Monday, June 11, 2012

Romans 8:28 (Our Miscarriage Story)

Okay, *serious post alert.* This is one of those posts that I know I've wanted to write and share with my friends and family, but I haven't really wanted to think about it and pull all of my thoughts together. I wanted to share this for a few reasons: 1) Maybe it could help someone going through a similar situation. 2) Most of my friends and family still do not know what I went through or how I felt. 3) I want to document the experience, share my feelings, and hopefully move on. This post has been in my drafts since 7/10/11. I keep going back and reading it and wondering if I should really post it... Well, here it is.

*And any guys or modest people reading this, this may be slightly T.M.I.*

Some of you who have been following my blog may have heard me mention that I miscarried two years ago. Benjie and I got married in December 2008 and decided the summer of 2010 that it was about time to take the next step in our life and start a family. We decided since we spend most of the summer out on our boat and running the river, we'd enjoy one last summer as newlyweds and start trying towards the end of the summer. We both had a feeling it would take us a while. I stopped taking birth control in July, and lo and behold, I found out I was pregnant in August. My cycles aren't like clockwork (part of that TMI) so I was almost 5 weeks when I tested and found out.

We were thrilled but scared to death! I mean, the average conception time for most couples is over 6 months. We were ready, but we both anticipated quite a few months to really prepare ourselves mentally.  

So I made my first appointment and went to the doctor. Everything went fine on the first visit (bloodwork, exams, etc.). The second visit was our first sonogram (this was on 9-15-10). We go in, and the tech immediately found the baby. Most precious sound I've ever heard! Heartbeat was 74 bpm. (I figured that was low, but I really had no idea what it was supposed to be.) She's scanning and getting lengths and then all of a sudden she says, "Uh-oh...I think I see something else." I don't know whether my heart stopped beating or started beating twice as fast. I was in shock... and the look on Benjie's face was P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S. I'll never forget that wide-eyed, open-mouth gaze when he looked at me. :) Sure enough, there was another heart beating in the same sac (meaning identical twins), but only 40-something bpm. I'm no doctor, but I knew that one was low. The tech really never said anything else, but that the doctor would talk to us. 

We leave the ultrasound room and escorted to a private exam room to wait on the doctor. I look at Benjie -- and by this point, he's starting to get excited. I'm still in shock from the big news but it's starting to settle in. "How are we going to afford two babies?! How are we going to afford daycare? How is my body going to carry two babies?! If I had known God was going to give us two at one time, we probably should have waited until we were more financially ready...", was pretty much what came out of my mouth for the next 15 minutes. I even started crying at one point (Don't get me wrong, I THRILLED but emotions were EVERYWHERE!). The doc finally came in and didn't sound too enthusiastic, "Well it looks like there are two heartbeats, but we like to see them atleast 100 bpm at this point." I started asking a million questions and all he could really say was, "I'm not God, and I don't know what His plan is, so we will just have to wait and see." I made an appointment for another sonogram a week later. 

So I prayed and googled myself sick for the rest of the week and finally went back a week later. We went straight to the ultrasound room and after searching for a good 5 minutes (felt like 50) only one heartbeat was found.  The other baby was a little lifeless gray blob on the screen. My heart sank. The other baby's heartbeat was 92 bpm, but was barely audible. We waited again for the doc (crying again), and his response was pretty much the same -- let nature run it's course and come back in two weeks.

I was very upset, but knew I had to stay strong for the other baby. I was still pregnant. A few days went by and I started loosing my pregnancy symptoms. I knew what had happened and couldn't wait another week and a half. I called my doctor and requested an appointment a week early. Of course when I went in and got the sonogram, there were two lifeless blobs. I wasn't surprised -- I already knew. I just felt it. I met with the doctor and he discussed my options -- either miscarry on my own at home, or opt for a D&C. I couldn't imagine miscarrying at home. I think I was too emotionally distraught. I opted for the D&C. I wanted this chapter in my life to end as quickly as possible. Also, my mom had a D&C (miscarriage) between my brother and I and she made me feel 100% comfortable with the decision. He scheduled the surgery two days later... October 1, 2010. 

The surgery was nothing. No pain at all, just a little cramping. Emotionally, it was a different story. My mom came down and stayed with me for a few days. I was prescribed pain meds but took them more or less for depression than pain. I literally slept for the next 3 days. So much had happened the past 2 months, I just wanted to wake up and it all go away. My birthday was Oct. 6th and was (of course) the worst birthday out of all 25. I took off work for 2 weeks after my surgery -- I just needed time to myself. I never imagined I'd get pregnant in a month. I never imagined I'd have TWINS, and I never imagined God would take them both from me. Why God, why did you let this happen to me!?? I went back to work and tried to get back on with life. I really didn't care to interact with anyone. I just went to work and went home, and on the weekends, I slept. 

