There Are Three: How Miscarriage Broke My Heart and Gave Me Everything

Three years ago during the week leading up to Mother’s Day, there were three reasons that I wanted to hide away from the world.

Three reasons that I didn’t want to walk into a store with rows of Mother’s Day cards.

Three reasons I couldn’t bring myself to see pictures of mothers with their children on Facebook.

Three reasons – three positive pregnancy tests, three horrible conversations with my doctor, three babies I would never meet.

In the Face of Defeat

It felt hard to breathe that week because breathing reminded me of the breaths my babies never took. It reminded me that while I was a mother in my heart, if a stranger wished me a Happy Mother’s Day out on the street I might just stop breathing.

But as I scoured the internet trying to understand the reasons why my body was so unsuccessful at supporting another life, I came across a quote. It was jarring, and poetic, and beautiful, and looking back now I understand that these words fundamentally changed me.

You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.

Maya Angelou

The Saddest Sweetest Gift

Miscarriage has taken many parts of me. Part of my youth, part of my innocence, part of my heart that won’t grow back.

But those three babies? They have given me everything.

An understanding of my own resilience, the ability to be there for others who need to know they aren’t alone, the reassurance that my marriage can get through the darkest of days, and eventually, when the time was right – my family. That’s all because of those three angels.

They are my saddest, sweetest gift.

Lives We’ll Remember

Life is very different now three years removed from that week.

As I type this, two small, beautiful children sleep peacefully upstairs without memories of loss or heartbreak. I hope to keep it that way for a while.

But one day they might want to start families of their own. One day they might need to know that miscarriage doesn’t mean you did anything wrong, and it doesn’t mean you’re broken, and it certainly doesn’t mean that a short life will soon be forgotten.

So we’ve made the conscious decision not to keep the three that came before them a secret.

There are Three

There are three silver doves on our Christmas tree each year.

They go up on the tree first and come down last. They are positioned in the front of the tree, near the middle, and always together. One dove for each baby we lost. One dove for each baby not sitting under the tree each Christmas. They will always be there with us so that we can celebrate as a family.

There are three trees in our back yard lining the fence.

One tree for each baby we lost. One tree for each child who won’t play in that yard. They will always be there watching out for Jack and Norah. And watching out for me and Glen.

There are three miscarriages on my medical chart. There are three sweet souls whose feet never touched the ground but who have touched many lives. There are three reasons I’ll keep sharing this story.

There are three.

P.S. If you ever want to talk, please reach out. I’m here, anytime.

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  1. Once again I’m in tears reading your blog. This time, not tears of hysterical laughter, but tears of empathy. Although I have not experienced miscarriage personally, I know my mother did and I am highly aware that I likely will at some point during my years trying to conceive. This was so poignant, delicate and heart felt. Thank you for opening up and sharing your most vulnerable self with all of us. Love ❤️

  2. Thank you for sharing. I cannot imagine. But I do know how important it is to have support and community. I appreciate your bravery and voice to be that to others going through this.

  3. You’ve turned your grief into something so beautiful. I can’t even imagine the pain you felt, but the fact that you’re so concerned about the well being of others going through the same situation shows the strength and kindness of your heart. Jack and Norah are lucky to have a mama like you.

  4. Becca, I know the heartbreak of miscarriage having experienced a few myself but I think the pain was harder when my only child miscarried her first child. To see your child in pain (emotional) and to be helpless to take that pain away is every parent’s nightmare. Praise God that she was able to give birth to four babies after that (they are now 7,5,3,1). I tell young women to never take their ability to give birth for granted.
    I love that you have those doves on your tree. My daughter has not told her kids about their sibling in Heaven (I don’t know why) but I just re-did an old church pew and wrote out my grands names in “cowboy code” and at the top I put a heart with wings for the heavenly baby (I asked my daughter for permission first but she told me I was not to tell the kids what the heart stood for). When I find the right birthstone thing to wear, I will add a stone for my first grandchild.
    I also make very plain, almost Amish-type dolls for women who have lost a baby thru miscarriage or stillbirth. They are for those empty arms and broken hearts. I do not charge for them (but am always happy for a donation to keep making them or for flannel baby blankets, muslin or fiberfill!!!). I have always believed that every child conceived, needs to be acknowledged.
    I am so happy that this story ended with two healthy children.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing, Robyn. You have found beautiful ways to honor your grandchildren on earth and your grandchild in heaven. And what a beautiful gift that you are passing along to women who have lost a baby. I’ve loved reading your funny blog, but it’s a blessing to know this side of your life as well. Thank you for your compassion and kindness and best wishes to your family.

  5. ((Hugs)) We’ve lost two babies (18 weeks and 12 weeks), and they both have ornaments on our Christmas tree every year, too. Little Man knows about his big brother and will often draw a tombstone on family pictures he does for school and stuff. It breaks my heart but makes me happy to see him recognizing his brother all at the same time.

  6. Every post gives me more reasons to love you! This one touched a special place in my heart and was a wonderful take on a less than wonderful situation! I can’t thank you enough for such a heartwarming spin on a serious situation. Thank you for being you Becca and for the amazing little humans I have the joy of interacting with every week!

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