I was doing so well. Really well. As each month passed after our miscarriage, I began to feel human again. I stopped wondering if we’d get pregnant again quickly (since everyone swears that’s just how life works, even when you’re infertile), or, you know, get pregnant again ever—I just quit wondering. As I watched everyone else around me announce pregnancies and have their babies, I felt numb. I began to thrive again. While I still felt the pains of infertility and miscarriage with constant reminders that my body is broken, they no longer overtook my emotions. I felt free.
Then, the anniversary rolled around, and I started to experience déjà vu.
I will never forget finding out we were expecting a baby in June 2017. Finally, after more than five years of waiting, we were pregnant! Summer was in full swing. The weather was hot and humid. Vacation Bible School (VBS) was coming up at church, and I was a very busy woman. Work was good. Our Disney vacation was just four months away so I was busy planning for that. My husband and I were preparing to celebrate 10 years married — a huge milestone anniversary! Life was full of experiences and activities.
That week of VBS in mid-July, I discovered that everything with the pregnancy was suddenly going wrong, and I had to pretend like everything was going to be just fine. I had to put on my happy face for the sake of everyone else being comfortable while I was screaming on the inside.
That was exactly one year ago.
Now I’m in recovery mode all over again.
Here we are again: summer is in full swing. VBS ’18 just happened. I recently booked our next Disney trip, so I’m busy planning. Work is good. Life is full. Our wedding anniversary came and went — 11 years to celebrate! And yet, I’m sad.
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I’m sad because this time of year should be filled with taking care of a five-month-old with my eight-year-old. But instead, I’m remembering how the humid summer air hit my face as I cried over the news that the baby’s heartbeat was slowing down. I’m remembering how I felt during the week of VBS when I should have been having a blast with all of those precious children, but instead locked myself in the church admin office and wept. I’m remembering spending a milestone wedding anniversary on the ultrasound table, watching the technician take pictures of everything but my uterus when she caught a glimpse of my lifeless baby. I’m remembering turning to my husband when she left the room to get my doctor, and saying, “Unless I don’t know what I’m looking at, there wasn’t a heartbeat anymore. It was gone.”
I knew that the anniversary of becoming pregnant and miscarrying would be hard, but it’s almost like I forgot it was coming.
Suddenly, this deep ache within the pit of my soul has resurfaced. I’m feeling this agony that I haven’t felt in months, and I’m angry for it. I’m bitter. Summer is no longer my friend.
The night this pain first resurfaced, I wrapped my arms around my belly and wept. The baby that I should be holding is not here, and it hurts. It hurts a lot. Our 4th family member is so deeply missed, and there is nothing anyone can say to make me feel better about it.
I’m recovering from my miscarriage all over again, and I’m so angry for it. August 13 will mark the day the miscarriage carried out, and the waves of emotions are all flooding back. I remember how I waited more than three weeks for the miscarriage to take place… feeling like a ticking time bomb… mourning… It’s all back.
Everyone says you can’t have a rainbow without a storm, but I never said I wanted a rainbow.
I wanted that baby. No one can replace that baby. Miscarriage sucks. Period. And when you should be able to move on, you can’t. There are anniversaries or “birth” days that come around to remind you that your baby is missing. There are pregnancy announcements and birth announcements that follow the timeline of what your pregnancy and birth were supposed to be. There’s déjà vu to bring back the pain, and you have to recover all over again. The worst part is trying to look happy so other people aren’t uncomfortable.
Maybe someday summer won’t feel like such a burden. And maybe I’ll look at rainbows differently than I do right now. But this summer, I’m craving autumn so I can get past this. Every rainbow I see doesn’t give me hope… It reminds me of a cliché, of what I’ve lost, and what is not to come.
Photo by Jessi Wallace
Jessi and her husband Glenn have spent their 11-year marriage navigating infertility. Between her PCOS and his male-factor infertility, they have struggled immensely to grow their family since the beginning. They share one daughter conceived from fertility treatment (born 2010) and had one surprise miracle pregnancy after five+ years of TTC that ended in a devastating miscarriage (2017). Jessi writes about conquering infertility, embracing motherhood, recovering from a miscarriage, and her faith on her blog Life Abundant, on Facebook, and on Instagram.