There are events in our lives that, no matter how long ago they were or how small they seemed at the time, affect us deeply. When I lost my first two pregnancies to miscarriages, I had no idea how they would affect me.
At first, I was insanely jealous of every pregnant woman I saw. While several college classmates were announcing their good news, all I could think about was how much I wanted to be in their shoes. How I would do anything to be there too.
Then I found out that I was pregnant with Abby.
I spent the first trimester reminding myself of the signs of miscarriage, constantly trying to calm myself down. I would be okay for the first two weeks after a doctor’s visit, but the two weeks leading up to the next visit were torture because I had convinced myself that I had miscarried. That died down some when I could feel her move, but I still was convinced that it was only a matter of time before I lost her. On the day she was born, I was amazed that she was here. Alive. I couldn’t stop looking at her, and I hardly got any sleep while we were at the hospital. I thought for sure that the next pregnancy would be easier.
Honestly, I wish that had been the case. I wish that I had experienced that bubbly joy, the anticipation, the waiting. But I didn’t. Instead, I was afraid to go to the doctor for the first few weeks. I was afraid that I had a missed miscarriage, that this dream would end when the ultrasound started. Melissa came with me to that visit, and I’m so thankful that she was there. She held my hand as the screen popped up, and there in front of us was this sweet little squirmy baby! I couldn’t get over the fact that this baby was there. Alive.
My second full-term pregnancy was easier to deal with simply because I could put all of my energy into Abby. I could, and often did, ignore the fact that I was pregnant. When I did stop to think about it, I was still worried that Lily wouldn’t make it home. When she was finally born, after being 11 days overdue and about a week of prodromal labor, the doctor found a knot in her cord. Yet she was born without any complications whatsoever. I’m still amazed and humbled that she is so healthy and perfect.
I would love to say that Lily’s birth taught me a lesson about how ultimately God is in control and that I’ll never doubt again. I’d love to say that I’m able to rejoice with my friends when they announce their pregnancies now. I’d love to say that I’m over my fears. But I can’t.
The truth is that my experiences with pregnancy will always affect my perspective. When someone announces a pregnancy, I’m not excited. Instead, I’m concerned and a bit worried. I’ve seen two of my pregnancies and several others end early. I’ve seen perfect, full-term pregnancies end in stillbirth. I’ve seen things take an unexpected turn, so I’m cautious. I get excited on the days that babies are born. I get excited when babies are here. Alive.
I have learned one thing, though. Miscarriages and stillbirths happen. They rock our worlds, and they shape them. They are the result of the evil in this world. But when our worlds are shaken, when hope fades dim, God is the One who brings us through it all. He gives us the grace and strength to make it through another day. Here. Alive.
miscarriage story here, her rainbow story here, and Jeniffer’s miscarriage story here. Thank you for taking the time to remember with us.