miscarriage

It doesn't matter how many kids you have a miscarriage at 9 weeks is devastating. //bring-joy.com

This is not the post I was expecting to write to announce the pregnancy of our 6th child. 

But life is not a straight line of met expectations.

A day ago, I miscarried.

I was 9 weeks along.

Joseph has been in the states for work the past week & half, & it seems that everything has fallen to pieces since he left. I’ve had the flu, Tyndale had pink eye, I lost my military ID (pretty much your ticket to do anything when you are overseas). Made two trips to the ER (both on accounts of the miscarriage).

//

I think it’s funny when people see all my kids & say, “Oh, I would love a big family too!” or “I would love to have 5 kids like you!”

I know these people mean well, & I certainly don’t take offense. Having come from a large family, & having one of my own, I think big families are awesome. And I’m flattered if they intend it to be a form of a compliment. I just sometimes wonder if they even know what they are saying.

It’s a little similar to someone who says to a millionaire, “I’d love to be a millionaire too!”

Most people just have no idea how much work–emotional, financial, & time–is involved in becoming a millionaire or likewise, bringing many children into the world & raising said children (that is, unless you are a millionaire, or do have a lot of kids yourself).

Each child in a family has specific needs & wants, & requires love & attention. Raising three children is not the same as raising four, nor is raising five the same as raising ten.

Adding an additional child to a family is not like throwing another potato in the pot.

That child is a little human, with very individual needs that must be met. And those needs do take extra time, effort, money, & consistency.

(Of course, you know that I believe that in a lot of ways more kids=less work.)

Joseph & I have had many long conversations over the years about our children.

We’re deliberate & methodical but I’d like to think we don’t overthink things too much. And after we make a decision, we press forward & rarely look back.

We’ve talked about having more, about when & how we will manage to create a loving space that meets each child’s needs. We’ve talked about the opportunity costs of more children, of the sacrifices that must be made in order to grow an already large family. With each child that we’ve added to our family, we go in with both eyes open. It’s not an accident, & it’s not on a whim. We’re not having children as if we were collecting souvenirs–we’re creating & giving life, & we realize (if not entirely) the magnitude of that responsibility.

In short, we’re not pushing forward with the idea of having more children “just ’cause.”

Just because it sounds fun or we like the idea. We are far too entrenched in the burdens (& blessings) of raising children to hold such a cavalier idea.

Motherhood specifically comes at such a cost that I have to be all in–with my heart & soul. And I am. I love being a mom. I love each one of my kids & I love what I do with them each day. But the choice to add more to our family goes beyond just loving or liking motherhood.

For us, for our family, we feel spiritually called to have more children.

And that, is why we will choose to have more children, despite the mountains to climb.

So when I found out I was pregnant in early November, I was elated. 

This is what we have wanted, hoped & prayed for. To add to our family.

My friend & I were talking recently about how moms love their child before they are even conceived. Every mother is different, to be sure, but for me, this has been my experience.

You dream about that child & wonder if it will be a he or a she.

Blonde or brown or black hair. Blue or green or brown eyes.

Will the baby be solemn & sober, or cuddly & playful, sober & cuddly or playful yet solemn?

Whatever the case, there will be soft cheeks to kiss, chubby fists to hold. & a little fuzzy head to stroke.

The moment you see the positive lines on a pregnancy stick, you have an omniscient moment. Pregnancy, birth, childhood, teenage years & adulthood of that baby are all before you. You feel the joys of the next 50 years while simultaneously worrying about all the potential sicknesses, schooling, careers, future relationships & overall happiness of that child.

This experience is especially acute & multi-layered with emotions when you already have a child or children. You have context. You know what it is to see a child grow before your eyes, & it’s a lot to take in. To realize that you will do it all over again is overwhelming. Yet the pull to take on the challenge is so strong you know you wouldn’t choose anything else.

//

Miscarriage at 9 weeks after seeing heartbeat

 

When I began spotting over the weekend I knew something was wrong.

The internet says, “1 in 4 women spot during pregnancy” & that these women can go on to deliver perfectly normal babies.

Somehow, I felt that was not going to be me.

I went into the ER that night. Never having  gone through a miscarriage I didn’t know what to expect & I didn’t know if I was miscarrying. I had no cramping, just very light spotting. Not once in any of my prior pregnancies had I one drop of blood during pregnancy, ever. I knew it wasn’t typical for me.

The doctor found a normal heartbeat. Fetus was in the uterus. Cervix closed. All good signs.

But I was spotting.

Doctor said to go home & wait. I had a 50% chance of miscarrying, but he thought my odds were less since he found a normal heartbeat & overall good signs.

The hardest part of it all was not knowing.

