Faith and Flutters

I have three tinies and this is my eighth pregnancy. Those kinds of odds can mess with a woman.

As I said a few weeks ago when I first told you about this baby, it’s been a bit of a roller coaster. I spent the first four months of this pregnancy convinced that it wasn’t viable, unable to muster up any hope that Tiny #4 would actually be in my arms in February.

I spent those days waiting for a sign, just one sign, to demonstrate to me that this baby had half a chance. I prayed for it. (I never had a single sign.) Then came no heartbeat and then another non-heartbeat and then finally, crazily, 173 beats a minute and the assurance that so far, so good.

I had a heartbeat confirmation. And that was it.

You name the pregnancy “symptom” of your choice – morning sickness, sore breasts, exhaustion, mood swings, food sensitivities or aversions, whatever – and I had it with the three babies I carried to term. More tellingly, I did not experience them with all of my losses. That was always my first indicator that something wasn’t quite right with the pregnancy – my body quietly returned to normal and so I quietly began to grieve.

Tiny #4 continues to defy my script.

I have longed for morning sickness in a way that must baffle and offend women who are severely struck down during pregnancy. I don’t mean to make light of those who suffer in this way. But I went through my days perfectly fine, bright and energetic – and I hated every minute of it. My body still felt, well, not pregnant.

Come on, I would bargain with my body. Let me be sick today. It would sure help my anxiety.

When I carried Anne and Joe and Evelynn, I leaned heavily on those little indicators like morning sickness or migraines, swollen feet and exhaustion because they meant that something was still happening. Someone was still there. Someone was taking up space in my body and making their presence known. With Tiny #4, I have not had those reassurances.

My last rung of the hope ladder was this one: feeling the baby move. I always feel my babies moving very early, perhaps because I’m paying such close attention. As I passed day after day of this pregnancy without a single indicator to justify any hope, I waited expectantly for week 14. (I felt Anne at 16 weeks, both Joe and Evelynn as early as 14 weeks. This is uncommonly early but it’s usual for me.) This is a sure one, I thought, soon I’ll know I can relax and just enjoy this pregnancy instead of always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Surely, surely, surely with a fourth baby, I would be feeling this one move at the same time, possibly even earlier. Then I would know what to expect, then I would be bold enough to pray with assurance.

Week 14 passed, no movement.

Week 15, then 16. I voiced some concern to my family.

Then we passed week 17, then 18, then 19 weeks.

Still no movement within me, still no flutters, still no someone making their presence known.

As Week 20 drew near, it seemed that I was even being denied this milestone. The books and my midwife all said it wasn’t time to panic yet and so I waited (not-so) patiently for my next ultrasound appointment, this deviation from my expected script sent me reeling. Even if it wasn’t a big deal to anyone else, to me it meant everything.

Every small thing that I have used to justify my faith and confidence and hope during a pregnancy has been denied to me during this pregnancy. I don’t know why.

The days are a bit long when you’re waiting without assurance.  I think I used to confuse faith with my longing for control, particularly of outcomes. Even now, it’s a lame sort of faith, mine, the kind that waits for a sign before taking the risk. Faith feels like a release to me, it’s safer to put my confidence in my abilities or in hard work or proper behaviours or whatever new thing I’m using to wrest control in my life.

Like so many aspects of my spirituality, I am still a bit in-between, figuring out what I reclaim and what I relinquish, living with a few unanswered questions while relying heavily on the few things I do know – and almost all of those can be summed up in my complete and utter confidence in Love. God is for us, who can be against us?

Over these weeks, I felt like a fragmented woman, believing and unbelieving all at once.

One old-school part of me was going all word-of-faith on this baby: praying Scripture, declaring the Word, binding and loosing all sorts of things, declaring life and not death, you name it, I’d claim it. Another part of me was already grieving and giving up. Another part of me prayed for belief even while acknowledging my own unbelief. One part of me wondered how I even dared to pray and expect God to move for me when I already had three beautiful children and there are far more important things in the world about which I should be praying, how selfish could I be? Another part of me relinquished outcomes, trusting God implicitly no matter the outcome while simultaneously raging against that very thing.

