Angel’s Embrace

I have a little collection that I never expected to have, but hold so very dear.

A collection that marks the most important and treasured parts of my life.

A collection started by my thoughtful Mother-in-law, when Charming and I were first married…..

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And she gave me this beautiful Willow Tree figure called “Together”.

“For those who have found their true partner in love and life”.

I immediately loved it and was grateful for her keen sensitivity in giving me a gift that so perfectly fit my character and desire to treasure my blessed marriage to her son.

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And then, when I was pregnant with Bubbers, she gave me “Cherish”.

“Awaiting a miracle”.

I loved being pregnant and never wanted to forget what it was like to feel a new life moving within me.

This figure always reminds me of that.

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And after Bubbers was born, my Mother-in-law gave me “Our Gift”.

“Our bright, joyful gift!”

I loved my little Bubbers with every ounce of my being and held him in such awe and respect.

This figure reminds me of what a priceless gift he is.

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Then Charming surprised me after a business trip earlier this year by giving me “Angel of Remembrance”.

“Keeping treasured memories close”.

He said the description fit me perfectly and he knew I would love it.

And he was right.

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Then yesterday, I bought “Angel’s Embrace”.

Because that’s where my lost child is.

In an Angel’s embrace.

Awaiting the day for a mother’s embrace.

My Miscarriage: Questions & Answers

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  • Last night marked two weeks since your miscarriage.  How are you doing?

    I am relieved to say I am doing great.  From the moment I stepped into church last Sunday, I have truly felt healed.  There is no more hurt or heartache.  I can honestly meet people’s eyes and answer, “I am great,” when they ask me how I am.  I didn’t realize how good it would feel to be able to say, “I’m great” again, but I treasure being able to.

  • Weren’t you nursing while you were pregnant?  Did that cause the miscarriage?

    I specifically asked my OB if it was okay to keep nursing Bubbers while being pregnant and he said it was fine.  Then, just to make sure, I asked Bubbers’ pediatrician and she said the same thing. 

    After we had the ultrasound and they couldn’t find the heartbeat and my OB said we’d lost the baby, I tearfully asked if nursing could have caused the loss and he gave an absolute, “No.”  In fact, he was so wonderfully supportive, he said right from the outset of our meeting, “This is not your fault.  There is nothing you did that caused this.”  Though it hadn’t occurred to me at that time that it could be my fault, it was very encouraging to hear him say it anyway.

  • I didn’t know miscarriages were painful.  Why was it so painful?

    When I met with my doctor a few days after the miscarriage, he asked me a bunch of questions about the details of how it had gone and how much pain I’d been in.

    After he was done interviewing me, he put down his pen, leaned back on his stool and looked at me.

    Then with his characteristic humor that always catches me off guard, he smiled and said, “Congratulations, Heidi.  You’ve gone through natural childbirth.”

    I gaped at him and said, “Really?…..  I mean, I sure thought it felt like that, but I wasn’t sure if it really compared.”

    “Oh, yes,” he said, “It is absolutely comparable to natural childbirth.”

    At that moment, I felt strangely vindicated to know I had experienced (and survived!) the pain of natural childbirth at home alone with only the help of my husband.

    And that probably sounds really weird, but I never thought I’d be able to experience the full extent of natural labor since Bubbers was C-section and the rest of our children will likely be, too.

    So, in a way, it was strangely satisfying to know I had gone through it after all.

  • Are all miscarriages that painful?

    No.  Apparently it varies from woman to woman.  And for some women it’s like a really, really heavy period.  And for other women (like me), it’s full-on labor with horrendous contractions and the whole nine yards.

  • Did you still have to have a D&C?

    When I saw my doctor after the miscarriage, he said I could have an ultrasound to make sure my uterus was completely empty and then have a D&C if it wasn’t. 

    But I was doing very well and didn’t have any signs that indicated my uterus wasn’t empty, so we opted to forgo the ultrasound and D&C. 

    I feel very blessed that everything has gone so well without the need for any medical intervention.

  • How was your physical recovery?

    Since I’ve only experienced a C-section recovery with Bubbers, I didn’t know what to expect with a miscarriage recovery and I was very surprised with how sore and tired I was afterward.

    Once it was over I thought I’d be back to normal immediately.  But I definitely wasn’t.  It was at least a week before I could go a whole day without getting really sore and needing to lay on the couch for much of the day.  But after that first week, I’ve been great and feel completely back to normal.

  • How far along was your pregnancy when you miscarried?

    We think we were about 12 weeks along when the miscarriage occurred.  However, from the very beginning, my hormone levels never matched with how far along I should have been.  Which is why we got the ultrasound to find out the size of the baby and when we were due.

    In the ultrasound, the size of our baby was 6 weeks, one day.

  • Did you experience anything else that was unexpected?

