The Miscarriage Club

the-miscarriage-club

[Editor’s note: Do you recognize the pretty lady in that picture? That is Devotional Diva’s one and only founder, Renee Fisher. Today she is bravely sharing about her initiation into The Miscarriage Club. I’m so glad she could do this, because I think miscarriage is a subject that needs to be talked about more openly.]

I coughed before my eyes fluttered open. I coughed again, and suddenly woke up.

“Where was I?”

A nurse quickly walked over to me and asked how I was doing. I told her how excited I was to have the surgery, and how grateful I was to find my new doctor just in time. She told me, in fact, that I had already come out of surgery and that I did great! She asked me if I was ready for some crackers and juice. Then she quickly added,

“Welcome to the club!”

“Thanks,” I said. It wasn’t until a moment later that I fully processed what she said. I quickly added an “I’m sorry.”

The nurse told me her story. I shared mine. She had a miscarriage in between her first and second child. I told her this was my first, and that we would try again.

I couldn’t help but think about the nurse’s Welcome to the Club, although I never asked to be invited.

The miscarriage had already happened.
There was nothing I could do about it now.

MY STORY

I found out on August 24th that I was pregnant. I peed on a stick because I had missed my period—not because I was having any symptoms. I had taken a few pregnancy tests before that had all came up negative.

I was 100% sure I was not pregnant. When both lines flashed across the screen right away I gasped.

I.
Was.
Pregnant.

I called and made an appointment with the OBGYN who previously called me overweight. I wasn’t sure who else to go to since we were new to Austin. I booked my first prenatal appointment, and went to Cancun days later with Marc on our vacation.

When we got back, I went to the doctors and they confirmed that I was, in fact, pregnant. I brought the sonogram home to Marc who told me it didn’t look like a baby. I had no clue what a sonogram was supposed to look like, so I didn’t give his words a second thought.

I got a call from my OBGYN’s office that I needed to retake my gestational diabetes test. Something didn’t feel right. They continued to call and harass me while adding more things I needed to do.

But.

I didn’t have time to think about it because I was flying up to Dallas to see my parents and tell them in person. I couldn’t wait to bless them with the news that they were going to be first-time grandparents!

It felt like a prophetic moment to tell them in front of their ministry partners. I knew God was there with me when I told them. I knew God had given me a vision a decade earlier that I would be married with a daughter.

When I was in Dallas the nurses at the OBGYN practice continued to call and harass me.

When I got home, I called a friend in Austin and asked for her doctors information. I called the very next morning, and made the switch. I was 11 weeks when Marc went with me for my second doctors appointment with my new doctor.

When my doctor started the sonogram, we both stared in shock at the screen. There was no baby!

My new doctor was so gracious to the both of us. We were both so shocked. She told me that I had a blighted ovum. She showed me the pregnancy sac and the umbilical chord. She was surprised that the previous doctor told me I was pregnant since there was never a viable embryo. She also said that I needed a D&C surgery right away.

That’s when it hit me.

Marc and I both knew. We knew something was wrong with how I had previously been treated. It wasn’t until I was faced with the truth that I understood. I couldn’t believe that God allowed my body to wait one more month for me to find the truth!

I wasn’t grieving the loss of a baby, but the loss of a pregnancy. God gave me a way out of my pain.

I told my friends and family that I had failed to miscarry, and that I needed surgery the next morning. I made it through the night with their prayers.

Although being welcomed to the miscarriage club certainly wasn’t the outcome Marc and I had hoped for, I am hopeful because God opened my womb. This past week, I have been welcomed to the miscarriage club over and over by friends and family members. I had no idea just how many women were part of this club.

According to Maria Durso, “Faith is a process. Nobody blesses like God the Father blesses. And the blessings of God will make up for more than any loss that you will incur.”

Through this whole unfortunate experience, my hope has grown.

My dream for a future child has not died. I look forward in faith to seeing the unseen become seen. I will one day be a mother because I am standing on God’s promises!

renee fisher on devotional divaRenee Fisher is a spirited speaker, author, coach and consultant. She is the Founding Editor of DevotionalDiva.com. A Biola University graduate, her mission in life is to spur others forward (Hebrews 10:24). She recently located from San Diego, CA to Austin, TX with her adoring husband, Marc, and their fur child named Star.

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Companion on the Journey

companion on the journey by Samantha Hanni on Devotional Diva

[Guest post by Samantha Hanni: Trying to conceive, infertility, miscarriages and pregnancy are difficult times and Samantha is right — it’s so important to have a female companion on the journey! God certainly placed someone like this in my life, and what an encouragement she was!]