I am a woman of prayer. It sounds bold-faced to write it down, but there it is. I write it anyway. Prayer comes easily to my spirit – perhaps it is because a former pastor of ours once told us that the same part of us that worries is the part of us that prays. I knew I could worry constantly, so that meant I could pray constantly.

And so I do. I always have. I move through my day with an awareness of my companionship with the Spirit and we talk always, sometimes even with words. I pray, this is what I do. It feels small, so small, in the face of great pain or sorrow or injustice or uncertainty or even joy, but I pray anyway. I carry people and movements, requests and hearts within me like candlelight that I revisit often to hold in my hands and breathe over in prayer.

I don’t believe I can control God through prayer or through faith, I don’t believe God is waiting for me to “prove” that I have enough faith or know enough Bible verses to argue the points. In fact, I don’t believe in praying with an agenda most of the time. Yet as the days of my waiting for this baby to just move already went by, I prayed to or wondered at God, grappling with my questions and my doubt, with my beliefs about the nature and character and heart of our God and the very real reality of our fallen world.

Fearlessly, fearfully, I prayed for life.

And I prayed for faith. I prayed for faith to believe for life and for health for a small person. I prayed because who else was going to keep praying? who else was going to stand guard over this small one and hang on for dear life, who else but her mother? this is what we do, we stay even when it would make more sense to give up. I prayed because I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to be the one to back down from a fight over my child.

I felt more like the annoying woman of persistence from one of Jesus’ parables, she who stood outside the door of a judge pestering his life out until he gave in with bad grace. Jesus called her a woman of great faith, I call her my only hope.

I couldn’t muster up my old definitions of faith but I could keep relentlessly hope-knocking as my radical act of faith.

Two weeks ago on a Saturday morning, I was laying in bed alone (a rarity) when the baby finally made her presence known: I’m here. She shifted and moved within my womb with a small whoosh, and my heart throbbed. There you are, I breathed. There you are. I’ve been waiting for you.

Then she moved like a fish in water, a rolling and a stretching with natural ease that seemed to say, what? you were worried?

I stayed in bed, silent, feeling her move within me, like faith, a flutter of a presence, growing. There was plenty of time to tell my husband, my mother, my sister, my friends. Right then, it was time to pray and every word in my mind and mouth, every flutter was thank you thank you thank you thankyouthankyouthankyou.

Still I wonder about faith and the nature of prayer, I still hold my understandings loosely. Faith isn’t certainty, I know that by now. If I was certain, I wouldn’t need faith. I think it’s a gift and a choice, sometimes at the same time. I think it’s a confidence in the midst of doubt, it’s work and it’s rest. Faith is a risk and it’s gorgeous to let go into the free fall.

Barbara Kingsolver wrote in her book, Animal Dreams, “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

These days, that sounds a lot like Hebrews 11 to me. So right now I think faith is figuring out what I hope for – redemption, wholeness, shalom, justice, love, life, one small baby to live and not die, all of it – and then fearlessly living under that roof.

It’s been a couple of weeks since that Saturday. As I write these words, this baby within me moves and kicks and pokes mercilessly, stretching and growing, I still nearly exhale with relief every time. Our baby is alive and well and growing stronger still – I take no credit and I am still wary of proclaiming anything definitive.

After all, if I say that God performed a miracle this time, what does that mean for my other babies, the ones I never got to hold except in my folded-up tea towels? I can’t forget them. Yet if I say that it’s just a happy coincidence, am I taking away from the miracle and the glory for God’s mighty act for a seemingly small and ordinary woman and her unborn child? It’s both and it’s neither, it’s holy ground for that very reason, for the uncertainty and the praise, one in each hand. I can only say that fearless prayer did what it always does: it changed me.

I still pray and will always pray like that one thing is true: God is for us. And it’s worthwhile to keep knocking.

That’s about all I know about faith for sure.

Just a couple of days later, we had our ultrasounds. It confirmed what I already knew well by now: our wee one is healthy and whole, all is well. The technician might as well have hung a big neon sign up that said: Chill Out, Sarah. And Congratulations.

Because, didn’t I mention? …. we’re having a girl.

photo by Rachel Barkman Photography (from back when I was VERY pregnant with Evelynn) 

Goodness had nothing to do with it :: a response to Doctor Who - Flatline
"And on behalf of this world, you’re very welcome." :: a response to Doctor Who "In the Forest of the Night"
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  • Miscarriage is so heartbreaking. My mama lost one before me and one after me; in the end, I was the only tiny she got. She kept a journal during that time, and it is so painful to read and yet such a love letter to the little life growing inside her.

