Our Pregnancy Loss

Life is built through experience, good and bad, joyful and hard, trying and true. It's celebrated and it's unsung. Seasons through and through, each of us see it all.

My heart stings. Every inch of it aches at the thought of this unimaginable experience. What will soon be a memory, but is yet etched so deeply within my soul, I'll simply never forget it. Emotionally broken, totally unstable.

Theres this impulse lingering to put this hurt somewhere. To simply bleed spilling out words, not to pawn it off and hide it away pretending that it no longer exists. But to free it. To mold, shape, and build it into something, anything really. Permission to be patient, vulnerable, and exposed. Embracing discomfort with everything I have. I don't like that. Aches and pains, we never really got along, but we managed. This though, this kind of weight is unlike anything else. It's tremendous, over bearing, and just plain difficult, yet I'm so very aware that those feelings aren't running away anytime soon. They'll forever linger inside as I grow stronger. Trusting that as I engage, mourn, and simply live, I give myself the freedom to heal. Steadfastly holding onto the truth that the path before me will unveil in His perfect time and uncover His undeniable strength through my very real weakness.

May 31st, 2020. The day life felt snatched under my feet. Taken in a single moment, a split second what twelve weeks worked so hard to create. A life. A sweet little creation that just two months prior was welcomed with joyful hearts and ready arms. Now, having to let go. Having to say goodbye and walk in the actuality that this is tanigable. That this is our life.

It's certainly an unfair world we live in. Unimaginable hardships around every corner whether in our families, our finances, our careers, our bodies. Truly, the list goes on and on. And now this unbearable  misfortune is apart of our story. The hard reality I face that miscarriage exists everywhere despite how much that word has no acceptance in my heart. The very place in time where life, birth, and death all co-exist. It happened to us.

Even when there are no words, I'm making the effort trying to conjure up just something, enough so that God's glory would be displayed through our suffering. Yes, it's terribly difficult to re-live and share your vulnerability with the world, but I also find it awkwardly relieving. Alleviating some of our own long lived pain hoping that our path might just bring encouragement to another couple who may be currently, will unfortunately, or have unwillingly participated through this tragedy. Or maybe lean into a heart reassuring that they are not alone. Hope can be found.  I'm certain it can.

I'm compelled, utterly convinced that sharing our family's narrative is important in some way. Whether it plays a big role or a tiny part in a life, it's important to me. This space here is safe. It's authentic and you'll always find genuine lifestyle content. Real stories and a real friend. Shoulder to lean on, friend to clap with. My desire is you'll find both because that is the radiance of life. Our stories are made up of several chapters, not just one pretty book. And friends, thats the rhythm here at the Heart To Home blog.

Now, let's take a moment to celebrate shall we?

On March 30th, 2020 at 9:00am, my little toddler and I took a pregnancy test. I say we chuckling with the thought that there is just not much privacy with a growing family. Intentionally I was totally suspicious because some things didn't line up with the female human body. I figured if I was going to take a test, I was going to record the results with the anticipation of just in case. Something in me knew. There's this secret connection I believe woman have when they're growing life inside of them that leaves a mark of awarness even before the little lines pop up on the pregnancy test.

"Here we go" I said. Moments later there they were. Two lines, two people, and three beating hearts in the room. Everything in me burst with excitement of course for countless reasons why, but one of those being a desire I've always tucked into a little corner of my heart. That aspiration to have a surprise to share with my husband knowing that this secret was safe with me and God....well and Karson too.

Just three years ago when we found out we were parents to this fun boy, the news came in during a random trip to the hospital due to some breathing trouble I'd been experiencing after a family vacation. "You're pregnant. Congrats!" the doctor uttered as he opened and then closed the door softly upon his departure. We had never been more thrilled to hear those words, but it also wasn't the most creative way to spill the beans. So having the privilege of carrying a test marked positive had always been a dream I tucked quietly away.

The anticipation grew in those next few days and again the following morning on March 31st at 6:46am, two lines peeked through. The grin wouldn't hide, but my cool factor kept me undetectable. I knew how I would tell Brandon. It was a match made in heaven knowing his birthday was now just 48 hours away. I have to go to Target my mind spoke frantically. Instantly flooded with ideas on how to create the most special impression.

