Happy Birthday


We are hypocritical human beings. We play the lottery, thinking and wishing that the one in a million probability will be in our favor and we will hit jackpot. Then, we turn around and gamble with our life to simply drive to work. We bet on the fact that we will not get into a car crash when in reality, there is a 1 in 16 chance. We bet and hope on what we want to see and shrug off the chances that we take every day that would end in our demise.

But chance is no respecter of persons. She is Switzerland. Neutral. She doesn’t care what has happened before or who you are. The numbers in our lives are all rolling and it’s only a matter of time before the numbers fall wrong.

Maybe probability has made a bigger impact on me because it is my job. I am a safety intern and I could tell you countless stories of concussions, fingers severed, eyes burned, and bones broken and every person that it happened to would say the same thing: “I just didn’t think it would happen to me”. But it does happen. When will it be your turn? 

One in every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Just like the inevitable accidents that come with an industry job, I found myself saying something I was familiar with; “I never thought it would happen to me”. In my world, miscarriages were something that happened to other people. Not me. But it did and my life became a living statistic. 

I have 3 sister-in-laws that are married and this summer was supposed to be different. We were all due within 3 months of each other. Could you imagine four cousins laughing, playing and creating memories together as they grew up? But it just wasn’t meant to be, I guess, because I was the one. And you know what? I’m okay.

The first weeks after my miscarriage were hell. I couldn’t watch a paper bag fly by without bursting into tears and I freaked out many of my teachers then. It was like I was made of some very unstable chemical that would spontaneously burst into flames at any moment. And I did. Often.

I felt alone in my pain and I often wondered if there was something wrong with me. As if I had broken inside forever and my emotional fissure would never heal. The moment I knew I was beginning to heal was after one of the worst episodes of emotional pain. I had cried until I couldn’t cry anymore and I felt as if I had detoxed from everything I had pent up inside of me. Why did this happen to me? Was God punishing me? What about my future children? Would I even be able to have more? How can I watch my sister-in-law’s pregnancies proceed when they were so close to mine?

It has now been about 8 months since my ectopic pregnancy. I’ll admit, it was hard at first to watch my sister-in-law’s pregnancies progress and I would often have to excuse myself. My bleeding after the miscarriage was my own physical reminder of what I had lost and once that stopped, I felt could move on a little more. But I couldn’t get rid of the other pregnancies around in my life. They were another painful a reminder of what I had lost. I can honestly say though that I never despised or hated them because of their pregnancies. It wasn’t their fault that I had and ectopic pregnancy and it wasn’t fair to them if I was a Debbie downer. What I found instead is that my love for them increased. I was beyond happy for them and their pregnancies. Maybe I couldn’t have mine but I was still going to have 2 new nephews and 1 niece to adore.  Maybe I was living vicariously through them but that didn’t really matter because my pain was gone.

The source of my comfort? The Lord. 

Now, I’m not one to talk about spiritual experiences or religion but I have to say, I would have never healed if it hadn’t been for Him. I never doubted the Lord’s hand in my life. He was always there. He healed me in ways that I didn’t know I could heal and He showed me how great things can come out of horrible situations. He made me more than whole again. 

I didn’t ever think I could be this happy again. There were times where I wondered if I would have this burden to carry until the day I die but what I found was peace. Peace that everything was going to work out in the end and that I had gone through this for a reason. Now, if anyone would have told me that at the beginning, I probably would have told you to eff off. But now I would tell you that you are right.

There are still times when I cry thinking of how it could have been but it doesn’t sting like it used to. I recognize my feelings and can pull myself out of it faster. I’ve healed.

Today is my due date. Happy Birthday to my child that was never born.

Next time you see me, and if you have any questions about my ectopic pregnancy, feel free to ask me and believe me when I say, I’m okay.


Jenna said...

Love you, Jess.

Becky said...

I love you Jess, and I love your honesty. Losing a child during pregnancy is horrible and so so hard. Your heart breaks into a million pieces. I am so sorry you had to go through with that, and in the way you did. So hard! I don't blame you one bit for struggling with being surrounded by all of us pregnant people. When I lost my baby, 8 of my friends were pregnant and in the same ward. It was torture. You are so precious and you are a wonderful mother and woman. Take time to mourn, and take time to heal. Love you. Your baby may not be playing with my Luke here on earth, but our babies we lost can be together in heaven.

Ann Barlow said...

I admire you for your strength and example. Love you!