I have been pregnant three times. Each time my husband and I have been pretty private about the fact that we would like to have a baby. Most the time we have not told anyone we were “trying”.
It’s like it is a fun little intimate secret we share alone. And we both love to surprise people! So we wait for the positive result and then share with close family and friends. Then we wait again for the sweet little ultrasound assuring us all is well, and then we take a cute photo and share our news with the world.
We love sharing the news, but we like to make sure we are in the “safe zone” first.
But when Beckett passed away at 4 months old, we realized there is no “safe zone”. There are no guarantees in this life.
For the past 2 years we have shared our journey of loss openly. We have followed doors that God has opened and we have known it was the right thing to do. It has felt natural.
Now we have decided to try for another baby, and we feel the exact same urging to share our story. But this time it is scary. It feels like maybe we are going to be over-sharing. Maybe it’s not really necessary to fill in the whole world on every little detail of our lives.
It’s scary because I don’t know how long it will take us to get pregnant this time. I don’t know IF I will ever be pregnant again.
However scared I am to share this journey, I can’t hold back. I feel compelled to share this part of our story as much anything I’ve ever written. I feel like I NEED to write this because I know I am not alone.
I know there are women reading this who have experienced loss and are scared to go through that again.
I know there are couples struggling because one partner wants another baby and the other one doesn’t.
I know there is a mom with empty arms who just doesn’t feel ready to go through the pain again and needs to hear, ‘It’s okay. Take your time.’
I know there are people that have had their heart completely shattered and they don’t know if they can put themselves out there again.
I know there are others who need to know that peace is possible.
I’m not just talking about pregnancy here. Maybe you have given your whole heart to go for a dream and it didn’t end the way you thought it would. And you just don’t know if you can do it again. You just don’t know if your heart can take being broken again.
I’m scared, but I’m more scared of not taking a chance. I don’t want to live my life in fear. And I don’t want that for you either.
So I’m going to share this journey. I’m going to write about the trials of trying to conceive after loss. And if you can relate directly, I’m sorry but I’m glad we have found each other. If you cannot relate directly, I pray you still find hope in what I write.
I don’t want to wait until after we have the happy result to share what this process has been like. I do not want to post a happy pregnancy announcement sometime in the future and not give acknowledgement to the tears, prayers, and waiting that are behind that announcement. This has been hard. Let me rephrase that, this IS hard.
This is hard on our marriage.
The loss of a child is hard on any marriage. I have read statistics that place divorce as high as 80% after the loss of a child. I have hesitated to say how our marriage has survived this loss because I know we have never truly made it to the “other side”. We consistently are reminded of the extra challenges we are still working through.
Brian has wanted another baby for a long time. Actually, while following the ambulance to the hospital, Brian cried out to God asking for the opportunity to raise another baby. As he held me in that same hospital that same night, I told him I didn’t know if I could ever have a baby again.
We have been patient with each other and as understanding as we could be, but for the first time in our relationship, we had different dreams and thoughts about what our “end-game” family would look like.
Brian quickly realized that no baby will ever replace Beckett, and he needed to spend some time adjusting to that loss instead of just plowing ahead into the future.
I have SLOWLY given my fears over to God. I have a lot of questions and concerns still. But I know I cannot live in those fears. Brian has patiently waited on me to be ready and left this decision in my hands.
This is hard because I don’t love being pregnant.
This reason has nothing to do with losing a child, but has a lot to do with my hesitancy to try again.
I am a horrible pregnant lady. Can I confess that I just don’t enjoy being pregnant? I know it is an honor and a privilege to be able to grow and carry a life inside of me. But I worry a lot. I think everything that can go wrong has gone wrong in between each check up.
My body doesn’t handle it real well either. I swell ALL OVER. I’ve had pre-eclampsia once and high blood pressure twice. It takes me about 2 years to get back to close to pre-pregnancy weight. The choice to get pregnant is a choice to give up my body. As much as I love my babies, I just don’t love being pregnant.
But the real reason I have been so scared to try again to have another baby:
I am fearful that it will break me.
I am fearful I will never be able to lay that precious baby down, that I will not sleep for the first four months.
I am fearful I will neglect my husband.
I am fearful I will neglect my other two kids.
I am fearful I will lose another child.
I write this knowing full well that all of those fears are well founded. That as you read those last few sentences you can put yourself in my shoes and you would be fearful of the same things. Or maybe you are in my shoes and those are your fears as well.
But over the past two years I could never stop with those fears. I knew deep down in my soul, I wanted another baby. I love being a mom. I don’t feel like it all comes naturally to me. I often question whether I got the ‘mother’s intuition’ that supposedly comes along with a baby. As much as I make myself question my abilities, there is no denying my desire.
Up until this past summer I pretty much just accepted that that would be my future reality. I might lose myself for a time, our family dynamics might be tense for a time, I might live in fear, but it would all be worth it to add a precious new addition to our family.
Then I looked back on the past two years and I realized that fear and doubt do not have to rule my life through this process.
Almost two years ago we lost our precious baby boy. And in many ways it did break me. But in many more ways, I have witnessed a miracle. God has held me so tight through this time.
Not only has my marriage held together, it has been strengthened by fire.
My kids have grieved the loss of a sibling, and through the process they have loved each other fiercely and are turning into pretty great little people.
I have neglected my body, fueled it with all the wrong things and been so angry at times about it. Then I have slowly come to a place of control knowing how to actually care for this physical body.
I have not lost my faith in God through this difficult time, I have clung to Him as my source of strength.
And if God could produce this kind of miracle in the past two years, why couldn’t He do it again?
Why do I trust Him to comfort and heal the pain of the past but not the unknown of the future?
So a few months ago, the same time Brian and I started feeling the urge from God to share this journey, we also felt the peace that He could bring about a miracle in our lives.
He could create a little life to carry inside of me. That in itself is a miracle each time it happens.
He could give me peace throughout that pregnancy.
He could give me strength if I have a healthy child in my arms.
He can calm my fears.
And if it all goes wrong—if I never get pregnant again, if I am unable to carry a child to full-term, even if I have to bury another child—even then, He can give me a strength and a peace that only comes from Him.
I’ve seen Him give me strength and peace before, and I believe I’ll see Him do it again.
I also share all this to ask for prayers. I speak of the peace and strength I have experienced since losing Beckett, and I know it comes from thousands of people all over the world lifting our family up in prayer. So I’m coming to you humbly again. I am thankful for your prayers and I still need them.
And while you are praying for this miracle for us, let me just throw this in—we aren’t just praying for one healthy addition to our family. We are praying for twins. Because if we are going to pray for a miracle, we figure we should go ahead and pray for the real desire of our hearts. And a set of boy/girl twins is what our heart desires. But what our heart desires even more than that is to be content with whatever God’s plan is for our life and our family. We desire to trust Him through this process and to be overwhelmed with a peace we know is from Him.
O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
I would love to pray for you as well. Let me know below or privately what you are struggling to trust God with for the future. I’m not saying this lightly; we need to know we aren’t alone. We need to know someone is cheering us on.