A few years ago we met with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE) to discuss our battle with infertility that had gone on for over two years. After multiple tests, the doctor came back with the results and told us it was unlikely that we would ever conceive a child without invasive procedures such as IVF. While we had (and still have) no problems with others pursuing IVF, we did not feel the Lord leading us down that path. We strongly felt that if His will was for us to have our own biological child(ren), he would provide other ways. We decided to try a less invasive fertility treatment, and were beyond blessed with Jonathan.
The road to pregnancy was a long, painful one. The emotional turmoil was incredible. At one point I knew close to 60 women who were pregnant at the same time. I prayed, I cried, I even threw a few temper tantrums at God. There were ladies popping out baby after baby, and some were not taking care of them. They weren’t loving and appreciating the gift they’d been given, and I was mad. I was hurt that while we waited, friends were getting pregnant with their second and third child. I had so many questions for God. I wanted answers.
God blessed me with a friend who had walked the road before me. While it didn’t take the crushing pain of infertility away, it did ease it. I didn’t feel so alone anymore.
Jonathan is now 9 months old. He’s growing up and maturing faster than I’m ready for. I love every minute of being his mom.
I love the calling of being a mom. But now Joe and I can no longer say that Jonathan is our only child. Our lives have drastically changed again.
Recently we were shocked to find out that the Lord had blessed us with another pregnancy. Shocked at the timing. Shocked at the fact that we got pregnant without the use of fertility treatments. Overwhelmed with God’s graciousness. Honestly, I took the test to rule out pregnancy. I knew I was pretty late, but attributed it to the fact Jonathan was going through a growth spurt and I was nursing more. Our world quickly entered into fast forward.
While the excitement abounded, I was actually pretty nervous. I think I have some strange form of PTSD because of the sheer stress Jonathan’s sleep issues have caused. I went months with sleeping in 30 minute increments it felt like. We’ve come a long way, but what if the second baby had similar problems? How on earth could I be a good mom to Jonathan and a new baby? Would I be adequate enough?
And then the heart-wrenching began. I started spotting. I kept trying to remind myself that this, along with strong cramping, happened the entire first trimester with Jonathan. I was trying my hardest to stay calm, but fear struck. And it struck hard. Over the course of 24 hours, the spotting turned to full force bleeding and passing clots. I knew what was happening. Having spent years working in pathology, I knew what I was seeing. Our little baby, the one we’d only had the chance to celebrate its life for a few short days, had left us. Tests and ultrasounds the following day confirmed what I already knew.
The heartache has been real. While my little baby may not have survived for very long, it won’t be forgotten. I want to tell the doctor that told me “it’s as if it never happened”, that yes, yes it happened. The Lord gave us this child. For reasons that I will never know, He allowed it to be taken from us soon thereafter. I’ve wanted to be mad at God, but deep in my heart, I know that’s not the answer. Getting mad at God gives the devil victory. I have to trust that the Lord has a plan in all of this.
But we can’t allow our little one to go unrecognized. Albeit short, there was a life within me. A life that has passed straight to heaven. Instead of one baby, we now have two. One living here on earth, one celebrating in heaven.
To give our little one’s life the recognition and respect it deserves, we have chosen a name. Some people may never understand our desire to do so. In Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, she quotes another author on the significance of naming.
“Now, in the Bible a name … reveals the very essence of a thing, or rather its essence as God’s gift … To name a thing is to manifest the meaning and value God gave it, to know it as coming from God and to know its place and function within the cosmos created by God. To name a thing, in other words, is to bless God for it and in it.”
It was too early to determine if our baby would have been a boy or girl, but we felt strongly about picking out a girls name. So, our little girl, who is dancing in the streets of heaven is named Giana, which means “God is gracious” in Hebrew. She was important to us. Her short life has impacted our lives greatly.