So here’s me letting the mini pig out of the bag: I’m pregnant!
I decided to break the news on Instagram with a crossfit-themed post:
And Jerod posted a video on YouTube:
(If you don’t get the joke, click here.)
We have been planning and praying for this baby, so we’re both very excited. We had an appointment with our midwife a couple days ago and were able to hear the baby’s heartbeat. It sounds really healthy and strong, at 160-170 bpm.
Baby J is 11 weeks in utero today. We found out I was pregnant when I was about 6 weeks along. The realization triggered excitement, but also trepidation. Not because we were afraid of starting a family, but because we already have one baby in heaven, and we didn’t want to experience losing another.
We lost our first baby to miscarriage earlier this year. It was 8 weeks in utero when the Lord decided to call it home. Death is traumatic in any case, but the death of a child I’ve never seen was a completely new and heart-wrenching experience. We had felt God calling us to start a family at the beginning of the year, and we followed His lead. When we got pregnant 3 months later, it seemed like everything was going according to plan. We were following God’s direction, and He was blessing our obedience.
Then he took the baby home.
What do you do with something like that?
My miscarriage wrought raw wounds in every area of my life: physically, emotionally, mentally. My body and mind were in shock. I felt so much shame, frustration, and grief. Sometimes I felt relief, which led to more guilt and shame. It must be my fault I lost the baby. My body isn’t good enough. If I talk about this, will people judge me? Will they blame me for something I had no control over?
The gamut of emotions following miscarriage is wide. I wasn’t sure how to deal with all of them, so I sought comfort in Jerod, my counselor, and close friends. I was lifted up and supported by women at my gym, our small group at church, and our families. For me, part of my healing process was talking about the miscarriage and verbally processing through it, and having a healthy support group around me enabled me to do so. I also discovered that it opened a lot of doors to talk to other women about their past experiences, too. We don’t talk about it much, but miscarriage is more common than we think.
Miscarriage is the most common type of pregnancy loss, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Studies reveal that anywhere from 10-25% of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies may account for 50-75% of all miscarriages. (americanpregnancy.org)
I had a clinically recognized pregnancy. Multiple tests confirmed it. Do I blame myself for the loss of my child? Sometimes, even though I know it’s not true. Grief can sneak up on you when you least expect it. It can knock you down and put you out of commission for a while. It can last for years.
But there is hope, even in the midst of crippling sadness.
This current baby, our second, is part of that hope. It is our “rainbow baby“: a baby following a miscarriage or other infant loss. Hearing the heartbeat was so uplifting for Jerod and me. At first, I couldn’t hear the heartbeat, and a wave of fear crashed over me. Where is it?? But then the midwife gently said, “Don’t you hear it? It’s going so fast.” Fear was immediately replaced with joy. Our miscarriage probability plummeted with the audible thump-thumps of Baby J’s heart.
Our personal journey in this area is dotted with tears of pain and of joy. We have every confidence that we will see our firstborn in heaven someday. And we are looking forward to meeting our rainbow baby in 6 months. They are both blessings and part of our family story that God is knitting together.
Thank you to everyone who has prayed for and walked with us through this trying time in our lives. We are looking forward to sharing Baby J’s progress with you as he/she grows!