I wrote this post several months ago. But waited to share this until this Month. October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant loss. day. While I always had compassion for those who had experienced this… I was unprepared for the grief and feelings of experiencing this loss.
On a recent morning I was reading in my devotions on the topic of contentment. I began to reflect on areas of contentment in my life. Thinking way back, as young girls we like to play house, and we build dreams of what we hope the future will hold.
One of my dreams all of these years, was to have four children. Two boys and two girls, if God would give them to us of course! In my first nine years of marriage, God graciously blessed us with two beautiful children, one girl and one boy no less!
I LOVE being their mom… BUT… when listening to their nightly prayers, and hearing them ask for a baby brother and a baby sister, I would pray right a long with them that God would give us two more.
As year ten in our marriage came around, we hit a rough patch financially. We were knocked back to what felt to us like newlywed status – broke and at start- all over again.
The winds of trials blew in from so many different fronts that year.
In the midst of all our financial trials that we were going through, I found out that I was expecting our third child. I got excited and my exact thought was “this would be our silver lining amidst our trials”.
About six weeks in some small symptoms started, but I wasn’t too concerned as it had happened with my first pregnancy. But as each week progressed it got a little worse, and by week nine I was more than a little nervous. I called my doctor and went in for an ultrasound to see if the baby was still healthy. The baby was there, measuring at about six weeks, but no heartbeat could be found. My baby had not survived.
Within three weeks I had passed the baby completely. I cried tears the day I lost it, but mostly stuffed my feelings deep down inside. Occasionally they would surface throughout that summer and fall, but on top of it all was this anger building up. I was becoming so angry that God would take my baby.
“Couldn’t we have one thing go right this year?” I shouted in my mind.
“What were we doing so wrong?”
I could point my finger at other people that I just seemingly knew were not doing right – at least I thought.
“I wasn’t causing dissension in my church” my thoughts would go.
“I wasn’t manipulating people to get my way” I continued.
“I wasn’t using people for personal gain and then throwing them aside in disregard”, as I knew had happened to us by others.
Yet all those people seemed to have life going their way so smoothly.
“They weren’t going through trials like us” I would tell myself… And on and on I would think.
I was doing everything I knew to be right in my Christian life, and yet God wouldn’t even let us have a baby…
I remember at one point telling God that I just wasn’t happy. It wasn’t fair, and I wasn’t content with the life He was having us live.
But then, as it often does, God comes along side and begins to speak softly in your heart. This time he used a fictional book series written by one of my favorite authors. My heart was so moved at the trials that her characters went through.
Finally one day I broke down and confessed all my anger and frustration about our situation, and laid it at Christ’s feet. I was okay with my baby in heaven and though I continued some to shed tears listening to my young children ask for a baby brother and sister in their nightly prayers, I knew that God knows best and we were going to be fine – somehow.
On my son’s fourth birthday, almost a year later, I found out that I was expecting again! I was excited and fearful at the same time. We looked at some names, told our parents, and decided maybe we should keep our baby items one more year. But in the back of my mind was a growing fear that I might not keep this baby either.
On week six, I started seeing similar symptoms again. I called the doctor and I was scheduled for an ultrasound the next week. They found a very weak heartbeat, and my doctor said she had seen many pregnancies start like this and still end in a healthy baby. She was wanting to give me hope. So I was scheduled for another ultrasound the next week, and we went home to wait.
I was so afraid that I would go through a miscarriage again. I tearfully told my mom I wasn’t strong enough to go through this all over again. So many late nights I sat in my children’s rooms holding their hands after they had went to sleep crying over the little hand that I might not ever hold. And one evening God brought to mind the story of David – how he had wept and pleaded with God to save his child. I could so compassionately understand those verses now. But when the baby had died David dried his tears, got up, and carried on. In my heart I knew that if God took this baby too, He would help to dry my tears and allow me to get on with life.
The next week we went back for the ultrasound, and though they looked for a long time, no heartbeat could be found. My baby was gone. During the next few weeks I read a devotional for ladies going through miscarriages, and it was a great help for me. I grieved over the loss of both my babies all within a span of one year. But on the day I passed my baby, much like David, God stopped the tears and healed the sorrow. It was time to pick myself up and move forward with life – to be content and enjoy each day I had with my family, and live it to the fullest. I felt like God had shut the door on more children for us. And that would be ok.
There was part of an old saying brought to mind, “Somebody always has it worse than you.”
Through my miscarriages, I came to find that many others I knew had them also.
I was not alone.
Some had several miscarriages and were never able to have children. The lady who authored my devotional shared she had ten. I began to fully realize that I was still very blessed. Yes, our family wasn’t growing in size as I had planned in my mind, but it was two more than so many others had. I felt myself humbled and so grateful for the two God gave us, and for the two that I will meet some day.
Losing the second baby, for me, brought closure to both of my miscarriages – but of course God knew that. He reminded me that when we walk with Him, He will give us the strength we need to go through anything in our life. I had always wanted four children, and in a way God had given them to me. Sure it wasn’t the way that I had planned, but I was content.
One day, while I sat in the living room watching and listening to my two children play, it was more clear to me than ever that not only were there two little playmates on earth to love and raise for God, but also two playmates in heaven. Perhaps I’d like to think that God had a reason that heaven needed them more than we did here. I have often imagined my grandparents and perhaps other dear friends in heaven chuckling as they watch them play. As I have watched my children hold hands and run down our driveway, I can only imagine two other little ones running down streets of gold.
So many times in the last year I have been reminded that we cannot fully know or understand God’s working or plans entirely. Regardless, I can still trust Him and know that He knows best. Someday I will understand – but until then – I will be content.
” Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Philippians 4:11