Wednesday, May 28, 2014

An Answer?

I always thought if I just had an answer to why our babies don’t grow and their hearts stop beating then everything would be better. We would be able to have a successful pregnancy and go along on our merry way. This is part of the reason why after our second miscarriage we told our doctor we were willing to pay for some of the blood tests that insurance wouldn’t cover yet. So our doctor ordered tests for some of the most frequently seen blood clotting disorders.

After getting my labs drawn I almost hoped one would be positive. I would have my answer and everything would work out. But when my doctor called and told me one was positive, I didn’t have the relief I thought I would find.

It turns out I am positive for a gene mutation called MTHFR that causes clotting. It is controversial to doctors as to whether or not it actually can cause miscarriages. Some believe it disrupts the blood flow to the fetus causing slowed intrauterine growth and ultimately the heart to stop beating (which is exactly what has happened in our pregnancies). They have also seen successful pregnancies with treatment. However, other doctors caulk it up more to “chance” as to why women have successful pregnancies after miscarriage and focus on the lack of research for MTHFR as a proper diagnosis with effective treatment.

Sigh. So what does this all mean? What should I believe? I decided to do what we always tell our patients NOT to do, I googled it. There were blogs about it and doctors who firmly believe in it and women who described their pregnancies and their success with treatment. But I still don’t know what to believe.

In the end my doctor (who has been a high risk OB for 19 years and I trust completely) decided to consult Maternal Fetal Health to determine what treatment I would need for the next pregnancy, whether it be just aspirin or heparin injections.

But yet I still worried. I still don’t feel in control of the situation. I am gently reminded that God is in control. I can’t worry about what the results mean or if we have our “answer”. Only God knows our future and how our future pregnancies will go. 

Before this journey I was a control freak, plain and simple. I have a Type A personality. I follow my planner with precision and knew what I was planning to be doing the next week, next month, or even the next year. But God was slowly nudging me aside and taking over the control without me realizing it. When Marcus and I decided to start trying to have a baby I thought, “Okay if I get pregnant now I will have a baby then and then this would happen… etc…”

I’m sure God was smiling at my grand plan because that was not the plan He had in store. A year and a half ago the thought of giving up any control gave me a sense of panic. But now I feel relieved He is in control. I have learned that if I don’t rely on my faith and allow Him to have control, then I am not trusting Him. And why wouldn’t I trust God? He knows what is best for us and His timing is nothing but perfect. 

Now we pray everyday that we do not grow weary and that we continue to trust in Him and be content and patient with His timing. We would love if you could pray that for us too.


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Understanding How to Love Us

I am a firm believer that you truly don’t understand what someone is going through until you have been in their shoes. 

I often think of my patients and their families and try to even imagine what it must be like, but I don’t fully understand it. I understand it from my perspective, but not for what they are going through. All I can do is try to be as empathetic as possible.

The same goes with going through miscarriages or infertility. I never fully understood what it was like until I found myself going through it. But I know that there are so many people out there who have been in our shoes, who understand what Marcus and I are going through. 

But there are also so many that don’t. Because this is most times a secret club, our society does not have the opportunity to learn how to best approach those experiencing this journey.

I have been told by friends throughout this journey that they don’t know what to say or how to act.This blog post has been on my heart for a while now so I felt it was time to share. My prayer is that this post can reach those who don’t understand what someone on this journey is going through and to help them know what helps and what hurts.

(Obviously these don’t apply to everyone, but are generalized to what I have felt or have heard from others. Please don’t take anything offensively but just learn how to best understand someone close to you who finds themselves on this journey).

Why don’t we talk about it?

First of all, this isn’t something that can come up easily in small talk. How do you bring something like this up? Oh by the way, I was pregnant last week and this week I’m not? My feelings are often so painful that even the thought of it would instantly bring tears to my eyes. But telling people is like giving them a glimpse of my soul, as raw as that may be. 

I also fear how people may react. Will they be stunned and speechless? Or will they offer advice that is more painful than helpful?

