Have you ever gone through something extremely painful and everyone around you offers words that don’t seem to help and only harm? It was a gorgeous morning in April and I was excitedly waiting for my first ultrasound. This pregnancy was in no ways planned. Over the course of 9 weeks I became happy with the idea of becoming a mom again. I was just in my second semester of graduate school-the timing could not be worse. However, I was going to make the best of it.
Never in my life did I expect something was wrong. I had all the cravings, the nausea, the hormones. Yet, that little baby hadn’t grown past 6 weeks. I felt numb with shock on the ultrasound table. I couldn’t comprehend what I was hearing and didn’t want to believe it. I was ushered into an exam room to meet with a random doctor. I sobbed and screamed and the doctor didn’t even look at me. She just talked to my husband about the options.
I went home to gather my things and pick up my son from school to be with a friend. My baby was dead… That’s all I kept thinking as I walked around in a haze. With Gavin safely at home, Erik took me to the hospital. A good friend called and prayed with me every hour as I waited for the surgery.
Wheeled back some two hours later under the bright lights of the exam table. Everything felt so cold, sterile, and unreal. The doctor said I’d be out for only 15 minutes. Tears streaming down my face and no words. I felt the heat from the anesthesia, the burning sensation in my eyes as I stared at the bright lights above me. As I fell asleep I saw a vision of my baby in an angelic light. I told her “mommy is so sorry I couldn’t keep you. I’m so sorry…”
For days nothing mattered. I just felt the empty ache in my soul. People were trying to be kind but their words offered no consolation. The one comment that stuck with me the most was, “This was just God’s plan”. I hated that comment. I felt at that time that it would never make sense.
Before this tragedy occurred in my life, I too would say things similar to those said to me when others were hurting. I was scared to say the wrong thing. What I’ve learned is just being present with someone and acknowledging their pain is the best thing I could do. Those friends who wrapped their arms around me, prayed for me, and brought food for my family will always be remembered. It wasn’t the words they said but their actions of love and presence.
I’m crying even as I write this. I haven’t thought of this in a long time. This time of tragedy and loss extended out 3 more years with 2 more failed pregnancies and an inability to conceive for over a year.
I’ll end with this: I’m grateful. Grateful for the loss, the journey, and both the emotional and physical pain. Through it all I now understand grief and trauma in a different way. I’ve connected with so many women by sharing my story. A story that is very common and shared very little. Our pain is hidden. I’m grateful that I’ve been able to walk alongside women and bring hope, love, and encouragement. I understand the journey.
Please don’t hide from sharing your stories. People need your stories. Be open to how the Holy Spirit moves and experiences he wants you to share with others. I’ve been able to make meaning from my pain.
Your stories are as much for your personal growth as they are for those whose lives intersect with yours.