Thursday, July 18, 2013


There is a part of me that's not really sure how to do this.
If it's too early, too raw, too personal.
I promised I would tell you what what big things had happened, and I do like to keep promises.

First off, let me clear the air:
No one lost a job.
No one is sick.
No one left.
No grown person has died.
(The few friends and family who read this, if, um, actually, any of the above DID happen back in Florida, and I just totally missed the memo, please accept my deepest and most sincerest apologies, and I'll get right on blogging about that, too . . . or not . . . or . . . I don't even know . . . ).

It starts off, appropriately enough, the Friday before Mother's Day. The end begins, ironically enough, the Thursday before Father's Day.

I had made this for fun after our second positive test (I took three several days apart just to be sure).
We ended up using it a week after our seven week ultrasound--where we first saw a flicker of a heartbeat. We had, of course, told family shortly after learning we were pregnant. They, in turn, told friends and coworkers. One of my MIL's coworkers is the mother of one of my former students, who, after hearing the news, posted a congrats on my Facebook profile, which had everyone all "WHAAAAAA???" It was really quite funny. :]
In response, I posted this pic.
One week later, I took it down.

There's a part of me that's not really sure where to go from here. That maybe, that's all that needs to be said. That, maybe, I don't want to go any deeper. 
Things are just starting to feel normal again, do I really want to dredge that up?
Yes, I think I do. Maybe it has nothing to do with want and everything to do with should. Need.
I don't know.
It's there, crouching in the back corner of my mind like some starved rat, gnawing here and there when I least expect it. Scurrying into view, dark and hideous with those glittering eyes that I hate. Glaring down at me with the ache, the guilt--all of it. Hideous.
  It was something lovely, once upon a time. I'm trying so hard to make it lovely again. Sometimes, it is lovely--you see the little blessings blooming in the wounds. But they are wounds, and the geography of everything has changed.
They tell me that one day they will heal and scar, that I won't really feel them.

I believe them, and I do not.
Because, you see, there is a face I will never see in this life. A laugh I will not hear. I will never know if she favored carrots or broccoli, or vanilla more than chocolate. I won't know if he liked sports more than video games or if he looked handsome in the color blue. Won't that always be there? The knowledge that there was and then there was not?
They tell me that it is an ache that can be filled in time with another. I understand this, I do, but . . . there are all these "buts."

I don't know if part of the reason it clings to me is because of how it unfolded.
It wasn't all at once, you know. It was what they call a "missed miscarriage"--we looked for a heartbeat, the heartbeat that had throbbed two weeks earlier, and we could not find it. So we waited and  waited for it to end physically, understanding that what I held inside me was no longer living. That it was and was not.  That the one thing I had been so sure my body could do, it had failed. 

Our first ultrasound, the doctor had been very pleased, but I was nervous. Women  had told me that this was the moment when I would truly become a mother--when I saw evidence of a child. Instead, the doctor said I was measuring almost a week small, and my mind and heart could not rest. I was afraid. Two weeks later, I asked if it was possible for another ultrasound.  The doctor squeezed us in, and we found our child, bigger than the last time, but no heart. She sent us to the hospital, and, for the first time in my life, I understood why people hate hospitals. We were ignored, herded, then poked and prodded without a word. They told us nothing, but, when the pretty little tech offered me a smile with a weak, "Have a nice day" I knew.  I knew that look. Pity. The "I have bad news that I can't tell you; I don't know what to say" pity. So we went back to my doctor, and she expressed what I already knew but had hoped was wrong.  There was no heartbeat, none at all, and the child was two weeks too small. It appeared we had only lost it within the last three days, after my all day nausea had turned into violent illness that rendered me like the living dead--I could keep nothing down, not even fluids.  Now, I think it was my body's last attempt to flood me with hormones to keep my child alive, but I may never know.  It was over.

The doctor gave us three choices: allow my body to complete the miscarriage naturally, induce the miscarriage through pills, or perform a D&C.  We chose to wait, expecting it to be over within a week, hoping it would be. It wasn't. Now, I see that as all for the best--had it happened within a week, I would have been sick and cramping all during our trip back to Florida.  Had it happened while we were visiting the following week, who knows how long it could have taken, how sick I would have been?

