A God of All Comfort

Posted by  | Wednesday, July 16, 2008  at 11:59 PM  
My name is Pam and my dear friend, Krista, asked me if I would share the story of our loss this week. As I have read the heartfelt stories and grieved with and for three incredible women this week, I pondered upon what I should add or write and asked the Lord to give me insight on what to share with you. Each one of these women opened their hearts and shared the truth of what it truly means to feel anger, disappointment, hurt, and to be in despair, and in utter confusion. They also shared all of the wonderful statements and encouraging words that are wonderful to hear in a time of loss as well as hurtful ones. They have shared many of the same websites, scripture verses, and songs that helped my husband and me through our loss. So as the week progressed I continued to pray, “Lord, what would you have me share that would make an impact or touch the reader who needs it this week?” This is our story:

My husband and I found out we were expecting for the second time at the end of January (2007). We were ready to expand our family of three. God had already blessed us with a beautiful daughter and I was so thrilled to know that my heart’s desire was taking place and God was blessing us with another child. Our first few doctor’s appointments were normal routine visits. Everything in the pregnancy was going well and was completely normal. I was scheduled to receive my second ultrasound at 10 weeks 5 days, on March 1, 2007. At the time, I didn’t recognize God’s hand on that day, in that appointment, but as I have looked back many times and reflect on that day I see how He was at work. Andy, my husband, was unable to be with me at this visit due to work obligations. I was comfortable with that decision since we had done this before and things seemed to be going great. We got a call the night before my appointment that my mom and dad, who live 8 hours and several hundred miles away, were coming through town that day! My mom was so excited to be able to come to my appointment with me and see the ultrasound. We arrived at the doctor’s and things looked well with my weight gain and vital signs. The nurse asked the typical questions- “Any problems or complications we should notify the doctor about?”- “Any bleeding or cramping?” All to which, I answered with “no.” My heart was overjoyed as I knew I was about to see the little one inside of me. The doctor came in and started the ultrasound. He was smiling as he quickly found the baby. My mom and I saw the baby and were amazed at the growth at 10 weeks, 5 days of pregnancy. We were commenting on the tiny arms and legs and shape of his/her little head when I noticed the doctor’s expression change completely. He was no longer smiling and talking with us. I knew something had gone wrong. His face had dropped, he turned the screen away from me, and then he started to share with us that the baby no longer had a heartbeat. Although I was 10 weeks 5 days the baby only measured at 9 weeks 4 days. It appeared that I had lost him/her the week prior. My heart was shattered, my hopes, dreams, and everything I imagined for this little one vanished within a complete second. I was in shock to see this perfect little body on the screen and to know that he/she was no longer with us. My mom and I cried together as well as with the doctor. My mind began to flood with thoughts--How would I tell Andy? How would I move on without this little one? Why did he/she have to be gone? What did I do wrong? Why didn’t I have any signs that something was wrong? Why did I still feel pregnant? All of these questions filled my mind as I wondered if things would be the same again. As I look back, I see God’s hand at work on that very day, as He allowed my mom to be there, as He gave me a Christian doctor that experienced this type of loss personally with his wife who cried and prayed with us, and in the scheduling of having to wait only 2 days for my D&C. The following day my husband and I went to have one more detailed ultrasound to confirm the news that was given the day before and to help give him have closure and see our precious baby once more before the D&C. I am thankful that I only had to wait two days until my D&C. Those were the hardest, most agonizing days I have had to endure. Knowing our child was still inside of me, without a heartbeat, no breath of life, and that I was never going to meet him or her face to face. It was during those two days that I cried out to God. I was angry and wanted someone or something to blame. I doubted my faith and wondered why this had happened. What was I supposed to gain from this?

A dear friend of mine, who had personally gone through 6 miscarriages, called me up and said 3 things, “I love you, I’m sorry, and 2 Corinthians 1:3-7.”

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves received from God.” 2 Cor. 1:3-4
She then showed me every month how much she cared by telling us that she was thinking of us, praying for us, and grieving with us through cards, phone calls, e-mails, and simple words. It was two months later, Mother’s Day weekend, when she called and said, “Come to a memorial service honoring our little ones in Heaven.” At this service I finally felt closure as I prayed to the Lord, dedicated our little one into His care, and felt a peace knowing that only He could give. The Lord showed me in that moment through this experience how to minister to others. Prior to this experience, I have met and grown to love many women that had experienced this pain and never knew what to say or how to show them love, concern, and Christ’s affection for them during this time as well as friends who have been experiencing infertility. You see, my dear friend, who cared enough to be there to say, “I love you, I’m thinking of you, and I’m sorry” not just when it occurred, but months later, helped me through the healing process and “how to deal with our loss.” I don’t think that when you lose a child you ever “deal” with the loss, you only learn how to slowly move on by leaning on family, friends, and most importantly the Lord.

So, the most important things I learned and can share with you from our experience are:
1) God is a God of all comfort therefore cry out to Him! It’s ok to be angry, hurt, and feel abandoned. Our faith grows stronger when we rely on Him and turn to Him, even in our darkest moments.

2) When you lose a child your spouse is dealing with a loss too. During a part of the grieving process I was angry at Andy, my husband; because I felt that he didn’t feel this was a big of a loss as I did. He, in fact, was devastated and didn’t feel he could show it because he wanted to be strong for me. He needed to break down and release his grief as well. Lean on one another during this time.

3) When this happens to someone you know or someone you care deeply about don’t just show them you care in the beginning. Remember times that will mean something to them as well—Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, baby’s due date/birthday. Even if you have experienced a loss, you will never understand exactly how someone else is feeling in their loss. Everyone is different, everyone deals with it differently. Just be there to listen and to show them you care.

4) Know that one day you will hold your little one in heaven. A book given to me, at the Mother’s Day Memorial Service, that helped answer many questions was, “I’ll Hold You in Heaven” by Jack Hayford. I recommend this to anyone experiencing this pain and would like answers and/or a great resource for women who have experienced a miscarriage but also an abortion, stillbirth, and/or early infant death.

5) “Blessed Be the Name of The Lord”—The words to this song ring true every day in my life.
“Every blessing you pour out, I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name
You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say Lord,
Blessed be your name”


Robin Baker said...

that song got me through my most agonizing times after my 2 miscarriages... thanks for sharing and may the Lord continue to comfort you.

Krista said...

Thank you to the brave ladies who have shared their stories this week. My heart has ached and cried along with you. I have been challenged in my faith as I see how you have leaned on the Lord and the wisdom and insights you've gained/shared. Erin said, "I had made God too small by requiring him to act to fulfill my dreams" - wow that really hit home. How many times do I do that in my life?!
Also, I can't tell you enough how helpful it has been for me to hear how to better love and support someone going through this. I think many times I don't want to bring it up because I'm worried the other person will get sad. Pam, it was so helpful to hear that it is important to bring it up - especially on important days. Each of you have been so real and vulneralbe - thank you.

Christy said...

"I don’t think that when you lose a child you ever “deal” with the loss, you only learn how to slowly move on by leaning on family, friends, and most importantly the Lord."

In all honesty until this week I never realized how true this statement is. I have realized that in some senses I have pushed these feelings back instead of allowing myself to feel them, even though it has been six and a half years since my miscarriage and I now have two very beautiful boys, I still feel the pain of that loss. I no longer place blame but I still mourn for my little one that I never got to meet. Thanks so much for sharing and reminding me of this fact.

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