Miscarriage at 9 weeks on February 18th, 2006
Miscarriage at 6 weeks on September 12th, 2009
Kristopher Noble, Stillborn August 1st, 2010
My husband and I had only been married four months when I found myself taking three pregnancy tests, unbelieving the little positive signs I kept seeing. Our plan had always been to wait about five years before we started a family, so this twist in our path was a complete surprise.
However, once we got past the initial shock, we were very excited. Then two weeks later, I had a miscarriage at 9 weeks. It was such a hard thing to go through. I was so confused and lost and I felt so alone. But my doctor assured me that, sometimes these things just happen and we have to trust that it is for the best, even when we don't understand.
A month later, we were blessed to be pregnant with our now almost 4-year-old son. Once I got past the 9 week mark of my previous miscarriage, I had no worries or fears. He was perfect and healthy, and the memory of our previous pregnancy remained in my heart, but in the light of our new baby, I was confident that life from here on out was going to be great.
My husband and I had felt it was time for another addition in our family when our son was about 18 months old, but my husband was to be deployed soon and I wasn't sure I wanted to face pregnancy and birth without him. So we decided to wait. When he got home from Afghanistan, we saw our then, almost 3 year old son talking to himself at the playground one day and knew it was time to give him a sibling.
We got pregnant the first month we tried. We just knew this was what God wanted for us. But, once again, our hearts dropped with another miscarriage. I didn't understand how that could happen again! We had a healthy son. Why in the world would this be happening?
I knew God was sovereign and I had to trust Him—whatever the reason. For five months, I prayed and waited. And for five months I continually got a negative sign. Though I had weak, unsure faith, I knew He would give me the desire of my heart when I delighted in Him.
On December 14, 2009, I received the best Christmas present I could have asked for—a positive pregnancy test. I ran outside to meet my husband, who was halfway down the street headed to work. It didn't take long for the excitement to fade, though, as I realized the grim reality of what this could possibly mean.
For the next 12 weeks, I held onto every breath just praying this baby would live. And even after the 12-week mark, I still had a hard time relaxing. It was so different after my second miscarriage. Even after my first one, I still had a little bit of naivity while I was pregnant with Stephen. But this time, that innocence of pregnancy was completely taken away, and it's just never the same. I'll never again be able to joyfully announce to the whole world that I'm pregnant. I'll always be cautious at every pain and moment of question.
It wasn't until about 20 weeks when I found out the gender that I was able to connect to my baby. It was a girl. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her on the ultrasound. From that moment on, every doubt, fear, or dreaded thought disappeared.
At 30 weeks, I went in for another ultrasound and we found out we were, in fact, having a boy instead. I'd become so attached to the thought of a little girl that it was hard at first, but it didn't take long for me to become enthused about having another boy. Two brothers! It would be so much fun.
He was a great baby in the womb. He had a personality of his own. He had certain foods I would eat that he loved, and some he didn't love so much. He always let me know.
We decided to name him Kristopher Noble. Kristopher was in memory of one of our family friends in my husband's unit who died in combat in Afghanistan. Noble was my sweet grandfather's name. He passed in September 2007.
At 37 weeks, I went in for my weekly appointment on a Tuesday. I'd noticed his movement had decreased over the last week, but when we heard that sweet little heartbeat on the Doppler, I didn't think to say anything else about it.
By the following Saturday, I'd become keenly aware of my baby's movements, and I had felt nothing that day. I tried to tell myself that everything was OK, that he was just running out of room, but as I laid down to sleep that night I couldn't find any rest.
My husband finally convinced me to go to the hospital to calm my fears. We got there at 1:00 a.m. Within 30 minutes, the nurse informed me of what I'd dreaded and yet somehow already knew. There was no heartbeat. Kristopher was gone. And it was agonizingly confirmed on two following ultrasounds.
I was scheduled to have a Cesarean Section just two weeks later. I gave birth to my precious baby at 4:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, August 1, 2010. I got to see his perfect face and hold him all day long.
The next three days in the hospital were the most agonizing of my life. I was shoved into a room on a completely different floor than Labor & Delivery. In a way, it was good because it was like a knife in my stomach every time I heard a newborn baby crying down the hall. At the same time, I was so lonely. None of my nurses seemed to know what I had been through and it felt like none of them even knew anything about postnatal care. I actually had one nurse ask me if i was still bleeding. She obviously had never had a baby of her own or she would have known the answer to that, but i wonder how she made it out of nursing school. even though i didn't have a baby to care for, i had just delivered a baby, and i wanted to be treated like i had. it was an awful experience for me.
The day we left the hospital was horrific. As I was wheeled down the corridors of the hospital, I should've been beaming with a newborn in my arms. Instead I was a crumpled up mess of tears. And the worst part was nobody from the outside world knew why. I wanted to scream what had happened. I was so mad and frustrated at my situation.
When I got home, as if my child's death wasn't bad enough, I was faced with the many decisions awaiting my approval. Did I want to have a service? If I did, what kind?
We decided to have a small memorial service with close friends and family. As I sat and thought about how I felt, and how I wanted to honor my son, the only answer I could find was worship. All I could think about were the words of the songs that I sing every week at church and I knew I had to make a decision about whether or not I truly believed the words that I had sung so many times. I was reminded that no matter the situation, we're called to worship God because He's the author and perfector of each of our stories. The Lord gives and He takes away. And whatever He chooses to do with my life, I trust His decision, because I trust that He knows what's best for me.
I have no idea how I was able to get through that first week, because looking back I was such a mess. But by the grace of God, I took every step on my knees and let God hold me through the most agonizing hours of my life. We had an amazing memorial service filled with the people I care about most. I can't describe to you the peace that flooded that room after it was all said and done. I can't explain that, even through tragedy in my life, my heart was at rest. It truly was the peace that passes all understanding. In that room, while we worshipped the Father, we stood on holy ground.
The days and weeks and months that have followed that day haven't been easy. I've had horrible days of what feels like unending grief. But, though it all, I'm constantly reminded of the communion that I not only had with God that day, but also with my son.
Kristopher is in heaven, singing sweet praises to our King. And when I worship, it's the one time I'm in fellowship with my sweet little boy.
Every day, I make a choice as to what kind of attitude I'm going to have. Some days, I don't make the right choice. And some days, I don't make a choice at all. But my heart is beginning to heal and God is taking the broken pieces and mending them back together. I get up and start over each morning, and I remember to start it with worship.
My reaction to the situation life has put me in is a direct witness to my faith in the Lord. If I can use this to somehow reach someone for the sake of Christ, I'm honored to be chosen to help others who are hurting the same way I have. There's hope in the Lord. I'm proof of that.
"Worship is my response to what I value most. What I value most is God. I was made by Him and for Him. He is awesome beyond comprehension. I exist for the purpose of reflecting back to God His matchless glory. I will exalt Him with my mouth and with my life, for He is my hope, my joy, my strength, and my salvation."
Miranda blogs at http://adryandwearyland.
You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org