Sunday, October 14, 2012

On Life--New and Old

Last week I got to make this announcement on Facebook:

"Since we lost our baby in February, God has been so faithful to us. He has grown our trust in Him, secured our peace in Him, and put a new song in our hearts. I could sing of his faithfulness for days.

He continues to pour his blessings on us and has given us the gift of another baby!!! Yes, we are pregnant again! We are still early in the pregnancy, and we obviously pray that this child is healthy and full-term, but we know that God will use whatever situations arise to strengthen our faith in Him. God is good--all the time! Praise Him!"

We are so excited! I found out on Friday, October 5, and told Andrew outside while Drew was riding bikes with his Grammy. I had him close his eyes and when he opened, all he could see was two pink lines. He said, "Are you serious?!" I mean, would I joke about something like that?! We were so excited and let Drew try to tell everyone in our family 2 days later after church. Unfortunately, he chose to whisper it in people's ears. They either a) understood him, but thought he was revealing a secret he wasn't supposed to or b) didn't understand his garbled whispers. So Andrew finally announced it aloud. :) Of course the family was excited and we later announced to all our friends on facebook--you know, the "official" form of announcement in 2012. 

It is going to seem strange to some to tie in our exciting announcement with these following words. Others who may not have walked this path probably think these topics should be in separate blog posts to allow polar opposite feelings to each one. But to those who've had to walk the road of miscarriage, you might can understand why these two topics hold hands so intricately.

I often wonder what people think about me when they remember we lost a baby at 15 weeks. I question if they wonder how I'm feeling about this pregnancy. All legitimate thoughts, as I've wondered these same things about other moms before.

First of all, talking about my miscarriage has never bothered me. I used to think if someone teared up when you talked to them about a lost loved one, that you just upset them. That you were in the wrong. No, that's not how it is for me at all. Tears don't usually come now, but if they did early on, it wasn't because someone was upsetting or hurting me. It was because the sting of death was still new and the memory of that person (however small or young) was still tender. But just because tears came didn't mean I didn't enjoy or appreciate the conversation. The rest of that day or even that half hour wasn't ruined or even tarnished. It was actually comforting to know that people remembered. Cared. Were courageous enough to speak up. I like to talk about my experience because it happened, and it was real, and it changed me.

I've hesitated so many times about writing about our miscarriage in February of this year--not because I don't want to talk about it, but because I do not feel I can give my experience justice with my human words. How do I explain to someone loss and grief and pain and sadness tied in with love, and peace, and even a sense of joy at times? Those things seem mutually exclusive, no? And then let's tie that to the strength that God weaved in and out of the minutes, hours, days, and weeks that followed, and I feel completely inadequate to put that into something as tangible as words on paper. 

Losing our baby (affectionately named "Graham") was so hard. The hardest thing I've ever been through. It was painful, mentally, physically, and spiritually. It was gut wrenching. It was lay-on-your-bathroom-rug-and-bawl painful. It was lie-in-bed-and-cry-alone type painful. I'm a sociable person and generally like people, but during that time I really didn't want a whole lot to do with hardly anybody after the first day or so. I just kinda wanted to be reclused in my home with my husband and kids. I thought it was so strange how much I craved my husband's attention and physical presence in those days. He was the only one feeling the closest to what I was feeling at that moment, and I wanted him right there with me. He and God were my comforts. It was one of the times I've felt closest to him, and I've recently read of others who felt the same way after the loss of a baby or child. It truly worked as a growth factor in our relationship. Experiencing something like that just helped solidify that we were in this together. Always.

Amidst all the forms of pain of the miscarriage, when I remember back to the days and weeks after, the painful part is not the dominating feeling. Death and sadness didn't rule. Quite the contrary. Peace ruled my heart and my inner being. A perfect peace that I cannot describe to anyone except being from the divine Father. It was as though a ball of peaceful light were placed inside me, calming my every fear. I felt it as soon as I heard the news on that exam table. Painful words and healing peace were given to me at the same time. It was so strange....and so comforting. There was such a promise of security in my heart, that the sadness and nasty sting of death could not squelch it. It was ruling at every step of the way. This peace is so hard to describe, but those who've experienced will nod knowingly when I speak of it. They've felt it. They know its supernatural power in dark situations. 

What was the peace like? It was complete rest of my spirit in knowing my child was safe and loved, more than I could ever give her (or him). It was a calming of my heart that said, "God is in control. He loves you, and he knows the tears you're crying--every single one. He hates death, too, but he has defeated it. This child will be in your very arms again one day." It was a reassurance that my hope in life after this earthly one is real and worth it. It was being comforted by the fact that the Lord would take care of me and that he could use this dark situation to make light. Because only he can turn dark to light. And he was gonna use this to teach me, to teach others in my life, the value of knowing Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. My peace was and remains solely in Jesus.

So when we chose to announce this newest pregnancy at 6 weeks along, I'm sure people thought, "Wow. That's really early to announce. What if they miscarry again?" I'm not above thinking that is not a possibility. I know far too many friends who've walked miscarriages several times in a row. But my joy will not be squashed by fear. Because my fear of death was replaced with the peace of my Jesus. That is what rules my decisions. Not fear or worry. I would lie if I said they weren't there at times. Of course we don't desire a miscarriage in the least, but now we stand on the very real experience that God will not forsake us if I have to face that again. That His peace and strength will carry us. That he will use situations to bring good. And that he will draw us closer to Him throughout the process as he mends our wounds and binds us up. But above all, whatever the outcome, he will be glorified!

Please pray with us as we petition God for a healthy, strong, full-term baby and healthy pregnancy. May your ultimate peace be in our Jesus!


Alyssa Hoshell said...

Awesome post! Loved it. What a testimony, Audra. I am one of those that nods in understanding!! Praying for you...

Luke & Amanda said...

Wow. Such eloquent words of such truth. I am so excited for the new life growing inside of you, and so proud of Andrew and you for clinging to Jesus like you did and continue to do. What an awesome testimony for your children and all the rest of us lucky to know you!
I know that kind of indescribable peace you are talking about, and I think it all stems from the realization that this isnt it! (thank goodness, huh?!) Death isnt the end. Our lives are a part of a much bigger plan that includes eternity. How unfortunate that we have to go through this yucky, worldy stuff to be able to feel peace; but how comforting that we find it in our hour of need. And how sweet a day when you get to hold sweet Graham again.
I love you and am so privileged to call you friend.

Brittany said...

Congrats on another sweet baby! What a blessing!!

Rhetta Conn said...

Congrats on another baby! Thank you for sharing your experience. I am praying for you and your little one!

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