It was five years ago, almost to the day, when I lost my second child. She would be 4 1/2 now. The day I lost that child was October 18, 2010.
The one we don't really talk about, because why would we? After all, I am the mom to 5 beautiful, healthy children!!!
The only one who was ever conceived naturally, without any doctors or medications or basal body temperature recordings... the way I felt it "should have been" month after month, year after year, of disappointing negative pregnancy tests.
I took such immense joy and pride over this accomplishment! Oh, I had no control over it, I know that. I savored that short lived pregnancy. The child was God given, and God taken.
Please hear me loud and clear. The loss of my child still stirs up emotions that are so strong, even now.
I took such immense sorrow from this loss. I was angry. Hurt. Disappointed. Depressed. All at God. I cried out to Him and yelled at Him. You need to know He is a very big God and can take that. Amid my sorrow He led me to verses in the bible specifically about mourning. I jotted them down on 3x5 index cards and for months would literally read my "mourning cards" out loud with tears streaming down my face. They did not take the pain away, but they did remind me I was not the first, or last person to experience such searing loss.
I know God had a plan for taking this child back into His arms. Perhaps it was so I could have a greater sense of empathy for those who are hurting. Since my miscarriage, I have had the opportunity to cry with and pray for countless friends who sadly suffered a pregnancy or infant loss, and it is so different when you can relate. It just is.
Perhaps it was because there were four other children He had planned for us. Out of the blue the other day, Jenna said, "Mom, you are actually a mom of 6 kids, right? Us and the baby that died in your belly?" I had to chuckle because had this baby been born, our family would have been "complete". Our plan was to have 2 kids. There would have been no other procedure or pregnancy or plan to have more children. We would have been your average, "normal" family of 4. This blog would have never existed. So many things would have been different, and not all for the better. I would have never met such amazing people along our journey. I would not have strengthened my faith as I did through the trial of a miscarriage. And I would not have had the honor of getting to parent my sweet quadruplets, Lauren, Hannah, Tyler and Tanner. So, actually, the loss of this child paved the way for so many blessings that I just couldn't see or grasp during that painful time. Blessings truly do come from trials. Beauty from ashes.
I have no clue as to the why, I can only guess at God's reasons. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither your ways My ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts." And so they are. We simply can't make sense of it all. It is easy to side-eye God's intentions. Easy to get angry, get mad, get bitter, or brush it aside. It is much harder to "trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight (Jeremiah 29:11). In the end, The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21b
Today is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day.
Statistics say that about 1/4 pregnancies result in a loss. They also hint that number is larger. If you are in this category, hugs to you. Big Hugs.
For people that chose to abort a child-- while this may be a legal choice, I have a hunch many individuals suffer silently and perhaps with feelings of guilt, too. I cannot relate. Honestly, I can't even begin to, since pregnancy has always been so hard for me to attain. Nonetheless, please know if this is you I offer hugs. Big Hugs. Loss is loss.
Perhaps you never experienced a pregnancy or infant loss. Chances are, however, you know someone who has, whether they speak of it or not. I caution you to think twice before you pretend it never happened or diminish the impact an infant or pregnancy loss has on people's lives.
It is my prayer that everyone who suffers such loss will ultimately choose trust. Even if it is blind trust. My life verse that I clung to throughout all my fertility struggles was Romans 15:13:
May the God of HOPE fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13
He is a God of hope. I love that word. Hope brings shimmers of light to a dark perspective. Hope gives you something to live for, something to reach out to, something to fight for. Hope is what we yearn for. It is a gift from God if we accept it. It does not take the pain away, but it is the promise of something new just outside our grasp. I love this verse because it wasn't just about my hope to get pregnant (although that was often my prayer). It's much bigger than that.
If we have faith in Jesus Christ, there is the hope of salvation through Jesus and the hope of eternal life with Him despite all the crud we encounter in this lifetime. Hope in Christ and because of Christ. Hope that there is so much more to life than just this. And, it is God's hope that we would choose Jesus as our Savior just as much as he chose us to be His creation. He created us for a reason. He has a purpose in all of this, one we cannot even wrap our minds around.
The God of hope wants to fill us with joy and peace as we trust in Him, even though we have no idea what is around the corner. I firmly believe God honors our trust in Him. His ways are not our ways, and his timeline is not ours. He answers prayers with a "not yet", or worse, a "no" sometimes. Infuriating, right? But it has always been my experience that even a "no" is a yes to something else.
Hope. Joy. Peace. I pray this for all of you reading this today.