Heartbreak – Five years on

Five years ago, my wife and I lost our second child to miscarriage. Seventeen days later, I wrote a post entitled “Heartbreak.” I haven’t written anything longer than a Facebook status update or reply on the subject in the years since, but that should not be misconstrued as willfully ignoring the loss or trying to gloss over it. The pain today is more muted than immediately following the loss, but, as I suspected then, one never truly “gets over” such a significant loss.

In the five years between then and now, there are plenty of stories to tell, such as how my wife and I suffered when month after month passed and every pregnancy test came back negative. How we remained committed to having another child, despite trying for over a year with no success. How my older daughter told me that there was “a baby in mommy’s tummy” during a routine call on the drive home. How my wife and I prepared for the worst when she started spotting again during the third pregnancy. How we waited in the emergency room waiting room for what felt like ages while we waited to find out if our child was alive or dead. How I burst into tears of joy to hear a fetal heartbeat that proved the baby was alive. How my stomach sank when my wife told me to call an ambulance when the pain of contractions knocked her to her knees. How we celebrated together approximately 30 minutes later when we welcomed our new child in to the world in the back of an ambulance parked one mile from our home.

We are tremendously blessed to have two beautiful, smart, strong-willed daughters. Though parenting is exhausting work, it is also richly rewarding and I do not take this opportunity for granted. These children are a blessing from God and I cherish them, even on days when they’re especially demanding.

By the grace of God, I remained true to my pledge to not abandon my faith, though that resolve demanded much. I wish I could say I had spent my youth building a foundation of study of the Bible and spiritual disciplines such a regular prayer to prepare me for such a devastating loss. Though I squandered so much time in adolescence and adulthood, God held firm to me while I worked through my grief. I am immensely grateful He continues to do so. Though there were days I wish He’d let me go, I am so very glad He did not relent.

Work and family responsibilities demand I write shorter pieces on those very rare occasions when I do write, but I will close by once again giving all credit for my ability to persevere to God. In my own strength, I would have turned away from the suffering instead of working through it. I can’t imagine enduring the emotional torment that my wife and I–and every couple trying to conceive after a miscarriage–faced before our younger daughter was born without supernatural aid. I pray I can at the very least encourage someone by telling my story, even in fragments spaced five years apart. If nothing else, I remain committed to respecting the life that was lost as well as the lives of our two daughters to whom we strive to show even a dim representation of God’s abounding love.

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