We waited for over two weeks before we decided to induce the physical miscarriage. Chris would be heading back to work in a couple of days, and neither of us wanted me alone. On top of that, as the pregnancy hormones were depleting, my body could not handle the stress.  I continued to find myself ailing with different illnesses, one after the other. I may have been cheery in public, almost normal, as if I were barely grieving, as if it hadn't mattered. But, the truth was that the grief and stress were physically draining to the point that we were worried.
We called the doctor, and she came to my home to administer the medication.  I was at home with my husband, but there was a loneliness to it, an isolation that I desired in a way.  I was so tired. For 11 hours, I waited while my body began with a slow, dull ache that grew into what were, to the best of my knowledge, small contractions. Then it was over.  In an instant, it was finished, over, and I stood there in my bathroom, breaking because we had no where to bury it. It tears my heart open every time I think about that moment--that we couldn't even give our tiny child a the dignity of a resting place, that it was released with the sewage. I still cry, even now, thinking about that.  They tell me there was nothing I could have done, but the guilt plagues me. I couldn't even bury it.

I know this post is not my brightest or my wittiest.  In fact, it might even be dark.

The truth is, we are bright. We manage, and we go out and we laugh and we love and we live.  There is a closeness that comes from loss. It sweeps in an understanding of my own finiteness and the greatness of my God.  We were given something beautiful, something lovely that brought joy, even for a little while.
It was gone, and so much shattered. 

It had not mattered that I was the healthiest I had been in years, that I had researched until I could recite pregnancy websites. It had not mattered that we were thrilled.  Sometimes, I wondered if it had happened because I wasn't excited enough--that I had bouts of fear, of nerves, feelings that something was off. No, it couldn't be that.
It's not my fault, I hear again and again, and, yet, I feel like my body has failed me. I am only now regaining physical normality. I haven't felt healthy in two months.    I'm just now crossing back into that, back into regular meals, regular workouts, regular walks outside (I hadn't had those in so long, it seems, I was too sick and too tired), regular laughter and hugs and conversation. Regular. Normal.
It's not my fault, they tell me. It was chromosomes or something. They say it is better this way because, if my child had had a chromosomal imbalance, would it have been in pain? Isn't it better, for it to be in heaven, carefree and joyous, waiting for me? I agree with them. I have to, or else it is too dark to find the light again.  With this hope, there is such light. Nothing is lost forever.  And, in that, I sing. I am not lost. My child is not lost. It's just absent,  waiting.

I didn't want to post this to be depressing. I suppose it is, in a way. Death is never pleasant.
And it was a death.
This was not a tumor or a mistake or a bundle of cells that suddenly ceased to exist. It was a child, our child. It didn't have a name, not yet, but it was a child. It had been alive--we'd seen the heartbeat, once, a tiny little flicker in a bean-shaped shadow. Light dark light dark light dark, so very tiny.  We were only nine weeks along when we learned it wasn't alive any more. I would have been fourteen weeks today.  I still count the weeks. I can't help it. You think about what could have been. It was a child. And then it died. There was a death. We grieve for a death, for the infant we will never hold. We rejoiced in its life. We thank God for the little while we had. We were not afraid, and we are not afraid now. Of course, there are worries, concerns, for the future. There always will be. Still, my God is bigger than all that. He gives and He takes, and I am so small and so loved. 

If we look, we find beauty in all of this. Chris and I are closer--we have learned how the other mourns, how to cling to each other. How to cling to Truth that is SO much bigger than the both of us. God is good. In all things. There are relationships opened--shared pain draws people together so much more than shared pleasure. I learned how much we were loved, how much our child was loved, by friends and family far away. We felt the prayers--we so needed them.  We could find joy in our days.
I'm not saying that there were not bad days, that there aren't still "dark days" on occasion.  Two nights after the last ultrasound, I melted into a pit of anger, of bitterness, and the next day I couldn't get out of bed. I was so tired, so hurt.  But it doesn't end there. It can't.
There has to be light somewhere. We may never understand the why or the how, but we believe there is Light. There \has to be. Or else what point is there?

