My doctor cracked a joke at my six-week visit after the twins (the second addition to our family) were born about when/if we were going to try again. He casually commented that we would get to have three next time. I was sure it would be twins, but the thought of three was terrifying!
This post is part 3 of 3, to read part 1 or part 2 follow the links. These are text heavy posts dealing in sensitive material, not suitable for anyone uncomfortable with the functioning of a woman’s reproductive system.
If I’d known we would have one baby, I would’ve pushed for it within a year of the twins being born. If I would have trusted my gut and known it would be twins then two years…but three babies. I really feel like I was staying guarded in fear instead of acting in faith. Regardless, it was three years before we started trying for that second set. We removed the birth control (not in an effort to try, although it was the prompt of the conversation, but because it was making me insane and had become displaced) in May and by July we were already pregnant.
It was so fast!! But it was different. With each of my other pregnancies that line was on that test was immediate and strong. This time it took a minute and was faint. I waited a few days and tested again…this time it was immediate and stronger. I didn’t worry much because I knew I had tested about a week before I missed my cycle.
Then, at 6 weeks, I miscarried. It wasn’t the harsh event like the miscarriage alongside my son. This time it was light and slow…gentle even. The doctor instructed me to wait until it stopped then do another home test. If it was negative there was nothing more we would need to do. Positive and I would need to go in for blood work.
So I waited…nearly two weeks before it was over. It was negative. I made the call and cancelled my eight week scan, now just days away, and sank.
(I’m adding a ton of links to old posts just because there was a very clear progression here, and while I didn’t have it in me tell you everything then, those posts give a peak into what I was feeling and the timeline of it.)
The chicken and dumplins (I started that post, “To say it was a long weekend is an understatement. I found it quite necessary to simmer up some comfort food…”) post was during that week. But maybe…just maybe…it was like my first. I was hoping beyond what I knew in my gut, and although I was sad I didn’t actually mourn until a month later when my cycle came again and it was official. My husband had done most of his dealing right off the bat, but here I was a month late to the funeral.
More than that, I felt like I couldn’t even talk about it with him. He would get so angry when I got upset. It felt like he was angry. Since then we have talked about it and it was more that he couldn’t fix it and it frustrated him.
When my son broke his elbow I felt that way, so I get it. He was hurting so bad and there was nothing I could do about it. I was trying, but getting frustrated, and finally realized that he thought I was mad at him. Of course I wasn’t…that’s just how frustration/ feeling helpless, comes across…the same as anger. Looking back it was the same in my marriage. There was just nothing he could do to make me not hurt.
I can’t explain well what happened between us. Here we were with this plan of me staying home a while longer and all of sudden I just did not want to be home. I was quickly giving up. I decided I needed something under my belt. Something that if all else failed I had a career I could fall into. I decided to get my CDL’s to drive school bus. It was like one day I prayed that I needed some direction, the next I called a local school and they enrolled me in one of the last few seats of the last mandatory safety class for the year. I still don’t really know if God has a future plan for the whole thing, but I’m certain that there was a lesson (or several) I needed within it. And it did give me some peace knowing that if my husband loses his job or something crazy there is something I can quickly begin doing. What it did to my already strained marriage, though, was…bad. It seemed like I was not only ripping up the plan, but throwing the pieces into the air to be caught in the wind.
My marriage suffered through the school bus training. My husband didn’t understand why I was doing it. He didn’t want me to do it, yet I was anyway. It was costing me a lot of time and us a lot of money, but mostly it was just really inconvenient to life.
I just about lost my mind. I started out thinking I needed a way to still be a mom and still be home and help out financially. (After all, I might not be raising more babies.) It turned into me thinking that maybe I could just be on my own with this new profession. I would have a job…the kids school schedule…I don’t know. Grief is so hard. It sucks. I wrote in the post after I passed my CDL test that one of lessons I would need to share with my kids was:
“Don’t look left or right. Don’t forget why you’re going. You’re going because God wants you to go. There will be other motives that present themselves along the way but just ignore them. If you start to stagger, even though still headed there, pray that God will stop you until you remember what you were doing. If you end up in the right town but in the wrong house, did you find your way home? I was headed to the wrong house for a minute. I’m glad He stopped me.”
