My husband and I have walked through several valleys on our journey to have a child. This blog post was from 2016 when we had our first miscarriage. Here's the beginning of our story:
December 28, 2016 our first pregnancy ended. We had a miscarriage. It was confirmed that the heartbeat had stopped at 9 weeks & 2 days, but the baby had not passed yet. We had some difficult decisions to be made and a lot of pain physically to be endured. I’m going to tell you about our sweet journey and how we accepted grace and are giving glory to God in all of this.
But here’s what I need you to know before reading any further. This is our story, our perspective and our experience. Each experience is different. For the mothers that have gone through this, are going through this, or might go through this, our story is not to inflict guilt, shame or anything negative, but to shed light on the positive. For those that have not and will never go through something like this, this story is for you to read and learn, not to judge or condemn.
There’s a long faithful story on how we got to baby #1 with patience and faith. That’s for another blog post. I’m going to refer to our baby as Shrubs. We are the Bushes and we nicknamed our little baby Shrubs. The estimated due date was July 31. 2017. We were thrilled to be first time parents after almost 7 years of marriage. At our first appointment the gestational sac was measuring 2 weeks behind the size of the baby. That increased our risk of miscarriage to about 50%. Austin and I were both very positive, faithful and had no reason to believe why this wouldn’t work out.
On Christmas morning I had some very light bleeding that brought me to tears. This is a “normal” side effect of a first trimester pregnancy, but with the uphill battle we had, it gave me great fear. As we know, the enemy loves to plant fear in our lives. It gives us doubt and persuades us not to do things that maybe God wants us to do.
Two days later I had severe cramping and even more bleeding. The next day we saw the doctor and had an ultrasound that confirmed our worst case scenario. At 9 weeks and 2 days, Shrubs’ heartbeat had stopped. With reassurance from the doctor, there was nothing, I mean nothing, that we could have done differently that would have changed the outcome of this pregnancy. Here’s what I thought in that moment: Shrubs was not meant to be. I have faith in our all powerful creator. “For God is not a God of disorder, but of peace” - 1 Corinthians 14:33. He knows what He is doing. God is not confused or disorganized, but the master of the master plan. God has mine & Austin’s child(ren) already hand picked. They might be biological children, adopted children or a mix. Not sure yet. But I will find out.
Tears were shed. Mostly uncontrollable hormonal tears. I had great insight from a friend who was all too familiar with our situation. Allowing Shrubs to pass naturally can take up to 8 weeks. Our other options were pills to induce the passing, or a D&C to medically remove Shrubs. We opted to start the pills the next day, but if it failed, we scheduled a D&C for the following day.
The process started naturally that evening and I was in severe pain. Remember, every pregnancy, miscarriage and birth are different. That’s why the decision making process can be so hard. There are so many different variables for each individual. To put my pain tolerance into perspective, I had my gallbladder surgically removed in 2013 and I had a broken disk removed from my back in 2015. Both times after surgery, I refused medicine and endured the pain naturally. But this… this was a whole different ball game. I was cramping so bad it brought me to my knees, I was throwing up with chills and sweating. My body was rejecting what had happened inside with Shrubs and it wasn’t quite sure how to handle it. My biggest fear in life is death. In that moment, I was perfectly at peace dying. Because it would have taken all the pain away and I would be heaven bound. So we made the move to go to the ER.
Morphine never felt so good! Eventually at 1AM I had a D&C and had Shrubs surgically removed. It was the right decision for us. It was better to happen then, instead of enduring the pain for another 48 hours until my scheduled D&C. It worked for us and we are happy with our decision. It allows us to heal physically from this faster, and move forward.
Here’s what I really want to share with you all. My resounding message in all of this is to accept grace and seek God. Grace is unconditional kindness issued to someone who doesn’t necessarily deserve it. Grace wins every time!
Yes, I am sad we lost Shrubs. But I have peace. I know that one day we will have a Baby Bush to love on. And we will be happy. Or maybe there is no Baby Bush in our future. And we will be happy. This cannot define our happiness. Only knowing that God is in control and that Jesus died for my sins can define our happiness.
