There is a grief process a couple goes through when they have a miscarriage. It is not uniform and everyone walks through it a little differently. There are good days and there are bad days. There are days filled with hope for the future and days consumed in doubt. It's a roller coaster of emotions. One minute you are up and the next you are down, wondering when it will be your turn and this unpredictability will end.
One of the hardest things when grieving the loss of your child is finding out a friend or family member is pregnant. Although your gut reaction is to be happy for them, you can't help but feel a little sting of pain. What did they do differently to conceive and carry a healthy pregnancy? Why doesn't God think we are fit to be parents and they are?
One of my best friends got pregnant a few months ago. We had been what I consider TTC (Trying to Conceive) buddies and I had been coaching her through her first few months of trying. We texted and talked and shared our dreams of becoming mommies at the same time. Since I was more of the TTC veteran, and she was what I considered a rookie, I would share knowledge with her from my doctor's appointments and things I had learned over the last year of trying.
Then she got pregnant. And I didn't. And it hurt.
I remember getting the text at work. It was a picture of a positive pregnancy test and she asked me, "Oh my gosh. Is this real? Or is it a false positive?"
Believe me. I had seen many pregnancy tests over the last few months and it definitely was a positive. I quickly congratulated her and told her I would call her after work. When I called, she told me she was nervous and said she felt like she was going to pass out. She was in shock that it actually happened.
I remember that nervous excited feeling when I got my first positive. It's almost a feeling of disbelief. You see so many tests as negative and when you get your first glimpse of a positive, you have to take a second look. What?! This can't be true. But it is true! It's a positive and in that moment, your life is completely changed.
After sharing in her excitement and reiterating to her that she did not need to take another test, we got off the phone.
Then you remember that you aren't pregnant. And your friend who has been trying for just a few months is. And your heart begins to hurt. It's so confusing. You want to be happy for her, but deep down, you are faced with an internal struggle of grief.
You then get annoyed with yourself that you feel this way. You do everything in your power to stay positive. You give her a baby-sized jersey of her favorite sports team and you continue to share in her excitement. You text with her name ideas and offer to plan her baby shower.
Despite how much you wish it was you, you buck up and put a smile on your face. It becomes a choice to be happy and accept what is. You decide that your friendship is much more important than wanting what she has.
A few weeks into her pregnancy, she told me she was spotting. It was light in color but it was there. My heart sank, because this was exactly how my miscarriage began. I told her to remain positive and she scheduled an appointment with her doctor. I reminded her that there are so many women who spot during early pregnancy.
Over the next few days, her spotting got darker and heavier. She told me she was scared. I told her to stay calm and not give up. Your mind and emotions are so powerful. I started to get worried for her, but I didn't tell her that.
And then it happened. She miscarried. And I was brought back to my miscarriage. I could feel the pain that she felt. I felt that feeling of hopeless loss all over again. I wanted so bad to hug her and tell her it would be okay. I wanted to take away the pain and hurt and protect her from the grief she would face.
God works in funny ways. Maybe my miscarriage served a greater purpose. Maybe I was meant go through one, so I could come out on the other side and help my friend go through hers.
Grief is a long and unpredictable path. You stumble through the dark days, but you continue moving forward. And then you begin to see a bigger, more beautiful picture unraveling.
Even though my miscarriage was one of the worst times in my life, I would not change it for the world. I know our time will come. I am working on accepting that it might take a little longer than planned and I am learning how to be patient. I know that there will be a day in which we hold our child for the first time and look into their little bright eyes and know that everything we have gone through was worth it to get to here.