Okay, okay, okay.
I have been told to write again probably 50 times. Confirmed again and again. Even though I feel like I wrote all the words I have in my last blog post… here I am.
When I shared my story about our miscarriage I don’t know why, but I never thought about what would actually happen after I hit publish. I just knew God gave me words and I put my head down and I wrote. Literally hundreds of you have since read our story and a good portion of you have been intentional and taken the time to send me messages of love and support and some of you have even shared your own story with me. Forever, thankful!
I laughed out loud when I peeked on my google analytics. As a photographer who recently started blogging, I have been stressing over my SEO and trying to have THE most readable blog with THE most perfect images. Then I go and just write, don’t care about any of the SEO strategies, and use unedited iPhone images and have the most people I’ve ever had visit my blog. *laughs at self* I needed that reminder. I don’t need to show up here with perfect words, perfect SEO, and perfect pictures. I do, however, need to show up authentically and share my story.
God’s given me my story to share. And I’m reluctantly and fearfully showing up again in this space to share more of that story with you.
After I hit publish on that blog I started to physically tremble. I had been exposed for the world to know. *bit dramatic, but raw and real to me*
Drew and I have been going through counseling of sort, focused on growth mindset with a transformational coach. Throughout some of the exercises, I realized that the majority of my life I have felt like my feelings aren’t valid, that it’s all in my head, or I’m doing it for attention… #tbt to middle school when I broke my arm a couple of times and later in high school when I was dealing with undiagnosed thyroid problems. So showing up and sharing the most vulnerable thing publically immediately triggered me into my habitual thinking. People aren’t going to feel like my feelings are valid. This is all in my head- I have no proof to share- no one will believe me. I’m just doing this for attention. I should just stay quiet and keep everything inside of me. I should go delete the blog post so I can say I did it, but limit the number of people that read it.
Ugh. Here is the thing, I knew that those were ALL lies. Coming from a place that came to steal, kill, and destroy the little bit of peace I had about finally having words to share my story and ultimately give God glory. I remember tossing and turning that night I hit publish and asking Drew again and again if I should just go and delete it. Of course, Drew was incredibly supportive and reminded me that it would be disobedient to not let it stay.
Ugh, you’re right…
I woke up the next morning plagued with the fear of being a fraud. What if people asked me for an ultrasound picture? What if… What if… What if what I experienced wasn’t actually a miscarriage? What if I got to heaven and Halle wasn’t there?
ENOUGH. RYN STOP.
You see, shortly after I lost Halle I told my friend about what I was going through. She is in the medical field and has a lot of knowledge. She asked me a few questions about it and my experience and then suggested that I might not have actually been pregnant and it might have been more of a chemical pregnancy if anything. My broken heart crushed into 100 billion pieces (she is one of my closest friends who had no idea the weight of her words at the time, but we have since talked about it).
If you have been pregnant you know. Even though I only got to love on Halle for a little more than a handful of weeks my entire body knew.
Every. Single. Part. of. Me. Knew.
October 2018. I was in the middle of the busiest season of my photography career yet. October specifically I had multiple weekends of doubleheader weddings. My calendar was STACKED. I was hustling, you know, to make it big and prove myself. *rolls eyes #dumb*. I somehow managed to have a free weekend night on October 28th-29th and Drew and I loaded up the car and met friends at Thunderrock Campground up at the Ocoee River. Drew and I took our, then new to us, Subaru Outback for a ride through backroads. I was secretly coming up with an epic plan to share my surprise with Drew the whole time. My feet were on the dash. I remember feeling giddy.
We got to the campsite, set up our tent, then my watch dinged. A calendar reminder that I was supposed to serve at church as the videographer the next morning. UGH. What?!?! How did I miss this on my calendar?!? I double and triple checked it! This isn’t like me to miss a commitment. I scurried around the campground waving my phone in the air searching for an ounce of service to call some people back home to try and find someone to cover for me in the morning. Through a crackly signal, I managed to get a hold of a friend and she offered to cover it for me – no problem. Ah, yes. Praise. I can rest around the fire, sleep in, and recharge in nature. Exactly what I needed after this crazy photography season.
After chatting for hours around the campfire we tucked ourselves into our sleeping bags for the night. I remember so vividly Drew cuddling up next to me and whispering in my ear “you’re pregnant aren’t you?” Surprised, I was like “WHAT NO… WHY DO YOU THINK THAT?”, with the biggest grin across my face. He told me he had been thinking about it for a few weeks now because of certain symptoms…. Ha! I then told him, YES, but I hadn’t told him yet because I was trying to come up with a special way to tell him! Excited and slightly shocked. We both drifted off to sleep, cuddling, and dreaming about all the adventures to come.