Literally less than a month after my surgery, I found out my little brother and his wife were pregnant and two very close girl friends were pregnant. (And they all 3 had their babies within a day of each other!) I found out all in one week, and let me tell you... it was a lot to take in at one time. I wanted to be happy for them. Really. But I was in a point in my life where a Pampers commercial made me cry. I began shutting everyone out of my life -- everyone that had anything to do with a baby (which was pretty much everyone). And if it happened all over again, I can't honestly say that I would have reacted any differently. It was just hard. Very very hard.

There's really no other way to explain this part... The doctor wanted us to wait a minimum of 3 months after my surgery (preferably 6) before trying again. Well, my surgery was on October 1, and by Dec 1, my cycle still had not resumed. Eight loooong weeks. My body had basically shut down. I went to see the doctor and he prescribed me Provera -- a jump-starter. Christmas was really tough. It was a joyous time for everyone else -- especially for the rest of my family since they were still expecting a baby from my brother and his wife. The new year came and I made a promise to myself and the Lord to pick myself up -- 2011 was the start of a new year. 

I'm going to shorten the rest of the story (and dodge any more TMI -- Bless you if you've made it this far!). As easily as we got pregnant the first time, it wasn't the case the second time around. January, February and March came and went and we still weren't pregnant. (And I was tracking everything, so I know timing was right...) Things just weren't happening right. I went at the end of March and saw the doctor again. He prescribed a low dosage of Clomid to see if it would help. I prayed and prayed and prayed and prayed for the next month. I'd spend every evening after work researching myself sick about basal temps, and cycle charting, and anything to do with getting pregnant. I was down to knowing the exact day that I ovulated. I bought pregnancy and ovulation tests in bulk. I had never wanted anything so bad in my entire life. It happened SO EASY the first time... What was going wrong!?

I was so obsessed that I'd start taking pregnancy tests about a week earlier than suggested. (That sounds awful, doesn't it!? But trust me, I couldn't sleep at night "wondering". I'd rather just see the negative and accept it.) I'd already taken about 4 or 5 (negative) tests and the morning after Easter 2011, I took a test and saw a faint positive line. I took pictures and sent them to a good friend who had already gotten pregnant the month before, just to make sure she saw it too. It almost seemed too good to be true and maybe I wanted it so bad that I was imagining that little pink line.

I took another test after I got home from work, which was a darker (positive) shade of pink and knew I was finally pregnant. I literally fell to my knees in tears. I have never felt the love of Christ as much as I did in that moment. It's like I was on that bathroom floor with His arms wrapped around me whispering, "I've had this planned for you all along Ashley. Just trust Me."

I knew I wanted to surprise Benjie in some special way. The next day I went to a local gift shop during my lunch break and wanted to get something 'gender -neutral' for the baby. I couldn't find anything but cheezy frames and a sweet bear. I got the bear, along with a card and put them where Benjie would find them when he got home from work. I also took my digital pregnancy test that I'd been saving for months. I wanted so bad to see the word "PREGNANT" on that stick and didn't want to take it until I knew for sure. In less than a minute I saw that beautiful word. I put the test in a box and put it with the bear.

I took a nap until he got home a few hours later and woke me up with the BIGGEST smile on his face. I wrote "Happy Easter" on the card, so he had no idea until he opened the box. It was such a happy and joyous time for us both.

And because of my miscarriage I spent the next 9 months of my pregnancy with Lily Kate completely scared to death. I felt like every little move that I made was going to jeopardize my pregnancy. Every doctor's visit was so stressful -- yet a complete relief when we left knowing everything was okay... for now.

I know that God took those babies from me for a reason. It was a chapter in my life that I will NEVER forget and I will never completely heal. It brought me closer to my husband and it brought me closer to the Lord. I was at a point where no one could help me or love me enough -- except for Lord's almighty comfort, healing power, and merciful love.

About two months ago I was rocking Lily Kate to sleep. I looked down and she had both of her little arms around me, sound asleep. I began to tear up and knew at that moment that this was God's perfect plan. I realized for the first time -- If I hadn't experienced this storm in my life I wouldn't be rocking my little angel right now. I can't imagine my life without her... and if God had let things go according to MY PLANS, my Lily Kate wouldn't exist.

 To any friends or family reading this, I apologize if I wasn't myself during (and months after) my miscarriage. Or, if I turned down any plans with you, or was rude to you, or never called you back. I can't go back and change anything, but I do apologize for my actions and I just hope you understand.

I also completely realize that there are situations much more complicated than mine. I know that my story is so minute compared to others. I know of couples that have suffered through 30+ miscarriages and still don't have a child of their own. I know couples that have been trying 10+ years. I know couples that will never have a biological child of their own. I know couples that have lost a living child. To anyone that's ever been through a situation like this, I have prayed for you. To anyone that may experience a situation like this in the future, I have prayed for you too. I never thought anything of miscarriage until it happened to me. Everyone thinks, "Oh, it was only a few months old... you never met it... it was only an inch long... and you can't always get pregnant with 'another'." No. That's definitely not the case. Those "its" were my precious precious babies, knitted together and created by God. I know they are in Heaven right now playing at the feet of Jesus and watching me as I type this post.

