The Wound Mattered

It took me a couple of months to realize I had lost my child, and begin mourning our Poppy.

We had been trying to start our family for about four years when we finally saw our first positive pregnancy test in May of 2012.  We were so excited, we had it confirmed immediately, then told our family and some close friends over Memorial Day weekend.

It was a celebration and excitement that was very short-lived.  After we got home from the weekend away, I started bleeding.  At first the doctor said it was normal, but a few days later when it didn’t stop they did another ultrasound and some more tests.

HOW LIFE CHANGED IN 48 HOURS

I was packed and ready to go.

The day we were supposed to load up buses with about 100 High School Students and head to the mountains for a week of fun, we heard back from the doctors.

My bag was completely packed (including Frankie, who thought she could pack herself and come along too) when I got the call saying that it was unsafe for me to travel.  I was heartbroken and scared.  Luckily, one of our Young Life Committee members is an OBGYN and offered, rather insisted, that I come into his office the next day after I told him what was going on.  And so, after months of praying for the 10 students we were bringing and building relationships with in hopes of drawing them closer to Christ over the next week; we watched the busses pull out of the Home Depot parking lot without us.

So I went to see the doctor the next day, and he said I had an ectopic pregnancy that would need surgery to remove the baby the next morning.  He said that if I didn’t have the surgery there could be complications and I could potentially die.  What a roller coaster!

In a daze, my focus turned to my health, and trying to reassure my husband, he’s such a sweet worrier whenever I am sick.  We had to prepare for the surgery the next morning, and didn’t really have time to process what was going on.  Afterwards, I was so busy recovering that I forgot to grieve.  And it didn’t hit me until a few months later….I had lost my first child.

LUCKILY, THERE’S NO TIME-LIMIT ON GRIEF

Recently, I read Rachel Lewis’ post Why miscarriage matters if you’re pro-life.  Even though her post was about how people talk about aborted babies verses miscarried babies, reading it was healing for me.  After reading it, I realized I was believing a lot of lies and suppressing a lot of grief.

While most people might not consider it a loss worth mentioning or mourning, I do.

I say all of that to begin sharing with you some of the agony I have felt in my heart, and the main reason for starting this blog.  Although I know my story is nothing compared to the heartbreaking stories of multiple loses others have had, I believe it’s important to share.

WHY I DECIDED TO START A BLOG

For those who know me, agony, sadness, melancholy, even depressed would probably never be any words you would use to describe me.  And yet, that is what I feel sometimes.  But hardly anyone knows that side of me.  One of my life goals is to live a life that is “valiant, vulnerable, and scandalous” like the many Godly women of the Bible (and unlike the stereotypical “Christian woman” we think of today).  And I realized I was not being very vulnerable or valiant by remaining silent with this sometimes overwhelming sadness.

Please know that the purpose for this blog is not to just whine and cry about this heartache.  I’m hoping to write about so much more.  I also want to share the Hope I have found, and sometimes feel like I’m struggling to cling to, and the distractions that keep me going day after day.  There is so much more to me than this heartache that I plan to write about, and I hope you stick around and enjoy hearing about those adventures too.

This is a place for me to be real, and vulnerable.  To be valiant for those who have not found their own voice yet.  A place to share what I’m feeling, and even process through it still.  But I also want to say, that just because I am comfortable writing these feelings, doesn’t mean I’m necessarily ready or even able to talk about them in person yet.  See, I am not a public crier – it’s not pretty, you don’t want to see that – trust me!  And it’s difficult for me to talk about this without crying.  So, please know that even if I brush off your comments or questions, I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and they mean a lot to me…I just can’t talk about them right now.  Maybe one day….and maybe this blog will help me get to that point where I can talk about them sooner.


“Part of the reason women are so tired is because we are spending so much energy trying to “keep it together.”  So much energy devoted to suppressing the pain and keeping a good appearance…Part of this is driven by fear that the pain will overwhelm us.  That we will be consumed by our sorrow.  It’s an understandable fear – but it is no more true than the fear we had of the dark as children.  Grief, dear sisters, is good.  Grief helps to heal our hearts.  Why, Jesus himself was a “Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isaiah 53:3)…Grief is a form of validation; it says the wound mattered.  It mattered.  You mattered.  That’s not the way life was supposed to go.”
  (Eldredge, J. & S. (2005). Captivating. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, Inc.)

