It’s Father’s Day, 2027. I’m at a wine festival without my husband. All around us are families, fathers playing with or holding their children. A Bob Marley song starts to play. Don’t worry, about a thing, because every little thing, is gonna be alright. As much as I want to hold on to this hope, sometimes it eludes me.
~The day after~
My husband is usually an”It is what it is” kind of guy. But when he sent me several text messages about how awful Father’s Day was for him, my heart sank. He feels robbed, like he’s missing out. We should already have our daughter… and we don’t. And it’s still not happening(cycle day 4 as I write this). I try my best to lift him up out of this slump he’s in but he has every right to be there. This sucks. Miscarriage sucks. Secondary unexplained infertility, as much as I feel that’s some made up term, sucks even more!
Every year on a certain holiday, we tell ourselves that we’ll be at least pregnant by this time last year. Well, 3 Mothers Day and Father’s Day has gone by. As well as 2 New Years, birthdays, Thanksgiving and Christmases. Yes, we count. We also pray that one day we will be getting cheesy hand made gifts and cards on our special holiday. I also pray so hard that my husband get to at least be holding our child in his arms next year on Fathers Day.
What’s the point in praying for a pregnancy and/or a live baby when it seems completely irrelevant to the outcome? were questions I asked numerous times. I don’t know if I have any answers, but I can let you take a glimpse at my journey.
My personal relationship with God changed greatly after pregnancy loss. Before I would have considered myself a very luke-warm Christian and had absolutely no understanding of the Holy Spirit. How can bad things happen to good people? Why pray if bad things are still going to occur? What does it mean to trust in Him in the good times and the bad? I started to dig deeper than I ever had. I started studying the Bible more and read a few theological books. But mainly, I actually started talking to God. And by talking I mean expressing anger, sorrow, my confusion and hurt, which I had so much of. But mostly, I started giving thanks. Yes hard times happen, but there is still so much to be thankful for. Even in the hurt and pain. That’s when I realized that praying and talking to God is about having a relationship with God. Yes, he already knows the desires of my heart. But praying is more than giving a list of desires; it’s about building a relationship. If I’m not talking to Him then I can’t hear Him when he responds. Jesus said, My sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 14:27-28). We are his sheep and we have to be able to recognize each other. It’s a reciprocal relationship based on love and communication. This verse also shows me that my hope is not really on this Earth, but in Heaven.
As far as specific prayers, sometimes my prayers have been answered fitting with the desire of my heart, but more often my prayers were not answered in the ways I prayed. After my miscarriage, I prayed so hard that the next pregnancy would result in an earthly child. My prayer was not answered in the way I asked as I’m still not pregnant. I still don’t understand, but I’ve learned that I have to trust even when understanding is non-existent. With my next pregnancy I’ll pray that God prepares my heart in case my child is born into Heaven instead of on Earth. Of course it will hurt beyond belief if the child I’ll carry in my womb is born in Heaven, but I pray that “fear of the future is replaced with joy in the moment” and that my heart is prepared for “continuing to trust and love God even not, even if this results in another miscarriage or if my child is stillborn.” I pray now for growth of my own personal spiritual character traits (fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in addition to specific desires.
Having an Earthly child is not based on sin or lack of sin. It’s not based on faithfulness or lack of faithfulness. Just like it rains on the just and unjust, the rays of sun hit both the just and unjust. This world is imperfect and fairness just doesn’t exist, but I choose to let hope outweigh despair.
So what’s the point of praying? For me, it’s to continue my relationship with God. I want to continue to give Him thanks along with telling Him the desires of my heart. But most of all, I want to be able to hear His voice when He whispers “be patient”.
I’m happy for you but sad for me. Why not me?
Hearing that someone is expecting or has had their baby is so wonderful. But hard. Very hard. I truly am happy for you. I’m just sad for me. Why not me? I’m so happy you didn’t have to experience the heartache of pregnancy loss or still birth. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I’m so happy that your pregnancy was beautiful and that you got to dress your baby bump and take milestone pictures. I’m so happy that you had a creative gender reveal and then put together the perfect nursery. I’m so happy that you had the baby shower of you dreams. I’m so happy that your birth plan went as planned and that you brought that bundle of joy home.
Believe me, I am happy for you. Please don’t feel uncomfortable about telling me that you’re trying or expecting. I am happy for you. Don’t feel uncomfortable complaining about your morning sickness, weight gain and swollen feet. I am happy for you.
But I’m sad for me. Why not me? You name it, we’ve tried it! What am I doing wrong? Im exhausted, I feel defeated and I’m so broken. But I know that God will turn my ashes into something so beautiful when He’s ready. I know that my story isn’t over. I know that even though I feel like we’ve waited long enough, I can’t force the works of the All Mighty.
Many of you don’t know this about me. Not because I’m ashamed, but because I need to protect my heart and space. I had a 5 month miscarriage on November 4 ,2014. My angels name is Ava. That day, and the days following, have changed me in so many ways. Some good and some bad. I’ve also learned so many lessons. One thing that I have to remind myself of daily, is that I have absolutely no control over my next pregnancy. I can lay on my back with my feet up for the next nine months and stress over if my baby’s heart is still beating, or I can live my life, enjoying every second of the time I have with my baby, and bask in the amazing grace that is the life growing inside of me. By doing the latter, I’m letting go of the control I want to have and I’m giving it to the One who is really in control. The One who has blessed my family with this life.
To truly trust God through my next pregnancy, and to truly believe that IT IS WELL, gives me a peace that transcends everything that I have ever known.
Now that doesn’t mean that I won’t have fears, worries or doubt. Of course I will. Something very traumatic happened to my husband and I on that day. We no longer live in a space of blissful ignorance regarding pregnancies. We now know that loss happens. Without warning signs or distress. Regardless of how “healthy” your pregnancy is. No matter how much you’ve done everything “right” every since you saw those life changing two pink lines. Despite it all, I became a statistic that I knew nothing about until that day. I am 1 in 4. So yes, fears and worries will creep into my heart. I just won’t live there.
Instead I will create a space where God lives. Where love lives. Full of scripture that reminds me of Gods love and promise. Do we want a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy with a safe delivery and a live baby that we can take home? Yes we do. But in the face of what we know can go wrong, I also know that even if not, He is still good.
My name is Aniesa Knapp and I’m a 37 year old wife, mom to a fur baby and an angle in heaven, Ava. I started writing to my daughter the day I found out I was pregnant. I continued to write to her throughout my pregnancy and also through my loss. Writing has been so healing. I created this space for me to continue to heal and to hopefully connect with others who have experienced pregnancy loss.
So this is my Step 1. Me putting myself out there for whoever, wherever you may be on your journey. It’s a difficult journey byt my hope is that by breaking the silence, we all find some kind of peace.