It was a hard time. But before taking the passing test we had a long talk about everything. My marriage was/IS worth fighting for. I had to decide to stop trying not to love him. How I saw him/responded to him/took every little thing he said and did was a decision I was making.
If you’re going through something don’t let your marriage go quickly. The storm will pass, and you’ll likely realize that it was your decision whether you saw your spouse as an ally or an enemy. It was your decision where you put the blame for …whatever. You’re going to want to put it somewhere. Infidelity, alcoholism…those are real issues, and those types of things are different from what I’m talking about. I’m talking about when you really don’t know what happened. Just that you used to be in love…and now you hate each other. Please make certain you don’t let blame land when it really has no place.
I remembered that I had created that child, all of my children, with my husband because we do love each other. It was nobody’s fault. He was not responsible for how I felt. I wanted someone to be the bad guy…someone other than myself to blame…and he was there.
We both grieve differently. We were grieving.
I refocused with my original intentions and passed the stupid test.
We reassessed, reset and literally the weekend I got my own route we made another baby. Well, more than one. We were again a week away from that first ultra-sound and I miscarried again. This time the doctor gave the same instruction but it was over more quickly. Home test was still positive so blood work on Thursday. Still pregnant with high numbers. He wanted me to come for more blood work to have numbers to compare on Saturday. Still pregnant. Numbers high but lower. So he wanted more on Monday, but it started again. This time heavier, more like the loss of the first time. Why could they not just do an ultrasound from the start so I could see? I just wanted to see! I called to schedule an appt. for Tuesday, but it quickly stopped and a home test revealed that it was over. I felt like I was over. I couldn’t get myself together. I literally couldn’t function. They canceled my ultra-sound (I still wanted it) that would’ve been just a few days away.
This made two full miscarriages in eight months.
I went for my yearly appointment immediately following my next cycle and again was just then really accepting it. My doctor had a wonderful tear and snot filled visit with me. We had a very long talk about it all. He said it’s something they discuss daily…how to deal with the loss. Not the medical side of it, but the mothers left in the wake. But I told him, I am not just a body. I am a person. With emotions and fears and a whole different set of experiences than other women. There should be an average protocol, but that should only be determined as the course after reviewing my history.
There really should have been a visit after the first loss. Talking to him helped me to have hope. It helped me to also understand that just because the baby is gone doesn’t mean the hormones are. You’re dealing with this…and although I surely would’ve been sad anyway…you have all these hormones still surging and amplifying your emotions. So big feels huge. Just like when you cry for four hours after you watch a movie while your pregnant…or you really consider killing your husband in his sleep for eating the last of the Oreos…not that I’ve considered that or thought a thing like that was selfish enough to constitute the death penalty…that would be insane.
All of that crazy is there after a miscarriage. You are not in any control of your emotions, and you very likely seem unreasonable to the people around you. Anyone looking in (especially that hasn’t experienced it) is seeing you as you…but you’re not yet. Your emotions are a-wall and your body is still changing and re-adjusting. Every little bit of gas feels like movement from this phantom baby that is not there. Level headed me (those who know me better not comment on that!) would take a while to return. Emotional me was running the show. He advised me to not make any big decisions for three or four months.
Then he asked me, “Do you want to try again?” And I hesitated. I answered him, “If there’s a better chance that I’ll lose it than carry it…no.” I could not keep doing that to my family. My kids, my husband…myself. These pregnancies were draining. During I was so tired and irritable then they left me just stripped.
He said that in his experience, most of the time that women have three or more kids, they also had at least two miscarriages along the way. Either first, or between or after….sometime.
That was just the women that knew. A lot of other women never even knew they lost any…maybe they were a day late then started their cycle, or started a few days early. Most women just don’t know. I was testing a week before my cycle because I just “knew” (I’m going to say like the moment of fertilization…weeks before I missed my cycle). He suggested I wait until I for sure missed it in the future…not knowing for sure is sometimes better.