    I think I can say with absolute certainty that all your tinies will grow up with the same feeling that pervaded my childhood: of being radically, fully, wholly wanted and loved.

    <3

    • I pray for that same certainty – at the least, they’ll have an old blog of memories to look back on and hopefully it will give some grace for the ways I’ve failed. Love you. xo

  • Anne

    As always, you write so beautifully, so personally about the real things of life and what they mean spiritually. Blessings on you and this baby girl!

  • Colleen

    I am almost speechless. This was heart wrenching and joyous all at the same time. As I read on my breath stopped and I was hearing “no no no no” in my heart for you. We lost our first at 20 weeks and so I understand your anxiety and your battle in faith and peace. I raced through your words and when I read “my heart throbbed” I said ” I know.. oh how I know” I still weep for women, even those I don’t know personally when I hear of a miscarriage. It seems so wrong to still be happening in our day. And yet it does. But God is so good. Bless you Sarah and your family. Thank you for sharing your journey and heart with us all.

    • Thank you, Colleen – it is so incredibly wrong, you’re right.

  • Congratulations!!

  • Lauren

    Oh Love. Love and hope. May God ease your fears. And congratulations on your little girl!

  • Mary Gemmill

    Your story touches tender places in my heart, Sarah, as I have been “there” over and over. 2 boys born, then 6 failed pregnancies when movement stopped between 24-26 weeks…..and then a change of city, a new doctor and answers….and a healthy daughter 10 years after her brothers. My heart is already interceding for you that all will be well for you, and that you will hold a healthy babe in your arms in due time.

    • Thank you so much, Mary – that means more than you could know.

  • Jennifer

    Congratulations! I’m praying for you and your sweet baby girl! I also had 8 pregnancies. I have a son from the first, and twins from the last. The in between time consisted of a 15 year battle through miscarriage, stillbirth, and secondary infertility. In the end, God showed Himself faithful, not because of the gift of twins (although miracles are amazing) but because the fear and faith-filled journey led me closer to Him. I can now help other women through my experience . My memoir recounting those years was released in July. This type of pain is usually a silent subject for many couples and it takes a brave stance to step out and uncover the pain in order to help others. God bless you and your new, sweet, tiny one:).

    • Thank you, Jennifer – and thanks for writing your own story out. Like you said, too much silence here.

  • Sarah Silvester

    Oh dear God I could weep. What an emotional roller coaster. Thank you for your honest writing and you, you have such courage, dear Sarah. Xx

  • kellym

    I have never met you but am overjoyed at this news. You have been given the gift of the pen, providing solace to so many who suffer this silent grief and have no words to express it. God bless each and every one of your babies, on earth and in heaven!

  • Amy C

    I know this feeling. I know it so well. The prayer of expecting….I prayed it and prayed it and prayed it, for years and and years. For a baby. A little one that would grow in me and be born of me. And for years, my body dissolved, slowly , in front of me, as if God had declared “Opposite Day” for all my prayers and gave me everything I feared the most. Miscarriages. More miscarriages. And then a disorder that would make getting pregnant deadly. And then becoming so sick from the disorder that all hope had to be abandoned. Or so I thought.

    My health returned, but not my womb with it. And then I got a call. Four girls…sisters….they needed a home. Would I open mine?

    It was my “late flutter”… That moment I settled into my own heart and could hear it say, here you go, everything you prayed and wished for a dreamed of, but better. Four girls, not born of me, but it didn’t matter, I loved them with every cell of my body before I even heard their names and ages.

    Anyway, congrats on the girl! Wheeee! Girls are the most fun. My house is now an explosion of spilled nail polish and glitter.

    • This is so beautiful, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing this!!

  • Jean

    I was trying to channel Judith of Norwich yesterday: “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.” Thank you for letting us stand with you on the holy “ground of your beseeching.” Much love to you and your 4 little tinies.

