Written by my husband for his newspaper column:
“You won’t believe who is pregnant now,” I told my wife as her eyes rolled.
Ever since we found out on our first anniversary that we were expecting, more and more people were joining the baby train. First Carrie Underwood, then the British royal family and just the other day we heard rumblings that Beyoncé might be pregnant again.
Sera, my wife, had been wanting to start having kids for a few months now and didn’t fancy sharing the spotlight with these other high-profile pregnancies. Like most young couples, we were in disbelief when we first found out. We celebrated our first anniversary with a night out at Applebee’s and stocking up on numerous pregnancy tests from Target, just to make sure that first one wasn’t misleading. It wasn’t.
A few weeks passed by with thoughts of baby names, wondering if we’d be blessed with a boy or a girl and researching how we can be the best parents in the world. We knew our lives would be forever changed by this little one, but we definitely didn’t know how.
As the midwife performed the first ultrasound on my wife, it became a little more clear how our lives would be changed. There, on the screen, was our little baby. My wife’s hand gripped mine tighter than I could’ve ever imagined when moments later we heard the hospital staff inform us of the lack of a heartbeat.
The room became eerily silent as they did the necessary reexamination to confirm our fears. This is the part in the movies where the flatlined heart comes to life. Sera squeezed my hand harder, as if her inner strength could will our child’s heart to beat. We stared at the screen not knowing what to look for, but knowing that whatever we hoped to see wasn’t appearing.
We left the clinic knowing my wife would soon be having a miscarriage. The next 24 hours were spent grieving and waiting for it to pass. As my wife miscarried our first child on Sept. 11, I couldn’t help but be pulled back in time to my seventh-grade social studies classroom watching the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Little did I know that 13 years later yet another event would occur that day I would never forget.
In the days following the miscarriage, we’ve been blessed with support from family, friends and even strangers. I’ve personally been surprised by the number of people who have gone through the exact same situation.
The American Pregnancy Association states that 10 to 25 percent of all clinically recognized pregnancies will end in miscarriage. Some websites estimate that number is actually around 40 percent when you include a miscarriage before someone has taken a pregnancy test. We are clearly not alone in our grief.
A previously unknowable sadness has found a place in our hearts that will take time to pass. The clinic staff stressed over and over again that this was not our fault, that sometimes this just happens.
The guilt, shame, and feelings of failure that my wife experiences brings our marriage to a new deepness filled with a comforting love that wasn’t nearly as present before. As we waited today for our follow-up appointment, I couldn’t help but notice several other women in the waiting room alone. How does someone push through this struggle without the love of a spouse? It is those women I think of when I feel the weight of our sorrow to be too overwhelming.
Each day does get better, and our hope comes from Jesus that this will continue, and our future will have more children. Perhaps time will heal all wounds, but scars will certainly persist.
Like most other miscarriages, we’ll never know why this happened to us. Sometimes people don’t realize how precious life is until it is gone. Sera and I are now blessed with a new perspective on the importance of life and how quickly it can be lost.
As difficult as it is to see others pregnant, we know those celebrities that Sera didn’t want to share the spotlight with are about to experience one of the greatest joys in life. In their joy, I pray they, too, are blessed with the support and love we’ve experienced through our loss over the past week.