This week I began doing a pregnancy loss Bible study with an on-line friend. She was kind enough to offer to lead me through this study since she has completed it once already. She will be leading a group of women at her church in the fall. K has one child and then miscarried twice. She is currently experiencing a healthy pregnancy with baby # 4. I am so thankful to K for doing this with me!
The book we are using is entitled Threads of Hope, Pieces of Joy by Teale Fackler & Gwen Kik. When I ordered a copy of this book, the company accidentally sent me 3 books for the price of one! Rather than sending the 2 extra books back, I paid for and kept them. My husband and I feel it is a sign from God that eventually I will lead other women in this study.
As I said, we just began the study this week, so we've only done chapter 1. We're going to do a chapter each week. I decided that I would post my answers and thoughts here to the weekly discussion questions. My hope is to help another mom who is going through the anguish of a lost pregnancy or infant. I've also decided to join Walking With You over at The Beauty of Sufficient Grace. You can click on the button on my side bar to join in on what Kelly is doing over there. As I go through this journey, please feel free to comment and ask me questions.
In the first week, we were to tell our story. This is what follows below.
I found out I was pregnant the Friday of Labor Day Weekend 2008 (rather ironic!). My period was a week late, but I didn’t seriously think I could be pregnant. I was 43 and would turn 44 in November. I was too old!
I had always wanted three kids and had pictured having two sons closer in age and then having a daughter further down the road. I also wanted a May baby. Well, we had our two sons 2 ½ years apart. I would have liked to have gotten pregnant again when our younger son was 3. However, when he turned 2 ½, he was diagnosed as being moderately hearing impaired. Therefore, we had a lot on our plate as far as getting him hearing aids and early intervention services. He ended up being enrolled in a preschool class for deaf and hard of hearing children as soon as he turned 3. The class was 45 minutes from our home. Up until a few months before he started the class, the county had another one of these classes at the church right behind our house. Unfortunately, the county decided they didn’t have enough kids at our end of the county to continue this class. So Cooper attended the other class for 2 years.
I decided that because life was a little hectic due to his disability, that it wasn’t the right time to get pregnant. We even had an ENT ask us if we were going to have more children. We said we weren’t sure. He then stated that if we were we should have genetic testing done to see if our next child would be at risk for this. Quite frankly, this comment turned me off of this doctor!
If truth be told, my husband only wanted two kids, so I was quite surprised by his reaction when I told him I was pregnant again. He was calmer than I was. I, in fact, cried about the pregnancy, which I am so ashamed of! All I kept thinking was that our kids would be 14 and 11 when the baby was born in May and that Eric and I would be 64 by the time the baby was 20. Our family was settled into our way of life, and a new baby would disrupt all of that. Plus, we have no baby stuff left at all in the house! Still, at the same time, I wanted this baby.
When I called my OBGYN to get an appointment, I couldn’t believe that they didn’t want to see me prior to 8 weeks into the pregnancy! I told the lady on the phone that I was 43 and had been on thyroid medication and an anti-depressant for several years. She said that the thyroid medication shouldn’t be a problem. She told me to call my other doctor about the anti-depressant to see what he wanted me to do. She wasn’t concerned at all about my age. She could tell I was upset and tried to be reassuring over the phone. I called my other doctor and we worked out a plan to wean me off the anti-depressant.
During the next four weeks, I napped every day after work and could feel each stretch of my womb. Being pregnant at 43 is much different than being pregnant at 32! I never felt sick though, and smells only bothered me for one day. Due to the lack of sickness, I felt that something was wrong. I also had a tiny bit of spotting one or two times, which I never had with either of my other two pregnancies.
My husband didn’t want to tell anyone, including our kids, about the baby until my 8 week appointment. Now our oldest son is very intuitive and asked several times if I was pregnant. I told my husband that we needed to tell the boys, so we did at 7 weeks. They were so excited! We knew if it was girl we would name her Claren, but we didn’t have any boy names. So we told our sons to come up with a name for a little boy. They did so very quickly. The name we all agreed upon was Nolan.
Two days before the appointment, I spotted some more. We called the OB’s office the next day, and they said to come in right away. An internal ultra sound was done. The baby was there, but they couldn’t find the heartbeat and the baby was measuring at 6 weeks rather than 8 weeks along. This all happened on a Monday, and I was told to come back the following week.
I went to work on Tuesday, went to bed that night only to wake up to a lot of cramping. I also started bleeding a lot. We called the doctor in the middle of the night. He said it sounded like I was miscarrying. He said I could take something for the pain and then to come into the office in the morning.
I was up for quite awhile that night having to go back and forth to the bathroom. I couldn’t believe the amount of blood that I passed. I had also never realized that having a miscarriage is like going through a mini labor and delivery. We went back to the OB in the morning and had another internal ultrasound. I couldn’t even look at the screen. Eric was the one who told me that nothing was there anymore. I kept passing blood for several more days and had to use a heating pad for the cramping.
As I sat on the couch the rest of that week, I went back and forth between sadness, guilt, and relief. I was sad over the loss of the baby and the indignity that our baby was basically flushed down the toilet. I felt guilt over my initial reaction to the pregnancy and because I was also feeling somewhat relieved that our life was not going to be changed.
Later on I felt angry. I was angry that for my husband it just seemed to be something that was done and over with. After all, he wasn’t the one that had to go weekly for about a month to have blood work done in order to be sure my hormones returned back to normal. That was a constant reminder to me. He also wasn’t very sensitive when he broke the news to me that our sister-in-law was pregnant with twins.
I was angry with God because it had seemed like he was giving me what I had wanted and then took it away. I also felt I was being punished for my initial reaction to the pregnancy. When I was about 36, my older son out of the blue said to me, “Mommy, the next time you have a baby, I want to go to the hospital with you.” I told him I didn’t think I was going to have another baby. He thought about it for a second and replied, “Yes you are because Jesus told me so.” I was floored by his response! Sam was right, so how come my baby was taken from me?
At this point, 9 months later, I’m not so much angry with God as I am just asking Him, “Why? What was the point of that?” The only answer I can come up with is that He wants me to help others who have or will experience this.
We didn’t have any type of Memorial Service for the baby because we didn’t want one and not that many people knew I was even pregnant. We still haven’t even told our parents about it.
I don’t have a strong inkling either way as to whether the baby was a boy or a girl. I guess I’ll have a surprise waiting for me in Heaven.