Pennies from Heaven

Faith, Life After Miscarriage

Growing up, I had always been familiar with the concept of Heaven and faith. Having an older brother who died as an infant, is what first introduced me to faith. Later in life, of course I had grandparents, and acquaintances who passed on as well, and though it was sad, these moments built my faith. However, my faith was shaken, challenged, and changed after I miscarried my babies.

When I was little, my mom used to find pennies all the time… in fact she still does. I on the other hand don’t find them much at all. When ever my mom would find them on the ground, she would tell me “It’s a penny from Heaven” or “Matthew is watching over me.” I thought it was so cool how my mom would find pennies so often.

Recently, my husband and I went to the store. I was having quite a rough day as I didn’t feel good, I was stressed from work, and just kinda blah. When we got out of the car I remembered praying for things just to get better and for me to feel better. When I opened the car and stepped on the asphalt, I heard a cling. I thought I was hearing things so I grabbed my purse and shut the door. I heard the cling again. I looked down and didn’t see anything. Charles asked me a question and walked around the car. As I started to walk away from the car, I heard a cling again and looked down. I found a penny.

For the rest of our trip in the store, I held the penny in my hand. It was a penny from Heaven. Just a little token from above that put a smile on my face, when I was having a not so good day. I was also reminded of my babies. I was reminded how even though they aren’t physically with me, they are always in fact with me in spirit.

My Worst Fear… Again

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

The following post is my story of how I experienced my second miscarriage. In this post I show vulnerability in retelling my second loss. I also share details in my miscarriage, so I do want to offer a TRIGGER WARNING before anyone begins reading my post. Please feel free to stop reading, and take care of you if my words, and my story are challenging to read.

At 12am on Sunday September 29th, I was startled awake. Something was wrong. Something was very wrong. I had just gotten home from the ER a few hours prior. I was advised by my doctors and nurses to get some rest. I had only been asleep for a few hours when I woke up at midnight. I was confused. My heart was racing. I was sweating and I felt really uncomfortable. It’s just anxiety. Calm down. Relax. Baby is okay. I tried talking myself down from my minor panic attack.


I nudged Charles awake. He held my hand and we both fell back asleep.


I woke up again around 2:15am. I woke up sweaty and gross and had to go to the bathroom. I was scared to see I was still spotting and it was getting worse. I was now seeing bright red blood instead of light pink. In wasn’t a lot of blood, but it was getting darker. I prayed, prayed, prayed then fell back asleep.

I woke up at 4am in pain. Cramps radiated from my groin throughout my back. I couldn’t get comfortable. I held my belly, then curled up in a ball. It wasn’t taking the pain away. I got out of bed and tried stretching my legs and my back. I was so confused. What was going on? Why was I in so much pain? After a few minutes of stretching the pain died down. I laid back down. Fifteen minutes later it happen again. Sheering pain was radiating through my core. I tried stretching, pacing and slowly breathing, at that moment it dawned on me. Oh my gosh… I know what this is. Cramps that are painful that radiate throughout my back. Uncomfortable positions. Pain every few minutes. This pain wasn’t just cramps, these were labor pains. I was in labor and I was going to lose this baby.

When this realization hit me, I wanted to throw up. Part of it was the pain, and part of it was my mind and emotions trying to catch up with what my body already knew. I had cramps every fifteen minutes, then every ten minutes, then every five. I paced through my apartment, tried laying in bed and tried sitting on the toilet. Nothing helped with the pain. Around 5:15am, I found myself laying on my bathroom floor sobbing.


I felt scared and alone. I considered waking up Charles, but I didn’t. I didn’t want him to be scared.


At 5:36am I cried out to God. I pleaded with God to help me. I knew my baby was already gone, and my body had a job to do. I knew this was completely out of my control. I knew the end was coming, but I couldn’t bare to think about it. I asked God that if this was it, if I was truly going to lose my baby, then could He just please make it quick. Ten minutes later at 5:46am, I felt my baby leave my body. I felt blood pour out of me and I felt my heart shatter yet again as I said I’m so sorry to my baby, and left the bathroom.

I went into my room and woke up Charles. I sobbed and told him what happen. He was confused and saddened. He held me and we cried together. That was it, it was done. My second pregnancy and my Rainbow Baby Chase were gone.


The next morning we woke up and tried to wrap our minds around what had happen. I took it easy that day, since my body was truly drained. I reached out to family and friends and let them know what had happen. They sent their love and condolences. I couldn’t believe it. We lost another baby. Why? That afternoon, Alli and Andrea sent us some flowers that read: In Loving Memory of Baby Chase. Reading this made me cry, and after that I didn’t cry for awhile. I didn’t feel like I should.

A Scare at 7 Weeks and 3 Days

Miscarriage, Pregnancy

Saturday September 28th, was supposed to be a very relaxing day. I didn’t have any plans that day except for studying and relaxing at home. I spent the morning in my pjs, drinking decaf coffee and catching up on some reading. Charles headed to our university’s football game and hung out with friends. I felt completely fine, except some cramping around my pelvis and cervix. However, I was convinced that this cramping was completely normal in early pregnancy.

Around 1:30pm I made myself some cheesy potatoes for lunch. I then went to the bathroom for probably the tenth time that day. When I went to the bathroom, I felt completely normal and pregnant. When I went to wipe though, I froze. Blood. There was blood. I was bleeding. I was spotting. Oh no! I instantly started to panic. It wasn’t a lot of blood, and if I were to describe it…. it was like the color of pink lemonade. Regardless, it was enough blood to scare me.


