Reflective Meandering

Thoughts on faith, people, politics, travel, and transition.

Pregnancy and Miscarriage

We found out we were pregnant the day before I left on the most intense work trip of my life. I had been having some symptoms of pregnancy, but finally decided to waste yet another pregnancy test and check that Saturday morning. I turned the bathroom light on dim so that I could fall back asleep easier when it came out negative. When I started to see that second pink line appear, I slid the dimmer on bright and stared for a second, then I called for my husband to come. He sleepily walked in and I pointed to the test. He grinned so big and we hugged. We’d been trying and waiting for six months. I tried to keep myself from getting too excited – the doctor would have to confirm it – but, in my heart, my love for our baby had already begun to grow.

Sunday night, after a flight out of town and work meetings, I got about four hours of sleep before being up and back at work. I would’ve missed lunch Monday had a colleague not given me half of his sandwich. Work moved quickly Monday afternoon, and I got five hours of sleep that night before returning to work the next day. I’m not sure if it was the stress of the last two days, but Tuesday morning I passed a small blood clot. Concerned, I texted my best friend and doctor, walked to CVS for another pregnancy test (which came back positive), and then walked back to the work. I felt conflicted even leaving, knowing that my job duties were being neglected, while my heart wanted to figure out how to care for the tiny human growing inside me. After I walked back to work, I passed another, bigger blood clot, and I wept in the bathroom stall.

I texted my husband and he called me. The kindest, most loving person I know, he told me he would drive to meet me, as long as he wouldn’t get in my way. I longed to say yes, because all I wanted was a hug from the man whose baby I just lost, but I told him to stay. I would be okay.

I would be okay, but never in my life had I felt so alone. Rejoicing in secret meant mourning alone, and we are not made to be alone. After about 30 minutes in the bathroom, trying to compose myself, failing, and starting the process over again, I went back to work. A man passed me on my way back and told me my boss was looking for me. After I sat down, two of the women I was working with asked me if I was ok. I lied and told them I was fine. We took a break and huddled around an outlet to charge our phones. One of the ladies again asked if I was ok. I looked at her, and after another woman walked away, I told her.

I told her that Saturday I had a positive pregnancy test, and as she gasped with excitement, I continued to tell her that I thought I just lost the baby. She hugged me, and cried with me, and shared her story of loss as she reminded me that God is in control. I prayed. I prayed so much for this baby – that God would sustain its little life. Two days later, as soon as my plane landed back at home, I went for the labs the perinatologist had ordered. I promised myself I wouldn’t call for the results before noon the next day. I waited until about 12:05, and the nurse on the other end said that my Beta HCG count was 1215. That gave me hope that my baby had survived my stressful week of work.

I went back for more labs two days later, to determine whether the HCG level was continuing to rise as it should. The count had dropped to 995; it was supposed to double in those two days. I texted my husband the bad news and he met me at my job. I stepped into his car and started weeping again. He held me, prayed with me, and drove me around the city for a bit before taking me for lunch and a milkshake. He is my rock.

Tomorrow, we go to the doctor not expecting to bring home the first photo of our baby, but for finality to our bad news. I feel so sad and so guilty. I wonder whether I should have done something different. I am ashamed my body couldn’t support that unborn, innocent life. I mourn, but I try to remember, Lord, “Your steadfast love will lead us through the tempest. Grace and strength are ours. Your faithfulness will see us through the storm, and give us hope to carry on.”

I want to share my little baby’s life with everyone, because that’s what my baby deserves, but not wanting to carry everyone into the depths of despair with me, I suffer in silence. Who decided we should wait until 8-12 weeks before we share our pregnancies so that we are left to mourn alone?

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