I want to take a moment to personally thank Misty for sharing her story of living beyond loss. Misty, you are an inspiration and I know your story will speak to so many ❤
Having two children was always a given for me. We had one beautiful daughter, and the second would come two years later so they would be nice and close in age to play. Those first two years after our daughter was born flew by, and it was time for us to try again for the family member that would make our family complete.
In May 2010, we were thrilled to see two pink little lines on a pregnancy test…Our family was going to be complete. We immediately fell in love with this little baby. Started talking about names, looking at different nursery designs, talking to our daughter about baby brother or sister that was on the way. We went on an anniversary trip to Reno and South Lake Tahoe, and decided to take a spin at gambling- my husband rubbing my belly the whole time, saying “lady luck!!” We were head over heels in love, right away.
We came back from vacation and I headed back to my job as an Emergency Department Nurse. I choked down some dinner, and headed in like always. As I took someones blood pressure, I felt a gush of fluid. I knew something was horribly wrong. I managed to make it to the restroom (a feat in itself for a nurse), and found that the gush I had felt was blood. I burst into tears, called my charge nurse from the bathroom and begged her to call my husband for me. As he headed to the hospital I started to have horrible cramping abdominal pain. I had to check in to be seen as a patient in the very same emergency room that I had started my night working in. I was wheeled in to the ultrasound room, my heart pounding heavily. The room was dark, my heart was in my throat . As the ultrasound technician started moving the probe around my belly, I knew immediately. There was no little gummy bear, no little heart beat to be seen. I could see nothing. Tears streamed down my face. The doctor, someone I had worked with for years held my hand and patted my husband on the back as he explained that it could be an ectopic pregnancy, but they just couldn’t tell yet. If the pain worsened, I needed to return right away. I went home that night, unable to do much other than cry. I knew that my perfect little baby was gone. I sobbed in my husbands arms, unable to comprehend how I could still feel so pregnant, and not be.
The next morning came, and the pain was horrific. I returned, and had to accept the fact that I was going to need surgery to look for the ectopic pregnancy. I remember telling the doctor, ” I have a daughter that needs me. Make sure I wake up from this.” I woke up from the surgery, the doctor explaining that they hadn’t found an ectopic pregnancy, rather a miscarriage that was completing.
There are many things people don’t say about miscarriage. That you are going to feel like your heart was ripped out of your chest. That you feel all at once responsible for the loss in some way (should I have picked that up? Did I drink a beer? Did I? Did I? ) and simultaneoulsy totally out of control. They don’t tell you that your morning sickness isn’t going to go away, you have to deal with your pregnancy symptoms still until the hormones subside. How do you accept huddling over a toilet puking when the baby is gone?
I laid in bed that first night home, blessed by the delivery of flowers from friends, and several cards from loved ones. I laid in bed and told my husband I didn’t understand how I could know so strongly that I was going to have a son (I could SEE his face), and then have a womb that failed me? I raged against God. I wrote a blog post immediately following that:
I have been mad at you. I have raged at you. I have questioned your reasoning. I have cried tears and asked “why would you do this to me? why?” But I realize, it isn’t my place to question you. You didn’t want horrible things to happen to me and my family. You wept when I did, you were there, quietly listening and quietly providing us with love and strength to get through the storm. You accepted our little baby into your arms, and are holding her there waiting for the day when we all meet again…You are a loving God. But I still find myself questioning you. Im sorry that I do that. I really am. I wish I could just be on my knees and give everything up to you. But I find that I can’t. But you already know that don’t you? You created me just the way I am and love me for just the way I am. So, you must be ok with me, broken as I am.”
Some how, with my husbands love and support I made it through those first dark days. I read statistics (1:4 women will have a miscarriage. That means someone very close to you has had a miscarriage). I read other statistics….only 5% of women will have more than one miscarriage. I was encouraged by that …Wait, theres a 95% chance the next time will be succesful? Lets do this! I was encouraged and enthused. October 2010 came. Another positive pregnancy test. The next day the bleeding began again. I was crushed. I was no longer the 95% that would have a successful pregnancy the next go at it. I decided to wait. I would pray, and in God’s time, we would have another child.
May 2011 came. I was pregnant again. This time, very cautious, very scared. I limited my activities (not that it makes a difference, but it made me feel better). I ate perfectly, took my prenatal vitamins religiously. One week after that positive test, while on vacation in Disneyland on our 6 year wedding anniversary, the bleeding started again. I had lost our 3rd baby in a row. I was devestated. I was angry. I was hopeless. My husband was crushed. He started talking about having a vasectomy because he couldn’t do this anymore. The doctors couldn’t understand why this was happening. I had been successful with having my daughter, there was no reason why this should be happening. But it was. I found peace in a poem that said ” God, I would have loved to have rocked my child in your arms and told them about You. so please, will you hold them and tell them about me?”
