In December 2005 I learned I was pregnant with our second child. We were surprised but pleased, anticipating a baby due just a day after Garrett’s birthday. Just the idea of being parents of two kids seemed amazing. We had check ups, told friends, and then, six weeks later, the bleeding began.
On a Friday morning, we looked at an ultrasound screen and listened to the reassurances of our medical team. Twelve weeks was far past the usual miscarriage time, a good heartbeat should quell our fears, and, later that day, the cramping began.
The next morning, I was staring again at an ultrasound screen- this time with no baby to be seen. It was the strangest feeling, to know that just a day ago a little life had inhabited that space. And now that life was gone, and I wasn’t pregnant, and there would not be a baby. I felt truly empty in a new and terrifying way.
But in that time, Jesus met us and spoke to us and held us so tenderly. It was as if the Lord himself was grieving our loss. And in that time, we found healing and strength and renewed vision for the ministry at our home and the oneness of our marriage.
Then Isaac was born.
Then Ella was born.
In June of 2010 I learned I was pregnant with our fourth child. We were pleased and not so surprised (by number four you pretty much get how it happens) and amazed at just the idea of being parents to four kids. Two days of awe, such awe that we had not yet told our families, and the bleeding began.
The first ultrasound showed a blood clot, large and menacing, looming over the tiny baby. Though it seemed unlikely, for the bleeding never really disappeared, the pregnancy continued and the hope became confusing and the reality of miscarriage seemed to perch quietly in the back of our minds. In our words to each other about the future, we said, “If we’re still pregnant…”. The pregnancy seemed so fragile, and I felt so not pregnant.
The second ultrasound showed a smaller blood clot and a bigger baby. A good sign, said the medical team. Then on a Friday, the cramping began. And at 4 a.m. the following morning, we faced the emptiest of pictures- an empty ultrasound. Only this time, I didn’t look. I didn’t want to see it.
For the next day, I was flooded with relief. I had known this would come, sensed all along that my body was not supporting this baby, and there was an exhaustion in it all that I had not felt until it was gone.
But now, 48 hours after the whole event, the emptiness has returned. It seems that it’s worse at night, when the daylight has faded and the emptiness beats inside me, more real and strong than my own heart. It’s such a dreadful thing, this idea we call miscarriage. It’s not only the end of a life, it’s the death of dreams and hopes and plans and moments that will never come. It comes in such devastation and leaves a longing for something that can never be.
And so here we are, so fresh and in the middle of it that it is yet to make sense and grow us and do amazing things in our character and God’s kingdom. But I do know that it makes me feel wild and flailing, dangling over a deep pit of disappointment and bitterness, with only a thin strand of God’s goodness that holds us to Him. And strangely enough, that is a very raw but comforting place to be.
I re-read this post and I think, “Am I really going to post this?” It seems so uncollected, so very altogether not-together. But I think that sometimes the comfort of God is most felt and sustaining before all the answers have come, when the fog is still hanging and the fears are fresh. And so I’ll think I’ll hit the PUBLISH button, in hopes that our journey will encourage you to trust Jesus and hold to His goodness.