10.15.2009

October 15th

Today, October 15th is National Day of Remembrance for Pregnancy and Infant loss. This includes all babies who have died because of miscarriage, stillbirth, SIDS, or any other infant death.

Unfortunately, I am one of many women who has suffered a loss.

I had 2 miscarriages before I had my girls.


Ectopic Pregnancy at 6 weeks on October 22, 2002 (due date June 23, 2003)
Miscarriage at 10 weeks D&C on October 25, 2005 (due date May 26, 2006)

I still think about them & wonder.
Were they a boy or a girl?
I could have a 6.5 year old and a 3.5 year old.
But then I wouldn't have Kate or Claire.
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.
This is what would remind myself during my saddest days.

In the process of having miscarriages & sharing about them, I have met many, many women who have lost their sons and daughters. I have friends, family & co workers who have had miscarriages. I have several friends who have lost their babies at full term, days & months after having them. I can't imagine the pain they have suffered.


The Lord has broken my heart for families who have to endured these types of losses. I don't fully know the pain these families have gone through, but I have felt a small fraction of it.


This is one of the reasons I felt called me to become a volunteer photographer for Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep last year. I cannot take away the pain of someone's loss, but I can give them something to remember their child by.
You can read about my journey to become a volunteer with them HERE.

Here is my story of loss:
Kevin and I got married on August 24, 2002. We wanted to wait 3-4 years to have kids. I was on the pill and took it religiously at the same time every day. Imagine my surprise when I found out I was pregnant 2 months after we got married. We had always wanted kids, just not so soon after getting married. I went to the doctor & they gave me a due date of June 23, 2003. I was FREAKING out & couldn't believe I was pregnant. This pregnancy was our "honeymoon baby". Apparently I got pregnant on our honeymoon. Unfortunately, a few days after I found out I was pregnant in October of 2002, I woke up to an intense pain on my left side & when I went to the bathroom I was massively bleeding & then I passed out. Kevin rushed in and woke me up & we rushed to my doctor & after some tests, he informed me that I was having an ectopic pregnancy & that I had to go immediately to the hospital for emergency surgery because the condition was life threatening for me. So, that Tuesday night in late October, I was rushed to the hospital for surgery. Luckily, I have one of the best doctors in the area & he was able to save my left fallopian tube (it was already starting to rupture). I am glad that I was unaware of how serious ectopic pregnancies can be. I didn't realize I could have died if my tube ruptured. Even though my doctor saved my fallopian tube (and my life!), I always wondered how this would effect my ability to get pregnant & have kids. One of my biggest dreams was to be a mommy & for the next few years I wondered if that would ever happen.

Fast forward to the summer of 2005.
This is when we decided to start "trying". We got lucky & I got pregnant the 2nd month after we started trying. I was due May 26, 2006. Kevin and I were thrilled. I couldn't wait to have a baby & be a mommy. I was relieved that the ectopic pregnancy didn't effect my ability to get pregnant. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I went in for blood work to make sure my numbers were doubling. My dr called and told me my progesterone was low & I needed to be on progesterone suppositories 2 times a day. Let me tell, you , those are NOT fun. Nasty. My pregnancy was progressing, at 6 weeks the nausea hit big time & I was throwing up 2-3 times a day. I was miserable, but it was worth it. We had our first ultrasound at almost 6 weeks to make sure the baby was in my uterus and not my tube. The baby was in my uterus & I scheduled another appt at 8 weeks for the heartbeat check. The 8 week ultra sound was no so great. There was a heart beat, but it was very low & took my doctor a long time to find it. He said I needed to come back in a week for another heartbeat check. At that appointment, there was still a slow heartbeat, but the baby was not growing on track & was only measuring 7 weeks. My doctor warned us not to be too optimistic, but I still had really bad morning sickness and was getting sick a few times a day. I thought that was a good sign. I had to go in again at 10 weeks for another heartbeat & growth check. At the 10 week appointment, the heart had stopped beating. We had lost the baby & my doctor scheduled me in for a D&C that night. It was a Tuesday night in late October, just like 3 years before. As I walked into the hospital for surgery, I felt like I was on Groundhog Day. Another surgery to remove another baby from my body that didn't make it.

After my D&C, I was going through the motions of life. We were told to wait 3 cycles before we could try again so that my body could heal. Those were 3 very long, hard & dark months for me. I was numb.

My 2nd miscarriage hit me so much harder than my first one.

I was mad at God for taking this baby from us.

It took me about 6 months to process it. During that time, I had a lot of support from family & friends and for that, I am thankful.

I am thankful to my awesome & supportive husband who would hold me as I cried many nights mourning our loss wondering if I would ever have a baby. I would cry myself to sleep whenver a friend told me they were pregnant. I was truly happy for them, but SO sad for me. It was just another reminder of what I didn't have.

