The Hope Found in the Loss of Miscarriage
Letter from Kaitlyn Facista
To My Sisters,
I will never forget the moment I knew I was pregnant. Four and a half years ago, I was standing in the kitchen of an extended stay hotel room, balancing my toddler on my hip with one hand and trying to pull apart a package of bacon with the other. The smell of the bacon made me instantly queasy, and a moment later I was texting my best friend, “I think I’m pregnant.” Three positive tests later, my hopes were confirmed.
My husband and I spent the next five days carving out such a beautiful place in our hearts and our family for this new baby. We fell so instantly, so recklessly in love.
And yet, God had other plans. And I know those plans are supposed to be even more beautiful than my own, but they didn’t feel like it. It still doesn’t feel like it and I don’t think it will until I’m sitting with God face to face.
I realized I was miscarrying in a Target bathroom. I went home, shaking, my stomach in knots. I thought, at first, that it was just implantation bleeding, just spotting, and everything might still be okay — but after a while I had to accept that it wasn’t. And there was nothing I could do.
The next couple of days are hard to describe, but I suppose I was in shock. I don’t remember much of it at all. I sat our toddler down with her favorite cartoons and snacks and then I laid in our bed and just sobbed. Over the next couple of days, I can’t quite remember how many, my body slowly and painfully let go of our little saint and I was swallowed up into grief.
A few weeks later, our little family packed up and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. And a few weeks after that, it was the smell of Lucky Charms making me queasy. Just one month after our loss, I was pregnant again.
The mingling of this sudden, unexpected joy within the grief of my still-broken heart knocked the wind out of me. And even now, a little more than four years later, it still does sometimes.
Now my oldest is nearly six, my son is three and a half, and we have even been blessed with another daughter. And sometimes I catch myself saying I have three kids, when I should’ve said four. It is four, but how do you explain this to an acquaintance in casual conversation? I don’t know how to talk about loss, and so often I just don’t want to because it’s too painful.
But every time I’ve spoken up or tried to tell the story of our little saint, our little Frances Xavier, so many other women have reached out and shared the stories of their loss. And so despite how painful this feels, I’m writing to you now. If you’ve lost a child, I need you to know that you’re not alone. Our grief has woven together and we’ve found ourselves a part of this club that no one ever wanted to join. And it sucks, it’s okay to say that. It’s awful and messy and frustrating and ugly — but we’re here together, we’re not alone.
Sometimes I close my eyes and I envision this bright and bustling nursery in heaven, where every new arrival is met with tears of joy and the warm smiles of the saints. Where Jesus can be found cradling our sweet little ones; where Mary gently rocks them to sleep in her arms. In all of this mess and the waves of grief, the only comfort I can find is in knowing that my baby is being held so safely by someone who loves her. Where St. Frances Xavier Cabrini whispers to my little Frances, “I can’t wait for you to meet your mama.”
Until then, I cling to this quote from Saint Zelie Martin, “We shall find our little ones again up above.”
About the Writer: Kaitlyn Facista
Kaitlyn Facista is a Catholic convert, wife, mama, and hobbit at heart. Born and raised in the Phoenix desert, she now lives with her family amongst the trees and fields of the Midwest. She is the author of “To Middle-Earth and Back Again”, the host of the Tea with Tolkien podcast, and the creator of www.teawithtolkien.com. She can almost always be found drinking iced coffee and snuggling one of her babies, and she spends most of her free time making friends on Twitter.