Love, Joy and Life | Our Journey to Baby

Lifestyle

Thank you all for your overflowing love, support and congratulations to our announcement a few weeks ago! We are so excited to welcome our sweet babe in October!! However, this was not an easy road to get here. I honestly don’t quite know how to put into words everything I’d like to say, so bear with me, this is a long one.

First of all, this is our experience and I know that there are other families out there who have different and oftentimes harder roads than we have. Please know that I am not trying to speak for anyone but our family. Our hearts and prayers are with anyone experiencing difficulty in growing your families and filling that baby shaped part of your heart.

Adam and I have known since we got married that we wanted to have children and we had big dreams for what that looked like. First, we would pay off all of our debt, buy a house and then start trying – oh yea, and have two kids by age 30. Guess what, that’s this year and we haven’t done any of those things (and that’s ok). While we have made some major progress on our debt, God had other plans for the rest. We are renting our beautiful home and for the few weeks we’ve been here, we love it. I look into the room that will be the nursery at least twice a day and just smile at how far we’ve come in the past two years.

When we moved to Dallas, we had decided to get settled in our jobs and then see what happened. Not trying, but not preventing – leaving it all in God’s hands. Let me tell you, when I got a positive test in January, I was elated! I started shaking, crying and couldn’t even think of a cute way to tell Adam. I just walked up to him in the kitchen and shoved the test at him and we cried. It was such a sweet moment I will never forget. Over the next week, we had our first doctor’s appointment and found out we were due September 15th. Our favorite month and 2 weeks before our 4th anniversary. How amazing! We told our parents, siblings, grandparents and best friends. I started a baby registry, dreamed up the nursery – I was full speed ahead. We were having a baby!

Then…. February 22nd came around. I had been spotting for a few weeks, but we’d had a sonogram and seen the heartbeat. The doctor said it was normal to have some spotting. But this day, I knew it wasn’t normal. I left work and went to the doctor, praying the whole way. Adam kept insisting he could meet me there, but I was convinced (or in denial) that it was nothing and that I might just be put on bed rest and some hormones for a bit. Next, I heard the words I never in my wildest dreams would ever be uttered to me, about OUR baby. “I’m so sorry, there’s no heartbeat.” No. Heartbeat.

My heart sank and I went into a fog. I can barely remember what the doctor said after that and all that kept going through my mind was “this can’t be real”, “how am I going to tell Adam” and “don’t cry here”. The whole ten minute drive home, I prayed and tried not to cry. The second I closed the apartment door and saw Adam, I lost it. He asked if everything was ok and I just cried and said “No, there’s no heartbeat. I’m so sorry!!” Like it was my fault.

Y’all, that’s one of the hardest things to work through with a miscarriage. At least it was for me. Even though my doctor told me it wasn’t my fault, I felt like I did or didn’t do something. I could have prevented this. A million whys and scenarios went through my head. All I could do was cry and sit in shock as Adam so strongly called the people we told and broke the news.

The next week was one of the absolute hardest weeks I’ve ever experienced as I waited for the unknown physical aftermath. As I packed away baby books and changed the date on my secret baby Pinterest board. I have never felt so low in my life. But, this man. My Adam. He was my rock. I could not have made it through without his support and love. His constant reminders that God had a plan and this was just a stumble on the road. His endless attempts to make me laugh each day also helped. (side note: marry the one who makes you laugh.) 

Once we got the green light to try again, we took the same approach to see what God had in store. I hesitated to even take a test because of fear. What if the same thing happened again? What if something was wrong with me and we couldn’t have children? The list went on and on. On the eve of our first babe’s due date, I stayed up late and finally took a test after Adam went to bed. It was positive. I just knew it was a sign that this was going to be a healthy pregnancy. The timing was too perfect. God sent this little one to help me through my original due date. To bring us joy and I sat on the couch, literally crying and thanking Him for this gift. Then, I waited all night for Adam to wake up and see the surprise on his nightstand.

Of course, I promptly called my OB on Monday morning when they opened and went in to get everything checked out. Everything came back perfectly normal in my blood work and I had the ok to fly home in a few weeks, so everything was on track. Even though we were apprehensive to tell anyone, we decided to share with only our parents, since we’d have the opportunity to tell all of them in person. Days before we were heading to Iowa, we told my parents over dinner and they were so excited. With reassurance and an appointment the week we returned, we packed up and headed to Iowa for my sister in law’s wedding.

When we arrived, we told Adam’s mom and step-Dad, so they could help me manage the secret while playing wedding planner and taking care of myself without rousing too much suspicion. Did I mention I was not only acting wedding planner, but a bridesmaid? But hey, nothing could dampen my spirits – we were going to witness an amazing union, spend tons of time with family and then welcome baby in May! Telling Adam’s dad in the parking lot at the post-wedding brunch was so fun. He had absolutely no idea and was so surprised. He’d even flat out asked me the day before and I said ‘no’, as to not take away from LB & Kyle’s special day.

