Although my family picture only has 4 individuals in it, we are actually a family of 6. Two of my precious children went to meet the Lord before I even got a chance to meet them.
Jon and I had tried for about 8 months before conceiving our first child. That baby would have been due around July 10, 2005. I have tried to match a reason to my loss, but that early, there is just no way of knowing for certain. Was it the drive Jon and I made at 9 weeks, from one side of the country to the other? It was a stressful time, those days were the first I had ever been away from my home without the intention of soon returning. Still nothing happened to indicate any problems until 12 weeks, when some spotting and a panicked trip to the ER resulted in the tragic news that I would not be meeting my first baby here on this earth. What made it more difficult was the month that followed as I literally went through the birth pains as my body did what it was intended to in this situation. I wish there had been a way to know if I had a little boy or girl then. I wish I could've named them and given them a proper goodbye, but for some reason, the world doesn't hold these very young ones as actual babies, little souls once alive inside of their mommies. But I know I will meet this little one again someday in my heavenly home.
About three months later, I discovered I was pregnant with my Natalie, and a year after first feeling what birth pains were, I had my second baby in my arms.
I also want to share, I don't believe it is ever to early to share the news of a pregnancy with your friends and family. When I first discovered I was pregnant with my little one, I immediately shared our joyful news with our entire church, and much to the surprise of some, I was only 5 weeks along. I was told I should wait to tell others until I had 'made it through' the first trimester in case I lost the baby. Well I did lose that precious little one, but just as my friends rejoiced with me in the news of the pregnancy, they also were there to mourn with me the loss of my baby. If I hadn't shared, then no one would've known to pray for me. No one would've known to comfort and encourage me in my time of sadness. I have no regrets about sharing my news early.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. ~Romans 12:15
It was the week of Thanksgiving, and I started it with much gladness. On a whim I bought a pregnancy test on my way into work. I wasn't really late yet, but somehow I just felt like something was different. We weren't trying, though we weren't actively trying to prevent anything. Jon and Natalie were with me. It was a Monday night, and I was working childcare while Jon went to a men's bible study group. Before I clocked in, I ran to the bathroom with my digital test- I didn't want any questions in my mind, just a 'pregnant' or 'not pregnant' reading very clearly displayed in words. After a few minutes I emerged and gave Jon the exciting news before sharing it with my boss and good friend Angela. I was overjoyed, around July 26, 2008, I would have another little baby to call my own. Despite my first miscarriage, and careful concern while first pregnant with Natalie, I thought miscarrying was behind me, but I was wrong. I spent one night sharing the good news with all my friends and family back home, only to have to place the calls again with tears barely a week later. Thanksgiving day I began spotting, and spent most of the afternoon and early evening in the ER. All the doctors could tell me, despite a pregnancy test done at the clinic the day before confirming my pregnancy, was that now all tests were coming back inconclusive as to whether I was even pregnant or not. My heart fell, and given my experience, my hope was snuffed out. Sure enough over the long weekend, it was confirmed by my own body, which I felt betrayed by, that I was losing my third child. And though I realize now that I will still meet them someday in heaven, during my time of grief, I was not comforted by it because I still did not understand why once again I had lost my baby. Because God's ways are not our ways, and we can't always understand or see what good can come of it. That's when faith comes in.
And sure enough 7 months later, when we had committed to not trying to get pregnant in anticipation of our big move to Guam, God surprised us with a wonderful gift, in the form of a 4th pregnancy, my little boy, Zachary. And though I feared another miscarriage under the stress of another military move, this time overseas, Zachary stayed right where he belonged during our travels which happened again around 9 weeks along, all the way until well past his due date.
I still don't understand God's ways in the loss I suffered. But I do realize I wouldn't have either Natalie or Zachary if God hadn't called my other babies home so early. And I hope that maybe somehow, by sharing what I have been through it might bring peace and comfort to others who have suffered this type of loss as well. It is never easy to lose a child, no matter how early. Pregnancy is a time of rejoicing in a new life about to enter this world, and no one expects to have that cut short so quickly. But if we remember to look to God, and find our comfort in Him, knowing His plans for us are bigger then our own, we can find peace in our grief.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted." ~Jesus, Matthew 5:4
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." ~Isaiah 55:8-9
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. ~Romans 8:28
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. ~2 Corinthians 1:3-4