  • Nicole Chase

    <3

  • Yay, yay, yay! Another Bessey girl; don’t you know they’re the cutest? Never once, while I was reading this, did I have a sense of dread, of doubt, for you. I identified with the “why should God give me another blessing, I already have enough” feeling, definitely. But then we MUST remember, that we have favor, that our God promises to do MORE than we could ask or imagine (including having that sweet baby girl move with such ease and normality in your womb). This baby seems to be God saying to you, “Look what I’ve got: surprises! Let go and let me. You must have blind faith; do not try to wrest matters from my hands.” Not only are you growing physically, but spiritually, and this baby will be so blessed! I am so, so thankful for the work being done in you and through you. What a great privilege it is for us to bare witness.

  • Elisabeth Grunert

    I am so so so happy for your flutters. And longing to feel that sensation myself, just one more time! There is truly nothing, nothing like knowing your unborn baby is alive and well from the leaps and flutters inside. I wish you continued joy of it.

  • Melissa Vanden Bout

    Oh, I have walked this road. My numbers are eight and two. The heartbreak of risking loving someone who might die before I got to meet her. Before I got to see him or hold him. I am so thankful that the one time I saw my Jenna while she was alive–on ultrasound–I told her “I love you.” It just rose out of me. I already loved her, though i had hidden from saying it to her in so many words. And then carrying her sister (who is now two and bursting with life and energy and joy) all the while carrying also the memory of risking love, risking loss, believing that God was good but having trouble believing that God was good for me. And then I read about Jesus, who, when confronted by the man who could barely bring himself to put into words his heart’s desire for healing, tells him the answer the man really needed to hear: Yes. I am willing. You may be sure I have held on tight to those words for myself.

    Praying for you friend, as you continue to live right there in hope, and celebrating this beautiful, wonderful girl with you. May she give you many reminders and reassurances of her health and vitality. (Yes, it is ridiculous to want morning sickness…but I have never been so glad to be completely miserable as I was when carrying my youngest.)

    • Thank you so much for “getting it” Melissa – loved your words.

  • Cindy B.

    I was so very fortunate to have 4 pregnancies and 4 wonderful children.

    A group I became aware of recently is http://angeldressescanada.com

    They take wedding dresses and make them into tiny outfits for little ones who don’t make it so the parents have something to dress their baby in.

  • I don’t even have words for how much you encourage my heart with your faithfulness… “Every small thing that I have used to justify my faith and confidence and hope … has been denied to me” – this line. I read it out of context and put it into my own context and God’s hand is falling heavy on my shoulders as I wait for Him to move, to breathe, to say SOMETHING of assurance. Thanks for bearing witness in the ways you do, Sarah.

  • Tears dripping off my nose. Nothing sounds like Gospel or faith to me as much as the stubborn fight of a mother for her child. Man I love this and your daughter already. We can’t wait to meet you wee one. Your mama is a wild wonder and she teaches us all.

  • Katie Noah Gibson

    This is lovely, Sarah. So excited for you.

  • Lindsay

    After reading your words for so long, Sarah, they still leave me breathless. This is so close to what I feel about faith and the light way I hold it now and all my “knowings.” I’ll be thinking of these words all day. Congratulations to you and your family.

  • Donna Meredith Dixon

    Ah, Sarah… thank you for taking us through your journey with this new wee one…

  • After two losses, I kept praying for milestones with my daughter, Serenity. I got them, but every one brought new fears. I poured hope and fear out to God in prayer until the end, when she was finally born on her due date.

    I’m praying for you, Sarah. And for your little girl. May God’s peace surpass your understanding, and wrap you security and surety from here on out.

  • Confession: I skipped to the end and then read the post! Oh the luxury of observing from a distance! You are a courageous and wise mama. It’s amazing how much trust, prayer and sometimes white-knuckling patience is involved in a pregnancy. Continued prayers for you and the family.

    • Thanks, Rach – and yes, a skip to the end is almost always what I do when I start feeling worried while reading a book or a blog. 😉

  • AnnVoskamp_HolyExperience

    Sweet Girl…. your mama writes exquisitely and you will always swim in His ocean of grace.
    We can’t wait to meet you, Little One!

  • Sarah Spitz

    I love, love your healing wonderful words!

