Even in the shadows, He stands with me

This month we would be welcoming home our fourth child. We lost this child at only 5 weeks in the womb. This was our third loss since having our daughter.
It happened a couple of weeks before my birthday.
We also got news on my birthday that my husband's grandma (and one of my favorite people in the world) died in a car accident. It was tough, I'm not going to lie. Our previous miscarriage preceded my Grandma passing away. The only comfort out of so much loss at one time, was picturing our Grandmas holding our babies in heaven.

While none of the losses were easy, the more you experience, the more...different it is. I no longer keep track of what week I would be pregnant, because this past year, I was counting two pregnancies at the same time. It was overwhelming to even try to continue to track and calculate. And eventually I just felt numb. (If you track every single week, that is amazing. My heart just couldn't handle it.)

This time is different. Every other time, I knew we would try again.
This time, I don't know.
I've received a diagnosis and am in the process of finding out more. So, right now, getting pregnant is on hold.

I am repeating a clean eating program, Nourish, which I also did right after our first loss. I would never have guessed over a year and a half later, I would still not have another child and still not have answers. I never would have guessed I would have two more miscarriages.
I didn't think the sting would still be there, watching my daughter adore other babies and wishing she could be a big sister.

I didn't think I'd be at this place. 

But here's what I've experienced and learned the past year and a half.

I have to take care of myself. It's no one's job but me to do so. 
Self care is a thing. Who knew? It is still hard for me to do, but slowly I am.

God stands with me even when I don't like his decision to not intervene. Even when I'm mad at Him. Even when I don't see where He is. He stands with me and gives me strength. He is for me, even when I feel alone.

The belief that I have control over my life's trajectory is a myth.
I can't control how many children I will have, what season they will be born in, how far apart they will be in age, any of it. I thought I could and when my plans didn't materialize, the panic and anxiety started to scream louder. At this point, none of it is going according to plan and I can't control what happens next. And I'm getting more used to it (but I still don't like it).

My worth is not in what I do. 
It's not in how much I weigh or what size my clothes are.
It's not in how much people like me or what I can do for them.
It's not in how much I accomplish.
It's not in being able to carry a child.
My worth is fixed. I am worthy because I am alive. I am worthy because I am made in the image of God.

People who have experienced pregnancy loss want you to ask us about it.
Please don't ignore it. We may not talk about it because it makes people uncomfortable, but we think about it. Every. Day.
I have been pregnant more than 20 weeks over the past 2 years, and I don't have a baby to show for it. My body still got bigger. I still got sick.
Even if you don't know what to say, just ask how I'm doing. Or listen to me. Or just sit there and say, yeah, it sucks.

Please stop asking people when they will have more children.
Please and thank you. :)
Many women suffer silently with infertility and miscarriage.
If you are curious and have a relationship with them, please ask in private so they can tell you WHY they don't have another child.
I know you don't mean to cause pain.
Just, before you ask someone that question the next time in public...don't.
Our grieving hearts thank you.

I can't change the fact that we won't be welcoming home a baby this month, but...

I can choose to keep going. To keep standing. To keep my heart open.
Knowing God stands next to me, holding my hand and holding me up when I don't have the strength to stand on my own.
I'll hold you someday, Baby Goodrich. All my love.


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