Peace in the midst of miscarriage

Peace in the midst of miscarriage

I was lay­ing on the exam­i­na­tion table in shock. I was at my first mid­wife appoint­ment, and because of my symp­toms, the mid­wife wanted to do an ultra­sound. There, on the screen, as plain as day, life and death were co-existing. I saw Faith’s tiny lit­tle 7 week old heart beat­ing furi­ously and strong. And next to her was the evi­dence that was left from her twin.

I was rejoic­ing and griev­ing in the same breath. I had been bleed­ing. I was incred­i­bly nau­seous. And now I knew why.

I stum­bled to the park­ing lot, still unsure about how I was sup­posed to feel. I always rejoice at see­ing my babies in their ultra­sounds. But, I also found out in that one moment that I had been car­ry­ing twins, and that one had died. This was my first miscarriage.

Fast for­ward a few years, and we rejoiced at the dis­cov­ery that after 4 years unable to con­ceive, we were once again preg­nant. A few days later we were dev­as­tated to learn that this new life, with all our hopes and dreams for his life, was dying. Oh how I grieved.

And then the fol­low­ing year, it hap­pened again. This time, I car­ried the baby to 7 weeks. Mike was out of town on a busi­ness trip when I mis­car­ried. That was hard. But, God sus­tained me through it. Late one night, I went into the bath­room, and prayed that the Lord would allow me to see the baby and not inad­ver­tently flush it with­out know­ing. Right then, He plopped my per­fectly formed baby onto a clean tis­sue. I could see the spinal cord, the spots where the brain and heart and eyes were, the arms and fin­ger buds. The baby was about the size of a grape. I was only 7 weeks preg­nant, which means the baby was only about 5 weeks old. I was so amazed at how formed this lit­tle life was already. I called my old­est son upstairs to share this moment with me, to see his lit­tle sib­ling. We buried the baby in a hand­made paper box under the crooked tree in our back yard. I put a piece of flan­nel in the box beneath and over the baby. We read some scrip­ture, sang a hymn, and prayed together as a fam­ily, thank­ing God for the time we had had with this baby, and ask­ing for peace and comfort.

I have strug­gled with the whys of mis­car­riage. Why would God allow me to get preg­nant after pray­ing for all these years only to take away this bless­ing from me? I really can’t grasp it. But, I do know that my life has been made richer and fuller by going through this heartache. I have learned to lean more on God for com­fort and care. I have felt His hand sus­tain me through these deaths.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. –Romans 12:15

Also, it has allowed me to have greater sym­pa­thy and com­pas­sion for other moth­ers who are suf­fer­ing such loss. Had I not expe­ri­enced this grief, I would not quite be able to under­stand what a body goes through phys­i­cally and emo­tion­ally dur­ing a mis­car­riage. I am thank­ful for these things in my life. I wouldn’t sign up for them, but obvi­ously God felt I needed it for my sanctification.

I know that God is sov­er­eign. I know that He ordains what­so­ever comes to pass. He has num­bered our days before there was one of them. This is true for you. It is true for me. It is true for our chil­dren. Even the ones in our wombs. We can­not add or take away a sin­gle day that has been ordained for us. And it is so hard to wrap our heads around that one. I believe God uses means to work out His sov­er­eign plan, but we can­not orches­trate it or force our will upon Him. We must always sub­mit to His will, if we like it or not.

Another thing that I hold onto is that each one of these babies are eter­nal beings. My few weeks of preg­nancy wasn’t for noth­ing. God ordained that their souls should be ush­ered into eter­nity from the womb. And I was hon­ored to be the ves­sel He chose to bring them into eter­nal exis­tence. How hum­bling. And how glo­ri­ous. My heart aches with the desire to hold them and watch them grow up. But, God had some­thing bet­ter in mind for them. I believe that they are at the feet of Jesus, wor­ship­ing and glo­ri­fy­ing Him. How thank­ful I am for that hope.

If you have suf­fered a mis­car­riage, I am so sorry. I under­stand your heartache. I want to encour­age you to name your babies, even if they passed years ago. They are eter­nal, and they deserve a name. They are real. Even if nobody else knew about them.

The other night, as we sat at the table for din­ner, my heart remem­bered my babies. I noticed that we have three chil­dren miss­ing from our table. I thought for a moment how sweet it would be to have Faith’s twin along with two more lit­tle ones sit­ting there with us. The baby would be turn­ing one this week.  Delight. But, I quickly remem­bered that we do have delight with those the Lord has allowed us to raise, and that I can have delight in the knowl­edge that I am a priv­i­leged mother to have ush­ered three souls into eter­nity through the ves­sel of my body, by the Lord’s choos­ing. Thank you, Lord, for this honor. I pray that I will never dis­dain the gifts that He has given me. Nine chil­dren, six on earth; the under­stand­ing of being com­forted by His hand through the heartache and pain; the hope of being able to com­fort other women in their sor­row; and a knowl­edge of His per­fect sov­er­eignty in our lives.

I pray my words give you hope. May the Lord bless you in your strug­gles. And may He give you peace.

