Today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. Literally last night I was cleaning out an old drawer and came across this treasure of mine: the puzzle piece I stumbled across on the ocean cliffs of Corona Del Mar while walking through the deepest grief of my miscarriage, the little life we lost between our two girls. This puzzle piece was a kiss from God, a promise, a signal of hope in my hour of sadness: I am with you, Steph. Your lost baby’s with me, Steph. It’s going to be okay. Somehow this will fit in my plan.
Recently a dear friend of mine, newly pregnant with her second, a little nervous in those early days like so many of us find ourselves in the face of the sobering miscarriage statistics—started to ask me questions, sensitively, cautiously, about my second pregnancy, the one that ended in heartbreak. “Did it feel different, from your pregnancies with the two girls? Were there signs? Did you sense that something was off?”
I answered openly, gladly, readily, grateful this information could offer something to someone I love. “Yes, looking back, physically, it did feel different. With the girls I was already puking my guts out by week four; I wasn’t sick at all with the second. I wasn’t as tired. I didn’t break out in a million zits. But emotionally, it was the same. I felt very much like it was going to be our baby.”
“I’m sorry,” she said, “that that happened to you. And I’m sorry to ask. It’s probably too much.”
“No, really, it’s not!” I insisted honestly, suddenly feeling emotional, but not necessarily sad. That peace that surpasses all understanding. “I haven’t talked about it for a really long time. That babe was our angel. It happened. It’s such a part of our story, of our family, of Hadley coming into the world. It really doesn’t hurt anymore.”
Of course, I still well up when I think about it, which I do, periodically, when I look dead-on at this now-healed scar. When I comfort a friend suffering the same searing loss. When I wonder if that babe was a boy. I can certainly recall those feelings of anguish, of being sliced open.
But mostly, it’s all covered in grace now, which really, it always was. I cry happy tears of gratitude for redemption. My miscarriage for me is a story of hope, of healing, of faith, and simply, of life unfolding. The Lord gives, and He takes away. Life is really great, and then out of nowhere gets unbearably hard. That is the journey of faith, to keep our eyes up, remembering from where our help comes, to believe in an unchanging God amid painfully, relentlessly changing circumstances. To keep on trusting that we’ve always needed the death for the resurrection, that things are, indeed, always darkest before the dawn.
For anyone in the midst of this pain: It hurts. So much. I’m so deeply sorry this happened to you. My tears are falling with yours. The only thing that made it better for me was time, and my loved ones, and Jesus, and telling my story. He really did have a plan to heal my open wound and close it into beautiful scar. In the meantime, let the tears stream, ask the hard questions, doubt and dare to keep dreaming. It’s going to be okay.
And please, please email me if you need extra encouragement, love or resources.
Big hugs to every one of you.
Thank you, Lord, for the babies we hold—and today, for the ones we hold in our hearts. We can’t wait to meet them in heaven.
“Those people God uses to bring the most glory to Himself are those who are completely broken, for the sacrifice He accepts is a ‘broken and contrite heart.’ It was not until Jacob’s natural strength was broken, when ‘his hip was wrenched’ at Peniel, that he came to the point where God could clothe him with spiritual power. And it was not until Moses struck the rock at Horeb, breaking its surface, that cool ‘water came out of it for the people to drink.’ […] And it was when Jesus allowed his precious body to be broken by thorns, nails, and a spear that His inner life was poured out like an ocean of crystal-clear water, for thirsty sinners to drink and then live.”
— Streams in the Desert, Today’s Entry, October 15