this is the start

starting-line

This big announcement, if I’m honest, was supposed to come sometime this past February.  I was expecting our fourth child, newly pregnant.  I had enjoyed 3 previous healthy and routine pregnancies.  I come from a long line of women who get pregnant when they want, and bounce those same babies nine months later.  There was no reason to assume things wouldn’t follow according to plan.

I thought I was getting really good at being pregnant.  Somehow, by the 4th child, I’d finally learned how to outsmart the all day vomiting and incredible exhaustion.  I was so proud of myself.  I was keeping up with writing, I was keeping up around the house, and I was absolutely as creative as ever.

Looking back, that should have been my first warning sign.  Even more than the obvious pregnancy symptoms, it is utterly predictable that I will experience a months long creative drought in early pregnancy.  But, it wasn’t so that time.

Shortly after telling the first group of friends (some of you at Blissdom), I went to an ultrasound only to find out the baby no longer had a heartbeat at 9 1/2 weeks.

It was a terribly confusing time for me.  More than anything, I just wanted to move past it.  I didn’t want to talk about it.  I didn’t want to cry about it.  I just didn’t want to be the “girl who had a miscarriage”.  But, it is impossible to not be–when you are.

In the whole experience, I have learned that women deal with and process pregnancy loss differently.  Some openly mourn, some quietly mourn.  Most, I’ve found, question whether they are grieving appropriately.  Some worry they feel too much, some worry they aren’t feeling sad enough.

I’m not an expert at miscarriage grief.  I didn’t even want to talk about it when it was happening.  I am just now starting to venture my thoughts with the safest of people and in the most offhanded ways.  What I do know, though, is that there is no right way to go through it.  You go through it the best you can.

All weekend, I’ve been feeling incredibly grateful to have another chance at pregnancy.  We’re anticipating our family growing by one more, and praying that it will be so.  We’ve had a few good ultrasounds and have made it to 15 weeks.  This tiny little baby will, Lord willing, join our family in mid-late January.

P.S.–The boys hope it will be a girl.

77 Comments

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Nicola

    ah, bless you. congratulations. best wishes. x

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Janice

    What a beautifully written post. Kudos for sharing such intimate thoughts. All the best to you xx

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    kara

    Aw Hayley! You never cease to amaze me. God is using you in many ways. Praying for a wonderful pregnancy …and for a girl!!

  • Congratulations! So happy for you and your family :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Sarah

    Yea! Congrats to you & your family & the little one growing in you. So exciting :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    teri

    Congratulations Hayley!!! I’ll be keeping you, your sweet babe, and your family in my prayers!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Jessica

    Haley,

    I am SO sorry about the loss of your baby. I wish I had something lovely and profound to say about that, but the truth is, I can’t form words to speak to the magnitude of something like that. Truly, though, my heart breaks for your loss.

    I can, however, give a big YAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY over the new little one!!!! That is so exciting!!! Life with four is a ton of fun! :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Amy

    So sorry for your heartbreak, so excited for your new joy!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Addie Zierman

    So tied up in one another, pain and joy, aren’t they? Congratulations on the coming little one!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Carrie

    Oh congratulations!

    When I lost our first, I didn’t tell a soul. Not even my mom. For months and months. I had to deal with it on my own. I still don’t talk about it much. Three boys later, I’m hoping that I can convince the hubs that we should try for 1 more next year!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Leanne Penny

    What a bittersweet post, I grieve with you and rejoice with you simultaneously.

