My Journey from Miscarriage to Motherhood Day 6: The Waiting Game
Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! (Psalm 27:14, ESV)
Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18, ESV)
O LORD, be gracious to us; we wait for you. Be our arm every morning, our salvation in the time of trouble. (Isaiah 33:2, ESV)
I remember the follow-up visit with my gynecologist after my second miscarriage. Was there something wrong with my body? Was it my husband? What should we do? We discussed fertility options, but my doctor encouraged me to truly give myself a rest period, and if I was comfortable with it, to try one more time. Honestly, the expense and grueling process of going to a fertility specialist was in that moment a little overwhelming. Our insurance did not cover a lot of the expense, and we weren’t sure we could afford it. I was not sure if I had it in me to lose another pregnancy, but I also felt it was the most logical step for us at the time.
The next few months were difficult, but I felt encouraged by how God provided people in that season of my life who uniquely understood my situation. I felt a more intimate connection with my husband as we shared loss together and leaned on the Lord to help us through. I felt blessed as our family and friends sought to step into the emptiness we felt, and love us through it. God faithfully made His presence known to us and provided support and encouragement when we needed it most.
I allowed my body to rest for a few months before trying again. This time, I tried to be less mechanical, but I still confess to using a basal thermometer and trying to not miss our “window of opportunity.” We were also busy getting settled into our first new home, and that distraction was really good for me—for us. I know for me, infertility was something that in the past had stolen much of my brain space, not allowing for other profitable things to have their proper place.
Five and a half months after we lost our second baby (whom I named Arin, feeling it was a girl), I missed my period. I almost knew I wasn’t going to get it because my body had begun to feel different. I think I am one of those people who are very in tune with their bodies, and I felt the slight changes already. Upon taking a pregnancy test, I got that (+) reading, and initially felt on top of the world. I say “initially,” because even though I was so excited, a new dread began in my heart: Would it happen again?
I wish I could have felt like I did those first few months of my first pregnancy—experiencing the joy of being pregnant and naïve to loss. I never did feel like that again, at least not to the same degree. Every little cramp or pain caused me to run to the bathroom so I could make sure I wasn’t bleeding. I was fearful on days when I felt overly tired or unwell, thinking for sure that something was wrong. While fear was a natural fleshly reaction to my situation, it was also a tactic of Satan to cause me to doubt the ability of God and rob me of my joy. Anxiety was real in those first months, and I regret not being able to enjoy pregnancy and the true gift that it is.
I did not relax in that pregnancy until I knew my little boy had a good chance of survival if he was born prematurely. It’s often hard to trust God after repeated loss because we misunderstand the purpose of what we are going through. We think God is withholding something from us to punish us, rather than to teach us more about Himself. Through loss, my heart learned the compassion He displayed to me through waiting and grieving. Through loss, I learned to appreciate the gift of having children in a brand-new way—one I could not possibly understand had I not known loss first. God was not punishing me; He was preparing me.
I see that now, but in those dark months of mourning, it was difficult to grasp that His purpose in it was for good, even though His heart ached along with my own. Loss is a part of life—but what will we do when it’s our loss? Will we become bitter and angry, or will we learn that we don’t always need to know the answers? Will we trust that God has a good purpose for us, even when we can’t see it? Friends, it’s what He wants us to do, even though He understands our hurt and pain. Do you not think His own heart ached with loss as He watched His precious Son give His life on that cross? I know it did, yet what a powerful purpose that loss served as His Son died to rescue us from sin and eternal death. Don’t lose heart if you’re still waiting. Trust that God has a good plan for you, even if it looks different than you imagined.