I had heard a quote once in a children's movie, but it was something so sad and so beautiful it hummed in my mind long after the film had ended. It is, in fact, from a book by an author I adore, and it is no less beautiful and honest in print than when it is spoken:

“It is a curious thing, the death of a loved one. We all know that our time in this world is limited, and that eventually all of us will end up underneath some sheet, never to wake up. And yet it is always a surprise when it happens to someone we know. It is like walking up the stairs to your bedroom in the dark, and thinking there is one more stair than there is. Your foot falls down, through the air, and there is a sickly moment of dark surprise as you try and readjust the way you thought of things.”
--(Lemony Snicket from
Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid)

We had taken a step where we could not see, and we slipped in "dark surprise."
We readjust, we stand up, and we continue though we limp a little in the beginning. Perhaps there's always a whisper of a limp, but we keep walking, climbing, talking, laughing, living, loving because there's light. 

There's always, always Light.

Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food,
 the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
--Habakkuk 3:17-19a


  1. sweet make me weep with the beauty of your words...I love you and I grieve again with you at the loss of this precious life and I celebrate with you the hope of Heaven and the beauty and bigness of our blessed to e your momma. God brings beauty from ashes...He does. Missing you and thanking Him for you and Chris and our baby :) love you bunches and bunches!

  2. Oh honey, I'm crying for you over here. I can't even imagine. I don't have any words...But I think the verse you ended the post with is exactly the words for you to focus on.

  3. Oh gosh Sarah Im so sorry. There you are being all thoughtful and kind on blogs that you visit and deep inside you are sad and mourning. I cant even imagine what you are going through all I can say is that I hope you start to feel better and with each day it gets easier to come to terms with. Why do bad things happen to good people. It sux. Its not fair. Im thinking of you from across the miles xxx

  4. Even through this, through all this, you draw closer to God when many would curse The Creator. Of course, I would expect nothing less from the likes of you, but for someone who does not know God, you are a light to His path. Even in your brokenness, you stand holding a torch for the One who you know loves you most, even when you don't understand why a loss happened. You have a beautiful and amazing strength, something that can only come from a relationship with the Most High. I love you, and pray for both of you in healing. -Bozz

  5. Oh Sarah, I am so glad that you wrote about your experience and feelings you have that are still so raw. I hope it is yet another step in the healing of your heart. Keep clinging to the light, it is there even when you don't see it. I'm still thinking of you and praying for both you and Chris. Much love to you sweetheart!

  6. Sarah, you are so brave to write about this... it's a truly beautiful thing to be so open and honest, and to grieve openly. I believe allowing yourself to feel every emotion without regret makes you a better and more whole human being. It is what I am sure makes you a good friend, wife, and what will make you a wonderful mother. I know we have never met, but my heart is with you... sending love to you and Chris.

  7. I love your realness. Miscarriage is such a hard thing to walk through - it really is the loss of a life and so many in this world don't recognize that. I pray that the Prince of Peace will comfort you!

  8. You are so right. No matter how small, that was a life. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It was NOT your fault. God is bigger than all of this and he will turn your sorrow into joy, your tears into laughter.

  9. Thanks so much, friend :] He is SO much bigger, and there's such comfort in that.

  10. I don't know you, I also will never say I know how you feel. I do not. We all grieve, and hurt. But I can't know HOW you feel. I do know how I dealt with this. I bought a store full of kleenex, till I was able to find a way to stop. I was saved by Him, because he gave me time and the ability to remember the joy and happiness there was. AND always will be. No one can ever take this away from you. It will always be a great part of you, and the purest of love. A true treasure was given you. It was also the start of a new beginning for you and Chris. With your surgery blood work, you have found an answer, thus, new Hope. An aspirin a day is a good sign for your future. Bless you. Thank you for sharing. A lot of us are not able, and this too shows your strength.


Good morning, Starshine! The Earth says, "Hello!"