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In June 2016

In June 2016, my husband and I found out that I was pregnant after only two months of trying. We told all of our family within a week or two of finding out. Soon after we told our family, I started spotting, which led into a month long emotional roller coaster of urgent care and ER visits. One appointment would tell me everything was fine, and then I'd get a call saying I needed to go to the ER immediately. I spent much of this month crying and worrying. Whenever this happened, my husband would calmly and gently remind me that this was in God's hands. It was His baby, not ours. He simply entrusted us with a new life. God could call that baby home to Heaven whenever he wanted to. The more he said it, the more I believed it, and the more I trusted God. What I didn't know at the time was that God was using my husband to prepare me to trust and rely on God in the coming weeks. When I was 9.5 weeks pregnant, my doctor decided that it was time to get another ultrasound. During that scan, I knew something was wrong. Later that night, while my husband and I were at a friend's house, the cramping started and I knew I was losing the baby. I sobbed and prayed the whole drive home, telling God over and over again, "I love you. I trust you, God. Let your will be done." I hoped that by saying those words, it would lessen the pain. It didn't, but it did help me stay focused on the fact that I have a God who loves me and has a plan for me and my baby. The next day, I pulled myself out of bed to go to a Bible study that I had been wanting to attend. I didn't feel like going, but I felt God telling me to go anyway. Bible study that morning was focused on James 1:2-3, which says "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance." We had a time of reflection, and I fought back tears as I didn't know anyone there and didn't feel comfortable sharing why this verse was so difficult for me to swallow at that moment. I felt like God was responding to my crisis with tough love. While it was a bit of a shock, ultimately I think tough love was what I needed. It helped me learn from my experience rather than wallow in self-pity like I wanted to. In the days following, I identified what exactly upset me about losing my baby. I felt hurt that God would take away this baby when my husband and I had both felt a specific call to try to get pregnant when we did. I felt like a bad mom because at the point when we lost this baby, it was too early to know the gender, which made me feel like I didn't even know the most basic thing about this person who was supposed to be my baby. I felt frustrated that we were going to have to start all over, and I'd have to wait even longer to hold a baby in my arms. I felt sad that I had never gotten to see my baby on the ultrasound screen (though I'm thankful that my husband was able to see it all three times). Mostly I felt grief that I would never know who that person would have become. God walked me through my healing very quickly. So quickly that I felt guilty about being okay and guilty about wanting to try and get pregnant again. I felt like I should have been incapacitated by my grief because that's what I had heard from other women who had experienced loss. Over the next month, God helped me to accept my own journey through grief and to realize that there wasn't only one right way to grieve. I wasn't suppressing my emotions or ignoring my feelings. I had just processed the experience differently than others. I worked on taking James 1:2-3 to heart. I still felt sad, but I had started to feel healed. About a month after I lost my baby, right before finding out I was pregnant with my son, I began to fear forgetting and decided to take some time to reflect and remember. I came across a poem that really helped me understand that God thinks my feelings are valid, that I'm not a failure, and that it's okay to feel ready to move on. I have included the poem below. "I thought of you and closed my eyes, And prayed to God today. I asked what makes a Mother, And I know I heard him say: A mother has a baby, This we know is true. But, God, can you be a mother, When your baby's not with you? Yes, you can he replied, With confidence in his voice. I give many women babies, When they leave is not their choice. Some I send for a lifetime, And others for a day. And some I send to feel your womb, But there's no need to stay. I just don't understand this God, I want my baby here. He took a breath and cleared his throat, And then I saw a tear. I wish that I could show you, What your child is doing today. If you could see your child smile, With other children who say: We go to earth and learn our lessons, Of love and life and fear. My mommy loved me oh so much, I got to come straight here. I feel so lucky to have a mom, Who had so much love for me. I learned my lessons very quickly, My mommy set me free. I miss my mommy oh so much, But I visit her each day. When she goes to sleep, On her pillow's where I lay. I stroke her hair and kiss her cheek, And whisper in her ear. 'Mommy don't be sad today, I'm your baby and I'm here.' So you see my dear sweet one, Your children are okay. Your babies are here in My home, They'll be at Heaven's gate for you. So now you see what makes a mother. It's the feeling in your heart. It's the love you had so much of, Right from the very start. Though some on earth may not realize you are a mother, Until their time is done. They'll be up here with Me one day, And you'll know that you're the best one!" Unknown Author

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