to update my site officially with a "bumpdate" of sorts. I find that no matter how many kicks I feel every day now (I'm a day away from 21 weeks pregnant) and that no matter how many fantastically strong heartbeats I've picked up on the home doppler, I can't really feel secure in the knowledge that a baby is coming.
I also am finding that the joy I have for what God is doing in my family's life is always equally tempered with a cold, tested and true realism after the trauma of Nolan's birth and the two miscarriages preceding this pregnancy. As soon as I announced this pregnancy, I was already ready to publicly retract that statement as I have before.
Jay was already ready (I'm guessing) to have to make the call to his parents that I miscarried again.
It's something I don't really read about often...the inability to really feel safe and excited and happy at any point in a singleton pregnancy after loss.
I want to point out a couple things because I think many people are also struggling in this, and my hope is that it is a comfort to them.
First, it's ok to really get lost and happy in the baby kicks and to simultaneously be protective of your emotions as those kicks bring back visions of others and much less adorable memories.
Finally, your husband likely is STRUGGLING. You know, there just aren't resources out there quite as readily available to men when their partner miscarries. Jay and I were speaking to a high school friend at a wedding this summer who was beyond excited because his wife was finally six months pregnant after suffering a miscarriage first. He was pleasantly surprised when I spoke for both of us and said "We've had miscarriages too, I'm really sorry." He said it meant so much to him that I said "we" because both of you have lost that child and that he felt lost when it happened because he truly had no one to talk to about it.
When I had my first miscarriage in 2014, I went in for a standard appointment with my OB, but she couldn't find the heartbeat. She told me the fluke thing that had happened, that it wasn't my fault. She handed me a bottle of pills to miscarry at home, and I made the long, foggy walk to the parking lot. Calling Jay on my cell phone, I hardly had words to share with him. He was home watching Nolan, expecting to hear a nice little update. I don't even remember what I said, but when I got home he met me at the door and we cried. I noticed that he was kind enough to have erased our chalkboard announcement (a poem sharing that Nolan would be a big brother by fall that we had photographed him holding and already shared on facebook). I thanked him for it. Then I spent a couple more nights crying. He held me. I don't know if tears came from his eyes after that initial storm, and clearly I don't know what his thoughts were after. I do know that he was really hurting. We had come from an emergency C-section where Nolan was born dead to a miscarriage with one more on the way.
Now I wish I had found some book for HIM to read, or had him surround himself with guy friends to have a weekend in fellowship. Those things were willingly given to me both times, and he was at home with Nolan encouraging me to feel better.
It might take years. There might be a lot of loss and closed doors. It might be an alternate plan than you had originally pencilled out together in your giddy newlywed days. There might be adoption. There might be a surrogate. There might by IVF. There might be homeopathic remedies and counseling. There might be financial strain. There might be years of none of the above where you simply wait and discuss if you are ready to try again naturally. There might be horribly and unintentionally offensive questions from family and friends as they wait and wonder. There might be grief and loss that hit you both unexpectedly.
But in the words of Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music, "where God closes a door He opens a window". Look for the windows TOGETHER. Feel each other's longings and sadness. Stay united in what you want and express the struggle to each other if you feel you are drowning. It is a completely shared and equal struggle for you both, but God is right there in the midst!
Jay also said he feels it is important to share that you must encourage your wife. You must make sure she knows this to be true: "she is not broken, and she is not alone".