I felt strongly at that time that God was calling me to mission work . A dear friend suggested gently one day “maybe He isn’t saying no, maybe He is saying, not right now.” I felt Gods push for me toward Ethiopia. Why? I have no idea, but thats where I felt I needed to be. I read a book called “There’s No Me without You” by Melissa Greene and my world was changed. There was HOW many orphans out there? Here I was a mom wanting more children, and there was millions of orphans out there wanting a mom. I remember sinking to my knees and saying “I got it God. I get it. Im a mom that wants a baby and they are babies that want a mom. Ill go.” I told my husband I wanted to go, and he took his savings and paid for the trip. He knew it was what I needed to heal. The trip was scheduled for February 2012.
In church we made a wall of prayers. We all wrote our greatest prayer for our life. I wrote that I wanted another child. My husband wrote that he wanted to fulfill his calling to mission work. We put our prayers on the wall, and I laughed as I said, how funny that Chris wants mission work, and Im going.
September 2011 came. I was sick as a dog. Fever of 103, puking my guts out. I had mono the doctor said. No wonder I can’t hold my head up, Im so tired and so nauseated! I remember the doctor shaking her head saying “maybe you have something else if you are nauseated. Lets take a pregnancy test just in case”. Im not pregnant I thought. Been there, done that. The look of shock on my face must have been comical when the test came back positive. Im going to Africa! Don’t get your hopes up ,this wont happen. I told my husband and his reaction was the same. No hope. No excitement. This wont last.
The bleeding didn’t start. The morning sickness got worse. The first ultrasound was NORMAL! A little gummy bear baby growing with a normal heartbeat. Love for that baby? Absolutely. Terror? Yes. Excitement? None. This wasn’t going to happen. Don’t get attached!! I refused to cancel my mission trip. I was convinced that at any day this would end. October came and went. I was still pregnant. I cautiously called the organization I was doing my mission trip with and asked if it was transferrable. They said absolutely they could switch the trip over. I gave them my husbands information and made the switch. Our prayers had been answered- I was having a baby- and my husband was going on a mission trip.
I wish I could say that the pregnancy was easy and uneventful but that would be a lie. Every time I went to the restroom I expected blood. I borrowed a doppler, and anxiously listened for his heartbeat every chance I could. I did kick counts multiple times during the day. I stressed about every little symptom. I prayed constantly. When I developed a pulmonary embolism and ended up in the hospital on blood thinners while my husband was in Africa, the terror was tremendous. As I laid in the hospital bed waiting to hear from my husband, peace came over me. It was as if I could hear God’s voice saying “this is your promised child. Have no fear” . My husband called after that, and told me that all the way across the world, the entire missionary team was praying for me and our child. We were going to be ok.
During my pregnancy , I met an incredible group of women that became best friends and sisters to me through a support group on Babycenter.com, for women expecting a baby after loss. We understood eachother, our fears, our excitement, our terror. Our babies were our “rainbows”, babies to be born after a loss, or the “storm” . God’s promise that all would be ok.
On May 28,2012, our beautiful baby was born. Christian James. James for the bible verse James 1: 27 ” Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” He is without a doubt our rainbow after the storm, the completion of our family. The answer to so many prayers, the dream come true. God blessed us greatly when He gave us our little boy.
The loss of our babies changed us forever. On October 15th every year I light a candle for each baby. I talk to people about miscarriage because no one should ever go through that alone. I try to talk to people about what NOT to say to someone who has just lost a baby. “It was meant to be” “your young, you’ll have another one” ..the things that felt like a stab in the heart everytime I heard them. The best thing you can do is just let the person know that you care, that their loss is not forgotten, that their child is loved. You are not alone, your loss is not forgotten. There is hope. There is a rainbow after the storm….the storm may just be longer than you ever thought it would be.
Mommy Don’t Cry
“Daddy please don’t look so sad,momma please don’t cry.
Cause I’m in the arms of Jesus, and he sings me lullabies.
please try not to question God, don’t think he is unkind.
Don’t think he sent me to you and then changed his mind.
You see I’m a special child, I am needed up above.
I’m the special gift you gave Him, a product of your love.
I’ll always be there with you, so watch the sky at night.
Look for the brightest star and know that’s my halo’s brilliant light.
You’ll see me in the morning frost that mists your window pane.
That’s me in the summer showers, I’ll be dancing in the rain.
When you feel a gentle breeze from a gentle wind that blows.
Know that it’s me planting a kiss upon your nose.
When you see a child playing and your heart feels a tug,
Don’t be sad mommy, that’s just me giving your heart a hug.
So daddy don’t looks so sad and momma please don’t cry.
I’m in the arms of Jesus and he sings me lullabies!”
Misty and her little blessings, Lexsey and Christian