Friday, April 17, 2009

The Joy of a Child

In 2000 I got pregnant. I had been married for two years. We were trying to get pregnant and it only took two months after I stopped taking the pill. I was so excited and also terrified at the same time. My mother had three miscarriages; one before I was born, one after I was born, and one after my sister was born. My sister had one miscarriage when she was 17. I knew a miscarriage was a possibility, but I just wanted to relish the joy of the situation.

The same week I discovered I was pregnant, a co-worker/friend also discovered she was pregnant. We were excited that we would share this experience together. Two weeks later while at work I had a weird feeling that something wasn't right, it felt as though maybe I was starting my period, but I knew that couldn't be right. I went to the bathroom and I WAS bleeding. My husband and I worked together and I went to him in hysterics. After several hours in an emergency room all they could tell me was that I was "probably" going to miscarry and I would have to come back for another blood test the next day. I was at home alone when I got the call confirming what I already knew in my heart. My baby was gone. I have never hurt so badly. I had barely gotten used to the idea that I was pregnant and it was over already.

My husband was sad that the baby was gone, but I don't think he has ever truly understood the depth of the pain the loss caused me. It wounded me down to my very soul. My co-worker/friend had a wonderful pregnancy. No problems. She had a beautiful baby girl the same week I also should have been delivering my child. I don't think anyone ever understood how painful it was to watch her get everything I dreamed about. It's been almost 9 years now, but the pain is still so raw. I was happy for her, but her happiness reminded me that I should be experiencing the same joy. It was like a slap in the face.

About a year later I discovered that I have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). It causes fertility issues. I have never been able to get pregnant again. I may never get pregnant again. And the pain is always with me.

I never held my child. I never even saw my child. I just knew that for a brief time it was there within me. And then it wasn't. My dream was gone. But my sorrow from the loss of my dream is real, and still just as intense nine years later.

In 2003 my sister Wendy gave birth to a daughter. Alexis was born 16-weeks premature and she only lived for three days. After Alexis, Wendy had another miscarriage. She was finally able to carry a son, Connor (4), and a daughter, Raelee (9 months), to full-term. Because of the loss she (and our family) suffered, Wendy has never taken one moment for granted with her children. She knows how lucky she is to have them and that the death of her daughter will never leave any of us (along with her two miscarriages).

It has also reminded me that the pain never goes away, it is still there, but we can still have joy in our lives. Maybe one day I will know the joy of my own child in my arms. If not, then I will be sad, but I will go on.

I write this post as a way to honor all of the mothers out there who have experienced the sorrow of losing a child. People like Wendy, and Heather, and Beth, and millions of other women out there.

Please donate to the March of Dimes. They are saving the lives of babies and the hearts of mothers every day.


  1. It's difficult to always know what to say but I want to make sure to say something. I do not know that pain you are describing but when I think of the love I have for my three kids and then the thought of life without them--I can only begin to imagine what you are talking about. I know that you will go on with the Lord's strength and joy no matter but I am still praying that it will be His will for you to experience children that you can know, see and love while we are here on Earth. I always think about the desires of our hearts and how He wants to give us those. I will continue to pray for you.

    Your photos are beautiful and I enjoy them a lot.


  2. Beautiful post, and tribute to the women who's lives are forever changed, yours included.


  3. I so understand what you went through. My first pregnancy ended in miscarriage when I was around five weeks pregnant. I had the privlege of having my sister-in-law (who also upstaged my wedding with her own but that is another story) be pregnant on the same time frame as what I should have been on with my own pregnancy. It drove me crazy because she started wearing maternity clothes at around the two month mark. Anyway. I understand the importance of the MOD. I am one of the lucky ones with PCOS as I now have two beautiful boys and like your sister I cherish every moment that I have with them and I am sharing these moments with the world on my family blog. I hope and pray that some day you may know this blessing as well. I know the pain that you feel and that longing all to well. And just because I have been blessed with my boys, I still feel the loss of my first and wonder what it would be like to have a seven year old in my household.

  4. Unfortunately, I had 2 miscarriages myself. I know how you feel - my co-worker got pregnant about the same time and carried her baby to full-term. I already had a name picked out for my little girl - then I lost the baby - and my friend at work loved the name I picked out so much that she named her daughter the very same thing. Ouch! Then, when I finally delivered my own daughter 1 1/2 years later, I just couldn't use that name because in my mind it belonged to my friend's baby now. And, you are so right - the husbands just don't get it at all. They are sad, but they aren't devastated like we are. Wow! Bless you, praying for you, love you girl!