The words have echoed in my thoughts for at least the past month, knowing that this day was creeping closer and closer. The sixth year we’ve been without our first baby. It stings and burns and tears pop up and pour forth the same today as six years ago. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
I remember the tiny spot of blood and my anxiety shooting through the roof. The frantic sound of my voice as I told Nate I thought it would be best to head to the hospital. My mother’s heart knew in a moment our baby was gone, even before we pulled into the parking lot, but I held onto hope. Maybe I’d be -hopefully I’d be – proven wrong. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
The nurses at the check-in station asked why we were there and the words caught in my throat. How do you say gracefully and succinctly that you’re pregnant and scared and horrified and you may or may not have lost the baby because you saw a tiny bit of spotting? I for one couldn’t imagine the words to say without sobbing. Maybe Nate told them – I don’t remember. All I remember was shaking as we gripped out hands together for dear life and waited to be admitted. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
I changed into the hospital gown and waited some more. We tried to distract ourselves with laughter but there’s no way it could have deleted the fear deep in my heart. We got texts from our friends who told us they were praying, gathering in prayer together for us. A doctor came in and performed the ultrasound, a concerned look coming across his face. “I think it would be best to send you back to our ultrasound tech to take a look.” How could I not know the outcome at that point? But I clung to the quickly fading hope a little tighter. Maybe. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
The ultrasound tech was a gift from God. She was upbeat and sweet, telling us hilarious stories about her teenage kids. I didn’t realize they had to call her in, away from her family, to come see us. It felt like hours passed as she looked and looked, but to no avail – our baby was gone. She cried with us, prayed with us. We paid $100 to leave the hospital. I called my mom the moment we got to the parking lot, sobbing the words into the phone, “We lost the baby.” Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
I had cried so much that I literally passed out in the car on the way home. We pulled into the garage, let the dogs out, climbed into bed without washing faces or brushing teeth. I remember hating my body with all of my heart, this traitor who had killed my baby. I cried myself to sleep. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
The next morning the sun shone brightly across the mountains as we drove to see the OBGYN. I couldn’t wrap my head around how other people were allowed to have such normal, happy days while I fell deeper and deeper into despair. Going to a women’s clinic is torture when you’ve lost a baby; I closed my eyes and waited for the nurse to call our name. The doctor we saw that day wasn’t our usual doctor, but I knew her anyway. She confirmed what we already knew to be true – Story was gone. It looked as though the baby had been gone for a while and my body just couldn’t let go. That was about the only thing I felt in common with my body anymore, the not wanting to let go. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
The D&C went smoothly. The waking up was another living hell. The constant remembering of loss, the rawness and realness, the anger – I felt like I was walking into it anew yet again after the surgery. Hot tears fell unceasingly. We got a burger and fries and a massive Diet Coke just for the heck of it. I could eat whatever I wanted again – why not? Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
We watched stupid movies with friends all night just to try and laugh. At the end of every round of laughter, though, I just felt sad again. Alone, even in the middle of a room with some of my best friends. They left, hugging us tightly, praying over us. We sat on the couch and broke down, both of us this time, filled with anger and sadness. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
The next 4-6 weeks I was reminded with every daily trip to the bathroom that my baby was gone. The bleeding that comes after miscarriage is the same that happens after childbirth, which means it’s heavy and requires pads. I remember taking long walks along the river trail by our office during my lunch breaks and having just complete and utter hatred for this body that killed our baby. The baby that we were ecstatic to meet, that we’d already told everyone about, that had caused the craziest morning sickness ever, that we loved fully and completely and dearly. Gone. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
These days the heat and stinging of that sadness aren’t as sharp, but they’re still there. The hatred for my body has been replaced by an understanding that sometimes this happens, and knowing that I’d done everything I could have. The anger I felt at God has been taken over by a deeper love that comes from hours of yelling at Him, asking why, begging to wake up from a nightmare, repenting, repeating. Time has healed a lot of things, time has brought forth incredible blessing, and I’m thankful for the ridiculously undeserved gift of two healthy and life-changingly amazing little boys. But every February 23 I’m reminded that there’s one that’s not with me, a precious life that I still hold dear, and I wonder who that little babe could have been. I miss my Story. Remembering the baby we lost never gets easier.
Six years – the words still ring in my head. Today is a day that shows me how much being a mother means to me – it’s more than just the loving care that I give my children. It’s a gift, and one that I don’t take for granted. My Story may not be with my now, but my Story is the one who helped me see just how much I love my babies – the ones that are with me and the ones I haven’t met yet. Story, you were the beginning of my story. You are loved and missed, cherished and dear, and remembering you doesn’t get easier but it has made me better for your two brothers than I could have been without you.