Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Why I Hate Fridays: Moving On After Miscarriage

This Friday, I would have been 17 weeks pregnant. But I’m not pregnant anymore.

It was a normal Tuesday morning and, as usual, I was running late getting ready for work. My period was several days late, and I was beginning to wonder. So, I bent down and ducked inside our bathroom cabinets rummaging around for a pregnancy test. Bingo! Found one.

Fast-forward through tinkling all over the test, my hands and toilet seat…

I was in total shock when the digital PREGNANT popped up. It was like a large flashing billboard on the side of the Interstate. After all of the fertility struggles we faced conceiving our daughter, I could not believe what I was seeing—God had blessed us with an unexpected pregnancy that was without tests or surgeries or worry!  Caroline was going to be a big sister!

We could barely contain our excitement. Both Jason and I told several close friends and co-workers our amazing news. Since Christmas was just around the corner, we had adorable Christmas ornaments made, saying “Baby Surratt #2 Due August 2014” for our parents and grandparents. Our sweet baby was due on my mom’s birthday, August 11th. I mean, how cute is that?! Needless to say, everyone was gushing with disgustingly delicious baby joy!

As the early stages of pregnancy progressed, I had all of the normal symptoms. I craved milk and meat, was ridiculously exhausted and puked regularly at the slightest weird smell. However, deep in my gut, I felt something was a little off. Isn’t intuition a funny thing? As women, I think we sometimes doubt the strength in our intuition and shrug it off as paranoia. But there can be so much truth in that little voice.

I remember the morning where the stark white washcloth turned pink while showering. The pink kept coming in large quantities. I sobbed uncontrollably as the warm water hit my face. We rushed to the emergency room, but the uninvolved ultrasound technician (who did not have children and in no way could gage the urgency of my worry) found my sweet baby’s healthy heartbeat. We left with hope.

And then Friday rolled around- the day of our first official OB appointment and ultrasound. I was almost 9 weeks pregnant and bounced into the office with so much ignorant optimism. I checked in and chatted with other pregnant waiting mommies.  My biggest worry that day was calculating when we could share our news on Facebook.

Friday. That Friday.

What happened in the ultrasound room is crystal clear and a blur all at the same time.  She couldn’t find a heartbeat using the ultrasound machine directly on my stomach, so she tried the vaginal ultrasound. And there was my baby. He was so perfect. He was so still and peaceful. While Conner Lee Surratt stopped growing at 7½ weeks gestation, my baby was whole and healthy and wonderful and beautiful to me.
I believe all women who experience a miscarriage handle it and heal from it differently. And that’s okay. For me, I am still realizing the depth of my loss and trying to heal from it. Every Friday, especially at night, the calendar pulls me in warp speed back to that ultrasound room and to the moment of realization. My family and friends keep moving forward, but there are some days when I still feel a bit stuck.

I have a beautiful little angel beside my bathroom sink, and a silver bracelet with the #2 dangling from the chain links. These treasures from dear friends remind me that someone cared for Conner, too, and wanted me to remember him. (Although we will never be able to confirm our baby’s gender, identifying the gender we believed the baby to be and naming our baby was a way to honor his life.)

After miscarriage, people say the stupidest things. I realize it’s because they don’t know what to say. My least favorite comments include “So, when are you going to try again?” and “God took the baby because there was something wrong with him or her.” To speak to the first comment, I’m not ready to try again. This is not like learning to ride a bike or returning a dress that didn’t fit correctly. I’m mourning the loss of this life.  Next, God did not kill my baby- and he certainly did not take him because something of this world was “wrong” with him.  And if something had been different with my child, we would have loved him unconditionally regardless.

Nothing can bring my baby back. Nothing can restore him to the warmth and safety of his mother’s womb. I cannot help but feel like I failed him or did something wrong that hurt him. Despite what anyone says to reassure me of nature’s way, I will always wonder these horrible things.