I decided to just not pay attention at all. LOL.
The next month my cycle seemed late, super light. I hadn’t written down the dates of the last one…I just knew it hadn’t been like clockwork, but I was on a mission to not know. I only remembered that I was out-of-town during the end of it. The next month, against my doctors orders I tested before I thought I’d missed because I really wasn’t sure when it was supposed to be. I might have missed…I might have been a week early. Days and weeks can be hard to keep track of when you stay home.
Sure enough…faint line. A few days later I lost it. I didn’t test again. I didn’t have it in me. This time I wasn’t holding on to hope. I just pretended like it didn’t happen. I didn’t tell my husband when I took the test. I didn’t tell him when I lost it. I mentioned it to my mom a few weeks later but I didn’t want to talk about it. Just yeah, it happened again. That was that.
That made three in a year…almost to the day.
I was with a few friends (the same ones from our “sort of Minecraft party“) and we were talking about it all. I don’t know how it went from there, but one asked me if I was pregnant (I think I was acting a bit scatter brained which is how I knew the other times weeks before I was able to test…lit candle lost in the cabinet kind of scatter brained…). I threw all my crazy on the table and told them I felt like I was, but that was normal wishful thinking for me for the month after I lost one. I had the last loss about three weeks before that, so I was assuming it was just underlying hope. They gave me the pity faces and I explained to them that I didn’t feel broken like I did with the others. It was a lot easier. It was over so fast, I didn’t have the month of attachment. Even more than anything else, I expected it and was glad to get it over with so I could move on. That changed those looks to utter…I’ll go easy and say confusion. But I’ll explain it to you the same I did to them (again…laying my crazy on the table).
When I went for my third CDL test I was in tears before I ever left. I knew I would not pass that test. I wrote of that third test in the Evolution of Doubt post after I had finally passed the fourth time,
“I made up my mind that I would go back one more time. I also knew I wouldn’t pass. I felt like I had been told “no” already. I honestly think I had.”
That was exactly how I had felt after that second total miscarriage. I felt like if I wanted to succeed, I had to fail one more time. That’s why I hesitated when the doctor asked if I wanted to try again. I had to decide if I was willing to lose another in order to move forward.
I was glad it was quicker than the others. I felt like it was God’s grace. My mom always says that God won’t give you more than you can handle. I’m not sure that it’s God always dolling it out…we live in a corrupted world and do more than enough to hurt ourselves, but I do know that His grace will bring it within your tolerance if you allow Christ in to do so. Meaning, it may very well be more than you can handle…but if you yolk yourself to Him, He will pull most, if not all the weight.
Saying all that I should have known that God works quickly. Remember my prayer for the twins? Literally two weeks later after a year and a half of trying they were brewing. So sure enough, I got to a point when I thought I should have been cycling, and I was pregnant (yes, it happened within a few weeks of that last miscarriage).
I did wander for the next month until the scan if it was a new pregnancy, or one I hadn’t entirely lost the last time. I had about a week time period that could’ve been the start of my last cycle…remember, irregular and not tracking, so I had really made a mess for the dating of it, but the scan would just have to tell us.
I tried to remain faithful but I still felt this terrible sense of dread. I put up this wall to guard myself against the fallout if it should come, but it hasn’t.
This pregnancy has been more taxing than my first two combined. I am twice as tired. Twice as sick. Twice as emotional…(don’t tell my husband I admitted that). I had no doubt in my mind that this was my second set of twins. The fulfillment of my truth. The eight week scan revealed one healthy baby…7 weeks 4 days (Even though they are sticking to the date that I think maybe was the first of my last cycle and called it 8 weeks). Not a remnant of the miscarriage and absolutely healthy. And it was beautiful and I’m thrilled, but I can’t tell you how crazy a nurse looks at you when she’s congratulating you and you are obviously mourning. Over what?
To me, finding out there was only one was the same as losing another. I was thrilled, but so sad. And scared.
