" . . . But I'm not abandoned. The Father is with me. I've told you all this so that trusting me you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." --John 16:32-33 (MSG)
Hello, I am Leah. I am a 29 year old Christ-follower. I have been married to my husband Cory for 6 years. I am the mother of one beautiful little 22-month old girl named Nora. I am also the mother of two "angels in heaven".
I miscarried the first time in August of 2008. It was my first pregnancy, and I found out when I was 6-7 weeks along. I got to experience the joy of knowing I was pregnant for a whole three or four days before I started to bleed. At the first sight of blood I was told to go to the emergency room, where another urine test was performed. The test said "positive", but the bleeding got heavier. Before I knew it, I was at home on the couch sobbing because my baby was lost.
After that happened I wrote this in my journal:
" . . . If asked the question: 'How was your first pregnant experience?', the answer that comes to mind is 'Silent.' It came, and it went. Such a short time to have such an impressive impact.
Even before my baby had eyes, teeth, lungs, or a name it had needs that could only be met by me. It was hungry and I fed it. Now the void of that absence is so quiet . . . and so profound.
I would have taken anything that God gave me. I see now that “abnormal” is unimportant when it’s your own child. I would have loved what He gave me SO MUCH no matter what.
I am trying not to blame Him or myself. It’s hard. Luckily I am much better able to stick to my convictions than I ever was. I believe (FIRMLY) that God is not the author of evil, and that He is the one who writes my days. Even still, I shake on that foundation in light of this experience.
I didn’t want to trust in hope. I kept asking that if it was going to be over, that He would make it be over quickly. In retrospect, it was short. In experience, it was the longest three days of my entire life.
I cannot help but weep for what is not here, and practically never was to anyone else but me. My boobs have deflated; my hunger has subsided to practically nothing . . . on the outside you would almost never know. The silence is inside me.
. . . I give my body credit for fighting to hold on to this life. I feel like it fought tooth and nail. Then it battled back against death with a vengeance . . . How can I not blame myself?? They say not to, but how can I not?????
It hurts to think right now. I would be pleased with a vacation from my own head . . . my own silent body . . . This silence is truly deafening."
That was the single most devastating thing that ever happened to me. As much as this is a blog about my experience, it's also kind of a Public Service Announcement: I learned the hard way that a little pink line on a pregnancy test, or even several pink lines on several tests, does not always result in a baby. Even still today when I see girls announcing their pregnancies at 4, 5, 6 weeks I panic in my heart for them because all I can think is: "You have a one in five chance of miscarrying." And the feelings that follow a miscarriage are feelings that you DO feel ashamed of and don't always want to share. Anger, jealousy, guilt, hopelessness - and that is just the start. I personally feel dysfunctional as a wife and mother - and there are many days where no one short of God Himself is convincing me that I am not. I may not know you, but please trust me when I ask you to wait to announce that you are pregnant until you are 12 weeks. Please, please, please . . . trust me on this.
I got pregnant with my daughter in November of 2008. From the first day of pregnancy I experienced bleeding. I was in and out of the doctor's office every week so they could be sure I was still pregnant. I prayed every single day for a "happy, healthy baby" to result from all this mess. I was on bed rest at 19 weeks for two weeks, and then . . . nothing. The second half of my pregnancy was textbook, and after a tough delivery . . . we got Nora.
I weep when I think of how much God blessed us with our little Nora. She is charismatic, smart, and makes us laugh daily. She is so amazing, and wants for nothing . . . except maybe a little brother or sister to play with.
My second miscarriage happened this past week, in June of 2011. This time I knew I was pregnant for over two weeks. It was such a "quiet" pregnancy that I was a little worried, but I had absolutely no bleeding for the first time so I was able to push my worries away easily. The day before my first scheduled ultrasound, I started to bleed. At first glance, I knew that it was a miscarriage. But I was able to stay calm because I had flat out told my sister: "I'm miscarrying again" while pregnant with my now-daughter. But I just knew, and I couldn't deny it when the cramps started an hour later. However, the next day when I called the doctor, the pain and bleeding had stopped. Hope returns! I started to feel silly for thinking I was miscarrying.
But . . . I was right.
That ultrasound is something I will never forget. Looking on the screen and seeing an immobile, extra-small, black dot that would have been our son or daughter is forever etched in my mind. My worst fears were confirmed as soon as I saw it - our 7 1/2 week old baby was not growing. There was no visible little diamond-shaped heart. The doctor confirmed what I knew already a few minutes later: "It looks like an abnormal pregnancy . . . but ultrasounds are imperfect machines." He offered me a D&C . . . but I couldn't go through with it. If there was even the slightest chance our baby could make it . . .
. . . but it didn't. By Monday, my pain was so great, I was wishing for the D&C. But on Tuesday I "labored" for about three hours and passed the bulk of the tissue. It was some of the worst pain I have had in my life, physically and mentally.
This time around a friend gave me a book called Free to Grieve. There is a passage in it that says: "Grief is different for a follower of Christ. Even in the depths of sorrow, hope breathes. Hope that you will see your child again in heaven. And hope that because of His healing power, your sorrow will not go on forever." So when another friend posted John 16:32-33 (quoted above) on her facebook page, I began to meditate on it heavily. But I got stuck on one thing: what does it really mean to "take heart"?
I looked it up in the idiom dictionary and here's the three definitions that were listed:
1. to receive courage or comfort from some fact.
2. to start to feel more hopeful and more confident.
3. to feel encouraged.
I have put God in charge of helping me to receive "courage and comfort". I am hoping that in time, the second and third definitions will follow from that.
This is the first time anyone other than my closest circle of friends has ever heard of me miscarrying. I am scared to post it, and I am scared to write it, knowing that you all would see it. BUT - I still have hope, and that is the true reason why I decided to write this blog entry today. Even though I am ashamed of my miscarriages and of the feelings that come with them, I am not ashamed of my children that I lost, or of the hope that Christ gives me. I am praying that by sharing my hope with you, that you will receive "courage and comfort" from it yourself. I am able, because of my God, to receive peace from my anger and get on with life in the midst of this pain, because of the hope that only comes from Christ Jesus. I hope that if you are going through something similar, that you will draw close to Him and find that same peace yourself.
To conclude, I wrote down this prayer for myself to pray when I just didn't have the heart to say anything else to God. I hope it helps those of you out there who need peace:
I am sad about losing another pregnancy. I pray that you will give me the courage to try again, and comfort in my time of sorrow. I pray that someday I begin to be more hopeful and more confident again. I also pray that I will be encouraged. I pray for my anger, that I can direct it and deal with it correctly, not turning it inward or using it to hurt others. I pray for Cory and Nora, that this loss will not make them feel afraid, abandoned, or angry. Above all I ask that you will help me to accept your way for my life and to give you trust so that you can give me peace. I ask all these things in your son Jesus' name. AMEN.