Today, I am pleased to welcome my friend, Elizabeth Mangham Lott, to View From the Rafters. After announcing my miscarriage, Elizabeth was one of the first people to contact me and share her own stories of loss. I invited her to share this space and what she is experiencing this week.
Assuming I didn’t give birth early like with my first two children, I would be 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant today. I keep counting down in my head. Four more days, three more days…due date. That day I will be leading in worship with a smile on my face like nothing is wrong and like no grief sits heavy in my heart.
This is my second miscarriage but feels so much bigger the second time. I became pregnant again during what would have been that second pregnancy, and my third pregnancy produced my daughter just five months after the other due date passed. It doesn’t mean that I don’t remember when that lost child would have been born; August. I remember that loss and fear during an emergency D&C, but the joy and gift of my daughter helped chip away at the raw edges of the first loss.
But this, my fourth pregnancy and second loss, still hits so hard. We won’t have another, at least by birth, so the news of an unexpected pregnancy was both terrifying and joyful. It was meant to be, we thought. Until it wasn’t.
I thought I would continue to keep this deep sadness quiet until Jennifer started posting her loss with so much beauty and bravery. It is an act of bravery to put your vulnerable self out there for the world to see. It’s an act of bravery to claim your grief when the culture only wants to hear joy. I have stayed quiet and fearful because even those who love me most seem baffled that I am still counting the days.
Yes, I’m still counting. I still know that I would either be holding a newborn right now or so great with child that I would give birth at any moment. And I’m not. “This really hit you hard, huh?” “You’re really not over that, are you?” No, I’m not. I don’t see how I ever could be.
Note: This is the ninth post in a series on pregnancy loss/miscarriage. Read the first post, “First ultrasound,” here.