I have a handful of friends that have had miscarriages. Some now have kids, and some don’t. Some are still trying and some are happily living as just a married couple with no kids. But from what I’ve seen, I have learned what not to do and what to do.
For us, this is what to do:
• Stay focused on God and accept His grace!
• Stay positive and see the glory in the good. I’m so thankful for the timing of our miscarriage. I was able to get through the busiest time of work without any complications, I was able to enjoy my 30th birthday party and was able to have almost a week-long vacation with my parents. I’m so thankful for the great doctors and nurses and for a patient and loving husband. I’m thankful this all wrapped up when it did, so I can start 2017 with a fresh start. So many positives.
• Bring people in. We have such an incredible support group of friends and family. We made the choice to tell some of them about Shrubs, and then also share with them news about the complications and ultimately the miscarriage. I’ve never received more delivered cookies in my life! :) They have been very sweet and I know most of them have been praying for us, making this all a little easier.
• Be honest. It’s okay to be sad, angry or confused. But be honest and talk about it. Seek help if you need help. It’s okay to grieve and process everything that just happened.
For us, this is what we’ve learned not to do:
• Don’t isolate yourself. This will only make things worse. The enemy will attack. You’ll start blaming yourself or hating God. Putting up a wall and not letting people love you won’t make any of this go away.
• Ignoring this issue. This is life. It happened. It sucks. I’m sorry if this has happened to you. I’m sure there are some future dates that will suck for us. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Shrubs’ due date immediately come to mind. But they shouldn’t be ignored. They need to be tackled head on.
• Not talking to your partner. Communication is huge! Austin and I talked about every decision along the way. His support, patience and love can never be measured. After it all passed, we had the hard conversations. Do we still want to try to have kids? If so, then when? When is too soon? When do we stop trying? How are you feeling? What are your thoughts? How do you feel today? Are you comfortable with the decisions we made? What would you do differently? How do you want to talk about it? Who do we need to inform next? Etc. This can go on forever! Just talk it out and get on the same page.
Here are some truths for you to focus on that I’ve found that are helpful.
“The Lord is greater than the giants you face.” - 1 John 4:4
He is greater! No matter the problem, He will overcome. Evil is stronger than we are, but God is even stronger.
“I will sustain you.” - Isaiah 46:4
He will sustain us. How comforting is this?! He is a powerful God. He needs nothing else. He loves us through death by sending his only son to die on the cross for our sins. He’s the ultimate giver.
“Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” - Joshua 1:9
God’s promise is that he will always be with us. God’s plan is greater than any of our plans will ever be and we must be faithful in His truth. Just because you’ve gone through a miscarriage (or multiple ones) doesn’t mean that God won’t provide. Remember...
“God is not a God of disorder, but of peace.” - 1 Corinthians 14:33
He knows what he is doing. Our God is a God of order and the master of the master plan. He offers peace and truth and light. Let this give you rest. He does not make mistakes. We can the play the “what if” game all day. Maybe losing Shrubs was because he was going to have a medical disorder that we wouldn’t be able to afford … or maybe it would have killed me and I haven’t accomplished God’s plan for me on Earth yet … or maybe he’s going to give us twins later on so I only have to have one birth instead of two. Who knows!?! This game can go on forever, but I know that our God is powerful and mighty and trustworthy. And if he’s got a bigger plan than mine, then I want that too.
“Be completely humble, and gentle, be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace. - Ephesians 4:23
Women unite! Miscarriage is not a topic to judge or tear people down. Everyone and every situation is different. I encourage you to love on everyone. If you know someone who went through this or is going through this and you don’t know what to say, just say “I’m sorry”. And be there for them. Love on them and pray for them however they may need it. We are to be united in Christ. We all have flaws and we deal with things in different ways. I’ve found my peace right now in losing Shrubs. Others haven’t. I might not always have this peace, but this is why I must always seek Him. Which leads me to…
“Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” - Matthew 7:7-8
Ask for what you’re looking for. Pray for it boldly. Seek Him constantly. That’s what I need to constantly push myself to do. And knock. The door will be opened for you. There’s no if, ands or buts about it. It will be opened. But it’s His timing, remember, he’s the master of the master plan.
We have found our peace and happiness in the miscarriage of Shrubs. We will meet Shrubs in heaven one day.