Motherhood, Loss, and Healing

Filed under From Marriage to Motherhood on Feb 04 13 by

It was April 2011, and we had been “trying” to get pregnant for all of two months. I distinctly remember thinking, “I could be pregnant right this instant!” I know that sounds silly; any other time most people don’t think anything about it, and if they do, they are mostly thinking, “Dear God, please do NOT let me be pregnant.” But I was so excited! We had made it a point to be ready, which basically meant we wanted to enter into the adventure of parenthood willingly with both feet (or all four) planted firmly in that direction. We giggled—ok I giggled—about it all the time. Hoping, longing, dreaming—we didn’t have to wait long.

When I realized I was late, I went to the pharmacy to get a pregnancy test. I truly hate buying anything sex-related in public (though when you really need a pregnancy test, you’re not usually patient enough to order it online). It always feels like I’m doing something I’m not supposed to be doing—like I am sneaking around trying not to get caught! And they always keep them in the case where you have to go up and ASK for them—mainly because people steal them just so they can avoid that awful feeling of supposed guilt. You’d think by twenty-eight and being married for six years I would have been ok with buying a pregnancy test, but no. I got the double pack—just to be sure. Dave and I both waited with anticipation the whole three minutes you’re supposed to wait, and it said “pregnant!” I can distinctly remember lots of giddiness from my wonderful husband. There was possibly some dancing around. I also remember him saying, “Already?!? I thought it was supposed to take longer than this!” To which I replied, “Well, it can, but it didn’t for us. We said we were ready remember?” To which he responded with, “Yes, but…not yet!” And I retorted, “Welp, you’ve got nine months (it’s actually forty weeks, more accurately, but who’s counting)!” He may or may not have then said something about his manly potency, while puffing out his chest and strutting around the apartment.

We didn’t wait to tell people. You’re supposed to wait until the second trimester, just in case, but we were getting ready to move—and Dave was leaving seven weeks before I was! We wanted to celebrate with our families and friends. I was so excited to tell my mom! I sent her a mother’s day card, and told Dad to make sure she got it at the Mother’s Day lunch they always had at my grandmother’s house (we couldn’t make it that year). It was a Peanuts card, and inside it had Snoopy telling Mom that there would be another “lil peanut” due early in 2012. She called me in tears, so excited for her eighth grandchild to be born!

Even though I didn’t actually announce it to my students, they eventually found out. Not because I was showing, but, in case you don’t know any, teachers gossip too. There were several super sweet girls who were very excited for me. When we made our field trip t-shirts for Six Flags (during which I would have to avoid all roller coasters, much to my disappointment), they helped me write, “Mama Nelson” on the back in puff paint.

A few weeks before I left for California, a dear motherly friend of mine threw me a baby shower at church. There were polka dot rubber duckies on the table, and cute little pictures on the napkins. My sisters also threw me a baby shower. My youngest brother-in-law gave me a bag of wooden blocks, and my sisters spelled out, “Baby Nelson” on the table where the food was. They asked me what I wanted to eat at the party—I told them Papa John’s pizza (it’s what I was craving at the time), so that’s what we had! It was a wonderful time. I was super excited to be pregnant, to be a mom, and for Dave to be a daddy.

As I’ve mentioned before, I have an older sister and a younger sister. I am super blessed to have these amazing women in my life, but I didn’t know how much until they both decided to road trip out to California with me! Dave had gone ahead seven weeks before, and I was so glad not to have to travel on my own. We decided to take a week, and see the sights along the way. I also forced my younger sister to learn how to drive stick shift—starting in the driveway on our first day (yeah, she was super excited about that).

My sisters and I took off driving from North Carolina, and headed to Tennessee for our first stop in the big city of Memphis. We ate at BB Kings BBQ and camped in a state park in crazy humidity that night. The next day we headed to Hot Springs Arkansas in an insane storm. It was pouring rain so hard I literally couldn’t see the car in front of me. Oh! And I forgot to mention it was my twenty-eighth birthday. We arrived in Hot Springs in the monsoon, and went to one of the historic bathhouses for a hot spring bath and massage.

I don’t know if you’ve done the math on how old my daughter is, and feel like something isn’t adding up, but if you have, you’ll know she’s not the pregnancy that I’ve been writing about. After the massage, as I was getting dressed, I started bleeding. After I called my doctor, I told my sisters what was happening, and we went to the emergency room. I will jump through the details of that long day, as I’m sure they will come out in my next article, and just say, I lost the baby. It was one of the hardest days of my life thus far, but I can truly say I have never been happier to have my sisters with me. Their arms and hearts soothed my soul. God works through awful situations to bring good and wonderful things to us, and my relationship with my two sisters grew by leaps and bounds through the events of that day. I know I am ending on a sad note here, but know that God was in control. He knew just what I needed, and brought it to light starting the instant that doctor told me my baby was gone. Please come back next month, and read how God worked in my life to heal, strengthen, and teach me his perfect plan through my miscarriage. God is good, all the time, and blessed be the name of our great and awesome God.

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Leigh Eddy Nelson
Leigh is currently a stay-at-home-mom, or SAHM, ministering to the community around her at The Oaks Camp and Conference Center in Lake Hughes, California. Writing has been a passion of hers since she was a little girl, and God has given her a gift to share her experiences in life, love, marriage, and her journey to, and through, motherhood. Follow her journey here every month!