this blog post has been a work in progress for the last 10 months. i have had moments where the last thing i want to do was post this. and other moments through pain, hurt + other stories, this was the only thing i have sent to people.
this post is my heart. it's raw + really ugly, but beautifully redemptive. i wrote this in august, right when i was in the thick of it all. here it goes :
"I need to tell our story.
I’m not doing this for anyone to feel bad for us, or pity us. Please know that is NOT my intention. I wouldn’t write this if that were the case. I’m writing this because I have found that stories have helped us with our journey. I’m praying that even if this brings encouragement to one person, it is worth it.
Two weeks before we left for Africa, we found out we were pregnant. Yes, having a baby! We couldn’t believe it because we were not trying whatsoever! We had unprotected sex once (too much info?!?! sorry, just being real).
I was late for my period by a couple days + am so regular that I knew I was pregnant. Trav didn’t believe me so I bought a pregnancy test. I had to know as soon as we got home. Trav was downstairs packing up the car when I took the test. I was so nervous that I couldn’t go back into bathroom after I peed. When I did, I saw the pregnancy line + started tearing up! A million things were running through my mind. I was mostly excited, a little shocked + slightly afraid. “Are we ready? I guess we better be!”
I was standing in my tee + undies with the test in my hand when Trav walked back in. He looked at me + knew. He came over, I handed him the test + he said, “holy shit”. Ha! We laughed, prayed, dreamt + were in shock/ pure excitement together. Trav could not believe it. In fact, he made me wake up before he went to work the next morning to take another test! I woke up @ 5:30am + it came out positive.
So we scheduled an appointment to meet with our doctor. She too confirmed I was pregnant. I was a week away from leaving for Africa so I asked her if it would be safe to go. She was a little concerned but gave us the okay! We felt peace about going too. God had called us to go, we weren’t backing down.
So we told our immediate families by Facetiming them. It was the best. We all screamed on little mobile devices states away. It was glorious. Their reactions, comments + those moments were just priceless. We told a handful of friends too. We were so excited we couldn’t hold it in. And we wanted to be covered in prayer!
I couldn’t believe baby Harps was already going to travel abroad! What a world traveler! I begin to tell some members of the team just so they didn’t think I was lazy or inconsiderate if morning sickness hit at any point. They were wonderful new friends who celebrated + took care of me before Trav arrived (he came a week later). I felt great the whole trip. Being in airports for long amounts of time was annoying but for the most part, I wasn’t experiencing any first trimester sickness. Thank God!
Sunday morning of our trip, I woke up in the middle of the night not feeling good. I thought it might have been what we had for dinner but it was more than that. I went to the bathroom to find I was spotting. I read blogs about how this could be normal in the first trimester, but worry grew. I texted my mom + sister to pray for me. They are the best encouragers + eased my fears. I went to bed a couple hours later. When I woke up, I still wasn’t feeling 100%. We had a full day planned so I thought as soon as we get going, I’ll feel better.
Sunday service was awesome. It was incredible to witness how God is working there. I sat there in some pain + went to the bathroom (which was a hole in the ground). I was still lightly spotting. Nothing to worry about right?! Okay, I’ll just tell a couple gals on my team so they can be praying.
The day went on + I kept a low profile. Only a couple more hours until Trav landed and once he got here, I would feel the safest. We had visited an orphanage before picking him up at airport. During our time there, my cramps were awful and the bleeding was more than spotting. I laid down on the bus for a little because I couldn’t bare to walk around. We finished our time there + headed to airport. At this point, everyone on the continent knew how excited I was for Trav to land!
Sometimes most of the time, you just need your man!
I was like a little puppy waiting for its owners to come home after being alone all day. LOL It was the best to see his face. I hugged him so tight that I didn't let go. I hadn’t told him anything up until that point because he was in the air the whole time. As soon as we sat down on the bus,everything came out. I was so scared, I was terrified. He held me + told me it was going to be okay.
At this point, our team didn’t have dinner + it was close to 9pm. We headed for dinner. At the restaurant, I was in so much pain. I ate dinner because I thought it would make me feel better. It didn’t. As I went to the bathroom, I knew it wasn’t okay. Something was seriously wrong at this point. The second time I went, I looked at my friend Lauren in shock + didn’t want to believe what was happening. She was such a calming presence for me. I am forever thankful for my sweet Lolo.
I returned to the table sobbing, I was in pain + horrified. Trav knew we had to go to the hospital. Our bus, full of the whole team, piled in after I came back + dropped us off at the hospital. The hospital was the "nicest" hospital in Kenya. It was still a third world country hospital at the end of the day. I was scared out of my mind, yet so thankful Trav was by my side. We filled out paper work + did initial assessment. As we walked back, workers were mopping the floors, so we were literally jumping over puddles to get to the room. Lights were flickering on + off. It felt like a horror movie. But our Doctor spoke great English + our Nurse Grace was a literal God-send, created to be a Nurse.
