Tag Archive | pregnancy

When The Womb Runs Dry

9-25-02.2I remember with vivid clarity the day we learned I had miscarried our first child. We were traveling home from Colorado to Florida when I started spotting. After 4 years of infertility, the thought of losing this long-awaited baby was terrifying. When the loss was confirmed, it seemed my tears would never stop.

That was almost 21 years ago.

I have 3 healthy children, 13, 17 and 19. Although we lost 2 more babies in the midst, our quiver is as full as we want it. Yet when the realization hit that I was on the downside of menopause, I cried.

I loved being pregnant. I didn’t suffer the nausea of so many of my friends. Although worried during my second pregnancy that the same thing would happen as the first, it got increasingly easier to relax. Nausea-free pregnancies, problem-free births (well, there were 2 short stays in the NICU for #1 and #3, but all was fine in the end), pain-free nursing (although I had to supplement #2 and #3 because they weren’t gaining enough weight). After our infertility struggle, I felt very blessed.

I was 4 days away from being 35 when I had my first child, and I was almost 41 when I Xmas 04had my 3rd, so another pregnancy really wasn’t in the cards for us. But still, the idea that it would never happen again stirred up feelings I didn’t even know were there. Somehow we think childbearing defines us as women and when we find ourselves unable to do that, our self-image takes a hit.

Now, after 2 years of no more visits from Aunt Flo, I am mostly at peace with the situation, knowing that an infant in the house would really throw us for a loop, but the baby boom in the young moms around me causes some melancholy. My friends from high school and college are becoming grandparents, having started parenting a lot sooner than I, and my arms long to cuddle newborns again. I plead for time holding the young mom’s infants, but somehow someone consistently beats me to it.

I know that there are many who cannot bear their own babies. Some opt to remain childless, some adopt infants, some adopt older kids. I have friends in all camps. The struggle is real. When I didn’t know whether I’d be able to have children or not, each new birth around me was painful. Now, each new birth is a joy as I know that it’s my time to be a mentor, to let the younger women have their chance. I’m certainly glad to be able to sleep through the night! And it’s probably a good thing that my daughter and I won’t be hormonal at the same time once she gets in on the act.

IMG_4533Bearing babies isn’t what makes me a woman. It isn’t what gives me worth. It isn’t even what defines me. I am a mom and it’s a wonderful thing. But I am first of all a child of God. Nothing will change that. Instead of being defined by the blood I used to shed each month, I am defined by the blood shed for me on the Cross. It will never run dry.


Now excuse me while I go find a baby to hold.




Why I’m Pro Life

choose life feetIt breaks my heart to read stories detailing arguments between those who are pro life and those who are pro choice. So much vitriol. So much passion on either side. I cry for those who are in situations where they have to make a choice, and I cry for the babies who will never see life.

I’ve never been put into a situation where I had to make the choice of whether to keep a pregnancy going or to terminate it. I’ve been pregnant 6 times, and only 3 of those babies made it to birth. I miscarried the other 3. But all those babies were wanted and loved before they ever took a breath. When I miscarried, I grieved.

I was married, gainfully employed (if you can call being a missionary being gainfully employed) and in good health. I didn’t have any of the factors in my life that cause others to have to make the decision to carry a baby to term or not.

I could argue for hours about the logic of life beginning at conception, but I don’t think this is a logical subject: it’s an emotional one. So when a friend of mine found herself face to face with the decision to terminate her pregnancy or not, the issue drew very close to home.

Cristina, married with 2 other children, wasn’t expecting to get pregnant. But she and her husband rejoiced at the news. Then tragedy struck: As she began to bleed heavily, Cristina learned that she had been carrying twins, but one didn’t make it. Now, the second was at great risk. Because the placenta had ruptured to expel the baby that hadn’t survived, the likelihood of the other also being expelled was very high. Cristina was referred to a high-risk OBGyn and put on strict bedrest in hopes that the placenta would heal.

The family called all their friends and family around them to pray.

The next blow came when an ultrasound revealed that the surviving twin had an omphalocele, an abdominal wall defect, that causes the intestines, liver, and occasionally other organs, to form in a sac outside its body. Not only that, there was a large hematoma near the placenta, and the cervix was open because of the miscarriage.

The high risk doctor assured Cristina that there was no chance that she would carry this baby to term. She could abort it, or go home and wait for the inevitable. But Cristina’s hope is in Jesus and so we prayed.

Cristina's ultrasoundIn the middle of one night, Cristina awoke with a powerful feeling inside her body. She woke her husband to pray with her. Then she felt peace. At her next appointment, the ultrasound revealed that the baby was perfect. The omphalocele had disappeared, the hematoma was completely gone. The doctor was speechless. All she could say was that it was a miracle. Subsequently, they discovered that even the cervix had closed “by itself” without the need of stitches to close it up.

Cristina is free to resume normal life, carrying a normal baby in a completely normal way, yet with the knowledge that this was an extraordinary event.

God has a plan for every single life. This is just one example of how one of the arguments for abortion—the child having major defects that would cause it to spontaneously abort anyway—is nothing in the hands of a mighty God. Does He always miraculously heal? No. Is He able? Absolutely. 

To not trust Him who is the giver of life is to live in fear of the unknown. Perfect love casts out fear.

That’s one of the reasons I have made the choice to be pro life.