I am thankful to our pastor who helped me process some of my feelings & emotions during the months after our loss.

I am thankful to my mom who encouraged me during this time & gave me hope (she had 4 losses in between me & my younger sister including an ectopic & a placenta separation at 21 weeks).

I am thankful for my best friend AK. She had 2 miscarriages around the same time I did. I was able to call her & cry with someone who was going through the same thing I was. She understood my pain.

I am thankful to my dear friend Lorie who had suffered 2 losses. She shared her prayer journal with me & held me up in prayer when I was too sad to pray for myself.

After we good the go ahead to start trying again, it took us 3 months and we got pregnant in May of 2006. We found out on Kevin's 31st birthday, (a week before my "due date" with my 2nd miscarriage) We were excited, but I was really nervous about having another miscarriage. I was a stress case & paranoid my entire pregnancy.

On January 23, 2007 , I gave birth to our beautiful Katelyn Grace. It was a moment I will never forget & an emotion I can't put into words. I was reminded again at the miracle of life when Claire was born on September 9, 2008.
God has a plan. His timing is perfect. Trust in Him.


These 2 girls are a reminder of that truth...


I never thought I would say this, but part of me is grateful I have been through miscarriages because it has given me compassion & a heart for those who have also suffered losses. My miscarriages caused me to cling to God & put my faith, hope & trust in HIM instead of myself.

It drew me closer to Christ as I clung to Psalm 20:4:
"May He give you the desires of your heart and make your plans succeed."
God was faithful to me even though many times, I have been unfaithful to Him.

I am thankful to God who carried me through a dark time & showed me that He was there for me & He did have a plan for me & that HIS timing is better than my timing.

Because of this, when I hear of others who have suffered a loss, I mourn with them. I pray for them, I listen, I cry with them. My heart breaks with them.

I can't make them feel better or make their pain go away, but I can make it less lonely.

I have learned a compassion that only comes by walking in those shoes.

I was reminded again & again that God has a purpose & a plan even when I don't understand.

Another thing I have learned through this is that I was NOT alone during a time where I felt so alone and when it seemed like EVERYONE around me was pregnant, except me. God was there, carrying me through this tough time.

I discovered that intercessory prayer is powerful. To have people praying for you when you don't have the words to pray yourself is humbling.


My journey & story seems so insignificant compared to those who have suffered the loss of a newborn or an infant. To my friends Wendy, Ginny, Angie & my blog friend
Julie your strength is amazing, your courage mighty & your faith inspiring. God has used your stories in BIG ways in my life because of your children.

If you have lost a baby through miscarriage or infant death, I want to pray for you on this day of remembrance. So, if you are one of those women, will you please leave a comment on this post and tell me your name so that I can be praying for you? Or, if you are someone struggling with infertility, I want to pray for you also. If you want, you can include the nature of your loss, and the child's names so that we can pray for you. If you want to leave an anonymous comment, you can do that also.

If you haven't lost a child, will you join me in praying for those who have?

25 comments:

  1. wonderful post Mel...thanks for sharing your story

    love you

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  2. Beautiful words Mel! Thank you for sharing your heartache and joy and your incredible faith! Many prayers to those who mourn this day in remembrance!

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  3. Thanks for sharing...it's strange how you never forget the due date, right? Even after being blessed with 2 amazing kids, I still get sad on March 11.

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  4. thanks, Mel, for being so real about what you've walked through. thinking about you today.
    ginny

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  5. Thanks melissa. There are a lot of babies partying in heaven. I think you have inspired me to do a little post about our baby Faith. Or at least up date the blog I have for her. www.faithhagen.blogspot.com

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  6. Oh, thank you Mel. What a beautiful, sweet post, filled with truth and hope. I didn't know your whole story. You've been through so much. It is a special sisterhood of women who have been through miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss. A sisterhood no one wants to get in on, but I know I would've had a much harder time in my dark days without the support of those who had been there before me. Thanks for sharing your story.

    And wouldn't you know it, just this morning Gary and I spoke the words I think we'd both been keeping to ourselves - I'm fairly certain I miscarried a baby last week before I even confirmed I was pregnant. We both had been thinking it, but hadn't acknowledged it yet. I'm feeling melancholy about that today, as well as remembering Josh.

    I'm praying for you today and the two babies waiting for you in heaven. Heaven's just that much sweeter knowing we have those precious babies waiting to fill our arms. Love you, friend.

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  7. Beautifully written. Thank you so much Mel. My prayers are certainly with you and the families who endure such heart break. And just look at those beautiful, beautiful girls you and Kevin have.

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  8. You had me in tears...at school (after hours :) ) no less!Thinking of you and all the women we know at work who have gone through this. And, you also comforted me at the same time...God has a plan in HIS timing, not mine. xoxo

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  9. Crying and praying for the babies who have been lost and for the moms who have been strong enough to go on.....

