In April, I miscarried again.
I was done. I was both ready to throw in the towel. It hurt too much. My husband and I had always said we wanted at least 3 or 4 children but no more than 5. Stopping at 2 was a huge and hurtful defeat, but we couldn’t try again. It was just too hard to deal with.
It was hard to cope. Going to MOPS (or to spouse’s group, or to the store or just taking a walk around the neighborhood) and seeing all of those pregnant women was even harder. Seeing God’s love notes had been so much easier in the states. Now, not only was my family was far away, my close friends were far away. My home church and Christian radio were far away. I was floundering. I’m positive God kept sending me love notes, but I couldn’t see them. All I could see was my own hurt.
In June, I attended a base boot sale. A boot sale is sort of a yard sale from the trunk of your car in a consolidated area so people can attend many different sales at once. I loaded up my van with every scrap of baby stuff I had and went and sold most of it. I cleaned house. I didn’t want all of those reminders of my failure and my loss as a mom.
But in July, God gave me the biggest love note of all. I got pregnant again.
I was terrified. Everything had gone wrong three times in a row. What if it happened a fourth time? I wasn’t sure I could deal with it. Stress rose when I learned that my husband would have to go across the pond for training for two whole months. I was about 11 weeks pregnant when he left.
Two weeks later, I was on the telephone with my mom when suddenly I started bleeding--a lot. I was one of the worst feelings of my life. I told my mom I had to go. I called Tiffany and told her what was going on and asked if I could leave my kids with her while I went to the ER to get checked out. Within ten minutes, I had them dropped off and I was sitting in the waiting room getting geared up for a long night. (The average wait in that ER is about five hours--unless you’re visibly dying or something.)
I had nothing but time to think which was something I really didn’t want to do. Being by yourself in that kind of situation is horrible. All I really wanted in that moment was my friend Leta because I knew she wouldn’t have minded my being scared and upset. She would have smuggled M&M’s in to me and given me a hug.
Ten minutes later Tiffany walked in to the ER. I was immediately concerned that something else must be wrong, but she just said she didn’t think I needed to be alone, and that her husband had the kids. Then she did something, which, to me, was totally amazing. She pulled out a packet of M&M’s and handed them to me along with a small devotional book about trust. I knew God had sent her. There was no way in the world she would have known just what I had been thinking and needing in that moment, but God did.
Then, another miracle happened. I was actually seen by a doctor within the hour! The ultrasound equipment in the ER was old and the picture was distorted so after being told that I had miscarried again, eventually I was sent up to an obstetrician. The equipment on that floor was brand new. I was checked out, and they found that my baby was actually fine, and soon I stopped bleeding. The doctor classified it as a ‘threatened miscarriage” and they me home to rest. To this day, they have no idea why I suddenly started or stopped all that bleeding.
My husband finally came back from training and got to be around for most of the good parts of my pregnancy—mainly the middle trimester. But deployment loomed. He was leaving in March for a 6+ month tour. I was due the middle of April, but I knew I would have my baby by the end of March as I tended to deliver early. It was a sad prospect. My mother in law was coming to help me out which was great, but the thought of not having my husband around after everything we’d been through really hurt, although I tried not to show how much.
I had a friend named Karen at church. She started telling me that she was praying for Ryan to be around when the baby was born. I thought, “man, that would be great, but how on earth is God going to bring him home for this? It’s just not going to happen. I know that God CAN do it, but I seriously doubt He will. I am just not that important.”
Traveling down to “the sandbox” takes time. One day I talked to my husband and he sounded awful. He thought he had the flu. A few days later I got a call from him. He was down at his base--in the hospital. He had just had emergency surgery to have his appendix taken out. He had been there all of five days. They were sending him and his appendix to Germany to get checked out to make sure nothing else was wrong.
My husband arrived in Germany, but his appendix didn’t. They forgot to send it with him. So they decided to DHL it to him while he sat and waited.
It got lost.
The doctors in Germany decided to send him home to get checked out and recuperate, just in case something was wrong, while they located the missing appendix. It took a few days to get a flight back, and he arrived exactly twenty-four hours after our baby arrived. Karen was my coach, and Sean arrived on her birthday. To her, it was one of the best gifts she could have gotten.
Eventually the missing appendix was found, and everything was fine with Ryan’s health. Easter holiday came so my husband got to stay home for three weeks because travel back to “the sandbox” over the holiday would have been too hard or orchestrate. What a gift to us.
Our baby was a boy. We named him Sean, which means “God’s gracious gift.”
How to be God’s Love Note
Most of us don’t start out with the thought that we want to reach out to grieving families. In, fact, most of us wouldn’t think of it at all unless somebody close to us has to deal with the death of a child. And suddenly it affects us, and we need to know what we can do, and we find ourselves completely unprepared. So the most practical question we have to ask is “How can I help?” What can I literally do to reach out and be helpful right now?
In this, we must remember that everyone deals with loss differently. Not everything listed in here will help every mother. When in doubt, ask.
♥ Pray for her
2Corinthians 1:3-4a “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles.” (NIV)
God is the biggest source of comfort for anyone, in any situation. This is the one thing that will be helpful to every mother. Prayer is something we can do without ever having to leave our homes. But it is also a good thing sometimes for a woman to literally hear a person praying for her. It brings a kind of peace not able to be obtained otherwise.
♥ Read her Scripture
There is something about having Scripture read out loud that is calming and comforting. Many of the Psalms can be helpful. Here are also a few other verses:
2Samuel 12:23 “ But now he is dead,...I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”(KJV) King David anticipated seeing his baby boy in Heaven one day
Matthew 18:10 “See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” (NIV) Our children really do have angels watching over them in heaven.
Psalm 30:5b “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” (NKJV)
Philippians 4:19 “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(NKJV)