Friday, May 31, 2013

Tears of a Mother

23 weeks ago was a sad day in our home.  I had received several positive pregnancy tests (because 1 is never enough for me) and we were eagerly looking forward to August when we would welcome a new baby into our home.  It was shortly before Christmas and things were busy and stressful as they usually are during the holiday season.  Kai and I had decided to keep the baby news a secret, but had planned to tell our family on Christmas as a little Christmas surprise.  We had been excitedly talking about names and whether we thought this baby would be a boy or girl.  Early plans were beginning to take shape.  The due date would be just around the time of our anniversary and our first summer baby!  

I woke tired from a particularly stressful day the day before, but excited to pick my mom up from the airport and made my usual first-thing-in-the-morning-bathroom-pee-pit-stop.  Chicago was on my mind as we planned to spend the day with the boys and pick Grammy up from the airport in the evening.  I mentally played through the day's events.  We would visit the kids museum, have a nice dinner out as a family, make a quick stop at Trader Joe’s and Costco, and then watch the big airplanes land while Kai and I witnessed the awe and wonder in our boys’ eyes as they tried to guess the model, place of origin, and carrier of every plane they saw.  Yes, it was going to be a fun day!  Still absorbed in my thoughts, I looked down and saw bright red blood.  

My mind reeled as I tried to come up with an explanation.  Spotting?  This can be normal in pregnancy, right?   I had heard of people who had had such experiences.  It wasn’t everywhere, so that was good, right?  I immediately called out for Kai who heard the obvious worry in my voice and came running in.  The sight of me and the blood quickly registered.  I grabbed another pregnancy test (I buy the cheap dollar store ones, so I always have several on hand).  2 lines.  The positive line was slightly lighter than it had previously been, but was still present.  Pregnant still...  Neither one of us were sure exactly, so we did what comes naturally in medical uncertainty and googled it.  After reading several plausible explanations, we realized the only thing we could do was wait and see.  The pregnancy was still early and there wouldn’t be anything to do if it was a miscarriage.  If it wasn’t, then the bleeding would likely lessen and stop, and everything would continue on as normal.  

Well, it wasn't normal.  The bleeding increased as did the cramping and it was obvious that we were losing our baby.  I cried.  And I cried.  It seemed ridiculous to me as it was still early in the pregnancy and I had always thought that if we ever had a miscarriage early on, I would be able to rationally tell myself that there was something wrong with the baby and this was the natural way of dealing with it, or since I hadn’t ever felt it move it would be less real, or because it was still early, I really hadn’t had the time to bond or get attached.  These were all the things I had told myself.  These were all things that sounded rational to me before.  These were also things that I had uttered to friends who had miscarriages thinking I was being supportive and comforting.  I was wrong.  None of those reasons helped.  The truth of it was, though the pregnancy was still early, it was still real to me and us.  We had accepted that this child would be ours and we had already started planning for it.  In our minds, we had already wondered what it would look like and act like and how we would love it.  Would they have red hair like their Daddy?  We had thought of having 3 boys as well as 2 boys and a girl.  It was new, it was early, but it was real, and the pain from knowing that I was actively losing that child and could do nothing about it was also real.  

I felt weak and ridiculous for crying, like I was being irrational for all of the reasons I had previously told myself.  I wasn’t far enough along to feel the baby move.  I hadn’t had the time to bond with this child, but in retrospect I think the bond between mother and child must be instantaneous.  Imperceptibly, I think a change must happen for women when we see the positive test and realize that “I” has now become plural and a tiny life is taking root and growing inside.  I ached for the loss of a child that would never be.  I also wondered if something was wrong with me for losing this child.  Had I done something wrong?  For all of these things as well as feelings that I can’t adequately put into words, I cried.  We faced the loss.  Thankfully Kai was grieving as well and didn’t make me feel bad for my tears.  He comforted and held me and we faced it together.  

Having never had a miscarriage, I had no idea how soon you could get pregnant again.  We had wanted this baby, and so we made the decision to not prevent.  4 weeks later, we were surprised to get another positive pregnancy test.  Apparently the first 6 months after a miscarriage you are your most fertile.  The first date of my last “period” which marks the length of our current pregnancy is actually the date of our miscarriage.  It’s bittersweet.  I love that our grief was turned to joy.  I love that the date that brought tears of pain is now the date we use to mark tears of joy.  I am thankful that the child that will never be will also never be forgotten.  I still remember and carry with me the thoughts of what might have been and think now of what will be for our precious little girl on the way.  When I remember, I sometimes fight back the tears that threaten for no conscious or rational reason except that they are the tears of a mother.  

I am now 23 weeks along.  I was scared to be excited in the beginning of this pregnancy fearing that I would lose our baby again.  I think until the first trimester passed, I was holding back a little bit of joy in order prevent myself more pain in the event that we lost the baby.  I have had quite a bit of spotting this time around which caused me wonder if I my fears were being realized, but our little girl already seems to have a strong zest for life and I am so thankful for her constant movement that reminds me she is active and strong.  It seems that because of the loss, it makes me more thankful for each of those strong kicks, rolls, and stretches to assure me all is well.  If all goes as planned and prayed for, in roughly 17 more weeks we will welcome a beautiful and healthy baby girl.  And on that day, as we hold her tiny body in our arms and count every finger and toe, and look into her newborn squinted eyes, I am sure that a part of me will remember the one that was a part of our lives for the briefest time, and I will thank God for them both.  


  1. Thank you so much for sharing, Kristi! My heart ached a title with you, reading this. And praise God for your joy! :)

  2. Miscarriage or full term...any loss is sooo hard and makes future pregnancies scarry!! Hugs and prsyers for the rest of this pregnancy!

  3. thanks for sharing! so touching and true. looking forward to meeting your little princess one day :)

  4. Loss is loss. I'm so sorry to hear of your loss, but am happy that you have something to smile about through the tears!