My husband and I have been married for fourteen years. We’ve known each other since we were ten years old, were best friends in high school, dated at the end of college, and got married the day before graduation. Before having kids we enjoyed three years with just the two of us. We had an apartment, were super involved at our church, had a few jobs, traveled to several countries, grew closer, and had a lot of fun.
After my nephew was born, I fell in love. I never realized I could love a child so much. At that point my heart was opened up, and we began to think about starting to try for our own kids. We didn’t have to try very long, and soon we were pregnant with our first. Everything about that pregnancy was perfect. I loved being pregnant and had no complications at all. His birth went pretty well. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but it was still amazing. I felt like a hero, and I couldn’t stop staring at him.
When our son was eighteen months old, we got pregnant with our second baby. That pregnancy wasn’t as easy, but nothing went wrong. Her birth was so easy compared to my first, and again we were in love.
At some point we had decided that we would love to have four or five kids. So, we knew we weren’t finished. When our daughter was eighteen months, we got pregnant again. Apparently we have no trouble getting pregnant. I have my babies with a midwife and don’t even go in for the first visit until twelve weeks, so I was just enjoying the idea of being pregnant and going on with life as usual.
When I was twelve weeks pregnant I began bleeding. I started bleeding on a Friday. I was shocked as nothing like this had ever happened before. I never even spotted with my other pregnancies. However, I went straight to prayer and believed that God would protect us and keep this pregnancy going. I rested that whole weekend. We had two family Christmas gatherings that I attended, but I did my best to lay low. On Sunday night we went to bed. The first time I woke up in the night I realized something was very wrong. I was losing a lot more blood than the rest of the weekend. I knew that this was it; it was the end. I spent that whole night going through the cycle of sleeping, waking up to tons of blood, passing out, sadness, and also elation. Elation? I know; it was bizarre. Every time I got up to go to the bathroom, which was many times that night, I would lose a lot of blood, passout, and then come back to bed and have these highs of emotion. I would laugh and feel like everything was awesome. I told Rob, “I know I sound crazy!” At the time I thought God was healing my heart right away and taking away the sadness. That could have been some of it. But now I realize that it was probably a rush of hormones with every surge of labor.
The next morning we knew it was over. We had lost the baby, and our hearts were aching. We had already planned to go on a weekend getaway, just the two of us. We decided to still do that even though we were raw emotionally and physically. That weekend was spent processing this massive absence. It was a sadness I had never experienced before, and it hurt so much. It was all so unfamiliar. I felt like I was searching, looking for a familiar place to rest, but I just couldn’t find a home.
“I felt like I was searching, looking for a familiar place to rest, but I just couldn’t find a home.”
We knew we wanted to name this baby. I had a dream during the weekend I was bleeding and waiting. In the dream I was in the hospital. In the room was my husband and one of my college friends. Over their faces I saw an emblem of an eagle. During the dream I knew that symbolized the need to fight. So when we were searching for a name, I wanted to find one that meant eagle. We found the name Adler. I also asked God what he wanted this baby’s name to be. I felt like he told me Jason. I looked up the meaning of Jason, and it is "Healer”. Oh, that one hurt. I felt like I had been sucker-punched. Here I am, trying to find a name for the baby I lost, the baby that wasn’t healed. We decided to name him Jason Adler. That’s when it hit me. In my dream, the eagle meant “fight”. I realized that God was speaking to me through this baby’s name. I was to "fight for healing”.
After that miscarriage I was so confused. I had been growing in my faith for healing. I knew with all my heart that God doesn’t plan or cause things like disease and miscarriage. But if God didn’t cause it, then did Satan do this and win? If Satan won, then did I not pray hard enough or believe enough? I asked everyone around me, and they all basically said the same thing. “Of course Satan didn’t win.” “God knew the number of this baby’s days. He was in control.” Wait, so it WAS God’s fault then? None of those explanations sat well with me.
