JD was in London the week I found out I was pregnant. I had some random heavy-ish spotting so I called our family physician (who just happens to also be one of my closest friends - we'll call her AK for privacy purposes) and she told me to go ahead and take a pregnancy test. JD and I had been trying for a second child so I was thrilled when the test revealed those two dainty pink lines. However, because of the random spotting, AK suggested that I get some bloodwork done to check hormone levels, etc. I waited until JD returned from his trip before getting my bloodwork taken because I wanted him to be there for whatever the results held. But something in me still felt uneasy about the pregnancy.
It doesn’t seem like a long time to be pregnant but, in the one week I knew a precious life was forming inside my womb, the Lord told me to celebrate that sweet little life. JD and I were both hesitant to get excited right away but God kept telling me, “Celebrate this baby. If there comes a time to mourn, I will be with you.” Even with Mia Kai, we were hesitant to truly believe I was pregnant until twelve weeks; yet, the Holy Spirit continued to whisper those words to me: "Celebrate the life. Celebrate the life." Because denial is an unfortunate strong suit of mine, I'm afraid I wouldn't have believed I was truly pregnant if we hadn't take that week to celebrate. It's just another area where Jesus knows my heart better than I know my own.
So we celebrated and took joy in the life Jesus was growing. The first lab order came back normal, confirming my pregnancy and healthy levels. Four days later, I went back for more bloodwork and the levels dropped. AK called with a deep sorrow in her voice, "I'm so sorry, Whitney. You lost the baby." She could hardly stand telling me the news but it was an absolute gift from God that a true friend was the one telling me this, not simply a doctor who doesn't know me outside of the office.
I walked into the bedroom and cried. JD sat down and held me in his arms. A couple minutes later, Mia Kai walked up and said, "Mama. Boo-boo? Boo-boo on your eye?" (Feel free to giggle a bit at how cute that is.) JD looked at her and said, "Mama has a boo-boo on her heart." Mia Kai climbed in our laps, laid her head on my chest and started rubbing my arm. "Mama, I sorry boo-boo on heart." It was the most bittersweet moment I've ever experienced.
Since that evening, Mia Kai and I have been snuggling up on her big girl bed reading Pooh Bear classics (and Elmo), savoring every moment possible to enjoy her little-ness. The evenings are spent taking it easy with JD or gathering around the table with our closest friends. I have found that I deal with grief by use of my hands; and lucky for me, we’ve had piles of dirt that needed to be shoveled in our front yard. I would much rather help other people process through their thoughts than take time to process my own (hello, I’m 2 on the enneagram), so I’m deeply grateful for the friends that have pressed in and helped me verbally process or challenged me to simply revisit journaling. Otherwise, we probably would’ve had to buy a new shovel.
Although we received the news from AK on July 30th, my body felt the true miscarriage on July 31st. If you follow Jitneys, you may know that day as the day before Agenda pre-orders. There is never a good time for devastating seasons; but once again, Jesus knows my heart. The timing of this was certainly not perfect - the timing of a miscarriage could never be perfect - but it was, indeed, gracious. I was able to spend the evening in solitude, working hard and grieving while still being excited about something totally different. It may not make sense to most people, but I have been able to see the beautiful ways God has met me in this season of heartache. He has met me in a way to say, "I know you. I know your heart. I formed you just like I formed this baby and precious Mia Kai. I know your mind and I know how you will handle this news. Let me give you some areas of buffer, of grace."
Grief is hard, y’all. And you never know when the most difficult moments are going to hit. There is still a lot of tenderness but God has been so gracious in keeping His promise to me. He has absolutely met me in my mourning and continues to bring me comfort.
I've been so hesitant to share any of this because (1) I'm afraid people will read this and think, "You were pregnant for five weeks. Big deal. Get over it." and (2) I'm nervous people will respond in a way that is hard for me to accept, which I suppose goes hand-in-hand with the first point. But I know that our story needs to be shared and I pray that this story of God's grace in a heartbreaking season is an encouragement to many out there.
If you've lost a precious little baby, my heart aches for you, friend. Your baby was an absolute gift. Celebrate that life and feel the freedom to mourn your loss - regardless of how long you knew that baby was in your womb. Feel free to email me and let's chat (or grab a cup of coffee if you're local).
If you know of someone who has lost a baby or is going through any season of grieving, please be sensitive with your words. The most comforting words anyone could say to me in this time has been, "I am so sorry. I love you. I am here for you." And do just that. Be there for them. Check in and just ask, "How are you today?" Because each day has been and will be different. In my experience, some days I was okay then other days were just hard.
When they're ready, bring over a cup of coffee, lunch or a box of donuts and simply sit with them. Give them a hug but also be willing to give them space. Knowing that other people were truly empathizing with me lifted a great deal of heartache. I knew I wasn't walking in this alone and that our family and community were willing to hurt with us. One of my dear friends wrapped up a beautiful piece of pottery and attached the following letter to it. She has generously given me permission to share her letter on this post:
I wanted to get you something for this time and as I thought about what, I settled on this piece of pottery. My thought process went something like this - I wanted something real and solid, that will last, because your memory of this precious baby will last. I wanted something with a little weight to it, because this baby and the memory of this time is heavy and weighty. I settled on this particular piece because it hold things and no doubt, this baby will hold a piece of your heart. I have found that my miscarriage falls into this odd gray area in my heart - something that hurts to remember, but also hurts to forget. I hope this will help you remember just enough. I love you and am so very sad that you and JD are having to weather this storm, but the Lord is still faithful, our God is still good and Jesus is still risen, and in those things, I hope you find great hope.
Lots of love,
I will always think of our baby when I see this pottery sitting on my desk. I will always think of the friends and family that stood with us during this time. Most importantly, I will always think of the goodness of Christ, His all-sufficient grace, and the beautiful ways He has met my aching heart during this season. Whatever season you are in, may you also be encouraged by these words and by the abundant love of Jesus.