If you haven’t read Fertility and Faith Part I, start here.
Although I didn’t feel ready to start a family when I first learned I was pregnant, that had quickly changed. Even after the ectopic pregnancy, Charlie and I had decided we were ready to have a baby. About 6 months later during our second year of marriage we learned we were expecting again. We were elated, to say the least. Things were going great and I quickly made my first doctor appointment.
Due to the nature of my first pregnancy, they wanted me to go in immediately in order to make sure it wasn’t another ectopic pregnancy. We learned right away it was not ectopic. Whew! The embryo was forming in my uterus, just as it should be. We were thrilled! In another effort to make sure the pregnancy was developing normally, the doctor did an HCG in order to test the hormone levels in my blood. The first blood draw was normal and they would draw it again two days later to make sure my hormone levels were doubling as they should be. I had to go out of town for a work conference after the second blood draw and it would take some time for the results to come back.
While out of town, I received a call from the doctor’s office that they needed to see me immediately. I explained I was out of town and asked if it could wait until I returned. I could sense the hesitancy in the nurse’s voice. She didn’t know how to answer my question or either she didn’t want to be the one to share the news. She handed the phone to another nurse who explained the hormone level in my blood was concerning because it had not doubled as it should and it was possible I was miscarrying.
I couldn’t believe it. I broke down crying and called Charlie right away. He left immediately to drive 2 hours to pick me up. We returned home and went to the doctor the next day to learn I was, in fact, having a miscarriage. We were devastated, again. I didn’t understand and I still don’t understand to this day. I probably never will.
It took some time to recover physically, mentally, and emotionally. Finally about a year later we were ready to move forward in our journey and we learned yet again we were expecting. With two failed pregnancies behind me, I couldn’t help but wonder if this one would turn out the same way. I was full of excitement and wonder and worry all mixed together. I made my first appointment the following day and was asked to go in immediately to make sure everything was okay, only to discover it was another ectopic pregnancy. I had no idea why this was happening, but I started to feel as if I were defective.
We were becoming very concerned and disheartened and after 3 failed pregnancies in a row, it was becoming harder and harder to move forward but we knew we didn’t want to give up. We wanted a family and God kept quietly reminding me of the promise of Lydia. As much pain as we were facing and as many tears as I was shedding, I still believed His promise was true. Roughly another 6 months went by and we found out that we were pregnant again. Another quick visit to the doctor revealed, yet again, that it was an ectopic pregnancy.
After one failed pregnancy I thought it was just a fluke and that it wouldn’t happen again. After two, I thought surely it wouldn’t happen twice in a row. After 3, I thought there was no way it would happen again. But after 4, things changed and I suddenly began to wonder, “How many times will I have to go through this?” I felt so wounded. So broken. So confused.
Though I believed we would conceive Lydia naturally, I started to wonder if maybe that wasn’t God’s plan. Maybe we would adopt or maybe we would end up needing some kind of fertility treatments. We needed answers about why this was happening and what we could do to avoid the same outcome going forward so we decided to see a specialist. The doctor couldn’t give us clear-cut answers as to why we were having fertility struggles except that your chances of having an ectopic pregnancy increase after each one. He also told us he had never really seen women with 4 failed pregnancies in a row and that after 3 most women decide to have IVF or have their tubes removed completely so they never have to go through that again. We left without much clarity and decided to pray.
Going forward, we didn’t have peace about having fertility treatments and we definitely did not want to have my fallopian tubes removed. I had a test done at one point to make sure my tubes were still open and clear so we knew there was no blockage in either tube and that I should be able to conceive without a problem. Everything looked perfect. We continued to pray and trust God’s plan for our lives and believe Him for a family.
Less than a year later we found ourselves pregnant again, but this time it felt different. I felt peace from the very beginning and I knew everything was going to be okay. I had a perfectly normal pregnancy with zero complications and 9 months later I was holding the most perfect, beautiful baby girl in my arms. Lydia had finally arrived! Our world was brighter and we felt a love we had never known before. Lydia continued to grow into a smart and healthy young girl and continues to amaze us daily.
When Lydia was about 4 she kept asking and praying regularly for a baby sister. Charlie had gone back to school when she was still an infant and we knew if we decided to have more children it would be best to wait until he was at least close to finishing. I felt content and wasn’t sure I wanted to have more children. I didn’t have any clarity one way or another about God’s plan for adding more children to our family after Lydia, so I wasn’t sure what was in store. After some discussions and many, many prayers by a sweet little 4-year-old, we decided we would try to give Lydia a sibling.