What I can do, for Caroline and for Conner, is live my life to the fullest. I can laugh, I can have fun, and I can slowly move forward. I have to find comfort in the fact that his warmth and safety is now coming from my Lord.

Conner, I cannot wait to hold you one day. I’m sorry and I love you. Even if I only carried you for 9 weeks, your Daddy and I treasured every moment you were growing with us. Losing you was the most difficult thing we’ve ever been through. We will never forget you. We find great comfort in the fact that you are waiting for us in Heaven and watching over your sister. See you soon sweet baby, Mommy & Daddy


  1. Sorry for your loss. There is no time limit on grief. Sometimes babies just stop living, as babies sometimes do.

  2. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  3. My husband and I also struggled with infertility with our first child and got pregnant easily and without help the second time around. We, too, were devastated by the tinges of pink and loss of our baby at 11 weeks. It was, and continues to be, the hardest thing we have gone through. Surprisingly, we got pregnant again almost immediately. Rebecca did not replace the child we list but her amazing self completed our family and filled my heart with more love and happiness than I could have imagined. We still talk about the baby we lost and wonder what he/she would have been like. Take all the time you need because only you (and God) will know when the time is right.

  4. I'm so sorry for your loss. I went through the same exact thing. Thought I was 9 weeks pregnant and went for my first u/s. The technician was so cold I knew something was wrong. By baby girl stopped growing at 8 weeks and my body never gave me a clue to that. I was devasted, she was my first... so I just wanted you to know your not alone.. hugs

  5. Ollie, I have gotten to know you and your mom thru the show and your struggles.. Like your mom I am a cancer survivor and like you I know the loss of a child. I agree with you people do not know what to say and sometimes they say things that will hurt. Take your time and grieve your own way. For me it has been 34 years and I still wonder what she would have been like, what kind of young woman she would have been and her impact on our lives and the world. The pain will get easier to deal with but the hope for that unfinished life will never end. My best to you and your family

  6. Dear Mollie: I was writing this message on my Ipad and it went off, as always, whenever you have something important to say. I have three wonderful children, already parents themselves of my four gorgeous granddaughters. Along with my fiancée, we are about to complete 13 grandchildren in all. But this is just an introduction. When some life events like this one happen, some people in their infinite ignorance sometimes make you feel even worse than you already are.
    I am Jewish, a Jewish mom, grandma and soon to be wife for the second time around to a wonderful and caring Jewish man. In our faith, we mourn a miscarriage as a loss, because that is what it is. Losing a child is the most tragic and difficult challenge life can give you, it doesn't matter if he or she was 40 years old or not yet born. It's part of your life, of your story, of your heart. You can't replace a child with another, never. You ned your time to mourn, to cry, to reflect and when the right time comes you'll be blessed again. I have never gone through such a process but I my fiancée lost his oldest son in tragic circumstances two years ago and G-d brought me to his life to help him start mourning, among other things.
    As I write, tears are uncontrollably pouring from my eyes. I am crying as a mom, and there is nothing more I would like right now is to give you a nice Jewish mamele hug to ease your pain even if it's just a bit. I know your sweet mom Lori has done so over and over. You are survivors, strong and things like this never stop you. But yes, you need time, you need to cope with sweet angel Conner's loss. I am offering you from my Jewish perspective, a beautiful prayer written by Rabbi Diane Cohen, a mother like you and me. I sincerely hope you and Jason can find some solace. And I have your little one already in my heart and in my prayers.
    " May the Holy One, who blessed our Mothers Sarah, Rebeccah, Rachel and Leah, bless and protect Mollie. May the wounds she has suffered, both physical and emotional be healed. May she find comfort in knowing that You, O G-d, weep with her. May the Source of Life, the Creator of all flesh, restore her body to her rhythms and her soul to its songs of joy. As she and Jason stand before You, help them to move forward, to feel the pain and acknowledge this loss. May all of us be committed to living, always aware that we are created in Your image, by caring, supporting and loving one another in times of pain as well as in times of joy. As we have wept together, so may we soon gather to rejoice together. And let us say, Amen.”