Why was I bleeding? This can’t be happening! Not again! I can’t handle this! I can’t handle another loss! I frantically started praying. God please, please keep baby Chase safe! I don’t want to lose him!


I immediately called Charles. Once I started crying, I couldn’t stop. I told Charles what was going on and he immediately headed home. While I waited for Charles I called my friend Andrea. She prayed over Chase and I. I also called the midwife on call. I explained to her how I was feeling, and what I was seeing. The midwife explained that unfortunately it did sound like another miscarriage, but I could always go the hospital to get checked out if I wanted to. When Charles got home he hugged me, and reassured me things were going to be okay. Then we headed to the hospital.

Going to the ER on a Saturday afternoon, I knew there would be a wait. However, I didn’t anticipate a full hour wait. When we were finally called back, I was able to relax and rest in bed. My cramps were still mild and the bleeding hadn’t gotten any worse. I was thankful for that. I explained to every nurse and doctor I saw my symptoms and medical history. I had a variety of tests done including CBC blood work, urine test, pelvic exam and three ultrasounds.

One nurse that particularly stood out to me was Doug. He was the best male nurse I have ever had. He went above and beyond to take care of me, my baby and my husband. He was funny and very willing to answer my questions. He also disclosed to us that his wife has had three miscarriages, and currently has two sons at home, and an infant in the NICU of the hospital. One thing Doug said that truly stood out to me, was this: At this point we don’t know if you are going to have a miscarriage or have a healthy pregnancy. But just try to take care of yourself and rest. Know that you have done nothing wrong. Sometimes it’s just not meant to be at this time….


Don’t be scared, because your body knows what to do, and it is going to do what needs to be done. So, take care of yourself and be there for one another because this affects both of you.


Based on all my tests, everything was completely normal. My blood work showed that my HCG was in the 2000s which was higher than I ever had with my first pregnancy. My hemoglobin, and thyroid levels also looked great. My urine was fine and no UTI. My pelvic exam was normal besides some uterine bleeding. Lastly, my ultrasounds all came back fine. The reason I had three ultrasounds is because the doctors had a hard time finding the fetus. The ER doctor first used an ultrasound machine beside, which apparently has a difficult time picking up a fetus smaller than 12 weeks. I was then sent to an ultrasound room where I had another test done over my belly. The tech also had a hard time finding the fetus, so I had to have an inner-vaginal ultrasound. During this test, the tech and Charles were able to see the baby. Baby was only measuring at 5 weeks and 2 days… which was strange since I was supposed to be two weeks further in my pregnancy. However, the doctors said it was a possibility I had ovulated late. Besides that, baby was still attached to the uterus and everything seemed normal.

That night around 6:30pm we were sent home. I called and texted family and friends to let them know what was going on. When we got home, I forced myself to rest and take it easy. Shortly after arriving home, I had to go to the bathroom again. Though I was hoping the bleeding had stopped, I was still anxious by what I saw. I was still bleeding and it was getting brighter and thicker. Even though I was cleared to go home, I still feared I was going to lose this baby. Charles took the evening to hold me, and reassure me that it was going to be okay. That night when I went to sleep I had peace and faith I was going to wake up in the morning, with no bleeding and feeling so much better. I was convinced my baby and I would be fine, until I woke up at 12am the next morning……

I am Thankful… 30 Things I am Thankful for.

Just Me Blogging

It is officially November 1st! I can.t believe it. Time is sure flying by! It will be Thanksgiving before you know it. 🙂 Since it is November 1st, I have decided to write 30 things I am thankful for. Here we go……

1. Fall Colors and Changing Leaves 🍁

2. Pumpkin Spice EVERYTHING! 🎃

3. My Parents ❤️

4. My Home 🏠

5. My Husband ❤️

6. Doughnuts 🍩

7. My Education… I’m Almost Done! 📚

8. My Job 💻

9. My Health 🍎

10. My Readers of My Blog ❤️

11. My Family ❤️

12. Medical Insurance ✝️

13. Nature 🌳

14. Michigan 🥧

15. Communication ☎️

16. New Recipes 🍰

17. My Angel Mackenzie ❤️

18. PJs 👚

19. Rainy Days ☔️

20. Buffalo Wings 🍗

21. Thanksgiving 🐔

22. Warm Blankets 🧶

23. My Friends ❤️

24. Netflix 📺

25. Coffee ☕️

26. Pumpkins 🎃

27. Jesus ✝️

28. Faith ✝️

29. New Clothes 👗

30. Our New Little Blessing ❤️

Book Review: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Miscarriage, Resources

Book: Loved Baby, 31 Devotions Helping You Grieve and Cherish Your Child After Pregnancy Loss

Author: Sarah Philpott, PhD

Publisher: Broadstreet

This 31 Day devotional was sent to me from a friend who too recently suffered a miscarriage. I found this book so incredibly helpful in my healing process. This book is full of real life stories, bible verses, and moments of faith that many women have experienced. I love how the author wrote this book as she was not only real with her emotions, but also sensitive with her words and advice to other Angel Mommies. This devotional is separated into various sections, and provides many topics including searching for reasons why and how to honor your due date. I absolutely loved this book and highly recommend it!

