We lost my grandma. She passed away. We buried her on Oct. 19. I said my final good-byes. I cried a river of tears. I comforted my sisters, my dad, my 5-year-old daughter and my family members. We found comfort in each other and in knowing that she had unbreakable, unwavering faith in God and that she was looking over all of us.
I also had an announcement to make. I was newly pregnant and wanting to give my family the good news. I wanted to brighten the day. To pass on some hope and a little bit of faith that if God closes one door, he opens another. My husband was worried it was too soon to tell people. I was too excited to heed his advice. And it’s very rare that my entire family is together at the same time, and I saw this as a wonderful opportunity. And when I told everyone, they were so very excited. I could see it in their eyes. They were thinking, “One door closed, another opened…”
The day after the funeral, the Huskers played. See, my grandma passed away during a Husker bye week. I can’t help but note that we’d all be watching the game together, and I know she was there, too. It was a fun, relaxing day.
We woke up Sunday morning, and started getting ready for church. I was just waiting for us to flip the breaker. Every time we’re all back “home” in my dad’s house, me and my six sisters and our curling irons, flat irons and hair dryers always, always flip the breaker. We didn’t this time. It’s a first. As I was flat ironing my hair, the cramps began. Followed by the bleeding. I tried to ignore them. I went to church, business as usual.
As the day went on, the cramps got worse. The pain in my back was so bad I couldn’t even walk. Thank God my sisters were all there to help with the kids. I couldn’t move. I knew what this was. I’ve been through it before. I knew, I just knew, I’d lost the baby.
I called the doctor to ask what I should do. He knows my history, and I think he knew the truth, though he tried to tell me he’s seen patients go through my symptoms and go on to have a healthy pregnancy. It’s like the concept I was taught as a preschool teacher. If you are going to give a parent bad news, you are supposed to make a sandwich, right? A positive, a negative, a positive. That makes the negative easier to hear. But it doesn’t. Not in this case. Usually, not in any case.
I started to believe him. That maybe, just MAYBE, this is normal. I asked some of my close mommy friends if they’d ever gone through this and had a healthy pregnancy. Some said yes, so I was hopeful. I still felt pregnant. I gagged brushing my teeth, I was tired, I had food aversions. I held onto that. I was never so happy to gag while brushing my teeth.
Monday came, and I was still off of work for funeral leave. I came back early so I could go to the doctor. They took my blood, and they told me what the process was, as if I hadn’t been through it before. I would go in again for another blood draw on Wednesday. Hold onto hope for Wednesday, he said.
The next day, he called me. I have an in-home daycare and it was naptime. I thought it was odd, since I had an appointment the next day. He told me there would be no need for a follow-up appointment. At five weeks pregnant, there’s no way my hormones would be this low. I had lost the baby. My heart broke into a million pieces. I turned to my husband and my friends to lift me up.
I was angry. I thought, “Sara, you’ve already had one miscarriage, you can’t have two.” I didn’t think it was possible. I thought I’d put in my one miscarriage. Like it was some sort of sacrifice every woman has to make. Like it’s just part of the process. And for some women, it is. And now I was one of those women.
The doctor talked about progesterone and hormones and blood draws. And all I could think about is how I’ve been pregnant four times, and I only have two babies. I’ve been pregnant four times. I thought there must be something wrong with me. I’m doing something wrong. I’m not taking my vitamins at the right time of day or I am not managing my stress well. I thought to myself that I just need to get over it. To move on. Why was I so upset about this? So many women go through this? Why couldn’t I just move along about my day? Why was I crying? Why did it have to be THAT day? Why did I have to lose my baby and my grandma all in the same week? God couldn’t really be that cruel, could He?
And now, now I’m piecing it together. I’m trying not to blame myself. I’m trying to trust that this is in God’s plan. And remember that I wouldn’t have my little Tanner if I hadn’t had a miscarriage. And that everything happens for a reason. And I’m not blaming God for taking them both in the same week. I’m thanking Him. They’re together now. I’m thanking Him for the two healthy pregnancies I have had. The healthy kids I tuck in every night. I’m thanking Him for showing me my support system and how blessed I am for that. My huband, my mommy friends, my family. I am so thankful. I realize my week was one of my worst, but someone always has it harder than me. Someone got much, much worse news than I got. Many people have a much harder battle to fight, with far less support.
So I do still believe that if God closes one door, he opens another. And I’m learning that I’m not the one in control, and He chooses which door will open and when. And my job is to have my eyes and my heart open and trust in His timing. And that will help me cope and get through.
I almost didn’t write this blog. I thought about it and prayed about it. Is it sharing too much? After a lot of thought, I decided that if it could help at least one person, it’s worth it. This isn’t something we should be ashamed to talk about. It’s not a subject that should be swept under the rug.
If you have been through this, I pray that you have a support system, and some type of faith, whether it’s in God or whatever you choose. Don’t go through it alone. Don’t let it weigh on you. Don’t be afraid to break down, but know that it’s up to you to put yourself back together again.
Sara Todd is an Omaha mom who is married with two children. Read her monthly on fruitamoms.com.