We weren’t trying to get pregnant. I think that’s what makes this whole miscarriage experience more surreal and unbelievable.
We have two boys, ages five and three; potty-trained, able to walk and talk and feed themselves. I have to be honest that I like these stages much more than the helpless baby stage. Every now and then I would think that maybe it would be nice to have another child, but honestly, I was quite content with my two boys and the joy and laughter they bring me. We got rid of the crib, the baby clothes, the carseat. We began to prepare for the school years, which are just around the corner. Family of four.
Then we found out I was pregnant. Needless to say, neither of us slept very well that night. We were in all kinds of shock. The next day we somehow play-acted through a day with family and at church, all the while carrying this amazing, unbelievable, shocking secret in our hearts.
I think Art got over the shock first. He had always been more open to the idea of another child; mostly he wanted a little girl. For me, it took longer. I had to completely readjust my thinking, my frame of reference, my way of looking at the world. Suddenly all the things that I had thought were behind me were ahead of me again– diapers, late night feedings, bottles, and all the uncertainty of getting to know a new child.
It took time. It was hard to not be bitter when I felt so sick and exhausted all the time. Maybe those things are a little easier to deal with when you planned the pregnancy. I don’t know. I just know that I spent three months in a kind of haze of feeling icky and so tired constantly. It is hard to not feel very guilty when I remember my feelings about the pregnancy. If I had known, I would have cherished every moment. If.
But slowly, slowly, I was able to become excited about the new baby. We told our families and they were excited for us. The boys took awhile to warm up to the idea of a third child in our home, but eventually they took great joy in drawing pictures of the baby and asking how big it was. They came with us when we heard the baby’s heartbeat. I learned to love this child, to treasure the gift of God’s grace and providence in our lives. I believed that a third child was part of His plan, and although I couldn’t understand that plan, I believed that this unexpected child would bring us great joy and blessing.
I still believe that this was part of God’s plan. But I have to admit that I can’t even begin to understand it. To me, it doesn’t make sense. Why live through three months of a miserable pregnancy if the baby wasn’t going to live? What purpose could that possibly serve? My mind, and my heart, are incapable of understanding this. But I have something else. I have faith.
People have been telling me that I’m so strong, and I just want to clear something up. I am the weakest person in the universe right now. But I am learning moment by moment that when we reach the end of our strength, when we have nothing left, God is there with an unlimited supply of love and mercy. It is so much easier for me to trust Him now than it is when life is going well. He is all I have right now. Everything. And I believe that although He allows trouble and trials and horrible things into our lives, He loves me, and He wants what is best for me. He is the only one in the whole universe who understands what is happening right now. The only one. I have no choice but to trust Him. Without His love, grace, mercy, and compassion, I can’t make it one moment.
Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour.
All my cares He fain would bear and cheer me–
He whose name is Counselor and Power.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid.
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.
–“Day by Day” by Lisa Sandell Berg