Thoughts on love and loss

Ben Reed —  March 5, 2013 — 10 Comments

I originally posted this 2 years ago. My wife and I are coming up on the 2-year mark for this portion of our stories, but with the massive changes in our lives recently (I’m now on staff at Long Hollow), I wanted to share this again. Just so you know, this was, and is, a painful part of our story.

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This is a guest post from my wife, Laura.  We had a miscarriage earlier this year, and here are her thoughts moving forward.  You can follow her on Facebook HERE, and the company she (and my wife and sister-in-law) created HERE.
image by Reggie Tiongco

I still remember the first time I saw our baby- all curled up on the monitor screen- the sweet profile of the head, nubs of arms and legs not quite developed.  It was love at first sight.  That was our baby.  The one we has waited so long for.  The one that made our Rex a big brother.

Looking back, the night we found out we were pregnant was such a bad time to take a pregnancy test. It was humorous really, Superbowl Sunday, people expected at our house any minute.  I’m not really sure what I was thinking.  With all of the negative test we had taken over those months, I knew whichever way the test went I would find it hard to be a good hostess. Maybe not knowing would have been just as hard.

I surely didn’t expect it to be positive. Oh, and the events following that night and it’s announcement.  I have often tried to make sense of the purpose of that short life growing inside of me.  It’s true, that through announcing our joy we were able have a heart-to-heart with loved ones- clear the air about where our relationship had been and where we all wanted it to be.  And while I wouldn’t trade that sweet moment in their living room for anything, our baby was alive then.

Where is the meaning in the death?

My mother-in-law once told me that what she remembers most about that day was me.  She said I looked so small and vulnerable on the bed in that big ultrasound room.  I tried to be strong in that moment- maybe just optimistic.  I’ve noticed that about myself- I’m always looking for a way to make things happen, even when I’m told they can’t.  I just kept trying to tell myself that maybe the ultrasound tech was wrong.  That once I saw my doctor she would be able to see whatever the tech couldn’t.  If I were honest though, I think I knew that the life was gone. I had that sinking feeling since the beginning of the pregnancy.  I prayed about it a lot, begging God to protect the life growing inside me.  I pushed down the worries, thinking that buying maternity clothes and picking out names would magically change what I suspected might happen.  As if we can DO anything to change what God has already written.  That is, anything but pray.

The rest of March came and went in a blur of emotions.  In some ways I feel like it flew by, in other ways it drug on and on.  For the most part I guess I knew I was okay, but I wondered if I had really come to terms with my situation or if I was running from dealing with it.  I guess both may be true.

It’s a funny thing about love and loss.  There is hardly a day that goes by that I don’t think about the baby on that monitor screen.  Not so much grieving the loss any more, these days I am mostly filled with questions:

Will I continue to have miscarriages or even be able to get pregnant again?  Will I ever meet my little one? Know if I had a he or a she? Will I ever feel that baby in my arms, the way I now do with my sweet niece?

I’m sure that asking ten different professionals would yield ten different answers.  And in a way, maybe the answers don’t really matter.

What matters is the journey through this time.

I surely cannot say that I am on the other end- but, I can say that the Lord is walking me through it.

And, while I don’t know all the ways He is working on me as a result of this experience, I know He is working.  There is unbelievable comfort in that.  He promises never to leave us or forsake us.  He promises to work good for those who love him- making us more like Himself with ever step.  Whatever the storm, whatever the situation, He is there and He is working.

There is no question in that.

 

 

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Ben Reed

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Christ follower, husband, father, writer, pastor of small groups at Long Hollow Baptist Church. Communications director for the Small Group Network.
  • Amy Beukema

    Thanks for sharing, Laura.  I have been through a similar journey and many years on the other side.  It IS the journey that matters.  Hold tightly to His hand and trust Him that He is good and wants His very best for you.  

    • Laura

      Thanks for the encouraging words Amy

  • Gavin

    Such a great post.

    Shalaine and I had a miscarriage in April 2010. It was our very first pregnancy. It was one of the most life-altering events of our lives. It hurt worse than anything we’d ever experienced. We worried we’d never be able to have a baby. When we got pregnant again a few months later, we spent the first several months in absolute terror that it would happen again.

    That event started what would be the most difficult year of our lives and marriage, yet, looking back on it now we see God’s goodness and mercy to us. Though it was a hard year, it brought Shalaine and I closer than we’d ever been. It strengthened our marriage. It tested our faith, and ultimately strengthened it.

    And even though we have a beautiful baby girl now, there is still some fear lingering in our hearts. Will we be able to have more children? Will we go through the pain of miscarriage again? Though we don’t know the answer to these questions, we cling to the truths of this post, that the Lord will take care of us.

    One final piece of evidence of God’s goodness: We found out we were pregnant on March 10, 2010 and we lost the baby in late April. And the Lord gave us Addie Pearl on March 10, 2011. It was a prayer answered, a promise fulfilled.

    • Gavin

      PS: Thanks for sharing this, Laura and Ben. We’ll be praying for y’all. Know that you’ve ministered to me today. Thanks.

      • Laura

        Thanks for sharing your story! It is a bleeding to know my words ministered to someone.

  • Mindy Stevens

    Laura- I don’t k ow if you remember me; mindy, kara’s friend…
    I too had a miscarriage in January; and I have been struggling with the “journey”.
    I enjoyed reading this…
    Good luck with the upcoming months!

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Laura

      Mindy, I remember Kara telling me that. Thanks for reading and commenting and sharing your struggles.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=51100170 Katie Lambert Clemmons

    Thank you for putting your heart out there. It’s so hard to share something like this but it’s amazing how much this conversation can help the many others going through it too. I find comfort knowing that our little one that we lost, indeed had/has a purpose. I pray for God to show me the significance of that little life so that it is never forgotten. You’re a strong woman to have gone through this and to share your experience.

    • Laura

      Katie, thanks for sharing yours with me after my miscarriage. It meant a lot to have a friend to sit and talk with.

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason Wert

    Laura, my heart breaks for you.  My wife Amy & I have experienced eight miscarriages and it took us a long time to really reach a point where we could say the things you said at the end of your post.  Honestly, the first time almost destroyed me as much as Amy.  

    God bless you and thank you for sharing.  I know your words will be a comfort to others facing what you have faced and are facing.