    Thanks for sharing! Plus: some thoughts on God/or lack thereof:

    http://lasagnolove.blogspot.it/2014/10/agnostic-church.html

    I would love to hear your thoughts from a Christian perspective…

    Love from Italy,

    Bambi

  • Donna-Jean Brown

    “Faith feels like a release to me” Yup, it’s all about giving up the illusion that we can control. As praying people sometimes we get tempted into thinking we can control by our prayers but that’s an evil lie that has brought pain to many when they found out that God couldn’t be controlled no matter how hard they prayed.
    Thanks Sarah and warmest congrats on your happy news.

  • My heart is aching this morning, in the way you described perfectly–with praise and uncertainty. I lost my very first baby a year ago, and I look to the future with a strange mixture of excitement, hope, trepidation, and doubt. Thanks for sharing, and for expressing what I could not.

  • Hugs for you and your family! Little girls are absolutely wonderful (as you know).

  • Amanda M.

    Crying through this whole thing – as one who has miscarried and has had high risk pregnancies resulting in preemie babies. Your wrestling with faith and prayer and such are so many of the things I am wrestling with – not about pregnancy in my case these days, but about my son who has some special needs. What do I pray for in terms of healing for him? What do I have faith for? What do I accept as this is how it is and that is okay? Maybe my miracle isn’t just his milestones met, but understanding how God created him – uniquely – for His glory. But some days that is really hard. I loved your words here: “who else was going to stand guard over this small one and hang on for dear life, who else but her mother? this is what we do, we stay even when it would make more sense to give up. I prayed because I wasn’t going to give up. I wasn’t going to be the one to back down from a fight over my child.” Because that is what I’m doing. Even if I don’t know what to pray for my son, I will still pray. I will not give up. God knows.

  • why oh why are we always being cracked so wide open? how can we keep opening ourselves up to the pain and the joy? because that is the only way we are healed–our busted-up hearts being knit into an ever-enlarging whole. love to you and all of your babies.

  • Sarah

    Your words leave me breathless. I’ve never experienced the loss, but after six years, I’ve never been able to have a baby. I pray you will be flooded with grace and faith and comfort until your hold your tiny one in your arms.

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  • This is a touching, honest post Sarah, one which covers so much so well – prayer, faith, miscarriage, the joy of parenting. It’s so beautiful in so many ways, and so powerful. Praying for you and this baby girl, for a safe delivery of a healthy, happy baby.

  • What a beautiful, inspiring, encouraging post, Sarah! Hallelujah to our Heavenly Father for your sweet baby girl! 🙂

    I lost my first, and only, granddarling four years ago to stillbirth. My daughter was young, unmarried and in an unplanned pregnancy. When Lily Katherine was born still at forty weeks and two days gestation, the pain was so profound I felt as if I could barely breathe, wondered how the sun could go on shining and the wind go on blowing and how everyone else in Raleigh could go normally about their daily routines. One of the saddest parts for me, as a mother who breastfed seven years of her life, was when my daughter’s milk came in and there was no granddarling to be nourished by it’s sweetness. Not only did Hannah Rose choose to embrace Lily Katherine’s valuable life, Lily Katherine brought her rebellious mama back to eternal life in Jesus. I wrote this poem in her honor:

    GOODBYE LILY KATHERINE

    In my daughter’s womb
    Grew her gift from above.
    We readied a room
    For her wee one to love.

    On our merry way rejoicing
    To a glorious celebration.
    Expecting our flower’s arriving
    Jesus’ tears hid the sun.

    God had bid her go
    Before we said, “Hello.”

    Goodbye budding life.
    Goodbye shattered dreams.

    Goodbye precious babe lying still in our arms.

    Goodbye sweet nursing and soft cries.
    Goodbye to rocking and lullabies.

    Goodbye wonder and curiosity.
    Goodbye to kissing who you would be.

    Goodbye to hearing “Dukes” and “ma-ma” too.
    Goodbye to discovering wonderful you.

    Goodbye snuggling you to our hearts.
    Goodbye tore our lives apart.

    Goodbye to our pure Lily Katherine.
    Goodbye ‘til we meet you in heaven.

  • Oh, Sarah. First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on healthy, thriving little girl #3. And thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this. I could hug you!

    I’ve never miscarried. In fact, I’ve never been pregnant. This summer my eyes were opened to the reality of how many babies women lose before we ever meet them. I watched one of my dearest friends walk though it. It struck so close to home, it broke my heart. The resounding question, of course, is “Why?”

