If I learned one thing from pregnancy and having children, it’s that the journey is out of your control. There are things you can do to steer it in the right direction, but ultimately, pregnancy is like an animal with a mind of its own. 

I first discovered I was pregnant in January of 2017. This was a purposeful, planned pregnancy, and my husband and I were absolutely elated. I particularly enjoyed surprising him with the news. For a week before a test confirmed I was pregnant, I thought I saw a second line, but I wasn’t sure (or was nervous and in denial that I was actually pregnant). 

On the Friday that the results couldn’t be denied any longer, I hurried out the door so I could get to the store before I started work at 11. I bought various baby items. Most of the items could have been used by any gender, but I did throw some pink and blue in there. Additionally, I bought a picture frame and book, both of which included the word “Daddy.” When I picked them out, I pictured my husband posing for pictures with our child and reading our child the “Daddy” book. I packaged it in a box I had brought with me in the car so it would be ready when I got home.

RELATED: Will Someone Please Check on My Husband After Miscarriage?

On my way home later that day, I stopped and bought a treat: a Carvel ice cream cake. I left it outside the door and nonchalantly (read: nervously and with a big guilty grin) entered with the box in hand.

In short, I presented the box, my husband was thrilled, and we ate some ice cream cake. 

We also decided to keep the pregnancy a secret from everybody we knew, including our parents and siblings.

It seemed to be a thing that people didn’t announce their pregnancy until the second trimester or even later . . . just in case. It was our little secret.

I didn’t put forth any thought into what just in case meant. I didn’t know anybody (or so I thought) who had had any problems with childbearing. Boy, was I naive?

To me, being pregnant was like being on a roller coaster. Once the ride starts, you’re there until the ride stops. I was ready for the twists, drops, and double helixes I knew pregnancy would bring. I didn’t anticipate the roller coaster breaking down before the ride really even got going.

The day we took our pregnancy announcement pictures was the same day I miscarried.

RELATED: A Mother’s Love Can’t Be Measured In Weeks

The week prior, I had noticed spotting and brought it up with the OB/GYN. A sonogram was done and the heartbeat was perfect. As the week progressed, the spotting increased, and I was checked again. Once again, everything looked fine.

The day of the announcement pictures, I was ornery. I chalked it up to pregnancy. Those pictures are hidden away somewhere on a storage card waiting to bombard us with a painful memory, but I took a selfie that day and posted it to Facebook. When I see that picture now, I see a beautiful young woman in full makeup and perfect hair (not an often occurrence with me) smiling and seemingly carefree. But I also see the clouds in my eyes, and the storm hadn’t even blown in yet.

I miscarried that night. I’ll spare you the details.

I can’t describe how grateful I am each day to have my husband, Nick, in my life. He laughs with me, cries with me, and we cried together for weeks after the miscarriage. He is the only one who felt my pain.

Nick took off work the next day. The miscarriage was confirmed at the OB/GYN’s office, and we were sent on our way. We decided to tell our families.

The hardest part about the miscarriage was that our families didn’t really know how to react because they didn’t even know I was pregnant. And I don’t blame them at all. 

RELATED: How Do You Share a Miscarriage Announcement Instead of a Baby Announcement?

I was already missing the elated, nervous feeling of being pregnant because I carried that child and had already felt my body changing in anticipation. But our families couldn’t really miss or fully mourn something because they didn’t know there was something to look forward to. 

The one regret I had with my miscarriage was not telling more loved ones I was pregnant.

If I had shared my news with my inner circle, there would have been someone to look forward to this child and later someone to help us mourn the loss of this child, a child that I intuitively knew was a little girl. 

I lost this child at about nine weeks. It doesn’t seem like a long time until you consider the hours, days, and weeks of being absolutely consumed with this new life growing inside. I lost another child a few months later about a week after I found out I was pregnant again. I had hardly gotten a chance to celebrate that pregnancy before it ended, much less share the news, but I did tell a few people, and I found it easier to cope with this loss. 

I’m sharing this story to help show others they are not alone. I thought I was alone. In sharing my story, I learned there are many women I know and love who have suffered pregnancy and infant loss in all stages of growth. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Lindsay Neadow

Real-Life Mom Blog is a series of real-time blogs created by a mom in the midst of the craziness. Lindsay has two young children and writes as she goes. Don't be surprised to find honesty, wit, and everything real-life in these blog posts.

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Small dog with head hanging out car window, color photo

Our dog Carlos has slowed down considerably within the last few months. He’s always been outspoken and opinionated–a typical firstborn trait–and to hear him snoring most of the day and tolerating things he normally wouldn’t tolerate (i.e. being carried from place to place by my son, forklift-style) put me on notice that he’s in the fourth quarter. Carlos looks and acts like an Ewok from the Star Wars franchise. According to Wikipedia, Ewoks are clever, inquisitive, and inventive. Carlos checks all three boxes. As a puppy, we tried crate training, but it never took. It wasn’t for lack of trying....

Keep Reading

You’ve been Gone a Year, So Why Does It Feel Like Yesterday?

