“I’m sorry. I can’t find the heartbeat,” she said. I stared in shock at the ultrasound machine. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. It hurt too much to think about it.
“What?” my mind screamed. “What are you saying?” But really I didn’t want to know. I stared at the screen, willing my baby to live. A month before, we had seen the baby move and blood flowing to its heart. But now, there was nothing.
“Please,” my heart cried. “Please find it.” I couldn’t look at my husband’s face. The world had seemed to stop, and everything in my heart waited to hear what she had to say next. But there was nothing more to see.
Finally, I remembered that my husband needed me. He, too, was suffering. I glanced at him in shock and then looked back at the screen, wishing the outcome to be different.
But it was not. Just a few minutes ago, we had been talking about morning sickness, hormones, and weight loss. Now we were discussing miscarriage and next steps. I began to cry. The technician was still probing inside and took a ton of pictures. I just wanted her to be done. I didn’t want to see any more.
So many questions
My husband lovingly held me as we walked down the hall to the doctor’s room again. There we talked about surgery and medicine and natural miscarriage. We decided to wait and make a decision later that day. The doctor was great. She hugged us as we left.
We walked out, only to see a little girl. I began crying again. My husband took me to the car and we cried and hugged each other. It hurt so badly that I didn’t know what to do.
We had told everyone we knew that we were expecting. They all knew days after the baby had already died in my womb. I felt so silly. What a mess to undo. My head was in shock and I didn’t know where to go.
But I asked God, “Why? Why didn’t we know sooner? Why did it happen? Was it our fault? Did we do it? Will we ever have kids? Could we go back to the office and have a second look? What if they were wrong? Why didn’t you let the baby live? Why did you take him?”
We thought the baby was a boy. We had names picked out and everything. We were planning and saving, hoping and dreaming. What kind of God would do this? Who are You, God?
Working through my grief
A year and a half later, it still hurts. It’s still a painful memory, although time has softened the blow. But I feel like I’m betraying the lives of my children to even say that. It hurts a great deal, and I’m still angry at times. It has been a long and intense process to even get this far.
I’ve heard the sympathy and lack of sympathy from many. I’ve been part of an incredible friendship that has encouraged, uplifted, and challenged me as we walked the road of losing a child together. But mostly, I’ve cried out to God.
I’ve yelled at Him, telling Him everything that He has done stinks. I’ve hated Him. I didn’t want to speak to Him ever again, but I realized that was impossible. So I repented and turned from that sin.
I remember not wanting to ever see people again, yet at the same time I wanted them to surround me. I never wanted to attend church again, so that I wouldn’t have to answer any questions. But I’m glad I went back because I’ve had the arms of many believers around me.
But the internal struggles continued. It wasn’t supposed to happen to me, to us. We were solid, growing, maturing believers. We loved God enough to give our lives to whatever ministry He wanted us to be in. We did what was right.
As the due date approached for our little one, I struggled even harder. Up until that point, I was so busy with everything that I didn’t spend a tremendous amount of time working through my grief. The hardest point for me when the baby would have been born was that I was without a job, something I would not have needed had the baby lived. I was going to be a mom and my status in life would have been secure in that. Instead, here I was, a jobless woman. So I mourned that loss.
I remember feeling so helpless and uncertain of why I even existed. God seemed so unfair and so far away, so uncaring in my mind. Everything seemed so pointless. And as I mourned, crying out to God with my pain, He comforted me with Himself.
He showed me that it was OK to cry, to tell Him of all that hurt, and then He comforted me. He showed me through His Word, through His Spirit, through the love of my husband, and the love of His people that He loved me. He didn’t do this to punish me. My sins were canceled at the cross of Christ. Instead of having a child on September 28, the due date, I was hired for a job that I had been training for since the month after the miscarriage. He loved me, a fact that I understand a great deal more now because of this pain.
Back to the beginning
Life progressed and God brought a new challenge into our lives in the form of foster parenting and possibly adoption. We started two and a half months of classes in February of that next year, only to find out a month later that we were pregnant again.
Oh, the joy that I experienced. I was elated! “God doesn’t hate me,” I thought. "I am blessed!" We kept it quiet for about a week and then told our families and friends. I felt complete. I would be giving my in-laws and my mom a grandchild. I wasn’t a failure in life any longer. I had a purpose and it was to be a mom.
That was March. In April, I experienced a loss in hormones and had a funny feeling that it was happening again. Suddenly, my world spun. I became cold to all of it, especially God. I was shocked that He would allow it to happen again. For three weeks, we went to a weekly ultrasound as we watched and waited.
I wish there was another way
On our seven-week ultrasound, we saw nothing. We had seen the heartbeat only the week before. I cried; something in me had died. I was angry at God, in a way that I couldn’t even explain.
We didn’t schedule a surgery that week, as the doctor wanted to give the baby another week to prove without a doubt that he or she hadn’t just turned out of view. So we told our families, crying with them and waited, hoping. But the baby was gone. We had an amazingly clear picture of her or his development, but no heart was beating.
I miss this child too. I wish there was another way. I don’t know if the pain will ever really go away, although there are days that it’s not as intense as others. Maybe it will continue to lessen if God ever gives us a child. Maybe not. Maybe I will one day hold those kids in heaven.
He has the words of life
I know God is sovereign and good and just and merciful and full of compassion, because He said so. He told me that in His Word. If this isn’t true in crisis, then what use is my faith?
I’m reminded of what Christ asked His disciples, when many decided to forsake Him because of the pressures of the religious leaders of the day: “Do you wish to leave me also?” And their response? “To whom shall we go? You have the words of life.”
There is no other rock nor hiding place. He alone is God. Therefore, if He cannot comfort me, then there is no one who can help. So I wait for the God of all comfort. In the meantime, I cry out to Him in my pain.
Read Winsome's story of miscarriage.