When I learned that there was a day to celebrate the lives of infants and babies who were lost to their parents, I was deeply touched. While I have never experienced this heartbreak personally, I know many who have. People whom I love, people whom I admire, people who matter. My first thought was of my precious friend, Alyssa Crouch who had only shared her loss about a year ago. I asked her if she would write out her experience for my readers. I know that you will love her, her testimony, and her story as much as I do.
Job, God reminded me of Job’s story when it seemed that everything was crashing down. The summer of 2013 was brutal. I was doing interviews for a teaching position, my husband and I were in the midst of purchasing a house because, in part, we were pregnant.
Our pregnancy came as a slight surprise because we weren’t trying for a child, but there was no means of prevention. We were both excited and scared out of our minds because we had recently graduated college, were both working at a sandwich shop, and lived in a small rented trailer. We had hope, however, because of our faith in God and great support from close family and friends. As the summer wore on though, it began to weaken.
I heard back from my first interview that they had hired someone else. Shortly after, the house we were trying to buy did not pass the septic inspection, meaning we would have to pay an additional $10,000 to fix it because the sellers couldn’t. We lost the contract on that house because we couldn’t pay and the mortgage came back unapproved. We were ready to look at other houses, still holding on to the image of cuddling our new baby in a new house, but then the unthinkable happened.
It was a Friday. I was at work and noticed that I had started cramping and bleeding. My mom had a friend that was a nurse, who told me that I needed to rest that weekend and go to the doctor on Monday. I stayed in bed that weekend praying for my child. Since I was only about 5-6 weeks along, at the time, the only people we had shared our wonderful news with was immediate family. Laying in bed, I was grateful this was the case. On Monday, my husband and I went to the OB where she told me that she wasn’t sure why I was bleeding, that I was too early to really see much and called it a threatened pregnancy.
In the two weeks that followed, I never felt more like a stuck pig. Every two days or so, I was sent for bloodwork. I remember holding and looking at my belly, begging my child to stay with me. I went on to another teaching interview, still in pain. Another doctor visit came when I was about 7 weeks along. The doctor looked over my hormone levels and performed an ultrasound. This was the first time my husband and I had seen our baby, or rather, where he should have been. (I’ve always thought our child was a boy.) After printing a picture (which got jammed) the OB confirmed it was a blighted ovum and explained that my body had aborted the pregnancy (although we are not sure why) and an empty sac was still present.
We were in shock. How? Why? These were the questions constantly on my mind. For the next month, I was in pain with my body letting everything go. I was confused, thinking that “nothing was there anyway, why did I love it?” Already in so much emotional pain as well, a few days after the appointment, I got a call telling me that I was not selected for my second interview either. I was infuriated, depressed, and beaten down. I cried and cried for days until there was nothing left. That’s when I got really mad at God.
I remember laying on my bed, feeble tears making their way down my cheeks, dead to my own mind for lack of comprehension, and I audibly asked, “Why?” I can’t explain how, but three letters seemed to glow on the ceiling above me. J-O-B. I said, “really God!? Why are you testing me?” I closed my eyes and felt courage enough to pick up my Bible. Flipping through the book of Job, I realized that I could have it a lot worse. Not meaning that my concerns didn’t matter, but I needed to have faith like Job. When my husband got home, I told him what I had discovered and I was able to let my emotions go. He held me and we cried together. This was the first step in my healing.
Hope twinkled again when I again went for an interview, in which I got hired for the position. It wasn’t until the spring of 2014 though, that better understanding took place. My best friend, and sister by love, presented me with a stuffed animal and a message that God instructed. “Even though you don’t have an earthly body to hold, you are a mother. Someday God will give you children in your arms.” This was the breakthrough. It still wasn’t easy to think through, and still isn’t, but gradually I began to remember my son with love.
God helped me replace the feelings of hurt, sadness, and confusion, with love, faith, and determination to go on. He has started a fire in me to help others work through their pain of saying goodbye before ever getting to say hello.