Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Serious One

I knew something was wrong.  The ultrasound technician and her trainee had been scanning my abdomen for over twenty minutes, not saying a word to us.  They would mutter things here and there, but not so we could hear.  When the technician finally set the device down, she let out a soft sigh.  "We cannot detect a heartbeat," she said gently.  First blow.  "And not only that, but there are two babies."  Second blow.

I could not even control the sound that came out of my mouth.  I remember feeling Todd's hand gripping my shoulder and then, as if it is physically possible, feeling my heart break in two.  I had never known such loss, such pain before.  I wept openly.  We both did.

You see, we had already had a healthy pregnancy and birth: a beautiful baby boy named Cole.  We planned that pregnancy, and planned this one.  We wanted our children to be a little over two years apart.  Everything was going smoothly, just as we hoped.  I had absolutely no signs of a miscarriage.  (I would learn later that that is called a "missed miscarriage".)  Just an hour before the ultrasound tech delivered the devastating news, Todd and I were laughing and smiling, joyfully anticipating seeing our precious baby on that monitor.  I could have never predicted how my life would turn upside down so quickly.

The months to follow were painful.  I blamed myself.  I questioned God and His plan for my life.  Bitterness and sorrow swelled in my heart.  I have to admit, I was pretty self-centered during this time.

We decided to try for another baby in June of 2012.  This time I was on guard.  I was only around six weeks pregnant when I experienced my second miscarriage.  While I was devastated to lose another baby, I was more angry than anything.  Why was this happening to us?  Were we to have only one child?

I remember receiving a call from one of my closest friends a month or so later.  I knew the second her name popped up on my phone that she was pregnant.  (To my friend: thank you for having the courage to call me.  I know how hard it must have been.)  While I was genuinely happy for my sweet friend to be pregnant with her second baby, my heart filled with anguish.  After we hung up, I set the phone down and once again, wept.

I called my sister, Lindsey, after I regained my composure.  I hope you have someone who can speak truth to you like my sister can to me.  We talked for a long time, mostly about perspective.  I was so caught up in my plan and my time frame that I could not step back and see life through an eternal perspective.  After all, our lives are but a breath in the scheme of eternity.  Looking back, that conversation with my sister was one of the most significant turning points of my healing process.

While this chapter in my life does have a happy ending (our precious baby girl, Ellie Quinn, born this past July),  I know many people cannot say the same.  My hope is that this last thought will bring you some comfort, even if it's just a little bit...

It was about a year after our first miscarriage.  Todd and I were reflecting on "that day" when he brought up how the ultrasound technicians cried with us.  They cried with us!  I had no idea.  Somehow I missed how these women, who had never met us before, were so deeply moved that they cried with us.  And there is no doubt in my mind that our Heavenly Father, who knows us and loves us more deeply than we could possibly fathom, cries with us, too.  We are not alone in those dark hours.  He feels our pain, our sorrow, our hurt, and He weeps with us not only because He can sympathize with us, but because He loves us.

We are not promised an easy life.  In fact, it is inevitable that we will all experience heartache if we haven't already.  Thankfully we have a God who "heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds" (Psalm 147:3).

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