Living and Losing
// From the Archives //
March 9, 2013
A little about us first of all.
Beav and I will be married for 2 years on April 23 of this year. He is a teacher and a coach at a small Christian school. I am graduating with my Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling from the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in May of this year.
About 5 or 6 weeks ago, Beav and I found out we were having a baby. Wait, what? Is this real life?
We had been discussing when we wanted to try for about a year. We got pregnant on our first try, which is a big deal. We were thrilled!
After a doctor's appointment to confirm, we knew this was getting real. We had so many emotions running through us, and we could not contain our excitement. We wanted everyone to know the news of this sweet miracle. Because all life is a miracle.
We decided to wait to tell the world until we had heard the baby's heartbeat.
On February 5, we both went for an ultrasound to hear the baby's heartbeat. When we saw our tiny little peanut, we knew God had given us more than we could ever have imagined.
The heartbeat was loud and strong. I will never forget that sound. We have it recorded on a CD, so we can always remember.
That week, we told family and friends that we were pregnant! Everyone was thrilled about our new journey as a growing family.
Through all of the excitement, I had been struggling with giving this big unknown in front of me to the Lord. Can we feed another mouth? Can we afford this? Beav kept reassuring me that we serve a faithful God who would provide every need. So I decided to trust.
A couple weeks later, I was reading the story of Hannah and Samuel in the first few chapters of 1st Samuel. It is a beautiful picture of a barren women longing and begging God for a child. When God gave her Samuel, she gave him back to the Lord.
It moved me. I could not explain why. I just knew that would be me. Some way.
I was already holding on so tight that God was slipping away in the background. I began telling God that this is His baby, and that we are simply honored to get to help grow it into a man or woman that honors Him. I knew it was a priviledge to have this baby inside of me, not my right. It was an honor.
That was on February 19, my birthday week.
My next doctor's appointment was on March 5. I had no idea what to expect, so I went in a little blindly. I went alone this time. I got on the scale, and I had lost several pounds since I had been in February. When I saw the scale, my stomach turned in knots. I knew I hadn't been sick. Was I supposed to gain weight?
I knew something was wrong, but I did not allow myself to think about it too much. When my doctor came in, asking me how I was feeling, I told her I hadn't been as nauseous in a week or two. She seemed surprised. Nausea is supposed to get worse in the first trimester, not better. A mother's intuition, I guess, but the pit in my stomach was growing.
My doctor used this little machine to find the baby's heartbeat. After several minutes of silence, she wanted me to do another ultrasound to see what was going on. I waited for a while, and they brought me back to the ultrasound room. I was ten and a half weeks at this point, but the baby only measured around 8 weeks.
There was no blood flow, and there was no heartbeat.
My baby's heart had stopped beating the week of my birthday.
I held my doctor's hand and cried. They brought me to her office to cry alone for a while. The doctor came back after what seemed an eternity, and recommended a D & C to remove the baby because it would be very painful and traumatic if I waited to pass the baby. That's the lingo they use. I would be ok if I never have to hear it again.
I called Beav to come up there, and he rushed there. I couldn't be alone anymore. I kept waiting and waiting on consent forms, crying, not able to think clearly enough to pray. After all the forms were signed, and the surgery was set for this Friday, March 8, I had to go to the hospital to sign in and do pre-ops. Another period of waiting, but I was thankful Beav was able to get there. We both just held each other in tears, not knowing what to say at all.
Doctors and nurses tried to help us feel better by saying things that felt empty and cold, though meant well.
I finally was able to go home that afternoon, and I couldn't control my tears. I kept ebbing between anger, confusion, fear, sorrow, sadness, emptiness, darkness, a sense of feeling lost, loneliness ....
I felt like a part of my soul had died that day.
I felt so lost, so helpless, so broken. I could not understand why God would allow this baby to have life, and then take it away so quickly.
How will I ever know what this little one would be like, feel like to hold in my arms? Would she be an athlete, a pianist, an artist, a pastor? Would she be intelligent? Would she have Beav's killer green eyes or bleach blonde hair? Would she love Jesus? Would she be introverted or extraverted? I would never know.
We both wanted to meet this baby so bad, and now we would not get to until we see her in Heaven. Even though we are comforted by that, it still is so painful to know that you will never know what it would be like to hold your child on this side of eternity.
As the days passed, anger grew. Numbness set in. I still feel like I am walking around dead. I feel like my life is gone. Beav has been speaking so much truth, and trying to stay strong, but he is breaking, too. He has shed many tears over this, too. I don't think I have ever seen him cry.
We had the D & C yesterday. It was terrible. There are no adequate words.
I slept all afternoon into the night, and Beav stayed by my side the whole time. I would not pick up the phone when someone called because I didn't want to keep reliving the moment. I couldn't share it over and over, which is why I decided to blog about it instead.
A few months ago, I told Beav I truly felt like God was about to bring us through some serious suffering, but I had no idea it would be something so heartbreaking like losing your child. So many people have tried to encourage me, but most of it makes me feel worse. I know "miscarriage is common," and many people go through this pain.
That does not change the fact that this has been the worst pain I have ever known, and that I selfishly want that baby to be alive so badly it hurts. I know the eternal life is far greater than life on earth, but no one wants to lose a child (in the womb or outside the womb).
People have said they know my pain, and I want to say, no you don't. You may have experienced similar pain, but you don't specifically understand MY pain. People have said, maybe it was not the right time. I want to say, then why would God have given this baby life in the first place?
Through the past few days, I have found it hard to be joyful in my pain, like Paul was able to do. I have found it difficult to talk with God period. When I put on a worship song, I just listen to the words, rather numbly. I listen to the words and cry, but I can't bring myself to sing yet. I have read many of the Psalms, Lamentations, and chapters in Isaiah over the past few days. I have read a chapter in Tozer's Pursuing God about giving up everything for the sake of knowing God. I have read in my chronological bible plan, and I get angry at all the lineages.
I want a lineage, too.
I have journaled about my feelings, with tiny broken prayers in between. I have had to stop looking at my Facebook newsfeed because of all the posts of newborn pics and pregancy cravings. It just makes me more angry.
I have questioned God so much through all of this, but He is continually saying to my heart:
Be still, and know that I am God.
He keeps reminding me of His faithfulness, and I truly believe He will entrust us with another child soon.
I love that He is allowing me to feel what I am feeling, and He is not reprimanding me for it. Besides, He completely understands the pain of losing a child.
He is wrapping His arms around us, and letting us cry and ask whatever questions we want. He may not answer the "why," but He is giving us the greatest opportunity to trust Him through it all.
I know what it is to walk through a "dry and thirsty thand where there is no water," but this is the worst wilderness I've ever known. I think God knew we needed to walk through some pain, because He is about to do something big in us and through us. He is preparing us, just like He was preparing Jesus for ministry by leading him out into the wilderness to be tempted.
God does not delight in our grief.
In fact, he weeps with us in our grief. But God is sovereign. His word never fails, and He will do great things through this pain in us. I truly believe He is lighting many little candles of hope in this fierce darkness we are in. He is shining light on the situation, and we know He will take care of us. He loves us, and He promises that nothing can separate us from that love.
I hope our story of living and losing would offer you a glimmer of Hope. Jesus is the only way we are getting through this pain, and I pray you allow Him to heal your broken places, too.
This song has been ministering to me this week. I listen to it again in tears, and I pray it does something for you, too.