Sheila’s Story

Picture

I had my first miscarriage in 2009. I was 23, and my boyfriend (now husband) and I were not in a good place in our lives or relationship. So when I missed my period and felt a sudden cramp one morning followed by a distinct and undeniable clot, I called him into the bathroom to see for himself so he wouldn’t think I made it up. I flushed it down the toilet as if it were nothing, something that still haunts me to this day. I acted like I didn’t care, but I did, very much. I started drinking heavily and spiraled out of control. Our (at the time) toxic relationship had now resulted in an innocent’s death.That’s how I felt.

We found Jesus and did a 360. We married in 2012 and decided to enjoy married life for a while before we had kids. 6 months in, I missed my period, took test after test, and had the doctor confirm it – we were pregnant! It was a few days before Valentine’s Day. We told everyone, not just told but surprised and did the whole sentimental reveal bit. Everyone cried tears of joy. We bought a few onesies and started talking about names, dreaming of our baby and making plans.

A week later the cramps started followed by bleeding. Everyone tried to give us hope, including the doctor, but deep down I knew. I laid my bible on my stomach and prayed, begged, bargained and pleaded. While at work on my lunch break on 2/24/13 the cramps intensified. I texted my husband and told him I knew the baby was dying, this was it. I sang to the baby so he could pass softly into our Father’s embrace.

I went to the bathroom and felt the urge to push. A large clot came out and I sifted through the glob until I found what I knew in my heart was my baby. I saved it, went to my boss’s office, shut the door and told her what happened and she cried with me. She sent me home immediately and I asked my husband to come home. I laid in my car in the driveway asking God to take me too. My broken heart was like nothing I can describe.

My husband arrived and found me and laid next to me and we cried. He took me to the doctor who ran tests. I was miscarrying naturally, no D & C needed which was a blessing. I woke up in the middle of the night after a dream about a baby crying and cried all night. I cried for days, weeks. There was so much blood and tissue, I couldn’t believe all that my body had created in such a short amount of time – 1 day short of 6 weeks. My brother, mom, dad, grandparents, mom in law were so supportive but so many more didn’t know what to say. I screamed out loud, screamed at God, trying to understand. I can’t believe how much I cried.

My doctor advised we wait. In my grief, I couldn’t. As soon as I got my first period we started trying again. 5 tests and another confirmation from the doctor and yup, I was pregnant 6 weeks later! I was ecstatic yet in denial, some weird defense wouldn’t let me fully accept I was pregnant. I kept saying “if I am” which clearly I was! Same as the last time, I talked to and sang to and prayed over my baby.

5 weeks and 6 days in, on 4/24/13, exactly the same amount of time as the last pregnancy, the cramps started in the morning while at work and got worse throughout the day. I knew. That night, I bled like crazy. It happened much faster this time. I again dug through the remains of my womb and found my baby. I was furious. My husband tried to comfort me, but I held it to his face and screamed “this is what your God does!” My God. My beautiful Savior whom I’d given my life to and loved so much, I turned on Him in my grief. I went to urgent care the next morning and they confirmed, I had miscarried. Again. For the 3rd time.

I reconciled with God and allowed Him to help me heal. It was a painful process of going to the doctor, to an infertility specialist, doing my own frantic research, crying and blaming myself, listening to “Tears in Heaven” and crying until I was sick. Having to explain to people we weren’t pregnant anymore, having people who didn’t know what happened ask how the pregnancy was coming along, seeing their awkward faces when I told them we’d lost the baby – again. Praying and begging and always asking and wondering WHY.

That knot in your stomach , that empty feeling, you want it to just go away, you just want to hold your baby, to go back in time so bad, yet there is not a thing you can do. Reality is a cold hard slap in the face and guilt is a very real enemy. I began to find strength in God to accept the answers and to start to want to try again. The doctors found what they believed to be the causes, prescribed me some medications and hormones and said we couldn’t be sure unless we tried again. Literally do or die, taking a chance was the only way to know (easy for them to say). In Christ, I found the strength to try again.