    While I believe I know at the core of my being the loving Father-heart of God, in the midst of the pain, I have found it hard to hope. It feels risky, and sometimes false, like it is often shrinking instead of growing.

    This spoke right to my heart: “So right now I think faith is figuring out what I hope for – redemption, wholeness, shalom, justice, love, life, one small baby to live and not die, all of it – and then fearlessly living under that roof.”

    Thank you for staking your claim, for firmly planting yourself under that roof. I need to know others are camped out there too. And the fact that you can settle there, after all you have walked through on this motherhood journey, gives me hope.

    So, I do hope. I hope for my dear friend, and I hope for myself – that one day, one way or another, we will know the joy of it ourselves. In the meantime, I will fight to believe what I know to be true and be encouraged by those under that roof along with me.

  • My first Sarah Bessey blog comment!

    What a beautifully written and heartening post, Sarah. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. As a man (and on the ‘gay side of bisexual’), I find stories of pregnancy fascinating because it’s one of those things I’ll never be able to empathise with properly. I can’t imagine what someone goes through during those nine months (or, more horrendously, the three months or the four months)… I’ll never experience something that is so overwhelmingly fundamental to life.

    I remember my mum had two miscarriages before me. As her third pregnancy, she told me she’d made the decision that if she miscarried me she wouldn’t have ever let herself get pregnant again because she couldn’t go through the jubilation and have it smashed into pieces by the heartbreak. She also was convinced she was going to lose me when she found out she had polycystic ovaries during an ultrasound.

    But, Jesus. And we can’t possibly get our heads fully wrapped round why sometimes we think we’ve seen a miracle and sometimes we’ve not seen the miracle we were so convinced we might get. But Hebrews 11 is one of the most stunning bits of scripture and I think there is no harm in adding (to borrow the writer’s rhetoric) “By faith, Sarah Bessey, when confronted with her humanity, trusted in God and in February 2015 had a beautiful baby girl.”

    Thank you again 🙂

  • Amanda ‘Jack’ Roggow

    Thanks again for your beautiful thoughts and honesty. I have been pregnant 7 times. 5 ended in the first trimester, One at 23 weeks and one at 26. I got to keep those two miracles after 8.5 months of NICU and 10 surgeries. They are beautiful boys, 5 and 9 now. I have always desired a big family but am trying to come to terms that I will never carry to term or experience a third trimester or a healthy newborn. That loss can be overwhelming, especially in those dark hours of the night. But…. biology be damned, we are going to adopt and that is exciting (we’ve lost 2 so far with the birthmothers changing their mind, but I persevere!). What has helped the most are those tiny, huge moments where I have heard God’s voice or even simply felt his presence, claiming me and not letting go through it all. Often that comes through friends, family or even a gentle wind on a beautiful day. Sometimes it comes through blog posts. Thank you for being one of those moments more than once here. And…in full stalker disclosure… I have been following you for probably nearly 5 years now and am looking forward to hearing you speak tonight in Bloomington. I live about 45 minutes away and my husband and I are making the trip over for both days. We came to the Fringe event last year when our former Pastor Nadia Bolz-Weber spoke (we lived in Denver for 2 years). Very excited. 🙂

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  • Sarah…I’ve been exactly where you are and I’m sitting a typing this while nursing my now 9 month old baby boy. I have 6 children but had 9 pregnancies. The last miscarriage being the worst and also life-threatening. While I lay mourning that last baby, I prayed and thought the Lord told me I would hold a gift from him again. I asked the Lord to confirm it, and minutes later my then 6 yr old bounced into my room and said “mommy, God is going to pop a baby right in that tummy of yours” and she bounced back out. I believed her but the next year I was still not pregnant and we decided we were done. Then during the most difficult season of our lives, you guessed it, God popped a baby in my tummy

  • Oh – lovely Sarah. I felt like I was holding my breath whilst I read this entire piece, which is fitting,because I guess that’s what you’ve been doing, emotionally, spiritually these last few months. It’s so hard to breathe when you don’t know the end of the story.

    This: “One old-school part of me was going all word-of-faith on this baby: praying Scripture, declaring the Word, binding and loosing all sorts of things, declaring life and not death, you name it, I’d claim it. Another part of me was already grieving and giving up.” – this, I get. I understand. For different reasons,but – yes. Thank you for sharing this. Thank you.

