In the summer of 2018 my husband and I took a trip out east to Nova Scotia. It's a beautiful place. So beautiful that I honestly asked him if we could move there. Such cool vibes and affordable house prices, which is definitely a plus considering that here in BC you need to basically be making a six figure income to even afford a townhome. We figured this would be our last big vacation before hunkering down and settling into family life as I was due to have a baby on February 9, 2019. Unfortunately, all of those plans screeched to a halt at our 10 week ultrasound that showed there was no baby. Everything was there: the yolk sac, the gestation sac, the morning sickness - but no baby.
Missed miscarriage. Non-viable pregnancy. Blighted ovum. Flawed genetic material. Likely a one-off. Buzz words that were like a knife to my heart.
Out. That's the first thing I thought: I want it out of me so I can start fresh.
Misoprostol. A handy little medication that is used for the purpose of terminating a pregnancy - both for times where a woman wants the pregnancy, but because of complications it must be terminated and then also for a woman who has an unwanted pregnancy and chooses to terminate. Hence my apprehension at filling the prescription at the Shoppers Drug Mart Pharmacy...I felt like I needed to cry out, "I wanted this baby, this is not an abortion." Although the puffiness of my eyes from crying likely said enough. Typically the medication takes about 24-48 hours to fully terminate the pregnancy and for all the "products of conception" to pass. For me? Barely 4 hours. Then shortly after, I ended up in Emergency at about midnight due to severe hemorrhaging.
That sucked but phew it's over. I can finally move on. Once I can stand up without feeling like I am going to pass out, that is.
Retained product - not all the placenta was delivered during the whole nightmare hemorrhaging process. Found out almost a month after my miscarriage. August 17, 2019 - D&C to remove retained product.
Ok, perfect, now I can finally move on and try again.
Nope. Ultrasound showed uterine bands that are potential scarring. Need a hysteroscopy to investigate and remove scarring. Not allowed to try for another pregnancy in the meantime - too risky. Procedure booked for January 2, 2019 which was then cancelled and re-scheduled for February 22, 2019 - 7 months after my miscarriage.
Seriously?! No, seriously.
What does a Christian woman do in this instance? Well, a good Christian would cling to her fait by reading her Bible and going to church. But...this is not me. What did I do instead? Shun God. He isn't being helpful right now anyways. Ignore the Bible because the Bible has nothing in it that would possibly be able to help me through this. It doesn't speak to my suffering. Church? No one gets it. I'll just be judged for being angry. Plus, Church just talks about "having faith," "trusting God," and all that crap that I know (growing up in a Christian home), but just isn't helpful for me right now because it doesn't validate my pain. Not to mention that Church is also the epitome of that verse "be fruitful and multiply-" so many families there to rub salt in the wounds of what I want to have but can't right now.
Anger. Rage. Disappointment. Ignorance. Pessimism. Hopelessness...Why me? It's just not fair.
Back turned to God, I proceeded to try to deal with this my way, since He and I clearly aren't on the same page anyways. Because ok fine, a miscarriage. Whatever that's sad and hard, but to have a bunch of complications, dragging on and on and still having to suffer the consequences of a miscarriage that happened several months ago? Nope. We are not on the same page at all. Just having the miscarriage alone would have been enough suffering for me, God, let alone all the other crap you added on.
So yes, my way.
Well, in my experience, the crazy thing about trying to take things on without God is that it doesn't end up being as successful or freeing as we thought it would be. You can't drown out the pain with drinking because even with numbing effect of alcohol, you still feel the sting of the pain. Can't work the pain away, because it's always there no matter how distracted you are. Avoiding Church is just lonely. No amount of advice or support from friends can change reality or make the past any different. No amount of strength from your husband can provide any hope for the future. Can't just pretend it's ok and wish it away because, well, that just doesn't work.
So, my way? A big fat dead end.
