The 1 in 4: The Griffin Group
Miscarriage is one of those things you hear about but never think will happen to you. That was true for me, especially after having a healthy baby following a textbook pregnancy in my first experience.
I found out I was pregnant again when my son was just nine months old, and while I was overwhelmed at the idea of having two so close together, I was also excited to see my babies become best friends. I began to look at double strollers and plan for a life with "two under two."
That is until I heard those seven words that shattered my world: "I'm sorry, I can't find a heartbeat," the ultrasound technician said as I lay motionless on the table. I had what is known as a missed miscarriage, which means that my body did not recognize that my baby had died and continued to produce pregnancy hormones and act as if everything were still Ok with my baby. But everything was not Ok.
A few hours later I was on an operating table at the same hospital I had my C-section in less than a year before. The procedure was quick and relatively painless, but I returned home sad, broken and empty.
Despite the short time we had with our baby, we decided to name him as a way to celebrate his short, yet meaningful life. We chose Griffin, like the mythological creature that symbolizes courage and boldness, and whose image is often used to denote strength, courage and leadership. Griffins also are known for guarding treasure and priceless possessions. Knowing that he is watching over our family and protecting his brothers, it fits perfectly.
This week is especially difficult, as Griffin’s due date was February 12. In a few short days, I should be in the hospital with a perfect, healthy baby in my arms. Instead I am sitting here wondering what he would have looked like, what he would have been like. Picturing him swaddled in that signature hospital blanket with his brothers kissing their new baby on the forehead. My heart is so full with love for my lost little blessing, but my arms are empty.
It's amazing how much you can love someone you have never met, and it's even more amazing how much a tiny baby never born into this earth can change your life.
Griffin has reminded me that all life is a precious gift. God has a plan for all families and all babies, and this experience has reminded me to have faith in Him and His plan for my life.
Griffin has taught me greater empathy and reminded me that, especially when it comes to the journey of fertility and pregnancy, you never know someone else’s struggles … and often don’t know about their losses. Miscarriage is such a taboo topic for some people, and losing Griffin has taught me that sometimes even those you least suspect may be suffering too, and often in silence.
Griffin has introduced me to some amazing new people who have had similar experiences. The loss community is such a strong, powerful group of people, and I am so glad to have met some wonderful people who share not only a mutual pain, but also a hope for the future.
Griffin has given me something else to look forward to when God calls me home. When that day comes, I will finally meet the child I never got to hold in my arms here on Earth.
Griffin has changed me in so many incredible ways, and my miscarriage journey has moved me to help others walking similar paths. Being part of Anna's Grace helps me honor my baby and use his life as an opportunity to give back to the community.
Caroline is the captain of "The Griffin Group" team for Anna's Grace Quarter Marathon -- representing the 1 in 4 pregnancies that ends in loss. You can visit her team page or make a donation here: https://www.crowdrise.com/the-griffin-group/fundraiser/carolineisemann
About Anna’s Grace Foundation Anna’s Grace Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization supporting families in the Greater Baton Rouge Area who experience miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. Each and every day one of our neighbors, friends, coworkers, or family members will experience the devastating loss of a baby, and Anna’s Grace is there to provide emotional and financial support so that families can focus on healing. The Anna’s Grace Quarter Marathon is on March 26, 2017. For more information or to register, visit http://www.annasgrace.org/registration.