Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Our Story, Part 1

Currently, I'm 24 weeks wonderfully pregnant with our son. Just the thought of that fills my heart with so much joy, anticipation and pure hope of what's to come! A God-breathed gift. A growing miracle in every sense of the word. I am so thankful to be at this point, over half way to our February 2nd due date. I keep thanking God for this precious little growing life and praying, trusting Him for a healthy baby. 

I've started writing this a few different times. I'd like to say that our journey of starting a family has been an easy one. That it went according to our "plan". That it was without heartache and frustration. But, it hasn't been quite that way. I wish I could say that this is our first pregnancy and that I only associate feelings of joy and happiness with being pregnant for the first time. 

Back when Andrew and I were dating, we both knew we wanted to have kids some day. Having a family is something we've always looked forward to. We got married in July 2005, just five months after getting engaged, which was after six months of "officially" dating, about a year after we met. Things happened a little fast, you could say. But when you know, you know. And we both knew that God brought us together. Our relationship was still new in many ways. We had lots of time ahead of us for getting to know each other and growing as a married couple. We were 23-year-old newlyweds, recent college graduates with our first grownup jobs, settling into our first apartment and life together as Mr. and Mrs. We cherish the years we've shared "just the two of us." We bought our first house, continued to work full-time, travelled, vacationed and made so many memories.

The truth is, we always have, and still do, enjoy each others company. After 9 years of marriage, in today's culture, that's a gift to hang on to. Don't get me wrong, we've had our ups and downs, like any couple (it's not always rainbows and butterflies), but we're in this for the long haul and we're committed to each other, our marriage, and the promise we made before God, our family and friends. I mention this because I often get semi-surprised reactions when I tell people how long we've been married and inevitably, the next question I'm asked is do we have kids. 

Our tentative "plan" was to have kids after 3 years of marriage, which then drifted to 5 years of marriage. By our 6th anniversary we felt "ready" to take that leap and start a family. I always thought I would be pregnant or have my first child by the time I was 30. Things were lining up to meet that timetable. Three days before my 30th birthday, I took a pregnancy test and saw those beautiful positive lines for the first time. Andrew and I were ecstatic and in joyful disbelief. We were going to have a baby! God had answered our prayers. 

My pregnancy was confirmed at the doctors office and we were thrilled. However, upon follow up ultrasounds, things didn't look as promising as they should. But, it was still early. All we could do was wait, hope and pray. A few more uncertain, agonizing weeks and ultrasounds later, they didn't see what should have been there. They couldn't detect a heartbeat. We were utterly devastated and heartbroken, to say the least. At around 6 weeks, our dreams of being parents were abruptly taken from us. It felt like as quickly as we learned the news that we were expecting, we weren't anymore. We hadn't even told our families. We looked so forward to being able to celebrate and share good news, that the thought of delivering and reliving the greatest sadness we had ever experienced, was just too overwhelming and painful at the time. 

I wanted to curl up and hide. Push it all away. Pretend this wasn't happening to us. We lost our first child, as tiny as he or she was, we won't know him or her until we meet in heaven. 

I can't explain how I made it though the days, weeks and months that followed, except through prayer and faith in the LORD. His grace is what got me through. I woke up every day knowing that despite the pain, God is in control and He has a plan, even when I can't see or understand it. Naturally, I was hurting deeply and experienced a roller coaster of emotions. Sadness, anger, frustration, discouragement, jealousy, bitterness, despair. Some days were exceptionally hard. 

That Easter (2012), we visited Andrew's parents in Pennsylvania before we had our final ultrasound. The Easter Sunday church service celebrated Christ's death, burial and resurrection, but the thing I remember most, are three different couples that stood in front of the congregation and shared their personal stories of how God formed their families. Some experienced years of infertility. Some chose to adopt. Some were blessed with children after years and years of waiting. Each story was unique and beautiful and seeped in Gods timing and divine plan. His plan. Not ours. Those words were spoken the Sunday that Andrew and I were visiting and going through an uncertain and emotional roller coaster. It was as if it was a message just for us. I left that morning encouraged not to loose hope, and at the same time praying that we wouldn't have to walk down such a difficult road. 

Less than two weeks later, our precious dream was gone. We were left picking up the pieces of our broken hearts, giving them to God, and starting again. Learning to hope again. Asking God to hear our prayers and heal our hearts. 

"Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life." Proverbs 13:12

"You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You: Because he trusts in You." Isaiah 26:3

October 15th is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. A day I wasn't even aware of until I experienced my own loss. I know many women and couples who have gone through heartbreak. My heart goes out to each and every one. I know God is holding our precious ones close to Him. 

I realize that everyone's story is different. I'm sharing our story because it's part of our journey. I felt it was time to break my silence and share what God brought us through in order to more fully celebrate the amazing miracle He's making now. My faith has been tested and I'm learning to trust God more than ever before in my life. His ways are not our ways, but we can rest assured that His ways are for our good. 

I may not know you or what you're going through, but if there's some way that I might be able to encourage you or pray for you, please reach out to me. I would be honored to be there for you. You are not alone.

"Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord." Psalms 27:14

1 comment:

  1. so brave of you to share this Sarah. I wish you guys all the best!


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