We’d had such a joyful time home and sharing so many wonderful memories with everyone, we were truly on cloud nine. Well, it turns out, I was spotting the same way as before, no matter what I did. The day we flew back, I called the doctor’s office to make an appointment the next morning. We were already far enough along to see a little heartbeat!! Oh, I could have screamed with joy. There was nothing to worry about, this was just how my body worked through a pregnancy. We scheduled an appointment two weeks later and I was back to life as usual. However, something in me kept wondering if there was going to be a sudden plummet again.

The weekend before my next appointment, I was out with my sister and could just tell something was terribly wrong. I went home and had some cramping, but nothing like before. I just thought it was gas and that I’d overdone it out shopping. Whelp, a few hours later and it was clear that was not it at all. I’ll spare you the details, but we ended up in the ER. After a blood work up, waiting for the ultrasound tech and then sitting for literally hours waiting for the results, we knew. We wouldn’t say it out loud, but we both knew. We kept trying to talk about something else, but I knew what my body was doing and Adam felt it with me. As we waited, we prayed and I felt like I had come to some sort of peace with it. Until the doctor came in and said that our baby was measuring at 8 weeks and (again) there was no heartbeat. I was supposed to be 10 weeks along. I held it together as best as I could at 1:00 am, until our sweet nurse hugged me. I broke down and felt so ashamed.

Our sweet, sweet second child joined their sibling and God on October 15th. We went home, I had a good cry and we went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning, I was in a haze, as if the night before was a bad dream. It wasn’t. Oddly enough, that weekend was miscarriage awareness, which only drove the pain deeper when I went to social media to mindlessly scroll and try to distract myself. The next week, again, I worked through the physical, emotional and spiritual parts of this experience. Physically and mentally, it was easier for me than the first time because I knew what to expect. Spiritually though, I had to do some serious work. I’m grateful to say that I kept reminding myself that God is good – always. That our babies would not have lived in vain and that there was a purpose. I have to believe that this post and sharing our story with someone who needs to hear it is part of that.

A few weeks later, I got word that one of my good friends had experienced a miscarriage earlier in the year and I reached out. She invited me to join a private Facebook group of other women waiting for their turn at motherhood. When I finally worked up the courage to introduce myself and read their stories, I was shocked to see how many of my other friends were part of that group. Whether waiting to find their way through miscarriage, infertility or another obstacle, these were women I look up to, wedding industry leaders, friends who were rocking it! I could not believe how many of them struggled with similar pains and journeys as little ole me. It gave me this comfort and broke my heart all at the same time. That group, my family, Adam and some of our closest friends have helped me get to the point of healing I have found today.

There are hard days and some days where it doesn’t bother me to talk about. Every, single day is different. Now, add in my pregnancy hormones (thank God!), and it’s a free for all. The point being, anyone going through miscarriage never fully gets over it. We all heal and move on, but it takes time.

Now, you might be wondering why I entitled this post “Love, Joy and Life”. Last February, as I was praying and claiming Truth, I had this overwhelming feeling that I needed to name the baby after a Godly attribute. It was a way to remember our sweet little one and remind myself of God’s grace and unending love for us, no matter what. So, I chose Love. Love is the ultimate gift, it forgives, it supports, it never ends. Just like our baby and God would never leave us. Our second sweet angel, I named Joy. Seems counter intuitive, doesn’t it? But our second miscarriage was both harder and more peaceful in some ways. Through it all, we resolved to find the joy in our life together and in the fact that our sweet Love would be there to welcome this baby. That brought my heart so much Joy. We don’t know what gender either baby was, but knowing they are with God in heaven brings me peace.

Why Life? Well friends, God is Love and Life. He has brought us through a lot, including these miscarriages. Through it all, we have found deeper meaning and strength in our marriage, in the way we choose to live our days and how we treat others. We have learned so much and are looking forward to the next 60 plus years together. We have a new appreciation for the gifts we are given and we do not want to squander them.

If you are still here, thank you. I am so grateful for you. This is a post I’ve written in my head time and time again, trying to find words and somehow, today they flowed. As I said at the beginning, this is our experience and journey. Everyone’s is different. We know that so many families, many in my Interim Community group and those who choose to keep their journeys private, have much steeper mountains and longer waits. I pray for you every, single day. In God’s time, that desire will be filled in His way and I know it will be worth the wait and far greater than what any of us could dream. I also know that doesn’t help one iota in the thick of things.

In sharing this difficult part of our lives, we want to be an encouragement to you. I truly believe in being as authentic as possible. Adam is a much more private person than me, but this is part of my healing process and he’s been so supportive to be ok with me sharing. If you’d like to ask me anything or reach out to talk (or have someone listen), please do. I know that sharing these deeply personal and painful parts of our lives isn’t for everyone. My only hope is that it encourages someone and that you know you are never alone.

xoxo, Jenn

  1. Brooke Driver says:

    Love you!!! So sorry you had to deal with that pain and loss, but SO excited for your little one on the way! You will be such a fantastic mother and amazing example of God’s love! That’s one lucky kid! ????

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