A tale of three pregnancies and one healing soul.

At age 18, I left my childhood church thinking there must be something wrong with me and I could not be a Christian even though I wanted to. That is a long story, and one you can read at my earlier post about my personal testimony if you are interested. At age 20 I got married though I was extremely immature. I had struck out to do life in my own strength, apart from God. I thought marriage would make me happy and make me feel satisfied and whole. Although I have a mostly good but far from perfect husband and marriage, it never satisfied the longings of my heart.

At age 22, I began wanting a baby. I didn’t even think about the lifelong commitment to a child and all the job would entail. I mainly was influenced by getting to hold and cuddle my elder sisters’ babies and I so loved that close feeling of sweetness that only a baby can give. At age 23 1/2, I had my first child, a son. My pregnancy was beautiful and hopeful. My labor and delivery were beyond horrible. I was sick for months afterward and had, I realized later, bad postpartum depression. I returned to the work force in part to escape the loneliness I was feeling and the realization that my baby also did not satisfy and make me whole. But I learned to be a mother. And it was beautiful, though imperfect, but motherhood also was not able to satisfy my soul. This son was wanted, though I wasn’t really mature enough at the time to realize what I was getting in to. I don’t think any parent ever can fully realize what they are getting in to — on both the bad and good sides of the coin of parenting. My long and difficult labor and delivery harmed parts of my body permanently. I’ll spare you the details. Was it worth it? If you’ve ever met my wonderful eldest son, you would know the answer is yes, worth every pain and sacrifice. Was I really ready to be a mother and did we technically have enough money to do the job right? No, but we did pretty well anyway. What if I had chosen an abortion instead of choosing to have a child, though young and unsure? If I had, this world would be missing a wonderful, contributing person.

At age 24, I wasn’t looking to have another child. I was afraid I couldn’t handle two small ones. I got pregnant. I was fearful and doubtful as to whether I could handle having another child. But it never entered my mind to have an abortion of my own unborn child. Four months into my second pregnancy, I began to bleed. I went to the ER and was told I was having a miscarriage. The pain was acute. I was in shock. When the baby came out, it was like a small labor and delivery. The nurse sort of showed the fetus to me, but whisked the fetus away. Then I had to have a D & C afterward to be sure I wouldn’t have any infection. I woke up vomiting from the anesthesia and was very sick. And sad. And depressed. I’ve never been able to forget that child. I have struggled with guilt and feeling I was to blame for the miscarriage because I was having doubts and fears about having a second child. After a while I realized my thoughts did not cause the miscarriage. Some pregnancies just end in miscarriage. But it was hard. Was it a boy or a girl? Who would he or she have become? I knew I lost a child that day, a pre-born child, but a child I would have loved and embraced. Years later, I grieve still. I wish, oh how I wish! — that I would have demanded the remains and given my child a proper burial and memorial service. My unborn child was worthy of being honored for his or her existence, and my husband, family and I should have been given the opportunity to properly grieve the loss.

After I began recovering from my miscarriage and the depression afterward, I knew for certain I wanted another baby. But then I had difficulty getting pregnant. I pursued some fertility treatments. They were pretty scary so I went off the drug prescribed and waited. Finally, when my eldest son was five years old I got pregnant again. At my early normal check up at the doctor, I was told that based on some lab test they had run, it appeared my third pregnancy was going to yield a child with Down’s Syndrome, and it was recommended that I have an abortion. Something in my soul knew better than to listen. My third child was born with a much easier labor and delivery, another boy. He did not have Down’s Syndrome and was healthy and strong. He is way above average in intelligence and is accomplished in many areas of life and he contributes positively to others. Anyone who has met my third child — my second live birth son– knows what a wonderful person he is. What if I had listened to the doctors? What if I had chosen abortion? Even if he had turned out to have Down’s Syndrome or some other issue, he still would have been my child, my treasure. He still would have been of so much value.

After our second son was born, my husband and I decided to limit our family to two children. At the time, we thought that two was probably enough for us. Later in life I realized my desire for more children and the value of each child one can have. I thank God every single day for the two sons God gave me and I grieve for the child I lost pre-born. I wish I had more children, but am so grateful for the two I did have. But having a home and family never satisfied the deepest longings of my soul. Nothing could satisfy my soul. Not even the precious gift of having two wonderful, beautiful– can’t rave about them enough — granddaughters later on in my life could in itself satisfy my soul.

