Just a few months ago, my husband and I went through a very trying time in our lives, I would say the most heartbreaking and life altering event I’ve ever encountered. I say this because I realize now that this one event changed my whole perspective and outlook on life. It made me doubt my trust and faith in the One that has never led me astray and has never given me reason to doubt His goodness and mercy. It made me fearful for what was to come, and jealous of others who were enjoying parts of life that I couldn’t seem to enjoy anymore. It changed the person that I am, I let it take hold of me and grip me at my very core. I am not this person. I am not distrusting of my God and fearful of what the next day will bring. I don’t lose hope in life, or become jealous of other’s newfound joy. Today I realized that this is not who I am, but someone I have allowed myself to become for a time. I’m done feeling helpless, hopeless, faithless, jealous, and fearful. But I have to be honest about my story during that time in my life because it was a very important time; I made it less than it should have been. So now I’m going to tell a story, a story of sadness and loss, but also a story of hope and redemption.
It’s early in the morning, about 6am to be exact. A wife and mother of one tiptoes to the guest bathroom. She opens the cabinet and gets out the pregnancy test she has been hiding. She is nervous and scared, but still full of hope. She has taken the same test at least twice a month every month for the past 3 months. It has been a year now since this journey began, a year of hope, joy, confusion, pain, and heartache.
We choose to live with questions and in fear of what is to come. We choose to doubt and not trust in the One who can restore us and be everything we need. We sometimes choose to push Him away when the days seem dark and the weeks long. I’m sure you’re thinking by now that the test was definitely negative from the mood of this post, so I will continue with the story. I am going to let you know what happened soon, don’t worry.
The woman takes the test, impatiently waits for the results, takes a deep breath, and puts the test away. She goes to work out, which is what she normally does at this hour and why her husband did not know she was taking the test. A little before 7am her husband meets her at the elliptical to say goodbye and head to work. She leans down to give him a kiss then says, “Oh by the way I took another test, and it was positive.” The husband looked shocked and says, “really? Okay, well lets just see how things go.” Weeks later he asked his wife how she told him because he didn’t even remember since it wasn’t made to be a big deal. This pregnancy, while prayed for and deeply wanted, happened 3 months after a terrible heart wrenching miscarriage. This is what pregnancy looks like after you have lost all hope and you have doubts every single day that your baby will survive.
So while this should be a wonderful story of hope and redemption, and at times it is, it has also been a story of doubt, sadness, and learning to trust again. If you have read my previous posts, I’m sure you have figured out by now that this woman is me. As I took that test and saw that it said Pregnant 1-2 weeks, I was so happy, yet also sad because I was thinking of the test that I also took in February of that same year that said Pregnant 2-3 weeks. I was happy and hopeful, but also did not want to get too excited yet. We both needed some reassurance for it to really be real for us.
As weeks passed I began to feel terrible that this baby was not receiving the recognition and the joy that our baby just months before had. It was so unfair and we were so uncertain. Finally we went to our 9 week appointment. I remember that day so well. My son had fallen asleep in the car and my husband was running a few minutes late. I wanted Pate to sit in the car with Silas so he could still sleep and I would text him when we were about to do the ultrasound. Pate arrived and I headed into my appointment, but of course Silas woke up right before I got to the doors. Pate yelled for me, but I told him to meet me inside, that I did not want to be late. When I got upstairs to my doctors office I found out she was running 30 minutes behind and we would have to wait even longer to seal our fates.
Finally we were called back to a room to see the nurse and wait for the doctor to do our ultrasound. Everything went normal with the nurse, she took my blood pressure and asked a few typical first trimester questions such as how was I feeling, did I have any concerns, etc. She also mentioned that she felt like we had just gone through this same routine, which I sadly joked, “we did”. Finally the doctor came in with the ultrasound machine and got to work on finding our baby. We received the good news that we had been waiting for! Our baby was growing and thriving. It had a heartbeat of 140 bpm and was right on track for growth at 9 weeks. We were so happy, but unfortunately for me that didn’t last long. I knew we weren’t out of the doghouse yet. Our first appointment with our last pregnancy went great, but we sadly lost that baby at 13 weeks. Our next appointment was the one I was really nervous about and was anticipating.
At this point we had decided to tell just our immediate family. They were all happy, but of course seemed like they were trying not to get too excited just yet.
Four more weeks passed. Weeks filled with doubt and fear. Every time I visited the restroom I feared that there would be blood and signs of loss of our baby. Every time I had an ache or cramp, which there were many, I had doubts about the life of our child. Pate and I drove together to our 13-week appointment and waited with anxious hearts to hear our sweet tiny baby’s heartbeat. Again, we had the good news we had been waiting for! There was no problem finding our baby’s strong heartbeat of 150bpm.
One would think after both of these reassurances that we would feel confident in our baby’s health; that we would be ecstatic and want to tell others our wonderful news. When you lose a child right after you have posted your wonderful news all over social media, it sadly makes it that much harder to make the next one public. I was so afraid that we would lose this one as well, and everyone would know the pain I was going through just like with the last one. Even my husband suggested that we wait till our next ultrasound at 20 weeks to announce our pregnancy. We were both still so unsure of what was to come.
I had prayed and trusted and had so much faith in our pregnancy prior to this one, and we lost that one. It was hard to have that same trust and faith in this pregnancy. At this point we had told immediate family and a few close friends, but there were still many people that we were close to that didn’t know anything that we had been dealing with for the past few months. It’s very hard to get up in front of your church and sing every Sunday when you feel like you’re hiding something from them. And not just hiding it because most couples choose to not tell others till after the first trimester, but hiding it because you are afraid you will lose another baby, hiding it because you’re afraid it won’t last. I felt so utterly alone. Even though we had told some, I was still so upset that we didn’t feel like we could share our wonderful news with everyone.
We are now at 16 weeks, and I’m writing this knowing I will not be posting it quite yet. I actually started writing this at week 14 and I feel like my outlook on this pregnancy has changed drastically in the past couple weeks.This has been the hardest pregnancy for me so far both physically and emotionally, but just in the past week I have decided that I’m going to be happy about this pregnancy, my child deserves that. I’ve decided that I need to hope and have faith that Jesus will bring us to the end of this pregnancy and we will have another child to add to our family. If I don’t have faith in Jesus then what do I have? I’m lost without Him, and that’s what I’ve been these past few months: lost. Today we had a prayerful invitation at our church and the praise band was able to participate instead of leading worship. I was so thankful for this reprieve because today I made things right with God. I knew that He was speaking to me and telling me that I am not the person that I have been for the past few months, that is not who He has called me to be.
Instead of this pregnancy being a story of sadness and loss, I must choose to have faith in Him and believe that it will be my story of hope and redemption. That’s what I prayed for today, that I would stop making my God less than He really is, because He is a God of hope and a God of redemption and I have to choose to trust that and believe it every single day. I am not alone; He is always with me and I am thankful every single day for the life inside of me that He has so graciously given us.
I am sad on this day of remembrance for Sumner Grace, but I am also filled with hope for the new life in my womb. I hurt for every momma out there who has had to go through this day without the hope of new life in her womb. Know that you are never alone, and I pray for you always.