The Due Date

Today, December 5th, was the predicted due date for our second baby.

We weren’t trying to get pregnant. Jack wasn’t even one when we found out. It wasn’t part of my typical Katie “The Planner” plan, but God clearly had other plans. Then he changed those plans and I had a miscarriage.

Faith. It took a lot of faith to trust that God knew what he was doing, the same God who gave us a baby we weren’t even trying to have at the time, the same one who then took that baby and our joy away.

First, I want to say that I know several women personally who have undergone extensive fertility treatments and/or have been trying to conceive for years. I in no way want to diminish the pain you’ve experienced in your journeys or seem ungrateful for the abundant blessings we’ve been given. I simply want to share our journey through miscarriage in hopes of shedding light on an experience that is so often tucked away despite how common it is and provide comfort to others walking down the same road.

My head came around first, then eventually my heart. Sadness to this day still shows up at the most unpredictable of times. It still hits me when I’m least expecting it. During a TV show, in the car when a certain song comes on or when Trent and I talk about growing our family. How can I risk going through it again? Having a new baby can’t erase the pain from losing one. I know there are many out there who have lost children of all ages, and I can’t even begin to fathom the pain and grief they must feel.

But so many wonderful things have transpired because of our second baby.

I had a very vivid dream that I was pregnant, so I woke up and took a pregnancy test. Big fat positive. It was a Saturday. Trent was working in the garage. I ran yelling for him and naturally he thought someone had died because I was literally hyperventilating. How were we going to manage two under two? Where would the second baby sleep in our two-bedroom 1950’s home? I needed more time with Jack one-on-one. What if this baby has asthma too? We still had mounds of NICU and medical bills to pay off for Jack. And diapers? How many diapers are we going to have to buy for two? Pure panic set in.

But then, the panic settled and pure joy hit. We were going to have another baby. We started talking about names and plans. But something felt wrong. Something felt off. I knew we were having a baby. I heard the heartbeat on our first sonogram. But my heart wasn’t fully letting me take it all in. My heart was guarded because somehow, in my gut, I knew it was about to be broken.

I wasn’t feeling sick enough. I wasn’t tired enough. I wasn’t feeling the same symptoms I had with Jack.

It was a Friday morning. I was 8 weeks pregnant. I started bleeding. I had 25 minutes to drive from Lake Highlands to North Plano with Jack in tow to have an emergency sonogram. The nurse assured me it was just a precaution and that everything was probably fine. But I knew.

Trent was still working in Fort Worth at the time and couldn’t physically make it to Plano in time for the sonogram. But my sister happened to call within minutes of me hanging up with the doctor’s office. Her big kids were at school and her in-laws met her at the hospital to pick up her littlest. She literally walked into the sonogram room seconds after the technician told me the fetus had detached and she wasn’t picking up a heartbeat. I was in the middle of a miscarriage.

My husband was on the other side of the metroplex. Jack was in his stroller crying for more snacks. And I was losing a baby. God sent my sister at the exact moment I needed someone, who had walked this same journey herself before me. When we got to the private room and I felt like it was finally okay to break down, my sister hugged me and simply told me that my baby was in Heaven playing with her baby she had lost a few years before. With my grandmother, Megaw, who would sing them songs and rock them to sleep.

Trent made it to the room while we waited on the on-call doctor, as my doc was at the other practice that day. But then, my very own God-send of a doctor surprised us with a visit, making me as comfortable as possible and walked us through what to do next. Which was pretty much nothing. My sister took Jack back to his Nana’s so that Trent and I could go home, rest and start processing.

A lot of physical pain and a lot of tears followed from both Trent and I. We were devastated. We were angry. Mostly at God.

And I felt an overwhelming amount of guilt. What if this happened because I didn’t want this baby enough? I panicked at first instead of beaming with gliss. Who does that? What if it happened because I wasn’t healthy enough? I hadn’t been taking vitamins. I hadn’t been working out. I’d been drinking wine because I hadn’t known. What if it was autoimmune related? What is was because of the cold I had gotten the week before? Was any of that it? People say sometimes these things “just happen”. But that didn’t matter. The same way that God giving us two under two was in his control, this miscarriage too was in his control.

No matter what you believe, I believe that life begins at conception. I truly believe with every fiber of my being, with every ounce of my soul, that our baby girl is in Heaven. With her baby cousin. With her great-grandmother, Megaw. And I can’t wait to meet her and hold her in my arms one day.

Today, my baby’s due date, instead of being angry at God, I want to reflect on and remember the littlest of lives that have been lost. I want to dwell on all of the little souls that are in heaven with their maker. Free of pain and the weight of the world we live in. Bless them. And thank the Lord for the blessings our 8 week old baby brought to our lives.

Months and months later, it becomes more and more clear. God created a beautiful story through our baby girl even through her short little life. A stronger marriage, a stronger bond with our families, a stronger passion for Life and changing the conversation. A stronger urge to make a difference. A deeper compassion for women, both friends and strangers, that have been down a more heartbreaking a treacherous path many more times than me. A new home and a new community of people to add to our ever-growing and ever-loyal one. A story I can share with others who may be going through the same journey.

My anger has turned to gratefulness. My sadness has turned to mostly peace. God loves us all and everyone’s life, even the life of the unborn, has tremendous meaning, purpose and glory.

  • Denise Thomas
    December 5, 2016

    Sweet girl. Thank you for sharing your journey. ❤

  • Julie
    December 5, 2016

    My thoughts are with you. I cried as I read it and I wish at the time you could know how many of us walk in the same path. Mine happened so early, I didn’t even realize it till later that it had happened. I still struggle looking at my sweet baby boy and imaging his older sibling by just a few months.

    I love that you are breaking down the stigma and sharing your story.

  • Tanya Cook
    December 5, 2016

    Beautifully written Katie. I too had a miscarriage after 4 years of trying via the route of infertility. It was just the saddest time. But like you, we had to trust God and know there was a plan in place yet to be revealed. We only managed one child and it took a very long time. But man, what a gift! Thank you for sharing dear Katie. During my struggle and sad time folks just did not talk much about it. The pain is real. Your shining a light on this topic will be for good. I know this will comfort another’s pain. Big hugs from the Cooks.

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