What Almost Was.

August 14, 2017  |  12:12 AM

I don’t seem to succeed at short and simple. But I have something to share. 

This is one of the strangest and hardest things I’ve had to try to write. 

And I’m writing it at half past midnight because it’s the time I have to myself to process. 

I know my body needs rest, but my heart and mind are fighting for the same time. 

On June 29th, the kids and I were painting at the dining room table. Billie Holiday was on the record player, and I just knew. I could feel a difference in my body, and I knew I was pregnant. I took my watercolor paints and a fresh piece of watercolor paper, and I wrote a letter to the baby. The kids didn’t know. John didn’t know. We all knew there was a possibility I could be pregnant, soon. But in that sweet moment, before I had any evidence with which to tell anyone else, I knew. 

Filled with delight, I began to daydream about our family as a family of five. I browsed for baby things online and started making a list. I thought about how we’d tell the kids, our families, and our friends. The next few weeks was a fun little time of my imagination and excitement and the joy that comes with sharing good news. 

With each pregnancy, we’ve shared our news early. In that taboo time of the first trimester. When asked about this choice, I’ve always said that if I miscarried, I would have to share that, too. I couldn’t be silent about it – that’s not really how I function. So we share our joy while we have it, and if we must mourn a loss, we imagined we would share that, too. 

Telling Amelie & Justice that we’d be having a new baby was one of the most beautiful memories of my life. Every moment with them about this baby has been a delight and a treasure. Their excitement and their wonder, their questions and their dreams for our new baby… such a thing to behold. We have a video of the moments we told them. What a gift. 

The kids got to share the news with some people, and we got to share the news with some people. What beauty it is to share such precious good news. To watch friends light up, to see eyes well with tears, to receive unexpected and unplanned, completely instinctive, loving hugs, to laugh together, to celebrate together, it was all pure delight. We got to tell all our parents, and most of our siblings in person, which was wonderful. I hope I remember those sweet memories forever. 

On August 11th, I went to a quiet office alone and into a quiet room and heard the quiet sound of an ultrasound finding no heart beat. I walked quietly to my car and drove home. 

A couple of days before that, I felt what I can really only describe as empty – a stark contrast to the feelings of growth I’d been having before that. 

I got to enjoy six weeks of knowing that I could freely imagine our lives as a family of five – we were on a countdown. 

Weeks of my body changing, of feeling and seeing the symptoms of the presence of a new life. 

In this time, there were so many little treasured moments and glorious gifts. 

I’m grateful that I got pregnant. I’m grateful that I was able to miscarry naturally and not have the pain and struggle of a D&C. I’m grateful for the joy that little babe brought for the time they were growing – the beautiful moments of Justice kissing and hugging my belly, both of them talking to the baby, all of us daydreaming together. 

While I was doing my best to take it easy in the week where the threat of miscarriage was imminent, a friend in another state, who didn’t have any idea we were trying to get pregnant, much less that we were, or that I was in bed, bleeding, wondering if I was having a miscarriage, sent me a link to a spoken word performance – “Mothers of Invisible Children,” all about miscarriage, still birth, and loss. 

It’s both painful and painfully reassuring to know that I’m not alone in this. That so many have walked through this odd thing before me. 

I will say that this is the strangest grief I’ve ever experienced. 

And grief is such a strange thing, anyway. 

I keep searching for a powerful or meaningful resolution to this post. And I just can’t find the right words. It’s too new, too foreign, too personal, too raw, too strange. 

But I’ve heard over and over in my circles of women for so long that everyone wishes more women would talk about their miscarriages so that it wouldn’t be such an isolating experience. So, here I am, sharing a bit of my story. 

3 thoughts on “What Almost Was.”

  1. Yours is the most courageous and loving heart I’ve ever known. God’s grace, mercy, and beauty abound in you, and his light through you into the darkest corners of the lives of everyone blessed to know you. May his incomprehensible peace and boundless love continue to comfort and sustain you in all things.

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  2. Dear Lee Anne,

    My heart sank when I read your words and I feel so sorry for your loss and what you are going through. I went through nearly the same experience last October and reading your story made me cry. I cannot write beautifully like you do, so I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing.

    I also decided to share about my miscarriage openly, because I was shocked to find out how many women and couples and families went through the same experience and I never knew. One friend had many miscarriages and she was able to comfort me and help me so beautifully, just by sharing her experiences with me. Somehow there is beauty in grieving together for the invisible babies we loved so much. I do not know how to express what I feel to you. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you. I prayed for you, that you will also find your own way to process and to grieve, alone with Jesus and together with others.

    love,

    Karin (we met a loooong time ago in South Africa)

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