The baby I lost, but never had

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It’s no secret that Jeremy and I have struggled with fertility issues for years. I spontaneously got pregnant at 19, while unwed, in an awfully unpredictable relationship with little hope of a future, working part-time at a grocery store, and completely unprepared. Nine months later my perfect first-born arrived: Jason Michael Miller, 10.31.2004, 1am, 6lbs6oz, 19.5in long. The situation was far from ideal, and he was certainly not planned by me, but he was perfect.

When Jason was three months old, my now husband and I went on a date and never looked back. On February 8th, 2005 I entered into a relationship with the man I will spend the rest of my years with. By May of that year we had purchased a ring and by July we were engaged. We would stay engaged for 3 years – marrying on February 9th, 2008. We did not stay “pure” but never got pregnant before getting married. We both wanted nothing more than to be parents together and have a large family. After trying for what seemed like forever, we ended up pregnant but miscarried before my first doctor’s appointment: Baby Peanut, 3.15.2009. That was loss number ONE.

At my first ultrasound, when we found out there was no baby, the doc told me I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which was causing my body to ovulate infrequently or not at all. This syndrome is common in overweight women, and can also be caused by different forms of birth control (yeah, no one tells you that your pill – or IUD – can actually cause long-term side effects meaning you may actually never be able to get pregnant on your own. They get paid far too much to push these drugs to inform you of the negative aspects…). We kept trying for a few more months, to no avail, then decided to give the fertility med Clomid (hormonally forces ovulation) a try, at the advice of my doctor. My third month on Clomid led to Parker being conceived and nine months later we had a 2nd son: Parker Manning Kidd, 07.30.2010, 10pm, 7lbs10oz, 19in long. As soon as Parker was born I looked Jeremy in the eye and said “I want more”. We both have always wanted a lot of kids but the hell I went through to conceive Parker, I thought, was surely enough to deter our wishes for more children. I was wrong.

Jeremy and I never stopped trying to conceive another child. We have not prevented pregnancy since our wedding day 8 years ago and have gone through many months of charting and timing, actively TRYING to conceive. In December of 2013, I took a pregnancy test (like I had every month prior for the previous 3 years) and it was positive. After so many negative tests, you can imagine my hesitation at believing this little pink pee stick. I took another, and another, and they were all positive. We wasted NO TIME telling all of our friends and family for they all knew how long we had been waiting, and praying, for this very miracle. See just a couple of months prior to this positive test, many friends had prayed for us and some, not even knowing our current struggle, prayed that God would give us a baby. Lo and behold, He did! We were elated.

Due to my past experience with infertility and miscarriage, this pregnancy was treated high risk from the beginning. I had bleeding from about 5 weeks on and we had our first ultrasound at 6 weeks. Our baby girl was high and doing great with a heartbeat in the 150s. She was an answered prayer if there ever was one. The bleeding, however, continued and got worse. We had another ultrasound at 9 weeks because of the bleeding and it was then that the ultrasound tech, with a ghost white face, had to tell us that our baby was still there, but she had no heartbeat. We were completely devastated, again. God had promised us this daughter and then He took her away! Why would He do that? Why would a loving, caring, thoughtful Father do such a horrible thing?! We had so many questions, so much  anger, and did not know what to do with any of it.

After weeks of being angry and yelling to God, He showed me my baby girl. Miss Rosalie Mae was in heaven. She was a baby and she was being held by her great-grandmother. Gran had passed the previous March and she had always wanted us to have a little girl (she had one son, two grandsons, and three great-grandsons). We were unable to fulfill her wish before she passed on to be with Jesus, and God was showing me that He provided for Gran, His daughter. She was radiantly beaming with joy while holding little Rosalie. Call it stupid, religious, idiotic, clinging to false hope, whatever you want to call it – I know what I know to be true and God answered her prayer through our hurt and suffering. Rosalie touched our lives, touched our hearts, and increased our faith tenfold: Rosalie Mae Kidd, 2.9.2014, gone from this world before ever taking her first breath. That was loss number TWO.

Two and a half years have passed since losing Rosalie and it still stings. We loved her so much, and can’t wait for our reunion in Heaven with all our precious children. We have never stopped trying to conceive because we believe the promise that God spoke over us to give us a living, breathing daughter this side of heaven. In April of this year we decided to give Clomid another try. The first month I was convinced I was pregnant, but I was not. Month number two I was hoping I was pregnant but then we got asked a very unusual question: will you adopt my baby girl, I’m due in December?

What?! Could this be what God has planned for our future? Adoption – we had always wanted to do it but thought it way too far out of our reach financially. But this, this is a private adoption which costs significantly less than an agency adoption, or international. Was God providing an answer to our years-long prayer? We prayed and prayed and prayed some more and ultimately decided that yes, we would love to adopt this little girl and provide for her in any way possible. We have so much love to give!

From day one we were praying for the health of this little girl. Her mama suffers from many ailments that can affect this little girl and we were praying for mama to stay healthy, for baby to stay healthy, and for all to be well. Every single day we went to the Father on their behalf asking for protection and provision. We formed a relationship with birth mama and got very close, very quickly. It was nice to be able to “see” my daughter growing in her mama’s belly but it was so hard not having any control over anything. I found myself praying, on several occasions, “God, why couldn’t you have just made me pregnant? It would have been so much easier.” Though easy is often what I want, it’s rarely what is best. Can I get an Amen? God reminded me over and over that He had chosen this path for us and that, if we trust Him, we will be fine. I felt as though He was protecting the baby so much and providing so much for mama – surely it was all going to work out perfectly.

July 3, 2016, there was no heartbeat. At 15 weeks gestation our baby’s heart stopped beating and she was gone, it was happening again: Gloria Mae Kidd, 7.3.2016, gone too soon but loved so much. This was loss number THREE. The difference here is that little miss Gloria was never really mine to lose. With the others, I carried them. I talked to them. I longingly rubbed my belly and bonded with them before they left me. But with her, I didn’t get any of that. I am left with a dryer full of baby girl clothes that will never be worn and an online baby registry full of stuff that will never be purchased or used. I have plans and dreams for a baby I never even got to meet. You know what’s not different this time? The pain. The sense of loss and the hurt associated with this death is absolutely NO DIFFERENT than the other two times. If anything, it may be a touch worse.

Miscarriage is hard and there are not enough people who even acknowledge it as a legitimate loss. As a matter of fact, research has shown that the loss of baby in utero, regardless of gestational age, has the same psychological effect on the mother as any other loss would (i.e. a family member, or child, or spouse). I have written an academic paper on the subject if you would like to read the research.

I am not publishing this to say “Please pity me and my broken heart” but rather to bring awareness to a struggle that is VERY NEAR to my broken heart. Miscarriage is REAL and it really hurts. If you know someone struggling with this very thing, love on them. Hug them if they’ll let you, and just be there for them. I am still mourning the loss of our daughter from 2 years ago, so there is absolutely no time limit. I never thought I could love a child so much and never even have a chance to meet her. Rosalie and Peanut were in me, that makes sense. Gloria never touched me, and I never touched her, but she was just as mine as the others. The feelings of love were and are the same. The sense of loss is the same. The hole in my heart is the same. And just like the others, God will show me His sovereign hand in all this. He will comfort and sustain me, like He always does. But for now, I just need to mourn.