ValiantVulnerableScandalousEnjoy this free printable to remind you to be the strong woman God made you to be.

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27 thoughts on “The Wound Mattered

  1. Erica, thank you for sharing this. I did not realize this happened. I’m going to be praying that God will send your first baby a brother or sister that can live here on earth with you and John. I know that your first baby must have been very special to both you and to God. You and John will be wonderful parents.

  2. Well done starting your blog. I know it takes courage (and maybe just a tiny bit of crazy) to journal through loss in an open way. But for me… Writing through our journey can be one of the most healing things… Especially as you learn of people who have been helped through your experience.

    I want you to know that our second child was ectopic. Olivia was our first loss, and it resulted in a ruptured tube. If you ever need to talk with someone who’s “been there,” feel free to email me at renyeart@gmail.com.

    Also, please don’t feel the need to invalidate your loss because you haven’t had multiple losses. Losing Olivia … Losing one baby at 7 weeks… Was enough to completely rock my world.

    There will always be someone in life who has a pain we might consider “worse.” but that does not mean that you did not experience the death of your first child (you did), and need to grieve accordingly.

    Much love to you … And I wish very much you didn’t know this heartache.

    1. Thanks so much for your comments Rachel…and even more thanks for your courage for your blog. It was one that really encouraged me to start writing. Thanks! And I wish we both didn’t know this heartache….it’s awful.

  3. I can see now this WILL be a great place for your healing to take place and I know you will help others too. Vulnerability is never comfortable, but I find it very important to our personal growth. I am proud of you Erica for stepping out and sharing your story. It WILL make a difference! Know you are loved and cared for by me and many…

  4. The sadness from losing a child (and the dream of that particular child) is overwhelming. And even when you “move on,” there may be painful pricks to remind you (and not that you want to forget)–like filling out a doctor form and listing “number of previous pregnancies” or when you see a pregnant teenager smoking a cigarette outside a convenience store…I give myself away speaking from experience! May you and your husband be blessed with that peace that passes all understanding and know how much you are loved…

  5. “Valiant, vulnerable, and scandalous”… that is so beautiful! Thank you for courageously sharing ! You are gifted in writing!

  6. ❤ you , Erica! Thank you for sharing! Grief has no time limit and can pop up even after 34 years. But time does make it less intense….if that's the right word. I love you and so thankful for your friendship and your teaching!! ❤ ❤ ❤

  7. I think it’s totally normal to take a while to finally comprehend what all happened in those 48 hours. To go from joy, then fearing for the safety of your unborn, and finally fearing for your own life is a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I think our bodies are protecting us from a crushing blow that could easily pull us under if it let us feel it in it that initial moment it occurs. It also took me several months to realize what all had happened, and that moment occurred at a baby-shower (of all places). Our grief is real, it’s valid. There was a life, a life that was part you, part John, and wanted more than anything else in the world. I don’t know about you but the worst part of it for me was that we had to make a decision to end it. A perfect little life that could have had a chance of it were in the right spot. It’s a decision I never thought I’d ever have to make nor wish to make again. I often vision my grandmother up in heaven babysitting our three little angels taken to soon. It brings me some peace. Maybe grandma Hippy is up there rocking your little poppy for you too.

  8. I had no idea. This is beautiful. And haunting. We lost our first, too. Ectopic. Such a hard path to have to walk. Decisions that are made for you. The heartache. Thank you for your story.

  9. Erica, I think of you often. I remember talking with you a little bit when this happened and I haven’t stopped praying for you. I can’t fully understand all that you have gone through but I can imagine how difficult it would be to lose one of my babies and it breaks my heart. Our God is so good and his plans are perfect even when we don’t understand or want them. I’m excited to read your stories. And to see how He uses you are your story to encourage and help others. 🙂 Krystle Hummer

    1. Thanks Krystle! I love how our families have expanded and melted together…even though we are so far apart and don’t see each other as much, I always count the the Hummers as part of my family. 🙂

  10. I admire you so very much. You are an amazing woman who God is using in amazing ways. It really sucks that you have to go through this stuff, I wish it wasn’t so. However, I am glad that we can journey along life’s path together. I am one big fan of yours, so blessed and thankful that God let me have you in my life.

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