Miscarriages are a horrible reality we face in this world – up to 1 in 3 pregnancies – and is often not shared or discussed. I want to thank Paris for sharing her story of loss, the toll it can take on a marriage, and their healing journey.
A friend and fellow parent asked my husband and I what’s been “hard” since starting our unchartered journey into parenthood. We glanced at each other and simultaneously shook our heads. We couldn’t really call anything out. Sure it’s been four months of fatigue, dry shampoo, smelling like spit-up and coming to peace with becoming a bag lady (I have at least five bags every day: diaper backpack, pump bag, lunch bag, laptop bag and gym bag. Plus our condo is up three flights of stairs. Yup.) There’s just too many joys to dwell on over the challenging things. We knew exactly what we were signing up for when we decided to expand our little family of two…but the road to three wasn’t as easy as imagined.
Clint and I met briefly seven years ago at a church picnic, but it wasn’t until a couple years later we reconnected. Our courtship was purposeful. We took the time to make sure we were in sync about life goals in both the spiritual and physical realm.
We did though, have a season of disruption where a past relationship resurfaced and caused some strain within the first month of our relationship. However this allowed us to understand what trust and communication meant. I remember sitting in my car for hours talking with him on the phone, sharing my concerns and feelings about the situation. He was honest and open with me, and has been ever since. I felt comfortable expressing myself freely which was something I struggled with. I trusted him. In hindsight, this period was very short-lived…but necessary. Our love for one another grew and we were very proud of ourselves for communicating clearly and freely.
Before we knew it, we were engaged and married, all within 18 months of our first date.
The following 18 months were bliss. We both grew in our careers, devoted time to mini vacations, got into our best physical shape & purchased our first home. We definitely experienced the coveted “honeymoon period” and I felt like we hit milestone after milestone just as we planned and wanted. Everything fell into place. It seemed only natural to start focusing on growing our family. After much prayer, we felt the peace we were seeking to pursue it.
I was seven weeks. I remember Clint notifying the ER receptionist how far along I was as I was curled over in a wheelchair trying to suppress the intense pain I was feeling. 30 minutes earlier I was overcome with waves of sharp pressure in my lower abdomen and was trying my best to keep myself from fainting. I had a shivering sensation all over my body & was so nauseated that the ground was spinning. The ER doctor began taking my vitals when I suddenly had the urge to use the restroom. I came out, pale in the face. I asked Clint to get the nurse. I knew then & there we lost our blueberry-sized baby.
The two months following my miscarriage were the hardest I had ever experienced. I tried my best to be strong in front of the very few who knew about what happened. I tried to be optimistic. Commuting to work was the only time I was alone thus it consisted of a daily routine of uncontrollable tears. It was hard for me to communicate how I was feeling even with my husband. There were numerous instances where I was distant. I stopped communicating. I held everything in. I really felt like I lost a piece of my heart. It was a difficult period for me in our marriage because I felt like Clint couldn’t relate. I was the one who endured the physical pain thus the emotional repercussion for me was intense. I would get frustrated because I didn’t see him get as emotional as I was. I was angry. Not with him but with the situation. I felt alone in carrying this burden even though he tried numerous times to talk about it. I just was not ready – or at least I thought I wasn’t.
It took some time for me to realize I was shutting myself off and avoiding the urgency of being communicative, especially to the most important person in my life. I had fallen back into my old ways of holding everything in and it was becoming evident. I finally made the effort to open up. Clint, as always, was honest with me. He told me it was hard for him to empathize although he wanted to so badly. That conversation was freeing to me. I was inspired to turn the hurt into something that honored the short time we had with our first baby. I shared with Clint my idea of planting a Meyer lemon tree. He asked me why. I told him because it bears fruit during the peak of fall, which was season of our baby’s birthdate. Every time the tree would blossom, we would remember the hardship and how we overcame it together. We got in the car and made our way to a nursery.
Fast forward to today. I’m so grateful for where we are at this moment. Grateful for the lessons learned through our hardship about the importance of communicating and being one another’s biggest support. Our son Eliott was born in January and is nearing five months old. He is pretty much the absolute joy of our lives. I look at him and cannot imagine life without his gummy smile.
As for the lemon tree, it bloomed & bore fruit last October. It was the sweetest lemon I ever tasted.
More about Paris:
Hello! My Name is Parastou (pronounced “paah-raah-stew”) which is of full Persian origin…until I married my blue-eyed husband Clint in April 2013 & became a Bartley. I am a Bay Area, California native & have worked in the tech industry for the past six years. I became a mama this past January & am pretty much obsessed with our baby boy Eliott Elam.
I think it would be only appropriate if I claim that I never considered myself a blogger nor am I anything near a writer. However, I was inspired to capture & share moments that have changed my life, given me pure joy, or allowed me to explore & grow as a person in the most beautiful, blessed & undeserving way. & for that, I give all the glory to Jesus. You can find me at parastoubartley.com…would love to hear from you!