On Loving a God who knows what it means to lose a child.
By Natasha Files | Twitter: @natashafiles
When I moved to Dawson Creek in January I was relieved to know one person: Katelin. Since she and her husband Josh picked me up at the airport on day one of my northern adventure, I have enjoyed getting to know them as great friends. This past week Katelin and I shared in the all-too-regular ritual of visiting the local cupcake shop and caught up over the decadent flavors of cinnamon chai and raspberry lemonade. I am grateful for our relationship because she is a friend who expects us to be real–even when things aren’t pretty–and this time was no different.
We discussed SheLoves and Katelin encouraged me to write about joy. She then proceeded to share her most recent experience and how it translates into joy. I was so moved, I asked if she would be willing to share it in this week’s column:
Katelin & Josh’s story
A few months ago Josh and I decided we were ready to start a family and although I knew it was too early for any results, I started taking pregnancy tests over a week before the test could detect anything. One evening, about four days before my expected period, I had a positive test (followed by one negative test and three more positive tests). We were elated and couldn’t wait to tell family and friends, but wanted to hear the heartbeat before sharing the news.
Over the past year, I have dealt with a blood clot issue so was put on heparin, a blood thinner, after my first prenatal exam. This meant that Josh had to give me a needle in my stomach twice a day. Painful.
A requirement for being on blood thinners was having extra ultrasounds, which gave us many more opportunities to see our baby. We were thrilled when we first saw and heard the heartbeat at six weeks and then again at eight. Soon after, we told our families and then at around 10 weeks we told our friends and church. It felt officially “real” after everyone knew!
Around 12.5 weeks I was at work and noticed some spotting. I called Josh who quickly came and took me to the emergency room. Later that day we found out I had miscarried. My heart felt like it literally sunk. They told us it was probably a “missed miscarriage” as our baby had stopped growing around 8.5 weeks–just after we’d last heard the heartbeat. I was also told I would need to have an “evacuation” the next day.
We went home and spent the evening crying. When I got up the next morning and realized that by the afternoon my baby would no longer be inside of me I cried even more. Picking up my computer to go on Facebook, I noticed Josh had already used it to search for scriptures and was inspired to do the same. After googling “scriptures for miscarriage” I came across Psalm 34:18-19:
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed. The righteous person faces many troubles but the Lord comes to the rescue each time.”
The only words that really sunk in were, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted.” Shortly after I had the evacuation and then Josh and I spent a few days at home to grieve.
Sunday worship was incredible, but hard. We stayed in the sanctuary as long as we could and just basked in God’s presence. We left without visiting with anyone, knowing we would just break down if we did–though not out of sadness. On the way home we talked about how we felt God telling us it was OK to have joy and that we need to trust Him with everything, especially with our baby.
Romans 8:28 says:
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”
The following week the rest of Psalm 34 really sunk in, especially “the Lord comes to the rescue each time.” Through this experience I have been reminded that miscarriages are more common than they are discussed. I took comfort in knowing that many others have gone through this, as well. However, the most comfort came from a text message from my old roommate. She reminded me of something that I hadn’t considered: God knows exactly what Josh and I are going through because He once lost His son as well.
One in Five
After we chatted I did some research on miscarriages and, as Katelin wrote, they are more common than expected. According to research from a Canadian parenting website, miscarriages occur in one of every five pregnancies. Multiplied, that is one million babies miscarried for every five million born. Wow. In some cases, the cause is known, but in many others it is a mystery. The Miscarriage Association of the UK has some online resources if you are interested in knowing more.
Natasha Files is Case Manager with a Mental Health and Addictions Team. She has experience working with youth and adults struggling with a variety of life-controlling issues and she specializes in eating disorders. Natasha’s passion for mental wellness began when she personally experienced the impact of a genuinely caring professional. That passion is paired with a love of espresso, only to be overshadowed by her desire to see women set free from life-controlling issues.