Monday, the world stopped as news of the royal baby’s birth was announced. This news stopped my heart. Our first baby had almost the same due date as the royal couple’s little one.
If you have been following this blog, you know that I have mentioned that my husband and I have lost two babies in the past year to miscarriage.
As I have journeyed through the pain, grief, and questions I have found that hearing someone else’s story is part of the way to healing. Hearing another’s story helps you realize that you are not alone if you have had a miscarriage. It is an experience that can feel lonely and isolating because there is no cast to wrap your broken heart, no casket to bury your memories in and too often no one knows. Even if someone knows, they may not know how to respond.
I am sharing with you my personal reflections about miscarriage, because God has given me hope in the midst of devastation. I am praying that this series provides comfort and hope for those who have walked through a miscarriage, and insight for those with friends who have experienced one.
From the moment I saw the faint pink line turn brighter and then deeper and darker on the pregnancy test, I was absolutely head over heels in love with him. By the time I had seen one plus sign and the word “pregnant” on the 2 different digital pregnancy tests my husband had me buy “just to be sure,” I was shrieking.
I squealed and jumped in delight, begging my husband to let me call and tell someone. Although what I really wanted to do was to run down my street screaming at the top of my lungs, “I’m a MOM!” “I’m a MOM!”
After getting married at the age of twenty – nine, helping seven friends walk down the aisle as a bridesmaid and with most of these friends having their second little bun in the oven I felt that God was redeeming my years of waiting for my children.
As a little girl, my favorite toys were my dolls and my favorite activity was pretending to be a Mom. My love for children continued through my adulthood as I worked as a nanny, camp counselor and children’s pastor. I went on mission’s trips and worked with orphans, I made friends with any child around me. I have left adult conversations at parties, to find the kid’s table where I have spend the night, giggling, playing and reading.
Even in my professional life my student staff lovingly nicknamed me “Mom” because of the way I nurtured and cared for their spirits and even bodies, constantly “nagging” them to make healthy choices in the school cafeteria and to start a work out plan. I had held them while they cried about boys, grades, and life direction. I had also screamed and celebrated with them about boys, grades and life direction.
It has brought immense amounts of joy to my heart to know that around the world I have many spiritual children. I had already been a “mother” to children and young adults offering counsel, correction, a listening ear, prayers, meals, snacks and of course hugs. But I never felt more like a mother than the day I saw that faded pink line turn a deeper shade of rose. I was a Mom forever now, I knew no matter what happened in life, no matter where I went or where my baby went, he would always be my baby and I would always be his momma.
I remember that day so vividly like a beautiful dream you don’t want to wake up from. My husband and I ate dinner at a local Vietnamese restaurant. I spent the entire dinner asking him if there was anything in the dishes I couldn’t eat because I was pregnant. As an engineer, my husband researches everything and had already learned more about pregnancy that evening, then I had learned in a lifetime of being female. After dinner I insisted that we go to the local used bookstore and look for pregnancy books. We bought a baby name book and a book about eating healthily while pregnant. I then came home and promptly ordered “ What to expect when you’re expecting.”
That same week, Prince William and Kate’s pregnancy was announced. As the whole world watched Kate’s belly, I watched mine with the same force of anticipation and joy as a nation of people awaiting their royal baby. To me this was my royal baby, the fulfillment of the Lord’s promise to me that I would be a wife and a mother.
I asked the Lord for promises for my baby. One was so clear to me, this little one would be a person of influence and draw the nations to knowledge and belief in Jesus Christ. To me, this was the dearest promise that I could receive as a mother.
At first I was sure my baby was a girl, Rene was sure the baby was a boy. We would joke about who was right or wrong. I had called a friend to tell her I was pregnant, and she prayed for my pregnancy. While she prayed I saw a picture of my baby Alexander, which would become such a treasure to me to. In the picture I saw my little boy probably about a year old, crawling on hands and knees smiling with dimples just like my husbands’ into his chubby baby cheeks. His dark brown eyes sparkled with mischief and his dark brown hair was wavy and thick, how I imagine my husband’s would have been as a child. He looked sharp in a plaid blue vest with gray trousers and in my opinion was the cutest baby I had ever seen.
