We don't talk about it much, you know...those of us who have been through it.
Especially those of us who have been through it multiple times.
Sure, we're brought out of the shadows when a new mom goes through it and needs an outstretched hand, a softly whispered "I've been there and I made it through. You will too. Healthy children can come after loss."
But then we fade back into the shadows, the experiences to the recesses of our minds.
I don't know why it is. I don't know why there's such a stigma.
And yet there is.
Dusk and I experienced a miscarriage last week. The pregnancy had been a wonderful surprise and had been going well. And then last week, we were almost 10 weeks along and the baby just inexplicably stopped growing. No heartbeat. No growth. I had a d&c this morning.
Yes, another miscarriage. Sigh.
For the record, this is our 7th. Yes, the seventh child taken from us before we even had the chance to meet him or her.
If you've never had a miscarriage, you're thinking "oh, that's too bad. But miscarriage happens. They can try again. At least they weren't too far along."
And you would be right about all of those things.
But once you've been through it, you realize it's so much more than that. You know what a deeply painful experience pregnancy loss is. You, too, would have been surprised at how emotionally jarring it is, how deep the pain goes. How, no matter how much everyone tells you not to get too excited at "just" a positive pregnancy test, you can't help yourself. How, in the days and weeks after that positive test, as your body starts to change, your heart starts to dream about this new life, starts to imagine bringing this new child into your family, finding their space among their siblings.
Almost against your own will, you start to imagine a future.
And then, one day as swiftly as that dream began, it is over. Snatched from you.
The loss knocks the wind out of you.
And recurrent miscarriage loss is an entirely different ballgame. Maybe the shock is less severe each time, the healing quicker; but the pain is still there. The absolute loss of a life so dearly wanted.
We've had losses at all different stages. The two losses we had before we had kids were shocking and fraught with concern over whether we would ever be able to have children. Then, the two losses between our children were tinged with worry that we might not have our kids as close together as we would like, that somehow our children wouldn't be close. The three losses we've had since Bodie, now, with me being almost 38, at what are ostensibly the end of my childbearing years, are different. There's a different sense of loss in realizing that your childbearing experience will end with such sadness. There's a profound sense of grief in that single realization.
So today, my heart is heavy.
And yet, through it all, there is HOPE.
We have 2 beautiful children living here on Earth with us, and we're given the privilege of loving them and raising them. So so so much joy in this one fact.
(and, as an aside, I find it comical now that I ever worried they wouldn't be close).
We have 7 beautiful children in Heaven, being raised by Jesus himself. I cannot imagine the party that takes place up there. I mean, seriously. We've had enough references to being a modern day Job this year to realize any kid that gets to bypass Earth with the Bennetts to go straight to Heaven is a darn lucky kid. Bodie and Sierra have been talking about their brothers and sisters in Heaven and how they can't wait to meet them someday. I could not agree more. What an incredible gift, to know that the pain of loss here on earth is only temporary.
We don't know what's in store for our family here on Earth. Yes, there is sadness today. But so much hope and joy for the future.
So, if you've experienced pregnancy loss, take it from an "expert" (not something I ever wanted to be an expert in, but by this point, it's kind of undeniable), it DOES get better. The pain DOES lesson. Joy returns. Love returns. Hope returns. And all of it - the joy, the love, and hope, comes to you in spades when you rely on Jesus Christ to get you through. If you know Him, cling to Him. You can weather anything with Him. And if you don't know Him, get your hiney to church and meet him. Or ask a friend who knows Him all about Him. Heck, ask me. Just know that you don't have to weather it alone.
And if you know someone going through pregnancy loss, share this blog with them. Let them know they are NOT alone. Give them a hug. Come alongside them and comfort them. And let them know there is HOPE.
Even through the pain. Even through the tears and sadness. Even through the loss. Hope.