For months we tried and nothing. Now I was really worried, I had no problem getting pregnant before, why a problem now? The heartache and fear and pain was almost too much to bear. I had friends who got pregnant literally one week after me in each of my last 2 pregnancies. It was like a cruel joke watching them grow and be excited about their babies, getting invited to the baby showers, knowing that could’ve – and should’ve – been me. Always knowing their babies would be the same exact age as my babies. It was unbearable.

Then my cousin who is like a sister to me got pregnant. I was so jealous of my friends who were pregnant or had kids I couldn’t even be around them anymore but I couldn’t face feeling this way toward my cousin. I loved her so much and was so happy for her. I threw myself on the ground one day and cried out to God, “I give up. THIS is too much to bear…”

I found out I was pregnant 4 months later. My husband and I were terrified. Overjoyed and terrified. We waited until 12 weeks to tell anyone, save for our parents and closest friends. We didn’t even want to tell them then, but felt God forbid we lose another, it’s our baby and it deserves to be known and mourned should something happen. I was labeled high risk & monitored all through my pregnancy. The 1st ultrasound was intense, it was at 10 weeks. I was stiff as a board and sweating & crying quietly, terrified there would be no heartbeat. But there was. The moment I heard it and saw my baby (I never got that with any of the others) I cried uncontrollably.

My entire pregnancy was highs and lows, fear and joy, terror and faith. Every time my doctor would hook me up to the fetal monitor or go to listen to the heartbeat my heart would pound and I would go cold all over. I would tell God that everyday I love her more, please see me through, I cannot take this. Even at my baby shower I was terrified, what if I open all these gifts and celebrate like a fool only to lose her. A week before I was due I couldn’t feel her moving so I went to the maternity ward and as soon as they hooked me up to the fetal monitor she started moving and kicking like crazy. To say I felt relief is an understatement.

I did not lose my baby, but in that moment of fear, I forever acquired the utmost respect for the women who have endured that type of loss and find the courage to move on and in some cases try again. I cannot imagine and they are in my prayers. The moment my baby girl was born and our eyes met it was a mix of overwhelming pain and joy. I saw what I had lost and I saw what I had been blessed with in the same moment. It was relief that she was here and sorrow that they are not. She is my miracle baby, I do not take even one moment for granted. I vowed to never take a baby if it were given to me for granted. I was angry at mothers who just got pregnant so easily and took their kids for granted, who wasted precious moments and didn’t understand what a miracle and privilege they had been given.

For all the mothers who have loved and lost, and who are still trying to conceive at all, my daughter is loved on behalf of us all, in no way as an offense or mockery, but truly. Her life and my mothering are a testimony to the miracles and mercies of God and the strength and gift of being a mother in whatever form that may be. The babies we have lost are real, our love is real, the loss is real. I still mourn for and cry for the babies I have to wait to meet in Heaven. Every milestone for my daughter is a joy yet a reminder that I will never see my other kids do these same things. She will know her story, and I pray she never take her life for granted.

What the doctors thought was wrong with me ended up not being it at all, some of the medications I was taking I didn’t even need to take. It came back to prayer for me and listening to God. Sometimes He knows more than the doctors, but He also uses them to help us. I tell you this as a story of hope, do not lose faith. And as a story of some kind of peace that we all share in each other’s tragedy and triumphs. I will never forget my loss, our loss. And I will never let the world forget my babies, Jude, Aalijah, and Adiel. Their lives mattered and changed ours forever. People ask when we will have more, like it’s just so easy now.

I’m still afraid of loss and the ups and downs I went through to have my daughter are nothing I look forward to doing again. I will see what God has planned, only time will tell. God doesn’t always answer our prayers how & when we want, but he does answer them, sometimes it’s just not what we want to hear. Sometimes it’s some way we cannot see and to be honest, it doesn’t always make sense. But without Him there is no hope at all. Let Him guide you, down whatever path it may be. It is worth it. If you have Him, you have everything. And it’s His word, our babies are real and alive waiting for us, with Him.

-Sheila J.
Redlands, CA
Published 7/19/15


Leave a Reply