This brings me to my next point…

What NOT to say.

I have heard it all: 
Don’t worry it will happen someday- but God has not promised me this
Just relax and it will happen- my journey is stressful to say the least and it isn’t so simple to just “relax”… and “relaxing” does not cure infertility issues
You can borrow my kids for a day- I don’t want your kids, I yearn for a child of my own
Enjoy freedom while you can- we are ready to bring a child into our lives and embrace the experience of a newborn or a terrible two
So and so had a miscarriage and they have 4 kids now- but each child of God has a journey of their own He has planed out, their success does not always bring me hope
Just have fun in the mean time trying- those who have dealt with infertility know, it is anything but “fun”
At least you know you can get pregnant- what is the point in getting pregnant if you can’t carry a child to term?

I know that all of these people have the best intentions but it is hard for them to see that their words hurt more than help in the face of a loss. A simple “I’m sorry” or a hug is sufficient enough if you don’t know what to say. Or let me know you will pray for me, because that is what I need most right now.

Please don’t complain about your children to us.

I realize you want to vent, but it hurts me more than anything. All that runs through my head is what a blessing you have been given to even have children. It is one thing to tell us about your child, but when people complain constantly I don’t understand what you are going through either as my daily life is nothing like yours! 

Your pregnancy announcement still hurts so please tell me in privacy.

Yes I am thrilled you are pregnant! I would never wish infertility or miscarriage on anyone. I understand that God places each child into a parent’s life for a reason. But despite these feelings, your pregnancy is a reminder of my loss. I need some space after hearing your news. I am still dealing with feelings of my own that are hard to hide, especially when they are all brought to the surface suddenly. Sometimes I am too weak to hide my pain and I need some time to work through this. You have something I want more than anything so please understand my faults. 

I agree you are allowed to share your wonderful news in any way you wish, but please, please don’t tell me in a group setting. People stare at me to see how I am going to react and it gets awkward. I have to work so hard to hide the overwhelming emotions that start to overtake me. Then I have to sit through everyone asking questions about your pregnancy as I am racking my brain to plan my escape so I can let my tears flow and breathe again. It helps to just send a text or email letting me know so that I can deal with my feelings first and am not taken off guard unable to cope. 

Please still include me.

I still want to hear about and experience your pregnancy with you, but understand it may still sting. Let me ask you about how you are doing. I don’t want to be left out of your baby showers or parties either, but understand if I’m just not ready. I prefer to stay busy than to just sit back and watch the shower unfold so giving me something constructive to do is best. I want to be included in your children’s lives as well but let me get comfortable in my own time. Your invite means the world to me so please let me decide if I am ready or not.

The pain never goes away.

Even after all I’ve been through on this journey, every pregnancy announcement still feels like a dagger to my heart. I want more than anything for the pain to subside, but nothing will ever take away what it feels like to lose a child and long to hold them in my arms. I have never in my life felt pain so deeply.

Though it may be months or even years later and I seem to be holding up well, my heart is still broken inside. Anniversaries and holidays just remind me of my loss and the baby I should be holding in my arms. Your prayers mean more than the world to me and would help me to heal, even long after my baby has left this world.

I still need time.

Time to process. Time to heal. Time to understand God’s plan for me. So if it is too much to be around you right now or I just need some space, please understand my needs. I know this sounds self-centered but it’s just what I may need at the moment.

My husband is hurting too.

Not only do husbands feel the hurt of losing their child, but they face fears of inadequacy to prevent their wife’s pain. They want to be able to “fix it” because that’s what they do best but they also understand that there is nothing they can do to cure the pain. They feel that their wives need them to be strong so they may not express their grief verbally, but deep down they are feeling the same pain. They want to be fathers too. This journey is deeply emotional for men too and breaks them down to their core. It would mean the world to him if you acknowledged him too.

I do appreciate you asking how I am doing.

