Last week as we were driving home from somewhere, Princess (our 7 year old) began asking questions about Reagan, the baby we lost to miscarriage at 14 weeks. She does this occasionally. We tell her that her middle name is “Random” because she totally is… just like my dad. It makes her who she is.
As the conversation progressed, I cold not help but get a bit misty-eyed. She looked at me and (being quite sensitive like her daddy) said, “I’m sorry, Mommy. I won’t ask anymore.”
“No, please don’t ever stop asking. I will never forget Reagan and I don’t want you to either. She will forever be counted in our numbers.”
I remember reading those words when I was looking for some sort of support in the days after losing her. Scouring the internet for answers. Looking for someone who understood my pain. I read the words “will forever be counted in our numbers” and it stuck. In the beginning I would use the numbers in everything I did but it was too difficult to explain to everyone why I had an “extra child” represented.
Things are a bit easier now. A little. It has been over 5 years.
After driving home from an event this past weekend, Colby and I wanted to just sit and relax with a movie. The girls were off doing their own thing, so we turned on Netflix and picked a movie. Knowing I am a fan of romantic comedies, Colby picked a movie with a great cast and we proceeded to watch.
It was actually a great movie. I really enjoyed it. I was completely into the movie and enjoying the rest. By this time in the movie, JJ had come in to watch with us and we thought nothing of it. It was suitable for kids. As the main actress went to her 10 week check-up for a sonogram I became a little anxious. I always do. Still. Just watching it on TV.
The doctor was quiet and searching her belly. Checking the monitor. The others in the room just waiting. And the mom-to-be asks, “What is it? What’s wrong?”
As I watched this unfold, I knew exactly what was coming. My heart was racing. I was sweating. Breathing was difficult. And the tears were coming.
I had been in that exact moment… with no one but JJ in the room with me. She was 4 at the time. The words that came next still ring through my head… and are exactly the same thing the doctor in the movie said:
“I am so sorry. I cannot find a heartbeat.”
It was at this point in the movie that the tears flowed. Just as they did that day 5 years ago. Every emotion came running back to me. It was as if that horrible day was being replayed for me on the screen.
I continued with the movie. It was still a great film. I did not hold the miscarriage against it.
Miscarriage is real. In fact, 1 in 5 pregnancies end in miscarriage. Statistically I was right on. Reagan was my 5th pregnancy. I also lost one other after her… but we were told at our 6 week appointment that the pregnancy was not viable. There was a fetal pole but no fetus. Somehow, that made it easier. I miscarried “naturally” 3 weeks later. Quietly. Without telling anyone. Colby and I kept it to ourselves. We mourned alone.
I was 14 weeks along with Reagan when we lost her. We had seen her on the screen on 2 different occasions. She was moving around. She had a heartbeat. She was alive.
I feel as though I know the moment something went wrong. I was actually just over 10 weeks along. I felt horribly sick one night and spent much of the night hugging the toilet. I had never experienced anything like it and knew it was not right. But it was one time in my life I prayed I was wrong. I wasn’t.
Not a day goes by that I do not think of Reagan. I do it silently. Sometimes things spark the memories more vivid than other times. I cry. Normally alone. Sometimes with Colby. Depends on where we are. What is going on. Things like that.
My baby, at 14 weeks gestation, touched my life. She touched the lives of those around us. And she continues to touch lives today with each story I share.
I never held my baby. Never saw her outside the womb. Never saw her tiny body. But I love her the same as I do my other 5 children. She is still my baby. She had a beating heart… inside my womb… that now beats within my own heart everyday.
Reagan’s physical body may have left us 5 years ago… but her spirit lives within Colby and I… and our family… every day.
That, my friends, is the life of a miscarriage.