Saturday, April 6, 2013

Hope: A Miscarriage

Note: I recognize this is a topic that makes many people uncomfortable, and for whatever reason, people don't like talking about miscarriages openly. But because I know I am not the only one to endure such an experience and I have always maintained frank, honest openness about my life — I figured this shouldn't be an off-limits topic.

When I found out I was pregnant in Jan. 2013, I was shocked. I got pregnant almost immediately and it wasn't the result I was expecting. Save for some extreme tiredness, I felt like my pregnancy was progressing quite well. As every week passed, I eagerly read up on the progress of my baby and eagerly anticipated the day I would embrace my baby in my very own arms.

To say I was smitten would be an understatement. I was absolutely in love. I have dreamed my entire life of being a mother, and could hardly believe it was finally happening.

To say the least, when I started spotting on Feb. 15, at 9 weeks pregnant I felt blindsided. I yelled Nathaniel's name and instantly started crying and praying. I was terrified.

After a trip to the ER late that Friday night, we were told I had a "threatened miscarriage." An ultrasound detected a baby with a heartbeat around 50 bpm. Normally, it should be around 150. With the spotting and cramping I was experiencing, the doctor told me the pregnancy could go either way — end or continue. We'd just have to wait and see. We went home and endured the weekend, but ultimately didn't hear a clear confirmation on the pregnancy loss until Tuesday when I received another ultrasound.

I don't know how to describe the depths of my sorrow. I already felt like a mother and felt crushed by our loss. I was deeply touched by the sympathetic sorrows expressed by our family and friends. I have never so assuredly felt the love of the Savior expressed through others.

Flowers and chocolate left on our doorstep, a symbol of affection sent over text message and an uplifting magnet received in the mail. Thank you, sweet friends!

Berta, my mother-in-law, came to visit recently to express her love.

Our dear friend, Charlie, sitting next to Nathaniel in blue, drove up from Dallas the other weekend to show his love for us.

If I torture myself by considering the loss we endured or the alternative existence we could be living right now, I am filled with the most chilling sadness. But when I consider the selfless love we were shown by our loved ones and I contemplate the eternal love of my Savior Jesus Christ, I am filled with the most exquisite peace and gratitude. It has truly been a bittersweet experience.

The weekend of the miscarriage I wrote a massively long entry in my journal. Here is an excerpt:

"I am heartbroken, we are heartbroken. Both me and Nathaniel feel so crushed, but focusing on the gospel, on the Atonement, on our Heavenly Father, fills us with humility, love, gratitude, peace, joy and optimism. I know God loves us. I know he wants to bless us. I know we can heal, I know we can move forward with optimism and joy.I am also grateful for the experience, as much as it has literally been the most painful thing I — we — have experienced up until this point. It has helped me recognize the Lord’s hand in my life, and it has also prompted me to cling to the Savior, as well as to cling to my spouse. We have both leaned on each other, focusing on serving and loving each other, comforting each other in our hour of need. 
I am amazed, too, when I reflect on the distinct impressions and feelings I’ve had over the last two months, how much those reserves of faith and peace have comforted me in the last 48 hours. I feel like the Lord was preparing us for this experience, preparing us with a firm foundation so that when the ground did shake, we’d still have the ability to stand, to look up and through our tears, see our Savior and know that the ultimate happiness was accessible to us — if we would just reach out in faith. 
I wish words could describe my feelings. But I feel like they are horribly inadequate. When I focus on the Savior, I am filled with peace and the knowledge that families are eternal; that I am never alone — the Lord has blessed me with the companionship of the Holy Spirit and literal, physical angels manifest in my family and friends that have wept with me, comforting me; I feel aware of God’s hand in my life, as I see the journey he has led us on and recognize the steps he has taken to prepare me for such tragedies; I know that despite my deepest sorrows, Jesus Christ is there to wipe away my tears, to lift my burdens and provide me the brightest of hopes; I am grateful for modern day revelation — for prophets and apostles that share enlightenment and wisdom to guide us in our darkest moment; I am grateful for scriptures, to hear the words of God directly to me; I am deeply grateful for the peace my covenants bring me, the knowledge that if I am keep my end, the Lord will keep his end; I am grateful for the knowledge that I am an eternal being, an eternal daughter of God with a divine nature and infinite potential — a daughter that fits into a family unit; and I’m grateful that I am a descendent of covenant keepers, that I am a covenant-keeping woman and that some day, my own children can be blessed in turn. And that’s just a piece of it…I know God loves us. I know he wants the best for us. I know he never turns from us in our hour of need, it is us that turns from him. If we will only look to him, he will bless us with the sweetest spirit of thanksgiving, of optimism and faith and hope — a weightless, eternal feeling that fills even sorrows that feel bottomless and endless. How grateful I am, how grateful I am to feel the divinity of God even in what should be my darkest trials. I feel lifted."
How grateful I am, even now, to know that no trial is too big for us to endure if we rely on Jesus Christ!



Liesl said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss and I think you are very courageous to share your story with the world. I'll pray for you. xxx

Tasha said...

Oh Hannah, my heart is breaking for you. I am so so sorry. Thank you for having the courage to tell this story. I wish my sister could have read something like this when she had her miscarriage.

Hannah said...

Thank you both! I really appreciate it!

I hope someone else can be touched by my story!

Alisha said...

Hannah, we love you and pray for you. I'm grateful for your testimony of God's existence and His love for you.

Sherms said...

Hannah, I had no idea. When I stopped blogging I stopped reading blogs too. I am terribly sorry for your loss but it is clear through this post that your faith and strength has seen you through this trial. And you and Nathaniel have come to realize just how strong your marriage is. How much you can overcome when you're able to lean on the person you love.

Hannah said...

Alisha, I appreciate you so much. Thank you for your prayers!

Thank you, Shermeen. It was an incredibly painful experience but also so beautiful. I have never so assuredly felt the love of my Savior Jesus Christ than I did at that time. It was amazing to see God's love manifest through my loved ones who helped me mend spiritually and emotionally. I felt truly blessed and grateful! It's hard to feel bitter about a trial when you can see God's hand in it...and for that I am eternally grateful!

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