Though you may be scared to even bring it up because I may just break down and cry, I do appreciate you acknowledging my struggle and sincerely caring about how I am doing. Walking around people who are oblivious to my journey is more painful than talking about it. I may shed a tear or two or get choked up, but I need to grieve my struggles too. And sometimes I just need to talk about how I feel- my frustrations, fears, angers, and hopes. So if you feel comfortable, feel free to ask me how I am doing.

Don’t ask me if I’m pregnant. 

But please don’t ask my if I am pregnant yet. I understand your support for me, but your asking may cause me to become discontent with God’s perfect timing. This journey has already been very stressful and I may not be ready to tell you even if I am.

Don’t be nervous around me!

I didn’t grow two heads and turn green because I have vocalized my struggles. I don’t want to be seen as “the couple who has had a miscarriage”. I am still me so please treat me the same. At the same time I need to not always think about my pain. I want to laugh and experience new memories so that I don’t fall into a deep dark pit. Your awkwardness just reminds me of my struggles. I need more opportunities to have fun and smile.

When in doubt just ask!

I am always willing to let you know my needs so please just ask if you aren’t sure how you can help, what you can say, or how you can pray for me.

How can you help?

If we have just experienced a loss, your support means the world to us. Imagine what you would do for someone else who just lost a child and treat us the same way. During any course of our journey, your prayer is most important to us. 


Friday, May 16, 2014

A Child of God

In the midst of our journey it is really hard not to feel defeated. Sometimes I even feel like we are running a marathon with no end in site. 

Sadly, we will never experience the “glow” or elation of a pregnancy. Our last pregnancy was filled with anxiety, uncertainties, and many, many tests and frequent visits to the OB. Before that it felt like we were on a roller coaster of emotions trying to get pregnant (when little did we know my body wasn’t cooperating!). Though we want nothing more than to have a child of our own and would do anything required of us to hold our sweet child in our arms, this journey has always felt like an up hill climb.

But in the midst of our struggle, we try to focus on the positive. We cannot control our future and we know that the Lord will help us get through anything. Looking back now I can hardly believe we have survived thus far! We know that if we truly trust in God’s plan for us, we will see in the end that He always works things out for the best. Though we don’t realize all the reasons now, there is a purpose for us experiencing this journey.

Yet even though I have experienced all this, I have been so blessed. God has given me the most amazing husband to walk with me in this journey. We have been blessed with stable jobs, healthy bodies, a roof over our head, and food to put on our table. We have the most wonderful and supportive family and friends, without whom we would never have gotten to where we are today. Most importantly, we have the love and support of an amazing God.

We don’t need a lot to be happy. We have been blessed beyond imagine. 

What I need to focus on most is just being God’s child. Having a child of our own is less important than being God’s humble obedient child. He is enough. I may stubble and fall, but I often pray for God to help me to take my eyes of myself and the child I desire. 


You know the desires of my heart best. You know how strongly I desire a baby- to mold, love, and teach of Your love. Help me to give this desire, this ache up to You. Help me not to snatch it back up like I often do but to place all of my burdens into Your hands. I want to be truly content with Your will and Your timing. Thank you for reminding me that You are enough!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Warning! This blog post may get a bit sad and dreary!

I don’t know if it is from lack of sleep today, or just the weight of my thoughts, but I have been feeling very weary today. Do you ever have those days when you just want to soak up the sadness and feel like you need a good cry? Well today was one of those days…

For me, music has always been a staple. I find the greatest relief and comfort from the perfect song. And I probably have a song that reminds me of every high and low that has occurred in my life. I even created a playlist that I titled “Cry Mix” just for these occasions, which was perfectly fitting for today. 

But the sadness that was heavy on my heart today was not for me. During this journey I have thought a lot about how many people around me who do not know what I am going through or what I am feeling. We are so often caught up in our own worlds, oblivious to difficulties the people around us may be facing, even if we are aware of their sufferings. 