    Yes.  In the days right after the miscarriage, I began to feel angry.

    I hadn’t felt at all prepared for my miscarriage and that frustrated me.

    Especially when I thought about all the resources that had been available to prepare me for Bubbers’ live birth.  If it hadn’t been for the childbirth prep classes I’d been through for Bubbers, I would have had no idea what was happening to me and thought for sure things had gone dreadfully wrong and we needed to call 911.

    And maybe there are “miscarriage prep” classes out there, but I wasn’t told about them.

    And I also wasn’t told about all the medical options available to help me, like I had with Bubbers.

    So as I thought about it more and more, and compared my experience of Bubbers’ birth to my miscarriage more and more, I started to feel resentment and anger toward the general field of medicine.  I felt like they had let me down and left me alone right when I’d needed them the most.

    And then one morning when I was feeling especially vulnerable, hurt and angry, Bubbers got upset for some reason and came running toward me with his arms outstretched.

    I immediately scooped him up in my arms and comforted him.

    “It’s okay, it’s okay,” I said quietly in his ear, “I’m here, I’m here.”

    And right at that moment the Spirit reminded me that I had not been left alone during my miscarriage.

    And in my mind’s eye, I saw a loving Heavenly Father holding and comforting me, saying, “It’s okay, it’s okay.  I’m here, I’m here.”

    Then I realized that even if I could go back and change how it had happened, I wouldn’t want to.

    I wouldn’t have wanted to lose my child in a strange hospital room with people I didn’t know.

    I wanted to lose my child in my own home with God and my husband.

    The last of my anger dissipated when I visited my doctor and asked him all the questions that had been stewing in my head.

    As always, my doctor answered every question I had and followed up with, “Do you have any more questions, Heidi?”

    And it wasn’t until I had exhausted them all that our appointment ended.

    And I realized that I felt at peace about it.

    Even though nothing had changed, just being able to talk about it with my doctor satisfied whatever need I’d had to vent and I left a lighter, happier person.

  • How is Charming doing?

    Charming is doing very well and from the beginning has been able to see hidden blessings and maintain a positive outlook.

    He hopes that our child’s spirit had not yet entered its body so he/she will have another chance to come to us successfully on this earth.  And he looks at the miscarriage as a delay in receiving our child rather than a complete loss in this lifetime.

    But more than anything, he wants whatever Heavenly Father wants.

  • Anything else you’d like to say?

    Yes.  Thank you.

    Thank you for the calls.  And the emails.  And the comments.  And the cards and precious drawings.  And the flowers and hugs.  And the food.

    And most especially, for your love and for your prayers.

    They have made all the difference and we couldn’t have gone through this as well as we did without it all.

    So, thank you.

Becoming Whole

When I went to church this morning, I was nervous.

It was the first time I’d gone to a big gathering of people (who weren’t strangers) since I’d had my miscarriage.

And although I hadn’t really told anyone at church that I’d had a miscarriage, many of them found out anyway.

(I guess that’s what happens when you have a public blog and have no idea who all reads it).

(And then you find out a member of your bishopric reads it every so often).

(So when you don’t show up at church one Sunday and they happen to check your blog, they find out why).

(But then you’re actually relieved that they know and you didn’t have to tell them).

(So, thank you, Chad). :)

So as I walked into the church building this morning, I wasn’t sure what to expect and I held Bubbers extra close for comfort.

And when I reached the doors to the chapel, I took a couple deep breaths and then finally opened the door.

And the minute I stepped inside the chapel, the most amazing thing happened.

I immediately felt the Spirit that filled the room.

And right as I felt it, it began to fill me.

And as it filled me, it found and patched and healed all of my holes.

All the hollow parts of my soul that had hurt and ached until there was nothing left in them.

The holes I didn’t even realize I had, because I couldn’t feel them anymore.

But the Spirit knew I had them.

And He filled them all until I felt warmth and comfort all through me.

So by the time I sat down next to Charming in our pew, I looked at him with a genuine smile.

And felt like a new person.

Who was whole.

Thank you.

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One week

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It’s been one week since I started bleeding and knew I was going to lose my baby.

One week since people started telling me, “Heidi, I’m so sorry.”

One week since I didn’t know what else to reply but, “Thanks,” (???) because I didn’t want to say, “It’s okay.”

One week since I began avoiding my feelings without realizing it until Charming sat me down last night and made me let it all out.

One week since I wanted everyone to know and nobody to know all at the same time.

One week since I tried to write more about it but couldn’t.

One week since a friend emailed me a stranger’s blog where I have found inexplicable comfort by grieving for her loss along with my own.

One week since I can finally let myself pray about it.

One week since Bubbers became my absolute comfort and joy such that I realized I couldn’t leave him at a friend’s house just long enough to go to the doctor, because I couldn’t bear the thought of being away from him for even a second.

One week.