Pregnancy After Loss

A miscarriage is a scar that never fully fades; no matter how much time goes by, a shadow of that loss always lingers. This time of year I revisit that loss, because every October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day.

This year my reflection is a little different, as we now have our rainbow baby.

{For those who don’t know a rainbow baby is a baby conceived after a pregnancy or infant loss- in order for the “rainbow” to appear there has to be a storm.}

“April Showers Bring May Flowers.”

I’ll never forget that moment. A couple of days before an extremely important event in April 2016 (being the matron in my sisters wedding) I sat in the bathroom in tears, shattered because I knew all the signs- I was having a miscarriage, again!

I don’t know if I thought I was superwoman or what, but I do know that God gave me supernatural strength to push through. I don’t know if it was the little glimmer of hope I was holding on to, or just the fact that with the previous losses I’d built my faith so much I couldn’t even dare to let this miscarriage overwhelm me. Not at this time. Not now.

I still participated in the wedding, & tried to go on like everything was ok. Although, I did almost faint. (I had been taking pain meds around the clock, & before the ceremony I forgot to eat. Not the best combination when you’re actively miscarrying.) I felt so bad & embarrassed, although there was nothing I could do to control the situation.

To make matters worst, Noah wasn’t there to console me because he was on call that weekend. (He gave me a huge FaceTime air hug from almost 200 miles away.) It was sorta like I had built an emotional immunity to the toll miscarriage can have on you at that point. 

Upon returning home I went to visit my doctor to make sure the miscarriage was complete, although I knew after the wedding it was.

That moment stayed with me, I didn’t really have time to grieve, I told myself I had grieved enough. In the coming days I tried not to think about it. I guess it helped. I’m not sure.

A few days after my doctors appointment while talking to my other sister, she encouraged me to get a journal and to begin to speak life over my womb & my next pregnancy. That was truly a word from God!! 

As fate would have it, a few months prior I picked up the perfect journal (because it matched my home decor & I can’t resist a good deal in Target, but - I had no intention to actually use it.)

Pregnancy Loss Journal - LegallyMed

On the cover it read: “Anything is Possible!” How perfect?!? God knew before I did that I was suppose to purchase THAT journal. The journal had a purpose, God had a plan for it besides sitting on my table all along. I love how he used her to encourage me to utilize the journal in that way. {Praise Break, I LOVEEEE GOD!} He never cease to amaze me, he cares about the smallest of details!

In the coming weeks it became so therapeutic to just grieve and write to my future baby.

A little over a month after the miscarriage we were going to celebrate our anniversary. (May 2016) 

Initially we planned a trip to Mexico however, when we learned that we were expecting, we canceled. Mexico was highly advised against for pregnant women at the time because of the Zika Virus. So Noah and I decided to visit my birthplace, New York instead.

Unfortunately, by the time of our anniversary that Baby was no longer baking in my oven.

Despite knowing we could have been relaxing on a beach instead we had a great time in New York. Laughing around the city, staring at Times Square from our hotel room, & just enjoying one another. 

Before we left for the trip, I wrote a journal entry about how we hoped to receive the best anniversary gift; a baby, while on vacation.

A few weeks after returning home, again on Fathers Day, we learned we were expecting!!! God granted our desire :)

I wish I could say it was all JOY but I’d be lying. It took a while for me to learn how to truly be excited.

For me, losing multiple pregnancies was difficult. But what was surprisingly harder, in some ways, was being pregnant again after those losses.

This pregnancy was the most stressful, constantly worrying about movement. I checked his heartbeat on my home doppler at least 2x per day, I always felt guilty for complaining about morning sickness which I endured EVERYDAY OF MY PREGNANCY FOR 39 WEEKS. (The struggle was real y’all!) But in a way it was reassuring, if I was still sick- I was still pregnant. Or at least that’s what I told myself. 

Truth is birthing Ian after a very long, dark, & raw period of trying to conceive was a bit of healing mixed with grief.

However, that journey truly helped to cement my faith.

When he was born the connection I felt to him was indescribable. I could finally breath again! No more being anxious, no more uncertainty!

Which was true, he was here & he was perfect. But the devil was still busy- & God was still testing me.

Less than 48 hours after being home with Ian, we had to re-admit him to the hospital. That fear & anxiety tried to consume me again. But God, My Husband, & Family encouraged me through our short hospital stay.

Truthfully, I was hurt more than anything because I felt helpless. I had tried everything to prevent him from needing to be re-admitted in those 2 days we were home. Seemingly nothing worked. {Frequently, breastfed babies have high bilirubin levels because the first few days of breastfeeding they’re not getting much milk, only colostrum. As a result they tend to have fewer wet diapers so their body is storing the bilirubin causing their levels to elevate. If levels get too high and it goes untreated it can cause brain damage.}

Ian’s levels got under control, we were able to go home, and he’s been perfectly fine ever since.

Which we had faith that he would be. As I said it is a “common” diagnosis in newborns, but it was still a nerve wrecking & sleepless experience.

God had to remind me during that stay that although I finally HAD HIM,  he let me borrow Ian, he has entrusted us to raise him- but Ian belongs to God first!!

Truly submitting to Christ in the area of motherhood and trusting God to direct Ian’s his life as he saw fit was a true relief. Despite the unknowns God is in control, not I.

No amount of “worrying” can change that.

Some women have rainbow babies and try to be air traffic controllers over their every move for years before they find peace in accepting they can not control every aspect of their child’s life.

Understanding that they have to fall, they will get hurt, but it will be ok,  brings peace.

Just as Christ allows us to endure certain situations to strengthen and grow our faith as adults, he does with babes. 

I’ve truly been able to relax & just savor every second of nurturing him. I thank God for allowing Noah and I to co-parent with him.

Reflecting on my healing in this journal that I have prepared and one day will pass on to Ian has taught me that there truly is Joy in the Mourning.

Every day, you’re able to breathe a little bit deeper. Every day, you’ll love your babies — all of them — just a little bit more, until one day, that love overtakes the pain.