I recently made a post on my Facebook account that marked the one year anniversary of the miscarriage of my husband and I’s first child. It appeared as follows:
“This past weekend marked one year since we miscarried our first child. It saddens my heart and mind to reflect on the events of that day and to be reminded of all we lost. It gives me great joy and thanksgiving to remember that just 5 months afterward, we conceived again and are pregnant with a little girl who will be making her appearance in about 2 months. The Lord is ever faithful to His flock. He is worthy of our praise in life’s valleys and mountains. Despite circumstances, God is good ALL the time…He can make something so painful and hopeless into something beautiful..into a way to minister to others…into a way to still glorify His name and make it known. Thank you most sincerely to our small group, friends, family, and all that have prayed for Matthew Garner Brubaker and I during our loss last year and asked God that He would bless us again with the miracle of pregnancy. We find peace in knowing that even though we are not 100% clear of all that happens when an unborn baby is lost, that God is in control and He is victorious, already having won the battle. I like to imagine our first little boy or girl resting in His presence. Praise be to God, the Maker of Heaven and Earth. He is good and His love endures forever.”
I remember having the looming thought in the back of my mind after the miscarriage that we may continue to experience consecutive miscarriages, as is common in some cases. I remember that despite the excitement of conceiving for the 2nd time, there was doubt that still resided in our minds. For awhile, we felt as if we couldn’t let ourselves believe that we were pregnant again, for fear of the pain that was sure to return should we lose our 2nd child as well. We tried to not “get our hopes up.”
I remember imagining how it must feel for the women who have had to try to come to terms with infertility or trouble conceiving at all-women who so desire to take that positive pregnancy test, to feel those first kicks, and even to experience the not-so-pleasant pregnancy symptoms because they would mean that she was experiencing one of her deepest desires-to carry, give birth to, and parent a child. A child that would look like her or her husband, a child she could shepherd, a child she could call her own. A child that she may not have to wait as long for as she may have to through the adoption process. I longed for these things before getting pregnant the first time and while pregnant the second time. The only thing I really experienced with my first pregnancy that was an indicator of pregnancy was some nausea. I saw no ultra-sound, heard no heart beat, and felt no movement, being that we lost the baby early on-the actual miscarriage occurring around 12 weeks. The medical staff said that we could have lost the baby earlier however, because sometimes it take the body awhile to “catch on.”
Experiencing a miscarriage opened up my eyes and heart to understanding what some women may feel after they have an abortion they later regret. I know it’s not the same-I did not have an abortion, but I still know the feeling that a living human being was growing inside me and ceased to thrive. In fact, in medical terms, a miscarriage is referred to as “spontaneous abortion,” meaning the body naturally becomes unsupportive in sustaining the life of the baby. Dictionary.com refers to “spontaneous abortion” as “when an abortion (or miscarriage) takes place by itself, without any outside aid…” It is interesting to me however that the word abortion even be associated with a miscarriage because of the sole definition of the word. Abortion: “the removal of an embryo or fetus from the uterus in order to end a pregnancy” or “any of various surgical methods for terminating a pregnancy, especially during the first six months (dictionary.com).”Furthermore, the word spontaneous is defined as: “(of natural phenomena) arising from internal forces or causes; independent of external agencies; self-acting (dictionary.com).”
To summarize, I feel fine about the word “spontaneous” to describe miscarriage, but not “abortion.” I read a blog post containing this very same thought from http://www.scissortailsilk.com/2014/05/13/how-abortion-has-changed-the-discussion-of-miscarriage/. To read this blog author’s personal miscarriage story, go to: http://www.scissortailsilk.com/2013/09/01/hope-after-miscarriage/. To those of you who may have had an abortion, this blog post of hers was really eye-opening and spoke of much grace from our Heavenly Father: http://www.scissortailsilk.com/2013/08/27/to-women-who-have-chosen-abortion-i-am-sorry/. The blogger’s home website can be found at http://www.scissortailsilk.com/. She also has some great posts on marriage, parenting, and on what the Lord has been teaching her as she walks with Him. The blogger’s name is Becky Thompson and she is married with 3 kids and in her late 20’s.
Before getting pregnant for the first time and before conceiving again about 7 months ago, I had an almost “fairy-tale” like view of what it must be like to be pregnant and to carry a baby to full term. I would compare it to what a woman feels when she gets engaged and looks ahead to the moments she will have with her husband that she has so longed for during the dating and engagement phases. The honeymoon is like a vacation you don’t want to end. You’ve just begun your life together and have already experienced new and exciting firsts and it makes you almost giddy to imagine the other firsts you are likely to experience with your handsome husband.
I could say the same for looking at a positive pregnancy test-one that you’re hoping is positive I should say! You count 9 months from conception and imagine the month/season your child will be born in. You imagine the reactions of friends and family to your wonderful news and how their role will change from sister to aunt, from brother to uncle, from parents to grandparents, from grandparents to great-grandparents. You may see a mother’s face (via photo or in person) filled with joy and peace after she has just delivered the child she carried for a long 9 months. After a tiring and painful delivery, those memories seem to fade as she stares into the eyes of her newborn. Those are the things I had imagined most about getting pregnant before I actually became pregnant myself. That and hearing the heartbeat, seeing our child on ultra-sound, and feeling our child move and kick. I also had imagined scenes of my husband and I harmoniously working as a team to attend to the needs of our newborn preparing a nursery, registering for gifts, bathing, feeding, comforting, rocking, dressing, etc. along with all of those firsts for our child that we could experience together as a growing family.
I am not saying I do not still have any of those hopes/dreams/expected experiences, but I will say that imagining what it is like to be pregnant and actually being pregnant until full term are sometimes two different things. I am very grateful to be pregnant and cannot wait to meet our little girl. I will however be writing a realistic blog post in “This Journey Called Pregnancy-Part 2” on the highs and lows of pregnancy-not to vent, not to discourage, but just to be real and share what has helped me through some of the more challenging parts of pregnancy that my husband and I have experienced. Stay tuned 🙂