 

I’ve linked up over at A Wise Woman Builds Her Home,  Deep Roots at Home, Cor­ner­stone Con­fes­sions, We are That Fam­ily, and Sim­ply Help­ing Him. Head on over for more encour­age­ment today.

 

Photo credit: kudaker / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

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Comments

  1. Hi Tonya,

    Thank-you for this lovely post. I too know the dis­so­nance of griev­ing and rejoic­ing simul­ta­ne­ously. We lost our 3rd baby last year in March. Exactly 1 year later we were blessed with our fourth, born 6 weeks early after 20 weeks of bed-rest. You cap­tured the emo­tion so well and tied it with a rib­bon of hope.

    P.S. You prob­a­bly don’t know me, but we enjoyed hear­ing your hus­band speak at the 2012 Fam­ily Eco­nom­ics Con­fer­ence in Chicago. So nice to find your fam­ily online!

  2. Beau­ti­ful Tonya! As one who has expe­ri­enced mis­car­riage too, your words are comforting.

    I remem­ber I had con­tacted you to tell you how sorry I was to hear of your mis­car­riage. I was hon­ored that you shared with me how God allowed you to see your pre­cious tiny baby. He truly com­forts us in our time of sorrow.

    Thank you for sharing!

  3. Jennine says:

    Thank you, Tonya. I was just shar­ing about my mis­car­riages with a cousin today. I thank God for the assur­ance that we will see them again.

  4. Connie Sue says:

    I appre­ci­ate your post. It was a good reminded of the sov­er­eignty of our Heav­enly Father. I mis­car­ried twins at 13 weeks almost a year ago and then lost two more preg­nan­cies, one at 5 weeks and then one at 6 weeks. I am preg­nant now with our 6th. It has been a strug­gle to not guard my heart. I am pray­ing every­day to rejoice for the time God is allow­ing me with this lit­tle one and we will walk in faith one day at a time.

  5. Thank you so much, ladies for shar­ing your sto­ries with me. I am so sorry to hear of your losses. Mis­car­riage effects so many women.
    Con­nie Sue, I have prayed for you today, and I will con­tinue to do so. I pray you will find such a great joy and peace daily as you carry this pre­cious child.
    Jacinda, thanks for say­ing hi! I hope we can meet some­time!
    Bless­ings,
    Tonya

    • Connie Sue says:

      Thank you, Tonya! I am blessed and hum­bled. I cling to the promise that “what­ever evil is sent in this trou­bled life, He will turn to my good, for He is able to do it, being Almighty God, and will­ing also, being a Faith­ful Father.“
      In His Ser­vice,
      Con­nie Sue

  6. Kierstyn says:

    My Grand­mother mis­car­ried before hav­ing my mother. When she passed away we thought of her reunion with her baby boy she never met. Then when my Grand­fa­ther passed way, even with the grief, we had the joy of know­ing that she was finally able to show my Grand­fa­ther their son! I look for­ward to meet­ing my Uncle some­day! Thank you for your post!

  7. Took 5 years to first con­ceive, mis­car­ried 5 times and have 5 chil­dren. At the times I mis­car­ried I had not heard any­one else talk about it who had gone through it or that it was as com­mon as it is. I was very sad and still cry think­ing about it. I remem­ber those still u/s images that I wanted to see flick­er­ing with heart­beats. One died after I had seen the heart­beat so I was espe­cially stunned. One time was very scary because I bled so heav­ily. Bad times. I’m glad when peo­ple talk about it so that young moms can know they’re not alone if/when it hap­pens to them. I wish I had had some­one like you to talk to!

  8. Ladies, thank you so very much for shar­ing your sto­ries. I’m so thank­ful that we have peace in Christ. In addi­tion to these com­ments, I have received sev­eral pri­vate mes­sages from women con­cern­ing their per­sonal sto­ries of loss and heartache both with mis­car­riage and failed adop­tions. Such grief. And yet, in all of our tri­als, we know that God is on His throne, work­ing out the details for our sanc­ti­fi­ca­tion and His glory. May we all rest in Jesus daily. Bless­ings to each of you dear women.

  9. Alicia A. Carlson says:

    Your words are exactly my thoughts, straight from my heart. We have 4 kids here on earth who joined our fam­ily through adop­tion and birth, and we have 3 pre-born babies in Heaven. I appre­ci­ate so much your hon­esty. Blessings.

  10. Meghan B says:

    I found this on Pin­ter­est, I am going through a mis­car­riage right now at 5 weeks and also have an 18 month old healthy boy. I thank you for this reminder of Gods grace and show­ing me to look at it from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive I had never thought of before. I really appre­ci­ate it. Thank you.

    • Meghan, I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart aches with yours as I know the pain and sor­row well. May the Lord care for you ten­derly in these days. Please be sure to rest as your body heals. Bless­ings to you.

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  1. […] Note: This arti­cle was first printed at The Vir­tu­ous Wife blog on May 22, 2013, and is reprinted with per­mis­sion. Live Action real­izes that not all of its readers […]

  2. […] Note: This arti­cle was first printed at The Vir­tu­ous Wife blog on May 22, 2013, and is reprinted with per­mis­sion. Live Action real­izes that not all of its readers […]

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