Loved for a Lifetime: My Story of Pregnancy Loss

Loved for a Lifetime: My Story of Pregnancy Loss

Before I even opened my eyes, the knowing was there.

“I’m pregnant.”

Some call it intuition, others God’s voice—this deep knowing we experience on the rarest of occasions.

We are left with an unshakeable assuredness—a knowing of what’s true before the data is there to back it up.

On Not Knowing

I’ve experienced this knowing a handful of times throughout life. It’s rare but unquestionable.

From small things—like knowing my name was going to be spoken as the winner of the 5th-grade calendar design contest—to big things—like the voice that whispered, “you will endure intravenous chemo” after my oncologist handed me a sheet of paper with treatment options.

But there is one place the knowing has never been felt: motherhood.

The morning I awoke knowing I was pregnant came as a bit of a shock.

The Decision Put on Hold

When my husband and I got married, we were on the same page: we didn’t know if we wanted kids—and we mostly kept this to ourselves. While we weren’t ashamed of not knowing and continuing to circle back to “not yet,” it wasn’t the norm—and certainly not what people expected.

Anytime I voiced a hesitancy toward becoming a mother to a friend or coworker, the response was always the same: “You will make the most wonderful mother!” I was grateful for their assurance but still didn’t feel it to be true in my own heart. My husband and I adore kids, but when we considered becoming parents ourselves, we just didn’t know if it was going to be part of our story.

Then one day, the conversation was off the table—for everyone. A few months into marriage, I began treatment for an aggressively growing tumor.

A Window of Opportunity

When chemo ended in the summer of 2019, we still weren’t ready. We had plenty of healing to do from the medical trauma that had just unfolded in our lives. As the months wore on and an MRI confirmed the tumor continued to shrink post-treatment, we began to dream in new ways. Also added to the mix was a little bit of pressure—we knew this might be a window of opportunity we wouldn’t get again. We started to pray for direction.

I did what I often do and made a list. I decided I would be ready if each item on the list fell into place. One by one, they did. I didn’t count it as a coincidence. These were big answers to big prayers:

+ The tumor stayed at bay

+ An Achilles surgery was successful in restoring my mobility

+ My blood work came back all clear

As each obstacle seemed to be cleared away, excitement slowly began to bloom as we reconsidered the possibility of expanding our family.

A Positive Pregnancy Test

After returning home from the store, the pregnancy test confirmed what I already knew to be true: I was pregnant.

The shock slowly turned to awe as we realized this was really happening. We were becoming parents.

This was a new kind of unexpected—the good kind. We started planning and preparing. We surprised our immediate family with the news. Joy abounded as we fell deeply in love and started reimaging our future as a growing family.

Healing from Pregnancy Loss

A few short weeks after awakening with that deep knowing, I awoke with a different one: something was wrong. I painstakingly waited for the minutes to tick away so I could place a call to the doctor.

An ultrasound revealed the baby was still there—and that everything might still turn out okay. I left with a photo of our precious baby in hand— a gift in the breaking. I clung to hope, but in my heart that knowing was there: this was the beginning of the end.

A photo given to us from the initial ultrasound.

On Monday, the doctor uttered the words no expectant mother wants to hear: “I’m so sorry, the baby is no longer there.” The grief I hadn’t allowed myself to feel took hold. Joy I had never known was replaced by an unimaginable sorrow.

“God, haven’t I dealt with enough?” For weeks, it was hard to acknowledge the pregnancy had even been real. One knowing to the next had all happened too fast. Still processing the idea of becoming parents, it was hard to comprehend that we were already being asked to process the loss.

This was a pregnancy we had prayed for, a baby that had felt like a gift—one taken away too soon.

Healing is a Process

Healing continues to be a process—one that ebbs and flows. To know why these things happen is impossible to understand—and we all find comfort in our own ways. I’ve wrestled with God over this unexpected piece of my story—and not found His provision lacking.

The scripture I turned to two days after experiencing pregnancy loss.

God chose to entrust this baby and its brief life into our care—and it has left us forever changed. We experienced a new kind of love—one that will never go away. Our hearts continue to ache from the loss of what could have been, but they are tender for what was—for the gift of carrying that baby for seven weeks. For all the dreams that will not be, our hearts still break.

I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a mother, but as I left the doctor’s office that day, what I came to know with certainty was this: I want to be one. This baby helped us find a different kind of knowing—one we cling to as we continue to pray, hope, and dream of growing our family one day.

Resources To Turn To

If you have experienced miscarriage, pregnancy loss, or indecision related to parenthood, know that I am praying for you. May these resources help you navigate your uncertainty, grief, or as you wait with hope as we do:

Community | Our Scarlett Stories Pregnancy Loss CommunityInstagram

Book | Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss by Adriel Booker

Podcast | Even If by Kelly Streiff

Remembrance | Bottle of Tears: Curated Gifts of Hope

Article | Mother or Not, You Matter by Sam DeCosmo

Ungrounded: A Companion to Pausing in God's Presence. Download your copy here: https://marybetheiler.com/freebies/ungrounded/

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