I call you miscarriage when I talk about you, but why? You had a heartbeat. You lived inside of me. We celebrated and jumped for joy the day we found out about you! After over four years of negative pregnancy tests, you were the first positive pregnancy test I had ever seen! It was such a beautiful moment in my life, and yet, I label you as a painful miscarriage.
The minute I saw spotting, I knew you were gone. I was devastated. I cried all day. Tears that no one saw. Tears that I choked back into my throat until it hurt while I launched rockets with my students. Throughout the school day, the tears only got harder to hold in and the bleeding only got heavier.
After my last class, I raced out of the building. I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. I began to sob uncontrollably. I cried so hard that I couldn’t see the road but somehow the car drove to the doctor’s office. It was a pointless appointment. I knew in my heart that you were gone. Yet strangely I hoped and kept going through the all-too-familiar “but-maybes”:
“But maybe this spotting is normal.”
“But maybe this spotting isn’t my period but just the result of implantation.”
I couldn’t stop crying. As the doctor did the ultrasound and found no heartbeat, I wanted to vomit.
“Maybe it’s just too early.” she says. “Go home. Get rest and if the bleeding and the cramping gets worse, go to the emergency room.”
Sure enough the bleeding got heavier. The cramping was excruciating. I never knew I had so many tears. I never knew that my heart could hurt so deeply. Huge clots came out. This can’t be happening. My husband raced me to the ER just for them to tell me something I already knew. You were gone.
It was after midnight before we got home. I didn’t want to sleep, because I didn’t want to wake up and be hit with the reality of losing you. When my eyes opened in the morning, my heart sank. It wasn’t a dream. I didn’t want to get up. I didn’t want to get out of bed…ever! But I had to.
Like a zombie, I got up, drove to school and went about my day…launching rockets again. It was like nothing ever happened. For everyone else, it was just another day. But for me, it was the day that I lost you. It was the day that I reached a new level of failure. I was no longer the woman who couldn’t get pregnant. Now I was the woman who couldn’t take care of her baby well enough to stay pregnant. I hated myself even more than I already did. I fell into a deep depression—worse than I had ever known.
I felt guilty. I felt full of shame. What could I have done differently to care for you? How could I have protected you better? I’m so sorry. I’m sorry that I didn’t name you. I’m sorry that I failed you.
All joy was gone…all hope was lost…or at least that’s what I thought.
Fast forward seven years…while cleaning out the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, I discovered four pregnancy tests and I cried.
I cried tears of joy because I now had three miracle children. I cried tears of sadness because I thought of you. I started questioning God again about losing you, and He showed me just how important you were in my journey. You were a symbol of hope. In the midst of all of my disappointments…all of my negative pregnancy tests…all of my sadness, you showed me that my body was actually capable of getting pregnant. At that moment, I started to see you very differently. You were not just a miscarriage. You were not just a tragedy or an awful experience I went through. You were a miracle.
And then it hit me. You were my first baby. You were my first daughter. (I just know it!) I have been blessed with not just three kids, but four!
The day I acknowledged you as one of my children, a wave of healing came over my heart. A wound that had been unknowingly open for so many years was finally closed, and I want to thank you. Thank you for bringing me hope when I had no hope. Thank you for allowing me to be your mom—even if it was only for a little while. Thank you that I can now smile when I think of you. And as I’m dancing with your little sister here on earth, I can celebrate that you are dancing in Heaven with Jesus. I can’t wait to meet you someday…Marion Hope Leeb.