My body betrayed me today. I woke up to painful cramps and heavy bleeding and I instantly knew, in my head and in my heart, what was happening. Just like that I became a statistic. 

After two healthy pregnancies that had resulted in two healthy children, I had already jumped way ahead of myself and started planning for the new baby’s arrival in January. This little one had completely surprised both my husband and me and we spent almost two weeks in shock that we would now be a family of five. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the only shock we would receive about this pregnancy. As quickly as it happened, it came to an end.

The most agonizing part of having a miscarriage is that it doesn’t happen in an instant. It’s not like breaking a bone, where it happens quickly and then you’re left to recover and heal. Miscarriage is a process that takes hours and many times days for your body to complete. I spent most of my morning lying in bed and feeling completely helpless. It almost felt like my body was attacking itself and there was no way to remove myself from it. Each cramp I felt and every trip to the bathroom reminded me I was no longer carrying a life inside of me. It was like a horror movie was playing and I, unfortunately, had a front row seat. 

So as I made lunch with my son, rocked my one-year-old to sleep, dropped my toddler off at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, I was miscarrying. As I did the dishes, folded the laundry and played outside with the kids, I was miscarrying. I don’t know that there’s a word to describe the feeling. It’s like being expected to carry on with life as normal, when part of you is dying. And although there’s physical pain that comes along with a miscarriage, it doesn’t compare to the emotional pain. As soon as I saw the positive pregnancy test sitting on the bathroom sink, I became a mother of three. Today, I lost a child. But like many other things in life, you can never really, truly understand the pain unless you’ve experienced it yourself.

It seems to be a common belief that a pregnancy after a loss somehow makes everything “right.” As if a new baby somehow magically erases all the pain and memories of the one who was lost. I can’t speak to that because I don’t know what the future holds for me after this loss, but I do know this: it doesn’t make it any easier that I already have two adorable, rotten little boys to raise because I won’t get to raise this one. Thinking about this little one reminds me there’s a belly I’ll never get to tickle, a cheek I’ll never get to kiss, a personality I’ll never get to know and a face I’ll never get to see.

So, my little one, as I sit here thinking about you, as I know I will often, I know you would’ve been adorable. I wonder if I would’ve finally been able to hold a sweet, little girl in my arms or if you would’ve sealed my fate as a “boy mom.” I’m devastated I’ll never be able to watch you grow up– to see your first smile, watch you take your first steps, hear you laugh as you play with your big brothers and hold you in my arms. But I want you to know one thing: you may not have been planned, but you were always wanted. And you were always incredibly loved.

Lindsay Stauffer

Lindsay is married to the most supportive husband in the world and momma to two adorable rascals, who have turned her into a caffeine addict. She writes about marriage and motherhood on her Facebook page, Life Off The Record.