HOPE THROUGH THE STORM

Jen Walker

To be a mother is more than I ever imagined it could be. As the days go by I try not to take for granted that I’m a mother of a beautiful little girl, a blessing on this earth. The way that life begins, the way that a human is made. It’s absolutely extraordinary. How precious a gift it truly is. It seems so simple, but in many ways it’s so complicated. On November 23, 2015 the complicated part joined my journey in motherhood.

It all started with a simple pregnancy test that read POSITIVE! I couldn’t believe that we were about to grow our family of three to a family of four. Life seemed so good. We had a healthy, beautiful, almost two-year-old, and we’d just gotten back from a family trip to Disney. This precious gift is what we had been trying for. We were filled with excitement and thrilled to announce the best Christmas gift.

On my daughters second birthday I had a feeling that something wasn’t right and that afternoon, I had some bleeding. I didn’t think much of it because I also bled with my daughter. As the evening went on and family was over celebrating, the bleeding continued and the cramping began. Concern started to consume my thoughts. I tried to remain calm and I tired so hard not to let it bother me. I mean, come on, I just wanted to celebrate my daughters birthday. They only turn two once and they grow up so quickly. So I put all my energy into celebrating her that night, although in the back of my mind I had a feeling that this wasn’t the norm.

The next morning when I woke up, the bleeding and cramping continued. My stomach felt completely empty. It was time to make that call to my OBGYN. We headed over to the ER with positive vibes. We stopped for breakfast sandwiches along the way, talked about how we couldn’t believe that we had a two year old and laughed at all the fun memories we’ve had as parents. We also discussed the possibility of loss but we weren’t going to give up hope. It will be okay!

Walking into that ER was dreadful. This feeling of hopelessness rushed through my body. This is it. This is when we find out if our baby held on. We held each others hands tight as that ultrasound tech placed the cold probe on my belly. I knew right then, the look on her face I will never forget. We had lost our baby.

Then the words from the Dr as she placed her hand on my leg, “I’m so sorry, this isn’t a viable pregnancy.” My heart sank. These were the words I was dreading. With concern that the baby might be implanted in my cervix, I was off to the OR. This was my first real surgery. I had to sign a form consenting to the possibility of a hysterectomy. I was devastated and scared. As the tears ran down my face I couldn’t wait for this to just be over.

Jenn Walker

Waking up in the recovery room, my husband right beside me, he had hope on his face. As I placed my hand on my stomach searching for an incision, there was a sigh of relief. It was a normal miscarriage. I still had my uterus, but no baby. And there it began, our journey of loss.

Driving home we both sat there in silence. Tears streaming down my face. All I wanted to do was go home and hug my daughter. It was in that moment that I realized life is truly precious. Life that grows in a woman’s body is a true miracle. How is it that one day I was pregnant and the next day it was gone forever? In a blink of an eye, 30 minutes later.

Life moved on and we continued being a family of three. We went through the stages of grief. I grieved one way and my husband grieved in another way. Were we allowed to feel sad? It’s not like we lost a child in our arms. Part of us felt selfish. So many people experience loss so much greater then ours. We should feel relieved. This child of ours we didn’t know yet. I was only seven weeks and a miscarriage is more common then we think. Other women experience it and they move on, so that’s what we did or did we just bury it within?

About a month later we laid our baby to rest in a shared burial. That day our emotions flooded back as raw as the day that baby walker left this earth. Realizing the miscarriage took a toll on our relationship and our relationship grew strained. We truly didn’t know how to grieve this loss. It was that day that we finally grieved together. We held hands tight like we did that day in November and we laid our sweet baby to rest among all the other angel babies. As we looked around and saw other families grieving, we realized it was okay to be sad. It was okay to cry and just be in the moment. To let our feelings be the way they are and so we grieved with all the other families. We were not alone, our sadness was real, accepted and even understood. We felt their pain. It was the most heart wrenching experience, but wow was it BEAUTIFUL. Our babies were together and just like that I felt closure.

Walking away from the little white casket, my heart felt peaceful. It all made sense in that one moment. We had a loss. We lost a baby. No matter how far we were, it doesn’t take away that I had a baby in my belly and that baby was going to be a part of our family. It’s real and it’s raw. Something I never understood before I had a miscarriage. Because it is so common, it seems like such a natural thing of motherhood, but it’s not. The emotions that take over. The guilt you feel as a mother. The strain it puts on your relationship. It’s ever so complicated. From the journey of losing a child to trying to conceive again.

Baby Walker lives with us as a whisper never forgotten and forever imprinted a place in our hearts. Without words or presence, our child never seen has changed us forever. I’m one who truly believes things happen for a reason and although it made the journey of motherhood more complicated; I believe motherhood in general is a beautiful, complicated ball of amazingness.

I know that we may seem more fortunate than others who have and will experience loss. From those late term miscarriages to the mamas that have held their babies as they left this earth, it’s never an easy process. Loss is not something to be compared or measured, there is no right or wrong, better or worse there is just loss.

I would never want to change my story. It’s a journey I’m glad that I was given. Its made me see pregnancy, motherhood and life in a different light. Time has moved on, my heart has mended, but our lives are forever changed. There truly is hope through all storms.

Our baby flies high and the journey of motherhood continues. And the journey surely has been amazing thus far. I’m forever grateful for a precious soul on this earth and my precious baby that left this earth too quickly. Those seven weeks were short, the journey was long, but the memories last a lifetime.

ABOUT JEN

Jen Walker is a loving mother and wife from Lancaster, Pa. Born and raised, she adores the county that she has grown up in. She dreams of traveling the world, but doesn’t see herself leaving her small town vibe anytime soon. Finding the beauty in all things is what she aspires to do on a day to day basis.

Jen is an RN that specializes in geriatric rehab. She has a supportive husband who works for his family’s local scuba diving business. They have been married for three years. In 2013 they gave birth to a beautiful little girl, who has grown into a spunky, loving three year old. In October they will be giving birth to their second child.

She truly believes that things happen for a reason and finding the joy in all has been a journey that has taught her valuable lessons. With life flying by, she hopes that she can remember all the memories that her little family will gather through what she calls, “a crazy, messy, amazing life.”

Jen Walker

HEY MAMA –

WE’D LOVE TO SHARE YOUR STORY.

LEARN MORE