Yesterday was National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. My Facebook newsfeed was absolutely covered with stories of loss and grief, and it made my heart ache more than I could ever describe. I was lost in a cloud of sorrow myself, and I wasn’t able to share my story at that moment. But now I want to tell you about my own precious 7 babies living with God.
2005 (losses #1 and #2)
Byron and I were newlyweds, and because of some crazy Army circumstances (we were both Active Duty at the time), we ended up having to get legally married about 8 weeks before our actual wedding. I found out in that time period after our marriage but before our wedding that we were expecting — twins! It came as quite a surprise, because many people didn’t even know we were married yet. But our joy was short-lived, because only 2 days after our actual wedding, I began to lose the pregnancy. The very night we got the keys to our first home, Byron had to rush me to the ER, because I was in extreme pain. They told me that I was 3 cm dilated, and my babies were gone.
Those early days of marriage were tainted with a mixture of newlywed bliss, as well as grief for our lost children. We were also working on coming to terms with our new relationship as husband and wife, and dealing with family and friend drama from back home. It was not an easy time. A few months passed, and we conceived again. The following spring we gave birth to Connor, a healthy baby boy.
2007 (loss #3)
Connor was about 10 months old when we found out I was pregnant again. We knew we wanted a BUNCH of children, so we excitedly called all of our friends and family to let them know. I made an appointment with the doctor, and at the doctor’s office they said my test came up negative. I immediately burst into tears, because I knew what this meant: my hormone levels were dropping, and I was going to lose the baby. Later that day, I had my second miscarriage.
More time passed, and I became pregnant again. Byron was able to come home on leave from his first deployment in Iraq for the birth of our daughter Lia.
2008 (loss #4)
Lia was 9 months old when I found out I was pregnant again. This time our loss wasn’t as immediate, and I didn’t even find out anything was wrong until about 3 months along. Two months of knowing and planning and loving that baby is a long time, only to find out the dreams you had were now crushed. We already had planned a big family vacation to visit my mother-in-law in Texas for Christmas, and I didn’t want to take the chance that I would need to be hospitalized on the trip. So this time we opted for a D&C (dilation and curettage), where they surgically remove a child who has already passed away. It was a few days before Christmas, and it was one of the hardest procedures I’ve ever gone through. Christmas that year was not a merry one.
2009 (loss #5)
Six months after the last miscarriage, we were looking at another impending deployment. I was desperate to get pregnant again soon, because if not, we would have to wait the entire deployment before trying again. I was elated to find out we were pregnant only 3 weeks before Byron’s ship date. Unfortunately, 2 weeks later, I lost that baby as well. I was devastated, again. I knew that I would have to wait until he came back to try again. I knew that I would have to deal with this grief all alone, along with the two toddlers I had at home. Byron’s ship date got pushed back about a week and a half, because of transportation issues for the unit. I was so grateful for that extra time, because it gave me the comfort I needed in the wake of another loss.
Five weeks later I was grateful for that extra time for another reason– we found out that we got pregnant again. I was shocked that it happened so immediately after the other loss, less than two weeks! God knew what He was doing, and we had a healthy baby girl named Sophie.
2011 (loss #6)
When Sophie was about a year old, we got pregnant again. This was the only time that we didn’t even have time to share the news with family, because I lost the baby the very same day I found out. At this point, the devil started whispering evil things to me, making me doubt my worth as a mother and as a person. One “friend” even said to me the most terrible thing anyone has ever said to me: “I think that if you keep having miscarriages, it’s God telling you that you aren’t a good enough mom to the kids you already have.”
Ouch. Those words are seared into my soul, and they still make me cry when I think about them. I began doubting my calling to have a large family.
2011 (loss #7)
A few months after the last loss, we were elated to be expecting again. We were in the middle of a BIG move from Tennessee to Germany, and we already had all of our furniture gone when we found out! It was a very stressful time, moving overseas with 3 kids aged 5 and under. We landed in Germany, and we were in the hotel sleeping off jet-lag when I began to lose the baby. By the grace of God, an old friend of mine lived in that town, so she watched our kids for us while we went to the German ER, completely jet-lagged, culture-shocked, and not speaking a word of German. I wasn’t prepared for the brusque bedside manner of the German doctors who told me simply, “Your baby is dead.” I understand that they were trying to communicate in a second language to them, but it was still jarring to me.
Byron said that he wanted to be done. He couldn’t take the losses any more — or rather — he couldn’t take seeing my pain, and not being able to do anything about it. I remember having the conversation about it, lying there in bed in the hotel, begging him to try one more time.
2 months later we conceived for the final time, our son Finn. He was born healthy (and huge), in that same German hospital.
I held up my end of the bargain that the last time would be the LAST time, and consented to a vasectomy for Byron. He had the procedure in 2012. Now it is 2015. I’m not saying I regret doing it, but I don’t feel like God is done expanding our family yet. I don’t believe that it will be through biological children — though I certainly believe that God has the power to do that, should it be His will. Lately adoption has been on my heart a lot, and we’ve been talking about the possibility of adopting a sibling group of 2-3 children.
I believe we will know when it is the right time for us. God will give us the family He had planned all along!
My prayers are with all of you who have lost children. I am truly, truly sorry for your pain.
♥ ~Christy~ ♥