Monday, March 5, 2012
Truly Tender: Thoughts on my 4th Miscarriage and Excruciating Patience
I had a seed of faith planted in my heart: a seed that my Father in Heaven wanted me to be willing to carry and deliver a new baby for Him now and not wait until I feel that all the factors line up right. I planted that seed once before in November and it happened but I miscarried soon after. Then I had faith in my feelings, and in my husband's words, that I would be expecting again in February. It happened. I know that is not a coincidence, especially considering the fact that although I have never prevented pregnancy, I have only experienced 6 pregnancies in 12 years--the last 5 of which are all within the last three years--only two brought me a beautiful little baby to hold.
Even though two pregnancy tests told me I was not pregnant and I had some spotting, the feelings I had were visions of a small seed planted in the ground, growing under the soil but not yet ready for me to see positive results. . .I still needed "excruciating patience" (Elder Tad Callister, My regional Stake Conference Broadcast last year). Then, a week later, there was a positive pregnancy test--only to be followed by heavier bleeding, abdominal pain and back labor pains. . . It appeared that another miscarriage was on the way, but I knew I had done what my Father had asked me to do and I determined to joyfully accept His will--still hopeful that somehow the answer could still be that this baby might survive, but really knowing in my heart that was not to be the case. Yet I asked for a healing blessing of whatever my Father in Heaven wanted for me and resolved to do all within my power to do. Then wait with excruciating patience again.
This 4th miscarriage has been my hardest emotionally, and has brought some new challenges physically than the other three. I even ended up in the emergency room with this one but luckily was fine after an IV of fluid and some lab tests to rule out ectopic pregnancy. I don't understand why this is happening to me, but I am determined to accept it with gratitude.
President Uchtdorf counseled me to "understand the difference between a wise and a foolish sacrifice." I know some may feel I made a foolish sacrifice to allow my body to conceive when I knew the chances of miscarriage were particularly high (I have Graves Disease and early miscarriage is very likely because of it). However, I know without a doubt that Heavenly Father asked me to make that sacrifice, and that alone tells me that this pain is worthwhile somehow.
As I am tempted to give in to the sorrow and pain that I feel now, I am listening to the voice of peace within me. That voice reminds me that right now I live in time, but even those short pregnancies are part of my Heavenly Father's "one eternal round." Those children I have lost through miscarriage are now a part of me in some way. I just need excruciating patience with them in a different way than is required with the children I have the privilege to provide bodies for and to raise in this life now. Those precious other 4 pregnancies are somehow worth experiencing. I have faith in that whisper in my mind and heart--even though I do not understand.
I also found comfort from reading my previous entries about my experiences with other miscarriages:
Willingly Waiting: My Lessons from Three Miscarraiges
Lessons From Infertility and Miscarriage
Simply a Supermom: Anyone Who Continues in Patience
I would appreciate any comments of understanding or encouragement from any of you who have also had the experience of miscarriage or who have words of wisdom or comfort to offer. It would be a comfort to me to share this experience with others and learn from you.