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“Nothing Will Ever Tear You Apart Quite Like This Does”: The Silent Suffering of Miscarriage

I’ll never forget that dark, cold ultrasound room. The teary-eyed, compassionate radiologist. The look of pity in her eyes as she told us that our 10-week-old baby was no longer alive. My midwife told me she was so sorry, and hung up the phone.

And so began the hardest week of my life. A week of silent suffering.

My dear friend Shelly was so right when she looked me in the eyes and said,

“Nothing will ever tear you apart quite like this does.”

We waited a week, and went in for a follow-up ultrasound just to be sure. They did two different kinds, spent about 20 minutes looking in depth, and just plain nothing had changed. Our baby had stopped developing around seven weeks.

For weeks I had been carrying my lifeless baby, completely unaware. I avoided alcohol and caffeine. I didn’t do any heavy lifting. I tried to keep my calorie intake up despite constant and severe nausea and vomiting. My body just never caught on.

After five days of lying in bed, numb and quiet, with tears intertwined, I went in for a consult with a local OB. She explained that she was concerned about other, potentially dangerous complications. She asked when I had eaten last, and scheduled my D&C for later that night. I signed the papers and left, barely remembering a word she had said.

We drove home, terrified not only for a procedure I’d never had (and hoped to never have), but now we were fearing for my own health too. I’ve never felt so helpless as in that moment.

I was discharged from the hospital a few hours after the procedure. On my birthday of all days. A day that’s usually full of joy, was so full of pain.

I woke up and wept. It was really over. There would be no growing belly in the summer, no gender reveal, no baby shower, no Christmas baby. I had gone from sky high to depths of despair in the matter of one week.

And I’ll never forget what that radiologist told me after my last ultrasound.

“I know it’s hard. It feels unfair to see beaming pregnant women everywhere you go. It’s hard to see even me sitting here pregnant. But what you don’t know is that this is my in-vitro baby, and so is my son. I’ve had two miscarriages and years of infertility. And one of the beaming women you saw in the waiting room? She had three miscarriages before that baby. 

Miscarriage is a silent suffering, and I don’t know why people never talk about it.”

I left that room and decided that eventually I was going to break the silence. Because the truth is, I’m far from the only one who’s been through this.

I’m not the only one who’s wept in a dark ultrasound room. I’m not the only one who has wondered if she’ll ever hold any of her babies on this side of heaven. I’m not the only one who’s had her dreams crushed.

Miscarriage is a tragedy. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever been through. It’s a private mourning. And part of my heart will always be in heaven, looking forward to the day I get to meet my sweet baby.

But we don’t have to do this alone. And so I share my story in hopes of helping other women realize that they’re not alone. In hopes of helping other people realize just how devastating miscarriage is. Instead of keeping it locked up inside my heart, I want to share our story.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard tragic story after tragic story. But you know what? God has used every single one of them. He has used their stories, built their families, and comforted them when their hearts were shattered into a million pieces.

But right now I’m not to that stage yet. I haven’t seen anything redeemed. I’ve spent evenings lying in bed crying and telling God how much I despise him for not sparing our child’s life. Asking why others get it so easy. Pleading to have a child someday. I’m not going to pretend that I am full of hope and trust every second of every day. Grief is messy and hard.

Right now things feel hopeless. But I know God isn’t finished yet. He welcomed my baby into heaven with arms wide open, and has many more plans for Kyle and me.

My life verse this year, as we’ve walked through a miracle pregnancy and the greatest loss of our lives, has been 2 Corinthians 4:16-18:

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

I remember repeating these words over and over in my head during that second ultrasound.

Because life is just plain hard. And it doesn’t seem fair. But we can’t see the whole picture. And we know God is good all the time.

Even in loss. Even in tragedy. Even in despair.

So though I don’t understand why my child’s life on earth ended so soon, I find comfort knowing that eternity in heaven is so much longer.

Though this life is “short,” sometimes it doesn’t feel that way. It’s joy and sorrow intertwined. Moments when I’m so grateful to God, and times when I’m beyond angry with him. I have moments of quiet sobbing in the bathroom, bits of joy as I experience the blessings I have on this earth, and periods of utter confusion and doubt.

Through it all, I shall not look to what I see now, but have hope for the future. And though I hope and pray I’ll be a mama to children on this earth someday, a piece of this precious baby will always be in my heart.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.”

Proverbs 3:5-6

And so we trudge on. Putting one foot in front of the other. Trusting in God’s plan for our marriage and family, even when it doesn’t seem to make sense. Because we know that he is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.

He is good. He is faithful. He has already won. 

And though our hearts are torn to a million pieces right now, he is enough.

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