LatelyI have been trying to put myself in others’ shoes to try to better understand their pain.The woman who was kidnapped for 11 years and wrote about her torturous beatings. How could she possibly survive like that? How did she find the strength? Or the woman who’s blog I just read about losing her son slowly and painfully to cancer. How could she get through her day watching her child suffer and disappear before her very eyes? How could she find the strength to still see the good in the Lord and in the pain their family is going through? I witness parents every day at work who have watched their children struggle day in and day out with no ability to comfort them. How do they find the strength?

My heart aches for these strong souls. I can’t even to begin to fathom what they are going through. The suffering is all around us, no matter how big or small. 

But somehow God can carry us through and give us hope. I am still awed at how He can bring us out of the deepest darkest pits. How He can carry us through pain that seems unfathomable and give us the strength we need. No mountain is too small for our Lord to conquer.

In my quite time I have been reading through the book of Job and I feel weary for him as he cries out to the Lord. Job even felt so low that he questioned the Lord and His presence in his suffering. Proof that even the strongest of faith may find themselves here. Yet Job’s friends questioned him in his right to challenge God so boldly with this accusation. 

I fear a pit so low that I would question God’s absence when I need Him most. Through my journey I have found the most comfort in knowing He is near. I too have questioned the Lord why, for He knows my feelings, my thoughts, and my heart’s darkest secrets. But I find clarity in exposing myself to Him so that He can show me the way out of the dark.

Father- Today my prayers is for those who are suffering. That You Lord can give them the strength they need to not let these pits swallow them up. We know no one understands suffering like You. No one understands each and every individual’s sufferings as great as You. Help them to not become so weary they lose hope and to find a way to trust in You with all their heart. And Father I pray that You would put it on our hearts to pray for our brothers and sisters and remember to acknowledge what it may be like in their shoes. Thank You for those you have placed in our lives to help comfort us and give us hope in the midst of our suffering.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

Jeremiah 29:11-13

Here's someone God placed in our lives to share all the joys and heartaches. How could you resist that face!?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mother's Day

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are very difficult for us. Daily I’ve seen people post on Facebook  about Mother’s Day, I receive about 25 emails a day asking me to buy something to celebrate moms, and every other advertisement or commercial is about moms. Every where I look there are signs of motherhood, serving as a constant reminder this is something I have yet to fully experience, but that my heart so deeply desires.

And this yearn for motherhood leaves me feeling hollow. 

Last year on Mother’s day we celebrated and Marcus took me out to my favorite fro-yo spot. And this year, we celebrated as well, early since we both work the holiday.

But to many, I am not a mother. I do not get that recognition because my babies did not make it into this world. Instead they are resting in heaven with Jesus. My sweet loves. Who knew how much you could love a child you hadn’t even met. 

In light of Mother’s Day, I would like to bring recognition to all the moms out there who have found themselves walking along this path. And also to help other’s understand the silent grief of a miscarriage. There are so many women around us that have experienced this, but held their secret and their grief inside. What I hear most from others is if you haven’t been through it or haven’t known someone who has, it is difficult to understand. A blog I read once described it best:

“I didn’t understand miscarriage until it became a part of my story… I thought it was like getting your period…”

But it is nothing like this. You walk around with a child growing inside you. God has already started to form your little one into who they will be. You dream about and plan your future. You feel pregnancy in full force including all the not so wonderful symptoms. 

And when it comes abruptly to an end and you lose all these dreams, you are crushed. Your body goes through chaos trying to return back to normal. And you have to make a decision on what to do with your baby’s remains. 

I had no idea what to anticipate when it happened to me, because I too did not envision it this way.

Not a day goes by that my heart doesn’t ache for my little ones. I wish more than anything that I could hold them and kiss them and let them know how much I love them. My heart feels grief in ways I never thought was possible. The grief holds tight to my heart and just a thought of it can instantly cause me to lose my breath and tears come to my eyes.

Though there are days I feel weak and the grief leads me to bitterness and jealousy, I pray constantly that God would keep my heart from these feelings that threaten to drag me down. I recently had a friend who is pregnant ask me if it hurts knowing she is pregnant and my answer was simply “no”. I would never wish this path on anyone. I would never want anyone to join this secret club. 

