I knew I was pregnant before I took the test. My period was late, and that never happens. Justin needed a test in order to believe it was real. We were in Wyoming for a wedding for two of Justin’s close friends, and I peed on the stick in the hotel bathroom, before we headed to the ceremony. It was positive, and Justin (gently) tackle hugged me with excitement onto the hotel bed. At the ceremony, the reception, on the 12 hour drive back to Washington, there was this new energy between the two of us. We knew something wonderful, that no one else knew. We had created a tiny person. We were parents already to the most perfect little baby.
Justin couldn’t wait to share the news. I wanted to wait, because - remember? I’m a worst case scenario gal. I didn’t think I would want people to know if I ended up miscarrying. I tend to carry my grief in private. I don’t like talking about grief or pain or anything negative, really. Justin, the ultimate optimist, was sure everything would be fine and wanted to shout the news from the rooftop. We eventually shared the news with family, and I wasn’t sure when I would tell my friends.
Saturday, October 10, 2020 - 2:00 in the morning. Our baby, perfectly formed with fingers and toes, lay in a box in Justin’s hands. Pain, grief, wonder. Together, we looked at that perfect baby, in complete awe and adoration, and heartbreak.
I had explained that I wanted to have a natural miscarriage, at home. They said I would “pass the tissue.” Isn’t it funny how, when I was pregnant, the life within me was referred to as a “baby” by the nurses, ultrasound tech, and midwife. Yet, as soon as that life no longer had a heartbeat, suddenly my baby was “tissue.”
I didn’t pass the tissue. I delivered my baby. My tiny, perfect baby.
They told me it would be just like a heavy period. That wasn't accurate. I didn’t have a heavy period that night. I was in labor. I was having painful contractions. I was passing huge blood clots. Perhaps the reason medical professionals downplay miscarriage is because they feel it will help women who are in the midst of grief by minimizing the process to something less intense. But I didn’t want to minimize what was happening. I wanted to live each second of it. My sister Nour often says you have to “ride the wave” of what you are going through. You can’t minimize whatever it is, even if it is difficult - you need to feel it. Be present with it. Sit with it.
We woke up Saturday exhausted and sad. It was raining, which seemed fitting. Justin dug a grave, rain and tears intermixed streaming down his face, getting caught in those long eyelashes of his. We prayed and buried our baby that day. Although we do not know the gender, I felt our baby was a girl from the beginning. We named her Faith.