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Monday, January 11, 2016

On Pregnancy and Loss

Last April, I knew I needed to buy a pregnancy test. I didn't say anything to my husband and planned to surprise him with the news on Easter Sunday. I even bought a rubber ducky set with two smaller ducks to give him as a way of telling him.

But I took the positive pregnancy test on Saturday morning and was unable to wait to tell him. We were both so thrilled to see those two blue lines!

The following week, I got on an airplane to travel to Texas for the week for a work conference. I vividly remember asking God to grant me safety in my travels and to protect the little baby growing inside me. The conference went well, but I came down with a cold. I returned home and was so happy to be reunited with my family despite being under the weather.

In a matter of days, everything changed. I knew the minute I saw the first spot of blood the pregnancy was ending. A visit to the doctor confirmed a miscarriage. We were devastated.

It had already felt like a long road to even get pregnant after having Maggie. So many questions ran through my head, but one thing stood out to me: God had answered the prayer I prayed before my trip to Texas. I asked Him if anything were to go wrong in that pregnancy, that I would be home with my family and He allowed me to do just that.

He surrounded me with a few close friends to walk with us. One friend brought lunch and left it on the porch when we returned home from the doctor. Weeks later, another friend sensed I was going through a rough season and left a flowering plant on my doorstep. Others listened and offered a shoulder to lean on.

I was numb for about a month following the miscarriage. I was angry anytime I heard someone else I knew was pregnant. It was an ugly scene all around, my heart was broken and I didn't know what would mend it. My body had failed me and more than anything I blamed myself, despite reading in so many places I was not to blame.

For years, I've dreaded Mother's Day since I lost my mom at age 20, but that spring I expected the day to be especially painful.

My husband was so thoughtful that Mother's Day. He and Maggie brought me breakfast in bed and just loved on me. It was the best medicine and my heart started to mend.

I had the opportunity to see Phil Joel perform about a week later and he sang this song, "Greener," that was recently recorded on this album. The lyrics are based on Jeremiah 17:7-8 and it's called "Greener."

The chorus became my anthem in May and June 2015:
Every test we go through
Our roots grow stronger and deeper into You.
Though the rain may not fall,
Our leaves grow greener than they ever were before.
Because You are good.
You are good.

When I heard that song, I believed this season of loss would make my roots to grow deeper, as I experienced more of God's ability to comfort and bring healing. It wasn't the first time I had walked through loss. He brought healing to my heart and I clung to to the promise that God is good, even in the hard things. There were days I had to play the song on repeat until I could even start to believe He was good.

By the end of June, I started to think it was a good thing I bought a three pack of pregnancy tests at the drugstore in April. I was so afraid to test positive, but I trusted Jesus would be able to heal my heart again.

As excited as I was, I was also so hesitant to share the news of our pregnancy until I saw the doctor and had an ultrasound. Even then, I wanted to wait until I was firmly into my second trimester before I told friends and coworkers.

Looking back, I still don't understand and mourn that little life we will never know this side of heaven, but I am thankful for a deeper understanding of God's ability to mend my broken heart.


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