I had my first miscarriage in April of 2004. In the months that followed we very much wanted to conceive again, and I read book after book on fertility trying to figure out what had gone wrong the first time. Finally, on Thanksgiving Day 2004, we conceived. (Yes, I know the day, that is one of the beauties of charting!)
The pregnancy was hard for me from the beginning: my morning sickness was horrible (I literally could only eat about a dozen foods, and constantly felt as though I would vomit at any moment), and of course I was really scared of losing this baby as well. It was difficult to feel so awful, and not even know if anything good would ever come of it. Around Christmastime I asked Hubby to give me a priesthood blessing, which he did. In the blessing, I was told that God wanted us to raise this spirit in our family, and that I should feel comforted. Of course I felt better after that! After all, God wanted us to raise this child! I moved forward with renewed hope and trust.
In early February I had my second appointment with the midwife. She was not able to hear the baby's heartbeat, but I was only 11 weeks along, and we knew that I had a tilted uterus, which makes it harder to hear the baby in the earlier part of pregnancy (because it is farther down in the abdomen), so we didn't worry much. We tried to listen a week later (with a more experienced midwife), and she could not hear a heartbeat either. We still assumed all was probably fine, but decided to schedule an ultrasound just to make sure.
On Valentine's Day 2005, I had my first ultrasound...
There was no heartbeat.
Our little one had stopped growing nearly a month prior, but my body (which is really good at being pregnant), had not miscarried the body.
We evaluated our options and chose to have a D&C that night, because I had had so many complications during my prior miscarriage (including heavy bleeding, retained placenta, anemia, and a trip to the Emergency Room).
In the days the followed, I struggled to understand what had happened. The weeks of pregnancy had been healing in many ways, but the actual miscarriage had torn my heart open again. Hadn't God told me we were going to raise this child? No, I realized, He had said we would raise this spirit...and so I know we shall. I do not know when this child will come to us, or whether she will come biologically or via adoption, but she will come to us, because God wants us to be her parents.
And yes, I believe she is a little girl. I felt her presence when I carried her. I have had a feeling about the gender of each of my children, and in the cases where we could tell, I was right, so I have no qualms about assuming that my feelings were correct in this case also.
Naming my angel helps me with the grief, and so we named her. I spent several days pouring over baby name books and websites, but had not found anything that seemed appropriate. I wanted her name to reflect the love and healing that her pregnancy had brought, as well as the fact that her angel day was Valentines. Hubby speaks Norwegian, and we'd often talked of using Norwegian names, so finally I asked him the Norwegian for "beloved." It was perfect. As we discussed middle names, one jumped out to us both...I later discovered its meaning: "gift from God."
And so our precious little Valentine's baby, our Kjersti Eliana ("Cher-stee El-ee-ahn-a") was, indeed, our Beloved Gift from God.
I miss you baby. I'm waiting for you.