April 1st, 6:41am. Is it apparent that our toddler is an earlier riser yet? The digital test broke out after the Target haul the previous night. Everything was coming together for Brandon's 26th birthday. The balloons, the cake, and the biggest gift of all. Four squares filled the screen and then...."pregnant" it read. The world stopped and I cried. Like ugly cried. Carrying life is one of the most honorable callings I've been grateful to receive and this blessed me in every single way.

Now too pack up the box. There was a home made card, a honey stick, baby comb, and that digital pregnancy test I knew would blow his mind. Tucked on top of an adorable cream colored knitted baby blanket, I closed the box, opened it again, soaked in the moment, closed it, and hid it away in the closet until the next morning.

April 1st, 2020. Cascading down every inch of our tiny dining room wall were assortments of balloons that Brandon would pop to find out what the day had in store. Two hours. It would be two hours when that shining star inflatable bag filled with air would pop and the news poured out. 120 minutes and we would revel over this beautiful life together. The 4 of us hopped into the car and onto the adventure.

I'll cherish this picture forever, this day for the rest of my life. Happiness in its purest form. Catching our breath after our afternoon trail walk, the blanket plummeted against the earth and held my whole world. My boys sat and the unwrapping begun. My heart throbbing with overflowing emotions of excitement. Unraveling the string came first. Next the top of the box. And finally the tissue paper lifted up and so did my husbands eyebrows. Then it came. His mouth dropped and the biggest smile lit up my soul. I couldn't help but feel like it was my birthday too.

Documenting the most adorable "big brother" photos, sending out announcements cards to our family, and eating all of the gluten free pasta filled the next six weeks. I felt like I hadn't smiled like this in a long time. 2019 was a heavy year losing some of our closest family members on this side of eternity and facing unusual battles in every corner.

It was ten days after Mother's Day. Another check up. The doctor and I walked down the hallway and onto the bed I was instructed. Silence filled that cold ultra sound room. The next moments took every inch of breath away as the scan proceeded. "I wish I was wrong". My head spun. My whole body shook. My eyes filled in an instant with tears that could no longer hide behind a puzzled face. The rest of that 60 minutes felt like a blur. Physically and emotionally untapped from the world around me, I shuffled quickly to the elevator.

Ding. As the elevator door opened a sigh of relief released into the air. Thankful to be alone, I breathed in and slapped floor 1 with my elbow (thanks Covid). Down and down I went. It felt like no coinsidence that I was going to the bottom floor. It couldn't be more accurate that the perception of my existence in that very instant identified perfectly with the levels wrenched lower and lower.

Moments later the elevator reached the bottom floor and I had to walk out. Continue my everyday life and go home to this burdened reality. Passing everyone around me, feeling absolutely disconnected to life, yet knowing this secret was tucked behind a mask, literally and figuritevely. The next news awaiting Brandon would shatter us both.

Pacing across town, I finally reached my husband and collapsed in his arms. Every part of me giving freedom to be anything but a total mess. Heart split and tears poured. The level of emotional turmoil was far too extensive to put into words. Grief, ache, pain, empathy, and agony spilled at the site of where we sat. The sad truth that this anguish would never leave, but only grow more bearable in time.

With empty hearts, a soon to be empty womb, and empty answers, the next four weeks were honestly spent being gracefully and utterly broken. Searching for God voice, clinging to scripture, reaching for helping hands, and being offered incredible support as the report slowly emerged. Take time for you, be upset, you'll have a chance to try again, hang in there, I'm here, and you don't have to share it with the world all echoed during that period. All while we  transitioned from celebration to healing, we felt lucky to not be alone. Not to carry the heaviness of this burden by ourselves. Not enough thank you's will ever be able to express this in it's entirety.

I imagined those letters on the test slowly fading away as our loved child followed. You find out your growing life, you nurture your body, plan the nursery, buy the books, tell the friends, stop drinking caffeine, and boom. Toil kicks in to an extreme and all of sudden the smiles turn to pain. Plans to failed attempts. Love to fear. Life as you know it crashes and you sense every part of the impact.

