To you, a friend, family member, classmate, instructor, mentor, reader, or 1 in 4 women:
To be honest and vulnerable, I never thought I would experience a miscarriage ever, and not once again. My husband and I were overjoyed when we found out we were expecting again after two years of waiting and praying. We dreamed about what our baby would look like, what kind of parents we would be, what adventures we would have, what hikes we would do together, and how our lives would change differently and positively. I have always pictured pregnancy as a beautiful and fulfilling experience filled with joy, miracle changes, and wonder. But then, in the blink of an eye, everything changed one more time; and during the first trimester, we lost our baby and pregnancy.
We were devastated. We felt like our dreams and hopes had been shattered again. We wondered if God was punishing us if we had done something wrong. We felt guilty and ashamed like and I felt as if I had failed as a woman and a mother. We cried out to God, asking him why this had to happen to us again. What did we do?
The pain and numbness come and goes. It was and still is as if a piece of our hearts had been ripped out, leaving us hollow. However, I have been struggling the most with a deep sensation of embarrassment.
As you might know, I am in midwifery school and still do some Doula work to help pay for school. I love what I do, I truly do, but recently I have sometimes felt and questioned how I can provide care, guidance, and support to other pregnancies and people when I cannot for my own. I feel anxious and embarrassed at times. I have been battling this feeling and emotion so much that I have avoided talking and running into many friends and people I know who love and care for me. I get anxious about running into someone that might know me in the store or on the street. I honestly have been avoiding my phone and answering messages because of that feeling and because I have been avoiding the reality of grieving and healing.
I am trying to be strong. I keep a brave face for the families I care for because I want their pregnancies and births full of love, joy, and wonder. I don’t want to cloud them with sadness or grief. But, there are times when I see families, and I cannot stop thinking about what could have been, the life that was growing inside me, the dreams and hopes and plans that we could have made. I know is a lie in my head, but I sometimes feel like a failure or, as I said, embarrassed. I sometimes feel like my body betrayed me once again, or perhaps I wasn't good enough to be a mother. I wondered if I had done something wrong and if I could have prevented the miscarriage somehow.
Moreover, I have always found healing and restoration up in the mountains. So, my husband and I planned a last-minute 100+ kilometer trek/hike in Kumano Kodo, one of the UNESCO pilgrimage paths. So, as time passed in the mountains and as we walked deep in the forest like a pilgrim -in silence, reflecting on who God is and allowing Him to speak to our hearts. I began to see God's hand in my and our pain. I realized that He was and is with us every step of the way, carrying us through our grief and healing our broken hearts. I remembered the promises in His word that He is close to the brokenhearted, comforts those who mourn, and will never leave or forsake us. So, slowly but surely, I am starting to heal. I realized that my babies were never really lost, that they would always be a part of me, of us. I am learning that miscarriage doesn't make me or anyone less of a woman or a mother.
I also begin to see the beauty in our loss. I realized that our baby had a purpose and plan, despite their short life. I saw how our miscarriages had brought my husband and I closer together, how it had deepened our faith this second time, how it had allowed us to learn and perhaps one day become comfortable and encourage others who may go through the same thing. My mom said: “There are souls in search of feeling loved, wanted, and cared for, and when they do, they go back to heaven.” I know our babies felt deeply loved, so I hope they rejoice now in heaven.
Likewise, I find comfort in the words of Jesus in Matthew 19:14, when He said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." I know that our baby is in the arms of Jesus, safe and secure in His loving care. I also found hope in the promise of resurrection, when we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone before us.
I am also finding solace in the love and support of my family and my greatest gift on earth -mi flaco, my best friend, my partner, my husband! I am allowing myself to grieve on my own time, cry, mourn, and feel all the emotions that come with the loss. I am just starting to feel ready to write and express this. I know that the road ahead will be bumpy, there will be no guarantees, and the fear and anxiety will never fully disappear. But I also know that I have hope, that I have resilience, that I have the strength to keep going. The day I found I was pregnant again, the Bible verse of the day was: “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing” (Isaiah 43: 18-19). Therefore, I still have hope in His promise, which He brought to me that day.So, I want to encourage all of us who have experienced a pregnancy loss or miscarriage to hold onto our faith. God is with us, even in our pain. He sees our tears, hears our cries, and understands our heartache. And He is the ultimate healer, who can turn your mourning into dancing, your sorrow into joy.
My husband and I still grieve the loss of our babies, but we also have a newfound appreciation for the preciousness of life, the love and support of our family and friends, and the hope we have in Christ. It is not easy to always have this mindset, but I pray for discipline and endurance to have it every day. We trust that God has a plan for our family, and we look forward to the day when we meet our little ones again in heaven. We will never forget our little angels who left us too soon. But I also know that they will always be with us, always be loved, and always be a part of our family. And for that, I am grateful.
Slowly but surely,