I waited all weekend. My mind raced with “what ifs.” Everyone told me not to stress about it. (Akin to saying–don’t think about pink elephants!)

Of course I was going to stress about it.

Of course I was going to mentally stew & stir, raking over thoughts that ranged from morbid & horrifying to fantastical & outrageous. There was life inside of me, and not just any life. Though just a semblance of a baby at that point, I could imagine it’s hair, those fists, that nose.

The extremes both in emotions & thoughts wore on me. I was exhausted. I was also dealing with the flu, which no doubt added to the mix.

The day I actually miscarried I was so tired.

I chalked it up to the flu.

All I wanted to do was lie down. Later in the day I felt a rush of blood. I felt blood. Not good. Not good at all. I tried to hold it together but couldn’t help crying & feeling a deep sense of loneliness. I didn’t want to do this alone. I hated that Joseph couldn’t be with me.

My kids ran around my house, yelling, playing. The neighbor kids also ran in & out. Salem hurt herself & was screaming that her “leg hurt,” as I rushed to the bathroom to deal with the onslaught of blood & tissue being released.

The next four or five hours were a blur.

Cramps, lightheadness, lots of blood. My friends came in to help me & to take my kids. Because Joseph couldn’t be here (he was thousands of miles across an ocean away), he wanted me to go to the ER just make sure I would be okay.

The ER visit wasn’t monumental–yes I was having a miscarriage, no there was nothing much to be done. Mostly I got reassurance, questions answered, & with that came peace of mind. The kind of peace I hadn’t felt all weekend.

When I was getting ready to be released from the ER, I sat in the hospital bed. One of my good friends by my side.

I was was still bleeding of course, but the worst of it had passed.

I didn’t feel pregnant anymore & I honestly felt so much better.

Not because I wasn’t pregnant (I was devastated about that), but physically & even emotionally, I felt so much better. I felt a cloud had lifted. I at least had answers now. The pregnancy was over. It didn’t work out. I wouldn’t be put on bed rest, I wouldn’t endure weeks or months of spotting & uncertainty.

//

I will get pregnant again.

I am not afraid. I hated what I had to go through, but it is part of being a woman.

I am glad to talk about my experience because this is what feminism is–it’s embracing what is feminine. It’s not about power or being exactly like a man.

It’s not being ashamed of our experience as women.

It’s about recognizing what it means to be a woman–all the emotions both high & low, physical pains, the compassion that we both give & receive, as well as so much more. Having the self-awareness to know that you must have the bitter to have the sweet.

Though life, especially the female life, does not unfold in a straight line, I am glad for it.

Because all the curves, the ebbs & flows of livingit’s all part of what it means to be a woman. And it’s a beautiful thing.

I know going through a pregnancy loss is a sensitive & hard topic. If you feel so inclined, I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences. 

 

More bring joy posts you might want to check out:


Comments


  1. Hannah Craner
    on February 24, 2016 at 1:28 am said:

    So sorry for you loss, Janae! I have five kids, too. And I have lost 5 babies. They were some of my darkest days, but they’ve made me stronger and closer to my Savior. It’s amazing how much you learn and grow and love these little humans that only lived inside us.

  2. Jenny
    on January 8, 2016 at 2:59 pm said:

    So sorry for your loss Janae. I too suffered a miscarriage and every June 23 (the baby’s due date) I just cry and cry and think of him/her. I too lost after the heart rate was detected and was told I might be ok and the baby might make it. I know that grief gets better as time goes on, it’s been 10 years for me, but it never goes away, at least is hasn’t for me. I pray that you heal and recover and find peace. I will also pray for your sweet baby. I hope God will bless you again with another baby. And sorry for Joseph too, I think dads are often overlooked during this. I’m so glad you had help from friends. It seems as though all the mom tragedies of my life no matter how big or small have happened when my husband was out of town. Thinking and praying for you, Jenny

  3. Ashley
    on December 30, 2015 at 4:26 pm said:

    You are awesome.

    There are many more things I’d like to say about how inspiring and encouraging you are – but I think you are awesome pretty much covers it.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom, experiences and perspective.

  4. Kristi
    on December 30, 2015 at 11:58 am said:

    Oh my goodness Janae. I wasn’t expecting this post when I said I needed to catch up on your blog. I’m so sorry. I’m truly heartbroken for you. All my love from Michigan. 💗

  5. Crystal B
    on December 22, 2015 at 5:30 pm said:

    I miscarried three times before having my son. Then I had another miscarriage after. We don’t feel called to try again- as much as my family would like me to. I think it’s a highly sensitive topic, which is why no one talks about it. For me, I had a hard time attaching to my son because I was terrified that he would be taken from me during the pregnancy. It’s a tough road and not everyone deals with it the same way.