    One of the worst parts of grief is questioning whether or not you’re doing it right. I’ve learned to just grieve authentically and honestly and to try my hardest not to worry about how other people are evaluating their grief, as no two losses are alike.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Anna

    Big congrats to the twigs… Couldn’t be more happy for you if I knew you in real life! X

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Kate

    What a sweet gift to be pregnant again! :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Jessica

    Congrats on the new baby! I definitely understand the confusion and mass of emotions after a miscarriage. I’ve had two. Just know you’re not alone. Our family is expecting #3 (or #5 depending how you count it) in October. Each life is a gift in its own way no matter how long it lasts.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    tracie stier-johnson

    sweet girl … yes, a bittersweet post indeed! i’m sure you have or will get plenty of “it happened to me too” … but … it happened to me too. with our 4th. and Lord knows how much i wanted that baby!

    and finally she came, and now she’s six … my forever bundle of love!

    rejoicing with you over “this start” and the many joys to come!

    thank you for being vulnerable to share … we grow {all of us together}, when we share … sharing binds us. so thank you!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    HopeUnbroken

    so, so very happy for you. praying for you during the coming months.
    lots of love and encouragement,
    steph

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Button Bird Designs

    Girllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll!!!!!!!!!
    I am sooooooooooooo happy and excited for you!!!! You will always hold a very special place in my heart. This just makes me so happy today!
    Love
    Angela

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Becky E

    Thank you for sharing. I also lost my 4th child at ten weeks. It’s a strange, alone feeling, isn’t it? You feel empty. My 5th child is now 3 years old. I’m praying that your heart has peace and all goes well with your baby.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Bri

    What beautiful news to read this morning! I’m so glad that God is sovereign over all. He gives and takes away, all in his perfect plan. How fun it will be to see your cute pregnant self at Influence this fall!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    melody

    this is so wonderful. so so happy for you!!! p.s. can i please send you a nest necklace or ring to celebrate? send me an email if so :) p.s.s. CANNOT WAIT til influence!!!

  • Congratulations! I know how difficult pregnancy loss can be, and you’re right- everyone copes with it differently. Pregnancy after loss can be so stressful, particularly in those early months. I’m so glad you’re expecting another sweet baby and will remember you in my prayers, Hayley.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Andrea

    So happy for you! Wishing you the best!!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Amanda

    Congratulations! So excited for you and your family!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Nadine S.

    I hope it’s a girl as well! Praying peace from Jesus over your pregnancy right now.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Kimber-Leigh

    congratulations…what precious news! and thank you for sharing about your miscarriage. i have walked with many friends through miscarriage and find your words to be true.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Tiffany

    Congratulations! My prayers are with you for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    17 Perth

    Im so so sorry for your loss. However , congratulations on you expecting. I pray God keeps you are the new sweet baby safe and healthy.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Heather

    Oh so exciting! Congratulations girl. I’m so pumped for you and praying for health and safety for you and baby. xoxo

  • This post shares your beauty form the inside out! Thank you for your honesty. Praying for a healthy pregnancy…and a girl!

  • I can only imagine what a rollercoaster of emotions your year has been. You are so brave and strong to share this, and I’m sure it helps many other women who’ve been through the same thing. Congratulations and blessings for a healthy pregnancy!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Carrie

    The same place your sweet baby started- in your heart- will be where he or she will rest forever. God bless you every single moment you think of your child…

    And yay yay yay yay yay!!! I, too, will say a prayer for the tiny life you’re growing. I just had my first, a little girl, this past January. She’s a ball of fire, but I wouldn’t change her for the world. Girls are so much fun! But I hear boys are too ;-)

    AND WAY TO ANNOUNCE THIS FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE COLOR RUN! I just ran my first yesterday and it was so much fun!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Nicole J

    What sweet news :) Will be praying for little baby twig and for good health and joy for you!

  • congratulations hayley and fam! wishing you tons of blessings :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Joy

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! Several of my close friends (including my sister) experienced miscarriages, and I know that there aren’t even words for the sadness, as there are no words for the delight of healthy baby. Sending you the best wishes for an easy, healthy pregnancy with number four.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Sarah

    praising God, Hayley! praising God for life.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    amy cornwell

    Congratulations!! Praying for you and the baby – for a long and healthy and (mostly feeling good) term. Hugs!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Beth Anne

    oh friend, I am so sorry about the loss of your baby. I do know how heart breaking & confusing that is.

