I leaned back into the chair. A sad country song was playing through the radio behind me on the counter. A dismal tune about letting go.
Tears slid down my cheeks. I could taste the salty warm liquid on my lips.
My husband, Jason and I had one child, Gavin, age two. Each of us having come from large families, we knew we wanted more then one child. Our Gavin needed a sibling. My desire was to have more babies. At least one more I prayed.
If we could have another baby soon, our children would be close in age. The idea of a three or four or even five year age gap sounded horrible to me. My theory is that siblings need to grow up together. Do school together. Be buddies and be there for each other.
Plus, in my big family of 7, my siblings and I were all very close in age. In fact, my brother right above me is 11 months older than me. Yes, you guessed it. For about a month and a half we are the same age. I used to wish we were twins.
So, naturally, I assumed my story would look similar-ish.
My plan, which was mighty urgent because I’m in my 30’s – have more kids quickly! Gavin was already two and if we didn’t get pregnant soon, he would be four or even five before the next kiddo came along. Gasp!!
The pregnancy test smiled back two pink lines at me. It had been 6 long months. Hooray for baby number two being conceived. At last.
Six weeks later. It was nearing Christmas and I hadn’t gotten sick yet like I had in my first pregnancy.
First red flag.
As Christmas approached I had spotting for over a week and like any good ol’ millennial, referenced google like a personal doctor. Somehow I was not fully persuaded to discover spotting was normal.
At a Christmas family gathering I whispered to my sister-in-law I was 7 weeks pregnant and spotting steadily and wondered if that was normal. Right away she barked back, “No!!”
Uh-oh! Her response startled me. Caught me off guard. This was not what I wanted to hear! My pounding heart sank.
Second red flag.
My plan to have more children was unraveling.
Suspicion that I’d lose the baby seized my mind. That thought lead to another, that I’d never get pregnant again. Ever. That my plan was being hijacked like a big, fat, sick joke. Why couldn’t I have what I wanted? Why?!
After the holidays I called my ObGyn and went in to get checked.
In a room that was happy two years prior with sounds of a beating “whoosh-whoosh-whoosh-whoosh” we now heard nothing. No whoosh-whoosh-ing. Nothing.
Tears like hot lava burned my checks. Jason reached for my hand. We drew in deep breaths to steady our minds. Calm our quivering emotions.
“I’m so sorry,” a kind face was saying. We could hear her gentle explanation telling us “This happens sometimes. Sometimes our bodies know the pregnancy isn’t right or healthy for whatever reason and our bodies know to shut it down.”
Yes, yes. Of course.
More hot tears. Letting go.
After I passed the fetus, our baby I nicknamed Skyla, at 8 weeks (thankfully I didn’t need a D&C) on December 29, 2014, I walked through a very dark time of wrestling to let go of my plans and being open to God’s plan for our family. His plan right now was looking very different and it was hard to accept.
I hated the idea of what seemed to me a large age gap if we could get pregnant again and keep the baby. How do you let go of a specific dream you’ve had for as long as you can remember? I always assumed I’d have four or five kids all in a row and now to only have one.
Could I be happy with only one? Would I be secretly mad at God, wishing I could have had more the rest of my life? Why wouldn’t God grant me my desire? What’s wrong with wanting more children that God take it away from me? Would I be envious of other mothers who had a van full of children? Would I have another child years and years later?
October 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day and for those of you that have gone through it and know the personal pain of letting go. Whether you are in the middle experiencing a loss or just came out of a loss, I pray that God will bend near to you in this season of raw questions, clenched fists and burning tears.
May you wrestle with questions beyond the maddening why. Because we may never know why God does what he does as long as we’re alive. Perhaps questions such as – “What kind of response does God want from me?” Or, “How can I be person with this deep pain now a part of me forever?”
If you’re like me, sometimes it’s hard to read the Bible in seasons of difficulties but one verse to maybe try to dwell on is Philippians 4:19, which assures that God will meet all our needs. He does care and he does listen to our hearts desires. He knows what we need. And meets it. He knows what we want too but doesn’t promise to meet our wants.
In my painful season of mourning and questions planted in my soul, God brought friends into my life. Friends that were already there who dropped off special care packages and loving notes. Friends that listened to my tears and prayed for me. I felt so loved and accepted in my season of loss though it was still hard.
May you, in your season of loss, find support in kind, caring people around you too. May you find compassion in a God who listens and loves. May you find hope each new morning.
Or, if this story isn’t quiet your story, maybe you can relate to wanting something so badly too but not being able to have it.
Maybe you too, are in a season of letting go?….