  • This is just beautiful Sarah – and part of me did want to skip to the end I admit, but I avoided it. I did notice the ‘she’ earlier though….congratulations anyway, so pleased for you all!

  • pastordt

    I LOVE This post, Sarah. You have written out the meaning and the experience of faith that I know and live, the constant sense of God’s presence, the ongoing ‘conversation’ that sometimes has words, the heartfelt urge to say ‘thankyouthankyouthankyou.’ Congrats on girlie #3 (and my condolences to Joe, if he was hoping for a brother!). Waiting with you to meet the newest, lovely, Bessey.

  • i totally hear you on this- carrying a child you may or may not get to keep is holy ground and a mystery and a most vulnerable mission. i am not naturally an anxious person (the upside of being a little detached from my emotions:) but my two pregnancies after stillbirth were marked by similar patterns of worry/breath/pray/release. continually choosing to love and be present with no power to save or preserve life is deeply counterintuitive and just plain hard. i will pray for strength & peace.

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  • jennnahrstadt

    sarah, thank you for sharing so transparently what you are experiencing. it dawned on me as you shared when the baby is due that you will not be able to attend IF:Gathering. that makes me sad, because i have enjoyed discovering your voice among the women of Christendom. but, for the sake of baby #4, gladly i set aside my tiny sadness for your great joy!

  • Monna Clare Payne

    Oh Sarah! I am happy to read that you felt the movement you longed for so long. And also – a girl! Yay! What a little blessing. Still praying for you.

  • Kaitlyn

    I feel for you.. I was the first “tiny”, my mom lost three after me and nearly lost my brother, but either he was a fighter or the Drs were smarter, but God gave my mama a a second tiny.

    It can be devastating, but I feel like I have three more reason to be excited to enter the pearly gates of heaven… I will finally get to meet 3 siblings of mine! 😀

  • Kate

    Seven pregnancies and four living children for me. Lost one of them at 38 weeks.

  • Amy

    this is beautiful. all can relate – woman.man.mother.sister.son. whatever the title, we all wait. we all have to step into the unknown & trust. thank you for just being you. honest, pure – you.

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  • Meaghan Malone

    I knew having kids would be hard for me. I have PCOS and endometriosis. So, I was pregnant with my first child and overjoyed, and then I suffered through my first miscarriage last month. I knew it was going to happen. My symptoms went away…everything returned to normal…a normal that I wanted to destroy with everything in me… I found myself begging for nausea and fatigue. My heart broke. Everything in me screamed that somehow this was my fault, that somehow I deserved this, and that somehow this was my fate- I’ll never have children. The amount of hope that this brought to my heart is immeasurable. I thank you for sharing your vulnerabilities with me because it is a blessing to know that someone out there knows the pain in my heart.

  • Melissa Joy

    I am in tears reading this. And I prayed for you right away. I am 30 years old, have been married for 7 1/2 years, and have three littles in my arms ~ but I have been pregnant twelve times. Nine babies in heaven. And goodness, your post about Advent for those who know longing? Maybe that’s why I am sitting here crying right now. Because I had my latest two miscarriages this year, and I had fully anticipated this Christmas being so different from the way it actually will be. Anyway. Have you read “Rainbows & Redemption” the devotional for Christian women who are pregnant after loss? It would hit home. And oh Sarah. Peace be with you. And may your February bring sweetness beyond your wildest imaginings, because our God is just THAT gracious. Amen.

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  • I Need a Miracle

    Your story is giving me hope and strethening my faith. i had a misscariage at 5 weeks about 12 years ago. I found out I was pregnant in November 19th. iv been searching for miracle stories as i have had two ultra sounds 1 week apart with no heartbeat and the baby was measuring 7w on my 1st one when i was suposed to be almost 9w and the 2nd one wasnt clear and the OB only gave it about 2 min and said no change meaning Missed misscariage. I have had some light bleeding once and spotting that comes and goes but I havent passed any tissue. I was given a prescription for the pills to kickstart the process and i dont Want to take them until i go see another OB next week and im praying for God to breathe life into this tiny being please pray with me i need this miracle Im 32 and dont have any children yet.

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