*Editor’s note: Some of this post is not going to be spiritually pretty, but sometimes life isn’t pretty, even a Christian’s life. Nonetheless, I hope and pray you can find it encouraging, especially those of you who are in the valley right now, wondering where God is, or still waiting on Him to come through for you. In any case, it will give you an in-depth look at how to pray for me and my family.
Loss, loss, loss, loss, loss, twins.
That’s how our story goes.
And if you want to go back even further, before the losses, we had a terribly scary diagnosis placed upon our 3-year-old son, Colt, when he was born. One that came along with a lot of suffering and heartache. (This is what lead us to embryo adoption).
So, surely one could understand why I would be hesitant to pronounce the good news of our twins too soon.
You see, while others heard our news of “twins” and felt that was God tying a big pretty bow on our situation, my husband and I were more reserved.
Why? Because twins, though a huge blessing, are also much more high-risk, and after the complications/heartbreak we’d experienced with Colt, we were gun-shy.
“But God worked a miracle in Colt’s life! And he’s doing great now,” people would say. And yes, that is true! With Colt, God allowed us to wake up from the nightmare. He pulled us back from the track before the train came hurling by. This time, would He let us get mowed over? It was a question at the forefront of our minds.
People would try to encourage us: “God has a plan. He’s in control.”
And to that, I would say in my head, and sometimes out loud (if I were feeling especially feisty): “I totally agree. But that doesn’t mean everything is going to be okay with the babies.”
You see, God’s plan doesn’t promise us comfortable lives on earth, or lives free from pain.
(*I told you this wasn’t a spiritually pretty post!)
I wasn’t so feisty after the first one or two losses with our adopted embryos, though they hurt, but after experiencing five losses—the most recent being a miscarriage in January at 8 weeks that started with us seeing our baby on the ultrasound screen, but no heartbeat—you could say I was disenchanted with it all. Bitter maybe. Not so comfortable or excited about what God might have in store for me.
With this latest attempt at pregnancy (in late June), you could say I was at the point of despair. I felt like I was slipping through God’s fingers … just barely hanging on. I remember sobbing in the kitchen with Mix telling him I couldn’t lose another one.
You must understand, the sorrow was about so much more than the loss of children, though that is excruciating on its own. This was about me and God. Would He let me fall?
I was so scared that if something bad happened again, I’d just lose it. “It,” being my faith, hope, and joy, mainly. But possibly my sanity as well. How much more can I stand, Lord? How much more can we stand?
One morning, before I found out I was pregnant with the twins, huge tears dropped down onto the pages of my Bible as I read in Psalm 56: “This I know, that God is for me.” — “I just don’t feel this way right now, Lord!” I wrote in my Bible. “It just seems hopeless.”
Just like Hannah in 1 Samuel 1:10-16, I was ‘deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly;’ I was ‘a woman of troubled spirit,’ who had been ‘pouring out her soul to the Lord,’ ‘speaking out of my great anxiety and vexation.’
So that’s where I was at when we walked in to our fertility doctor’s at seven weeks and saw our two babies on the screen, measuring perfectly, with strong heartbeats: Anxious and troubled.
I left feeling the same way, honestly. Not that I didn’t want the babies—don’t read this the wrong way! I was just scared of the higher-risk for complications and I/we just wanted everything to be okay.
“No more refining fire, for now, Lord! Please!”
Since that day, I would say that I’ve gotten a little better about casting those cares upon the Lord, and my spirit definitely isn’t as troubled after seeing our babies, once again, at 9 weeks, still measuring perfectly, hearts ticking away.
After Hannah uttered that heart-wrenching prayer in 1 Samuel, the Bible says that the Lord, who “had closed her womb,” “remembered her,” and she conceived and bore a son.
I don’t know why God chose to close her womb at first or why He chose to let her experience the pain of infertility. I don’t know if her prayers changed His mind, or if He was planning to open her womb anyway. But the Bible says He granted her petition. Not just once, with her son, Samuel, as if a fluke thing, but four more times, giving her five children total.
So petition I will, not for more children (like Hannah)—God’s already answered that prayer—but for healthy twins. (Not that unhealthy children are any less valuable—Colt, even with his EB, is the most precious gift we’ve ever been given—but suffering, sickness, and pain grieves the heart of God, and of us parents … and I can’t tell you how much Mix and I would value a grief-free pregnancy/birth/afterbirth experience.
It’s not promised to us. We know—and as we found out with Colt, bad things can always happen, even when all of the sonos look great—but I’m counting on the fact that God doesn’t always have us in the refining fire. Sometimes, instead, He leads us beside still waters and restores our souls (Psalm 23).
Looking for children’s books about embryo donation/adoption? I’ve written two and they are available for purchase on Amazon!