After enduring two pregnancy losses, I became terrified of pregnancy. I could not endure the thought of another loss, so my husband and I began to look into adoption instead. We found an organization to work with, got approved, and began the arduous home study process. After several months, we were actively waiting for a baby. Every day, I woke up believing that we would get “the call” that day. I carried my phone with me everywhere, just in case the agency called. As days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months with no news, I became very depressed. I felt like we would never get another child, that every door was being slammed in my face. I woke up each day with a terrible ache in my soul; I desperately wanted another child, but both pregnancy and adoption were failing me.
After about 6 months of actively waiting, I began to feel like God wanted me to be open to pregnancy again. I quickly told Him, “No thanks, I have this really good plan that includes adoption, and I don’t want to lose any more babies.” Over the next few weeks, it became clear that God wanted me to trust His plan and His timing. He wanted me to let Him choose whether I would have another biological child. He wanted me to give up control, and just trust that His plan was better than mine. So in January 2017, I stopped preventing pregnancy and told God, “I trust you. Your will be done, even if that means I lose another baby.”
On February 1, I should have gotten my period, but it didn’t come. I took a pregnancy test, and it seemed like there was a very faint line, but I couldn’t be sure. So, the next day, I took more tests; each time, there were faint lines that suggested pregnancy, but nothing was definitive. However, I know my body very well, and I knew that my period was never late unless a baby was growing in my womb. So, I began to get excited about the possibility of another baby. I started having some symptoms, like fatigue and nausea, so it seemed that God had chosen to give me another chance at pregnancy.
However, I was nervous that none of the tests had been very dark, so I asked Will to buy the most expensive pregnancy test, the one that can detect pregnancy days earlier than any other test. I knew that test would be dark if I was truly pregnant. I took the test with so much hope and expectation, but it was negative. I didn’t understand how that could be possible...but then I remembered that early miscarriages can present in this way: faint pregnancy tests that turn into negative tests that turn into bleeding and loss. I was heartbroken, but I was still trying to hold onto a glimmer of hope. There was no blood yet so maybe I just needed to wait a few more days.
Within the next few hours, my body began to bleed and cramp. The pain was horrible and the bleeding was intense. The next morning we had to attend an all day training, so I got in the car, armed with several pads and tissues and Tylenol. I cried all the way there, and I barely listened to the speaker as I wondered if I had already passed the baby or not. Through God’s grace, we finished the training, and I was able to come home and stay in bed the rest of the day. The bleeding stopped the next day.
As I reached out to my friends, most people would say, “Are you sure your period just wasn’t late?” “What if you are upset about nothing?” I wanted to scream at them, “Yes, I’m very sure!” I had had normal cycles for 14 months before this, and I was never, ever late. This was two days of the most intense cramping and bleeding I had ever experienced; it was not a normal cycle by any means. I knew that I had lost another baby, even if the people around me wanted to wish it away.
I went to my doctor the following week, and they confirmed that I had endured a chemical pregnancy. This is basically a very early miscarriage, but in the medical world, it does not officially count as a miscarriage. As my doctor said, it’s considered a gray area. She said that women have these all the time, but they just think they have endured a late or heavy period. However, since I believe life begins at conception, I chose to honor the little life that I had lost. I named it January, and I grieved the baby that I would never get to meet on this earth.
I didn’t understand why God would have led me to get pregnant again just to lose a third baby. It seemed cruel at the time, but what I didn’t know was that God would use this loss to spur my doctors to ask for more tests. Those tests would show abnormalities that would make them say, “The next time you get a positive pregnancy test, you need to come in immediately for testing.” I didn’t know that on March 14, I would wake up and get a very obvious positive pregnancy test. I would go in for more tests and they would discover that my hormone levels were not right, and they would put me on medication that would sustain my pregnancy. Nine months later, I would meet my rainbow baby, Samuel. As I look back, I can see God’s fingerprints on the entire situation. I can see that losing January made my doctors pay closer attention and dig deeper. I can see that losing January paved the way for Samuel to survive.
Next week, I will continue the story by writing about my rainbow pregnancy and the joys and hardships it entailed. It’s a story full of miracles and I can’t wait to share it with you.
is a wife to Will and mom to two beautiful boys on earth (Matti and Sammy) and three precious babies in heaven (Hope, Jonah, and January). She is a stay-at-home mom who enjoys writing, reading good books, cooking new recipes, and playing piano. She lives in central Texas now but was born and raised in Georgia. She and her husband are now in the adoption process and can't wait to see what God has in store for their family.