Love, Loss & Tender Mercies

Carli + Beau Thoughts

I will never forget the date of September 25. That was our first son Carter’s due date. That was also the day that I miscarried our second child. I remember sitting in the ER a few months ago and looking at the white board on the wall and seeing that day 9-25-17, and just bursting into tears. That day that held so much joy for us at one point, was now also going to share in a pain that we had never experienced before.

Beau and I found out we were expecting again in August of this last year. Its always a little bit of a struggle for us, but we thankfully have gotten pregnant both times without any need of medication. We were thrilled! Excited to grow our family, and ready for that next step. I had called the doctor and we made an appointment to go in. I went in around 9 weeks for my first appointment, and after talking to the NP, and talking about how irregular my cycles are, she suggested that we do a dating ultrasound to just double check to see if I was on track for the timing that I thought I was. I only had one ultrasound with Carter at 20 weeks, and I didn’t realize how big of a tender mercy this early ultrasound would be until later.

I went in for that ultrasound and the baby was measuring about 9 weeks and 2 days, which was only a few days behind what we thought. And then I got to see it, that tiny tiny little flutter that indicated there was a heartbeat! We got our little photo and headed on our way. It may seem silly, but having that photo, having that proof later on that something was actually in there, and that at one point that little baby was here and had a heartbeat has brought me so much peace. I am so grateful that I was able to have that experience, and that God put that tender mercy in this trial. We lost the baby only a few days after that ultrasound.

We had a busy month of September. About 4 weddings, lots of other shoots, and work things and I realized about the middle of the month or so that I had started feeling good again. I didn’t think much of it though, just figured I was much busier this time around then I was when I was pregnant with Carter. Or maybe that I just had a lot more distractions this time taking my mind off my body more, but now I know why. You guys, I believe fully in an amazing Father in Heaven who is looking out for us every step of the way in our lives. I cannot even begin to explain to you all the power that I saw from his hand directly in my life during this trial. We had a wedding in Stanley the weekend before we found out. We were away from home, away from Carter, traveling, shooting and then we spent some time with family that Sunday as almost all of Beau’s siblings were in town. I could have started the process at any point during that time, I went to the bathroom at least a couple of times at the restaurant that Sunday evening where we had all gone for dinner together, but it wasn’t until we got home that night, that I first noticed that I had some bleeding. I have prayed in thanks to my Father in Heaven for allowing me to be home, in my safe place, with just my husband and my son surrounding me before it all started.

I noticed that I had some bleeding, and immediately took to Google. There was mixed thoughts and honestly I figured it could be just fine, or that I needed to be concerned. I decided to just wait till the morning to see if anything changed. In the morning I knew something was wrong. I had my hopes up but I knew what they would be saying when I went in to the doctor. I had an ultrasound done, it was hard. So hard. I know legally the techs aren’t supposed to say anything, but I have never had an experience harder than that one. Sitting in that room, quiet, as they did the ultrasound as quickly as they could, I’m sure knowing exactly what they were going to find too. I was told to go back over to my doctor and she would talk to me more. I knew, I just knew.

I had decided to just go alone to all of this. Beau had some work scheduled and honestly it wasn’t going to change the outcome, so I figured it would just be fine to carry on as usual. But then I got back to the doctors office, and was in the waiting room when my Mom walked in. She had a feeling that she needed to come, and I am glad she did. I went into that room, and got the worst news that I have ever received, our baby had stopped growing about 9 weeks and 5 days and I had already started miscarrying. My doctor talked to me about what to expect and what my options were. It was all kind of a blur. But in that moment, I knew that I just needed to have this whole thing done with as quickly as possible.

I’ve never been able to deal with these situations very well. Call it a coping technique or whatever you want, but I rarely dwell on anything very long. Something happens in my life, I experience it, and then I move on with other things. Usually diving into work, or something else. Its just the way that I am, and I don’t think it makes me heartless, or anything like that. Its just the way that I’ve learned to deal with traumatic experiences in my life. So for me, when the option for a d & c came about, I decided I wanted to go that direction. They scheduled one for the following day, and I was sent on my way. But only a few hours later I was already passing the pregnancy naturally. I won’t go into details of that, and for those of you, who have experienced this will understand, but those of you who haven’t. Truly it was the hardest thing I have ever gone through. Not physically. In fact, I wasn’t in pain hardly at all, but emotionally, it was all very very real at that point. I couldn’t deny it anymore. This was happening. I was losing my baby for real.