This book is available at Barnes Noble and Amazon.

Making Peace with God

Faith, Life After Miscarriage

So I’m gonna be honest… I have been dreading writing this post. It’s not because it’s hard, I’m lazy or I just don’t want to talk about being restored in Jesus. I mostly think, my hesitation for writing this post is because I am so humbled and gracious for all God has provided for me. I am also feeling somewhat guilty for how I have treated Him.


Before I really dive into this post, I should give you a little background of my beliefs and faith. I grew up going occasionally to a white nondenominational church. I did this off and on with my aunt until I was about 10 years old. When I was 11 I started attending a weekly bible study with my friend and even attended Lake Ann Camp for a week. It was here that I asked Jesus into my heart and to forgive all my sins. I was born again. When I was 12 I started going with my best friends to a larger white baptist church. I faithfully went to that church for about 6 years. At this church I attended many church camps, found growth and strength in my relationship with Jesus as well as wonderful fellowship with friends. I also was baptized and learned how to be a God fearing, woman of God. When I was 19 I attended my first mission trip. I knew of many people who had been on mission trips and claimed they were life changing, but I didn’t believe it until I experienced it. I traveled to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where I met so many children, created food packages, clothing bundles and even helped build houses for widows and their children. This trip changed my life. At 19 I also started teaching 2 and 3 year olds in children’s church. Even though I felt lost in the church, I was slowly starting to discover my purpose.

When I was 19 almost 20, I decided to start attending my husband’s black nondenominational church (we were only dating at the time). Part of the reason I made the switch to a new church again is simply because, I just felt lost not knowing my identity in church or feeling like I had much of a church family. At this church it was smaller and I felt more at home and accepted. It was here my relationship with Jesus really took off. I was able to grow in skills of faithfulness, trust and even obedience.


“We got married in the same church my grandparents were married in 50+ years ago.”


Before meeting my husband, I had developed boundaries, and goals of what and how I would like to be pursued by a man, how I wanted to engage in a courtship instead of a dating relationship, and what I would like as far as values and characteristics of my future husband. When I met Charles, he wasn’t totally familiar with courtship, but he completely valued a Christian based relationship. We courted for two years, and were engaged for three months. We got married in the same church my grandparents got married in 50+ years ago. Our wedding was beautiful with traditional vows, our first kiss at the alter, and the moment I gave my purity ring to my groom. I wouldn’t change a thing.


Fast forward to January 2019, when I became pregnant. Charles and I had been married for two years and two months. Both still faithful Christians, going to church at least every other week, and thanking God for all that we have. I was content and even excited in where I was. I was pregnant, about to be a mom. We shared this news with my church family, and they rejoiced with us. Everything was great, not perfect but pretty close.

My heart and all my hopes and dreams shattered when we lost MacKenzie. Since there was no concrete reason for such a terrible loss, who could we blame? Well… unfortunately, I chose to blame God. The one being who is In charge of the whole universe, I assumed He had control over this situation and He let me down. I would even go so far to say at the time I hated Him. I cringe at even admitting that. But it’s true. My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.


“My anger and my hatred was so strong at myself and at God.”


The time between my ultrasound and by surgery, I didn’t really pray much. I think if I did it was just asking things like “Why God?” and “How could you?” I know I worried I would end up miscarrying naturally, before my surgery, but I don’t think I prayed about it. I had hundreds of people praying for me, which was comforting because at the time I just didn’t have the strength. The only time I remember praying was as I was getting rolled to the operating room. I was so sad. I wanted to die. However, I didn’t want to die and hurt other people. I couldn’t bare imagining dying and leaving my friends and family behind to grieve and mourn my loss. So, I prayed. I asked God to get me through. When I woke up from surgery I cried, screaming and told God I hated Him. It was awful. I was still under anaesthesia but I felt like I was watching myself scream from outside my body. I’m ashamed at how I was acting. But honestly, this is what heartbreak looked like.

The weeks following the miscarriage, I continued to fall into depression and blame God. It really hurt my husband to see me like this. I refused to go to church for over a month. I didn’t want anyone to say anything to set me off. I also just didn’t want to come to Jesus and praise His name. So I didn’t. I cried at home, and journaled instead.

By about 5 weeks after the miscarriage, I decided to go back. It wasn’t because I wanted to find comfort in Jesus, it was because I missed my church family. When we went back we were greeted by some kind words as well as some not so helpful words. Most people at the church knew what had happen, but still didn’t know how to react. Once I was there, I was ready to leave. I didn’t want to be there anymore, I came to church but that’s it. That was enough for me at the time.


” I don’t really think I had one ‘Come to Jesus’ moment, but rather a bunch of little moments…”


So, looking back I don’t really think I had one Come to Jesus moment, but rather a bunch of little moments that helped me. After many conversations with my mom, she helped me see that having a baby in Heaven who is perfect, living joyfully and without pain is sometimes better than having a baby here on earth who is sick and in pain all their life. Seeing various rainbows in the sky, gave me peace. It was like a spiritual humbling peace, that showed me that my baby was okay up in Heaven. Going to church and having my sister-in-law pray over me was also so powerful. She just kept saying something good would come out of this, double for my trouble so to speak. But the most surprising moment that happen, was more about Charles grief than mine. As we were praying at church one day, he just burst out crying. He was crying in anguish and devastation that mirrored my own devastation and heart break. This was a side of him I had never seen before.


