If you have not read part one or part two of this series, I urge you to read them before you read this one. God has given us a story, a hard, but beautiful story, and it is best told from the beginning.
During the period of waiting after our second miscarriage, God taught us a lot about the way we had been parenting. For us, loving our babies had meant getting ready for them to be born. We got excited about planning the nursery, getting those “first trimester necessities”, thinking about when the baby would born, when the baby would take it’s first steps, when the baby would say it’s first words.
Through our loss, the Spirit helped us realize that the way we were showing love to our baby, wasn’t actually loving our babies. Don’t get me wrong, Austin and I love all of our children whole heartedly! But, the way we thought that should look was wrong. We were loving a future – a future that wasn’t guaranteed. We were getting attached to the child we hoped our babies would become, not who are babies were.
We decided, if God gifted us another child, we would do things differently. We would not get attached to the future. We would live, and love, in the present. We would love the teensy tiny poppy seed sized baby with all our hearts. We would be the best parents in the world to our little seedling before it even had a heartbeat.
In late May, when we found out we were pregnant again, that’s exactly what we did. The very first thing we did was buy a Jesus Storybook Bible. Every single night, Austin read a Bible story to our little one. We prayed and prayed for our bitty baby. We treasured every second. We were intentional with every moment, not knowing how many little moments we would have.
The first blood test didn’t look good, but we had hope. The second blood test was worse, but still not definite.
As I lay in bed, waiting for the doctor to call with the results from the third, I knew these could be the last moments I had with that baby. In the next few hours the doctor would call and tell me whether the baby was dying or still alive. I wanted to soak in every last little second. We picked up our storybook Bible and I read. I started with when Jesus was born. Mary was scared, but she trusted God. I turned the page and read about the man who’s daughter was sick and ran to Jesus to save her. He was afraid, but He trusted Jesus. Then I read about the woman who had been sick for years and touched Jesus cloak and was healed. She was afraid, but she trusted Jesus. Then I read about when the disciples were in the boat and the storm came. They were afraid, but Jesus reminded them that they needed to trust Him. It felt like the whole Bible had been written just for me, for that very moment. Baby and I decided we were going to trust Jesus.
A few hours later, the doctor called and confirmed that we had lost our third child. Of course we were sad. We grieved deeply. But this time we had no regrets. We had been the parents God called us to be. While we mourned the loss, we felt no guilt. We trusted Jesus. In the midst of the storm, when those now familiar sea billows of sorrow came back, we trusted Jesus. We knew He could get us through that storm.
Losing these three children is the hardest thing we have ever experienced. I don’t think my heart will ever really feel whole again, until I reach heaven. While I wish we didn’t have to suffer these losses, I am in awe that God, in His abundant grace, saw fit to give us all of our children. I have to remind myself daily that we will get to spend all of eternity with our kids. This life is not mine. I am not on this Earth to have everything I want. I am on this Earth to DO everything HE wants. He knew my heart’s desire and gave it to me, just not in the way I wanted. He gave me children, I just don’t get to hold those three today.
Thankfully, the Lord has blessed us with a beautiful baby girl who we have gotten to love and snuggle for over a year now. She was born on May 24, almost exactly one year after we lost our third child. I would like to say having Maisy erased all of our sorrow and pain, but she did not. Having her erased all of the fear of never having biological children, but Maisy isn’t the same person that our first baby was, or our second baby, or our third. Maisy is Maisy. She has brought us so much joy. She is sweet and bubbly, she has her daddy’s eyes and her mommy’s nose. She loves to snuggle and loves it when her mommy sings. But as I watch her grow and fall deeper in love with her, every sweet moment comes with a tiny hint of sadness, or perhaps longing is a better word. I long for our other three children, and I think I will until the day I am with them again. I long to know what they look like, what they sound like, who they are. I long to have the special moments I get with Maisy with my other kids.
We will forever be different parents, different people, because of the children we lost. We will love our children more, cherish our children more, make the most of each moment we have with them more. I pray that we would never take the moments we get with them for granted.
We long for our babies in heaven, and are so excited for the day we get to be with them again. Each of our 3 children has a beautiful, meaningful name. We didn’t know the gender of any of our children, so we prayed that God would show us what He calls them in heaven. He did. Their names are something I am going to treasure for myself, but be assured, they each have them.