I’ll never forget the moment when I realized something was wrong.
We were so excited to find out the sex of our baby. Since this was our second pregnancy, we knew what to expect from our ultrasound appointment. The tech would show us the baby’s heart, legs, arms and the moment we were waiting for, the sex of our baby. However, this was not our experience.
I knew from the moment our chatty tech got silent that something was wrong.
I asked her if everything was okay, and she responded to say that the doctor would be in shortly. When the doctor came in, he told us the worst news ever. That our baby wasn’t developing properly and wouldn’t survive.
As spirit-filled believers, we did everything we knew to do. We rejected the prognosis and prayed. We pleaded with God to perform a miracle and heal our baby. We started going to weekly check ups at a specialist, and I was told to let them know if I hadn’t felt the baby move.
I will never forget the day that I last felt my baby move inside of me. I was at a women’s conference with my mom and sister. I remember feeling him move tumultuously within me and thought it was weird. The next day, I realized that my baby had passed away in such a violent way.
Years later, I realized that I associated my aversion for women’s conferences with my miscarriage. It’s crazy the associations our brains make in difficult times.
Because I was five months pregnant, I had to go to the hospital to be induced to deliver. The baby was too large to pass naturally. The drug for pain they gave me made me hallucinate… I’m talking about vivid dreams of a colorful cartoon man building blocks to enclose me in.
Meanwhile, I accused my husband of not caring that I couldn’t breathe. I don’t remember friends coming to visit but while my husband walked them out, I told the nurse that something didn’t feel right. I thought I needed to push. She ignored me. After the second prompting, she proceeded to tell me that I probably needed to urinate and put a basin below me so that I could.
I proceeded to deliver my baby into a basin, without my husband or a doctor present. I was devastated.
A flurry of activity took place in that moment. A precious midwife from our church came in, wrapped our baby boy in a blanket so that we could take turns holding him and grieve over the loss of a precious life. The loss of unrealized hopes and dreams.
I wasn’t prepared for what came next… The grieving process hit me swift and hard. I stayed in bed for a few days and didn’t answer any phone calls. I know that people were worried and concerned for me, but I couldn’t bring myself to care. That time was such a blur to me. I’ll never forget standing in the shower crying from the heaviness of the milk coming in my breast for a baby I couldn’t nurse.
What I do remember is the comfort I received from reading my Bible. The story about when King David’s son died in 2 Samuel 12 spoke to my soul.
Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.” – 2 Samuel 12:20-23
David’s words resonated with me. He exemplified the posture I should take. What else can I do but get up and keep living life? Live for my husband, for my one year old daughter and most importantly for Jesus. What an example David was to get up and go to church to worship. So that’s what I did.
I went to church that Saturday night. To say it was overwhelming would be an understatement.
Well-meaning people gave us their condolences and shared their miscarriage stories. Since one in four women experience a miscarriage, I felt like my grief got buried in light of other people’s traumatic stories, so I ended up commiserating with these women.
My pastor’s wife came to talk to me, and she made a statement that completely shifted my perspective and confirmed what I read in 2 Samuel.
She said something to the effect of, “The end goal of every Christian is heaven. Your baby just bypassed the earth stage.” I don’t know why that so resonated with me, but I tucked it away in my heart. The truth is I don’t know what his life would be like here on earth. God in His sovereignty saw fit to bring him home early.
This newfound perspective gave me so much hope. I had a choice: I could be mad at God or choose to rest in His goodness.
You see, God has more information than I do, and He knows why He saw fit to call my baby boy home. I chose to lean into His goodness. Through self talk, and the Holy Spirit, I reminded myself of how faithful God has been to me my whole life; why would I dare turn away from Him in a moment of grief. This mindset allowed me to truly experience God in a new way. It was through this miscarriage, I truly leaned into God as my hope; knowing one day, like King David said “I will go to him.” In eternity, I will be reunited with my precious baby Joshua.
God is crazy faithful to his children. I have learned to look for His hand in every high and low. I saw His hand through this miscarriage every step of the way. God cares for me and knows me better than I know myself.
Look at his faithfulness to me:
The kind of deformity my child had was the result of chromosomes splitting unevenly within the cells andthe cells multiplying that way, which usually results in an early miscarriage. Instead of being mad at God for allowing me to carry my son for five months, I’m grateful that He allowed me to carry long enough to deliver him in a hospital.
Because of this, we were able to do genetic testing on him to find out (1) it was an anomaly and not something I needed to worry about with my next pregnancies and (2) I was able to find out that this anomaly was beyond my control. I couldn’t blame myself for not taking vitamins or getting enough rest or any other excuse the enemy would plant in my mind for me to blame myself.
Reflecting on His goodness fills me with so much joy. I’ll never forget a week or so later, a pastor asked me how I can walk around with a smile on my face. I smiled, shrugged my shoulders and responded, “How could I not? God has been too good to me!”
EMBRACE THE PROCESS
The grieving process is exactly that—a process. Allow yourself to grieve.
Ecclesiastes 3 talks about there is a time to heal, weep and mourn. Don’t allow anyone to put a timeline on your grief. You’ll have good moments and some not so good. To be honest, there are moments that I still get emotional. (I’ve cried twice writing this, and it has been seventeen years.) Don’t rush the grief but do rest in God’s arms.
Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
In these moments, I choose to stand on the truth of God’s word.
He is faithful.
Hebrew 10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Lamentations 3:21-23 Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
He cares for me.
1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
He comforts me.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
The beauty of being a Christian is that we have a choice to cling to God’s faithfulness and goodness in moments of despair. Looking back, I am amazed at how quickly I was living a joy-filled life instead of sinking into depression. The good news is that you too have the same option.
Choose to cling to Jesus. The work of the cross delivers us, cleanses us and heals us. We no longer have to walk through experiences the world’s way. Choose to walk close to Jesus in times of pain and hurt. He is our place of refuge.
This is how we overcome!