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  10. Thanks to Tegan for pointing me to your post today. It was much appreciated.

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  11. Thank you for sharing your story. My story is much the same. My husband and I married in 2006. I have a teenager and he has 2 children. We wanted one of our own to blend the family together.
    We got pregnant January 2007 and found out there was no heartbeat at the first 12 week check up, followed by a D&C. My doctor assured me this was a fluke thing and had nothing to do with me. There was a problem with the baby so she encouraged us to try again very soon.
    The summer of 2007 I was pregnant again. The doctor asked that I keep quiet until we saw the heartbeat, she watched me very closely and then we were out of the trouble zone and would have a perfectly healthy baby. We made it thru the first heartbeat, the first 4 months, first 8 months and all the way to 40 weeks 4 days when the terrible news came that my Gracie Kendall had gone to Heaven. When they delivered her they knew the reason why. The cord had wrapped around her ankles cutting off the blood supply to her brain. I had a normal, healthy pregnancy without any complications.. I wondered where my perfectly healthy baby was that she had promised.. delivering a stillborn baby was never a discussion with my doctor..I knew things like this happened, but it couldn't happen to me, right?. Sad enough it did.
    I will never have another child at this point. I am 38 years old and can not go thru the heartache or nervousness of ever wanting to be pregnant again. This precious gift was taken from me when Gracie left. I am forever changed...
    I honor and keep my precious Gracie Kendall's name alive by participating in March of Dimes Walks, International Wave of Light and asking my family and friends to make small donations to the hospital in Gracie's name at the holiday's and birthdays for other families going thru the same loss.
    My heart goes out to any family who has lost an infant or a child. There is no pain deeper then saying good bye to our precious children.
    I lite a candle tonight to honor Gracie and said a silent prayer for all babies in Heaven. I know that the lights were bright all the way to Heaven tonight.

    My love and prayers will continue for all families and for you too. Thank you for taking pictures for families.. this is such a needed, precious gift. I wish I had more pictures, one more moment one more chance to tell Gracie I love her.

    Thank you for letting me share my story.

    ~Susan Buckler

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  12. This post is beautiful. God is glorified through your pain and your life. Thank you so much for sharing your story and using your talents to comfort families in their dark and lonely hours. I really wish that some one as kind and generous as you was there to photograph our sweet Joy.
    It gets easier, but it is still hard.

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  13. I have had 3 miscarriages...it's a true sadness of loss!

    sandy toe

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  14. Thanks for sharing your story, Melissa. Sorry to hear of your losses... I can relate, as you know, with our IVF struggle and our recent loss at 6wks. I do believe God has a plan and his timing is perfect... and it is so evident when I look at our precious Garett. I will be praying for you as you remember your losses. I think it is wonderful that you have volunteered your amazing photography skills to help those who have suffered a loss of a child.

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  15. Wow! This post got me teary eyed! Thanks for sharing such a hard time! Now you have 2 beautiful daughters. :) I know it will never erase those loses, but God is good.

    I haven't ever lost a child, but I did have my 2nd child 2.5 months early. That was a scary time. But, she is healthy, and wonderful! She just turned 3. :)

    I am a new follower, but I do follow you on twitter, and look forward to your giveaway on my blog!

    Shealynn

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  16. Thank you so much for sharing your story! Your strength and faith are beautiful things!

    Cxx

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  17. Hi I'm Summer,
    I cried when I read your story! It is sooo much like mine! I too struggled for 2 1/2 years with infertility and after multiple surgeries and 2 heart wrenching miscarriages I had my precious Kelcee who is now 3 years old... God is good! He always has a plan for us....even if we don't know what it is yet....
    Thanks for sharing your story....
    Summer :0)

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  18. Thank you for sharing your story. Your girls are beautiful!
    Caroline

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  19. So touched by your story and your beautiful girls. I would like to share my website with you, encouraging women through infertility/loss. Dancing Upon Barren Land ~ Spiritual Nourishment for the Infertility Road, www.dancinguponbarrenland.com.

    Praying that it will be a blessing and a help!

    Thanks,
    Lesli Westfall

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  20. One of my friends is a volunteer photographer with Now I lay me down to sleep...what a wonderful gift you give to those parents!

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  21. I also had a miscarriage and it was the hardest thing I have ever been through but like you said I can be thankful that now I have an understanding when others are going through it. Praying for you. Your daughters are beautiful.

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  22. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I just recently lost my 2nd baby at 15 weeks. It's been incredibly hard and I've been so angry at God. Thank you. I needed to read this.

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  23. Such a wonderful post. I lost a baby at 18 weeks, about 1 month ago. My water broke at 16 weeks, but there was heartbeat until 18 weeks. So nothing could be done, unless my life was at stake.

    It is still hard and I am so angry most of the time.

    I do hope it gets better with time.

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