The Doctor asked some questions + then left to prep whatever was next. We cried in the hospital room, holding each other, scared. What was happening?! Were we really on a missions trip in Africa having a miscarriage? This can’t be real. We did a couple different tests. Then we headed to get an ultrasound. They put me in a wheel chair, Trav holding my hand as they pushed us through the creepy hallways.
The ultrasound tech was the one who told me I wasn’t pregnant anymore. The weight of her words didn’t compute. I walked out of the ultrasound room + Trav was sitting at the end of hallway. His face was buried in his hands + he was praying. He looked up + saw my face was as white as a ghost. He knew. I sat on his lap + we cried for what felt like hours. We held each other + sobbed. Then we sobbed some more. Looking back on that moment, you can't help but remember your wedding vows, for better or worse. It was the absolute worst thing we have ever walked through. I was so thankful for Trav, his sweet heart + kind words he whispered and prayed over me.
We went back to the hospital room + our doctor said that it was a complete miscarriage. Regardless of location, it would have happened because the baby wasn’t forming properly so basically my body rejected the baby. I had never heard such a thing. We cried + thanked him for helping us. As we walked out of the hospital room, we cried with our friends in the waiting room. It reminded me of the scripture, mourn with those who mourn. So thankful for friends who mourn + go through the shit of life with you.
That night, we barely slept. We cried most of the night together at the hotel. Right when I didn’t think I had tears left, I would cry again. I woke up in the middle of the night to see my sweet Trav, jet lagged + tired, bawling his eyes out. I held him + prayed for us. We woke up with tears streaming down our cheeks. The rest of the week was a blur. There were moments of joy with moments of deep pain.
The most significant moment of the trip was the morning after. We didn’t tell the orphan boys that Trav was coming on the trip later. As you can imagine, we were emotionally raw. We started to get off the bus, and the team brought over the two boys who Trav met four years ago over. As we stepped off, tears streamed down Jonathan’s cheeks with the biggest + brightest smile I have ever seen. They were so happy to see Trav! We all hugged + cried together. They don’t know how much their embrace meant to us after the loss we had just experienced. Their joy was contagious.
The rest of the week had highs + lows. Moments where I thought I wasn’t going to make it + others where I felt the Lord carrying us. We debriefed with our team leaders at the end of the week + told them we were thankful to be in a place that brought us so much joy during such a painful time. It was nice to be able to just be with Trav during the week + not have to worry about going back to work the following day, or try pulling ourselves together.
Upon returning home, it hit hard. We both jumped into new jobs + there was so much change happening. I thought I was going to be so much stronger than I was. The truth is, I need Jesus, and then some more Jesus, oh and then give me some more of Him. I can’t make it a second without Him. In this moment, I feel like I’m sitting in the thick of it all. I’ve cried a lot. I’m mourning deeply the loss of baby Harps. It hurts to walk through this + I’ve received some of the best encouragement ever – take the time you need to be in every phase of this. Cry, be mad, be sad, feel everything you need to feel to get the healing you will soon get. so much more advice that i keep close to my heart daily.
My heart hurts daily. I really wanted to see a growing belly. I know one day I will have that. But in these moments, I’m just trying to keep it real. It hasn’t been easy. It’s honestly been the shittiest season ever. But I do know that it is only for a season and God is still good. He has our sweet baby Harps in heaven + I get to meet it one day. I know my grandmama is holding baby Harps closely + so is Jesus. That brings my heart so much peace. But it still hurts."
sometimes i think women walk away from miscarriages ashamed, defeated + maybe even depressed. i felt all of those emotions. not like this justifies the hurt + pain, but miscarriages are more common than we know. one of the most significants things that helped us through besides Jesus was our community. our families loved on us, our friends fed + made us laugh, our church prayed with + for us often. the best way i can describe it is different people took pieces of my broken heart + i felt God putting it back together. piece by piece, meal by meal, story by story, laugh by laugh. don't distance yourself when you walk through trauma of any sort. share with those you trust + lean on the Lord. He created us for this. thank you friends + family. you mean the world to us.
had we not walked through this, we wouldn't be 30 weeks pregnant now + ready to welcome a sweet baby in june. we often think of baby harps #1. sometimes i cry. but i mostly thank God that He is taking care of babes + that one day, i get to meet them! today is the day we would have met baby harps #1 if all went according to our plan. but God has a plan that outweighs anything we could ever imagine. He is that good of a papa!
hope this brought some hope today.
happy birthday baby harps #1.
happy birthday baby harps #1.