    Many, many congratulations on this new life & becoming a momma again :) How wonderful!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Reeve

    Congratulations! I’m sure a little girl would be fun for you and the boys:)
    Also, thanks for being so honest with your pain. Love reading honest thoughts.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    kelli

    I am so sorry for your loss. It is unexplainable until experienced first-hand.
    Praying for your new little life! I am also expecting #4- 22 weeks along.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Hannah Jo

    Hayley, I’m so sorry for your loss, but so happy for your news! I love that we serve a God who has a PERFECT plan and even when it’s so incredibly hard and we don’t understand, He knows exactly what He’s doing. I pray that the rest of your pregnancy will be healthy and happy!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Lindsay

    Oh Hayley. Thank you for sharing your life and the ups and downs it brings. Praying for you and your growing family.

    L. Columna.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Ashley

    Oh hayley, I am not saddened by your loss and so so so excited for your newest little edition!! What wonderful news!! Congratulations girl.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Marty Musser

    Congratulations, Hayley! I am so happy for you and your sweet family!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    mandie

    Friend, I am so sorry for the loss you experienced. I pray that the lord gives you peace during this time, that you will trust in Him and be able to be so excited and present while you’re expecting this new life. :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Cassie

    Congratulations on your little one! And thank you for sharing about your miscarriage. I think our society doesn’t give moms the freedom to talk about it as much as they should. We openly grieve the loss of a child, or an adult, but for some reason, miscarriages stay hush hush. I think it is encouraging for women to hear other women grieve the loss of their baby because in reality, it happens more than we think. Thanks for sharing, and I’m sorry to hear about your loss, but excited to see how God grows your family. :)

  • so sorry for your loss, but so excited for your newest blessing! congratulations!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Bree

    Congratulations~! Good thoughts on a healthy and wonderful pregnancy :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    monique

    Congrats on your new baby!

    I know what it’s like to lose a baby…l mourned quietly and didn’t talk about it for a while.

    A year after my loss, i got pregnant again. And today I have a very biosterous 1 year old little girl. I encourage you to enjoy this time, embrace your pregnancy. In the beginning of my pregnancy with my little girl I was so scared of losing her that I did not enjoy being pregnant. I feared every little ache and pain. It was later, till I gave over all my fear to the Lord and realized her little life was not in my hands, buts God’s did i enjoy my pregnancy.

    So enjoy this time with your family. And I hope you have a girl–girls are so much fun!

  • Oh Hayley. I am so very sorry for your heartbreak and your loss. But I am rejoicing with you over this new life! Congratulations, my friend!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    {annie_loo}

    CONGRATS!!!!! So happy for y’all! Will be praying for this new baby!

    Great post…I too felt/feel those same thoughts…about grieving the loss of our first. However, I choose to find joy in the NEXT pregnancy, because that one made me a momma. And my life is forever changed because of him!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Tsh @ Simple Mom

    Congratulations, friend! So happy for you. :) Hooray!

    And I totally know those weird, conflicting emotions. I miscarried twins between our boys, so I’ve been there.

  • Bittersweet for sure, this letting go and embracing again. So glad for this new life, though. And praying s/he grows healthy and strong and that you keep your creative stride in the waiting.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Tracey

    Congratulations! Don’t let miscarriage steal your joy from this present pregnancy, it almost happened to me but a wise friend nipped it in the bud. So happy for you guys. 2/7 heart friend babies, woo hoo!

  • Congratulations!!!! and I am so envious that you did the color run!!! I did the Santa hustle in December with friends and loved it!! Kept my Santa hat and beard on the whole time. I am hoping they will have the color one again next year as my daughter is wanting to run with me and I think it would be a great “mom and daughter trip”. I will pray for your little one to remain safe. I have never struggled with miscarriage but I have struggled with infertility, and know when a you are anxiously awaiting a little one its so hard to find that one is not coming.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Audrey

    So many congrats to the Twigs! Just wanted to remind you though– it’s okay to be the girl with three living boys and the girl who is pregnant with a miracle and the girl who had the miscarriage. It’s okay to be those things. There is no shame in miscarriage.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Angela Wood

    I totally get that whole… “am I grieving appropriately?”
    I had a miscarriage years ago after 3 healthy pregnancies and babies… I didn’t want to make a big deal of it. I just wanted to move forward. Months later, it sort of hit me… around the time that the baby should have been born. Very strange how grief affects us all differently.

