This picture was the very first one we took together. It was Valentine’s Day 2007. I can’t believe we’ve known each other for 10 years already, and married for almost 6! We’ve had so many firsts together, like this picture. But today I want to talk about our first child, and our first loss. Our journey is one that I’ve wanted to share for a long time, but it’s also one that is very painful and hard to put into words. I know it’s an important story to tell, so thank you for reading.
This story takes place in May of 2014.
I can usually tell when my period is coming because I’ll have a couple days of light spotting. So the day I started spotting was not unusual. I grabbed my supplies for my week of hell, because after those couple of days of spotting I have at least one day that I just can’t get out of bed because of the intense pain that comes with it. So I grabbed my ibuprofen, pads, chocolate, wine, chips, heating pad, and iPad hunkered down and was ready to show this period who’s boss.
Call it intuition, but after a couple days of spotting, I knew this wasn’t just a period. So, I took a pregnancy test and to my (sort of) surprise it was positive! I almost immediately took to google to find out why I was having period-like symptoms if I was pregnant. After reading countless forums, I convinced myself that either everything was normal or everything was terribly wrong. Both could be possible when you’re newly pregnant. Am I right?
Cramps? You could be miscarrying, or you could be experiencing implantation cramps.
Bleeding? You could be miscarrying, or you could be experiencing implantation bleeding.
Still bleeding? You could be miscarrying, or you could be one of those women who just always bleed during pregnancy.
See what I mean?
It doesn’t help when any symptom could mean a number of things and you’re freaked out about all possibilities. So, I called the obgyn office. I talked to an insensitive receptionist who first told me they couldn’t get me an appointment because I was bleeding, and that I should go to the ER, that I’m probably experiencing a miscarriage, and that ‘its very common in early pregnancy’. That’s the first time I heard that phrase, but not the last. And I had a breakdown.
After hours of calling around to various obgyn offices to see who would take my insurance and see me for a visit, I somehow unknowingly called the same obgyn office again. And of course with my luck, I spoke to the same insensitive receptionist again. This time she asked how far along I was, how much bleeding was I experiencing, and then proceeded to tell me that bleeding is pretty normal, and that they will set up an appointment for my first pregnancy appointment. *yay*
Meanwhile, we told our family and friends about our exciting news & got lots of love and congratulations. But we also got criticism for telling people so early. What if we miscarry, right? Then we have to tell everyone we miscarried and everyone will be sad? I’m not sure exactly why that would be a bad thing, but we got that a lot. We want to celebrate life when it’s given to us, for one. And why should we have to suffer a loss alone? No one should have to. And, side note, it’s that mindset that actually keeps people from talking about their pregnancy loss, and it’s one of the reasons why I didn’t know a single person who miscarried despite how many people actually have had to endure this kind of loss.
Anyway, I waited a week or so for my appointment, and continued to bleed. The bleeding became more intense, as well as the pain I experienced. And I just knew in those moments that this baby was’t meant to stay with us. When I arrived at my appointment, I think I was supposed to be about 6 weeks along, which is very early still. I had blood drawn to check my HCG levels and got an ultrasound, neither made us optimistic about the outcome. Our doctor couldn’t see a sac in the ultrasound, and the blood tests came back pretty low. I think it was 25, when it should have been in the thousands.
I continued to go back weekly to get blood drawn until my HCG levels went back to zero. They wanted to be sure my miscarriage was complete, because some women may need to go in and get cleaned out completely from their pregnancy if your body doesn’t clean itself out. Thankfully, I didn’t have to have that done.
May 27th, 2014
We lost our baby Maebe this weekend in what we believe to be an early pregnancy miscarriage. I just wanted to make our friends and family aware, since sorrow shared is sorrow halved. My health is ok, I am feeling much better. We are grieving our loss, but know that Maebe was sent to us for a reason, even for a short time.
The gospel from this past Sunday really hit me differently, though I’ve heard it so many times before:
‘And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.’
And then I happen upon this, an excerpt from a prayer:
“He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”
Thus, we have a new Advocate. Someone created for us, to give a face and a name to our prayers. Maebe Ivan. God is Good.
So, that was our first miscarriage. The story of Maebe. We named her Maebe because of all the uncertainty that we experienced during those few weeks. What I am absolutely certain of is that I’m so happy I shared our good news, even though it ended in sadness. Sharing our story with family and friends has opened up so many hearts. People have been sharing their successes and their losses with us and with others. People I have known forever and have never talked about their pregnancy losses have opened up to me in such a new way, and I know it has brought healing to all of us. And I now now, even more than ever, that I have a life partner that will pick me up when I’m at my lowest. And that has made our marriage even stronger.