“Second pregnancy no kids at home?” The rote words of the nurse rolled off her tongue with ease. My throat immediately tightened.
I answered the rest of her questions including the somewhat offensive, “Does your husband know about your prior pregnancy?” And then she left to bring Clay in from the waiting room.
As soon as the door opened, he knew something was wrong. The nurse informed us the sonogram tech would be in shortly, and as she closed the door behind her he asked, “Are you okay? What happened?”
I fought back tears as I told him it was the way she had asked about the miscarriage. That it had triggered me unexpectedly. That I had so wanted today to just be a happy day…
I had been so full of expectancy for this 20 week scan. Our doctor sent us to a different office so that one sonogram would be with a different set of eyes. And this was the big one! The detailed one where we would get to see our baby girl up close and at length. I had so wanted the day to just be happy after a season of so many mixed emotions. I was finally not feeling fearful of losing her or of something being wrong. And yet now the day had been filled with something else—that old familiar and stubborn grief.
As Clay pulled me into his arms, I let the sobs come through. After a moment I wiped my face and did my best to put it behind me. And as the sonogram tech began to show us our girl, swimming and moving around, kicking and twisting, and her heart that was beating, I was filled with such joy. Relief and joy and awe and wonder.
I have been feeling her move around a lot lately, but to feel her while seeing her up on that screen made it so much more real. It was so special.
As I reflected on the experience, I realized that I cannot separate the two—happiness and grief. I realized that my joy surrounding this pregnancy is so intricately intertwined with the grief surrounding our prior pregnancy. And you know what? That’s okay. Because life a messy mixture of both—happy and sad, joy and pain.
It’s reflected right there in the heart of the Gospel—crucifixion and resurrection.
As we navigate through life we will experience both. And as I navigated through that appointment, I definitely experienced both.
And then something else quite unexpected happened—a blood draw to test for Zika after the doctor learned Clay had recently been to Mexico. To be honest, neither of us thought twice about him going on that house build as he went just over the border and only for a weekend.
For someone who hates needles, I was not thrilled. And then the nurse couldn’t seem to find my prominent vein which turned it into a quite painful experience. She eventually gave up and sent in another nurse who poked my other arm to actually draw the blood.
I’ll be honest—it all felt a bit traumatizing. I think I have a bit of PTSD from the miscarriage and feeling like things aren’t going right and are out of my control. As we made our way to the elevator, I crumbled into Clay’s arms and sobbed all over again. “I feel attacked by Satan,” I confessed.
I felt like he was trying to steal all the joy. But as I reflected once more, I realized that he didn’t get it. He didn’t get all the joy. He didn’t get the day. He didn’t get to win. For while there were many tears cried that day, it WAS happy.
My heart was so filled with awe that day. And as I watch this video over and over again, the happiness grows inside of me right along side our baby girl.
I am so grateful for this healthy little life, and I’m giving all the praise and thanks and glory to the God who is making it possible. And while I know there will continue to be tears of sadness and grief, I’m choosing to let the joy I feel and the truth that I know and the hope that I have to be louder.
If you have been through a miscarriage, I pray these words encourage you. I pray you feel the freedom to feel whatever you are feeling, whenever you are feeling it. I simply pray that ultimately the truth, happiness and joy far outshine the lies, sadness and grief. Just remember: life is filled with both. Give yourself grace. Be kind to yourself. And always rely on the One who is greater to carry you through it all.
“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33