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Through all of these moments and more, I realized yet again there is an all powerful and loving God. He is the creator of the universe, the planets and the stars… and yet He cares for me! He loves me. I am just a spec on this large planet, but to Him I am everything. I am His daughter. i was wounded, I was angry, and I was broken… and He still loved me. My baby died, but it wasn’t His fault. He allowed it to happen for a reason. The reason being she would have been in pain here on earth, and he knew if I had to watch her in pain everyday, that would have destroyed me more than miscarrying her. He is a gracious and good God.

It has taken me a really long time to get here, but I have. I’ve made peace with God. Even though it hurt, and it still hurts I know it happened for a reason. I know I have a little baby up in Heaven watching over me. I know she is living her best life probably chasing a butterfly. I know she’s okay.

I cry as I write this because I was so awful. I was wrong. Jesus took my baby home, for everyone’s best interest, and for that I am grateful. He is good. I’ve made my peace. I’ve said I’m sorry and I’m trying to do better. I can’t believe I’m saying this but, I am thankful for this lesson of grief and love. I am so thankful I was able to carry my baby, if only for a short time. And I am so thankful that even though I constantly pushed Him away, Jesus never left me, and when I came running back to Him… He welcomed me with love and open arms.

“Be Still and KNOW that I am God.” – Psalms 46:10

Biblical Scriptures I Found Helpful After A Miscarriage

Just Me Blogging, Life After Miscarriage, Resources

After my miscarriage, I was very angry with God. I appreciated people who prayed for me, but I did not want to hear of God’s promises or biblical scripture. I was having a crisis of faith. Eventually, I was able to find joy and forgiveness in God and what He has planned for me. The following is a list biblical scriptures that I found helpful after my miscarriage. My hope is that if you are reading this… you can also find joy and comfort in these scriptures.

“Yet those who wait for the Lord, will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” – Isaiah 40:31

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” – Psalms 56:3

“God is within her, she will not fall. God will help her at break of day.” – Psalm 46:5

“Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted.” – Matthew 5:4

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6 – 7

“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:7

“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Returning to the OBGYN’s Office

Miscarriage

On Wednesday March 20th, I had my follow up appointment with my OBGYN. I had nothing else planned that day except spending time with my mom. Since Charles still had class in the afternoon, my mom went with me to my appointment. I was slightly nervous for this appointment as I often still became emotional when talking about my miscarriage. I was still having more bad days than good and I was still really unstable.

When we arrived at the hospital, I became fidgety. I could feel my anxiety increasing. Even though I knew my doctor was only going to talk to me and possibly do an exam, I was still really nervous to return back to the office. When we walked into the hospital. I did okay for the first few steps. We followed the signs hanging from the ceiling that pointed to my doctor’s office. I read the word ultrasound on one of the signs and began to hyperventilate. I gripped my mom’s arm, thankful she was there and walking beside me. She held me, rubbed my back and told me it’s gonna be okay. I began to start crying. All the feelings of excitement from when I was pregnant came back. All the memories of the last time I was here flooded back as well. I knew this was going to be hard.

When we got to the waiting room and sat down, I immediately didn’t want to be there. All the pregnant belly’s were staring me in the face again. I continued to be fidgety and experienced the flashbacks and memories of my ultrasound, walking out of this office heart broken, my surgery and everything in between. We sat in the waiting room for 30 minutes. I tried my best to stay distracted, but I couldn’t. I went up to the front desk and asked if I would be seen soon. The receptionist said it should be only a few more minutes. Okay, I think I can hold on a few more minutes, I thought.

Just then I heard the door open from the ultrasound room. I then heard the worst sound. The sound that I knew all to well. A young woman about my age came out of that room. She had her hand covering her mouth, and her other hand gripping her belly. I heard her sob. Immediately I knew what happen. I suddenly felt sick and heart broken all over again. This young woman just received the worst news of her life. She just lost everything. I didn’t mean to stare but I couldn’t help it. I was all too familiar with what she was experiencing. Part of me wanted to rush over to her and give her a hug, but part of me knew I wasn’t strong enough. I was currently fighting my own battle. I watched her sob in her chair. She was broken. She just received news her baby was gone. They called her back rather quickly. I was glad. She didn’t need to feel humiliated. I said a small prayer for her. I prayed God would hold her as this is likely the worst day of her life. I so wished I was wrong, but somehow I knew I wasn’t. A few minutes later a man came in and asked to go back with his wife, I’m pretty sure that was her husband. I’m glad she was no longer alone.

I was finally called back after a 45 minute wait. When my doctor came in the room she asked how I was doing. How am I doing? I just sat in your waiting room for 45 minutes staring at pregnant ladies, and being retraumatized by another woman who just lost her baby. How do you think I’m doing!? That’s what I wanted to say, but I didn’t. I told her I was still having a really hard time. She seemed surprised and said she expected me to be more stable by now. Excuse me!? It had only been three weeks since my surgery. Of course I’m not stable! Again I didn’t say that… but I wanted to.

My doctor talked with me about starting birth control and trying an anti-depressant for my depression and anxiety. She also gave me a pelvic exam and told me she would see me again in May. Before leaving the office my mom gave me a hug. She told me she was proud of me for being so strong, I still don’t know how I showed strength that day, I was just thankful the appointment was over.