If you don't remember anything else from this post, know that God loves you and that He has a perfect plan for you -- even if it's not what you expect or what you want at the time. Our tiny little brains are incapable of understanding His "big picture." His plan for our lives is the only plan that will give us the maximum joy and happiness we can possibly experience while we are on this earth. How cool that we have Heavenly Father that we can trust like that!? Whether we think so or not, His plans are not to harm us, but to give us "hope and a future"*. We go through storms to see the rainbows... and my little rainbow is named Lily Kate. :)

* "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jer 29:11 (NIV)

Mama loves you so much, my sweet babies. I can't wait until the day I get to meet you.

“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28

I heard this song while we were trying to get pregnant and it just totally hit every emotion in my being. I still cry to this day when I hear this song -- Especially watching this video. It's a reminder to me that the Lord loves us more than we can ever love our own children -- How amazing is that!?


  1. I'm glad you were brave enough to share this as I know it will help someone. I started off our trying to have a baby with a miscarriage too, and it changes everything. We waited 40 months and 3 miscarriages, and are expecting our first little girl in 9 days. :) God has been so good to me too.


  2. Thank you for sharing. So sorry for your loss, I can't imagine how painful that was (and still is!) I love how you 'told' your hubby about the news when you found out you were expecting again! ;) When I found out I was pregnant with Ava it was a few days before our 6th wedding anniversary so I planned to surprise him at dinner that weeend. We went to a nice dinner at Ruth's Chris and I gave him a bracelet box (which he thought was a watch!) with the positive test inside. His reaction was priceless and I recorded it on video. It was much more fun than when we found out I was pregnant with Hayden and he was right there when I took the test! ;)

  3. Thank you so for pouring your heart out about those sweet ones! To go through something so difficult but come out on the other side realizing the blessing in it demonstrates some serious strength! Our Lord is so gracious to us and being able to see the wisdom in His works is so encouraging! Thank you for this post and I adore how you told him!! I hope I can keep my big mouth closed long enough to surprise my husband when it finally happens for us!

  4. You needed to write this. It is a very, very, very hard thing to go through.

    I went through a very similar situation when finding out about Daven. Doctors kept telling us that we were loosing him and that I needed to have a D&C. My hormone was not increasing and his heart beat was no where to be found. But test were positive.

    Long story short...I could not bring myself to do it. My heart told me no. God told me no. Went though the holidays, found out January 2010 I was def. pregnant and I wept like a baby with my ultrasound tech.

    God did take them, but you will see them on the other side.

    Lily Kate is beautiful and and I am so happy for you and Benji.

    Spoil her daily. They grow up too fast.

    God bless~

  5. I so love this post. I know it has a lot of sadness and hurt, but I love your perspective and your faith. I know the Lord will bless that. I can't even imagine....but I do know Lily Kate is one blessed little girl to have you for a mommy!

    I'm so glad you shared...and I have no doubt this will bring comfort to someone else who has/will experience something similar.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

  6. Thank you so much for sharing. I have yet to get pregnant, but I worry about having difficulty. It is nice to hear the reassurance that God has a plan. I am so glad you've been able to work through and find peace and have been blessed with a beautiful daughter! Thank you again for telling your story!

  7. Thank you for sharing your story. I too had a miscarriage a few weeks ago just days after sharing the wonderful news with our family. It is such a hard experience to understand unless you have gone through it. I just wanted it to end so we could put it behind us and move one but I think about it everyday. I thank The Lord that I have my beautiful 14mth old DS, but my heart also breaks when I look at him and think of the brother or sister he won't get to have for a while longer. It took us a few months to conceive second time around and I often think why did I fall pregnant just to have it taken away anyway? Hopefully I'll have my rainbow baby to light up our family in the near future. X

  8. Hello , I just read your story that you had put up it sounds like what I'm going threw at the moment I had a miscarried in September 2012 which Broke my heart that fact that I didn't no I was till I was 4 months I new for 2days before I miscarried but we are going to try next year just worry how hard it is going to be to get pregnant your and amazing women's lily Kate is beautiful btw
    Many thanks millie

  9. Bless you and your sweet family. I just started following you and am reading everything on "pregnancy" when I came across this post. You are so brave and I can see the light that you radiate inside and out. God is always so good! It's amazing how everything He has created is absolutely perfect, including His plans for each one of us. We are expecting our first little miracle, a baby girl, in about 2 months. Thank you for the strength that you have inspired. :)

  10. Thank-you for this! It brought me to tears, it relates to closely to my story and your story felt like a big hug:)

  11. thank you so much for sharing! Your story brought me to tears and relates so closely to mine. My husband and I miscarried almost a whole year ago at 3 months and like you we got pregnant very quickly after deciding to try. I was completely devastated and grew depressed. Then when we began to start trying again, it was all I could think about every single day, but now it wasn't happening. month after month of hoping then crashing disappointment was wearing to say the least. Now just a couple days ago, 11 months later, we found out we are expecting again! I am SO scared though, as well as my husband and it's tough to accept and be excited in fear it will happen again. thank-you though for your story…reading it felt like receiving a warm hug:)