After successfully going off my anti-depressant medication, my husband and I discerned we should try to have children.
In those times of discernment, I realized that I was never going to be perfect. We shouldn’t wait until we’re perfect to start having kids or to start living life for that matter. No one will ever be perfect in this life – God’s grace is sufficient.
In stark contrast to the year before when I felt like I’d never be able to handle having children because of the depression, I really felt peaceful with this big life decision. Taking on the new role of motherhood felt as comfortable as the sweatshirts I don on a regular basis. Because of this peace, I felt certain this next step was meant to be – it was what God wanted for us – I just knew it!
Yet, the journey is not as easy for me as it seems to be for so many of my friends and family members. The road is difficult and I’ve had to learn new meanings of the words “patience” and “purpose”.
Sadly, I’ve had two miscarriages. Each baby only lived about seven weeks. Both times, we found out by going in for our first doctor visit and ultrasound. Both times, the doctor could not find a heartbeat.
The experience has taken my pro-life stance to a new level. If I am really Pro-Life, I must acknowledge the two children that lived in my womb, even if it was only for a short time. I must acknowledge that they are real human persons each with their own soul, gender, destiny, and capacity for greatness. And I must allow myself to grieve for the deaths, the tiny lives that were so abruptly cut short.
Even though they were early, first trimester miscarriages, I still got attached, I still gave them names, and I still consider myself a mom – I have two children. If I don’t do this, then how could I call myself Pro-Life?
I hesitate to publish our losses on this blog. The experience was something very sacred. The lives of those two little ones are very important to me. I am afraid of losing that specialness by having my words fall on non-understanding ears.
On the other hand, however, this experience has majorly affected my life. It has greatly influenced who I am as a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, and a human being. It has been hard to write about anything else.
When people hear about miscarriages, they tend to sympathize to be nice or empathize if they’ve been there too. I know they are doing nothing besides trying to be helpful, positive, and encouraging. But people often say things like, “It was God’s will”, which might be comforting but also confusing. And words like, “At least you know you can get pregnant…” are not helpful either. Yeah, so, my womb is capable of conceiving but it is also capable of killing? Please don’t remind me. When all is said and done, my arms are still empty and my eyes brimming with tears.
The hard truth is – miscarriages are a tragedy. An innocent life taken from the world who will never get to laugh, breathe in fresh air, watch a sunset, learn to walk, say it’s parents names, get married, or have children of their own. Death is not a natural part of life, whenever it happens…8 weeks, 18 years, or 80 years. God did not create us to die – He created us for eternal life.
Mysteriously, God’s accomplishes His will always. But He does not directly intend for miscarriages to happen – just as He does not intend for abortion to happen.
A miscarriage is not God’s will. It’s sad, unfortunate, and an evil that resulted from original sin. God desires all of His children to be baptized and to get to Heaven. He only permits bad things like this to happen so that a greater good can come from it. The only reason evil persists is because God allows it to happen. God is not some sadistic, twisted miser up in Heaven specifically preparing bad things to happen to people, then laughing a satisfied laugh when we stumble and fall. No, God is a loving God who wants nothing but the best for each of His children.
Instead of chalking it up to part of a sad plan for my life, I think it’s better to grieve for those two precious souls and pray that God will bring some good from this heartbreak. God is grieving along side of me, and, someday, He will rejoice with me as well.
I trust in God’s mercy and that He will bring good out of this evil. However, I would not be honest if I didn’t say that these two miscarriages have left me with unanswerable questions. Did I not pray enough? Did I not want this bad enough? Did I drink too much coffee? Or did I exercise too much? Did I eat the wrong things? Did I mess up my body through my eating disorder? What if we didn’t discern correctly? What did I do wrong?
Maybe God knows that I won’t be able to handle having children. Maybe I’m not mentally or emotional stable enough to handle the burdens and responsibilities of parenting. Maybe this is the only way I could ever be a (biological) mom.
Discouragement and despair are not from God. So as I experience these challenging emotions, I am trying to remember that Our God is the God of Hope. He would not want me to give in or give up so easily.
We have a framed pictured of us on our wedding day and below the picture reads an encouraging phrase. I never noticed it before, or never really thought about its meaning until now. However, I saw it the other day and it struck me:
“Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4)
I didn’t know how much these words would mean to us when I put our picture in that frame. But reading them now gives me comfort. God knew we would have this struggle before we were even married. He knows our miscarriages are a tragedy. He is grieving right alongside of us.
It might feel like, at times, God gives us more than we can handle, but, I believe, it’s only to show us that we can do nothing on our own but everything through Him.
If I stay close to God, He will give me the desires of my heart. After all, I am His beloved daughter.