Luke 1:5-36; 39-45; 56

Elizabeth and Mary. Two pregnancies against all odds.

A virgin birth? A pregnancy after menopause? Medically impossible. Highly unlikely.

Imagine the looks the teenager and grandma-aged lady must have gotten from neighbors, even friends. The suspected immorality. The arched eyebrows and whispered comments behind palms.

How trying and humiliating…to be pregnant is to be already vulnerable, but to be labeled as odd on top of that? I can’t imagine.

However, God in His tenderness didn’t leave these special women to fend for themselves. I believe He orchestrated these two dynamic pregnancies to coincide with one another to provide the support and encouragement the new moms would need.

Elizabeth’s husband, John, couldn’t talk throughout her pregnancy. How hard would that be to not hear the voice of your love, your closest friend for nine months?

Mary was not even with Joseph for a third of her pregnancy, a whole trimester. I fight anxiety when my husband is out of town for the weekend, so I can’t imagine being separated from him for that length of time.

God’s love and care is demonstrated by bringing these two women together under extraordinary circumstances.

They were women who had a unique road ahead of them. The friendship and pregnancy moments shared during those months they stayed together undoubtedly fortified them for the days to come.

Whether it’s in pregnancy, miscarriage or barrenness, God is faithful to provide companions to join you on the journey. You have to be willing to let God accomplish this work, though. Sometimes it means opening up a difficult part of your life. Sometimes it means finding friendship in unlikely places.

Bringing new life into the world and conversely, waiting oh-so expectantly for life to begin in you is a difficult road to walk. And while husbands provide the tenderness and support that few others, even family members, could provide, other women in the same situation understand subtleties of the journey that few others can.

Look around you. If you are struggling with feeling alone and isolated, I am willing to bet God has placed companions in your life who will pray for you, share your burden and join you on the journey of bearing life, or the journey of struggling to understand why your body has not borne life yet.

Maybe God is calling you to reach out to some women in your life.

I had shared with a friend at church that I was due to start my monthly cycle the day before my 25th birthday, and I was dreading the disappointment from another month passing with no change, right before my special day. And Aunt Flo came right on schedule- and that meant my birthday was a very PMS-y day. Yuck. She texted me that morning and later in the afternoon saying she was praying for me that I would feel peace and contentment in spite of the circumstances.

Those words meant the world to me because I knew she understood. She knew how it felt to have another month go by with…nothing. Nothing but cramps and emotions that were all over the place.

It’s the enemy who wants us to feel isolated and alone. He can wreak great havoc on those who are separated from the flock. God never wants us to feel isolated and alone. His word promises He is always with us, and He desires that we find companionship and support in the body of Christ.

Sisters, let us follow Elizabeth and Mary’s example and support one another, during such seasons as these and always.

samanthaSamantha Hanni graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma in 2012 with a degree in journalism. Her passion is encouraging other people and seeing God’s truth make a difference in their lives. She is featured in the devotional book “Big Dreams from Small Spaces” by Group Publishing and blogs at mrshanni.com. Samantha and her husband reside in Oklahoma City.

 

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Becoming a Mom is Completely Terrifying

becoming a mom is completely terrifying maggie winterton on devotional diva motherhood anxiety christian blogBecoming a mom is completely terrifying.

Almost every night for the past few weeks, I’ve started falling asleep…and then I realize, I’M GOING TO BE A MOM.

I go into a panic, thinking about how hard it will be to take care of my new baby and trying to think of all the things I still need to do. I try to rationalize my knowledge of infant care and how I can get everything done.

In my mind, if I can make sense of something and have a reasonable plan, I start to feel better.

I’m excited for my little boy to arrive, really, I am. I want to be a mom, but at the same time, it’s just so scary.

There is no way one can really prepare themselves for becoming a parent, right? I am reading all the books on having a newborn, I’m planning on taking some classes, and I already have a lot of experience with babies. But I imagine you don’t know what you’re really in for until you’re there.

I hate that! I feel so much better when I’m prepared for things.

And it’s not just that I will have this little being completely relying on me in about two months. I still feel like I have so much that I want/need to accomplish before he gets here. Because, obviously, things we be different once he arrives!

So I want to try to get a lot of stuff out of the way, like home organization. I know that my son will not need our pantry to be reorganized when he comes home from the hospital. (Well, hopefully he is not a demanding little neat freak right out of the womb!) If it’s not reorganized by the time he gets here, oh well, I just will have to wait until things settle down and I have more time to do it. But I have still set that goal and feel I need to complete it.

