We moved to a new house in January. New Year, New Town, New Start. Unpacking Boxes is always fun. You discover old treasures and goofy memories all over again. As I dug through a box of books, I found a journal. I knew what I was when I saw it, and I was finally brave enough to open it and read. As I read my last journal entry from September of 2013, I wept.
“Today is the day. We would be meeting each other for the first time. I would be soothing your crying, feeding you, and changing your stinky diapers. I would have loved being your mom...”
I found out I was pregnant on New Years Eve 2012. My husband and I couldn’t contain our excitement. All I had ever wanted was to be a mom. I couldn’t wait for my first doctor appointment. By the time they could schedule my first appointment, I was 9 weeks pregnant and nearing the end of my first trimester. We watched the ultrasound as our precious baby jumped and bounced around. It was pure joy. The doctors proceeded to praise us. They told me my pregnancy looked very normal and risk-free at this point. “See you at the next appointment!” We ordered T-shirts. We told everyone. It was such a happy week, and I thank God for that week of joy, because the week that followed was one of the worst of my life.
As I was working around the house one day, I started bleeding, a large amount. I allowed myself to begin to process the probable reality of the situation, but we trudged to the doctor’s office anyway. The ultrasound machine turned on and there was our baby. Still. Not bouncing, as he had been a week before. “Hold your breath.” The technician said. I didn’t breath. I couldn’t breathe, but for some reason she just kept telling me to hold my breath over and over again. (I don’t know why I remember this detail, but those moments have always stuck with me.) The screen went dark, and that was the last time I saw my baby. Over the next three days I experienced the miscarriage, and the constant reminder of what was happening. It was dark and it was painful, and my ability to understand was not there, BUT GOD was there.
I have always loved that phrase “BUT GOD.” I think it is such a vivid shift in thinking. BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy, showed me hope and light through the people in our life. We were new to our church community who brought us food and prayed with us. Someone I had never met showed up to church a few weeks later and offered to walk through the grieving process with me as she had just walked through the same thing. I will always be grateful for her and the time and effort she took for a total stranger. So many people that we barely knew unselfishly and eagerly stepped up and loved us. I saw hopelessness BUT GOD gave purpose.
God’s plans did not include me being a mommy to my first child. God’s plans brought my baby back to him. (And what better place could there be for my child than in God’s loving embrace?) But what God’s plans DID include, was me walking through a really dark time, and being able to walk with other women through the same horrible pain. I would never wish this pain on anyone. But, as I sat with multiple women over the last three years, talking with them about their anger, talking with them about the piece of their heart that would always be with that child who they never held, I found purpose. God used my first child to allow me to comfort other moms. He used my first child to teach me that his plans are perfect, even when I don’t think they are good. He used the dark depression I walked through to show me the vast alternative to that darkness in His glory. He taught me that He is kind and compassionate, and close to me when I am hurting. I learned how to take the compassion and closeness He gave me, and share it with others living the pain that encompassed my life for a year. And for that I am grateful.
Hope for the Journey: We got pregnant with my daughter in 2014 and she is an incredible, beautiful gift. We are expecting our second child via adoption in October. This journey to have and raise children who love the Lord is a tough one, but thank goodness he is walking through it with us.