Two years ago I sat on a hospital bed and learned about the excruciating heartbreak that can accompany motherhood. I said good-bye to a baby that I had carried for 31 weeks; a precious little one that I had never officially met and yet had whispered to and loved on for seven months.
Almost exactly two years later, I’m here again. I sit in a blue hospital gown, my arm still bruised from where they’ve drawn blood, and watch as the ultrasound technician carefully maneuvers her wand over my belly.
I booked this appointment weeks ago. I should be sitting in this room with my husband, watching a tiny heartbeat pulse on the screen. I should leave this appointment with a confirmed due date and a printout of my baby’s first ultrasound photos. Instead, I arrive at the clinic knowing that this appointment will be different; I arrive knowing that the sonogram will be empty.
It’s been a long week full of blood tests, hormone checks, and ultrasounds. The doctors and nurses are clinical in their speech. They talk about a “natural” miscarriage and how it won’t affect any future pregnancies. They’re careful to avoid any mention of this baby, of what could have been.
We played the waiting game all weekend. No one able to tell us anything “for sure” but the looks on their faces saying it all. Forty-eight hours later we make the solemn return trek to the hospital, awaiting the final results. The blood work hasn’t even been drawn yet when the doctor tells us what we already know.
We’ve lost another baby.
I head in for my first and final ultrasound appointment and the technician tells me that everything “looks okay.” I know she’s referring to me but I can’t help but think that if everything really looked okay, there’d still be a baby in there.
We’d planned to spend this week joyfully and creatively telling family members that we were expecting. I’d kept this secret for a month now and was practically bursting at the seams. We never dreamed that late night, teary-eyed, phone calls for prayer would be a part of our announcement.
Eight weeks gone in the blink of an eye; a lifetime for our little one.
This loss is tiring. After the stillbirth, it took me a while to find my courage – to get to the place where I felt ready to try for another one. And here we are again. I’m a mom of three now but my babies in heaven outnumber the one by my side.
The anniversaries of our two losses are only a week apart. I’m thankful for the coinciding 2nd birthday of our delightful toddler. July would be a difficult month without this wonderful reason to celebrate. This birthday is a perfectly placed reminder of life and of the faithfulness of a good, good Father.
Because even the briefest glance reveals how God was at work in our lives this weekend; how His faithfulness flowed over our family from the start of this painful physical process to the finish. Weeks before we knew we were miscarrying, He had already begun to carefully orchestrate details and events to help us through these heavyhearted moments.
He was with us in the hospital. He was holding us in the pain. He heard our prayers and chose to answer them with His perfect will.
Things didn’t end the way we had hoped or prayed for. We only got to spend one month with this little one but soon we will spend an eternity with Christ. We are not alone; He is here in this too.
And He is good in all of His ways.