To the Life We Lost, and the Life We Gained.
Fun fact: Ryan and I love rollercoasters! The higher, the faster, the more twisty, the better. This past Valentine’s day, we experienced a whole different kind of rollercoaster; an emotional rollercoaster. In fact, the whole week was a rollercoaster of emotions that we definitely didn’t sign up for.
I'll keep this short. It began with those tell-tale signs. You know the signs - a few odd feelings in my body and a late period. On Monday, February 10, 2020, those 'signs' prompted me to take a pregnancy test. Just like that, we were pregnant. It was shocking. I took at least a dozen tests, each more clear than the last.
The next few days were filled with feelings that moved between puzzlement to acceptance, and excitement to intentional planning of this unexpected future. Doctors appointments were made as we anticipated seeing those sonograms, just as we had with all of our other children. We even allowed ourselves to think about names.
Then, on Thursday morning, things changed. Without getting into details, I began miscarrying. We were hopeful that the signs might have been something else, so we pushed through the work day in prayer, but by that afternoon, things got worse. By morning - Valentines Day - the reality was as clear as the last tests were.
Now what? We felt suspended in the air, like when you're anticipating that rollercoaster drop that you're never quite ready for. Me being me, I tried to push the situation under the rug and press forward. I tried picking up where we left off in life, as if it never happened. I didn’t want to deal with the emotions of it. Emotions, my husband would tenderly remind me, that were necessary for me to process properly. I needed to feel and I needed to allow myself to heal without hiding what could potentially turn into trauma. Writing is a part of my process, like a way to encourage myself, a way to share and maybe bring others in closer to love on us.
Thank you God for keeping us during this delicate time. Thank you for gifting us this moment that required us to lean on each other and press into You more than we have in a long time, because we were always too busy. Thank you for choosing us to bear this experience and add more texture to our story, another test to our testimony. There is beauty from this loss. In place of a tangible life, we have an tangible refreshing of the Holy Spirit. We have new eyes to see and a new reminder of how to cherish every moment, how to not take life for granted, and to love those around us deeply. We may not have finished this process of birth in the natural, but the birth of new dreams have taken place. We stay faithful and expectant of God’s promise for us.
To our friends and family, we ask a simple question. What dreams are you birthing and giving life to? If you aren’t dreaming, ask God to plant the seed, don’t be complacent. There's life in you yet.
Dear Baby D,
God gave you a purpose, though brief, you were and are incredibly impactful. You changed our lives. In an instant, your existence renewed a level of compassion, love, grace and life that we didn’t know we were missing. It was a miraculous overnight change that only God could design. If only that was the purpose of our pain, then your loss is not in vain - well done.
Mom and Dad.
We are Ryan and Alicia Dunlap, marriage coaches and the the founders of ThisIsKnotLove.com. Like a knot, we believe there are two types of marriages; those which are miserable, tangled messes and those which are intentionally fashioned together to join two separate things together as one. We work to remove the bad knots that cause marriages to unravel, and fashion secure knots that hold marriages together. We're just here to help you get the kinks out! #TIKL#KnottyLove