Then the bleeding started.
I went to a doctor who was unable to tell me much except that my blood needed to be analyzed again in 48 hours to see if my HCG and Progesterone levels had increased or decreased.
Those days of waiting for the blood work results felt like the longest days of my life.
Then the phone rang, it was “the call.” My body grew cold, my heart stopped in my chest. I answered steadying my voice. The nurse delivering the blood results was short and abrupt. Her tone sounded as empathetic as a piece of steel. “Your progesterone and HCG levels have dropped dramatically in the past 48 hours and we are certain you are miscarrying.” As her words stabbed through my heart, my husband miraculously walked through the door home, home a few hours early from a work project.
He held me as the nurse asked if I had heard her because I hadn’t uttered a word or sound since she had spoken. My mouth couldn’t move because I was deafened by the sound of my heart shattering into a million pieces. My baby was dying, “My baby is dying!” I wanted to scream at the nurse and tell her, “YES I HEAR YOU! I HEAR YOU CLEARLY,” But I couldn’t say a word, I was in shock, and all that spoke was the scream inside my heart…”NO! NO! NO!”
I knew my baby was with Jesus. That my baby would never know the pain of earth and the brokenness of humanity, they would only ever know the love of Jesus and the love of their mother and father.
But I wanted them to know pain! I wanted to kiss every scrape and bandage every wound. I wanted to see them fall bump their head on the coffee table as they learn to walk, I wanted to help them get back on their bike when they fall off their new two wheeler, I wanted to help them find the pieces of their heart after their first heartbreak, I wanted to have a continual drippy and snotty hand because I have wiped their eyes and noses from the sting of this imperfect world. But I knew I never would and I wanted to, more than anything I have ever wanted in my life.
That night I collapsed on the couch holding my belly and cried, a deep soulful cry from my gut that had been building and I yelled until it was only a whisper, “I want my baby, I want my baby, I just want my baby.”
I wrote him a letter that night, I told him all about his life and how I felt when I found out he was inside me, and what we did that night we found out we were pregnant. I told him he was wonderful surprise, the best kind. I told him about eating Vietnemese noodles and buying every pregnancy book in the store. I told him I loved and missed him. It helped.
For anyone who has walked through a miscarriage I think one of hardest parts are the questions. What is the gender, what does the baby look like, what is their personality like? God was so kind to me to give me the gender, a glimpse of Alexander’s sweet face and then my husband named our son. Shortly after the miscarriage I was resting in my husband’s arms, thinking about our baby boy and as hot and gentle tears streamed down my face, Rene said, “his name is Alexander.” I sobbed with relief, he had a name, our son had been named by his father.
I looked up the name Alexander in the baby name book I had bought the night we found out we were pregnant. Alexander means “helper and defender of mankind.” This bothered me a lot. I wanted his name to mean what I needed most at that moment: which was faith, hope or redemption.
How could my baby Alexander bring help to mankind now, I wondered? How could he defend mankind when he had never set foot on this planet? I struggled with the irony that the meaning of his name seemed to pose. Yet, I knew the meaning of his name fit perfectly with the prophetic words God had spoken to my heart about Alexander. God had told me Alexander would have great influence and favor with people for the Kingdom of God. God had told me that Alexander would have an inheritance in the nations of the earth for the glory of God.
I do not have an answer for how Alexander will reach the nations of the earth. However, I feel nudges of hope from my Father, that as I write and share with others about Alexander’s life, that it will bring the hope and life of Jesus Christ to others, even in the furthest corners of the earth. There is a joy and peace to be found when we know Jesus. He is the restorer, He is the redeemer He alone can do this:
“comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”
They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated” Isaiah 61:2-4
These are the promises I cling too. There will be joy for my mourning!….there will be for your’s too sweet friend.
If you have been through a miscarriage, what verses and promises from God have brought you hope? I would love to hear about your sweet baby – What is their name, did you do something special to remember their life? What has been helpful for you in the healing process?