    I am glad you have confidence to go forward and faith that it will all work out. And thank you for talking about it. It’s always nice to hear other’s experiences.

  6. Adina
    on December 21, 2015 at 3:36 pm said:

    Sending all my love and support your way Janae! Thank you for being open about your miscarriage, I think we need more of that openness in the world. This year, I also became part of that one in four statistic and it’s most comforting to hear from other women who have experienced a pregnancy loss as well – to know that we’re not alone, it’s just another part of the experience of being a woman. In some ways, I wish I had learned earlier in my life that pregnancy is not always successful or easily achievable. For some of us, it’s a challenge to get to go with both losses and a constant hope for a moment of joy.

  7. Joya
    on December 19, 2015 at 9:12 pm said:

    I’m so sorry, Janae. Sending you prayers and love!

  8. KRU
    on December 16, 2015 at 8:29 pm said:

    Janae, I am so sorry for your loss. Truly heartbreaking, especially without your husband there to support you. I have 3 living children from my five pregnancies – my second was an overdue full term stillborn and my fifth was an 8 week miscarriage. So I understand the pain of both early and late losses. While I know that you are in a tender place, please remember that people who say they’d love a large family often have fertility struggles or possibly underlying genetic abnormalities that make have a large family truly cost prohibitive. I personally could not conceive again after my first for an unknown reason. We have spent about $70,000 in total for IVF for the subsequent 4 pregnancies. Luckily, we can afford it and did not go into debt but many do, without a living child to show for it at the end. Id love to have more but between the cost, how much IVF taxes the body, and my advancing age, it just doesn’t make sense. We all have our own struggles but please remember that some of us would love to have many children to love and raise. Because that may not be in the cards, we therefore look at larger families with admiration and longing, and not assuming that it’s always easy and fun. Please take care of yourself in the coming weeks and months. Xo

    • Janae Wise
      on December 16, 2015 at 11:07 pm said:

      Hi KRU,

      Thank you for your understanding words. And sharing your story. I am so sorry for your losses as well. That must have been so hard to have gone through so much to get pregnant with the outcome being one of loss. I have many close friends & family members who have gone or are going through fertility issues, including receiving IVF, & I cannot even begin to imagine the emotions, time, & financial resources involved with that. My heart goes out to anyone who struggles with infertility. I can’t say I can relate, but I do know what it is like to hope & pray for children, though certainly not to the extent of my friends struggling with conceiving.

      I know I seem an unlikely candidate for true empathy, as I have many children myself, but I do know what it is like (if only on a very small, almost insignificant level) to wait & hope for children. We have been beyond blessed to have been able to conceive 6 times, but what many people might not guess is that in 11 1/2 years of marriage & no use of birth control (ever), we have only produced 5 children. I say only, because I think many people might think that I’m a fertility goddess with so many kids & have been able to get pregnant at whim, but that has not been the case. We started very young & I know that that undoubtedly was in my favor & most people do not have that option. My first 3 kids came quickly & rather effortlessly (2-3 cycles of trying), but my last 2 children took many many months of trying, hoping & praying. I guess through all of this I have realized that pregnancy is truly a gift, a fragile one at that. Believe me, I am hugging my children tighter & thanking God for the opportunity to have the responsibility & blessing to be a mother to them.

      Thank you for pointing out that some people truly do want big families but can’t have them. Such an important thing to remember–that so many do struggle to have even just one. I suppose I was writing from a tender place, feeling sometimes that most people can’t understand just how truly demanding it is to take care of many little people. And also to explain in part, some of our reasoning behind trying for more children, despite an already large family.

      I am so touched that you would take time to write to me despite a busy schedule & as always, I love hearing from you. Hope you & yours are doing well & that you have a very Merry Christmas with them.

  9. Janice
    on December 16, 2015 at 1:23 pm said:

    Thank you for sharing this moment in time. This reality that so many women face with loneliness and uncertainty. Many blessings to you on this journey. <3

  10. Lisa C
    on December 15, 2015 at 8:50 pm said:

    I am so, so, so sorry. I know the pain too well. Many hugs and prayers.

  11. Gretchen
    on December 15, 2015 at 3:27 pm said:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your story. I know it will help many women going through similar losses. Hope you can take some time to rest and recuperate with your family.