I don’t like to admit that I was having trouble connecting to this baby based on a random thought I held onto. But in my head, if it were twins I would know God had his hand on it. It would all be alright. Is it now? Or am I still going to lose this one? I’m I completely crazy to ever think God guides me in anything? Is it all just coincidence?
It’s been a true test of faith, and a solid lesson in testing spirits. I think the devil will align his whispers so closely to the truth that it will follow for about two-thirds of the way, then veer. If you’re not willing to talk to God and really take a good hard look at why you were so sure (like maybe just because you want it so bad) it could absolutely damage your faith.
I also know that he will absolutely strike when it hurts the most. The first came when my marriage was already feeling strained. The second, however, came when we were as close as we had been in a LONG time, maybe ever, and it felt more like in the Bible when they would harvest and then someone had to sleep on the threshing floor. Like the first was with intent to destroy…the second to rob us when there was the most to take. Either way…we won.
I found myself terrified at my 20 week ultrasound. I mean terrified. I didn’t want to go. I think I’m the only woman in history that didn’t want to see her baby.
Then I prayed. I found peace in letting it go. It doesn’t matter what happens from here. Maybe I did lose my twins in that second total miscarriage. Maybe I screwed up somewhere along the way. I certainly didn’t act in faith early on…I let fear hold me back. God has forgiven me, so I can only forgive myself. And He’s allowed me this gift, I can only be grateful. God does have his hand on it regardless how it turns out. It’s not up to me how He works. When I can’t see His message I just need to look harder.
It certainly makes things easier, though. We won’t need to buy a different vehicle. We can get by for a few years without building on. I felt bad for my kids knowing how strapped down we would be for the first year, but now it seems like that’s been lifted. I can do anything with one baby…there wasn’t a whole lot I didn’t try to finagle with two!
I know first hand that God can close your womb and He can open it (I truly believe that I was going to have to ask Him before I would have ever conceived the twins), but this generation in general has open wombs. So whether it was some pre-destined plan, or completely our decision, this is our child. We have chosen to bring it into the world, and He created a soul just for this little one, and He loves this child, too (We’re not finding out gender…it makes the little one kind of hard to refer to).
I really said some awful things to myself during all this. I remember rationalizing that they weren’t viable babies…there must have been something wrong with them…all these things. But I don’t feel like anyone has a right to abort such children, so why was I trying to talk myself out of loving them? It was said to me by a few people that at least it was early and I didn’t have a baby that was stillborn or died quickly after birth. I repeated such things I guess trying to talk myself into it, but the truth of it is, it hurts to lose a baby. Bad. The fact that someone else maybe hurts worse does not make me hurt any less. Pain is painful. Grief is overwhelming. Even in the smallest of doses.
In the meantime they are safe in Him. Who knows, maybe they’re part of the unblemished group wrote of in Revolutions.
I’m coming to peace with it all (even as I cry). I see it as a reflection of God’s love for us. Before we are spiritually viable, He loves us. When we feel love for our unborn children it’s a reflection of that image in which we are created. Since Adam and Eve he has to wait and see, the same as us during pregnancy, whether or not we will become spiritually viable. And His end of the deal is so much worse! We choose what we do…our unborn children don’t intentionally deny us!
He doesn’t owe us wisdom, understanding, knowledge through experience…ANYTHING! I am grateful to feel love, compassion, experience beauty and have knowledge and understanding. Even if sometimes it hurts.
I guess a baby born after a miscarriage is coined a “rainbow baby”. I thought it was sort of silly the first time I heard it, but now I realize how fitting it is. The storm has almost passed, just a gentle sprinkling of rain remains as the sky clears and the sun passes through those drops. Without that remnant of the storm there would be no rainbow. I wouldn’t experience that beautiful representation of God’s love if the sky was always clear. Feeling the last of the rain falling against my face feels like part of what makes that promise spread across the sky so beautiful.
‘Til next time…when I promise to do something fun…and not cry. Well, I might cry…just ignore it.