Trigger warning. I’ve never used that saying in the blog before today but feel with this story, it’s necessary. Not because you should be afraid of reading the story, not because it’s a story of death and loss, but out of respect that not everyone is in a place to read a story that contains such heavy emotions. I will leave it up to you to read it. But know, that this story holds so much beauty within the lines. It’s a story about a woman’s strength and resilience. It’s a story about a crumbling marriage that found hope, it’s about healing and finding a personal faith. We are honored to share this story.
By James Humphreys
As a second line appeared and got darker and darker I heard myself saying over and over, “oh my god, oh my god, oh my god”. What I did not say out loud for many more days was, “oh my god, I am pregnant”. I was in shock.
I had an extremely colicky 4 month old that was sucking the life out of me. My husband and I were living with my parents during an extremely low point in our marriage. We were experiencing all the nightmares of a complete house renovation .. including completing blowing our budget. My husband was removed and seemed to be very distant. I was scared. I felt completely alone. I did not know what to do.
A couple weeks went by and I asked my husband if we could talk. I remember my heart pounding as he came into the bedroom. All I could say was … ‘I’m pregnant’ His face FELL. He could barely stay in the room. He was mad. He was upset. He said, ‘This is NOT good.” and left the room. A few minutes later he came in and was MORE mad. “How could this happen? How could we be so careless? So foolish? Again, This is NOT good. ‘ The words cut my heart like a knife. I remember feeling guilt and shame. And he left me there alone. More weeks went by. We did not talk about the pregnancy. He was unhappy. I was feeling more excited each day.
I always wanted 3 children. Now we would have 3 under 3. I made my first doctors appointment and I went alone. With my other two babies my husband was there.. but this pregnancy was different. I sat in the drs office waiting for the dr to come in. She came in and we small talked – I was getting more excited to see the little peanut and the flutter of the heart. I laid back and my eyes went to the screen. There was my baby. My tiny, tiny baby. I could see the head and body. I felt love and warmth in my heart. I looked over at the dr and her face was pail. She said, ‘I’m so sorry, but I don’t see a heartbeat.’ The warmth in my heart quickly changed to a stab of anxiety and confusion. “What? Wait.. what? What does this mean.” She told me it’s possible that the large ultrasound machine would pick it up but its not likely. She left the room to check the availability of the big ultrasound machine. My hands were shaking as I called my husband. All I remember is crying out, ‘they can’t find the babys heartbeat’. They fit me in to look for the heart beat again, but my husband was not there yet.
I asked if they could wait for him but they said they could not.
So I laid there and again I looked up at the screen. The ultrasound doctor confirmed: The baby was dead. About 5 minutes later my husband arrived. We embraced and we both cried.
I drove home alone, crying loudly the whole way. My dr gave me a week to miscarry on my own, but if I did not start bleeding I would have to have a DnC. The baby measured 10 weeks. For the next 8 days my body was a tomb. I carried that child and I loved that child. I said goodbye to that child for 8 days. Finally in the middle of the night I started having intense cramping that felt like contractions. I labored all night bleeding heavily and passing large clots of blood. The pain was intense but in a way it matched the pain in my heart and justified all the tears. The next day around noon I felt extreme pressure and then extreme release. I looked in my hand and saw the outline of a baby. I wrapped it in toilet paper and walked out of the bathroom and I handed it to my mother. I said in a slight whisper, ‘it’s the baby’. She wrapped it properly and put it in the freezer.
I found a beautiful spot right under a tree on my parents land. I put the baby in a small wooden box, wrapped in a lace handkerchief and we buried our child one cool morning. I said a prayer out loud and cried and cried. I felt a peaceful breeze cooling the hot tears upon my face. A moment of healing began that morning with my husband by my side.
This was the first of three miscarriages. The next two I was 5 and 6 weeks along so they were physically not as intense, however, emotionally the pain was very real. Every night I would think of those three babies.
Laying in bed I would recite my miscarriage story.
Ten weeks ago, after successfully carrying this pregnancy to 20 weeks, I decided to share my story publicly. I immediately felt the weight of my sad, sad secret lifted off my heart. The chains had been broken and I felt like I could finally say goodbye to my babies. I know without a doubt I will see these three children someday. This is my personal faith. That I will caress each cheek and kiss each forehead in a place where there is no pain and death.
I encourage any woman who is reading my story to break their chains and share the sad secret they carry in their heart. If you know someone who has lost a child, reach out to them. Honor them in some way. Acknowledge the loss they have felt. These tiny angels are ours to carry for such a short time but the impact they have on our lives and hearts is HUGE. In 10 weeks I will meet my sixth baby. I cannot wait to cherish each newborn breath in a way I never have before. For those mamas that have lost a child may your rainbow find you and may you find the peace that dries your tears.