The pregnancy books say that anxiety is normal, but I kind of feel bad about it. I guess I just didn’t think I would feel this way right now. It’s not like I thought I would be so ill during my pregnancy, either. Sometimes I have such silly expectations for myself.

It’s always amazing to me how, at stressful times, God will show me He’s got my back. A couple weeks ago fellow Christian blogger Kelly Crawford reached out to me to send me her eBook on motherhood entitled (get this): When Motherhood Feels Too Hard.

I think I laughed out loud when I read the email. There was no way Kelly knew I was just starting to struggle with motherhood. She only knew I was going to become a mom. Oh, but God knew, alright! God is so good.

It’s things like a devotional targeted just to what I need, that feeling of God’s love, and knowledge that He totally knows what’s going on with me that encourages me to carry on. To put down the baby care book at 1 AM and try to get some sleep; To stop looking at Pinterest to figure out how I’m going to reorganize my entire house.

And to just trust that, really, truly, everything is gonna be okay!

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Disclaimer: As I mentioned, Kelly graciously sent me her eBook for free.
photo credit: Ezra toes via photopin (license)

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You Can Have a Peaceful Pregnancy

peaceful pregnancy

[Guest post by Sarah Coleman: Sarah was the first woman to reach out to me to submit a guest post when I became editor. I loved her writing and I could feel her kind and generous spirit through the computer screens that connected us. For those of you on the path of motherhood, be encouraged.]

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

I was fairly optimistic when it came to pregnancy.

I mean, teenage girls don’t have a problem with it. Why would I? Of course I would give birth to healthy children.

 Then I had a miscarriage. And everything changed.

The second time I fell pregnant I didn’t take a pregnancy test until the morning sickness was quite obvious. I guess I didn’t want to get my hopes up again. Two days later I boarded a plane to Israel. We visited many remarkable sites, but none were more memorable for me than our last stop, the Garden Tomb.

I was roughly six weeks pregnant by this time. Very early stages. To be honest, my heart was fretful. Worrying every day. Every twinge. Every small stomach pain. Reminders of the pain in my heart due to the previous miscarriage.

Ever wondering. Ever anxious. Smiling fearful.

The Garden Tomb is the most beautiful place in the world. I don’t mean that is beautiful asthleticly, I have certainly seen scenery more lovely. But in terms of the feeling a place gives you, it was the most soothing emotion I have had.

It is a pretty garden, full of old trees, pleasant flowers, peaceful water features, and quaint stone pathways. There are areas for quiet contemplation and meditation, as well as spaces for large groups to partake in communion. And of course, there is the tomb.

The tomb that once held my Saviour’s body is awesome. Awesome is one of those over used words. Rarely is anything described as awesome, truly awesome. Yet the tomb of Christ is. It is an empty shell, cut in stone. And inside there is absolutely nothing. Nothing. The most wonderful nothing to be found. Awesome.

I exited the tomb empowered and enthused. He is risen. He won. He conquered. Death has no victory. Jesus is alive.

Reactions to seeing the empty tomb varies. To some, the realisation of a risen Lord results in praise. Others, contemplative worship. People weep, or on the other hand exude joy. For me, it was peace. Time visiting the garden tomb culminated in peace. Peace that told me everything would be alright. It was the most exquisite moment in the world.

There were many times when I drew on the peace I felt that day. From hearing that my baby was too small, to an emergency caesarean section. Through it all, I drew on Christ’s peace. My baby was born strong and healthy. Everything was alright.

John 14:1 Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me.

God does not want you anxious through pregnancy or motherhood.

He does not wish you troubled. Experience His peace. Yes, things are going to be alright. Everything will work together for good. No harm will come near. Peace from the Father surpasses all understanding. Trust in the Lord. He is our peace.

Psalm 91 is full of promises of safety and protection. It concludes with these words:

Psalm 91:14-16 The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long lifeand give them my salvation.”

Receive peace from the Lord, today. Allow Him to calm your fears. He loves you and will answer when you call. And His rewards include peace. Everything will be alright.

Romans 15:33 And now may God, who gives us his peace, be with you all. Amen.

 

sarah-colemanI’m an Aussie passionate about Jesus & family. Through blogs and books I minister life and encouragement. Download my FREE eBook, Be Amazing: You Know You Want To. Find more of my thoughts at sarahcoleman.com.au

 

 

 

photo credit: seyed mostafa zamani via photopin cc

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