Tonight, I’m sharing a guest blog written by my sister, Kayla Gray. Her story is powerful and poignant, and I am honored to share it.
I have a story to share. Let me begin by saying that I am not writing this for pity, so please do not feel the need to respond with sympathetic remarks.
A few months ago, I was sitting in worship and I felt like the Lord told me, “You have not walked through things just so you can keep them to yourself and not share your story with anyone”. With each hardship I have walked through, there has always been at least one person who needed to hear it. So I’m writing this for the one. Here’s our story:
This past January, my husband and I found out we were pregnant. Some of you may know that my husband and I have pretty much wanted a baby since just a few months after we got married. To say we were excited was a gross understatement. We told our 7-year-old that he was going to be a big brother and the amount of joy and expectancy in his heart was immeasurable. He would go around singing about being a big brother and changing diapers. It was the sweetest thing. We bought our son a “Big Brother” shirt, which he loved. We bought the baby little booties and a little stuffed animal. We went for our first appointment and, calculating from my last period, I was supposed to be 8 weeks along. I knew by that time I would be able to see the baby on an ultrasound and should hear the heartbeat, so we asked for an ultrasound. When the tech turned the ultrasound screen towards us, it was completely silent in the room because we both knew that was not what an 8-week-old baby was supposed to look like. We heard no heart beat. I was actually only measuring at about 5 weeks and 2 days. The tech told us it might have just been a late ovulation, in which case we would not necessarily hear the heart beat yet. They drew some hormone levels and told us they would follow up with us in a few days . . . so we waited.
She called and told us my hormone levels were a little low, so she asked us to come in for a repeat draw and she would get back with us when the results came in . . . more waiting. This felt like the longest week of my life as my husband and I waited to find out if we were ever going to hold or meet this child that we had prayed for. No words can express the angst a mother feels as she waits to find out if the baby inside her womb is dying or not. I had heard stories of other women just needing hormone replacement therapy, or ovulating late and not being as far along as they had thought. I was hoping and praying that was our case . . . but it was not.
A couple days after the lab was redrawn, I was at work and got a voicemail from our midwife. I went to the bathroom and hopelessness overwhelmed my heart once I heard her voice on that voicemail. I wept as I heard her say my hormone levels had gone down by 7, but if I “still wanted to get another ultrasound first that would be okay.” Our entire experience with the healthcare professionals was a lot of negativity from the start. I am a healthcare professional, so I understand being real with your patients and not wanting to paint an unrealistic picture. But really? Absolutely! Please do another ultrasound first before we just make a decision to go clean out my uterus based on blood work!
We went in for our repeat ultrasound, and for a solid 2 minutes she was completely quiet and did not show us the screen. My heart sunk because I knew what this meant. When she turned the screen towards us, there was hardly anything showing on the ultrasound. We went home devastated and patiently waited for my body to do what it knew to do.
In my experience, not very many people talk about their miscarriage. From what I’ve heard from a lot of mothers, this is something they have felt like they should just keep quiet, because for a lot of us, we think other people never knew we were pregnant so might as well hide it, right? That way we don’t have to talk about it, or hear the ridiculous comments/remarks that some people feel the need to say. Miscarriage is treated like a taboo subject, and I would like to be an advocate against this mentality.
Miscarriage is a loss. It is a death of a family member, to be grieved.
Please, do not let healthcare professionals tell you how to grieve the loss of your baby or belittle your experience. We heard lots of interesting explanations of how or why this might have happened. One such explanation was, “A lot of times there is just something wrong with the sperm and the egg, and nothing ever really develop . . . maybe that’s what happened here!” Please don’t let their sad attempt to bring peace to your grieving heart steal from this experience. Even though toes and fingers had not developed yet, I had plans for this child. I dreamed of how her little feet would run around our house. I dreamed of how her hands would create and make music in our house . . . how my 7 year old would get to meet his very first sibling, and the joy I would see in his eyes when he held her for the first time. I dreamed of sleepless nights and holding my little baby close. Even though I realize this may be the coping mechanism of a health care professional, please do not belittle my loss. I carried her, even though it was a short amount of time. Grieving parents should be allowed to feel all the emotions they want to feel in this experience, not be put in a box by healthcare professionals.
The part of our story that I want to put the most emphasis on is this: in the past, with each of my hardships in life, there has always been a moment in time where I felt abandoned by God. With each instance, I can think back to a moment where I was laying there thinking, “God, where are you? Why is this happening to me?” However, during our miscarriage, that thought never crossed my mind. There was an unexplainable and immeasurable peace and trust in my heart that cannot be explained by any earthly thing or science. I had peace in my heart, knowing that the Lord knew all along what was to come, and He prepared a place for her. For now, she is dancing in heaven with Jesus until I can be with her one day and we can dance together.
Since I was a little girl, whenever I get scared or life gets really hard, I always close my eyes and, in my mind, I go away into a meadow with Jesus and we dance. That has been my safe place since I was a child. I know without a doubt that, when I get to heaven, there is a meadow with daisies and sunflowers waiting for me. The evening of the day we miscarried, I laid on my couch crying and grieving, but I could feel the tangible presence of Jesus wrapping His arms around me. I closed my eyes and I saw a little girl in a white dress with curly brown hair and white daisies in her hair like a crown. I saw her running through a meadow with daisies and sunflowers and dancing with Jesus. I heard the Lord so clearly say,
“She’s waiting for you in the meadow.”
The amount of peace and comfort that is brought to my heart knowing she is in a place I have dreamed of since I was a little girl is indescribable. I know exactly where she is. I know this isn’t the end and she’s waiting for me. I share all of this to say, if the Lord can do this for me . . . He can do it for you. Whether you grieved the loss of a child today or 10+ years ago. He wants you to be free to feel all the emotions in this moment, and He wants to bring you the same peace and clarity that He brought me. There’s healing in the process, and there’s healing in sharing our stories. I share my story with you in hopes you will hear not just another sad story about loss, but one of the Lord’s goodness and attentiveness. He is good, and the Source of good. This is what my heart clings to. Even as I sit here 4 months later and my womb feels a little extra empty knowing I should be 6 months pregnant, I cling to His goodness.
Here are a few scriptures that we have clung to in this season and this song was one that I played on repeat for through our miscarriage.
Psalm 30:5 — “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Mathew 5:4 — “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”
Isaiah 61:3 — “and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.
1 Samuel 1:27-28 — I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.” And he worshiped the Lord there.
Psalm 139:13-16 — For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 — Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.