There’s so much excitement when you are heading to the doctor to listen for the first rapid pounding of your baby’s tiny heart. I was eleven weeks along and my head was dancing with thoughts of baby. While I didn’t really care for the feel of the cold, slimy jelly on my abdomen, I became concerned when she started pressing harder, almost frantically searching my body. I was told it was still very early and sometimes it is difficult to find the heartbeat, come back in two weeks. I never walked into that office again.
The next day the brown spotting told me something was wrong and I ended up at the hospital. After several hours of waiting, I was finally given the results of the ultrasound – the baby had developed to nine weeks. I was eleven weeks, you do the math. I was told that they were sorry for my loss but because my body had not started to “expel the tissue” after so long, it was important that I sign the papers for an emergency D&C so as to reduce the risk to my own health. If you have read my testimony, then you are well aware that my life and my faith were a mess during this time, so it only stands to reason that when I woke in the recovery room, I had never felt so alone in my life.
Some women can experience a miscarriage and they bounce back right away with no problems. Other women end up in full-blown depression. I landed somewhere in the middle. Some days I was ok. I had several people telling me that this was God’s way of correcting my mistake because he knew that it wasn’t the right time for me to have a child. I was told that I was too young to be tied down with a baby anyway. I was told that my boyfriend would never hang around to raise a baby, so it’s probably best that things turned out this way.
But other days…
For months I couldn’t walk down – or even look down – the baby aisle in the grocery store. Everywhere I looked there were pregnant women and babies and toddlers and strollers and binkies and bottles… To make matters worse, one of my very close friends committed suicide just over a week later. I was a mess. A big one. All of the “why” prayers to a god I didn’t really know came crashing down around me.
I smiled and laughed around my friends and family, who all expected me to be strong. But at night, while my boyfriend was at work, I would just sob. About six months later I ended up pregnant with my daughter (see, told you I was a mess) and it took me until I was 4 months along before I could muster the courage to finally go to a doctor. I was terrified that there would once again be no heartbeat and I knew without question, I didn’t have the strength to endure that kind of pain again. But there was a heartbeat! And it was strong and fast! And that poor nurse couldn’t understand why I burst into tears – not happy, joyful pretty weeping, I might add.
While I was so incredibly grateful for this baby, I still couldn’t erase the thoughts of the one that I didn’t have. I didn’t talk to people about it. I didn’t let on like it bothered me. But it had for years. Then one night I was going to church with a friend of mine and somehow we ended up on the topic of miscarriages. She told me her story and I told her mine and I was shocked at the rush of grief that came bubbling up. But then she told me something I will never forget – someday you will see that child again, and they will know how much you love them. I couldn’t hold back the tears. I so wanted to believe that, but was there any biblical basis for believing it? I think so. 2 Samuel 12 tells the story of David and Bathsheba and the child they conceived, but the real comfort comes from David after the child passed when he said, “I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” (vs. 22) That tells me that David fully anticipated that he would see that child again. (Plus, there are numerous passages in the New Testament which provide comfort along the same line.) I am now able to hold on to the same hope that David had in being reunited with his child.
I have learned that the child I lost was not a mistake I made that God corrected. God knew that child, planned that child because God’s words in Jeremiah tells us, “before I formed you in the womb I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). I have learned that God did hear the “why” prayers that I thought went nowhere. He was by my side the whole time. “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18) And after I realized that the child was well and whole in God’s hands, I learned to accept his peace for my loss. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
Please understand that while so many people will try to minimize the pain of losing a child to miscarriage, you have a right to grieve. I will be the first one to tell you that it really doesn’t matter how far along in the pregnancy you were when your baby passed, if you had an emotional attachment (and most of us do!) this is a loss that you should be able to mourn. Unburden your heart, sweet mama.
I lost my baby 14 years ago. I still love that child, and I look forward to the day I meet them. In the mean time, I am here to listen to your story – anonymous is fine! – because we can help each other deal with the heartache and encourage each other to look forward to the day we “will go to him.”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
Abide in His Grace,