But that was also the other big tender mercy that I saw. How quickly the whole process went. I know women who it can take up to a week from the first spotting to them passing it naturally. I honestly didn’t have time for that. We had another wedding that coming weekend, and emotionally I just needed this whole process to be done. Again, I am thankful for God being able to see just exactly how I could handle this situation, and through Him I was able to go through this and come out the other side. I did end up having a d&c as well. A couple days later I was still having some issues, and with my decision and the doctors suggestion we decided to do one. Again, I am so grateful for that as I had some things leftover that didn’t pass naturally, and it was like the final breath that it was over. The other major tender mercy that I saw from God during this time, was our schedule in October. October is always a HUGE wedding month. In 2016 we shot 5 weddings, but in 2017 we never booked a single one. We had many inquiries and everything just fell through. I was so frustrated with that during the summer, I just didn’t understand why. Now I do. Not having any obligations or weddings for a good month after this miscarriage allowed me to force myself to take a break. Like I said, I usually just dive into something else to focus on, but this made me step back and feel the emotions and the experiences that I needed to. And I am grateful for that.

After it happened we were flooded with so much love from family and friends. I never really truly comprehended just how common miscarriage is until I had one myself. And then so many amazing mothers sent me messages and messages about their own experiences. It was somehow comforting to know that I wasn’t alone in this. That so many other women have experienced this, and that they’v gone on to have healthy pregnancies after. And even though it was hard, and that first week or 2 after were emotionally just draining, slowly I started to feel the peace and comfort about the situation. I would run into people and they would ask me how I was was doing and I would say that I was doing “fine” or “good” and they would look at me, like I was hiding it, or like I was lying and putting on a brave face. I know that we all experience these things differently, but in all honestly I was doing fine. I feel guilty sometimes saying that, but I wanted to share it because I feel like there are women out there who have felt the same way that I do, and they are embarrassed to be honest about it. They feel that they didn’t love their baby enough, or that they didn’t ever get connected to them. But thats not the case at all. I did feel connected, and it was truly the hardest thing I have ever experienced. But I saw without a doubt the hands of God play out so intimately in this situation that I cannot help but feel peace knowing that there is a timing in his plan and that for whatever reason this sweet spirit and sweet child was not supposed to be here at this time, and that gives me comfort.

Even though we were never able to find out the gender of our baby, or even hold him/her in our arms, we think it may have been a boy. Before we found out that we were pregnant Carter had started talking about a baby brother. He would walk all over the house saying his baby brother was places, or that he was playing with his little brother. We would laugh and just chalk it up to him being a toddler. But then a few weeks later we found out we were pregnant! It was so fun telling him that mommy was going to have a baby. And for the next month he was still talking about his baby brother. Then he suddenly stopped, right around the time I had the miscarriage. We had never told him that we lost the baby, he’s still little enough to not really understand fully, but he just stopped talking about him. I finally asked him about a week after the miscarriage where his baby brother was, and he told me he wasn’t here anymore. I know a lot of people don’t believe in things like that. I know that it just seems a little too much like something out of a movie. But I believe these little ones are a lot closer to heaven then we understand. And Carter has been the light to us that we needed during this difficult time. Even though we aren’t welcoming a second child into our home at this point in time, we have an AMAZING son, right now in our lives that means everything to us. And I know that we will be blessed with more children, and that brings me comfort. I trust in God’s timing and in his plan in my life.

I had thought about sharing this story a lot over the past months, I would start typing something and then just delete it. Never really knowing exactly what to say. But today is my due date. Today is the day that I thought we would have another baby in our home, but instead its life as normal. I didn’t realize how emotional I would feel today either. I mean we’ve been waiting and anticipating this date, and now that its here, and tomorrow its going to be gone. It just seems a little more real than it has over the course of this year. If you’ve experience pregnancy or infant loss, know that you are not alone. Please know that there is an army of amazing strong women who will stand by you and hold you up in your hardest days. I never ever thought I would experience this. I just never imagined it would happen to me, but now that it has, I want to help strengthen anyone else who has gone through it too. You aren’t alone. You are loved, Our Savior Jesus Christ loves you more than you know, and he has felt the pains and sorrows that you have felt.