“Should you start putting a towel or something underneath the sheets in case your water breaks while in bed?” my husband nervously asked.
(Insert big eye role from an overly pregnant me.)
“No,” I simply stated. “I’ve read that the chances of your water just spontaneously breaking are actually really small. Only in the movies does it happen like that.”
Then, as you do when you’re 40+ weeks pregnant, I waddled over to my side of the bed and took a deep breath before hoisting myself into it.
“Wait. What just happened?” I thought.
Annoyed, I got back out of bed since apparently, I needed to use the bathroom one more time.
The conversation my husband and I had not one minute earlier had just played out, and my water had indeed broken – in bed.
We both couldn’t help but laugh at the irony.
Twelve hours later, a healthy baby boy was snuggled in my arms.
Sounds like the easiest birth story ever, right? I won’t lie, the birth part of this birth story was pretty simple! Getting to that point, though, about did me in.
At our one-year wedding anniversary dinner in May, my husband and I decided we were ready to start expanding our family. By August we were pregnant! I planned out the cutest way to share the news with my husband and our family shortly after. Everything was falling into place!
But at our ultrasound appointment, there was no heartbeat. No amount of words or good intentions could console me. Devastation is an understatement to the blow I felt.
My body, my heart, and my mind were all in denial, and clung to the pregnancy for three more weeks before saying goodbye. It’s an experience that I hope never happens to anyone else, yet I know happens to more women than we can count.
Over the course of eight months, I celebrated the beginning of four new lives, but I also mourned four losses. My body wasn’t having trouble getting pregnant, but for whatever reason, couldn’t stay pregnant. Specialists ran every test imaginable, only to discover that nothing was “wrong.”
Through the highest of highs and lowest of lows, I learned a lot. My faith in God grew as I learned to let go of my own agenda and instead fully, completely follow my Lord – my Good Shepherd.
My relationship with my husband was tested but strengthened, as we leaned on each other through the tears, countless doctor appointments, and boxes upon boxes of ovulation and pregnancy tests.
Women I’d known forever began opening up to me and sharing their similar stories. I had no idea so many others shared my grief. No idea before this up and down year that miscarriages were so common. It was in the sharing of our stories that I found healing. I needed someone to listen to me talk about the babies I had lost. And as I began to heal and find peace, I learned to become the listening ear for other women so that they, too, could begin healing.
After my fourth loss, I told my husband that we were done with the doctor appointments. Done with the tracking. Done with the tests. Done with the disappointment.
Two months later, I felt that all-too-familiar queasy sickness. We were pregnant again. I didn’t tell anyone except the doctor this time around. I knew the drill our doctor had me on, and I wasn’t looking forward to it: driving across town for multiple blood tests every other day, followed by weekly ultrasounds, and the medication would need to start immediately – progesterone meant to help the baby, but that made me feel like I was on a NyQuil IV drip.
Eventually, I couldn’t hide the sickness anymore and had to start telling people. By this point, there were no cute pregnancy reveals. It was just a, oh, I’m pregnant again.
But as the weeks progressed to months, my heart began to soften and acknowledge that this time, things were different. For the first time, we made it to the halfway point and the anatomy scan. The scan confirmed an earlier blood test – a boy! We were having a boy!
The rest of that pregnancy was definitely not the most fun thing I have ever experienced, but it was so worth it.
Fast forward to today, and my nearly 2-year-old is getting into everything again, as toddlers do. He recently discovered a new drawer next to my bed that he hadn’t explored before. After pulling all the things out, he brought me a cool, new-to-him item. It was my old, empty progesterone bottle. Talk about coming full-circle!
As Mother’s Day approaches, fully celebrate the Moms in your life. However, also look for opportunities to be a listening ear to the women who experienced the joy of motherhood for too brief a time.
And to those reading this who can, unfortunately, relate to my story, I encourage you to share your story with someone. Find healing in those conversations. If you don’t feel comfortable sharing out loud with anyone, find me on social media and share your story with me. I can be the listening ear you need.