I Had An Early Miscarriage

Grief sneaks out during tired moments.
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I missed a period recently. I took more pregnancy tests than I could count for several weeks till, finally, I ended up with a positive test.

This was our fourth pregnancy, and it was a shock. Not what we were expecting, to put it mildly. But a few days later, I started to bleed, and a few doctor’s visits and some blood work confirmed that we had miscarried, most likely in the first month.

This, too, was a shock... and what do you tell people? How do you explain that there was life, and now it’s gone? I got home from one doctor’s appointment, lay on my bed, bleeding, and wondered at the irony of it -- the body that had conceived, grown, birthed, and nursed three babies was now erasing all evidence of a fourth.

It was so early into the pregnancy, we didn’t even get to find out the gender.

People react to the news differently. Some share their own miscarriage stories, and sometimes I find that comforting, and sometimes I find it unsettling. Some people seem to avoid the subject altogether, and I have mixed feelings about that, too. Mostly, I keep it to myself, because it feels very raw, and I don’t want anybody to accidentally hurt me.

A few things I’ve learned:

1. Grief sneaks out during tired moments.
2. Everyone's experience of loss is different.
3. Everyone's experience of loss is the same.

Today, I saw a girl about my age with a tiny newborn, screaming his little lungs out, and I thought, “that might have been me in six months.” My heart ached suddenly with the loss of the life that could have been.

I want to plant a tree to celebrate that fleeting life. A tender, living shoot that will grow up towards heaven, branches lifted in praise. It seems fitting. But what if we move? I thought of adding a charm to the necklace I wear with my kids’ initials, but I might have to explain the extra initial. “I actually have four children…”

Mostly, I’m staring down the muzzle at how little we know about life, souls, death, and heaven. My mind tumbles over and over -- why?

And I don’t know. I don’t know why. The longer I live, the more I realize I must learn to be at home in the unknown.

What I do know:

1. God is good.
2. God is just.
3. Somehow that has to be enough.

That was over a year ago.

Sometimes, when I’m counting children climbing into the car, counting heads as we make our way through the parking lot, I count one, two, three, four -- there is no four. Am I just tired, or is there a part of me that misses the fourth baby we never met?

The grief has mostly worn off, by now. Sometimes I even wonder if it really happened -- did we really lose a child?

The fear, however, remains, and it’s so strong it gives confirmation. This is the longest we've gone and not been pregnant, and I wrestle with questions: If we try to get pregnant again, will we miscarry? If we don’t try again, will we always regret it?

If we do, and I give birth to a healthy baby, will I count to five and not four?

Sarah is a writer and mom. You can find "The Real Mom's Guide to Finding Peace & Sanity" here. This post first appeared on Mommy Notes Blogs.

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