When we saw two pink lines in November 2017, my husband and I rejoiced over the blessing of a child! God heard and answered our prayers.
We continued to pray when I started to bleed several days later. We pleaded with God for the wellbeing of this baby. Yet, blood tests and ultrasounds revealed it was an ectopic pregnancy and I needed urgent surgery to remove my rupturing fallopian tube.
We longed for you and prayed for you, Gianna. I promise. We did.
In April 2018, we found out I was pregnant with our second child. Our excitement was tempered in the wake of our first loss, but we knew God blessed us with this child in His abundant mercy. Despite a healthy pregnancy, our baby died suddenly and our daughter, Madelyn Marie, was stillborn at 23 weeks on August 26, 2018.
We longed for you and prayed for you, Maddie. I promise. We did.
In the aftermath of our losses, I often wrestle with the line from Scripture where Hannah declares, “for this child I have prayed” (1 Samuel 1:27). It is particularly challenging to see it on pregnancy and birth announcements, because I can’t help but think, “I prayed, too.” I doubt I am the only one who has thought this.
To my fellow mothers who have suffered the immense tragedy of pregnancy or child loss, I am sorry. There is nothing I can say that will take away the pain of the burden you carry, but I want you to know: You are not alone, and God still hears our prayers.
When there is no heartbeat,
In every stage of your grief,
If you are longing for another baby,
When you miss the child(ren) you lost,
As you anxiously await the birth of your next child,
When your heart aches as you watch other women have healthy babies,
If you are faced with a difficult pregnancy or terminal diagnosis,
As you navigate motherhood after loss with or without any living children,
He hears you.
Whatever motherhood looks like for you right now, God hears you and your prayers matter to Him.
I still do not understand God’s plans or how He chooses to answer our prayers. I doubt I ever will. But here is what I do know –
God is always listening, and He answers every prayer. Yet, God isn’t a vending machine. There is no set number or type of prayers that guarantees a healthy baby (or anything in life). He doesn’t work that way. His timing and plans might not match mine, but they are infinitely better than my best laid plans.
After losing two babies, this is not easy to accept. It is much easier to type those words, than to actually believe them, especially on the bad days. I liked my plans and dreams for motherhood, and it hurts to let them go.
Hannah also probably had her own plans and dreams for motherhood. After years of infertility, I can only begin to imagine the joy and gratitude in her heart when her son, Samuel, was born. Yet, after receiving the blessing she so deeply desired, she promptly gave him back to God, entrusting him to the care of Eli in the temple.
I wanted to cling to my babies so tightly, but Hannah reminds me that they were never destined to be mine. No matter how long they are under our care, our children will always belong to God first.
I miss Gianna and Madelyn and always will, but it brings my husband and I great comfort to know they are with God in heaven. While my journey to motherhood looks nothing like I imagined it would, I am grateful for the babies who made me a mother.
We place our hope in God’s love and mercy and will continue to pray for the blessing of another child. In the waiting and the wrestling, I am confident that He is still listening.
I hope you will keep praying too.
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