They Do Exist.

My Miscarriage: The One Year Anniversary Of The Worst Day Ever

Editor’s Note: Today’s heart-rending story shared with us by Angela Adams. She can be found on Twitter at @amamarieadams. I cannot find the words to express how wholly I revere her understanding and description of true grief, and true loss. Angela, thank you. – Lauren

Last summer was pretty incredible. The biggest things that can happen in your life were happening in mine. I was in heaven.

The day before the bad day, my sister Allison (who was one month farther along than I was) and me spent the afternoon in my parent’s backyard. We were sitting on an old sheet in the sun and she was laughing about people telling her not to ride her bike because it’d hurt the baby. She kept saying, “the baby isn’t in my underwear!” I thought it was hilarious.

That night Mike and I settled on names. If we had a girl, she’d be Evelyn. If we had a boy, he’d be Harrison. I really love the name Harry.

The next day I woke up and made a pot of coffee. Alexi Murdoch was playing on my iPod. My back ached. The pain kept coming and going. In the shower I used bar soap for the first time ever. Didn’t like it.

Allison colored my hair that morning. My stomach started cramping. I sat in my sister’s salon chair silently freaking out. She told me to calm down.

Photo by Branden Harvey / / Design by Lauren Dubinsky

The doctor said to come in at 2:00. It was 1:00 and I was scared. Mom prayed her usual go-to prayer, I’ve heard her say it a million times;

“God bless you with peace, protection and safety. No weapon formed against you can prosper, in the name of Jesus”

While she prayed I looked down at my white shorts. I remember thinking how dumb it was to spend $50.00 on them when they wouldn’t fit around my belly in a month.

The doctor told me that I probably wasn’t having a miscarriage, but if I was there wasn’t anything he could do. He said to rest and come back for an ultrasound in the morning. A lonely mix of hope and fear – but mainly hope welled up in my heart as I walked out of the freezing air conditioned office.

My parents asked if I wanted them to stay with me that afternoon. I said, “no, I’m alright” and walked into the little duplex where in about five minutes, all hell and hope broke loose.

I sat on the bathroom floor, sobbing and shaking as my soul tried to understand what was happening and my eyes took in the scene of loss that surrounded me. I remembering saying “Oh God. Oh God. Oh my God” over and over again. I remember trying to clean all of the blood up before calling my mom. I remember thinking bad things always happen when you wear white shorts.

I stood in the shower with that awful bar soap. I couldn’t catch my breath but I could smell the fresh color getting washed out of my hair. I remember apologizing to my baby. I just kept saying how sorry I was for not being their mom. I remember hearing my parents arrive, and mom walking into the bathroom and yelling for dad to bring her a container. (If you don’t think I’m sparing you details, I am.)

It was hell.

Those are basically the only things I remember until a day or so later.

Saturday marked the one year anniversary of that bad day. I’ve always thought remembering dates of bad days and having them loom over your head was stupid. Every single day after the first bad one is a reminder. You never go back to the way things were before. I didn’t think the date coming back around would affect me at all – but I was wrong. It’s like my body remembers and my mind is experiencing it all over again. The last month has been pretty terrible.

Since time has passed people have started bringing up my “loss” more, like they expect me to feel better about it. And they talk about “healing”…whatever that is. I just sit there, pretending that what they’re saying makes sense to me, and pretending their well-intentioned remarks about my pregnancy aren’t going to leave me emotionally dead for the next week.

I don’t understand what healing is supposed to be like.

I mean, half the time I feel like my miscarriage is still happening. I know the physical part has been finished for a long time, but the emotional part is still making its way through my heart and putting tangles in my mind that I can’t figure out how to undo.

Sometimes I think that once you’ve felt a certain amount of pain – of devastating, ground shaking, life killing pain – you never stop hurting. And you’re left open to the pain and terror of the whole world.

It’s like a well of empathy has been dug into your heart and it’s a space that takes in the hurt of everyone around you, whether you want it or not. You just can’t help feeling it because on some level- you understand. For the first time ever, I’m able to pray for people and actually know what to say. And I’ve never been so sure that God can hear me.

Sometimes I think that’s the kind of broken heart Jesus smiles at. And sometimes I think healing looks like hurting. I don’t understand the way God works, but I think He’s working in me …no matter how hard some days are. And to tell you the truth, the hardest days are some of the most blessed ones.

The only reason I know this pain is because I first knew the incredible love and joy that stole my heart the day I found out I was pregnant. I never have gotten my heart back, and the pain isn’t going away anytime soon. And that’s just fine.

There’s no absolution in healing. There is never going to be a time when I’ll sit in the sun in July and not think about Harrison or Evelyn. Or smell that awful bar soap and not think of Harrison or Evelyn. Or hear Alexi Murdoch’s song Something Beautiful, or play with my nephew Frank, or make coffee or see a pregnancy test or do a thousand other things and not think of Harrison or Evelyn… And there shouldn’t be.

