The #ihadamiscarriage campaign aims to “de-silence, de-stigmatize, and de-shame” the loss of pregnancies. In an effort to stand behind this campaign, here is my story…
Close to a year after marriage, David and I were excited to start our family around the same time we decided to adopt. We wanted to begin an adoption first because of the time and attention we knew the process required. We had a “plan” for all our children to be close in age. We dreamt of little feet running around the house and how their ages would give them a sibling bond–tying them close together for life.
We began trying to conceive a child at the end of August 2012 while starting the adoption process around the same time. The plan was for our adoption to only take 5-6 months because it was moving very quickly at the time. Then, according to our timeline, we would begin having our biological children closely after.
But just like our adoption plans went unexpectedly, so did our plans for conception. We tried for exactly a year, and at the very beginning of August 2013, we found out I was pregnant! I didn’t believe the news because, in the past, I had taken test after test that repeatedly revealed the awful negative symbol or two difficult words: not pregnant. I was finally at the point where I had given up temporarily, and my primary focus was picking up our daughter to bring her safely home from her birth country. But this pregnancy test turned my world upside down. Because I was skeptical, I took a test every morning and evening for the next several days. All confirmed that we were, in fact, pregnant.
A part of me was sad because we were supposed to be traveling to get Evelyn any day, and I couldn’t take malaria pills or risk contracting the disease if I was pregnant. But obviously, a much bigger part of me was thrilled. God had answered our prayers! I wanted to wait to share the news because the focus had been on Evelyn, and I didn’t want to take away from the excitement of her joining our family. I planned to share the news after she was in our arms and safely back in the states.
We had plans to go to the lake with my family that weekend, so I had asked David if I could at least share the news with my mom and dad. My mom had walked the whole journey with me, and I was excited to see the joy written boldly on her and my dad’s faces.
That same day filled with celebrating the gift of new life soon took a spiraling turn. The following morning after sharing the news with my parents, I woke up empty and aching from all that had transpired the terrible night before.
We had lost our baby.
I remember laying on my bed with my limbs curled in such a way that I could rock myself into the comfort I needed. My eyes stared blankly into the darkness while my heart begged for my husband to understand. Though I desired his support, my body was trying to mask the pain and trauma that had occurred to protect him from any damage. Lying there, I questioned what I did wrong, why it had to happen, and how to move forward.
I didn’t think I would ever heal from this loss.
But God helped push the healing process along when after a few days we were approved to travel and meet our daughter. This news masked the aching of my heart and bandaged it up for a short time — holding me together so I could meet the daughter I had watched through pictures the entire last year. My focus was now on Evelyn. However, each day the bandage holding me together became a little bit more unglued.
While I was in DR Congo for three months fighting to bring home my daughter, God encouraged me to grieve. He brought things to mind that I needed to work through. I decided to open up that chapter and read it again to relive feelings and emotions so that I could come to terms with how that chapter had ended. I preferred to shut the book and put it in the back corner with the cobwebs and the other books I was not willing to open quite yet, but I knew whether or not I opened this wound, it would remain there nonetheless.
God didn’t cause us to lose our baby, but He did bless us by allowing me to travel, stay by Evelyn’s side, and fight for her like I was not given the chance to do for our baby we had lost.
I will always long for and ache for my child I will only meet in heaven, but I am thankful for the beauty in both my daughter and son’s journeys and all I have learned along the way.
For those of you who have made plans but experienced pain where you had anticipated joy, take heart in knowing that we serve a good God who is painting the picture of your life. With each brush stroke, your mind forms an image of what the picture should be, but only God sees the complete piece, and His artistic vision is more beautiful than you can imagine. Though this broken world paints a picture of darkness, through God’s redemption story, we will one day see nothing but light. And on that day, my family will be whole and complete — together for the first time.
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