This week’s guest blogger is Holly B from Austin, Texas.
You can check out her blog here:
“The Dreadful Secret Club…”
It was like a scene from a movie. one of those where the voices around you start to sound muffled and this sort of haze comes over you. everything seemed like it was going in slow motion. my vision was blurred from the tears that were pouring from my eyes and I felt like the wind was knocked out of me. “I don’t see a heartbeat” were the words ringing in my head. suddenly my legs felt like they weighed a ton and were stuck to the paper on the patient bed. I looked at my husband’s face… it was an expression I had never seen before on him. one of sadness, but strength. he squeezed my hand with one of his and put his other arm around my back. I remember my doctor placing her hand on my knee and softly saying something about statistics and how common miscarriages are and attempting to comfort me. she spoke a bit about how to schedule my D&C but was mostly speaking to my husband, as she could tell I wasn’t going to absorb any information at that time. a few minutes later a counselor came in with some brochures on miscarriage support groups. I was crying uncontrollably at that point… an emotion I had never felt. it was time to walk out to the car and I vaguely remember them escorting us to a side door and stairwell. I don’t know if they were not wanting me to walk through the waiting room full of pregnant women for my sake or for theirs… probably a combination of both. I remember putting my sunglasses on inside to hide my eyes and my husband holding me tightly and guiding me down the stairs and to the car. I felt like I was floating. surely this was all just a bad dream and I would wake up from this nightmare any minute…
we had been trying to get pregnant for over a year. it was a long, frustrating 12 months. when we finally had that first positive test, we were over the moon excited. we went to our first ultrasound at 6 weeks and saw a small blurb on the screen. we went home and told most of our family and friends and I read every pregnancy book I could get my hands on. I remember seeing chapters on miscarriage and loss, and I would always skip over those. they didn’t apply to me. that kind of thing would never happen and was so rare. right?
after that second ultrasound at 10 weeks, we realized the baby had not grown since the 6 week check up, but my body was not getting rid of it on its own. we scheduled a D&C for a few days later. I remember I couldn’t even call my mom when we got home from the doctor that day. like, somehow saying the words would make it too real. My husband made the phone calls and sent texts. I couldn’t talk about it or deal with anyone’s condolences. I went in and out of being totally numb to sobbing like a baby. I remember trying to sleep through those first few nights, but I would just lie in the dark feeling heartbroken. every few hours I would cry and my husband would hold me tight and whisper words of strength to me. the surgery came and went and the finality of that made me feel a little more closure, but at the time it felt like I would never feel “normal” again. As soon as I would feel like I was moving on, I would get news of another person in my life being pregnant or I would get an email from one of the many baby and pregnancy websites I had signed up on, and it would send me into a tailspin of emotions.
It was amazing to hear how many other people had gone through that kind of loss. It was like some secret club… one that no one wanted to be a part of. the outpouring of love and personal stories that people privately shared with me gave me comfort. It helped with the healing knowing that I wasn’t alone… which is exactly how I had been feeling. Totally alone. I had always wanted to be a mom. it never crossed my mind until that moment that maybe it wasn’t in the cards for me. and if it wasn’t… how would I fill that void?
we were very blessed in that six months later, we got pregnant with our daughter. I was nervous the first trimester, but we went on to have a very healthy pregnancy and baby girl. my dreams of becoming a mother came true and having her made me realize all the more what a sweet little miracle babies are.
unfortunately, that dreaded OB ultrasound visit played out again about a year after my daughter was born. we ended up having two more miscarriages back to back, within only a few months of each other. the heartbreak of the losses felt just as deep as the first, but somehow my heart seemed to toughen a bit with each one. so much so that I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to ever put myself through the possibility of that pain again. I convinced myself that my daughter would be an only child and I was okay with that. if it was in God’s plan for us to not have any more children, how could I be upset with that? our daughter was enough of a blessing.
I’m now sitting here 7 months pregnant with our son, which still feels crazy to say. when I was pregnant with our daughter, I was “present” and excited the entire time. this pregnancy has felt much more surreal, which I assume is because of all that we have been through to get to this point. the first trimester was hell. every time I went into an ultrasound, I had this terrible PTSD feeling just knowing that would be the day we got bad news again. I couldn’t let myself get excited because I just knew I would only be disappointed again soon. now at 33 weeks, I finally leave my doctor’s visits with a sense of “oh my gosh… this is actually happening. we are really having another baby,” as if it can’t quite sink in and my mind and heart are subconsciously not giving in to the extreme levels of joy that I would normally feel.
in the past few years I have had several friends that have struggled with infertility, in all different ways. from miscarriages, to many rounds of IUI and IVF procedures, I’ve seen their pain and their struggles and have heard that “alone” feeling in their voices. just this week one of my closest friends who has had the toughest and longest fertility battle of anyone I have personally known welcomed twin boys. the joy I see in her now is so overwhelming… and yet another reminder to me of God’s love for us.
as private as those terrible times in my own life have been, I’ve been feeling a pull to tell my story lately. not for sympathy, but to let anyone out there that is going through something similar know that they are NOT alone. there were times during my lowest days where I would search for positive stories on message boards and groups online. they were not always easy to find in the mix of all of the horror stories, but just that one story with a happy ending did wonders for my outlook. I just needed to hear someone else’s experience that possibly ended in a successful pregnancy. something to squash the negative thoughts. to give me hope. that’s why I’m sharing this today… in hopes that I can be that one story that lifts the spirits of someone suffering.
while I don’t let our miscarriages and those feelings of loss define me, the experiences are definitely a part of who I am today. I know now that even in the darkest hours, when things feel like they will never get better, they WILL. God has a plan for me and it will be shown to me in His time. a few weeks from now when we welcome our baby boy, I will take in each moment and remind myself that this life and these joyous times should never be taken for granted. I may have been taken on a different journey to get to this point than I would have imagined, but it’s just a reminder that things are not always in my control, and it never hurts to dream until your dreams come true.