On May 4th, 2012, my husband walked across the stage and received his master's diploma at the University of Utah. It had been an event we had been greatly anticipating and made many sacrifices for. It was not only the graduation from classes, but the graduation from impoverished student life, constant business, late night paper writing, studying, and hectic and ever-changing schedules. I began preparing for it weeks in advanced. In February I bought red cups. In March I started planning Ute themed confections. In April I sewed a dress for Andrea. I didn't think there was anything that could take away from my excitement.
But. . . twenty four hours before I sat in that hard red chair high above Paul in the Huntsman Center I was sitting in the hospital losing the baby I'd been growing for eight weeks. I went through waves of shock, despair, and acceptance. I had a feeling when I saw the positive pregnancy test three weeks before that this would not end in a baby. I assumed the feeling came from my own insecurities about my relationship with the Lord. We'd been through some rocky times, He and I, and I wondered after denying me so many heartfelt desires if this was one more too-good-to-be-true blessing that would not come to fruition. I was ashamed of these thoughts and decided to tell immediate family and some close friends that we were expecting. It was my way of showing the Lord I would trust Him this time. But when I saw the blood on May 3rd, I knew that feeling wasn't insecurity at all. It was revelation from my Heavenly Father preparing me for what was coming.
As I sat in the hospital waiting room, holding Paul's hand, I felt the most amazing feelings of love, comfort, and peace come over me. I think that moment is when I really knew, without any uncertainty, the reality of my Heavenly Father and Savior. For I had never in my life felt them so near.
The next day I put on my brave face and Ute outfit for Paul's graduation. That morning he received a job offer, which was an answer to our prayers. That afternoon I sat with his parents for the commencement ceremony, and in the evening we congregated at their house for a celebratory dinner. Someone asked Paul if he felt any different today. He replied with a shoulder shrug. "But, Paul," his mom said. "Yesterday morning when you woke up you didn't have a Master's degree or a job!" But he still had a baby, I thought. I began to cry and tried to hide my face behind my husband, but not before my little niece saw my tears. "Oh! Do you miss your baby?" She asked as she touched my arm tenderly. I could not speak, but I nodded. Because I really really did.
Life was hard for a while. It's difficult to describe the emptiness one feels after a miscarriage. It was hard to tell my family and friends that I wasn't going to having another little December baby after all. I hated that I had to put on maternity jeans because I bought them just days before the incident to replace my worn out pre-pregnancy pairs. I hated that I still had to take prenatal vitamins when there was nothing inside me to benefit from those nasty yellow pills.
The passage of time healed some wounds, but I'd occasionally have a little breakdown when I tried to make sense of what happened on May 3rd. Gradually, the time between mourning moments grew longer until I felt generally happy with life, happier than I had been in years actually, and I thought I was healed. But during the second week of school my philosophy teacher had us analyze a trial we recently went through and why it needed to happen in our life. I wrote about the miscarriage and was surprised to find myself crying in class. The truth was I still didn't know why that had to happen. Why did I have to lose that baby?
As I philosophized, scenes from my new happy life were brought to my attention. Since the miscarriage Paul and I grew closer together than we'd ever been before. For the first time in my life I allowed myself to lean on him and share my burdens. He, intern, opened himself up to me and allowed me to support and care for him in way I'd never been able to do. Our strengthened relationship allowed us to love Andrea more fervently and feel joy in the family we'd created. I felt like that impromptu philosophy lesson, not scheduled on the syllabus, was Heavenly Father's continual reassurance that He knows what I need.
Wednesday night I had miscarriage dream that darkened my mood on Thursday. That afternoon, when my academic reading was completed, I spent some time on Pinterest as I waited for Andrea to wake up from her nap. I stumbled upon a board of beautiful infant photography. One particular picture caught my eye. It was a little girl holding her new baby brother beneath the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree. I was overwhelmed with sadness because just six months ago I thought I'd have a new baby in my arms just in time for Christmas. I took a little time for a pity moment, but tried to move on with my day. Last night I had another miscarriage dream. This one was vivid, intense, and filled my heart with foreboding. I awoke with tears streaming down my cheeks. Heavenly Father came to my rescue again in the form of Elder Bowen's talk.
'I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also' (John 14:18-19).