I remember dropping to my knees and ugly crying, thanking God for the two pink lines we had waited years to see.
I remember scrambling at midnight for a cute way to share this coveted news with my husband as he drove home from work.
I remember the huge fight my husband and I had the night before and how it all turned around the moment he learned – on Father’s Day – that he was finally going to be a dad.
I remember waking up to bleeding and cramping, crying and crumbling down the wall as I called my dad to ask what I was supposed to do.
I remember the coldness and dreariness of that June day in Southern California and not being allowed to bring my husband into the ultrasound room or the waiting area with me even though everyone else had their families with them.
I remember being denied followup treatment because, “But… you’re not pregnant anymore.”
I remember the show I binge watched on Netflix – a show I still can’t watch again to this day.
I remember opening my Bible for the first time, desperate for comfort and barely able to breathe, eat, or move.
I remember my husband telling me he didn’t know if he wanted kids anymore and knowing instantly how far that was from the truth and how broken he was.
I remember the late nights lying on the community basketball court, staring up at the stars, unable to spend another moment in the house in which it had all happened.
I remember seeing her in a dream, all pigtails and spunk, talking and jumping off the fireplace hearth.
I remember the confidence that infertility and miscarriage were behind us after the birth of our firstborn and the devastating realization that we might have to go through it all over again while trying to parent a child.
I remember the startling observation that a 4-week loss wasn’t anything like a period.
I remember desperately trying to conceive the cycle after my second miscarriage and the guilt of feeling like I had replaced the baby I lost when I did actually conceive 23 days later.
I remember the peace, healing, and closure I received when Jesus appeared to me in a vision and revealed my second heaven baby was a boy and that his name was Leander James.
Related: Jesus Named My Baby
I remember spending an hour laugh-crying, cuddling, and celebrating with my husband over the precious gift of our FIRST-EVER, all-natural, completely unassisted, untimed, and untracked pregnancy after years of male factor infertility.
I remember feeling inexplicably anxious as I waited in the waiting room for my first prenatal ultrasound even though I had never had a bad ultrasound before that point.
I remember the hopeless, generic words of the doctor and fighting to keep my prenatal appointment with the midwife because after all, I was there, and I was pregnant.
I remember repeating to my husband, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. I don’t want you to go through this again. I’m so sorry,” and for the first time, feeling like the source of this pain was me.
I remember realizing after it was too late that I hadn’t received any ultrasound prints and knowing exactly why that was.
I remember hoping against all reason that our baby would somehow show up on the next ultrasound, heart beating and limbs flailing.
I remember God’s small mercies through the following two weeks, from having NO visibly pregnant women in the waiting room that day to a smooth nap time routine that allowed me to give birth to Shiloh in private.
I remember refusing to see that same doctor after my miscarriage followup ultrasound and the kindness of the ultrasound tech when she easily complied with my request.
I remember the morbidity of carrying my child’s remains to the hospital in my backpack, the horror of learning it was all for nothing, at which point I finally lost all composure, and the determination to make sure that scenario never happened to anyone else at that facility.
I remember racking up some SERIOUS Scrabble points and sharing many laughs with my husband as a distraction from the grief.
I remember our sunny, peaceful, beautiful spring hike on the day we laid Shiloh to rest, thanking God for such a beautiful day to celebrate Shiloh’s life and our family, and feeling relieved the pregnancy test wasn’t positive that morning so I could focus on Shiloh even though I was, in fact, pregnant that day.
I remember the thoughtful at-home cremation ceremony Anthony organized and his breakdown after it was over for the crushing emotional weight of all the research required to make it happen.
I remember Joshua 1:9 popping into my head as I drove home with even MORE pregnancy tests, hoping desperately the line was darker this time. “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
I remember repeating to myself, “God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day,” over and over and over when I was too afraid to go to sleep for fear of waking up to bleeding and cramping like I did that one time. Psalm 46:5
I remember crying when I saw the rainbow I hoped meant my sixth pregnancy would stick and the little twinge of fear when that rainbow faded to nothing within seconds.
I remember asking myself, “When did I go from the girl curled up on the couch after a miscarriage to the girl walking two miles to meet a friend for dinner as I am actively miscarrying?”
I remember the way my face must have looked when the kind and empathetic doctor said, “IVF.”
I remember deciding that continuing to give each heaven baby and first AND middle name was becoming quite confusing and mentally exhausting and therefore deciding to only give them first names from then on.
I remember feeling dazed and unavailable to my living children due to my preoccupation with grief.
I remember my hands and heart shaking as I saw yet another set of pink lines and thought, “Here we go again.”
I remember fighting for bloodwork to check my HCG and progesterone levels, then visiting Barnes and Noble and getting Starbucks for lunch – a hurried attempt at enjoying the day before officially receiving the results: an HCG of 7 and progesterone of <1.
I remember thinking at that point, miscarriage felt like an inconvenience because with one miscarriage each month for three consecutive months and two living children at home, I didn’t have time to curl up in a ball for two weeks to grieve each baby individually.
I remember the fear of silence, the emptiness of being physically alone, and binging on every infertility or miscarriage podcast I could possibly find to fill every moment of would-be silence.
Evelynn, Leander, Shiloh, Sky, and Rain, I remember you.
This is now how I want to remember my babies, but early pregnancy loss doesn’t allow for the creation of many heartwarming memories. Evelynn, Leander, Shiloh, Sky, and Rain, I will always remember you, the love I have for you, the awe of how you unexpectedly came to be, and the honor of being your mommy here on earth if only for a short time. I thank God for the testimony of your lives and the mercies and redemption surrounding your deaths. I look forward to creating an eternity of beautiful memories with you in heaven, where we are all whole and there are no more tears. #pregnancyandinfantlossawareness