  12. Michelle
    on December 15, 2015 at 2:14 pm said:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I had six beautiful
    babies and then had my first miscarriage. It is hard,really hard it shattered the wonderful niave feeling that I had. The feeling that you get pregnant and it all works out as I had planned. But alas that is not the way it is….it’s His plan, not my plan. We feel led by God to let Him plan our family. I just had a miscarriage 6 weeks ago at 14 weeks and it was pregnancy 16. The joys of my last child (I have seven living children and one son that was stillborn) who is 18 months has been tempered which so much loss. My last miscarriage brought hemorrhaging and a hospital stay. It brought a profound sense of loss, I am almost 45 and while others would shake their heads and ask what I expected at my age., I was filled with joy. It has been a very lonely time.

    I completely agree with the struggles of a big famy. It brings so much joy, more joy than I can put into words, but it is hard financially, emotionally,
    and physically.

    My heart goes out to you and your family. Sending prayers for healing.

  13. Judy
    on December 15, 2015 at 2:09 pm said:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Having lost 2 babies to miscarriage, I can empathize with your feeling of loss. It is devastating, and most others don’t know how to (or even if they should) respond to the event. We tried and waited for over 6 years before we were able to have our healthy baby girl, followed 3 years later by a son. I came from a large family myself, and wanted that for the family my husband and I were creating. However, that was not to be. I guess I wanted you to realize that sometimes when people say (as I have to others before) we wish we were able to have a large family, we really do mean it. While I can’t 100% understand the demands and responsibilities, I also know there is still a feeling of yearning for those children I wasn’t able to have, and a regret that it was not God’s plan for us. Don’t get me wrong — I am very happy with my family, and after all the struggles we had to get it, I also feel grateful and blessed. I can tell you realize what a blessing you have in yours.

  14. Tracy
    on December 15, 2015 at 1:55 pm said:

    Thank you for sharing Janae
    The courage you have shown is so admirable. I myself have suffered from 3 miscarriages and I appreciate what it took to share, in detail, the pain both emotional and physical that surrounds this sad event. I have not been able to be as open as you have about my losses, only a select few friends and some family know. For me the wounds are too deep and sharing them so freely is like reliving the whole thing- is just too painful. However your words touched me; “Im glad to talk about this experience because it is what feminism is”…”Because all the curves, the ebbs & flows of living—it’s all part of what it means to be a woman. And it’s a beautiful thing.”
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your experience. It has lightened my heart a great deal to hear your point of view. I am so sorry for your loss. My husband was away when I miscarried the last time I miscarried and made it home late that evening. Its a scary thing to go through. I wish you peace and comfort as your and your family heal

  15. Cadry
    on December 15, 2015 at 1:36 pm said:

    What an especially hard time for Joseph to be away. I’m thinking of you, Janae.

  16. Kelli
    on December 15, 2015 at 1:25 pm said:

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Janae. I’ve not been through that, but I thank you for writing such a beautiful account of your experience. It’s such a touching piece, and expresses what you have been going through so clearly. I hope you are surrounded by all that you need during this time. xx

  17. Katrina
    on December 15, 2015 at 12:50 pm said:

    Janae,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I too miscarried my 6th baby. It was a difficult trial, simply because I cherish my motherhood. It is my greatest gift, and to loose a baby that I wanted and anticipated was hard. I did have another baby, but I still remember and think about the sweet one I didn’t get to raise. I appreciate your post. I pray that you will be able to be comforted and feel love. That your family will also feel that same comfort and love.

  18. Alanna
    on December 15, 2015 at 12:47 pm said:

    Sending love, my friend. I’m sorry you went through this.

    I miscarried several years ago and the thing that surprised me was all of the women in my life who came out of the woodworks saying, “Oh yes, I’ve miscarried too..” I felt like screaming, “WHY DON’T WE TALK ABOUT THIS?!”

    Ironically, my best friend miscarried 2 weeks later and we had each other to cry with and lament the the loss of our little heartbeats.

    I’m glad you’re physically feeling better. Thank you for sharing your experience. <3

  19. Linda
    on December 15, 2015 at 12:40 pm said:

    Sending peace, and health your way. I miscarried four times, each time further along in the pregnancy (last one was at 4.5 months) before I was blessed with my daughter 24 years ago. May you heal both mentally and physically and know you are loved.

  20. Lfwfv
    on December 15, 2015 at 12:26 pm said:

    Oh Janae, I’m so sorry 🙁 never gone through a miscarriage myself, but I’ve also only been pregnant twice. I can’t imagine the feelings of loss though. I have experienced deep grief after losing my sister, and from what I hear from friends, miscarrying is a grief that must be processed like any other. I pray for rest for your soul, peace, for Joseph to be home soon and safely, and that God blesses you with another little life to nurture soon. Glad you shared xo

  21. Sara
    on December 15, 2015 at 12:23 pm said:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thanks for writing about this, it’s so easy to feel alone when dealing with a miscarriage, unfortunately it happens way more often than we realize.