A little over a year ago I wrote a blog describing how happy I was to be pregnant for the second time after the first pregnancy had ended in miscarriage. After all, God wouldn’t put my husband and I through the same trial twice, so we should have been good right?...Wrong. At the first doctor’s appointment we were told all signs indicated miscarriage on the horizon but we could wait it out to see. For two weeks we prayed fervently for the life of that little one all the while knowing God’s will would be done. After two weeks I had no signs of miscarriage but when we went back in for the checkup it was confirmed. We would not meet that little one this side of Heaven. We were devastated, to say the least.
I kept questioning God on how he could let this happen twice, and what was wrong with my body. What had I done wrong in my life to get this fate twice? Was this punishment for past sins? Did God not think I was cut out to be a mother? What did I need to learn that I didn’t learn last time? I went through the grief process and poured into scripture to remind myself of all that God had done. Adoption was an option for us from the beginning, but selfishly I wanted that experience of carrying a child too. The Word showed me there were many women who were barren and cried out to God. My struggles were nothing new. He opened the wombs of Sarah, Rachel, Elizabeth, and Hannah, just to name a few. So, we prayed and opted to continue down the path of trying to conceive and carry a child to full term.
I knew I didn’t ovulate each month, and through further investigation we found out I had a blocked fallopian tube. Surgery to unblock that revealed endometriosis. It seemed like every time I went in for more answers we uncovered another problem. I was devastated when my doctor referred us to the ART Fertility Program, but the program turned out to be a huge blessing. They took vials and vials of blood to find the culprit causing the miscarriages. We found out I have two genetic mutations that cause clotting more than a normal person and not breaking down clots once they are formed. So if you’re tracking with me: I don’t ovulate, have a blocked fallopian tube, endometriosis, and now clotting mutations. The odds were stacked against us. But, God wasn’t done, and our journey was just beginning.
I started medications to cause ovulation and to prevent clotting. My husband and I had to decide how far we were willing to go with fertility options. Our hearts grew closer to each other as we shared desires and had to communicate about something we never thought would be an issue. I was monitored frequently and we surprisingly ended up conceiving during the first month of treatment! It was the first good phone call I had in over two years from a doctor’s office! Then the fear set in. Every day I was looking for signs of miscarriage and scared to do basic daily tasks. I went in for ultrasound monitoring every week for three months. Each week I cried as I sat in the exam room waiting for the ultrasound tech to deliver bad news. I knew if we miscarried again then this was the end of the journey. Week after week though everything looked normal. Eventually, it was week 12 and I was released back to my primary doctor. I started a journal of letters to this unborn child chronicling our journey, ultrasound pictures, and prayers.
I had prayed for years to have a princess of my own and to get to experience parenting. The hard times drew me closer to God as I realized nothing in my power could cause us to conceive. It had to be God’s doing and timing and I had to be faithful to pray and trust. As I sit holding my two month old baby girl, Eliza Jane (dedicated to God and gift of God), I am humbled that God chose me to be her mother and chose her to teach me about dependence. She is helpless to eat by herself or control her movements or even formulate words. It is up to me to figure out her needs and provide for and protect her. But, I am entirely insufficient in my own power. Through sleepless nights and days filled with acid reflux and dairy intolerance pains, I’ve had to rely on God’s grace to get us through. I understand deeper now when Jesus tells the disciples in Matthew 18, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” I want to be as dependent on Him for every need as my baby girl is on me.
Miscarriage and infertility are seen as taboo, but very common. During this journey a friend put me in contact with another friend who had experienced multiple miscarriages. She was a true godsend who gave sound advice, prayed for and frequently checked on me. I would leave our conversations feeling closer to Jesus and trusting more in the Lord’s plan. My hope is for women who have experienced a miscarriage to pour into others walking through that difficult circumstance. Miscarriage is physically and emotionally hard and you feel utterly alone, so there is nothing like a believer who has been there too coming beside you to speak truth about God’s faithfulness and goodness, and to just share your burden. God is faithful. If we never had a child He would still have been faithful to somehow make me a mother. I fully believe that. Psalm 113:9 says “He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!” As it stands if I start to doubt God’s faithfulness in my life I have 9 months of weekly ultrasound pictures to look at and see the miracle of life developing from a tiny circle to a fully formed 6 pound and 14 ounce baby. God is good all the time!
Shayna Frasier has been a member of Brook Hills since 2010. She and her husband, Aaron, have 2 children.
Attend Caring Conversations: Comfort and Hope During Infertility and Pregnancy Loss on October 28, from 4-6pm. For more information and to register, click here.