On Miscarriage: My beautiful Anabel Lee

      October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. I have been struggling with this post idea since the first of the month. Sometimes I don’t know what to say about it. Sometimes I have too much to say. But this is an important topic and it needs to be discussed. 

     In March of 2012, I saw two pink lines. Adeline was only 5 months old and I was mortified. Superman was just as shocked, but we believe that EVERY life is valuable and we were determined to be happy. I called my doctor and made an appointment five weeks out to confirm and have the ultrasound. Over the next five weeks, we got extremely excited. We picked out names.  We told our family and friends. We decided having two so close together would be a blessing even if it were a bit more difficult. 

     When the day came, we loaded our infant up in the car and drove to the Obgyn’s office. The calendar determined I was 10 weeks and 3 days along. On to the ultrasound we went. When we saw the baby on the monitor, The doctor asked, “Do you feel pregnant?” I thought it was an odd question, but I told him I never really “feel pregnant” when I am. My pregnancies have always been relatively easy. 

Then he said it. 

“I’m sorry, but there is no heartbeat. The baby is measuring small at 7 weeks. Don’t worry. This happens all the time. We will do a D&C tomorrow to remove the tissue.” 

     My heart stopped. How could there be no heartbeat? How could he just blurt it out like that with no compassion or thought? Like it didn’t matter. I crumpled into a sobbing heap. All anyone could say is, “I’m so sorry.” 

     At seven weeks, which is what my baby was measuring, it’s possible to not see a heartbeat, so we felt it was too soon to do a D&C without being absolutely sure. Instead of going through the with it the next morning, I sought a second opinion. After calling 5 different doctors who wouldn’t see me unless I made them my primary physician, I found an amazing doctor who told me to meet him in his office the next morning at 8 AM. He would go in early to see me before his scheduled C-Sections that day. Dr. Chris Sizemore will never know exactly what he did for me. He spent two weeks doing repeated blood tests to check my HCG levels, then even after he was certain, he sent me upstairs to the specialist with the ultrasound that shows blood flow just to be completely sure. Finally, when he had done all he could, he suggested we go through with the D&C. He was compassionate. He was encouraging. He was prayerful. He was exactly what we needed. 

      I carried a living child in my womb for seven weeks. I carried her (we had genetic testing done, which is a whole other post.) after she passed for 5 weeks. And I’ve now carried her in my heart for over three years. My beautiful Anabel Lee. 

The devastation felt by parents who miscarry a child is almost incomprehensible. People don’t know what to say to us, so they say whatever comes to mind, which is usually the worst thing they could say. 

“It’s okay. You’ll have more babies.” 

That doesn’t replace the baby we lost. This is essentially telling the mother and father their baby didn’t matter. Please, don’t. 

“You have two other beautiful babies to focus on.” 

All this does is remind me that I don’t have time to grieve the LOSS OF MY CHILD. 

“You’ll just have to move on.” 

If you want to leave my presence alive, don’t. 

And my all-time favorite, said to me by someone who was supposed to be a friend: 

I knew that was going to happen when you got pregnant so soon after the first.” 
Please understand this: to people who did not carry this child in their womb, he or she didn’t even seem real yet, but to his/her mother, who held them in her belly, who thought her child was in the safest place in the world, this child was everything. We were their mothers. Our husbands were their fathers. Our kids were their siblings. 

If you want to help, ask if you can help with the kids. Or the cleaning. Or the cooking. Pray for us. Then pray some more. Don’t say anything. Just show us the love of God. Let us grieve. It will be a long time before we can talk about it or think about it or believe it. 

      If you’re currently recovering from the loss of a child, know that I am praying for you. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but eventually you’ll know prayer is what helped you through. God is graceful and merciful. He WILL make something good out of the evil. 

