Birth Plans (Part 14)

This is another post in a series on how God has changed me through the ups and downs of pregnancy, childbirth, and miscarriage. (View the previous post here, or start at the beginning here.)

“Your heart is racing,” commented the nurse after checking my blood pressure and pulse. David and I were seeing the doctor to discuss my miscarriage, which had been discovered via ultrasound the day before.
My doctor came in and sat down. “The first thing I want you to understand is how common this is,” he said.
I nodded. I knew it was common, but I was still miserable.
“I have some questions,” I said, looking down at my notebook. “I was worrying about the baby when I found out I was pregnant, and I could feel my heart beating hard sometimes. Maybe I had high blood pressure and hurt the baby?”
“No, that won’t cause miscarriage,” he answered, “and that’s the truth.”
I asked about the pain-relievers I had taken for migraines before I knew I was pregnant.
“Those do not cause miscarriage,” he assured me, “and people take things much stronger than that but still have normal pregnancies.”
“I’m just still struggling with feeling like it was my fault,” I said.
He looked me in the eyes. “You need to stop thinking that,” he said. “There is nothing you or we could have done to prevent this.”

He explained I could take a drug to induce contractions, schedule a D&C, or wait it out. I opted to wait.
“That’s fine,” he said. He told me about a few unlikely complications, and said I would need to have my pregnancy hormone measured each week via a blood draw until it was back down to “not pregnant.”

“Do you have one of those doppler things that listens for the heart-beat?” I asked before we left.
“I think we have one of those here,” he said.
“Could you try to listen for the heart-beat again?” I asked. Maybe the sonographer had missed something, or maybe God had done something miraculous.
“I understand that,” he said. The nurse brought in a fetal doppler and the doctor began searching for a heartbeat. For a second, my hope returned when he discovered a rapid heartbeat. He checked my pulse to compare it. “That’s you,” he said. It had sounded just like a baby’s heartbeat it was racing so fast.

David took me home, promising to pick me up for the birthday dinner date he had planned for that evening. As I was preparing for the date that afternoon, my mother-in-law and father-in-law stopped by. They held out a red rose and offered hugs. “This was not a wasted thing,” my mother-in-law said. “God will redeem it. You may not know when or how, but He will redeem it. And you will be able to comfort other people who have gone through the same thing.”

On our way to the restaurant that evening, David handed me the card he had made, so I could reveal another surprise. I turned the flap, and read “30 weeks.”
“This was going to be our countdown clock set for the due date,” he said. “Instead, I thought we could watch Heaven Is for Real together, where the little boy meets his miscarried sister in heaven.”

We later watched the movie, and I also read the book. Three-year-old Colton, who experienced heaven while on an operating table, told his mother one day, “I have two sisters. You had a baby die in your tummy.”
“Who told you I had a baby die in my tummy?” his mother asked.
“She did,” he answered. He described the encounter, how his sister looked, and then told his mother, “She said she just can’t wait for you and Daddy to get to heaven.”
Colton’s father Todd Burpo, who authored the book, said his wife had told him the miscarriage not only filled her with grief, but had also felt like a personal failure. “I feel guilty,” she had said. “I know in my mind it wasn’t my fault, but there’s still this guilt.” After Colton’s message to his mother, Todd wrote, “One of the most painful episodes in our lives . . . began to heal.”

Read the next post here.

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  • Connie Miller

    So hard and sad to go through that. But we will all get to meet him or her some day!

    • I remember that was one of the first things you said to me over the phone when I told you, which encouraged me.