I’ll never forget the day I found out I was pregnant. It was magical for reasons you might not expect.

My husband and I had been trying to get pregnant for several years. Month after month, negative test after negative test; we waited and watched for any little sign, getting our hopes up only to have them crushed yet again.

I like to think I’m a strong person, but the continual disappointments were taking their toll on me, and I began to seriously lose hope. There’s only so much a girl can take when, deep in her heart, all she wants is to be a mom, and for whatever reason, it’s just not happening.

I finally got a Big Fat Positive one sunny Saturday morning, when I definitely was not expecting it (of course). Like any ecstatic, first-time mama-to-be, I grabbed my phone to document our first baby’s first moment in our lives.

Miscarriage & Gratitude - Kristina Fortune

I was on cloud nine. Finally, I thought. It’s MY turn. I’m going to be a mom!! We’re going to be parents! Bring on the flood of happy (relief-filled) tears.

Later that same morning

With the happy news still sinking in, my husband and I were interrupted out on the deck by an unexpected feathered guest. A huge, emerald green hummingbird literally fell out of the sky and crash-landed at our feet. He was clearly disoriented and struggling, but somehow managed to fly up to our flower box to rest.

Miscarriage & Gratitude 2b - Kristina Fortune

Being an animal lover, I wanted to help. I could sense he was in pain and facing the final moments of his life. I approached him slowly with the intention to offer the only thing I could think of: Reiki energy healing. He closed his eyes as I cupped my hands near him and allowed the energy to flow for a few minutes. About ten minutes later, he passed away.

Miscarriage & Gratitude 3b - Kristina Fortune

As someone who believes in signs and synchronicities, a part of me found this experience troubling. Of all days, why does a sick hummingbird land on our deck and die in our presence today? Was it a message? An omen? A total coincidence? I tried not to read too much into it and went on with my day.

Later that afternoon

To my total surprise, a few hours later, this happened: I was standing at our kitchen sink washing dishes. I looked up from the sudsy water to see another green hummingbird, hovering on the other side of the window, and I kid you not…it was directly facing me at eye-level as if to say hello. I let out a laugh as it buzzed over to our flower box. There, a second green hummingbird joined it. The two hovered together for a couple seconds and then zoomed off across the yard.

What in the world?! Okay, universe, I thought. There’s a message here, but what is it?

23 days later

At 9.5 weeks, during my first ultrasound appointment, I was told the news no mother ever wants to hear: I’m sorry, but there’s no heart beat.

I looked up at the monitor, at my tiny, lifeless baby. The baby I prayed for thousands of times. The baby I waited years to finally meet. The baby we were a million percent ready to welcome into our family.

My heart was ripped into a million tattered pieces. My throat tightened with rage and grief. This cannot be happening. The shame quickly set in. What did I do wrong? Did I do something to deserve this? Am I not worthy of being a mom?

I was told I’d had a missed miscarriage. Though the baby stopped developing, my body still thought I was pregnant. I had no typical miscarriage signs. In fact, I had pregnancy symptoms for weeks after receiving the news. It felt like some sick, cruel joke.

I waited several weeks to see if the miscarriage would complete itself naturally, but it didn’t. I was advised to have a D&C to avoid infection. How fitting that it would take a surgical procedure to remove the very thing I so longed for.

The weeks that followed were dark. My broken heart was both devastated and furious. I was depressed and confused, trying to find some reason why this had happened. Why would God give me the strong desire to be a mother, make it super difficult to get pregnant, then tease me in such a heartless manner? It didn’t make any sense.

I wrestled with my thoughts, trying to find some peace. I wanted to be free of the suffocating emotional pain. I just wanted to move forward. I was doing my best to accept what had happened, forgive myself, and focus, with gratitude, on what I did have in my life. I had a roof over my head, food to eat, money in savings, a husband who would do anything for me, three feline fur-babies who adored me, a job that allowed me to work from home doing something I loved, family and friends who loved and supported me. And not everyone can say that.

Though this experience was incredibly challenging (understatement of the year!), it helped me see just how blessed I already am. I have so much to be grateful for, even though a child isn’t (yet) part of my life. When I started opening my heart to this awareness, something magical happened.

Six days after my D&C, with a still-heavy heart, I went out to my garden to haul in the last round of veggies. Only one green pepper remained. I brought it in, washed it, opened it to remove the core, and saw this… a perfect heart of seeds.

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Thanks, universe. Hug received!

I burst out laughing and then into tears. It was like all of the hurt and anger finally capsized and the healing flooded in. It was in that moment that I realized I’m always loved and supported. The universe always has my back. There is always love to be found, even in the most terrible of circumstances, if you’re open to receiving it. Pay attention and you will find it.

Now, I’m choosing to look forward with renewed hope. I think back on those three hummingbirds that visited me that fateful first day of my pregnancy journey. One may have died, but two more survived. Perhaps it was a message, after all, of things yet to come…