I felt the need to share my story of what I’ve been through this year because I’ve seen many stories of God miraculously healing, intervening, making people’s lives great and happy and while that is cause for much rejoicing, it’s not always how God works. If you’re a new believer or even yet unsure if you’re ready to give your life to the Lord, I don’t want you to get the idea that becoming a Christian is going to give you everything you want in life – actually as Christians, we are promised we will endure lots of suffering during our earthly lives. Here’s one of those stories.
Although I grew up in a Christian household, I’ve only been a believer for 2.5 years (I’m 29). Lots of life circumstances led me and my husband to the Lord, but I won’t go into all those details now. Before getting saved, I had gotten married to my high school boyfriend and we had 2 kids. When my youngest was 8 months old, I developed anorexia, which quickly became very severe and my body began shutting down. Thank the Lord, it only lasted 8 months before I started the recovery process, and I was saved another 8 months after that.
Recovering from an eating disorder has been very difficult, almost impossible at times, but only because of God I have made lots of progress. Last November, 3 years after the anorexia started, I reached weight restoration and had my first period in 3 years. We had been talking about trying for a third child, so getting my period back was very exciting for us-now we could try! Part, but not all, of my motivation in even gaining the weight back had been my desire for another baby.
I immediately became pregnant, at the end of November. When I found out, I just remember falling on my knees, crying and thanking God for this gift. We were so overjoyed, we excitedly shared the news with our kids (ages 3 and 5 at the time) and constantly talked about the baby. But underneath that joy lurked a terrible feeling in me. I just had this overwhelming, panicky sense that something was going to happen to the baby.
At 7.5 weeks, our first ultrasound showed a healthy baby with a strong heartbeat. I was so relieved! But fear quickly crept back in, and I obsessed about the baby. I couldn’t get the feeling that something just wasn’t right out of my head, even after seeing a strong heartbeat.
When I was 11 weeks, I went to the bathroom and there was bright red blood. I remember that feeling, that moment so strongly – just knowing in my heart that my baby was gone. My husband and I rushed to my doctor’s where she did confirm with an ultrasound that our precious third child no longer had a heartbeat, and according to the measurements had died earlier, at 9 weeks.
We were so broken. I can’t describe to you the anguish in my heart. I felt physical pain, like my heart was literally breaking. I was terrified of having a miscarriage naturally, and opted for a D&C the following morning. On the way home, even though I was in more pain than I’d ever been in, I felt so reassured by Jesus. I felt His presence overwhelmingly in the car with me. I felt His heart breaking with me, His mourning alongside me. And I trusted in Him. I wasn’t angry, I just trusted. And that in itself wasn’t from me, but from Him.
The weeks after were full of pain, depression, not knowing how to go through my daily activities. Truly the hardest time of my life! But still, God was there, and I rested in that. He gave me a beautiful gift through that mourning period – He showed me things I could do that brought true healing, and they weren’t the things you would expect. He called me to love other pregnant mothers, to be joyful with friends that had new babies. This was SO HARD. Seeing pregnant women caused me incredible pain, it was such a vivid reminder that my child was dead.
But when I listened to the Lord and instead of hiding from them, instead of soaking in my own grief and loss, I would congratulate them, I would be joyful with them, ask them about their pregnancy or new baby. And such healing was found in this, in loving others above your own pain. I began to heal, and in April I wanted to try for another baby. My husband agreed we could just see what happens, and again I got pregnant right away, at the end of April. I again fell on my knees, praising the Lord for this new life.
This pregnancy was different – I wasn’t afraid, I felt a peace about this baby, and I thought that was a sign from the Lord. I felt fairly confident that the baby was going to be okay. We again began to get excited, although being pregnant again also made us miss our third child, wishing so much we could’ve gotten to meet her, raise her.
At 7 weeks, we saw our baby on ultrasound, healthy, strong heartbeat and looking great. At 9 weeks, I had the tiniest dot of blood, but I wasn’t even too worried since I knew spotting was considered normal. But I called my doctor, and they said it sounded like normal spotting, but if I wanted to get checked for peace of mind, I could come in. I decided to go, since my kids and I were going out of town the next day and I didn’t want to be worried about it on our trip.
I was fairly relaxed, sure I was about to see my sweet baby, growing and heart beating away. But when I had the ultrasound, there was no heartbeat. The baby measured 9 weeks, right where I was, so it had just happened. I was stunned, just completely shocked. This can’t be happening again! How could God let this happen again?!
I didn’t turn to the Lord in that moment, like I did the first time. I felt betrayed – I had really thought that God had prepared my heart with the first baby and that’s why I was so worried and afraid, but I thought because I had peace with this second one, that everything would be okay. And now it’s not, and how could He leave me unprepared like that?! I shut Him out.
I chose to do my second miscarriage naturally, and waited a week but my body still hadn’t recognized the baby had died – I still had my pregnancy symptoms, no cramping or bleeding. I walked around for a week with the knowledge that my baby, who wasn’t alive, was still inside me.
After a week, my doctor prescribed me a pill to induce the miscarriage (after having a second ultrasound done to confirm the baby really had died). I took the pill that morning, and it started that afternoon. I won’t go into all the details, but a natural miscarriage at that stage in pregnancy is like labor – I started having contractions, they came pretty frequently and regularly, and lots and lots of bleeding. So much that it’s scary. It lasted 12 hours, 12 hours of being scared and knowing what’s happening, 12 hours of feeling completely alone through something so utterly devastating.
But even though I FELT alone, I know God had not left me. He was there, the whole time. It’s only been two months since the second loss, so I am just beginning to walk through it, but I’m coming to the Lord now and it’s already brought me freedom. I trust His will, I trust in His unwavering love for me, and I know that there is going to be great suffering in this life, but I’m called to love and obey Him through that.