I would like to introduce you to Jamie. Jamie is one of my sister queens and was one of the first who contacted me to share her story. Reading it brought me to tears, but also gives me hope. We are not alone in our grief. I hope you can find some comfort and community in hearing Jamie's story.
In July 2015, after moving into our first home, my husband and I thought we were ready to start trying for a family. Hearing how long it could take to become pregnant, and knowing it took my parents 9 years to conceive, I was anxious to get started. I quit taking my birth control in July and immediately became pregnant that next month. Wow, was that a shocker!
My husband and I weren't really even "trying" per say. I was filled with fear, excitement, shock, disbelief-you name it. I went to the doctor to get the initial check up and got my first ultrasound. I wasn't even sure how far along I was, but found out I was already 7 weeks along! We were able to see the little peanut and it's heartbeat. All of my blood work and everything looked good. The next few weeks, we shared the news with our family, friends, and soon enough, word started getting out around work. Pretty soon, almost everyone knew we were expecting in April 2016. We started receiving gifts from family members and even began thinking of names, daycare, and everything else that goes into planning for a baby.
I quickly realized how anxious I was over this pregnancy. Never being pregnant before, I realized I always feared the worst. It was almost stealing my joy and the happiness that comes with being pregnant. What is going on in there? Is everything okay? Is the baby growing? My worst nightmare became a reality at my next appointment 5 weeks later. I went in and they couldn't find any heartbeat. I begged my doctor to give me another ultrasound. The next day, my husband and I found out that our little peanut had stopped growing immediately following the first appointment and I had suffered what was called a "missed miscarriage." My body never gave me any signs that I had miscarried. I literally had no clue. The doctor suggested that I get a surgical procedure called a D&C, which I got done that next week.
The weeks, months, even year to come was life changing for the both of us. I felt numb and at first, pretended the whole experience never even happened. I put all the of the ultrasound pictures and gifts and hid them away in a drawer. I started falling into a depression in the months following. As a believer in Christ, I prayed to God and asked Him what I was suppose to do and I remember His answer being "remember your baby." I sought the guidance of a Christian counselor and started remembering our baby. We placed all of our baby's belongings in a memory box and even named our baby- I had a VERY strong hunch it was a girl, so we combined mine (Jamie Lynn) and my husband's name (Ryan) and came up with Rylan. On the due date of our baby, we planted a tree in remembrance. This year, I participated in A Walk to Remember, where thousands of people come to remember their lost babies.
As Mrs. Illinois Royalty International 2017, I've decided to advocate for Share Foundation- a pregnancy and infant loss community which provides support toward positive resolution of grief experienced at the time of, or following the death of a baby. Although my husband and I do not know what our future holds, one thing we can attest to during this hard time is God has a plan for us and He can be trusted. Our relationship with each other and our relationship with God has grown, and for that, we are grateful.
What was the hardest thing to deal with?
The hardest thing to deal with was telling everyone that knew that you were pregnant that you were no longer pregnant. You don't know how they will respond and you honestly don't know how to respond to their response. At work, I had people that still didn't know I had miscarried months after it had happened, so that was awkward. Also, just grieving. I had never really grieved before, so the whole experience was new to me. I didn't know how long it would take to heal, and honestly, I'm still healing.
How did you handle it?
At first, I buried it all. Pretended the entire thing didn't happen. Then, I fell into a depression and a very sad time. After seeking guidance from God, I began to remember and honor our baby. When I started doing doing this, the healing process began. The pain is still there and I will always have a hole in my heart, but I can say that sadness is no longer my predominant feeling.
What was the best thing you have learned going through your situation?
The best thing I learned was that I am not alone. Once I started speaking about my story, I realized there were so many women that had gone through something similar. Women I would have never even guessed it had happened to. I think having that community and the support of women who truly understand what it is that you're going through is very important.
What was the most hurtful comment that was made to you and how did you handle it or respond?
I think when people said to me, "Well, at least it happened so early in the pregnancy" or "You're still so young, you have time" really hurt the most. I don't think those people meant to hurt me or said those things out of spite, but it still stung. In those moments, I would just pray. God was truly the only one that could bring me comfort in those uncomfortable situations.
What was the best piece of advice you received?
The best advice I received was from my mother. She suffered a miscarriage many years ago, so she (along with my husband) was rock during this experience. She told me to cherish the gifts that God has blessed me with, to remember that it's HIS timing not my own and to put my faith and trust in Him.
What is the best thing someone did to show their support for you?
On October 15th, which is a day of pregnancy loss remembrance, I had so many friends and family members that lit a candle in remembrance of Baby Wolfe. I thought it was so sweet and really just filled my heart with love and joy.
Did you have a book, song, or story that helped you through?
During this time, I was doing a bible study- Breaking Free by Beth Moore, which REALLY helped me. I was also doing it as part of a Women's group, so just having that support made it even better. I also leaned on the songs "Thy Will" by Hillary Scott and "I Am Not Alone" by Kari Jobe. They have been played on repeat on numerous occasions.
Tell me about your support system.
My husband. Such a wonderful man and my rock throughout this past year. His hugged and held me on many occasions when I would just cry for no reason. He's prayed over me, prayed with me and been right by my side. My family. My parents and my in-laws have been there for me whenever I've needed someone to talk to or just didn't want to be alone. My friends. I have some of the best friends who would lend a comforting ear at a moments notice. My counselor. She has really helped me through this experience and has helped me grow as a person.
What are your next steps in your journey? Where are you headed next?
The short answer, we don't know! After some long discussions, my husband and I decided that we both want to wait on starting a family again. We both know we definitely want kids, we just don't feel the time is right at the moment. God's also been placing adoption on my heart a lot lately. We are taking this time to enjoy each other (we've been married two and a half years) and are in open arms to whatever God has planned next for us.
Anything else you would like to share?
A picture of our "baby" tree :)
Thank you, Jamie, for being brave and willing to share your story and experiences.
I am the reigning Mrs. Wisconsin US Continental 2017 and have also struggled with infertility for the past 3 1/2 years. My husband and I have been married since May 26, 2012.