How My Miscarriage Gave Me My Greatest Blessing7/23/2014
by Nancy Arroyo Ruffin She smells of hope and new beginnings. Buried in my arms, her tiny hands hang limply against her side as she rests...
by Nancy Arroyo Ruffin
She smells of hope and new beginnings. Buried in my arms, her tiny hands hang limply against her side as she rests her perfect little face on my shoulders. Rocking her to sleep, I nestle my nose in the folds of her neck until the softness of her skin greets me like fresh linen on a summer day. Our breathing becomes a synchronized melody; our heartbeats become one. I can't believe that in six days my baby will be 2 years old. There was a time when I prayed for moments like this, a time when she seemed like an unattainable dream; something that I yearned for.
When I think about how long and hard I prayed for her and how difficult my journey was at times, I would not trade any of it. There were days when even breathing was a struggle. Times, when I felt as if my heart was being yanked from my chest, but every tear, heartbreak, & obstacle that presented itself is what brought her to me. I was 34 when my husband and I decided that we wanted to have a baby, but what seems to come so easily for some can be virtually impossible for others. We don't realize this until we find ourselves playing the role of Sisyphus, trying desperately to push that rock up the mountain only to have it roll back down no matter how hard we try.
I never thought that once I decided to start a family that it would be so difficult. Getting pregnant when you actually want to can be one of the most challenging and emotionally exhausting experiences one can face. Even more so when it seems everyone else is getting pregnant without trying. I've seen many friends and family members become parents and I always wondered when my time will come. When will I be chosen to receive this blessing? I quickly realized that conceiving isn't something we can control. We can assist the process, but we cannot make it happen.
Everything I’d read said most couples conceive within a year of trying. Lamar and I had been trying to conceive for two years with no success. We decided to see a fertility specialist because if there was a problem, we wanted to deal with it as soon as possible. The tests concluded that I was perfectly healthy and so was he. Still, I couldn't help but think "if I’m healthy why can’t I get pregnant?”
The insemination process lasted less than 5 minutes. I was hopeful. I had no doubt that God would bless us with a child. I remember thinking about a quote from the author Paulo Coelho “When you want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” I (we) wanted a child badly. It was my heart's deepest desire and because I wanted more than anything to be a mother I just knew that the universe would reward me and after 6 insemination cycles our dream of becoming pregnant came true.
During our first pre-natal visit the doctor performed a transvaginal ultrasound and confirmed that I was indeed pregnant. He said that my pregnancy hormone levels were a bit low, but he was confident that they would increase. At my second appointment my hormone levels were up and we were able to see the baby’s heartbeat. I was 6 weeks along. Lamar and I were the happiest we’d been in a long time. All the time I spent focusing on getting pregnant, I didn’t realize that getting pregnant was only half the battle. The other half was making sure that I carried full term and gave birth to a healthy baby. I was so consumed with just being pregnant that I lost sight of the bigger picture.
As I was ending my 8th week I noticed some spotting when I went to the bathroom. The spotting continued for a couple of days, but then was followed with uncontrollable bleeding and cramping. My heart was heavy. I was no longer able to deny what the doctor had told us at my last prenatal visit. I was miscarrying. I crumbled to the bathroom floor as our baby poured out of me. The blood came like booming waves, an unending attack in my uterus exploding into pieces amongst the fractured fragments of my dying faith. I’d never imagined I wouldn't carry to term. I felt numb inside. I was dead. I cursed God and what he was doing to me. What God would place a life in my womb to only take it from me? I felt like someone was playing a cruel joke on me.
I locked myself in my bedroom for the entire week that it took for nature to take its course. I refused to see or talk to anyone. I was in mourning. God had placed the baby in my arms and then snatched it from me. I was broken and did not know how to begin repairing the shattered pieces of me that remained. I needed time.
“It has been said time heals all wounds. I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind protecting it’s sanity covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens, but it’s never gone” -Rose KennedyIt has been 3 years since I lost my baby. Emotionally, I am in a better place now. I no longer blame God or myself for the loss. I am healthy and happy. And as I sit here holding my beautiful little girl in my arms I have finally learned to trust my journey. While we may never understand why certain things happen, the miscarriage taught me that sometimes bad things happen in order to make way for greater things.
Nancy Arroyo Ruffin is an award winning author and motivational speaker. She is the acclaimed author of two books, Welcome to Heartbreak (CreativeINK Press, 2011) and Letters to My Daughter (CreativeINK Press, 2014) which was Latino Literacy Now's 2014 International Latino Book Award finalist for Best Poetry Book. Nancy lives in Bergenfield, NJ with her husband and their daughter. For more info visit www.nancyruffin.net