First trimester miscarriage, hope after miscarriage

I was hesitant to have another baby. It felt like just yesterday I was the sleepless mother of a newborn who is now two-years-old. We have a great routine down, and although parenthood is always challenging, I couldn’t imagine starting from scratch again. I was doubtful we were meant to be a family of four and there was a layer of anxiety that arose inside me when discussing the topic. However, in early November 2013 when the test read “pregnant,” all those feelings melted away and excitement took over.

As soon as you know you’re pregnant, you start planning, organizing and thinking about the baby. Will we have a boy or a girl? Will he or she look like Greyson? How will we have to restructure our home and life for this new addition? Although my thoughts were spinning, I had a wave of calmness that surrounded me. We weren’t even “trying” when we found out we were pregnant, so we deeply felt this was meant to be. This baby was already so loved by our family.

At our first prenatal appointment, we spent the first hour talking to our midwife about how I was feeling and my birth wishes for our second baby. We found out our due date was July 19, 2014. With every sentence, I was feeling more encouraged and excited, and then it was time for the ultrasound. My heart started racing because I couldn’t believe we were going to be able to see our little peanut already! We were all smiling and anxious as our midwife found the image she was looking for, but there was something missing – a heartbeat.

Surely there had to be a mistake. There must be something wrong with the ultrasound machine. That glimmer of hope kept my faith going for the next 24 hours until a radiologist confirmed the awful news. John and I sat in the exam room, having lost all color in our faces, and embraced each other while the tears just poured down our faces. It was one of the worst days of our lives. We lost our baby and it felt like the world was crumbling around us.

We walked out of the hospital like empty souls trying to figure out how to even process this news. We went from thinking about baby names to looking at the world go by around us feeling completely disconnected.

I immediately started to wonder if it was something I did or didn’t do. Were the baths I took too hot? Did I eat something bad? Was I too stressed? Was I too tired? Was it the fumes from the bathroom we were remodeling? It took some time to truly embrace that this was not our fault. As much as I wanted to find a reason to make sense of all this, something tangible I could understand, the truth was this was much bigger than me. I would never know the real reason, it was not in my control and I needed to be at peace with that.

The thing about a miscarriage is that the pain and journey go way beyond finding out in a doctor’s office there is no heartbeat. Until nature takes its course or you have a medical intervention, you are reminded daily of your loss and it is hard to move on. You are reminded the baby you started to dream about is not going to be born, and you go through a variety of emotions.

I got off social media for a few weeks and unplugged from the world. I couldn’t look at happy photos or status updates about pregnancy news and holiday parties from friends and family who all seemed to have the perfect lives. It was right before Christmas and I wasn’t feeling very festive. I was angry and jealous and sad and heartbroken.

My saving grace was Greyson. His big, blue eyes and smile got me through an incredibly challenging time. As soon as grief overcame me, his innocence and laughter pulled me right out of the darkness. He was a reminder of life and love and hope. He was the energy and light that fed my soul and the comfort I so desperately needed.

Watching him open Christmas gifts and the excitement in his toddler eyes made the holidays bright. As John and I laughed at Greyson ripping up wrapping paper and walking around in his pj’s and fireman boots, we had moments when we actually forgot we were sad. Our son was the perfect distraction.

In the days that followed, I had some very important and powerful soul searching moments. I started to gain new perspective. I started to remind myself that life would go on and it would be beautiful. John reminded me that one day we would have another baby who will be healthy and perfect and this would all make sense and have a purpose. I knew he was right.

The three of us picked out and planted a tree in our front yard in honor of our baby. As the tree grows and blooms, we will be reminded of how precious life really is and how our baby will always be with us. As the years go on, Greyson will learn some important life lessons from our tree.

                                                              

                                                            

Through this experience, I have learned how common a miscarriage is – one out of three pregnancies. It’s not a topic many talk about, and I realized through my journey, that some even feel embarrassed or a sense of failure. But as women and mothers, we should feel empowered, and by sharing our stories, we can build a support system so no one ever has to feel alone. It is a loss that needs to be recognized and honored; no matter when in your pregnancy you lose a baby.

I have been blessed with incredible friends and family who held me up when I was brought to my knees.

July 19 will always hold a special meaning, but now I can look at that day with gratitude for the family I have and the future we will experience together. Our baby will always be in our hearts, giving us strength and keeping us uplifted on life’s curvy roads.

Our baby’s heart does actually beat in ours and that is a gift that I am forever grateful to have been given.

And on December 23, 2014, we were given another precious gift when I gave birth to a healthy baby boy. As soon as Rowen was born, it all made sense. I knew as soon as he was put on my chest and I heard his first cry, he was always meant to be. He is the happiest and sweetest baby with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes and a smile that lights up his whole face. In the midst of my heartache from the miscarriage, I could not understand why we would be faced with such a difficult challenge, but now I know we were meant to go through that to end up with our family of four that I cherish with all my heart. I know our angel baby watches over us and is the guardian angel of my two boys. I can’t imagine our life without Rowen. He and Greyson make me a better person every day. So in the deepest of sorrow, please don’t give up hope. Rainbows always come after the rain.

Michelle Brubaker

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Baby Brubaker-Journey to Two