So the reason my parents were so concerned about miscarriage is that I had one a few months prior. I don’t think people talk about miscarriages much, but it is a painful and lonely thing to go through, so I’m putting my story here. I had always assumed that I would conceive on my first few tries; however, medically speaking, it’s within normal limits to take up to one year to conceive. Well, impatience and doubt tend to set in after 4 months or so. Bless you if you’re one of those people who didn’t have to put much effort into it!
One of our small groups was studying “Walking With God” by John Eldredge, and it just so happened that we read the chapter on Lent right before Lent was to begin. Not being Catholic, most of us had never observed Lent, but we agreed to pray and follow God’s leading to give up something for Lent, in order to make more room for Him. Reflecting on what had been my biggest distraction from God, I felt that God wanted me to give up trying to get pregnant, worrying about the future, and controlling my own circumstances. Up to this point, we had been trying for 7 months, and I had gradually cut out detriments to my health that I had heard could hinder conception, thereby taking control of the situation by eliminating caffeine, alcohol, processed bread, desserts, and dairy products. The easy part was removing the dietary restrictions and allowing myself the enjoyment of all these foods. (I was telling my non-Christian friend about it, and she said “I thought you were supposed to give up something for Lent…” hahaha) It was even easy to skip the ovulation predictor pee-stick test, but the really really hard part was breaking the habit of worrying and thinking about the future. I memorized verses from the “Do Not Worry” section in Matthew, Chapter 6, and meditated on those verses when I caught myself in this bad habit. I prayed for patience and peace, and for the pro-life 40 Days for Life Vigils (they have great stories and devotionals online: 40daysforlife.com) I reminded myself of God’s faithfulness to the previously barren women: Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Elizabeth. And that was the month we got pregnant! Praise the Lord!
And then it was taken away from me. We returned from a vacation at Virginia Beach, excited to see the baby and hear the heartbeat at our 7 week sonogram appointment. But there was no baby, just an empty sac. The doctor tried to give us hope, that maybe my dates had been miscalculated and that I was only 5 weeks along which would not show a fetus yet. I drove myself crazy reading stories from misdiagnosedmiscarriages.com for a day. The next sonogram still showed no fetus, and that it was indeed going to be a miscarriage. But how could this happen? It was supposed to be my Lent baby!
So I prepared myself for the inevitable. A blessing in disguise—I caught a terrible cold from a student, so I was bedridden and forced to rest during the whole ordeal. Another blessing was that I didn’t need surgery. And a third blessing was that it was all over before our trip to Vermont for Peter’s grandpa’s memorial service, so I could join the family during that time.
I don’t have an explanation for what happened except that this world is fallen and full of sin. It’s not the way it was created to be, and until we meet our Creator, we have to deal with the ramifications of sin, such as death, sickness, and disease. I was still sad for a few months, but determined not to lose hope or faith in the giver of life.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1