Thursday, October 5, 2023

His Way is Perfect, Revisited

 This is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Month.  

According to the March of Dimes, 10 -20% of women who know they are pregnant will have a pregnancy loss.   Eighty percent of those will occur before the 12th week of pregnancy.  Yet, it is rarely talked about, even among women. 

 It was 35 years ago on this date we had our miscarriage.

Sometimes it feels odd to me when this date rolls around and only my husband, myself, and my good friend remember the significance.  This was such a monumental day in our lives, and yet it is only commemorated by a small heart and a sad face on my calendar.  Stored away, I have the cards sent to me after my miscarriage.  Occasionally I take them out and look at them.  One might think that after 35 years the pain would have diminished, but even as I type this I have tears in my eyes.

Why don't women talk about having had a miscarriage? I was surprised at how many women I worked with admitted they had miscarried because they had never spoken of it before.  Women who experience any type of pregnancy and/or infant loss need to feel free to speak of their experience.  They need to be supported and given every opportunity to thoroughly heal.

If you know someone experiencing a pregnancy or infant loss, one of the best gifts you can give them is to let them tell their story.  Don't interrupt, and don't try to offer platitudes that sound good, but really don't help at all.  Just listen.  Let them talk as long as they need to.  They will get few opportunities to do so.

I repost this story every couple of years.  Here is our story.

October 5th never passes without me reliving the heartbreak of that day, often without speaking about it to anyone.   

It was my third pregnancy.  I had a positive pregnancy test, but my doctor was out of town for a couple weeks and the woman at the office told me it was okay to wait to see the doctor since I worked every day with OB-GYNs, "in case something happened."  My other pregnancies had gone so well, that I thought the chances of that "something" actually happening were quite remote.

Then one night at work I started bleeding.  Just a little, but enough to be concerning.  I spoke to one of the female residents (who would later become my OB-GYN) and she advised me to go to the office after work and be evaluated.

Glen went with me and we were both quiet on the way.  I kept telling myself it was not serious and everything would be okay.  That was until I looked up at the ultrasound screen.  I had seen enough fetal ultrasounds to know it was definitely NOT going to be okay.

The pregnancy was over.

Driving away from the office, I glanced through my tears at Glen and saw tears running down his face as well.  His heart was broken just as much as mine.  He offered to take me to see my Daddy, who was often a source of comfort for me, but I remember saying, "No, I want to see my Momma."

Once I reached my mother's office, she knew by my face there was a problem.  When I told her, she took me in her arms and hugged me for a long time, and for a moment I felt like a child again.

But I had my own children to care for and I was concerned about how they were going to respond to the news.  But actually, at eight and six, they were more distraught over their pet goldfish, Henry, dying the same day, than the loss of a baby they had never seen. They were sympathetic, though.

One day I was sitting on the couch, and our son Noah came up to me and asked, "Momma, are you sad about the baby?"  That tells you everything to know about his tender heart.

All I have to remind me of that baby, which we were sure would have been a boy, are some congratulatory cards we received, the subsequent cards of condolences, and a picture Noah had drawn of the baby inside of me. And of course,  the pain in our hearts.

But the Scriptures promise of God that He "healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3.) 

If that pregnancy had continued, we would have loved the child with all our hearts.    He would have been as special to us as Marie and Noah.  But he would have been the last.  We never planned to have more than three and there definitely would not have been a fourth.

Emmie as a toddler

That would mean there would have been no Emmie Rose.  The thought of that brings tears to my life with no Emmie.  

Born three years after our miscarriage, Emmie was a joy to all four of us.  

Her siblings were incredibly involved during the pregnancy and adored their baby sister after she arrived.  Noah was so enthralled with her on the day of her birth, that he refused to leave the room.  Even food could not tempt him away.  He was going to stay with his baby sister.

Emmie did not replace our other baby, but his loss made us appreciate her even more.  In bringing Emmie into our lives, the Lord did a marvelous work of redemption, restoration, and healing.

We often don't understand how God works in our lives, how or why He allows some things to happen and other things to not happen.  I suspect there are things we will never fully understand.  But there is one thing we can know for sure, "as for God, His way is perfect." (Psalm 18:30.)  I could have never predicted the pain and misery of October 5, 1988, would be followed with such joy on July 26, 1991, but it was.  

"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Romans 8:28

All Things Work Together for Good
words and music by Glen Davis

All things work together for good,
in the hearts and lives of those who love the Lord.
The pleasures and the pains,
the sunlight and the rains,
All things work together for good,
all things work together for good.

An unseen Hand weaves all the threads,
a heart of grace works for our best.
To make us like His Son,
He leaves nothing undone,
All things work together for good,
all things work together for good.

For good, for good.
All things work together for good.

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