“What do you mean there’s no heartbeat?” I stared blankly at the radiologist who I happened to know personally as she batted back tears in an attempt to remain professional. “I am so sorry, Valerie.” That was all she could muster. She quietly wheeled me back to my room in the emergency area of our local hospital.
Let me back up just a bit. I was 10 & ½ weeks pregnant with my third child and something just felt “off”. My husband and mother along with all of our friends assured me I was being paranoid. In my heart, I knew they were wrong but so hoped that they were right. So my husband drove me to the ER where my sweet pastor’s wife met us to take my then 2 year old daughter home with her. The day drug on for what felt like an eternity. It started with blood work to confirm my pregnancy. All looked normal so I patiently waited for my ultrasound to see my little peanut safe and sound. As afternoon approached, I called Holly and asked her if she would mind to get my older three children from school. “No problem. We’ll see you soon.” All was still right with the world.
Shortly after 3 pm on April 16th, 2010, I was dealt the shocking blow. The emergency room doctor explained to me that I was having a miscarriage. He went into detail about what I could expect to happen in the coming days. I was numb. I couldn’t talk, couldn’t cry. There was no way this could be happening to me. I had been through two successful pregnancies that resulted in two beautifully healthy babies, so why would this one be any different?
It wasn’t until we had left the hospital and were headed to our pastor’s family home that the reality of what just happened began to sink in. Jamie had called ahead to let them know the horrible outcome of our day spent in waiting. By the time we made the 5 minute drive, I was on the verge of a break-down. It was then that I fell into the arms of my dear friend and we cried together. She comforted me the best she could while her husband explained how God is the giver and sustainer of life.
“He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
We gathered our kids and returned home to break the news. They were still young so they couldn’t really grasp what daddy meant when he said, “Mommy isn’t going to have another baby right now.”
In the coming days I was surrounded by family and the church hospitality team kicked it into overdrive. I felt blessed and cursed at the same time. While everyone was pouring out comforting words about how sometimes things like this just happen, I was battling my mind that was screaming it was my fault.
I ran too much when I should have reduced my exercise.
I shouldn’t have used the flavor packets in my water, some ingredient in them is known to cause miscarriage.
And the worst thought, I’ve disappointed God and He is punishing me.
Every possible thing I could think of was what caused me to lose my baby. I refused to think that it “just happened.”
A couple of months later, I found out I was pregnant again. I was terrified. It was too soon. The twisted part about it was my due date was April 15th, 2011…just one day before the anniversary of the worst day of my life. I barely breathed for the first trimester.
It was during those nine months that God comforted and reassured me that there is indeed life after loss. The very fact that I became pregnant so soon after losing a child was proof of that.
On April 11th, 2011, I delivered a very healthy baby girl. In those first few moments with her, I had the painful realization that had my previous pregnancy been a success, I would not have my precious Isabella in my arms.
We may never fully grasp the workings of our Lord. He gives and takes away according to His perfect plan for us.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised.”
The best thing that we can do when faced with a devastating loss is cry out to our Father who keeps track of all our sorrows and stores up each tear we cry. (Psalm 56:8) While it may be difficult, praise your way through your circumstances knowing that God’s ways or higher than our own.
It has been three years since that aweful day but the memories are as fresh as if it were only yesterday. It’s not easy to talk about something so devastating but in my pain, I found the most comfort from others who had gone through the same. If you too have experienced this life altering loss, I pray that God would heal your broken heart as only He is able.