Having a baby after infertility, and miscarriage may make one assume that all the hurt has been healed.
We struggled with infertility for 2.5 years before getting pregnant. We were on cloud nine. Then shortly after the excitement and idea of finally being pregnant set in, we lost the baby.
Bitterness, anger, sorrow, devastation, frustration, resentment….you name it, I felt it.
I had no one in my life who had experienced infertility, or pregnancy loss. I felt so alone and lost.
At the time of struggling and going through so much heartache I didn’t have any friends to come along side me and encourage me. I did have many wonderful friends who encouraged me through that time, but I didn’t have any who had walked through it before me who truly knew what I felt. Sadly, I have so many friends who are now experiencing infertility, and/or pregnancy loss. I want to hug each and every one of them and let them know they aren’t alone. I am overwhelmed by how many dear friends of mine are going through this painful season of heartache, but I am so thankful that God can now use our pain and suffering to minister to others. I can see how He is using it for His good, and I never thought I’d be able to say that.
When we lost our first baby after waiting so very long to become pregnant, I became bitter towards God. I’m a little embarrassed and ashamed to admit that, but I haven’t held much back so why start now. I was in a dark place, I resented many people, and I couldn’t understand why God would finally give us something we so longed for only to take it away so soon. How could He do such a thing? We tried for so long to get pregnant and the first time we finally do, it was gone. The innocence of that first positive pregnancy test, the excitement and joy of the growing baby in my belly- it was gone forever. Every pregnancy that followed was robbed of that innocence, and I was mad. We would never get that back. Of course every pregnancy that followed was still accompanied by joy, but in a much different way. We were always hesitant to be joyful, we were hesitant to get excited too soon. We wanted to protect our hearts from hurt.
As time went on the pain softened and wasn’t as piercing. I grew to be less bitter as I grew in The Lord and chose to let go and truly trust Him with our future, whatever it would be and however He would get us there.
There is very little you can say to bring comfort to someone who has experienced a pregnancy loss. “Everything happens for a reason” is not something I wanted to hear. “You just have to trust God” wasn’t even what I wanted to hear. It was what I knew in my heart, but it was the last thing I wanted to be reminded of. I have watched many others experience this loss now, and I can say all women handle it a different way. I’ve seen some handle it with so much grace that leaves me in awe, and others much the same way I did. But one thing remains constant, we are all left with empty arms that will never hold that child. And so you grieve. Grieve the end of a pregnancy, grieve the growing belly, grieve the thoughts of wondering if it was a boy or a girl, what color hair they would have, or who they would look like. You grieve for the child you will never know until you meet them in Heaven.
When we became pregnant with James after IVF we were on pins and needles for a long time. Every week that passed was a sigh of relief, every ache and pain was nerve racking. I was afraid to even sneeze because I didn’t want to jiggle anything around. Heck, I was afraid to pee. Slowly but surely we passed many milestones. We passed the point of making it farther than any other pregnancy. The first trimester came and went. We had a massive bleed and blood clots at 22 weeks and we both thought for sure it was over. Then, at 39 weeks and 6 days pregnant, my 27th birthday, and 24 hours of labor later, our baby boy was born healthy as can be.
I am still amazed every day when I look at him and think of all we went through to have him. He doesn’t know how many prayers were said for him, or how much we longed to have him in our arms. I’m amazed that my body was able to carry and grow such a perfect little boy after how broken I felt it once was. It makes all the waiting, each loss, all the tears shed, every doctor appointment, all the procedures and tests, every prick of a needle, the hormones, every miserably uncomfortable and painful moment worth it.
I know that those of you who are currently in this waiting period, or lingering in the dark clouds of loss wonder how it could be worth it because all you want now is that baby you so desire. Hear me when I say, it will be worth it.
It’s worth it because it gave us our son. When I’m rocking him and staring at his sweet face, I can’t help but think that if one of our first three pregnancies had been successful, we would have a baby (who we would love beyond all measure) but it wouldn’t be James. When I wake up in the morning and get to walk into his room and see his sweet smile that goes from ear to ear, I thank God right then and there that it is him. I can not imagine not having him. I am thankful that God made us wait (not patiently I must say) so that we could be his parents. God gave us him.
So even though there are times it still stings. There are still days I wonder what the babies we lost would have looked like, or whether they were boys or girls, or what their personalities would be, or remember when their due date would have been. But, I am grateful for this little boy and can not imagine him not being our first born. I never want to go a day without seeing his smile, or hearing his giggle. He was so worth waiting for. I want to encourage all of you to have hope that one day you will be holding the child God so purposely has planned for you and I promise it will be worth the wait.