This was no accident that I missed my commitment on my calendar or that Drew and I had that conversation that night. You see, that night in our tent, in Drew’s cuddly arms, in my sleeping bag I lost our baby. I woke up in extreme pain and in a pool of blood. I knew immediately. Something was wrong. Something had changed. It was gone. I managed to sneak out of the tent and get to the bathroom to clean myself up. I silently cried not knowing what to do with it all. After what felt like forever I quietly went back to the tent and laid there silently crying. My insides knew something was different. Honestly, I don’t think I really know how to explain it other than my entire body mourned and ached. I felt like a shell. Drew rolled over when the sun came up and somehow I managed to choke out the words.
That day along the side of the river I started realizing how this wasn’t an accident but in fact all part of God’s plan. Confirmed again and again. You see, I didn’t have a weekend full of weddings. I was in the middle of the woods around a campfire with my husband and close friends. My morning commitment was cleared in advance and a replacement arranged. An entire day to relax and recover alongside the river. And you want to know another detail, the friend who covered volunteering at church for me has experienced several losses and even an ectopic pregnancy that almost killed her. That isn’t a coincidence either. God knew I needed to be away from home, away from work, with time to rest, no cell service, and sunshine. If Drew wouldn’t have asked me that night there is a good chance I would have never spoken of it. That conversation Drew and I had before drifting off to sleep meant that I didn’t go through this alone.
We took that Sunday easy.
I managed to pull the outside of myself together, hide my shock and disbelief, and spend time with our friends. Around midmorning, we packed up camp and headed back towards Chattanooga. Drew asked me what I felt like doing that day and if I needed to go to the doctor. Drew and I had packed our hammocks and I told him I wanted to find a quiet place along the river and just relax there. And that’s exactly what we did. Drew didn’t understand what I was going through. He knew it wasn’t good and that there was nothing he could do but just be there with me. While we were hammocking I pulled out my phone and jotted down a few words that came to me.
My thoughts of you are always changing. Choppy, calm, stagnant, tidal, refreshing, fluvial, adventurous, and navigable. Mostly, I’m swollen up with anticipation. Rivers are dependable, beloved, and untamed. And always seem to lead to pools of bigger adventures. Dubbed the “roads of the forests.” They cut paths, erode and polish rocks, and gather life together. While sitting along a river’s edge I’ve dreamed of you many times. And just as fast as a river rushes, you rushed quietly on by. ☀️
The morning after I shared my story I prayed, let’s be honest, BEGGED God for confirmation that what I went through was truth and for confirmation that I would see Halle in heaven one day. I was finishing up my quiet time, still begging God, and packing my bags up in a hurry to scurry off to nanny when my phone dinged. A message from one of my friend’s mom on Facebook messenger. She shared with me how my words about grief had helped her in her own season of grief and how she related even though our stories aren’t the same. Her message ended with these words, “you will from now on be on my mind when I see a sweet baby. You will be in my prayers that God will bless you and Drew with a family. And the best part? You will see Halle again. Hallelujah. ❤️”
Confirmed again and again.
Even rereading this and writing it to share with you guys now I am moved to gushing tears. You see I had just spent the last 15+ hours begging God for confirmation I would see Halle again. And He heard my cries and confirmed it for me. When I read those words, “And the best part? You will see Halle again, Hallelujah ❤️” my eyes BURST out with tears…You know when the cartoon characters are crying and the tears don’t roll down their cheeks they just fly into the air… yeah, that was me. A little undeniable moment gifted to me from God. Confirming that sharing my story is an act of obedience and that being vulnerable and putting my story out there, even though hard and uncomfy, is exactly what I am called to do. And it’s already brought more healing than I ever could have thought possible.
That following Tuesday I went to my doctor and they confirmed I wasn’t still pregnant. No pills. No D&C. Naturally. Several more follow up appointments followed.
Here are a few things I want to leave with you today:
-You are valid.
– You are worthy.
-You have a story to share too.
– God hears you just like He hears me.
– God’s timing is just as significant as His calling.
– Ask God to show up in your life in undeniable ways. Read His word. Lean into Him. Seek Him. And I know He will reveal Himself to you too.
“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” John 7:38
All my love,