Buckle up, I’m about to share a part of me that I don’t let the outside world see. I firmly believe in always being professional. Never letting anyone see behind the curtain. Have your planner face on at all times. Even when you have experienced the biggest loss of your life. A child.
To preface, this was the BIGGEST wedding of my career. Not as in guest count, that was large too. But BIG! So many moving parts. Incredible ceremony site, unique reception venue, a vendor team of over 50 people and one of the most amazing, fierce and sweet power couples I’ve had the pleasure of bringing working with that I still talk to!
Jake and I had tried to conceive a baby for 6 years at this point. That statement alone is crazy to actually type out. A few months before this colossal wedding, it happened!! I was pregnant. I was in shock. A busy wedding year. I had built an incredible wedding planning team. And we were about to have a 10 week break from a very busy wedding season with a couple trips as well. I was in heaven.
The Wednesday before the wedding, Jake and I had a sonogram scheduled. It was a very important one. The one that said if we were out of “scary” part. For someone like me, the entire pregnancy was scary. This is how I feel so many of these stories start…hope and stress at an all time high. Until we heard the words from the sweetest nurse ever…”We can’t find a heartbeat.” Those words will ring in my ears every day, all day, for the next 6 months.
Immense pain rang through my body. The baby I dreamed about was no longer alive. And we were making plans on next steps to take her out. (Yes, she was a girl. We found out a week after). As I was talking to the doctor and scheduling surgery, the tears stopped and my heart sank even more. The wedding was 3 days away with a very large rehearsal on Friday. How could I have surgery and then do a wedding the next day? The grace of God and an incredible team, that’s how. I knew I didn’t HAVE to do the wedding. I have such a fabulous team. But I couldn’t let this tragedy be my undoing. I couldn’t let it take more of me that it already had. My weddings and my brides were my passion. My escape. My joy. And I needed that adrenaline rush.
On the way home, I sent the heartbreaking text to my girls. It was originally just going to be three of us, but I called in the rest of the troops. My team rallied and each took their part. Jasmine was now lead of the reception where her and Lauren were in charge on the most elaborate set up in HBH history. Caitlin would drive me around to each location, since you can’t drive on prescription meds and a broken heart. And four other girls would go in between the ceremony at the National Cathedral and reception at a local vineyard. My job was to stay sane, medicated, and make sure my bride was happy, unsuspecting and in total bliss.
The surgery was Thursday. It was the saddest 2 hour drive I think anyone could take. Holding my belly and knowing this would be the last time I would be with this precious baby. Trying not to lose it because I can see Jake trying to be strong for the both of us. I was in so much pain, I couldn’t think properly. So many surgeries prior to this to be able to even get pregnant, and it was ending with one where it would take a portion of my heart. The very thought of that morning still brings tears to my eyes.
The next day, something came over my body that was quite shocking. I knew I had a job to do. I knew I was in the most intense pain, but I could feel my brain turn on. Caitlin came to pick me up for the rehearsal and she helped me to put on my game face for the rehearsal in the most prestige church around. We made it through. I didn’t cry. I didn’t appear sad. I was shocked.
The next day was even more shocking. It was a long 12 hour day, and there was no room for me to lose it. If I started to cry, I knew I wouldn’t stop. I felt like a zombie getting ready and pouring myself into the car. Once I saw the bride again, I felt my strength come back. We had worked together for so long that just a look between us was all we needed to encourage and calm the other. There was a job to do, and this couples perfect day was in my hands. That is such a tremendous amount of trust and pressure that you can’t let fall away because you have just had a traumatic experience. There will be many days to cry, believe me. Today is NOT the day. I am happy to say that the day went off PERFECTLY. Every element was amazing for this sweet couple. Any issue that came up, my team fixed without a problem. I am so grateful for them everyday! I am also grateful for the “friendors”(that are more friends than vendors) who knew what happened and were there help out the team even more.
The next few months that followed that weekend seemed impossible to tackle. Most days, I didn’t leave the house. When I did leave the house, I didn’t talk to anyone. I had a few people check in on me every now and again. I had my team helping out with social media and keeping the “happy” moments going so no one would know I was in the darkest time of my life. I was afraid of the pain. The only way I got through that experience, and the advice I can give to others going through a similar experience, is to let yourself feel the pain. If it takes you down for a little while, let it. That is the only way to heal properly. It took me a long time. Even after I conceived again, there was so much pain and fear I had to overcome. There were several more grenades thrown my way through that healing journey that felt like my heart would never go back to normal. Don’t think people will understand what you’re going through. They most likely won’t and will not say what you need to hear. My foundation was Christ. He got me through. Along with the encouragement of my husband, kind words from a few friends and loved ones, my incredible team and fighting harder than ever to have a baby on this earth.
I am sharing this story now because I finally feel in a place where I can actually put my feelings into words. It was the absolute hardest experience and worst year I have been through to date and is one where I learned so much about myself, my marriage and life. I also am more grateful than ever for the group of ladies I have on my team, my loving husband, and this perfect being that God has sent down again for me to be her mommy. When you have reached your all time low, moments like this bring you to a new high. BUT…do not be fooled, my friends. Although I have the one thing I prayed for harder than anything, our life still has so many obstacles thrown our way. Jake and I still go through sad and frustrating experiences that continue to push us and our faith. But remembering what we went through last year, and the seeing the actual strength I was given, I can conquer anything.