Shortly after my daughter passed away, I strongly desired to get pregnant again. From what I’ve read and observed, this seems to be a common reaction to losing a baby. I thought that if I could just fill my empty arms with another baby, then I would be able to find happiness again. So about 4 months after Hope died, I got the much-anticipated positive pregnancy test.
I was so incredibly excited. It felt like a chance to start over, a chance to prove that my body wasn’t broken. I would still be able to fulfill my dream of having a big family, even though my path to get there included child loss. I was afraid of losing the baby, but I honestly believed that God could not possibly allow two tragedies to happen in my life, especially not back to back. I accepted that most people had to deal with one horrible thing in their life, and stillbirth was mine. I felt like God owed me and was almost required to make the rest of my life happy since He had allowed my daughter to die.
My first doctor’s appointment went well, and we were able to see that beautiful heartbeat at 7 weeks. I wasn’t experiencing any morning sickness, which was odd for me, but I chalked it up to God having mercy on me after so much suffering. For the first time in months, I was feeling emotions like happiness, joy, and hope again. I felt like I could see the light at the end of the grief tunnel!
Around 9 weeks, I began to have horrible headaches. They wouldn’t go away with Tylenol, so my doctor asked me to come in for a consult. While I was there, I asked her to check on the baby’s heartbeat, just to ease some of my anxiety. They brought out the doppler and searched for about a minute. I tried to be calm, but soon I began to panic. I distinctly remember saying, “Jesus, not again. Please don’t let this happen again.” The doctor told me not to worry because my uterus was tilted and they couldn’t get a good reading, so we went to the ultrasound room. The tech squirted the gel on my stomach and started the scan. As I looked at the screen, I knew that my baby was gone. The tell-tale flutter of the heartbeat was not there; once again, I was carrying a baby that had already passed away.
The doctor walked in, grabbed some paper towels off the wall for my tears, and said, “This is a miscarriage. Do you want to pass it naturally or have surgery?” I was taken aback by the lack of empathy, the cold acceptance of my baby’s death, and the pressure to make a decision about how I wanted to lose my baby when I was still in shock. It was November 17, six months exactly since I had lost Hope. But this time, my husband was not with me, so I had to pick up the phone and say with a shattered heart, “I lost the baby. There is no heartbeat. I have to choose whether to have surgery or not, and I just don’t know what to do.”
The next few days are a blur in my mind; sometimes I remember little snippets of what happened. I remember deciding to have a D and C since Thanksgiving was the next week and the idea of bleeding while eating turkey and dressing seemed mortifying. I remember getting in my car and calling my mom, knowing that I was about to break her heart again. I remember driving home feeling completely numb. My in-laws drove down with dinner, cried with us, and took our 2 year old for the night. My mom flew in to be with me during the surgery. I signed a form that said my baby would be thrown away as medical waste because that was hospital policy. My body began to bleed on its own, finally recognizing that something wasn’t right.
Surgery day came, and my anxiety was through the roof. The procedure went well medically, but it amazed me how cheery all the nursing staff were. Didn’t anybody know that I had just lost a baby? I went home to recover physically, but the real carnage was in my heart. I was unbelievably angry with God. I felt like my life was a boxing match, and going through stillbirth had knocked me down, but I had been slowly getting back up again. And then I got kicked in the teeth. I was down for the count; I had no fight left in me.
When I look back at that time of my life, it genuinely scares me. I remember having thoughts like, “What is the point of being a Christian if this is how God treats His people?” I wondered if God was bullying me, taking pleasure in my intense pain. I didn’t want to talk to anyone about how I was feeling, which was extremely out of character for me. All I wanted to do was stay in bed. But Thanksgiving came with all of its lovely distractions, and my body began to heal. I continued to cry out to God in anger, but slowly, He led me to passages that showed me that He did indeed care about me.
This one, Lamentations 3, is my absolute favorite. Verses 16-18 say, “He has made my teeth grind on gravel, and made me cower in ashes; my soul is bereft of peace; I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, ‘My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.’” I read that and I almost shouted in relief; the Bible understood how I was feeling! And then just a few verses later it says, “For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love; for he does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men.” Reading those words felt like cool water on my parched soul. God would have compassion on me, and the grief would one day pass away. He was not willingly hurting me. He understood the pain I was feeling, and He cared for me.
We named our baby Jonah Enoch Young. This blog is for you, sweet Jonah. We miss 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.