“I will never be the same as I was before. I endured the heartbreaking task of saying goodbye to my child.” – Jennifer Ross

Seeing the Rainbow 🌈

Miscarriage

On Thursday March 14th, my day consisted of being at my internship, and going to one of the student organizations. More often than not, my friend Reaghan and I would usually go get dinner after our RSO meeting. Our meeting let out at 4:30pm that afternoon. When we got ready to leave, we were greeted by sunshine and a quick spring thunderstorm. It was a very weird scene to be in the midst of. As we walked through campus getting soaked and trying to think of what to eat, Reaghan pointed out something in the sky.

“Look! It’s a rainbow!” She said excited. We both smiled and pulled out our phones to take a picture. As we looked at the rainbow I was filled with joy… something I hadn’t felt in a long time. Later that night we went out to a local pizza place with our other friend Gillian and got pizzas for $3.14 since it was 🥧 PI Day.

After eating my pizza and heading home, I kept thinking about the rainbow we saw. It was so incredibly beautiful. Seeing this in the sky reminded me of a quote and a bible verse I had heard and read in the past…

“Lord, make me a rainbow… I’ll shine down on my mother. She’ll know I’m safe with you when she stands under my colors.” – The Band Perry

“…and the rainbow hath been in the cloud, and I have seen it, to remember the covenant age during between God and every living creature among all flesh which is on the earth.” – Genesis 9:16


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Seeing this rainbow in the sky restored some of my faith in God. I had been angry with Him for weeks. I said some very hurtful things. I still had a broken heart, but seeing this rainbow in the sky gave me hope. I had hope that my baby Mackenzie was in Heaven. I had hope that she was not in pain now and had never felt pain before. I had hope that she was watching over me, and that she was okay. I had hope that my pain wasn’t going to last forever. I was reminded of the rainbow from the book of Genesis and how God keeps his promises. I thought about that rainbow and thought about my calling to be a mommy someday. Seeing that rainbow after a crazy storm gave me faith that God keeps his promises and He would keep His promise to me. I am now an Angel Mommy, and I will be an earthly Mommy someday. ❤️

The Bears 🙏

Miscarriage

I didn’t realize it at the time, but the prayer bear the Chaplin gave me at the hospital, was actually a bear I had seen before. Years before I was born, my mom had a child who died as a baby due to an unknown genetic condition. A few years later my mom was given a gift from her best friend in remembrance of the son she lost and as a symbol of faith… the prayer bear. So, when the Chaplin handed me my prayer bear, I knew I had seen one before. What are the odds my mom and I would both be given the exact same prayer bear for practically the same reason?

Finding this out made me realize something. My mom and I both lost a child… maybe not in the same way, but we both have experienced the trauma and excruciating loss that comes with losing a child. Realizing this made me cry… a lot. But, it also gave me comfort. My mom and I both experienced a similar loss, and because of this we have been able to bond and become closer. In some ways, I hate that we’ve both had to go through this pain. However, I find comfort and joy knowing both our babies are in Heaven.

Why?

Miscarriage

I remember being rolled to the recovery room. I remember not feeling any physical pain. I remember thinking the lights were way too bright. I remember feeling really confused, not sure where I was or why I felt so incredibly out of it. Then… I remembered everything.

Bargaining

I felt the weight of my broken heart throughout my entire body. My baby was gone… spiritually, emotionally, mentally and now physically. She was gone forever. I began crying, screaming, and yelling. In my head I didn’t think I was that loud, but apparently I was because the people in recovery continuously told me I was being too loud. I felt my nurses trying to comfort me by holding my hand and rubbing my arm. I remember a nurse trying to have me take some pills and a sip of water. I think the pills were for anxiety. I remember I would hear a beeping noise every time I would hold my breath, my nurses would remind me to breathe.

“Why God Why!? God killed my baby! God took her away!” I continued thrashing in the bed. I was so overcome by emotion and heartbreak. “God how could you do this to me!? I want my baby! I want Mackenzie! I hate you God! How could you do this to me!? Oh Mackenzie!” I continued screaming this in recovery. I remember hearing the nurses talk about bringing my mom back.

When my mom came back, I was still a heart broken mess. My mom did her best to calm me down. I know it was hard for her to see me like that. My mom ended up giving me my bear and I held on to it tight. My arms ached. I needed something to hold. I came into the hospital pregnant, but I didn’t get to leave the hospital with a baby.

“Why? Why did my baby have to die? What did I do wrong? I’m her mom, I should have known!” I was entering in the stage of bargaining. I pleaded with God and couldn’t fathom why God chose to take my baby. As I pleaded with God, a nurse came over to me. She told me not to do this to myself. She said not to beat myself up and go down this dark road. She told me I did nothing wrong. It wasn’t fair. There’s so many moms in the world who don’t take care of their babies, and their babies live and have rough lives. Where as I would have done anything to be the best mom I could be and take care of my baby. It wasn’t fair.

Eventually, the drugs kicked in and I settled down. I ended up staying in recovery 2 hours longer than expected because I was so emotionally unstable. My nurses and parents got me ready and took me home. Everything from that day after this point is a blur. I’m assuming I just slept the rest of the day but I don’t know for sure. All I know is that by the end of the day, I was no longer pregnant and I was heartbroken.