Here we come full circle, 360 degrees. Kind of anyways. I found out I was pregnant with my miracle baby, Noah, on February 22, 2019 while I was in pre-op for my hysteroscopy. I didn't really come back to God for the right reasons if I'm honest with myself; I had just finally gotten what I had hoped for. It was miraculous and there was no denying that God had orchestrated it.
So hey, God you're cool. You gave me (finally) what I wanted even though I didn't really deserve it with how I was acting and not to mention you gave it to me in a pretty miraculous way too. So ok, I'll trust you. I know it'll work out and You're in control.
All of you know from my previous post what happened with that pregnancy.
Looking back on how I acted after my first miscarriage versus after losing Noah, it's laughable in the way that it is literally a juxtaposition, a black and white comparison, of what not to do and what to do. The first time I turned my back on God and was like "NOPE." The second time, the thought of trying to do things without Him was more unbearable and there really was no where else to turn but to Him. Funny how we are the best at leaning on God when our backs are against a wall. We aren't so good at clinging to Him when things are going our way.
And so, I read my Bible. I prayed. I went to church. The Bible has nothing to say about my suffering? Lamentations 3 (and all of Lamentations for that matter). All of the Psalms. Habakkuk. Basically all the books that the apostle Paul wrote - just to name a few. And of course, the story of Jesus suffering on the cross for our sins when He was innocent. It's laughable that I had thought there was nothing in the Bible that spoke to how I felt. And it was also laughable for me to think that God doesn't get how I felt. Church, no one gets it? Church has been the hardest place to go, but also the safest and most encouraging. Surrounded by a community of believers and hearing sermons that speak to the suffering I have felt and the hope we as Christians have. Friends from Church that don't necessarily get my specific situation, but they get suffering. So, they surround you in prayer and carry you when the burdens are too great.
Pain, suffering, disappointment, anger, injustice, crushed spirit - it's real. And suffering in some form is one of the few things that is guaranteed in this world. For me, my suffering is with the loss of my two beautiful babies and the struggle to have a family. For you, it may be something similar or something completely different. But, I'll tell you one thing that I have learned that applies to the suffering of varying kinds: to be a Christian, to have faith, doesn't mean you don't feel the pain, disappointment, anger, depression, or any other human emotion as your walking through suffering. Trusting in God doesn't necessarily take the painful things away. It doesn't change the circumstances. Unfortunately, God isn't a magical genie where we have three wishes and can just have the suffering vanish.
Being a Christian is knowing that we have a loving Father who wants our whole hearts; not just the parts of it that jump up in joy and have faith, but also the darkest, dirtiest parts that hold contempt, anger, fear, anxiety, disappointment, shame, and any other ugly emotion. He actually died on the cross for us while we were still hopeless sinners (Roman 5:8).
It's knowing that He genuinely cares to hear all our emotions and doesn't judge or condemn us for it.
It's knowing that we don't even have to carry our own burdens through our suffering - because God has big shoulders and He can carry it for us.
It's knowing that He will never betray us or fail us (even though sometimes it feels like He is).
It's knowing He is always good and His plans are always good (again, even though it doesn't always feel like it).
It's knowing that even when we are weak and we feel like we don't have hope, can't have victory, and that our trials are just too great, that He is our strength.
It's having ultimate victory no matter what because although the pain and suffering you and I are experiencing is very much real, hard, and just plain unbearable, we have already won. God defeated sin, He defeated death. And I try to remind myself that because of this my beloved Noah, though not in my arms right now, is in the arms of my heavenly Father and I will see him again and I will see my other baby too - even though I don't know if it was a son or daughter.
Ultimately, it's changing your perspective even though the circumstances are the same.
Trust me when I say this: trusting God is worth it.
If you're in a position where you don't feel like you're able to trust Him, you just can't do it. I'm with you, I get it. I often feel that way. My prayer is often "God, help me trust you" because I can't trust Him on my own strength, my suffering is too great. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." and then 1 Peter 5:10, "And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."
The good news is for both of us is that we don't have to be strong, because God is already strong for us.