Motherhood. While the rest of my peers were dreaming of being astronauts, doctors, firefighters, and the like, I was dreaming of being a mama. I mean sure I went through a phase where I was also going to be a vet but the desire to have littles of my own never wavered.
When I was 16 I met and began dating my now husband, Drex. It’s amusing now, thinking back to my 16 year old self who even then was so confident in what I wanted in life. I remember telling Drex that if he was in it for the long haul, he should know I wanted babies, four of them, and to stay at home with them. I guess that was okay with him because a few months after my 19thbirthday, we were married. He was a student at Oregon State and I was a full time nanny, waiting for the day when it would be my own kiddos I’d be watching. I was newly 20 when we began the serious “when should we have babes” conversation. We went back and forth. We were young, too young by the majority of people’s standards and yet God had so clearly given me this desire to be called mama. We made the decision to stop preventing and to trust that God would write our story exactly as it should be, in His perfect timing.
It happened immediately. I was shocked, overjoyed, and absolutely terrified of losing it. I’m not sure why miscarriage was on my mind at that time but it was and that constant fear stole my early joy. But after a week my excitement began to grow. Drex and I began dreaming, making plans, talking about what this would like down to the smallest detail. I met with a midwife, began planning a homebirth, told close friends, and slowly the fear began to dissipate. I was 6 weeks and 3 days pregnant when we left our apartment in Corvallis and headed to the Portland airport to take a flight to Alaska. My sister was graduating high school and Drex and I were flying up for it. We’d told my family about the sweet babe growing in me but not Drex’s and were planning to tell them while we were in AK.
That whole day I was sick. The cantstayoutofthebathroom kind of sick and the hour and a half drive felt three times as long. I remember thinking this was so weird, pregnancy was supposed to constipate you right? So why was the opposite happening to me? I pushed the thought out of my head and by the time we arrived at the airport all fears were nonexistent. We made it through security without a hitch and I went to use the bathroom before making our way to the gate. That was the first time I saw blood. It was brown and not much but my heart immediately sunk and dread filled my being. My first and immediate thought was, this is it, I’m miscarrying. My best friend reassured me, brown blood isn’t a big deal and some spotting is normal and everything is fine. I was still filled with panic and anxiety and I couldn’t get ahold of my midwife. But we had a flight to make and so I did my best to push all thoughts aside while simultaneously praying that everything was fine.
We boarded the flight and found our seats. I jokingly made a comment to the man next to me that I was pregnant so to forgive me if I needed to be using the bathroom a bunch. To this day I wonder what that man thought. He saw us start the flight off so full of joy and end it with such sorrow. During that 3-hour flight my bleeding increased. What started as brown became red. In the middle seat of that airplane I miscarried our first baby. I arrived in Anchorage in pain and full of grief. Our first stop was to the store to get pads. The trip that was supposed to be so joyous, us announcing our sweet babe to my in-laws instead became a trip marked with so much grief. Instead of telling my mother in law we were having a baby, Drex had to tell her we were losing one. We made it through the trip, which was thankfully full of distractions. Coming home was hard, walking into the door of our small apartment still littered with positive pregnancy tests, the reminder that I had left pregnant and was coming back empty.
The first time I was alone after our loss, I took a shower. But instead of showering I lied down on the floor of the tub, naked, crying out, wailing to God. Asking why. Feeling angry and abandoned. I continued to ask that question throughout that summer. When we started trying again and it didn’t happen the first month, my doubt grew. My relationship with Jesus wavered, and as it wavered, so did my other relationships. I was withdrawn and depressed. I was confused and angry. I didn’t understand why this had happened, why God had allowed me to get pregnant to only take it away. I didn’t understand why it wasn’t happening immediately. I didn’t understand why He was allowing me to struggle. And then I surrendered. It didn’t happen instantaneously and a sermon a dear friend preached helped enormously. I realized I would never have all the answers, but that I serve a really good God. And though I may not understand what He’s doing, I can trust that He loves me. I remember talking to God in the car one day and telling Him, if it was Drex and I forever, I’d be okay. That I would continue to trust in His story for us, and that I’d be okay without kids. A few weeks later, two sweet lines appeared on a pregnancy test.
My pregnancy with David was filled with fear and everyday I had to make the conscious decision to surrender all of that fear to Jesus. It was hard. Choosing to trust in God’s goodness throughout that pregnancy was excruciating at times. It took everything I had. June 11th, 2014 I held my sweet baby for the first time. We named him David Nathanael, which means Beloved, Given by God and oh what a gift he is. In March of 2016 we welcomed our daughter. Our home is scattered with toys and diapers and I spend my days playing cars and bouncing a baby on my legs. I don’t know why God allowed us to suffer loss, but I do know that even so, He saw it through.