A few short months later as Charlie neared graduation we had a positive pregnancy test. We were so happy at the thought of giving Lydia a sibling. Because of my past history, we quickly made an appointment to see the doctor and were relieved to learn everything was fine and the embryo was inside my uterus. We began to share the news with our closest loved ones and were thrilled to tell Lydia she would be having a baby brother or sister. A couple of weeks later we had a scare that landed me in the emergency room one Friday night but they saw no signs of an impending miscarriage.
Relieved, I was sent home to rest for the weekend but by Sunday the bleeding had worsened and I was experiencing some intense cramping. I knew in my gut what was happening, but the tiniest part of me wouldn’t let go of hope until I saw the doctor on Monday morning. I wouldn’t fully believe it was happening until the doctor said the words (which she did)… I was having another miscarriage.
I don’t know why this one felt so much harder than the first 4. Maybe it was because we had a healthy, successful pregnancy that had given us a beautiful daughter and I thought we were past all the fertility struggles. Maybe it was because I had experienced the love of a mother and the life growing inside me filled my heart with joy and hope that much more than it had before. I don’t know why it happened and I don’t know why it felt so extremely difficult to bear. I told Charlie I wasn’t sure I could do it again… it was too incredibly painful. We had to tell Lydia I was not pregnant anymore and delicately explain what had happened. I had never heard my daughter cry like that before then and I’ve never heard it since. I was drained emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
After a few months passed, I started to feel better and God was giving me peace. I began to think that whatever the future held, I trusted Him and it would be okay. I hoped I would never have to experience that again, but I knew if I had to I could handle it. We talked about waiting a few more months in order to give ourselves a little more time to heal and prepare mentally, spiritually, and emotionally and then starting to try again. Before we got much further, we learned we were pregnant. Again, this time it felt different. It felt exactly the same way it did when I was pregnant with Lydia. I had complete peace and knew in my heart it would turn out fine. After another completely healthy pregnancy without any complications, Lennon was welcomed to the world!
Looking back, sometimes I still wonder why we had to go through all that in order to have our family. I still don’t understand it, but I know if we hadn’t experienced all that we did, we wouldn’t have Lydia and we wouldn’t have Lennon. Our family wouldn’t be the same without the pain and struggles we’ve faced. Every time I look at my daughter’s face, I remember what it took to have her. Even when she pushes me to my limit and makes me so frustrated I begin to question my ability to parent, I know she has been given to us for a purpose. When Lennon is up most of the night crying with teething pain, I remember how sweet the sound of his cries are and how empty our home would be without them. God has taken the empty spaces and made them full again.
As I sit here writing this, the recollection of my 5 angel babies (I believe that’s what they are) and the pain of losing them still makes me cry. It still makes my heart hurt. Even though it’s easier now, I know it will never stop hurting and I will never get over losing them. But I can tell you from experience that God heals, if you let Him. The key word here is let. Yes, God could miraculously heal all our wounds just because He wants to, but He gives us a choice. It’s up to us to offer ourselves to Him and to trust Him to heal us.
I know every story does not have a happy ending like mine. It’s easy for me to sit here in my happy home with my sleeping babies and revel in God’s goodness because now I have what I longed for so badly all that time. Some people have had more miscarriages or ectopic pregnancies than I have and are still trying to hold tight to the tiny glimmer of hope that they may one day conceive. Some people still mourn the loss of a child they’ve had to bury and they have never conceived again. Some people have never conceived at all. Some have tried to adopt only for it to fall through at the last minute, maybe even multiple times.
Maybe you haven’t dealt with fertility struggles at all. Maybe it’s depression or substance abuse or some other kind of loss. Whatever hand you’ve been dealt… friend, please hear me. Regardless of what you’ve been through – all your struggles and every hardship, God loves you. And your circumstances are not an indication of how He feels about you. I REPEAT… Your circumstances are NOT an indication of how God feels about you.
I’ve been there. I’ve questioned in the deepest parts of my being how He could possibly love me if he made me endure the things He has. Sometimes life is so hard. At times it hurts more than we think we can bear. But He can take the empty, broken pieces and He can make them whole again… they may not look exactly how they did before, but they will fit together perfectly into something beautiful. He truly wants to heal, but you have to let Him. I pray you find the courage to trust God with all your heart and that no matter how your story ends, you find peace in the midst of your circumstances.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].”
Psalm 147:3 (AMP)
Join the party! Subscribe to be notified when new content is available. We don't want you to miss a thing.