My hope is to bring comfort to the women out there who are silently grieving or holding onto secrets like I have.

So to all the moms out there with heartache from the child they never got to hold, the child that left their arms too soon, those who are struggling to get pregnant, or those that are pregnant again and living in fear,

Happy Mother’s Day!

Monday, May 5, 2014


Recently I was listening to a podcast about broken promises. The pastor asked if you had ever felt betrayed by a broken promise from God. Surprisingly my initial response was not “Yes”. This really made me think about God’s role in our journey. We could blame God and be angry at him for allowing us to go through this, but we have never felt this way. Though we are angry at the situation, we know that God has a plan for us and though he has yet to reveal what we are to learn from each miscarriage, we know there is good that can come from our situation. We have already seen the good He has shown us after our first loss. Our hearts have never felt deeper. Our marriage has never been stronger. And our relationship with the Lord has become so much stronger. Along with many other lessons, we have seen the good that can come from such an experience. 

After the first blog post, I had a lot of feedback from family and friends (which we love to read-thank you for all your love and support!) about when we will have a baby. Though it changes daily depending on my mood, here is what is on my heart and what I fear the most: I don’t feel like God promised us a baby. 

Though I know part of my purpose is to share his Word and I want nothing more than to do this by raising a child to know His love and teach them how to love others in return. Yet, He has never come right out and told us his plan for us like he told Abraham and Sarah, “You are going to be blessed with a child.” I fear that we may not see the day when we get to hold our baby in our arms. It is incredibly hard to hold on to hope when we were never given this promise. In these moments of weakness when I let the sin start to creep in and the fears overtake my thoughts, I pray that my Father will give me the strength to hold on to hope. I pray that He will know my heart and know exactly what I need.

That is the one thing God does promise us- that we will always have his presence. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “He will never leave you nor forsake you”. I can’t blame God for not being there or not living up to His promise because we have seen His hand on us through every step of our journey. 

He has helped us to get up when we felt too weak. 
He has given us strength to get through the toughest days. 
He has experienced the high joys and low sadnesses right along beside us. 
He has held our hands as we cried and given us hope when we thought there was none. 

Though God has not promised us the child we so desire, he has promised to never leave us and there is truly no better promise. Only He can help us back up when we falter. There is no way we could get through this journey without Him and come out on the other side still clinging to hope. And we know that we can trust fully in Him and His plan for us because He has overcome the world (John 16:33). How incredible is that? I couldn’t ask for anyone better to have by my side through this journey.

With love,


Friday, May 2, 2014

An Unexpected Journey...

I debated whether or not to share our story, as it opens up a personal part of our lives to everyone. But at the same time, it allows us the chance to help others that have found themselves in the same or similar situation. I have found healing in reading other blogs or about experiences that are similar to ours and we would like to share this gift with others and describe how our faith has played an important part in this journey.

Another reason for sharing our story is to help others understand what we are going through. For those that haven’t known our journey over the past year, we have often hidden our times of deep pain and high joys. Putting on a mask can often be exhausting so there is a sense of a weight lifted in not feeling like we are carrying around a huge secret anymore. Maybe it would also help us to answer all those questions of, “when are you going to have kids?” that we find ourselves without a good answer or not wanting to relive our story over again. Those who ask this question have no idea what kind of response they could be in for! So instead we usually just leave it simple and close-ended.

For those that have supported us during this journey, I have often heard and felt they don’t always know what to say or do or how to act around us. Our hopes are that this blog will enlighten those who we love to understand our experience as well as share how our faith has helped us to cope during this difficult time.

I like to call this “experience” an unexpected journey, with hopes that the end will be a happy one, and that this leg of our journey will truly end. Many days I find looking back over the past year that this journey has been exhausting- emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Yet, this journey is no where close to over. We know that God has a plan for us, and though we don’t know what it is, we are trusting Him to lead us.

To read our full story, click on the Our Story link found above.