Peace in the midst of miscarriage

sad woman girl

On life and loss.

I was ly­ing on the exam­i­na­tion table in shock. I was at my first mid­wife appoint­ment, and because of my symp­toms, the mid­wife wanted to do an ultra­sound. There, on the screen, as plain as day, life and death were co-existing. I saw Faith’s tiny lit­tle 7-week-old heart beat­ing furi­ously and strong. And next to her was the evi­dence that was left from her twin.

I was rejoic­ing and griev­ing in the same breath. I had been bleed­ing. I was incred­i­bly nau­seous. And now I knew why.

I stum­bled to the park­ing lot, still unsure about how I was sup­posed to feel. I always rejoice at see­ing my babies in their ultra­sounds. But I also found out in that one moment that I had been car­ry­ing twins, and that one had died. This was my first miscarriage.


A precious unborn child at a very early stage of pregnancy.

A precious unborn child at a very early stage of pregnancy.

Fast-for­ward a few years, and we rejoiced at the dis­cov­ery that after 4 years unable to con­ceive, we were once again preg­nant. A few days later we were dev­as­tated to learn that this new life, with all our hopes and dreams for his life, was dying. Oh, how I grieved.

And then the fol­low­ing year, it hap­pened again. This time, I car­ried the baby to 7 weeks. Mike was out of town on a busi­ness trip when I mis­car­ried. That was hard. But God sus­tained me through it. Late one night, I went into the bathroom and prayed that the Lord would allow me to see the baby and not inad­ver­tently flush it with­out know­ing. Right then, He plopped my per­fectly formed baby onto a clean tis­sue. I could see the spinal cord, the spots where the brain and heart and eyes were, the arms and fin­ger buds. The baby was about the size of a grape. I was only 7 weeks preg­nant, which means the baby was only about 5 weeks old. I was so amazed at how formed this lit­tle life was already. I called my old­est son upstairs to share this moment with me, to see his lit­tle sib­ling. We buried the baby in a hand­made paper box under the crooked tree in our back yard. I put a piece of flan­nel in the box beneath and over the baby. We read some scrip­ture, sang a hymn, and prayed together as a fam­ily, thank­ing God for the time we had had with this baby, and ask­ing for peace and comfort.

I have strug­gled with the whys of mis­car­riage. Why would God allow me to get preg­nant after pray­ing for all these years, only to take away this bless­ing from me? I really can’t grasp it. But I do know that my life has been made richer and fuller by going through this heartache. I have learned to lean more on God for com­fort and care. I have felt His hand sus­tain me through these deaths.

Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. –Romans 12:15

Also, it has allowed me to have greater sym­pa­thy and com­pas­sion for other moth­ers who are suf­fer­ing such loss. Had I not expe­ri­enced this grief, I would not quite be able to under­stand what a body goes through phys­i­cally and emo­tionally dur­ing a mis­car­riage. I am thank­ful for these things in my life. I wouldn’t sign up for them, but obvi­ously God felt I needed it for my sanctification.

I know that God is sov­er­eign. I know that He ordains what­so­ever comes to pass. He has num­bered our days before there was one of them. This is true for you. It is true for me. It is true for our chil­dren. Even the ones in our wombs. We can­not add or take away a sin­gle day that has been ordained for us. And it is so hard to wrap our heads around that one. I believe that God uses means to work out His sov­er­eign plan, but we can­not orches­trate it or force our will upon Him. We must always sub­mit to His will, whether we like it or not.

Another thing that I hold onto is that each one of these babies is an eter­nal being. My few weeks of preg­nancy weren’t for noth­ing. God ordained that their souls should be ush­ered into eter­nity from the womb. And I was hon­ored to be the ves­sel He chose to bring them into eter­nal exis­tence. How hum­bling. And how glo­ri­ous. My heart aches with the desire to hold them and watch them grow up. But God had some­thing bet­ter in mind for them. I believe that they are at the feet of Jesus, wor­ship­ing and glo­ri­fy­ing Him. How thank­ful I am for that hope.

If you have suf­fered a mis­car­riage, I am so sorry. I under­stand your heartache. I want to encour­age you to name your babies, even if they passed years ago. They are eter­nal, and they deserve a name. They are real. Even if nobody else knew about them.

The other night, as we sat at the table for din­ner, my heart remem­bered my babies. I noticed that we have three chil­dren miss­ing from our table. I thought for a moment how sweet it would be to have Faith’s twin along with two more little ones sit­ting there with us. The baby would be turn­ing one this week. Delight. But I quickly remem­bered that we do have delight with those the Lord has allowed us to raise, and that I can have delight in the knowl­edge that I am a priv­i­leged mother to have ush­ered three souls into eter­nity through the ves­sel of my body, by the Lord’s choos­ing. Thank you, Lord, for this honor. I pray that I will never dis­dain the gifts that He has given me. Nine chil­dren, six on earth; the under­stand­ing of being com­forted by His hand through the heartache and pain; the hope of being able to com­fort other women in their sor­row; and a knowl­edge of His per­fect sov­er­eignty in our lives.

I pray my words give you hope. May the Lord bless you in your strug­gles. And may He give you peace.

Editor’s Note: This article was first printed at The Virtuous Wife blog on May 22, 2013. It is reprinted with permission. Live Action realizes that not all of our readers are Christians, but we believe that this article provides a valuable perspective on the issues of human life and loss.

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