There are two rose bushes that bloom every Mother's Day in my parent's front yard. These aren't just any ordinary rose bushes, these buds bloom for my older and younger sisters, two girls that went to Heaven before they could ever be held in my mother's arms. We don't have any pictures of them, just two simple tombstones that mark their brief time in my mother's womb. I've always wondered how life would have been different if they were alive and I know my parents have grieved their loss over the years. Losing a child (or more) to miscarriage isn't something that can be easily forgotten. No, it stays with you forever and as my mom says, you learn that life is truly a gift.
When we found out that I was pregnant with twins, my mom asked my doctor if miscarriages were hereditary. He told her that just because a mother miscarries that does not mean that her daughter has a higher chance. This news was such a relief to my mother and I but then the twins were born three months premature and we didn't know if they would live. On the day I left the hospital for the first time without my children, I sensed that this must have been somewhat how my mother had felt all those years ago. Guilt, shame, pain. Yet, unlike my mother's situation; I had hope that maybe just maybe our girls would be able to leave the hospital and come home with us. I begged God with tears streaming down my face to allow our girls to live...and he did.
But, I know that it doesn't always turn out that way.
Last Tuesday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. I had a few friends on Facebook make their miscarriages public for the first time. Their stories of loss and redemption brought tears to my eyes. I couldn't help but think of other friends that I've know that have lost their babies through miscarriage - Stephanie, Abbey, Rachel - and take a moment to thank God for the gift that is growing inside of me right now.
A few people have asked me in private if I was scared to become pregnant again after almost losing the twins.
My answer without hesitation: yes.
Last December, when we were seriously considering to start trying for another baby, I confessed my deepest, darkest fear to my husband. It was this: what if I'm the reason this happened to our babies? I don't want to put another child through such pain and struggle again.
The shame surfaced so fast that it couldn't be contained.
I still blamed myself for what had happened to the twins...even after my Montgomery OBGYN, NICU friends, and current OB told me differently. This shame of potentially miscarrying our child or causing premature birth was holding me back from the thought of conception.
Shame was a roadblock that only God could redirect with his love, comfort, and hope.
What I've realized since December is that I can't let shame be the direction of my future. Instead, I have to have hope for the future and believe that God has plans for me, my baby, and my family. I hope every day that I will get to hold Ridley in my arms and that he will be born in March, on his due date. But, if I don't? The loss will sit heavy on my soul and I will mourn for this child. My heart will be broken and I know that only God's love can heal my pain.
Potentially having a miscarriage or infant loss can cause women to lose hope in ever receiving a child in her arms.
What I want to say to anyone struggling with this is please don't let the fear outweigh the hope.
You and I have no idea what will happen to our children during pregnancy and child birth. We can't plan on things going a certain way. But, we can take preventive action, make responsible choices, and most importantly pray. Our children are God's to begin with and we have to trust that he has a plan for them; whether here with us or in heaven with him.
I know this message might be hard to swallow coming from a girl that has not experienced miscarriage herself. I get that. But, please know that this girl hurts in a way that she doesn't fully understand whenever she hears of a pregnancy or infant loss. Also know that this girl is struggling with her own fears and is choosing to rest in hope instead.
Love to all you truth-seekers out there that feel the same way.
Till next time, let your light shine!