“I have heard your prayers and seen your fears; I will heal you.” – 2 Kings 20:5

Saying Goodbye…

Miscarriage

The minute I arrived at the hospital on Thursday February 28th, I started to cry. It was going to be a long day. When we walked into the building I called Charles. He was at the airport and at a lost for words. He so badly wanted to be here for me, but also wanted to respect my wishes by going on his trip. He was very gentle and comforted me over the phone as best he could. I tried my best to be strong for him. I didn’t want him to beat himself up for going on the trip even though I told him to go.

Since we arrived to the hospital early, my parents decided to go downstairs to the cafeteria to eat breakfast. I wasn’t allowed to eat since midnight the night before. I wasn’t hungry anyway. While in the cafeteria, I sat at the table waiting for Alli. She promised she would come visit me on her way to work before my procedure. I sat there snuggling my quilt trying to keep it together. I felt my tears start to well up again in my eyes. When I looked up I saw Alli walking towards me. Her face of sadness and compassion told me it was safe to fall apart. I stood up and ran over to Alli. I hugged her and began to sob. I felt my body collapse into her embrace. I could feel Alli crying too. She was heartbroken. We stood there in the middle of the cafeteria of the hospital sobbing. Some might say it was an inappropriate place to fall apart. But considering it was a hospital, I’m sure they see it all the time. In that moment, I didn’t care who might be staring or judging us. All I cared about is that my friend was here. She was the first person to know I was pregnant and she had been a huge support for me since day one. I’m so glad she came.


When I went to the Out Patient Surgery Department they got me registered and asked me for a urine sample. I asked them why they would need it. I mean…. they already knew I was pregnant. I had no energy to argue with them so I did what they said. Later a nurse named Sara came back to the waiting room to help me get prepped. She apologized that they made me give a urine sample. The system does not allow them to see what surgery I am scheduled for, therefore they didn’t know I was pregnant.

She brought me back to a small pre-op room. She asked me questions and we talked about medications and standard health information. I told her that I had a lot of questions to ask my doctor about what to expect following the D & C. Sara told me she was happy to answer any questions I may have. I asked all my questions of anything from a decrease in pregnancy symptoms, to pain, to bleeding to mental health. She was very open and honest in answering all of my questions. She also disclosed to me that she could only share from her own experience as she had suffered from 5 miscarriages. When she told me this, my heart broke for her. How are you still standing? I thought. Before leaving she saw I began to cry as I knew my procedure was quickly approaching. She looked at me and said “I know Sweetie… I know.” She then opened her arms and gave me a hug. Sara was absolutely amazing, and to this day I feel so blessed that God allowed me to meet her before my procedure.

My mom helped me undress and get into my hospital gown. I laid on the bed and covered up with a blanket. More surgical nurses and techs came in to ask me questions, start my IV and prepare me for my procedure. Alli and my dad joined us in the room about an hour and a half before I had to go back to surgery. The room was very small and crowded, but it was comforting knowing they were all there. At about 11:30am Charles texted me and told me his plane landed. I was able to sigh with relief. I was very stressed and emotional with the procedure, but knowing that Charles had landed safely before my procedure made me feel a lot better. My anesthesiologist and surgeon came into the room. They both asked me questions and prepared me for the procedure. I had peace and good vibes from both of them. I knew anything could go wrong, but I was confident I was in good hands.


My surgery was pushed back to 12:30pm. I was told that the social worker was too busy to come see me but I was still able to visit with the Chaplin. When the Chaplin came in I was kind of stunned. He looked just like my husband! The only real difference was his accent and long beard. It was so uncanny. The Chaplin introduced himself to my parents, Alli and I. He gave me some sympathy cards, a book about miscarriage, and a praying bear. He talked with me about my story, our baby’s name and my faith. He led my family in prayer, and prayed over me that I would be safe through the surgery. He prayed that the doctors would have wisdom during the procedure and that I would be able to find God again through this grief and sadness. As he continued praying my dad suddenly burst into tears. He had sadness in his face since my ultrasound, but I had yet to see him cry. Maybe he was trying to be strong for me. He cried hard, and I could tell he was trying to fight it. He held my hand. It broke my heart but also gave me joy. He loved this baby too.

After the prayer the Chaplin left and Alli left for work. The nurses came in and said it was time to say good bye to mom and dad. I squeezed my prayer bear one more time and handed it to my mom. My parents both kissed me on the head and started to cry. I tried to be brave and told them I was gonna be fine. I felt the surgical people pull my hair into a hair net and put booties on my feet, I started to panic as my parents walked away. I wasn’t ready for this. I wasn’t ready to not be pregnant anymore. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye. Just then it all hit me. The drugs… the wonderful, feels like you’re flying and floating on a cloud drugs. I wasn’t panicked anymore. I felt GREAT!

They rolled me to the operating room. I remember thinking my arm hurt. It was the arm with my IV. I kept saying something to the nurse and they kept trying to adjust it. When I got to the room I had to move onto the table. I laid down and tried to relax. Then I felt my other arm hurt. They kept asking me what hurts. Turns out it was just the blood pressure cuff. Then my calves tickled. I began giggling. I was loopy. I remember my surgeon getting concerned. I tried telling her something was tickling my calves. She told me it was the compressor that helps you not to get blood clots. That’s a relief. I looked up at the ceiling and realized it was all about to change. When I wake up I won’t be pregnant. This gave me sadness. I prayed to God one more time. Please God, forgive me of my sins and keep me safe in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Then I was out.