I still buy that bar soap, I even used it today. I spend as much time as I can with my sister’s son- we’re obsessed with each other. I listen to Alexi Murdoch and think about the perfect times that came before that day.

To me, healing doesn’t mean I won’t hurt anymore. Healing means being able to breathe when I make a pot of coffee. Being able to play with my nephew, with a heart bursting with thankfulness for him.

And being able to remember what heaven feels like, even though I can’t find it anymore.


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20 Responses

  1. I've never been pregnant, so I can't relate to that feeling…but someday I hope I can. Like many women, having children is one of the deepest desires God has planted in my heart. I'm still young, and I haven't even had a boyfriend yet…but there is something else I have had: ovarian cancer. I had it when I was 10. I lost one of my ovaries, and I don't know for sure if I can have children of my own. I have faith that God can and will give me children if that is his plan (I'd like at least 4), but if not, then I WILL adopt, because I have the heart of a mother. I pray for my future children often…whether or not they will biologically be "mine" doesn't matter. And God already knows. He knows these desires in my heart, and he knows my future children (not to mention my future husband lol).

    Here's why I'm sharing this: today–yes, TODAY–I had my yearly check-up and sonogram, follow-up for my cancer. They found something, which isn't abnormal. I have a cyst on my ovary–yes, my ONE good ovary. I've had at least 5 over the past few years, and none of them have ever been cancerous or given me any trouble or pain. They usually go away after a few months. (Ovarian cysts are actually something most have, they aren't always bad.) I have to go in for a follow-up sonogram in 10 weeks to see how the cyst is, but my oncologist assured me that he does NOT think my cancer is back. I'm not actually all that worried about it–God has given me great peace over the past few months. But that doesn't mean bad things don't happen. Horrible things happen, actually. We live in a broken world, a world full of suffering, pain, accidents, tragedies, sin, and evil.

    But here's what I DO know–
    There is no pain on earth that heaven cannot heal. None. Not even cancer, miscarriages, death, divorce, or anything else under the sun can resist the healing power of heaven. In heaven, we'll all be healed, and we'll all be whole. And we'll all be TOGETHER.

    Angela, you'll meet your baby one day. You'll find out if it was a boy or a girl, and then you'll get to spend eternity together. And I'll meet the two brothers–Eric and Carter–that my mom lost before I was born. I look forward to that day.

    In the meantime, do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, Christ is renewing us inwardly…day by day.

    Grace and peace to you, Angela, and to all the other Good Women out there.

    -Haley

    August 7, 2012 at 2:19 am

  2. Ella

    I don't know your pain, dear one, but I know my pain, and this helps me to face it. thank you for being courageous with your story. it inspires me to be courageous with mine. <3

    August 7, 2012 at 3:05 am

  3. emilie

    Wow. These words are so good. You are going through the brokenness and pain of suffering, and yet it's still evident that you are healing. You are right, healing does not look like the disappearance of that brokenness and pain. You have shared your trials, lessons, pain and hope with many of us today. Thank you!! My heart goes out to you, thank you for being a blessing in your pain. <3

    August 7, 2012 at 8:20 am

  4. Biz

    I thought that was so beautiful, we're so wired to thinking that true healing means that you stop feeling the pain and the hurt somehow ebbs away, but really healing is so much more deeper than that, and I think you explained it in such a beautiful way. Thank you for sharing, your incredible<3

    August 7, 2012 at 8:22 am

  5. Jennifer Henry

    I am 42 years old and I am the mother of five children. On February 27, 2011 I was three months pregnant and I experienced what you called Hell! It was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I still remember the details. For two weeks I could not even talk about it. I felt so alone and abandoned, especially by God.
    As I was reading this article what stood out to me was this:
    "It’s like a well of empathy has been dug into your heart and it’s a space that takes in the hurt of everyone around you, whether you want it or not. You just can’t help feeling it because on some level- you understand. For the first time ever, I’m able to pray for people and actually know what to say. And I’ve never been so sure that God can hear me."
    About two weeks after my own miscarriage I was walking one morning and talking to God. I was asking Him why I was having to go through this experience. I felt as though He spoke to my heart and said "it is not about you. You have done nothing wrong, I allowed this so I can comfort you. I will comfort you so that you can comfort others." and then a scripture came to mind " Praise be to the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God."
    I completely understand when you say a well of empathy was dug into your heart. I also feel like I hurt deeper and feel emotions stronger for myself and for others. I understand now it's ok to feel, really feel the depth of pain. Because in that God can heal you and He can use you in the process of healing others!
    Thanks for sharing your story!
    ~Jennifer

    August 7, 2012 at 8:23 am

  6. abby

    Angela,

    Your article echos my own experiences with miscarriage. Thank you for reflecting so eloquently. You are a great mom to your baby (because you are a mom, even if the child isn't here) and you are a great friend to share this grief with us. God bless you!
    -Abby.