Simultaneously, a woman I very much respected spiritually was going through breast cancer. For her we had also believed that God could and was willing to heal her. We prayed up until the minute she was wheeled in for surgery. She also didn’t receive the supernatural healing we were hoping for. I knew that after she recovered, we would need to discuss these things.
We sat down together and I laid out my problem before her. So which one is it? Whose fault? Mine, God’s, or Satan’s? She didn’t sugar-coat or say anything to try to ease the pain. She simply said, “It was a battle lost.” And I exhaled. That resonated with me immediately. She went on to say, “But he didn’t win! If the baby wasn’t in heaven, he would have won. If you had turned your back on God, he would have won. If you would have turned your back on believing that God heals, he would have won.” More exhaling. Yes, this was true. This is what my spirit was waiting for.
I had officially joined the ranks of “what’s normal”. It’s very common for women to have one miscarriage. Now I was ready to move on and have a healthy pregnancy again. I really wasn’t afraid of a repeat because that kind of stuff doesn’t happen to me. However, I did want to build up my faith and get encouraged. I read a few books about pregnancy, miracles, and God’s heart on these subjects. I felt strong and ready. Also, a few ladies at my church committed to praying with me in person every week for healing and to stand with us for a healthy pregnancy.
We waited for three months after we lost the first baby and started trying again. We got pregnant right away and were so relieved. I had no fear. I just knew this pregnancy would go well and normally. However, this time at only eight weeks I began spotting. It definitely wasn’t as bad as with my last bleeding experience, so I remained hopeful. Also, I had read the books, gathered the promises, and stood on tons of faith. Everything was going to be fine. I spotted and bled for a week, the whole time not knowing if this was normal spotting or if something was going wrong. Most of the time I remained encouraged and strong emotionally and spiritually. I had people praying for me, coming to see me, and hearing from God all kinds of great things. However, at the end of that week it became real that I had definitely lost the baby.
On one hand it was a lot easier because I was only newly pregnant. On the other hand, I just had a second miscarriage. Now it wasn’t just something that most women experience. Now I was treading in the territory of “maybe there’s a problem”. I didn’t feel strong and encouraged anymore. Now I felt tired and ready for everyone else to do the hard work of praying and believing. Somewhere deep down I decided to sit back and be carried by everyone else.
We waited another three months and got pregnant again. This time I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I ended up just putting one foot in front of the other, day by day. I definitely had a lot of fear and felt like I was walking on pregnancy eggshells. I made it to twelve weeks and we got to hear the heartbeat. Woohoo! Now we’re safe. We made it through the first trimester AND heard the heartbeat. Up until that point we hadn’t told the kids, but now we felt totally comfortable sharing it with them. They were so excited, and so were we.
Four weeks later I made it to sixteen weeks pregnant, and I was sitting in an appointment just to get some routine bloodwork done. Rob wasn't with me because this appointment was just a little one. The midwife got the dopler out to hear the heartbeat but was having a hard time finding it. She kept looking around but still couldn't locate it. She asked me if I had felt the baby move yet. I hadn’t, which I knew could be normal so I wasn’t worried. However, with my first two kids, I had felt the babies moving already at this point. She decided to get the ultrasound machine out to check the baby. I had never had an ultrasound before because my first two were with midwives, and I had elected out of ultrasounds. I looked at the screen and even took a picture because it was my first ultrasound. I saw a little baby hanging out at the bottom of my uterus. It didn’t occur to me then that my baby should have been moving around. That was when the midwife broke the news. She couldn’t find a heartbeat. The baby had died probably two weeks earlier based on the measurements.
“She couldn’t find a heartbeat.”
I was empty. I was alone. She offered a simple and genuine sorry. I texted a few people to let them know there was no heartbeat. I wanted them to pray. The rest of that appointment consisted of deciding what to do now - medically.
