Nate and I found out I was pregnant on 7/27, the last morning of our amazing anniversary trip to Hawaii (and the day before Nate’s golden birthday). I remember Nate’s face so clearly when I told him. It will forever be in my memory. Early in the morning, sitting in the hotel bed with sleepy hair and wide, shocked eyes. All we could do was hug each other and say “What?! Woah!” It was an unexpected range of emotions, from surprised to elated. We felt all the things. Most of all, so happy. We nicknamed our baby Schmoosh & had a brilliant idea to buy them an itty bitty Hawaiian shirt before we left the island that night. To remember where we found out about you.
It was hard to believe. I had to keep reminding myself “you’re pregnant”. When we got home, I took two more tests, and yep, I was ACTUALLY pregnant. Woah. Nate and I talked about how we were going to tell our families. Nothing over the top. We ended up catching their reactions on film and it was so special to see their excitement and happiness for us. It resulted in my favorite photo of my mom and dad, hugging each other with massive smiles on their faces. For close to 7 weeks, all we talked about was this baby. What would each set of grandparents would be called? And “at this point next year” we’d have a 6 month old, ect. I stockpiled a list of names, and we both had a couple favorites. We slowly started sharing the news with our closest friends. Each week that went by, it felt more real. I shot two weddings, went to two concerts, took two plane rides. You had already done a lot in your little life.
Nate and I found out I had miscarried on 9/21, at our 12 week (and first) ultrasound. Our Schmoosh didn’t have a heartbeat and had stopped growing at 10 weeks. I remember hearing the words “I’m so sorry to tell you this…” and whatever followed, but I was not processing it. I looked up at the ultrasound screen, confused, not seeing what I thought I would be seeing. Wait, what did she say? I looked over to Nate, my eyes wide and confused. He looked over with sadness, and reached for my hand. As soon as the ultrasound tech left the room, we broke down. We were not expecting that. We both cried ugly tears. We felt wave after wave of disbelief and sadness. We had to walk down the hall to a different room to meet with my doctor, so we wiped away our tears and stayed fairly ‘strong’ through the “I am so sorry. Here’s the next step” talk. No, this was not supposed to be happening. Everything about my pregnancy so far had been textbook. That’s not how this day was supposed to go. I was not supposed to be listening to information about a medicine that would move the baby ‘through’ me. No, I wanted this baby IN me. For 28 more weeks.
We drove home and cried. We cried, for so many days. It was heartbreaking to tell our families the news.
I never thought miscarriage would be part of our story. I’d heard it was common, but never thought “that” would happen to us. But it did. And we’re devastated. It’s been weeks, and as soon as I think my emotions are in check, I’ll see a pregnancy announcement or read someone else’s miscarriage story and I’ll start crying again. The strangest part to me is that I’ve even experienced pregnancy at all. I’ve been through a first trimester, I know what that feels like, but I don’t have proof. There isn’t physical proof of this baby.
But a lot happened in the weeks we knew about Schmoosh, and they are all valid memories and feelings. Hawaii will always be a part of our first baby’s story. Our 5th anniversary will always be the anniversary we knew we were parents. Telling my Grandpa and my Nana that they were becoming Great-Grandpa and Great-Nana will always stick out in my mind. Those videos of telling our families will always make me smile. All those memories will always be a part of our life story, our marriage story, of our first baby’s story. I don’t want to forget about those feelings of pure joy just because the feeling of sadness has been more prevalent lately.
We’ll always miss our tiny babe, but we feel a peace that passes all understanding. I wanted to post about our experience, not for sympathy or attention, but to tell the world that this tiny life existed and that we won’t forget about them. If you need someone to talk to about loss and miscarriage, I want to be there for you. Please please please reach out.
Here are some memories from the weeks we knew our Schmoosh.
We had anniversary photos taken (by Naomi Wong Photography) while we were on Kauai. Exactly one week later, on the Big Island, we found out about Schmoosh.
This was a selfie about 6 hours after we found out I was pregnant. It’s one of my favorites from our trip. Oh a whim we’d gone to a sacred Hawaiian memorial site, and as much as I wanted to concentrate on the history and views, all I could think about was how I was pregnant.
This was on our 5th anniversary, on top of Buck Mountain. It was a tough climb, and I was very tempted to take a short nap at the top 😉 We hiked with our friends Kate and Devon and their 4 month old daughter. Devon carried Mira up the mountain on his back, and the whole time I just thought about how next summer, that would be us, hiking with a sweet babe.
This was probably 7 hours after we found out we’d miscarried. We drove to Nate’s parents house to tell them, and the sky was just on fire. The best sunset I’ve seen in a long time and I knew it was for a reason. After that, we watched Friends all night. We just wanted to feel normal.
A special ring I had made, with July, September and March birthstones. July, when we found out we were parents, September when we lost Schmoosh, and March, when they were supposed to be born. The ring is on top of the tiny Hawaiian shirt we bought them on the Big Island, right after we found out. It’ll always be my favorite article of baby clothing we have.
I have a lot more thoughts and observations about my experience with miscarriage and on the identity of now being a woman who has miscarried. I’ll write about them someday <3 Stephanie