On Thursday, February 19, 2004, I made my way to the doctor for a routine OB appointment. Fourteen and a half weeks pregnant with our third child, I knew the drill – weight, blood pressure, belly check, and a quick listen of the heartbeat. As the doctor scanned my belly with the Doppler wand, minutes ticked by; his unwillingness to make eye contact sent chills up my spine. Something was wrong. He directed me to another room for an immediate ultrasound. When a nurse offered to take my three-year-old son, the look on her face said it all and I began to cry.
By the soft glow of the screen, I received the first and last glimpse of my child. The ultrasound technician quietly delivered the devastating news: our baby had died, possibly even two weeks earlier.
How could this happen?
Why would God allow this to happen?
Was it a ‘he’ or a ‘she’?
Why do I feel so much pain when I haven’t even met this child face-to-face?
How could something so small leave such a large hole?
We were in the process of building a new home and our child’s room-to-be would be empty. Reminders. My body had already been changing and I could only fit into maternity clothes. Reminders. A couple of friends and I shared similar due dates; they were still pregnant and I was not. Reminders.
I poured out my grief and heartache to the Lord and found scripture that ministered to my soul. Through that difficult time, the Lord made it clear that my child’s life had purpose no matter how brief it’s time here:
Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you. Jeremiah 1:5a (MSG)
I went on to experience two more pregnancy losses, each no less heartbreaking than the first. Needless to say, I’ve spent a lot of time in God’s Word and know a few things to be true:
I will be reunited with my children in heaven. 2 Samuel 12:22 (MSG) and 2 Corinthians 5:8 (NLT)
The Lord holds children dear to His heart. Matthew 18:10 (AMP) and Matthew 19:14 (AMP)
The Lord has a heart for the weak. 1 Corinthians 1:27 (MSG)
Instead of allowing the bitterness and anger to take root by blaming my doctor for the many complications that followed (referenced a bit in THIS POST under “Thinking about”), I chose to write a new story. Believing God was good, I opened myself up to His plan – trusting He would use my painful experience for something good. I began sharing my story at a monthly scrapbooking event at my church, at several MOPS groups in the area, and at bible study – connecting with hundreds of women over the years.
Rewriting my story allowed me to find purpose in the darkest years of my life.