I got in the car and screamed and cried furiously. I screamed at God. I was so angry and disappointed. I felt like God had let me down. I talked to my husband on the phone as I drove home. We were in total disbelief. We told a few people including our pastors. I had so much anger and so many pointed and accusing questions. My pastor offered to come over the next morning. Yes, I wanted him to come over! I had all my anger and questions ready for him. My plan was to throw it all at him and let him fix it. P.S. That’s just how I am. I like to fix people’s problems and I like them to fix mine. Plain and simple.
He came over the next morning, and I did just as I planned. I gave it to him in all my rawness with tears, cry-yelling, and my list of questions. How can I ever trust God again? That was my biggest and most important question. Ok, pastor, give me your best. His response was not was I was expecting or wanting. He said, “Now is not the time for questions." What? What! Outwardly I was going to be polite because I’m a polite and seemingly peaceful person. On the inside I was thinking - ok you can leave now. He went on to explain that there would be a time for asking questions, but right now that would only lead me down a downward spiral.
Then he shared an analogy that has always stuck with me. Years ago my pastors lived in Australia. He said that everyone knows that if you get lost in the bush (the wilderness), you must sit down and wait. Don’t walk around trying to find your way out. That will only result in getting more and more lost. Sit down and wait to be found. The amazing part about that is just the day before I was feeling so lost and actually wrote in my journal, praying, and asked God to come find me.
Then my pastor prayed that God’s peace would rest upon us, and then he left. You know what? God’s peace did come. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a “peace that passes all understanding”. I went from unrestrained anger to total peace. It’s not that I was never sad or never struggled after that. But I did have supernatural peace. And I also took that Australian advice. I was lost, so in my heart I sat down. I sat down, waited, and expected God to find me.
“I sat down, waited, and expected God to find me.”
Another thing happened - suddenly I had a fight in me. There was a fire lit within and I decided and just knew that we would have another baby. I put my foot down and said, “God, I know we will have another baby. What is the battle plan?” He told me that the battle plan was to draw as close to him as I could. Seek him with all my heart. So that is exactly what I did. I pursued a relationship with God more than I ever had in my life. I pursued him to know him and to be with him. I definitely still talked to him about my desires for a baby and asked him to move that mountain for me. But mostly I wanted to be close and have him feel near.
Those months were the sweetest months of intimacy and supernatural experiences of being led by God. He began showing me pieces to the puzzle. I kept pursuing pregnancy by looking into possible problems and strengthening my body, but he was really leading me every step of the way. I was receiving encouragement in dreams and visions. My kids were having visions too. People were praying for me and telling me what God was sharing with them about my situation. It was all coming together.
Eventually we felt ready to try again. We got pregnant pretty easily, and now before us was a familiar mountain. Would I be able to keep this baby? Would this pregnancy be strong? When I saw the infertility doctor, she really couldn’t find anything wrong. Her final try was to tell me that my ovaries were acting older than they are and were putting out bad eggs. She said that didn’t explain the second trimester loss though. Right when I heard her diagnosis, I promptly decided to not agree with it. However, it still lingered as a fear.
When I was still very newly pregnant, we made a trip up the coast to Washington to visit some family. We shared with my aunt and uncle some of our story and that we were pregnant. They decided they would have people at their church pray for me. That Sunday as they and their friends gathered around us, I received prayer with tears and nerves. One of the ladies took my hands and said, “This is really weird, but God is saying that it’s a good egg. I don’t know what that means, but he’s saying it’s a good egg.”
I’m going to have to write another piece on all the amazing and supernatural ways God told me that everything was going to be fine. It really does deserve it’s own book. I’ll also have to write again about all the ways I struggled with fear during this next pregnancy. I promise I will do both. But for now I am here to testify that this pregnancy was strong, and we now have four kids total and three more precious lives waiting for us in Heaven.
I wrote a children's book about miscarriage and Heaven called Our Heaven Baby. It's our story of pregnancy all the way to the hope of heaven told from my son's perspective, who was five years old at the time. To order a copy for yourself or a loved one, click here. I hope it is a huge source of hope!