Monday, March 2, 2015

You Are Not Alone {My story of loss and hope}

There are a few couples I have been praying for consistently this past year. They all have one thing in common...they want a child so badly and for one reason or another, can't make that happen right now. For any of you out there who are trying to get pregnant or have dealt with loss during a pregnancy, this post is for you. Not every pregnancy comes easily.

I really wasn't sure I would ever blog about my journey, but I'd rather share than hold it in because one thing that helped ease the pain was knowing I wasn't alone in what I was going through.

Drew and I started "trying" in July of 2013 so I was ecstatic when I took a pregnancy test that October and it was positive. I sank to my knees and cried. I was so incredibly happy. I told my husband by presenting him with a "family" of pumpkins the next day and soon our minds turned to our future as a family of 3.

After our first appointment we just had to sit back and wait a few weeks until we could hear our baby's heartbeat. I was literally counting down the days. I started making lists of potential baby names, made a secret board on Pinterest and started looking at fun ways to tell our families. Then at 8 weeks things went terribly wrong. I started bleeding and I knew immediately that was not a good sign and that something was not right. I googled possible causes and was left terrified. That was on a Friday and I continued spotting the rest of the weekend. On Monday I had to leave in the middle of the school day. I was a mess. Drew left work right away and met me at the doctor's office. We went in for an ultra sound to see if they could find a heartbeat.

Sitting there waiting for what seemed like an eternity for the nurse to tell you something, anything was painful. Then the nurse said aloud the dreaded words "I need to go get the doctor now." Sitting next to your husband at your first ultra sound should be thrilling, but for us it was terrifying. From the moment the nurse said those words I just knew in my heart that things were not going to go the way we had been dreaming.

The doctor came in and told us that there was no heartbeat. That the gestational sac where the embryo develops was empty. It was anembryonic pregnancy, which I found out more about later. She said it was nothing that I had done and then everything else blurred into the background. I felt so incredibly empty on so many levels after hearing those words. Everything I had been planning in my head about our baby was stripped away from me in one instant. 

The next few weeks were some of the hardest days I have ever experienced. My mind wanted to dwell on questions like  Is something wrong with me? And Will this happen to me again? But I knew I couldn't stay in that place. We told our families what had happened and love was poured out on me in so many ways that week. I am so thankful to be surrounded with such an amazing family and a husband who would do anything to see me smile. Then this is what I read in my daily devotional as I was desperately seeking comfort.

November 19th, 2013 (Jesus Calling)

Leave outcomes up to me. Follow Me wherever I lead without worrying about how it will all turn out...You already know the ultimate destination of your journey: your entrance into heaven. So keep your focus on the path just before you, leaving outcomes up to Me.

The reference verse was Psalms 27:13-14, which again directly spoke to my heart:
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

Looking back on my story, this is a part of my journey, a part of who I am today. Would I choose to go through it again? Probably not. But did it make me a stronger person. Yes.

If you are going through a hard time (pregnancy related or not) I would recommend reading the books below to help you gain perspective. Regardless of what you are going through God loves you and hates seeing you hurting and whether or not you want to hear it you are blessed, but we live in a broken world and we aren't promised a life without trials.  God loves you more than you can imagine. He is always faithful even if things don't turn out the way we plan.

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist
(Thank you Katie for recommending this one to me. I am forever thankful.)
One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp
Draw the Circle by Mark Batterson

The October after my miscarriage (almost exactly a year later) my sweet Aiden was born. My pregnancy with Aiden was amazing. At times I was nervous and extremely scared, but I could only trust and wait. I was so thankful for every kick, every hiccup, every doctor's appointment where I got a good report. Aiden has been a bright light in our lives in a dark time. His birth could not have come at a more perfect time.

God knows what He is doing. Leave the outcomes up to Him.

I also found so much comfort in reading many of your stories. If any of you need to share a story that is on your heart I am here to talk to you or pray for you. You are not alone in this.

There is always hope.


The Lady Okie said...

Thanks for sharing. I think it can be easy to look at people who are pregnant or who have kids and think it was easy for them, but it isn't always. I'm so glad you have your sweet baby, and I know your words will be an encouragement to others!

Devon said...

I'm sorry you had to experience that Allison. I think it's very brave of you to share your experience as I know it brings so many people comfort.

Brittany said...

I have several friends who have had trouble conceiving and I will pass this post along to them. Thanks for your bravery and you're right - it's all about His timing. Look at the precious boy you have now!

According to Jax said...

Thanks for sharing, darling! Miscarriage is something that happens to so many people - but it is never talked about. We had one over the summer as well, and it was a very similar story to yours. But here we are....pregnant with our little bundle of joy! :) I hope everyone stays optimistic after experiencing a loss like this - because something amazing could be right around the corner! :)

The Heart Of A Woman said...

You are a precious jewel!

Katie Cook said...

You are SO brave to share this. THANK YOU! Just this week my friend had a miscarriage, and it is heartbreaking. You bless the world Allison:) xoxo

Jen Brown {Baking Baby Brown} said...

An amazing story! And very brave for you to share. I had a miscarriage in 2011 which scared me from attempting to try for kids again. When I found out I was pregnant with Mykenzi it was almost 3 years to the day. I had an amazing pregnancy with her but that first trimester was terrifying ... I was so scared things were going to repeat themselves. It's hard to understand Gods plan sometimes but it's important to trust Him. Mykenzi is everything I've ever prayed for and I'm so thankful for his blessing. Your story is beautiful and shows what a strong woman you are. Aiden has one tough Momma. :)

purpun said...

Thank you for sharing your story. In times of sorrow we are so lucky to have our faith. Regardless of what we may want, we know in full confidence that God will give us what is right for our family at that time: it may be a healthy baby boy or girl, a child with different abilities and health challenges, or a precious angel as yours. You and your husband are incredibly strong for having gone through this and most blessed to now have a healthy and beautiful son.

Kayla MKOY said...

Goodness, it makes me so sad to hear this but SO happy to know God is faithful and always, ALWAYS promises hope for the future! Now you have your sweet little Aiden and he is perfect in every way!! :)

Courtney B said...

Oh sweet momma, thank you for sharing your experience! I'm so sorry you had to go through the heart break, I can't imagine! But God is good and things always workout just how they are supposed to. I hate that we all experience trials, but I believe we do because it's the only way we do become stronger!
I have no doubt that you're story is going to help so many!!

Katie said...

I'm so sorry you had to go through this. I can't even imagine how hard of an experience this was. We are so blessed with our little Aiden & Charlotte :)

Rach said...

Oh sweet Allison, I love you. I hate that you guys had to go through that loss in 2013, but I'm so glad that you guys have Aiden. He really is such a blessing. Your story gives so much hope. *hugs*

Erica said...

So terrible to hear you went through this. A close friend had a similar experience, and it was so hard finding words to say to her!

Astleigh H. said...

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leading me to this post. I know too just how much comfort has come from sharing my story and having others share theirs. Your story gives me hope for God's plans for my husband and I. I love how the Lord brought you full circle. He is so good!

-Astleigh @ Hill Collection