    Happy for your recent pregnancy and sending happy pregnancy wishes!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    HopefulLeigh

    Congratulations!

  • So sorry to hear about your miscarriage but I am thrilled to learn about the new baby!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    molly

    Congratulations!! May you be blessed with a healthy and peaceful pregnancy! I’m due with our third in early Jan :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Donna

    Hayley,
    Thanks for being so open and sharing your story. We’ve experienced a lot of loss this year, outside of our own family; a friends 5 year old losing his battle with cancer and just weeks ago a dear friend losing her baby at 38 weeks, unexplained. These experiences have put much fear in me and made it tough to want to go for #3 in our family. The fear of the unknown, of loss. For some reason your post reminded me that I can’t let fear control our lives. I’m rejoicing for you and your family and will be praying for a wonderful pregnancy and very healthy baby in just a few months!! :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Jennifer Campbell

    Hayley- The loss of a child is never easy, at any stage. In the past year, I have buried three of my children: a miscarriage at 12 weeks, a stillbirth at 35 weeks, and another miscarriage at 6 weeks. The thought of another pregnancy terrifies me, but I want a baby SO. BAD. My faith has been shaken, but sometimes, I think, your faith has to be shaken in order to grow beyond what it could have been. My three healthy children are what keep me going. You will definitely be in my thoughts and prayers, and I will be rooting for you a girl. :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    eileen marie

    First of all, congratulations! I know you’ll be thrilled boy or girl, but I’m crossing my fingers for pink (for your boys of course).

    Secondly, I am so sorry for your loss, and it is a loss. I know having a miscarriage and losing a child are vastly different losses (I hear this comparison often, and I know people who have gone through both unfortunately), but both losses all the same. I truly wish this new blessing helps buoy your hope and relieves some of your grief.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Maggie S.

    Congratulations. I know a

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Maggie S.

    n impressive number of women due in Feb. Good Health to you.

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Kristin

    Wow! Many, many congrats to your whole family! Love that tiny belly!

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    Mackenzie

    Thank you for sharing this with all of us! I’m truly sorry for the loss that your family has had to endure. I can’t imagine how painful that would be. I pray that this pregnancy will be healthy, wonderful, and such a blessing to your family! Congratulations. (And can’t wait to meet you at the Influence conference in October!) :)

  • Reply July 30, 2012

    emily anderson

    congrats! happy for you and your family :)

  • Reply July 31, 2012

    Adrienne

    Congratulations to you all! Thanks for sharing your heart and working through your feelings of loss with us. Praying for a healthy pregnancy for you!

  • Reply July 31, 2012

    kendra

    what a lovely and honest and happy post!
    praying for you guys

  • What a beautiful post. Congratulations on the new pregnancy….and all my wishes for a happy and healthy one.

  • SO thrilled for you… been praying for weeks. Much love and joy from Nashville. xo

  • Reply July 31, 2012

    Kelly

    Well written. Kelly (Dubai, U.A.E)

  • Reply August 1, 2012

    Amber

    Congrats! and I love the way you added the color run pics! :)

  • Reply August 3, 2012

    Laura

    Thank you so much for sharing and being real. sorry for your loss, excited for your new little addition!

  • Reply August 9, 2012

    Jessica

    How exciting! And thank you for writing so beautifully about your miscarriage. My husband and I are expecting our first at the end of January so I look forward to counting down with you:)

  • Reply August 17, 2012

    Annie

    That’s so great that you’re expecting again!! We have 4 kids and I got pregnant in January of 2012. We had a great track record as well, but this one was different. I ended up having a miscarriage. It was such a surreal experience and what I didn’t realize was how many women had gone through it. It’s definitely given me a new perspective. We are really hoping to have another chance soon!! Blessings to you guys-

  • Oh Haley. I wondered off an on about this after you told us in February. Grief is a personal thing… there is no right way to deal with it. I’m exited for you newest little guy. Praying you will have a peaceful pregnancy. xoxo

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