    Sent with all my love, from the bottom of my heart.

    Fanny A. Litovich

    1. Fanny, What a beautiful prayer that touched us so much and made us cry. Thank you.

  7. My heart hurts for you. I too had a miscarriage at 9 weeks....almost 15 years ago - - and I still wonder and cannot wait to hold our little one in heaven. Surround yourself with those who TRULY understand what it's like - - and are just there for you. I have 2 other children - - one before and one after - and I love them both with my whole heart, but there is that one spot that our little one holds and I treasure that love that only a mama can. Big hugs to you as you grieve - and grieve however YOU need to and however LONG YOU need to. Hang in there!

  8. You sound like a smart and strong woman. I know nothing anyone can say will ever make things any easier but I will be praying for you and your family. God has a plan for you and your whole family. God Bless you. <3

  9. As a labor & delivery nurse I can tell u with 100% confidence u did not fail ur baby but as a mother who has also experienced a loss I understand why u feel that way. I'm so very sorry for ur loss!! The baby will always be with u in ur heart and know his Mommy and Daddy loves him!!!! Prayers for comfort, healing and peace!!!

  10. I am so sorry for your loss. At least for the time that baby Conner did live, he knew he was loved. How could he not, when he got to listen to your heart everyday ... Keep strong

  11. I just found you via Life in Grace. I too have been where you find yourself now and I remember some of the "words of comfort" from friends. One in particular..you're young, you'll get pregnant again. I really don't think people realize how hurtful it is to diminish your loss in such a way. It's been 17 years since I miscarried my first child. It was devastating. I have been blessed beyond measure with three more children. And though I sometimes wonder about my angel baby, the devastation and grief of that loss has been replaced by so much joy. God is good. His plan for our lives is a better one than we can imagine. It's hard to see that sometimes. Bless you and your family.

  12. I am so sorry for ure lost and I am prayin for u and ure family....I know its hard but just know that god makes no mistakes and everything happends for a reason. Although at times we may not understand and know wat those reasons are but I am sure he has something better planned in store for u.....Stay strong and keep your head up for god gives his strongest angles the toughest battles. Praying for better days ahead for u

  13. My husband and I have struggled with infertility for over 5years. My first miscarriage was a year after my first daughter. I remember my own father in law saying "it was a blessing." This broke my heart over again, some people even family just do not understand the toll it can take on the mother. I am currently going through my second miscarriage as I am typing, in fact, I am headed to the doctor right now. May God bless you and your family.

  14. I have never experienced the lose of a child, and I just can't imagine what you are going through. I know that after having 3 children and now my first grandchild, I would be devastated and heart broken. My heart goes out to you and your family at this very hard time. You seem to be an amazing woman, mother, and wife, and yes you will see your little one again one day. The Lord is loving him for you until that time. Your faith, that is very evident, will see you through and help in the very hard times. Peace is what I pray for you.

  15. I have been through this also. May God wrap his arms around you a give you strength! I have been told that God chooses special parents for these special babies. I am sure our angels are waiting and watching us!

  16. Dear Mollie,
    I just came on your site today after seeing "Say Yes to the Dress" for your wedding. I have never seen such incredibly beautiful dresses...all 6 of them.
    I was wondering how your marriage was going. Then I saw the picture of your daughter. That's when I read about your miscarriage. Your writing is so beautiful, so filled with emotion and love. I wish you nothing but the best in the future, whatever it holds.

  17. Thank you each for your beautiful posts. My husband, Jason, and I read each one carefully, and I so appreciate your encouragement in sharing a very sad time in our lives. So many women have struggled with miscarriage, and I don't understand why we're so quiet about it. It's time to open up about this and support each other. Thank you all again and God Bless!

  18. Molly,
    I stumbled upon your blog after reading your linked in profile. You are an amazing writer with an open heart. You share with honesty and raw transparency.

    What comfort we share in a God who knows and cares for us in our deepest pain.

    Lisa M Russell