I can remember praying in high school, and then later on after I was married, that God would spare me pain revolving around miscarriage and infant death. I was specific on what I wanted: healthy pregnancies and healthy children. There was certainly nothing wrong with the asking, but in this particular area of my life, God chose to say "no." Instead, He gave me experiences that span the gamut of the child bearing strata--miscarriage, a healthy baby and pregnancy, infant death, and adoption.
As I was thinking about that, I realized that throughout the 95 posts I've written since starting this blog nearly a year ago, I've not really touched on the part of my story that involved miscarriage. It is my strong belief that miscarriage is often a silent sorrow. Something that isn't talked about much, but that is devastating to the one going through it. It's unbelievably common, but the frequency of the occurrence does nothing to lesson the pain when it actually happens to you. This is how it happened for me.
Nathan and I were married three years before our minds started turning toward the possibility of a baby. Our dachshund, Chum, had done a fine job of filling the child void up that time, but suddenly, he wasn't enough. We were thrilled when we found just a few short months later that we were pregnant. It's crazy how fast the wheels of your mind start turning when you begin to contemplate your first child. My mind was going ninety to nothing, and I was excited about all of it. We wanted our friends and family to know immediately, so I wrote funny poems for our parents, and we made a big announcement to our friends. I was a school teacher at the time, so after a few weeks I also let my middle school student in on what would be coming in the not so distant future. I wanted everyone who cared about us to share in the excitement over this new stage of our life, and never being one for caution, the thought of waiting to tell people never really crossed my mind.
It was before any of the initial excitement had worn away that I was hit with devastating news of the miscarriage. What was it like? It hurt. Everything about it hurt terribly. All of my dreams for what was to be were now empty and dead. What was worse, I had to tell everyone the new news, and it was a whole lot harder to spread around than the first. I couldn't get through any of it without crying, and the pain was very real. Even though we didn't even know if that little baby was a boy or a girl, we were connected! I thought about it constantly, and I felt that every day that ticked by was one day longer that I shouldn't have had to wait to be a mom. Bitterness was licking at my heals, and if not for God's grace, I would have fallen deep into that pit. Of course looking back, God's presence is so evident, but at the time, even though I trusted Him, I was hurt that He had allowed me to go through the excitement only to have it all taken away such a short time later.
Over time God did heal that wound, and He has since given us Marianna, Poppy, and Adrienne. But even though the wound is healed, I can remember the heartache that came with that miscarriage. I know that there are untold numbers of people who have also experienced this same loss, yet I believe many feel misunderstood or ignored. Not to say that people are callous when they hear that someone has had a miscarriage, but the loss is simply not given much weight. That is a broad generalization, and it is not even something I came across much in my own experience, but the more I have heard, the more I feel like people need to understand that the pain is real and legitimate. It is something that requires grieving just as any other loss, and it is not something that someone "snaps" back from in a weeks time. I wanted to share this because while it's not everyday that you come across someone who has lost a child, you are probably acquainted with more people than you think who have gone through the pain of of miscarriage. If you haven't faced it personally or walked beside a close friend or family member who has gone through it, you probably will sometime in the future.
Who knows God's purpose for miscarriage, but what I do know is that He uses us, whether we have personally been through that or not, to reach out and be His physical arms to the people who are going through pain.