I was getting ready to take a shower when I decided to take the test. Too excited to wait, I stuck my head out to see what the test said before I was even out.
The rest of the shower was mostly me opening my eyes wide and staring at the curtain. Really? Finally? I had a variety of emotions, which didn't come out in tears. I tried to make myself cry because that's the reaction I wanted to have, but really I just had too many things to think about and I couldn't go there.
The tears came for the first time a week and a half later when I began to spot and thought I was having a miscarriage. I saw the tiniest bit of blood and lost it, sitting on the bathroom floor sobbing, Carson's arms around me. I prayed the only things I could think of, which were mostly "Why?" and "Please let me just be overreacting!" and the next morning I woke up wary but fine. I continued to feel nauseated and pregnant, but I called the doctor to be safe.
I had been somewhat fearful from the beginning. I prayed that I'd be the kind of person that can just live life normally after two miscarriages, but I don't think that person exists. I looked to the future and dreamed about holding a precious baby in early November. Maybe even two - I've always wanted twins. But because of my experiences, I feared. I was understandably afraid that I'd do something or that something would happen and it would be a "three strikes and you're out" scenario.
On the morning of March 22, I woke up and knew. I mean, I sort of knew. I felt off. I was having pain in my lower back and a little cramping and just didn't feel right.
But I went to work because maybe it was just spotting. I urged myself to focus on work and think about life when I got home. And then it was painful. I felt a sharp pain and then felt something leave my body. I know that's gross, but it did. And tears filled my eyes. "No, please no" I silently begged, while trying to keep my voice level and my eyes from weeping.
I went on my break and lost it emotionally. The minute I was off the floor I began to sob. I headed to the bathroom and my fears were confirmed. I knew then that my baby was no longer living inside me, and my prayers for the health of my pregnancy ceased.
The past rushed back to me in that moment. I remembered sitting in a gas station bathroom in Ukraine with absolute fear. I remembered "No, please no" being the only words I could think to pray. I remember the eternal bus ride and the dread of what was going to come.
I couldn't stop crying. My supervisor came over to me after my break and asked if I was okay, and my red eyes betrayed me. "Go in the back for a little bit; we'll be okay for a second", he said. And I did, but I didn't make it past the door before I began to weep. He'd followed me back there to retrieve a carton of milk, and sent me home. It was the most merciful thing I could have experienced, because can you imagine me trying to get through the remaining six hours?
For awhile, I sat in my car in the parking lot. I called my mom, who cried with me and prayed for me. I went home to Carson, who I'd warned of my early return and the loss of our child. He'd set up clothes in the bathroom so I could shower and was waiting by the door to wordlessly hug me.
When I got in the shower, I thought about the time I was in there four weeks earlier. I thought about the tears that wouldn't come and how I knew they'd come later. And they had. I cried for my baby. I cried for the emotions of joy I'd wanted to cry before and couldn't. I cried for the fear of loss I'd had, and the fulfillment of that sadness. I cried because God is sovereign. I cried because close friends have lost their babies and they're in heaven instead of inside us. I cried for the future, because I don't know if I can do that again. I cried for the innocence of myself two years ago, when I had no idea how painful loss could be. I cried until the water was cold and I had to get out.
Tears lie ahead, I fear. Whether it's the same kind of tears in the future, the tears I'll cry when I go to the doctor, or the tears of joy and relief I think I will cry at the eventual birth of my hoped-for child, the tears will come.
I look forward to the joy that comes with the morning.