The Hours Leading Up to My Procedure…

Miscarriage

On our way home from the hospital, we stopped at the pharmacy to get my pain med prescription filled. Despite the fact I had had a shot for my pain less the three hours prior, I was still in some pain and discomfort. It wasn’t as bad sitting down, but if I had to stand for more than a few minutes, the pain was intense. I don’t remember much, but apparently I got very frustrated with the pharmacist. They tried telling me they didn’t accept my insurance, when in reality I had straight Medicaid at the time and everybody accepted straight Medicaid. Not only that, but I had just picked up meds for my husband a few days earlier. We have the exact same insurance and there was no issue. According to my dad, he could tell I was in a lot of pain as I leaned on the counter at the pharmacy. My Dad said I was very close to climbing over the counter and strangling the people at the pharmacy because they kept arguing with me… but I didn’t. We ended up going to a different pharmacy and had absolutely no problem. Thank goodness.


When we got back to my parents house, my mom pulled me aside and hugged me. It’s almost like she knew I needed that hug before I even knew to ask for it. She’s a really good mom. “You need to embrace this baby. Spend some time by yourself with just you and baby. Talk to her. Because tomorrow… you are going to feel so empty when she’s gone.” She said hugging me and holding me tight. I sobbed all over her shoulder. I did not want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye to my baby. I didn’t want to stop being pregnant. I didn’t want to accept the fact that she was gone. Charles came over in the afternoon. He brought me flowers that were sent from Andrea and Alli.

That evening around 6pm, I went into the bedroom I was staying in and closed the door. I sat on the bed and stared at the wall. I was snuggled in many layers of blankets and gripped Mackenzie’s quilt and held it in my arms. As I sat there, I realized that my mom was right. I was spinning out of control and trying to avoid the loss and pain that was currently consuming my life. I tried just to breathe. As I started to calm myself down I began to feel it. All the emotions of pain and sadness came to the surface. My baby died. I had a miscarriage. No. No! This wasn’t happening! Why did she die!? Why did she have to go? For two hours I sat in that dark bedroom crying over my baby. I gripped my belly wishing so much that I didn’t have to say goodbye. I would have given ANYTHING for this not to be real. My mom came in to check on me. She comforted me. In many ways I felt better. The physical pressure of needing to cry was gone but the pain and sadness continued. I didn’t want to do this. I didn’t want to say goodbye.


The morning of my surgery I woke up confused. I actually got more than three hours of sleep and felt slightly rested. It believe it was due to the amount of crying I did before falling asleep and the pain meds I was on. I called Charles when I was more awake. It was around 5am and I needed to be at the hospital at 9am. Before the miscarriage and everything had happen, Charles was offered the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. for a conference. Since we had already payed for the trip, I told Charles he should still go. As hard as it may be for him not to be here, I still wanted him to go and try and enjoy himself. I felt that everything had been taken away from me, so in my effort to protect Charles I still wanted him to go on his trip. When I called Charles he was getting ready to leave for the airport. I don’t really remember the conversation but I know we were both pretty emotional. After hanging up, I regretted telling him to go on his trip. I wanted him here, but it was too late.

Before leaving for the hospital I took my final pregnancy bump pictures. Taking the pictures was something I needed to do, but it also broke my heart because I knew it would be for the last time. 💔

“Grief is really just love. It’s all the love you want to give, but cannot. All that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson

A Trip to the Emergency Room

Miscarriage

The night of February 26th, I was absolutely restless. I tossed and turned in bed until about 12:30am. I finally got up and started pacing. I was still staying with my parents. My dad woke up when he heard me awake pacing throughout the house. My dad kept me company and talked to me throughout the night. My cramps kept getting worse the more my anxiety increased.

Around 3am I felt the need for comfort. Food and my dad’s company wasn’t quite meeting my needs. Honestly, I wasn’t going to be okay no matter what I did. I wanted my baby to be okay, but she wasn’t. I went down to my parents basement and found the garbage bags full of baby items that we had packed away two days ago. I dug through them in the dark until I found what I was looking for. I started to get frustrated and almost give up… and then I found it. I found Mackenzie’s quilt. The quilt that Alli made for her. The very first gift that Mackenzie received, but would never be able to use. I pulled the quilt out of the bag and hugged it tight. This is exactly what I needed, something to hold.

I headed back upstairs with the quilt in hand. I rested in the recliner chair in the living room and watched Jimmy Carson with my dad. Ever since I had received the news of our baby at the ultrasound, my arms ached. They ached and felt like I had recently carried a ton of bricks. I wasn’t sure if it was a side effect of grief or what exactly, so I did a little research. Apparently, some women experience pain and ache in their arms after a miscarriage. This is because of the psychological longing of wanting to hold their baby. This information gave me comfort. I wasn’t crazy. I was grieving a longing for my baby. Holding the quilt helped immensely. It wasn’t my baby, but it was a tangible item that gave me comfort.

By 5am I was absolutely miserable. My dad had given me 800 milligrams of ibuprofen and I was still in a boat load of pain. It hurt to sit. It hurt to lay down. It hurt to stand, and it hurt to walk. My cramps were intense and at least at a 8 on the pain scale. Every time I went to the bathroom I feared there would be blood, but there wasn’t. By 5:30am my gut told me to go to the ER. When I had scheduled my surgery the nurse said if my cramps became too painful or I was bleeding uncontrollably then I needed to be seen. So, as my dad got the car ready, I woke up my mom and we headed to the hospital. I called Charles on the way, and scared him out of his sleep. I felt kind of bad. He had two midterms that morning and I didn’t want to be selfish… but I needed him.


