October is a month of rejoicing and remembering for me. My second son was born in October, I was born in October, and many others in my family celebrate their birthdays this month, too. Along with those birthdays, though, my husband and I remember our babies we have lost.
While most people think of October as the time for pink ribbons and pumpkins, for many this month is much more, especially those experiencing a pregnancy loss. Each October we remember those babies lost through miscarriage or shortly after birth. And while October 15 is my birthday, it is also National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day, and I spend part of that day (as I do every day) praising God, thanking Him and mourning with Him for my lost babies.
On October 10, 2014, Josh and I lost our first baby, Eliyah Taylor. It was one of the most heart-wrenching times of my life, but God was so ever apparent during that time as well. If you’d like, you can read about our experience here. What most don’t know, though, is on October 7 of this year, we lost another child.
We weren’t planning on getting pregnant. Even with being careful, though, we still got pregnant. I began to feel different. It was a familiar sensation, a mixture of exhaustion, pressure, and that “feeling.” I was terrified and excited because, to us, the timing couldn’t have been more off. But I prayed and was filled with peace about the whole thing. I knew if God was going to put life in me, He would provide along the way. And sure enough, the test was positive, and so we rejoiced at the new life in me.
But sometimes things don’t always work out the way we hope.
I had to stay home from church that Sunday, October 7, because our dog had just gotten spayed, and we didn’t want to leave her home without supervision. Josh went to church with the boys, and I was going to stay home and watch the service from home. I was excited to have a bit of time alone to spend with God, without my lovely little people interrupting me. And as I was singing worship and praising God, it happened.
At first it was a little blood. Spotting, I supposed, as things stretched to make room. I prayed. And then more blood came, and I knew. Another pregnancy test. Negative. Our baby was gone.
As I was worshiping God, my baby was going to Him. And while I am sad and have cried many tears, I have so much peace. Just like He did when we were pregnant with Eliyah, He did with this child. He let me KNOW I was pregnant. I could have waited and never felt the feelings, the knowing, and I could have ignored my thoughts and not taken a pregnancy test. I could have never known. But I want to know.
I don’t know why God lets babies die. There are so many questions and thoughts and doubts at times. Sometimes there’s guilt and shame. Sometimes I rationalize why it had to happen, like maybe the chromosomes were wrong or my hormones were wrong or the cells were wrong. Sometimes I sit and think about how all-powerful God is and wonder why He didn’t take charge and let my babies live. I’m sure I’m not the only one with these thoughts—thoughts that I (or any other human) can never answer completely.
All I know is this:
God is sovereign.
God loves so much. He gave up His Son for me. And while there is brokenness in this world, bad things do happen. But this world isn’t the end. So while I don’t understand why, I do know I’m not alone. He is with me.
Holy Spirit wraps Himself around me tightly, so that when I’m running from my emotions and my thoughts and that feeling of drowning in my sorrow, He is there. He is always there, whispering His love and mourning with me. He goes with me into my sorrow and turns it to joy.
I remember Eliyah all the time, and now I will remember this one, too. After prayer and waiting, we have given this one the name, Aarya Eeli. Aarya means “prayer” and Eeli means “To ascend; uplifted soul and spirit.” I praise God for these children, and thank Him that they are not lost. I may not get to experience this earthly life with them in my arms, but what better place for my children to grow up than in the arms of our Loving Father? And what a day it will be when I get to Heaven and embrace them, not only for the first time but also for eternity!
I know there are so many women remembering and going through miscarriage. Statistics say 1 in 4 women will have a miscarriage in their lifetime; however, that only includes reported cases. I’d imagine that number could be higher. So, women, I want to encourage you.
You are not alone, and you are so so so very loved. I urge you to find community to uplift you, whether it be through family, friends, church, or other women who have experienced loss as well. This is the time to reach out. Do not be ashamed. And if you need prayer, I want to pray for you.
Leave a comment so I know, and I will pray for you, because you are worth it and I love you.
If you need a resource for more, I recommend Hope Mommies and the book, Hannah’s Hope: Seeking God’s Heart in the Midst of Infertility, Miscarriage, and Adoption Loss.