It was 3 o’clock in the morning when I attempted to rouse my husband.
“Um, baby, I think I’m pregnant. There are two lines on this thing I peed on.”
It’s amazing how fast your mind makes plans and writes stories. I felt different immediately. It was an identity shift. I was a mother now. My thoughts and my dreams all floated to how different life would be and I could feel excitement and joy like a tingling sensation all over.
It’s amazing how women have such an intimate knowledge of their own bodies. While everyone told me I was paranoid and that weird sensations are totally normal in pregnancy, I knew something was wrong. Two trips to the doctor’s office, where I sat surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes in the midst of their healthy pregnancies, and I got the news.
“I’m so sorry. This pregnancy is not viable. Based on your symptoms, I expect that you will pass everything on your own sometime in the next few days. This is really common in first pregnancies, and there’s no reason to think this will ever happen again. Here is a prescription for pain medicine, and please come back in for blood work after it’s all happened.”
It’s amazing how fast things can take a turn for the worse. In a flash, all those plans and stories I had created faded away. And then came the confusion and the questions. Did I do something wrong? Is there something broken in my body? And the big ones… How sad am I allowed to be over a baby that I never laid eyes on or held in my arms? Will this happen again? Could I even survive this experience again?
It’s amazing how help can show up in unexpected places. Just when I thought I would never be able to feel like myself again, my salvation came from a group of women. Those that saved me showed up from every corner of my life to share with me their stories of miscarriage and stillbirth. A family member. A supervisor. A classmate. A friend at the YMCA. They listened with me, cried with me, prayed with me, and held my hand through those earliest and darkest days.
It’s amazing that women don’t realize how much we need one another until the bottom falls out. There are some experiences that only we can understand. I am beyond grateful for the women who lifted me up from my despair and helped to restore my hope. In the months since my loss, I have had the opportunity to be a sojourner, walking alongside other women in my circle who have had to endure the sadness of prenatal loss.
It’s amazing how women are able to pour love into one another, when our own wells are nearly dry.
It’s amazing how women can walk alongside one another and share the weight of the most daunting circumstances.
Thank you, my sisters.
-Lillian Hallstrand Lammers
Lillian is a native Chicagoan, currently making her home in Nashville. She is a minister, educator, group fitness instructor, and a lover of justice and mercy, her husband, Phil, and her fur babies, Ming, Duke, and Rita.