    August 7, 2012 at 8:37 am

  7. You are an incredible woman for posting this. I have never been pregnant, let alone even married (although I am engaged!) – but my biggest aspiration in life is to be a mother. It is my calling, I know it. So on some level, I feel like I can relate to you. Both of my future sisters-in-law have miscarried (one was with twins), and ever since then, I've been living in fear that I will miscarry as well. Your story gives me strength in the unknown. I thank you, thank you, thank you, a million times over for being brave enough to write your experience.
    -Haley

    August 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

  8. thank you.

    although i've never gone through a miscarriage, i feel your words run through me and echo the deep pain in my life. 10 years after a rape, & THIS is what i could have never written on my own. thank you, thank you for being so vulnerable and so eloquent. i think this is perfect proof that you are being comforted so that you can comfort others.

    August 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

  9. Anonomousme

    I've always enjoyed my birthday but this year it will be one day short of the one year aniversery of the worst day of my life. Thanks for sharing. What amazed me when I had had a misscarage was how many other people I knew had and had never told me. This is what I wrote about it http://god-loves-women.webs.com/apps/blog/show/15… totally write about the suddenly feeling others pain in a much more reall way. Sometimes it makes me feal naeuseus.

    August 7, 2012 at 3:53 pm

  10. Heidi Clark

    I've never gone through a miscarriage- most of my friends have and I can never truly understand that pain but you put into words what they couldn't. I don't understand miscarriage but I understand hell- The day the doctor told me that my 6 month old baby had a genetic disorder and would be mentally retarded coupled with health issues I came undone. All my hopes and dreams were crushed. This spoke to me- "Sometimes I think that’s the kind of broken heart Jesus smiles at. And sometimes I think healing looks like hurting…" Grief is a binder of sorts. I'll never be ok again- I'm functioning, I'm happy a lot but when the raw grief hits me again I'm right there with you on the bathroom floor apologizing to my child and praying through gasps. For me healing is having friends who let me grieve occasionally without judging and wondering why I'm not over it.. I hope you find continued healing!

    August 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

  11. Britney V

    I felt the same way as you! In may I hit the two year mark and I still think of my sweet baby. Keep praying and He will keep holding you through the pain.

    August 7, 2012 at 5:00 pm

  12. Thank you so much for sharing something so huge. I really hope you feel encouraged and lifted up by the women in this community. So many of us won't ever know what it's like to go through what you've gone through, but maybe now that we've heard your story and your struggle and your process through that kind of pain, now we can face our own struggle with some greater level of understanding. Seriously, thank you so much for sharing this.

    August 7, 2012 at 5:15 pm

  13. Oh, my heart resonates with this. I am actually in the midst of this myself, having gone through my 4th miscarriage on July 28th. The loss is palpable, and even though I have been through this before, each time brings a new, fresh and deeper pain. You're so right about the healing looks like hurting. There will always be tender spots in my heart that will never firm up again.

    Thank you for sharing this.

    August 7, 2012 at 8:46 pm

  14. God bless you, sweet, sweet lady.

    August 7, 2012 at 9:50 pm

  15. Janine

    Angela, yes and thank you! I have lived through a miscarriage (6 years ago) a ‘normal’ birth of a healthy infant and most recently a stillbirth at 25 weeks.
    Healing does not exist for this type of pain. It gets easier to live with over time and with support and with God, but it isn’t like a sickness that gets better with medicine. That hole is always there; that beautiful part of your family that never made it to the photograph album or Facebook!
    I do believe that God’s purpose will be revealed and that through your experience being published here you have helped countless women, with or without similar experiences, to understand a little of the trauma and infinite pain and to grow through it.
    These times in my life have made my faith stronger and given me some of my closest experiences with our Awesome Creator. I also have mellowed and have been humbled, I Am Not In Control. I was ridiculously careful throughout our last pregnancy and no preventative measures that I deemed suitable changed my baby, Phoebe’s destiny. She was heaven bound not Earth bound, that was her special purpose, just like Sam, her older sibling’s had been.
    Thank you for sharing your story. May the Lord Bless You
    xxxx

    August 8, 2012 at 4:07 am

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  17. Angela,
    Bless you for your wisdom & clarity! You are mom. And that is why you can't "get over it". You are mother without her child. And it will always hurt.
    "Sometimes I think that’s the kind of broken heart Jesus smiles at. And sometimes I think healing looks like hurting. I don’t understand the way God works, but I think He’s working in me …no matter how hard some days are. And to tell you the truth, the hardest days are some of the most blessed ones." YES!
    And yes on being opened up to the pain of the world. That is so much of the beauty that is woven through the pain & grief. That is the paradox of a broken heart, shattered to pieces, in the healing hands of Jesus, can be patched into a heart bursting with care for so many others. You gave your whole heart to your child, it was broken & somehow, Jesus is gives you so much more back. That is healing. But you are right – healing is never a done deal. And you will never be "over it". That is something I thank God for! We lost our firstborn child 7 years ago & I am thankful that I will never be over him. I will always be his grieving mother, even in the midst of the many joys God gives.

    August 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

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