This is a post I never planned to write.
In yesterday’s new year post, I alluded to some painful trials in 2013. I didn’t mean to be so cryptic when I wrote that, but I hadn’t decided how much, if anything, to share about the topic. This morning, however, I decided it might serve as some encouragement to any women out there who may be facing the same difficulties and sorrows. So here it is: just a few months ago, I experienced the loss of a pregnancy. Let me go back in time to give you some context.
pregnant with Olive // photo by Jose Villa
After many years of struggling with infertility, I first got pregnant in early 2011. I was over.the.moon.
Erik and I went out for a celebratory dinner the night I took the positive test, chatting excitedly about how we would share the news with our families. We were overjoyed about this long-awaited answer to prayer. Shortly thereafter, however, I learned that my hormone levels were plummeting and I was miscarrying. It was absolutely devastating, and experiencing that deep pain after years of infertility seemed especially unbearable. I told Erik I wasn’t sure if I could continue trying to get pregnant, since I feared the pain of recurrent loss. But God had other plans. Just one month post-miscarriage, I conceived my daughter Olivia Iris, aka Olive. And here she is today, almost 2 years old (!!!), having changed me in a million ways in that short time. I thank God every single day for my daughter. I will never forget the years of tearful prayers, the pleading for just one child, the fruitless wondering if I would ever become a biological mother. When I see my daughter, I know that the pain that preceded her arrival taught me invaluable lessons. What a blessing she is.
my newborn Olive // march 2012
We continue to hope and pray for another child, but know that ultimately it is God who gives life. Not long ago, Erik and I learned I was pregnant for a third time, and we were ELATED. I cried tears of joy. We made sneaky plans to tell our families on Christmas morning. I marveled at the fact that our kids would have exactly the same age gap I have with my sister. I thought about how I might need to shift things in my fall wedding schedule with a baby on the horizon. But then…
Pains turned to concerns which turned to some bloodwork which turned to… tears. Another miscarriage. While I hadn’t told anyone I was pregnant, I suddenly felt like I had to tell a few people about the painful ordeal I was facing. It seemed to help release a bit of the pain. I told my mother, my sister, my best friend and a few other close friends. More tears, but more prayers as well. Encouragement. Reminders of God’s faithfulness. Reminders of His sovereignty.
So here I am. Not pregnant. Not sure if there is another little one in our future or not. But I am at peace, a peace that surpasses understanding (Philippians 4:7). I know that God’s plans are perfect and that even in painful circumstances, His will is not thwarted (Romans 8:28). In the darkest of hours, I have been comforted by God’s word (Psalm 34:18 and Matthew 5:4). The love and support I have received from friends and family in this time has been immeasurable; it has reminded me of all of the blessings I already have in my life.
Although I don’t typically write about ‘tough’ things on this blog, I hope that this post might encourage even one person out there who is dealing with loss. There is hope even in the darkest circumstances, and I can hold on to that hope to find unshakable joy. I have been stretched through this trial and I am thankful for that.
I hope you’re all having a great Thursday! Thank you for stopping by to read this deeply personal post; I’m so blessed by your love and support!