I knew I was pregnant. Before I got the positive test in January of 2018, I knew.
I would like to say that I was filled with hope and courage, but I admit that those things felt a million miles away. I was simply unable to envision a sandy-haired little Wagner Baby. I couldn’t even picture what life would be like with this little one. I couldn’t escape the thought that I would maybe never get to meet this child. I couldn’t see beyond the elephant in the room, the word I had come to despise. The word “miscarriage” seemed permanently tattooed across my forehead.
Upon sharing my news with trusted friends and a few family members, I realized that several of my friends were pregnant as well! I was truly happy for them, but I couldn’t shake the thought that I would have to watch my friends go on to have healthy pregnancies while I grieve all the milestones I will never see with this baby.
My word for 2018 was “remember” and I was not too happy about it. It hinted at the fact that suffering would hit us again and we would need to remember the Lord. My heart felt so tired and worn with the sorrow of losing five babies. I wanted to have reached my quota for suffering in this life. I wrote this in my journal the day that I committed to that word for the year; “But the thing is, there will be suffering in 2018. Suffering and joy go hand in hand.”
If there is one thing that my experience with multiple miscarriages has taught me it is that joy and sorrow work together. When I walk with the Lord and actively engage in the experience of grief it produces in my heart something positive – something to rejoice over. Walking with Jesus in my sorrow produces supernatural joy. It makes no sense to the world that I would feel genuine joy in my grief – but for Jesus. It is a wonder to the world. It is a wonder to me.
I admit that there was a good bit of self-preservation going on in my heart during that time. I was still spinning through the facets of grief in losing our twins the summer before. I welcomed the distractions and was relieved by the long four-week wait before our first sonogram with this pregnancy. A chance to continue in blissful ignorance.
The night before our sonogram, despair hit like a tornado of emotions. Hope had completely slipped through my fingers. I laid in bed sobbing with my steady and hopeful husband holding onto me with one hand and enough hope for the both of us with the other. Whether I was simply preparing for the worst as a way to protect my heart, or whether I really knew this baby would never be in my arms – I was prepared for what we saw the next morning.
We have never been the exception when it comes to pregnancies. If it looks inconclusive in one sonogram, it has always ended in miscarriage. The sonogram that day quickly told us, we were to take another walk in the valley of miscarriage.
Our doctor came in. We wept. She wept. I blurted out some hopeless sentiments. She told us she didn’t know what else to do for us. And with a personal nurse escort to avoid the waiting room with happy pregnant ladies, we left.
Suffering has proven to me who the true comforters in my life are. Brave people who have always been willing to enter into our grief with us. And new friends who have surprised us with their eagerness to comfort. I have been blessed with close friends who I think grieved this miscarriage almost as intense as we have. Our home was filled with flowers. Our tummies loved with meals. Our arms held in hugs. Our hearts and minds covered in prayers. Our phones overflowing with encouragements.
Every person grieves differently but I believe that grieving within the circle of trusted, biblical community, oh it is so sweet. Oh it is so sweet. Oh it is so sweet.
This particular miscarriage was a difficult one to share because at the time we shared our story, I had actually not miscarried the baby yet. I was in the waiting. I was a walking tomb. My belly swollen with sorrow.
It may feel inappropriate to you to share such a personal thing while it is still happening, but this is a perfect picture to me of sorrow. Joy and sorrow. I carried death in my womb and yet I laughed. I carry the fullness of joy in the Lord while carrying the weight of empty arms. It makes no sense. It is truly a wonder.
And the Lord gave me a name. Wonder.
We went on to wait about three weeks to miscarry Wonder naturally. I ended up requiring a D&C procedure and although we wanted to bury Wonder properly, we chose instead to have her precious body tested for a cause of death. This was the first time in our journey with multiple miscarriages that we were able to learn the specific reason for loss of life.
I remember getting the call the week that we were moving into our new house. Sweaty from assembling our new shelves in the Texas heat, I wiped my face and answered the phone. I nervously paced back and forth in our empty garage as the nurse explained our test results. My brain trying to process all the medical jargon. We learned that the cause of death for our precious Wonder was that this pregnancy was a partial molar pregnancy. I continued to pace as I learned about all the possible scenarios for a partial molar pregnancy and what my next step should be.
My legs felt like jelly as I took in the next piece of information. It was a girl. I had never known the genders of the five children I had previously miscarried. It was both devastating and comforting.
In a society that tells me that my baby isn’t real, that miscarrying is nothing more than the loss of pregnancy, I held this treasure of my baby girl deep in my heart. Wonder wasn’t just a second line on a pregnancy test. She wasn’t my dream to have more children. Wonder was a good gift from God that I carried in my womb for a painfully long three months. Her tiny little form had to be removed from my body. She was carefully tested for reasons for her passing. And she was a girl.
The sorrow of losing my daughter in miscarriage has achieved in me an ache for the everlasting. Like no mountaintop experience could have done, walking with Jesus in multiple miscarriages has granted me more and more Jesus.
Could it be that the Lord can use sorrow to prove us and set us apart for a work that we don’t even know about yet? Could it be that He is saying, “Her. The one in the fire. The terrified girl in the middle of the valley. I choose her.”
Could it be that the Lord is setting us apart in our suffering? And doesn’t that change how
we suffer? May these seasons of suffering become ebenezers of faith for us to look back on and remember the wonder of sorrow andnearness of Jesus.
“I have chosen you in the furnace of affliction.” Isaiah 48:10
Momma and Daddy love you Wonder. We will see you again. And oh what a glorious day that will be.