9 things I'm grateful for as I have my miscarriage

9 things I’m grateful for as I miscarry.

As you probably guessed, I took the two blood tests, just as my doctor had told me to do, and the results were that this is 100% not a good pregnancy and will end in miscarriage.

I had little hope for a different outcome, but I must have had a little, or I wouldn’t have been so devastated all over again once the nurse finally called with the news. Still, the official knowledge was somehow better than the worry and literally-sick-to-my-stomach anxiety that had preceded it.

At first, I thought having a miscarriage after trying to get pregnant for a year seemed cruel. When I had briefly thought about the possibility before knowing the fetus inside of me had stopped developing, I had quickly pushed it aside, thinking, “No. That wouldn’t happen to me. And if it did, I’m not sure how I’d take it. I’d be incredibly angry. Angry at God, even. He wouldn’t give me relief and hope and happiness just to take it away again. I don’t deserve that.”

Which brings me to this:

I am grateful for my relationship with the Lord, and my faith and trust in Him. 

There have been many times where I’ve felt like my relationship with God was severely lacking. I’m happy to say that it is better and stronger than I realized. Almost as soon as the initial shock and sadness that I would have a miscarriage had worn down, I began thinking about what I could learn from this experience. And then I thought, “Wow, I’m being a much bigger person about this than I’d thought I would be.” And I know I owe that strength to God.

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I am grateful that I will have the capacity to truly empathize with other women who’ve had a miscarriage.

This is one positive thing I know I will take from this experience. After all, I believe we are all on this earth for the purpose of gaining experiences. I can’t always be choosy about which experiences I get to have. I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, has felt every experience and emotion–good or bad–any of us have ever felt. It is my goal and desire to be more like Him, and I believe gaining experiences–good and bad–is one way to do that. I am increasing my ability to understand and truly feel for others, just as He’s done in a way no one else ever could.

I am grateful for well-timed visits and unexpected joy.

The night before my prenatal checkup, a friend of thirteen years who lives out of state, whom I see every year or two, called saying she was driving through and could she spend the next night at my house? I excitedly said, “Yes, of course!” Sixteen hours later, I thought, “What a shame my friend is coming tonight of all nights, when I’ll be sad and depressed and no fun.” Turns out, once she arrived, for the next twelve hours I almost forgot about my sadness. We talked and laughed and had a wonderful time catching up. We stayed up until the early hours of the morning when I could hardly keep my eyes open any longer, and once my head hit my pillow, I was zonked until my son’s eyes were boring into me from four inches away the next morning. It was several nights before I had a sleep that sound again.

I am grateful for loving and supportive people. 

These people come in the form of parents, siblings, aunts, cousins, longtime friends, shorttime friends, people on Facebook I haven’t talked with in years, and a good number of people I don’t know at all. And my husband, who has only shown kindness and understanding, even though I’ve often reminded him in the past to work on being more sympathetic. When I first found out about the inevitable miscarriage, I wondered if something was wrong with me, and then wondered if my husband would think the same thing. He didn’t, of course he didn’t, and that lifted a load that would have weighed me down heavily. And so I thank you all; your compassion, personal experiences shared, and thoughtful words have meant more than you can know, and have been a strength to me much greater than I could have expected.

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I am grateful for fun and distractions. 

Particularly, a son who keeps me busy and my thoughts occupied most of the day. Xbox and our recent love for Just Dance, how my son begs to turn it on even when I feel like being lazy, and then we’re both moving and laughing because it’s silly and I know I look like a dufus, but every now and then I get my groove on and feel surprisingly cool. I’m grateful for Netflix, Jane the Virgin, my sister who recommended me watching it, seeing Mockingjay Part 2 with my other sister and loving every second of it, good books, and obviously good food (and no longer having any pregnancy aversions to it).

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I am grateful for deli sandwiches. 

If I’m going to feel depressed and sometimes crappy, I better be able to eat one of my favorite foods. Turns out I can since I no longer have to worry about listeria in my unborn child. I don’t believe rebellion is one of the 5 stages of grief, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of mine. After finding out I would have a miscarriage, besides eating ham, turkey, roast beef, and oh yes, baloney sandwiches for days, I stored away my prenatal vitamins, deleted my pregnancy apps, ate cookie dough, pushed my box of maternity clothes farther back on the top shelf of my closet, whitened my teeth, and used sleeping aids at night. I guess now I know: if I’d ever had a bad breakup, I totally would have thrown all his things in a backyard bonfire and maybe even slashed his tires Carrie Underwood style.

I am grateful for my son and the miracle of every living human. 

I didn’t know I could feel more grateful for my Desmond, but I do now. He is more precious to me than ever, as well as the fact that he is smart and active and healthy and perfect in every way. I am grateful for the power of women and the abilities of our bodies. The process of life being created. I knew it was a miracle, but now it seems so much more so. The fact that each one of us started as some microscopic little being and developed and grew with all or even almost all the right factors coming into place even amongst millions of other variables and possible outcomes and the vast majority eventually came out of our mothers safely and ready to begin a lifetime of growth and experiences is simply amazing. If the creation and development of life doesn’t speak to the existence of God and miracles all around us, I don’t know what does.

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9 things I’m grateful for during my miscarriage

I am grateful my 3-year-old still lets me cuddle him to sleep.

Not every night, but almost half the time, and those sweet moments fill my heart in a way I think nothing else presently could. He’s certainly not a baby–he hangs out of my arms in every direction and I sometimes can’t get him to stop talking in his sensible, imaginative, argumentative, clever paragraphs–but to have him pressed close to me, his body finally relaxed and voice silent, looking up at me as his eyes grow heavy and finally drift to a close, his breathing now steady and slow, just the way he did three years ago and just the way I hope to see my next baby do, these quiet moments in the dark feel like a true blessing.

I am grateful for the desire to write and share this experience.

Writing is therapeutic for me, so it only seemed natural to start writing my thoughts and feelings about this situation as they came. I debated on sharing, believing most people don’t share their miscarriages with just anyone–it’s too private, too big of a downer, would seem too much like I just want attention and for people to feel sorry for me as if my problems are so unique and tragic, etc etc etc. A big part of the reason why most women wait to share their pregnancy news until they’ve passed the first trimester, the time where most miscarriages occur, is to avoid the possibility of having to share their miscarriage with the world, right? But how sad it would be for those women to then have to go through it all alone, because no one even knew they were pregnant, and now they feel like they can’t share this bad news, because no one will understand.

Turns out people will understand and will support you and lift you up with their kind thoughts and prayers no matter when you decide to share what you’re going through. Maybe you really don’t want to share, don’t feel comfortable doing so, your feelings are too raw and personal, it just doesn’t seem right, hardly even possible, to talk about it publicly. And that’s okay. But I hope you find at least someone, maybe a stranger, maybe even me, whose experience you can learn about and let you know you’re not alone.

I know I’ve been so grateful for that extra strength, knowing other women have been through this same thing, felt what I’m feeling, understand the loss and pain I had almost no comprehension of a month ago, and are now on the other side of it all. I can only hope to be another source of that love and support in the world, spreading it among others in their time of desperate need. If something good can come from a miscarriage, I’m pretty sure it’s added compassion and empathy.

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