While I was breastfeeding my second son over the course of his first year of life on earth, I began to read the New Testament of the Protestant Bible every time I fed him. God had very gradually been drawing me back to Him, which is also a long story. With the maturity of an adult at age 29, and with God’s help to understand, I finally fully understood the gospel of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus’s finished work on the cross alone, and I committed my life to Jesus. Only Jesus can save a soul. Only Jesus’s love can make a person whole. I still have and cherish my first Bible that I read then. The pages on the bottom are ruffled permanently where my baby son would play with the pages while I fed him. In November of 1987 at age 29, I finally committed my life completely to live for Jesus Christ. Only the love of Jesus has satisfied the deepest longings of my soul. Only the hope of my eternal life as is described at the end of Revelation provides me with the strength to keep living despite all of life’s disappointments and hardships I’ve endured. Yes I’m incredibly blessed, and I’m also enduring a lot of difficulties too. Some days my faith is weaker, sometimes stronger, but God always holds me and never lets me go. God holds me together by His grace, even when I suffer bouts of dark depression and other issues. Whether I can “feel” God’s presence and “joy” or not, God helps me persevere to live for Him one day at a time, and there is a deep, abiding peace and hope that nothing can shake.

God has given me a love for people, especially children and babies. I am pro-life and anti-abortion because babies are dying. They are being murdered. Brutally. Not just early small fetuses which are still babies who should be given the chance to live, but even very late term pregnancy abortions have become normal. I also love and support women. I encourage women to exercise control over their bodies before they become pregnant. I similarly encourage men to exercise control over their bodies and to be wise in leadership and respect. In the rare case of pregnancy by a rape, I encourage women to not punish the baby for the sin of the father. I encourage women who find themselves pregnant but don’t feel they are ready to have a child, to give the short nine months to give the child life, and love the child enough to give them for adoption. Or to consider keeping the child, because often we are more ready to raise a child than we realize, and there are many people and organizations willing to help. Many families are longing for babies to adopt. I am involved with several ministries that help women, babies, and children who are in trouble, need help, and are desiring to keep their babies and children. Yes, many people are willing to foster, adopt, and help. God will provide a way for those who seek it. If any woman reading this in my local, personal sphere of friends and relatives finds themself in need of help because of an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, I hope you will call on me for support and help in time of need.

I don’t understand why our culture doesn’t value the loss of the pre-born more. I don’t understand how any woman who has carried a baby in pregnancy can fail to see that the embryo/fetus/child is a separate person than their own body. I don’t know how any reasonable person can consider the science of conception and the development of the fetus/pre-born child and not realize the pre-born have a right to live. When we have the privilege of bringing a child into this world, we have no idea what God might do with that child’s life — including the creation of future generations and the gift of incredible grandchildren and future progeny. We have no idea how each life will touch other peoples’ lives and what contributions each person will bring to our society and world. Beyond even considering what each person’s contribution may be in this present life, each person has the potential to live forever in eternal life if they choose to believe in the one and only way prescribed by God to enter that life. We cannot even begin to imagine what wonders and gifts are in store for each person in both this life and the next eternal life. We tend to see things so imperfectly and cannot understand how God might use an untimely or unplanned pregnancy for good.

I do not call pro-abortion folks haters as I have been called for being pro-life and Christian. I think it is a very challenging topic and the world system, satan, and selfish, sinful people are deceived. My heart breaks for people who cannot see the sanctity of human life. I hope if you’ve read this that you might consider and really think about this issue. By the way, I am also a sinful and selfish person, but I have been saved by the grace of Jesus and have been given a new nature. Every day I persevere by God’s grace and with His help I choose to do right and follow my new heart and not sin and do wrong as my old nature wants to do. When I do fail and fall back into sinful thoughts, words or deeds, I ask for God’s forgiveness and receive it, and I press on in my Christian walk. I ask God to help me keep turning from selfishness to love for all people. And to pray hard, even for those who hurt me and call me a hater.

I pray for America every day. For every individual in our nation. For our governmental leaders. For our Supreme Court. For right legislation for each state. For accurate, fair rights of women. For wise constitutional rights for all Americans. For laws that are good and right to be upheld and preserved and any laws that are wrong to be overturned. We are so blessed in this nation. We can do better for our unborn. Both men and women can do better on controlling our bodies before conception occurs.

Let’s be kind to one another as we wrestle with the confusing times we live in and let’s try to be able to discuss our differences in a calm, caring, and constructive way.

Psalm 139 would be a great part of the Bible to consult in this regard. I could quote a bunch of verses for you here, but I trust you are smart and able enough to look up Psalm 139 if you are interested. There is also an excellent video available entitled “Unplanned” that I’ve heard is instructive in this regard. I intend to view it soon.

As always, I pray God will use this post for His glory. May God give us all a love for children and people from the moment of conception. Thank you God that I was not aborted or miscarried but was given the chance to be born and live this earthly life You have ordained for me. Thank you for my eternal hope. Thank you that You are healing my wounded soul.

Are you glad you weren’t aborted?

2 thoughts on “A tale of three pregnancies and one healing soul.

  1. Hi Beth, I just read your story, my heart was breaking as I read of your miscarriage as I too have been there twice. Like you I don’t know who they were, and think of them all the time. And as you said wish I would have said a proper goodbye. But I do know they are in HIS loving arms. Thank you for sharing such an intimate and powerful time in your life and the joy amid the sorrow and leaning on HIS grace and mercy.
    Daily living in HIS grace and mercy.
    Nanette

    Like

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