the bathroom. I spent that night weeping into my husband’s chest, saying over and over “I just want my baby back.”
It was the hardest Christmas I’ve ever had. I hated myself for not feeling happy for my sister-in-law. I was angry at myself for letting my emotions to overcome me again. I put on a brave face and smiled for everyone. But inside, I was dying. My heart was broken. My husband and I had already decided that we would take a break from trying to let my heart heal. To let our marriage heal. We simply could not face another loss.
We returned home after Christmas, ready to go back on birth control and try to mend broken hearts. To be safe before going back on birth control, I took a pregnancy test. And to my surprise and absolute dread, it came back positive. I told my husband. He didn’t even respond. I think he was as overwhelmed and scared as I was. We both knew what another loss would do to me. I had already fallen so far from him and most importantly, I’d fallen so far from God. I was so angry. I had begged God for my baby and He hadn’t given me my way. And now I was facing a possible third loss. How dare He!? Didn’t He love me? Wasn’t He on my side?
I went to the doctor with no hope. I’d given up on that pregnancy the moment I saw the positive. I smiled at the ultrasound technician and she smiled back. She had been with me for the last two losses and I think she knew I’d given up. I actually felt sorry for her, having to tell me a third time that I’d lost my precious baby.
And then my world changed. I saw a flicker on the screen. I watched my son’s heart beat. My heart stopped. I couldn’t believe it. I held my breath, willing it to be true. And I continued holding my breath for nine months, until my healthy, screaming baby boy looked up into my eyes.
I would love to tell you that my relationship with God was immediately better. But it took many years of guilt and anger on my part to truly turn my heart back to Him. I felt utterly ashamed for my anger toward God. But I simply couldn’t let go of it. My heart was stubborn. But slowly God showed me that through everything, He never left my side. He didn’t abandon me, like I had Him. He forgave me. He loved me. And He loved my babies. They were His children after-all.
Five years later…
When I got a positive pregnancy test in the beginning of 2013, I felt that same fear sneak up but I pushed it away. I knew that if I simply didn’t worry, everything would work out. I’m ashamed to say that I believed that God was on my side this time. And my shame isn’t in believing that God is on my side. It’s in believing that He wasn’t on my side during my losses.
Again, like my first pregnancy, I didn’t get an appointment until 11 weeks. But I wasn’t worried. God was on my side.
I knew as soon as I saw the ultrasound. I knew what I was looking for this time. And I didn’t see it. No heartbeat. My baby stopped growing at eight weeks, just like before. And for a moment I was tempted to be angry. I was tempted to think God hated me. This time I decided to let God do what He wanted to do the first time. I let Him heal my heart. Don’t get my wrong, there were a lot of tears. There were many nights of falling asleep on a wet pillow. But I knew that God was there. He was healing my broken heart.
A week ago [at the time of writing], August 15, 2013, I started to lose my 5th pregnancy. A blighted ovum.
I’ve spent a lot of time questioning why. I’ve spent a lot of time researching. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the future. I’ve come close to giving up. I’ve come close to anger. I’ve come close to self pity. But then I remember one very important thing. God has never left my side. Through every heartache of the roller coaster that has been my life (that’s a whole other story!), He has remained the same. He loved me yesterday. He loves me today. And He will love me tomorrow. God’s love abounds.
Kylie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org