31.10.16

Trusting God Through a Miscarriage (Part 2 of 2)

by Sally Matheny



October is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. In my last post, I shared with you the excitement of my third pregnancy and the devastation of a miscarriage.

Today, I want to encourage you by sharing another portion of my miscarriage journey.

If you’re dealing with an infant or pregnancy loss, you already know some days are hard.  Really hard. I promise you, it will get better. I hope you'll find encouragement here and in a resource I've included at the bottom of the post.



And, if you’re someone who has never experienced a miscarriage, and are at a loss of knowing how to help someone who has, there’s something here for you as well. It helps to have friends and family support while trusting God through a miscarriage.




We named our baby Seth.

When someone first suggested we name the baby we lost, I balked. We weren’t even sure if it was a boy or a girl. It seemed that would cause more heartache. 

Yet, several weeks later, we were ready. We awkwardly asked God to impress upon us a name for the baby. 

We agreed upon the name, Seth. It means “appointed one.” While we did not understand why Seth only lived twelve, short weeks in the womb, we trusted God. He had appointed the baby’s life for His purpose.

To refresh my memory for this blog post, I retrieved a small, blue box from my attic. Inside was a soft, blue and pink baby quilt my sister had crocheted for the baby, two stuffed animals, and the baby hiking boots I used to announce the pregnancy to my husband.

A red journal rested in the bottom of the box. I had forgotten about the journal. When I was pregnant with each of our two girls, I recorded what took place while preparing for their arrival, described their wonderful births, and jotted down memorable, life moments.

Only fourteen pages recorded the 12 weeks of life in the womb for baby #3.

I’m so glad I wrote those fourteen pages, for I had forgotten much of that difficult season’s richness. It’s good to remember.

The pages recorded the tears of disappointment and grief. I dealt with feelings of guilt, wondering if I had done something to cause the miscarriage.

A journal brings memories of trust, healing, and hope. 

My husband dealt with the loss in a quiet manner. He was very sweet and tender. When our words seemed inadequate, we just held onto to one another and prayed.

When our two little girls first heard the news, they cried and asked difficult questions like, 

“Since He can do anything, why can’t God fix the baby’s heart?”

We talked a lot about faith and trusting God, even when we don’t understand.
The girls bounced back as soon as they heard we would try again for another baby.

I was glad to be at home while waiting for the baby to pass from my body. I didn’t want to have a D & C. But after a few days, I felt such a strong impression within my spirit that I should go and have the procedure done. I dreaded it because for some reason, in my mind, I associated it with an abortion. 

I knew my baby’s spirit was already in heaven, but I hated thinking about having its body removed that way. I told the doctor to put me under before I entered the operating room. I didn’t want to see, or remember, anything about that room.

I was nervous when I first arrived at the hospital. But then God gave me an overwhelming peace before the procedure.

My husband would be the one left to deal with what happened next. The 20-minute procedure stretched into two hours.

After two failed D & C attempts to retrieve the baby’s body, I was admitted to the hospital. An MRI revealed a dangerous situation that required surgery. It would be a long, twenty-four-hour wait for the next available surgery time. 

The doctors told me how miraculous it was that I’d already birthed two babies. They also informed me I faced a great risk of hemorrhaging.

If the doctors could not surgically retrieve the baby, a hysterectomy would become necessary. The situation definitely got worse before it got better. 

Yet, my little red journal reminds me of all the blessings, of the amazing peace God gave me, and so many powerful God-moments, some of which I had forgotten.

I wrote the night before my surgery:

“I knew how serious the situation was and that my life was in danger. There was so much I wanted to tell [my husband]. But I could only manage to say that if something did happen to me, please raise the girls to be strong Christians. I’d had a wonderful and full life.

Throughout the night, my eyes would water up when I thought about possibly leaving him and the girls behind. I’d reach my hand out between the bed rails and he would squeeze it.

All our bottled up emotions, all the fears, and all the loving words we wanted to express to each other were put into those hand squeezes. We said, “I love you” many times. He read scriptures to me and we prayed.

[Later] . . . I had to wait alone again in the ‘holding area.’ But, once again, that overwhelming sense of peace came over me. No fear!

God’s promise came to me. ‘Lo, I am with you always.’ 
God was with me every minute and He still is.”

Trust God to fill the hole in your heart.
The surgery went well. A hysterectomy was not necessary. At least, not until two years later. By then, we had exhausted many high-risk pregnancy doctors and medical specialists in order to save our hope of another baby. 

A different sort of grieving came with the hysterectomy, but God was there, too. We trusted Him to fill the hole in our hearts.

He still had a plan. A wonderful plan! 

I look forward to sharing it with you. Did you know November is National Adoption Awareness Month?




Additional Note:
I found great comfort in
I'll Hold You in Heaven.
.
Before my own journey, I had always sympathized for those who miscarried, but I honestly had no idea the depth of their loss, until I went through it myself. 

Even so, everyone grieves and heals differently. There are numerous resources for those who are dealing with a miscarriage. 

If you’d like to know about some of the unique things I did as part of my healing process, and some wonderful resources I found helpful, please reach out to me on my contact page. 

I created a free guide, Pregnancy Loss: Sources of Comfort. In addition to providing helpful links, there are ideas for memorials and allowing God to use your pain. I also share something I wish my doctor had told me. 

Not only is this guide for those who have miscarried, but it's also for the family and friends who are seeking ways to encourage them. 

Contact me. I'd love to send it to you.

    


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