In: Grief, Loss
Old photo of mother hugging her young daughter, color photo

In February, you will have been gone a year. How is that right? It was just yesterday. I still remember the day we got the diagnosis. One I knew was coming but still prayed wasn’t true. I still remember promising you that everything was going to be okay, and knowing that it wasn’t. I still remember the first time I saw you and thought to myself, “The dementia is moving too fast.” It was just yesterday. I still feel your hand in mine as I sat next to you in the hospital bed. You were talking and humming along while...

Keep Reading

God Redeemed the Broken Parts of My Infertility Story

In: Faith, Grief, Loss, Motherhood
Two young children walking on a path near a pond, color photo

It was a Wednesday morning when I sat around a table with a group of mamas I had just recently met. My youngest daughter slept her morning nap in a carrier across my chest. Those of us in the group who held floppy babies swayed back and forth. The others had children in childcare or enrolled in preschool down the road. We were there to chat, learn, grow, and laugh. We were all mamas. But we were not all the same. I didn’t know one of the mom’s names, but I knew I wanted to get to know her because she...

Keep Reading

Growing Slowly around the Grief of Losing Your Mom

In: Grief, Loss
Sad woman sitting on couch with folded arms

Everyone has heard about the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Society often assumes the stages of grief happen in order, but those who encounter grief know that’s not true. Undergoing grief can feel like riding a rollercoaster blindfolded—disorienting and chaotic. There are numerous ups, downs, and twists you wouldn’t anticipate. Grief is like an ocean. When waves come crashing, it feels like you’re being swept away. Regardless of their size, waves are always rough. Despite everything, you also get pushed forward to the shore after every wave. Sometimes, you may feel like you are drowning...

Keep Reading

The Shattering Grief of Suicide

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Sad person sitting in darkened hallway, black and white image

Navigating through my second Christmas without my dad, the weight of grief seemed even heavier this year. In fact, everything felt and looked different to me. As I unwrapped the ornaments and cards he gave me over the years, a tidal wave of madness and sadness engulfed me. I know many feel sadness and grieve during these times, but let me just say . . . suicide is a different type of grief. My vibrant, happy, physically fit dad committed suicide on April 30th, 2022. There, I said it. In the aftermath, a myriad of emotions consumed me. One perplexing...

Keep Reading

Dear Dad, Maybe You’re the Bird

In: Grief, Loss
Young girl sitting on father's lap, older color photo

Maybe you’re the bird. The one I see outside my door. The one who flies so low it seems you’re somehow weighted down. Like you’re carrying more than just yourself. Like you’re carrying a message. Just for me. Maybe you’re the rain. The sound I hear that reminds me so much of home. Of you. Of driving in your car as a little girl when you looked over and asked my opinion about everything. When you made someone so small feel so very big. RELATED: Dad Left a Legacy in Fried Green Tomatoes Maybe you’re the butterfly. The one I...

Keep Reading

I Hope You Never Know What it’s Like to Forget Who You Are

In: Grief, Living, Loss
Woman staring at camera, black-and-white photo

I write best when I’m passionate. It’s always been my release. But lately, I’ve struggled to write. I’ve struggled to find purpose in my words. It’s all been twisted and choppy, not a bit poetic or beautiful. These feelings are what the struggles of loss, parenting, work, and marriage push against. It’s finding yourself over and over again and trying to make sense of the senseless. It leaves you questioning most things and leaves you feeling broken with no idea how to put yourself or others back together. I hope you never know. I hope you never know what it’s...

Keep Reading

I Don’t Know How to Live Without My Sister, But I Must

In: Grief
Sisters smiling in posed color photo

I’ve spent a year of my life living in a haze. Holding my breath, afraid to exhale. Focusing on staying in this frozen moment where there is no reality. I pressed the pause button. Pumped the brakes. I’ll stay right here and wait for my life, life as I knew it, life as I loved it, to come back around. Where there is no future to mourn, thinking about the way it should have been and no torturous past to remember, recalling the horror of that day. The special occasions that will come are now outlined in sadness. Wait, she’s...

Keep Reading

6 Ways to Be a Friend to Someone Grieving

In: Friendship, Grief, Loss
Friends hugging

Grief can truly be such a lonely experience after you lose a loved one. The loneliness isn’t necessarily because you don’t have anyone around you. It’s because only you had your relationship with the person who died, and it’s hard to find anyone to replace that. I have first-hand experience. My mom died recently and unexpectedly at the age of 62 and I at the age of 34, and it single-handedly has been one of the most painful experiences of my life. However, having support from family and friends will help you navigate this difficult time. Without it, the loneliness...

Keep Reading

These Final Gifts from My Mom Are Hard to Let Go

In: Grief, Loss
Little girls boots with worn toes, color photo

My daughter wobbled toward me in silver, square-toed go-go boots, one heel dislodged and flopping against our hallway’s faux wood floor. On her opposite foot, a striped sock peaked curiously through the growing toe hole. “Mama,” she said. Her tiny voice raised another octave, “My shoe!” I sighed, then sat on the floor. Waves of grief washed over me as I contemplated what kind of glue might capably reconstruct the shoe’s sole. Elmer’s glue? Textile glue? Maybe Krazy Glue? I knew the boots should just go into the bin. And yet, they—along with a vibrant, overbearing cat dress that would...

Keep Reading