Over the past couple years I shared the journey we walked through of loss in miscarriage. Twice we experienced the loss of a baby, and in it all we learned a lot about faith, hope and endurance. In that time the Lord taught me new things that I don't think I could have learned without suffering. (I shared 10 things about miscarriage here)There is something about pain that draws us even closer to God's heart, as we again let go of places we don't have control of (or really never did). It's a very painful pruning process at times, but when you replace your reliance on yourself upon the strong protection of Jesus arms, you start to see His love in a new way. And He grows fruit in barren places.
But here we are...expecting a baby boy in only a couple weeks.
Wow, what a long road it's been to be at this point. As I have been sharing our journey up to this point, not really knowing that I'd be writing about pregnancy loss or grief, I wanted to continue to share where we are now, in hopes of encouraging another mama that is also waiting.
So what is it like to be here? To be carrying the rainbow baby you had hoped for, for so long?
It's so much different than I thought it would be.
When we found out I was pregnant with this little boy, it was surreal. We continued to hope that everything was okay, but it was hard. Your heart does weird things after a loss. It goes into protection mode in a way, afraid to hope fully, for fear of news of yet another loss, another sonogram that shows a baby whose not growing. But even in that weird place, we trusted in God's plan for us. And to our hearts delight, the first sonogram was perfect.
I had to ask a couple times if everything was okay, as I was almost waiting for bad news. But this baby was growing and flourishing and showing us life all over that black and white screen.
The next several months I became so sick I was not able to do much more than the very basic things at home. Food, and anything smelling close to food turned my stomach to the point of me laying down in isolation upstairs. It was hard. Going from so much busyness in my life to just about nothing was humbling and frustrating. I prayed for relief, but found myself in a place of stillness that was necessary. I didn't have a choice.
It's hard to share that this pregnancy has been difficult. After so much waiting and hoping for this baby. This tiny gift given to us is more than we could have ever hoped for! My gratefulness for this child is there, even on the hardest days where I just wanted to feel better. But looking back, even then God was taking care of us in ways I didn't plan on. Jonah works from home now and that in itself has been a blessing, as he jumped in and did double...triple...duty. With meals, helping with the boys, taking care of me, and working full time, it was a hard time for him too. I don't know what I would have done without him home. I think there would have been a lot of pb and jelly sandwiches for meals around here! And we survived those days.
Now here we are about two weeks out from delivery. The countdown is quickly passing and I am in a surreal state of mind, even after months of carrying this baby boy! How weird is that?
Pregnancy after miscarriage is so much more different than I ever thought it would be. And before we meet this baby boy, I wanted to share some honest thoughts I have had in this season.
5 Things I've learned about pregnancy after miscarriage
1. I expected it to be easier than my other pregnancies.
Wrong. If anything this one was THE hardest. With sickness, with fears of loss, with it just physically being hard as I'm older this time around. I didn't expect it to be so hard.
2. I thought this would be the MOST joyful one.
Finally seeing this baby grow was joyful. But the milestones of each week left me with some anxiety, not knowing if we'd reach the "next" point, and at the same time believing we would.
3. I thought my faith would be so much stronger this time.
Honestly, I know that my faith has carried me through so many ups and downs in my life. It's my anchor, my hope in God. But this pregnancy really made me again cry out to God. With all my fears of tomorrow, my doubts, my worries. It's good to see again my weaknesses, even though I feel like I should be "past" them. It keeps me needing Jesus.
4. I didn't want to share my doubts with anyone else.
BUT, I did. There are a few friends that have been in my place and understood exactly the crazy feelings that come with carrying a rainbow baby. And sharing some of this with them, was freeing and took away any guilt. It's just hard to be here, and that is okay. It doesn't diminish your love and excitement for your new baby.
5. I didn't know how healing a healthy pregnancy could be, or how it would stir new passions.
Isn't God good to give us the gift of being a mom? Of carrying children? When I became a mom, my heart changed for the better. When I lost a child, my heart became tender in new ways. Now as I carry this baby, my heart is even more aware of the preciousness of life. I've become more passionate about speaking to mama's who desire to be at home, who are scared of pregnancy, who are afraid to step out in faith. I LOVE sharing what God has done in our lives, but also how He continues to put new desires in our hearts as we walk with Him. I've seen some beautiful fruit over the past few years that I continue to share here, and will share more in the future.
I remember talking with my sister (mom of 11) about how hard pregnancy is. And how did she keep having more babies when that's the case? "Carrie", she said, "Every pregnancy is hard."
It's a truth with a period at the end. It's just that simple. It's hard to have babies. It's hard to be a mom, BUT, it's worth it. Oh how much it's worth it.
Of all the roles in my life, this is one that I wear with so much joy. Even in the work of it all, the rewards are so rich. I love being a mama. And I hope there is some encouragement here for you, wherever you are in your own journey of motherhood.