First off, I don’t have all the answers when it comes to this topic. There are so few answers to miscarriage.
I’ve had one miscarriage. It was my fourth pregnancy (after three textbook babies), and tiny Kolbe was only about seven weeks gestation. Even though I knew I was most likely miscarrying because of my physical symptoms, I hoped and prayed that a miracle would be His will for me and that tiny life. It wasn’t.
I am 14 weeks pregnant this week with my fourth baby (or should I say fifth?), and I am entering this week with a sigh of relief. I am past that statistical “hump” that so many of us keep in the back of our minds in our first trimester.
It’s been a more reserved sigh of relief, though. Something could still happen, and I know that.
I have two friends whose babies were born stillborn at 39 weeks. I have an acquaintance who had sudden complications at delivery that caused the death of her baby and an emergency hysterectomy for her. I’ve had friends who miscarried at 20 weeks. I’ve had two friends who announced their pregnancies on Facebook, only to lose their sweet babies to miscarriage the very next day.
I’ll be honest, because I know I’m not the only woman in the world who has been through this. It’s been tough to fight anxiety at times this pregnancy. It’s been tough to stay excited. It was tough to decide when to tell people. We still haven’t posted a cutesy “announcement” on Facebook (although I did finally mention the pregnancy in a short bonus episode of my podcast).
From conception to a healthy pregnancy to a smooth delivery, babies truly are a miracle. I didn’t fully understand that until after I miscarried.
So what do you do when Something Could Still Happen?
Here’s what I do. You get up each day and you serve your family. You go to work. You thank God every morning when you throw up in the half bath next to the kitchen before heading out for carpool (‘cuz being sick is supposed to be a “good sign”). You make your children laugh by showing them how big the baby is by comparing it to a raisin or a grape or a lime or a King Cake baby. And you say that beautiful, powerful Closing Prayer to the Chaplet of Divine Mercy every day and you fight with all your heart to mean it. You say “Your will be done, Lord” every single time you go to the bathroom. You try not to burst into tears with relief after it takes the nurse a little too long to find the baby’s heartbeat at your OB appointment. You keep on keepin’ on, taking your thoughts captive as often as they try to run away with you.
And that’s what I’ll keep doing until this little baby is either born into Heaven or born into my arms in August.
Part of taking my thoughts captive has been recognizing that the devil wants to do everything He can to steal my joy. He doesn’t want me to fall in love with this baby. He doesn’t want me to pick out names or start looking for good deals on a new infant carrier. He wants to tempt me to stay detached and wary so that maybe it won’t hurt so much if or when Something Happens.
You would think that the devil would want us to hurt, right? So why wouldn’t he want us to get attached to our babies? Well, of course he wants to hurt us! It’s just that he knows that many of the ways we try to avoid pain in life hurt our souls. The devil has had an awful lot of success with tempting us to detach from young babies in our pro-choice culture. After all, if it’s “just a bunch of cells” until the baby is actually out of the womb, that makes abortion and abortifacient contraceptives a whole lot easier to justify, doesn’t it?
For me now, part of being pro-life is fighting the natural anxiety that comes with pregnancy by choosing joy. Sometimes, choosing joy opens us up to pain. It’s true. But choosing joy always leads to more joy, in the end. As Christians, we have to believe that. There are a thousand different ways in life that we must learn to “let the joy of the Lord be our strength,” and this is one of them.
Choosing joy isn’t going to come with cheery, everything-is-awesome feelings a lot of the time. That’s not the kind of joy we’re talking about here. The kind of joy I’m talking about is a steadiness of spirit that we choose to have, an attitude of remembrance of God’s love, power, and mercies in our lives and in the stories of others. It’s giving our worries back to God, and zooming out to see how He has, does, and will lovingly weave together the good and the bad in our lives.
I have already prayed for each of you who reads this post, especially for those of you struggling with fears of miscarriage or a recent loss. You are not alone, sister! May the peace of Christ which surpasses all understanding be with you.
In the joy of the Lord,