During our encounter with pregnancy loss, there were some takeaways our family learned in this extensive time.

The first, this baby is and will always be a gift to us. Apart of our family forever. I see becoming a mother and father incredibly different now than I had before. My belief is that we don't "become" a parent when our littles enter the world, but from the moment of conception is when we press play. No matter what age our children are, they will be loved dearly as a family member even if they don't make it into our arms. Their life is treasured and valuable. 12 weeks or 12 years, they're still ours. Karson will continue to be a great big brother from the inside and on the outside. It was important that we made it evident that this pregnancy and this child was not a fail, but a human being that made us a parent to two which doesn't change even when our hearts desperately cry to have them here with us.

The biggest thing we had to exercise in the middle was this reminder to continue to find enjoyment in the meaningful memories of what was. There was a moment in time where Brandon and I stoped the chaos of life around us to lean into this truth that we can still be happy about the videos captured during our pregnancy, the minutes we dreamed up about what life was going to look like in November of 2020, the special occasions with two children on board like Brandon's birthday or Mothers Day, and even those "big brother" photos we caught as we eagerly awaited for the day we would share the news. Yes, even that is worth cherishing because those brought us happiness and I'd think it's possible now it still can.

We've never looked at Karson more special. Our hearts fully open to gratitude of who we have. We've always shared this incomparable connection with him, but now, now it's different. More notable than ever before. Staring at his chunky toes and studying his tiny fingers. Holding him closer, holding him tighter. We've always loved him, but presently we embrace this idea that our love has only grown bigger and deeper than ever before. It's like a hidden lesson in the loss. Never take anything for granted. We knew that before, but this, this ushered us to be reminded of it.

The rocky soil we trudged down brought us into a deeper connection with God. It taught us to ask hard questions and leave with the acceptance that He is sovereign. It helped us encounter fervent prayer as we taped pictures and though felt intercessions upon walls of our home. It vastly convicted us of some areas in our hearts and habits we would need to change to give full surrender of our lives to Him. And it was the loud reminder that God alone has got the whole world in His hands, including our child and our plans.

And finally, acceptance. This word I battled with in my head for weeks on edge. From the very moment my feet dangled at the edge of that hospital bed to the 2:30am wake up call in full fledge labor, I didn't want to believe this was my life. The sharp truth that existence now would have to gone on like this. My mind numb, our souls hurt. One day a God given thought popped into my head on a sunny afternoon. Peering out our living room window, the revelation hit like a ton if bricks. You can be upset, thats okay. You can feel sad and that's okay too, but you won't live in a bottomless pit forever. You're going to make it on the other side of this pain. No amount of frustration will ever change what already happen. God showing up and showing off. My optimistic personality and Jesus within me clearly taking center stage. I needed to weep over this loss, but I also was going to be the cheerleader for myself and my husband to see the light and continue to pick us up out of the trench. So, here as you read these words, I've come to accept this as our story. It's not the end. It's a chapter. A heart-wrenching, soul searching, gut twisting chapter. Despite how many times I sit on the emotional roller coaster, the narrative crafted so beautifully for our family is in the best authors hands, Jesus Himself. We will come out on the other side, knowing God certainly will give this moment purpose. That’s our hope. What else do we have anyway? Because faith never prevents you from getting kicked down. And surely if God hasn’t left us yet, there’s reassurance He won’t leave us here either.

The inevitable tears and family isolation have brought us here. At this time to bring forth healing and honor this beautiful baby in every way we possibly can. To share their story and tell ours. There will never be a day that goes by where our little one is not thought about, missed, or loved. We may have wrestled with answers we might not ever see on this of eternity, but today marks a step in the right direction. It happened and for whatever reason why, we rest assured you are in perfect hands. Jesus's love is far greater than ours. God carrying you in heaven sweet one and us carrying you in our hearts.

We can't wait to meet you one day, Brighton Faven Barrett. We love you.

1 comment

  1. Oh tiffany. so sorry for your loss. I'll be praying for you. My husband and I have had 2 in the last 8 months. take time to hea . God will be with you every step. Turn and lean on HIM