The response to having been married for 6 years is usually, "Oh! Do you have any children?"
Tough question. Not for some. Hard for others. Hard for us.
I'm torn when I'm asked this question. I always say, "No, not yet." Although because of recent developments I now say, "We have a little boy on the way" and touch my tummy.
What I really want to say is: "Yes, actually we have 4. They just aren't here with us. They're all with their Creator in heaven." But I'm sure that would kill any small-talk conversation. So I usually refrain from being so honest.
Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. I thought it would be fitting to tell a little bit of my story; why this day has significance to me and to so many other moms and dads out there.
Many of you have read the story about the loss of our 1st daughter, Izzie. Most of you don't know about the babies we lost after her.
In 2008, my husband and I decided we wanted to start our family. We had no problem getting pregnant and in the beginning things seemed to be going great. That all changed with one ultrasound. You can read the rest of her story here.
We were devasted at the loss of our baby. But we still wanted a family. And being that her condition was a 1 in 2500 chance and nothing that either of were carrying genetically, we were assured that it wouldn't happen again. It would be safe to soon start trying for another baby.
We lost Izzie in August. I was pregnant again in November. When I went in for my first doctor's appointment in December, there was no heartbeat. We lost our second baby girl at just 9 weeks.
Overwhelming grief. That's the best I can describe it, but there really are no words to describe the heartache I experienced. I called my husband from the car, choking back tears to deliver the news.
Our first thought was that we didn't wait long enough before trying again. Maybe my body wasn't ready to be pregnant yet. Again, we waited three months and tried. Again, no problem getting pregnant. But, again, I went in for my first OB appointment and there was no heartbeat. We lost our third baby girl at about 7 weeks.
This time we decided to give my body a rest. I had all kinds of blood work done to test for any possible deficiency or problem going on with me. Of course, everything came back clean. My doctor could not find a single thing wrong with me. On one hand that was a relief, but on there other hand, we had no answers for why my body was not staying pregnant.
7 more months passed before we got pregnant again. This time we were hoping for a different outcome. But hope doesn't always overcome reality. We lost our 4th baby in February of this year. By this time I had become almost numb. I didn't grieve much because it was almost like I had expected it. I was hoping and praying for a this one to be different, but in the back of my mind I knew something had to go wrong.
What I've learned from our experience of loss after loss is that no matter what, God never leaves, He comforts. God is in control, God has a time and God uses all things for His glory. That might sound absolutely insane since we're talking about the loss of 4 babies. But the truth is, He has used our grief and heartache to grow us in ways we never imagined. He's also placed others in my life (a lot of them) who have experienced similar stories that I can encrouage and pray for and who encourage and pray for me.
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says:
"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 have received from God." (emphasis added)
There is a lot of hurt and pain in this world. There are a lot of hurting and grieving mothers and fathers out there. My prayer is that they seek and find the comfort they need and desire in the Lord. Today is a day that we can pray for them.
I've also put together some resources in case you or someone you know has had a similar experience. Please feel free to pass any of these on:
*String of Pearls
*Focus on the Family
*one woman's story of loss
*i am the face
And if you need prayer please let me know. It would be my honor to pray for you.