     If you’re currently loving someone who has lost a child, just BE THERE. Ask them what they need and be it. Do it. Show it. 
Love to my loves, 

Cate

16 thoughts on “On Miscarriage: My beautiful Anabel Lee

  1. Gold Standard Test says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so hard, and so hard to talk about. I’m unendingly sorry that your OB handled it all so callously, but glad you found a compassionate replacement. Thank you for sharing the story of your Anabel Lee. All the best to you and yours. ♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Thank you so much. It’s been three years and it does get easier, but she will one day meet her sisters and all will be well. 🙂 thanks for taking time to read and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. christieasselin says:

    Hi Cate, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I was so sad hearing how the doctor first informed you of the issue and how people responded in its wake. My heart just goes out to you. It takes a lot of strength to share this story with us. Thank you for doing so. God bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A Forks Tale says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is very brave of you to speak out about your loss. My heart goes out to you. I can’t even begin to imagine how difficult this experience was to you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wendy Malarsie says:

    This hits so close to home. I lost a baby girl (after testing as well) at 5 months. It was the most horrible experience anyone should have to go through. I never realized until it happened to me that it happens to so many women. When it happened to my sister I was a shoulder that should could cry on and someone that understood. It taught me a lot about myself but honestly it is a time that I would not trade. Thank you for you post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Thank you. I don’t think many women realize how common it is. And as common as it is, that it isn’t common to each individual woman.

      Like

  5. JoAnna GlutenFreeChef says:

    That was beautifully Written, I have been struggling this month due to Infant/Miscarriage Loss awareness Month , I was even trying to muster up the courage to write a post , I am so deeply sorry for you loss, I do agree that this really needs to be talked about make ppl more aware off , the Pain of my 5 losses in a row after our first miracle baby that we almost lost so many times are so painfully evident in my mind I wont go on with my long story but I am so glad I stopped by Love and Prayers to you and yous and Thank you for giving me the loving push I need to write on this very subject xoxoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Cate Purvis says:

      Hannah, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. It would have been helpful had others known what to say when I needed them most.

      Like

  6. Samantha says:

    Beautifully written! This is such a hard topic to write about. I can’t believe how harsh that first doctor was, but I’m glad you found someone supportive. All those weeks of blood tests and waiting are so stressful. I did that with mine, too. *big hugs*

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Colleen says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. It’s the most unimaginable pain, I believe, that a woman can feel. After five years of infertility, and I’m fairly certain there had been at least two miscarriages before (my doctor pretty much blew me off and didn’t even examine me to confirm a miscarriage), I conceived my son. when he was about 2 1/2 years old, on March 10, 1993, I lost my second baby. I had “friends” who gave me some of the same pearls of wisdom you heard. My favorite was, “Just remember that God didn’t have a purpose for this baby.” That never made sense to me… In my heart and mind, God has a purpose for everyone conceived. I went to find books to help me work through it. There wasn’t one book on miscarriage in any bookstore in my town, so I had them special ordered and it took two weeks to get them. My favorite was “Empty Arms”. At my request, our Christian bookstore kept at least one copy of three different books on the shelves for others who experienced this. I also discovered the cd “Corum Deo” with one particular song that I listened to constantly called “Now is the Time for Tears”. (Now when someone I knows miscarries I give them copies of these so they have something to help with the grief.) that was my last pregnancy. I then went through Secondary Infertility. For the next 10 years we tried to have more children, but it wasn’t God’s plan for us. Fast forward 23 years and there’s hardly a day goes by that I don’t think of that child. But there was one friend whose daughter had gotten a word from God about Isaiah 54:13. It says, All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.” This gave me such hope! I realized that this child would never know pain! Never know what a broken heart feels like! Never know the taste of a tear! And when I reach Heaven, I will have eternity to spend with my child and never have to be concerned that there could be wrong choices made and that child wouldn’t make it to Heaven! I’ve had time now to grieve, and come to find that the Lord does fill the void! I’ve often wondered what life would have been to have had more… But God has kept our home filled with young people over the years for us to help along the way. Our lives have been filled with many others and it doesn’t matter they didn’t come from my womb!
    I’m sorry this ended up being so long, but hopefully it will be used to uplift and encourage someone out there who needs it. Thank you so much for sharing your heart and experience. I would have given anything all those years ago to have had something like this for support! God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

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