My trip to the ER is pretty fuzzy. I remember Charles meeting us there. I remember him holding my hand. I know I had a pelvic exam done and they said my cervix wasn’t dilating yet. I remember it was painful. I got a shot in the arm for my pain and it made me incredibly loopy. I remember the PA talking to me and telling me I was going to have my surgery tomorrow as scheduled. I also saw an ER doctor. He prescribed me Norco for my pain. He told me “Normally, it’s not safe to take when you are pregnant, but since you are not choosing to continue the pregnancy, it’s the best option.” His words hurt me. I wasn’t choosing to go forward with the pregnancy. Excuse me? I didn’t have a choice in any of this.

Even though it’s all a blur, the biggest thing that sticks out in my mind about the ER visit is prayer. I was furious with God. I had developed a hatred for Him and how He took away my baby… but at the same time I needed him. I was scared. I didn’t want to live this life but also didn’t want this pain anymore. I wanted God to either kill me or get me through because I couldn’t do this on my own. My faith was shaken but it wasn’t gone completely. I needed God to get me through this because I felt literally everything slipping out of my control.

Battling Anxiety

Miscarriage

For as long as I can remember, I have struggled with anxiety. As a kid I remember being super sensitive to my environment and the emotions of others around me. I could instantly feel someone else’s pain or stress by the look on their face, the posture they carried, or by the tension around them. As a child, I didn’t like seeing the people I loved under stress… so I felt I needed to bare that stress myself. When people around me would talk about their fears and worries, those instantly became my fears and worries. Over time as I developed this somewhat unhealthy form of compassion, I ended up creating the thoughts and fears that would forever feed my battle of anxiety.

As an adolescent and teenager, more of my anxiety really took off. In this stage of life their are so many tough choices that need to be made, including making friends, keeping friends, romantic relationships, what you want to be when you grow up, where you want to go to college, how are you going to go to college, getting a job, going to church and so many others. I had come to realize that teenagers become very pressured by the older population about what we want to do with the rest of our life… when in reality, we don’t know and we feel like we can’t make mistakes trying to figure it out. I was overwhelmed constantly by these thoughts. I would wonder everyday how I was going to make these decisions and how I will be a complete fail if I don’t choose wisely.


As I entered adulthood, I guess you could say my anxiety became unmanageable. I am very ashamed of the dark road I took that was led by my anxiety and depression. Inflicting physical pain and committing self harm was a choice I made out of fear, anxiety, depression and anger. I was letting my anxiety take over. I was losing the battle. I was losing myself. When some good friends of mine as well as my mom found out about this behavior, I went through counseling and got the help I needed. When my counseling sessions ended I felt better. I felt hopeful. My anxiety was managed.

After many different life changes including graduating community college, getting married and becoming a lead preschool teacher… my anxiety grew worse. I struggled to find my footing within these new changes and roles I played. How do I be a good wife? How do I be a good teacher? I don’t want to let anyone down. I don’t want to mess up….. These were the thoughts that haunted me every single day.

Once I returned to college in 2017 and finding out I was pregnant in 2019, my anxiety once again became unmanageable. How was I going to balance school, work, a husband, a small income, and a baby? How can I be the best I can be? How am I going to do this? I would lay awake for hours unable to get comfortable, wondering, scared and asking God for guidance. How am I going to keep my baby safe? What if something happens to my baby? What if something happens to Charles? I can’t do this on my own.

One night when I was 10 weeks pregnant, I couldn’t sleep at all. I was super uncomfortable which is weird since I didn’t think that happen until later on. I stayed awake worrying about everything that was out of my control. I worried about my husband’s health. I worried about our baby’s health. I worried about where we were going to live. I worried about if I was doing everything right for our baby. Since I couldn’t sleep, I headed out to the living room, turned on the lamp and sat on the couch staring at my shelf full of children’s books. I had these books on the shelf because they gave me comfort and reminded me of the joys of teaching a preschool classroom from a few years back. As I stared at the books, I decided to take one and read it aloud to baby. I’ve heard that this can not only help with fetal brain and emotional development, but reading in general can also help with anxiety. I read her Llama Llama Red Pajama and My First Bible. Doing this little activity at 3am gave me the peace and happiness I needed to fall back asleep. It helped me gain perspective.


Anxiety is not an easy battle to fight. There are hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. alone who fight this battle everyday, myself included. The stressors and challenges of our lives can feed into our anxieties. There are many moments that anxiety can be managed, while there are other moments it becomes overwhelming. Society teaches us to not worry, shake it off, and to be okay. But sometimes we aren’t okay. Sometimes we can’t shake it off. And sometimes we can’t be strong. There are days in our lives we have to be able to take a step back, and take a mental health day…. and that’s okay. I had come to realize this during my pregnancy. I realized that I was taking care of my husband and my baby, but I wasn’t taking care of me… I’m important too. I needed to take care of me so I could take care of my baby. I needed to go to counseling, develop coping skills and learn to let go of the things I couldn’t control. Like most everything else in life, it was something I needed to work at, because my baby mattered… and because I mattered.