She was precious. We named her Glory because she gets to experience the eternal , full radiant glory of God before we get there. She was about an inch and a half long. She was fully formed with eyes, ears, nose, fingers and toes. She was beautiful and perfect.
Kara had been spotting for over two weeks and although we went in two weeks ago Friday and saw a beautiful picture of her with a strong heart beat, Kara kept spotting each day. The Dr said there was nothing to worry about, so we tried to stay upbeat about it, knowing that many women spot and have healthy pregnancies. But on Friday, the spotting got much more severe.
The full spectrum of life is amazing. We saw our friend’s the Norris’ coming out of the OBGyn’s office having just seen their first ultrasound of their baby and I’m sure experiencing one of the happiest days of their lives…as we went in to experience our worst.
We had just been through this two weeks before and so at first I felt good seeing our baby had grown considerably on the ultrasound. But as the seconds ticked by and we didn’t hear a heart beat, dread began to creep in. Finally the nurse began to say things like, “Is this your first pregnancy?” “Sorry guys, I can’t find a heartbeat.” “This is really common”.
The dread engulfed me. I lost consciousness and hit the ground. The next thing I knew, I had a nurse in my face talking to me and I think trying to give me a hand to pull my torso off the ground. Kara was up above me still sitting on the table screaming my name. I’m embarrassed that I didn’t hold it together for her. I’ve been proud of the way I’ve reacted in dangerous situations in the past, but this time, there was nothing I could do but take in the pain. It overwhelmed me. Wish I could remember the dream I was having in those moments, but I had to push it away to orient myself as this only once met woman was in my face and my bride was screaming my name from above.
We were given options and decided to let our baby miscarry out of Kara’s body naturally and were given a few minutes to weep alone in the room. And we’ve had many such moments to weep since. Friday was really, really hard. Saturday wasn’t much easier. It was late that night that Kara called me into the bathroom.
What a surreal next hour. We pulled our baby out and just admired this little miracle. Kara’s sister Laryssa was there with us and the three of us just admired her beauty. This perfect little piece of us. We’re told it’s unique that she was in such perfect shape when the ultrasound tech said she must have died last Sunday or Monday based on her size. Only ten weeks of life. We got to love Glory (as a living person of this world) such a short time! We put her in a small box and buried her behind our home.
It’s a difficult process and it continued for Kara throughout the night. She’s resting today and we pray that she is physically healed and able to move past this difficult transition. We hope you will pray for her body, too.
Of course the emotional toll is more difficult. Why did this have to happen to us? I imagine it will take years before we have a fuller understanding of this answer. For now, it is good for me to write down my best current understanding, even though it be but a shadow of the true wisdom of Truth. I have these few random thoughts stirring in me these last few days, and I want to get them down.
1) Do you know how common it is for a woman to miscarry her first born child? I had some inkling of this before, but now the stories are coming from everywhere. It’s probably not most, I don’t know, but it seems that everyone we talk to has stories of many, many friends and family members going through this, particularly with their first born.
This seems like a part of the curse woven into Man which he brought upon himself when he chose spiritual death and walked away from the grace of God in the Garden of Eden. Did it become a crucial part of life on this planet’s very existence that one must die so that others may live? We’ve been told by many that you will have more children and they will live…and we believe it for our lives. It’s almost like little Glory made the sacrifice so that our other children may taste life in this world. Will those children understand the sacrifice that was given in order for them to have life? Will this experience help us to better understand the sacrifice that was given in order that we might taste life eternal even here and now?
2) Did we really understand the cost of following Christ? I’d first like to say that I know that others experience greater losses than ours. It would have been harder had Glory grown to five years old (to pick a random number) before losing her. There are plenty of other areas of suffering that others must bear that we have not been called to bear and so I don’t want to sound like ours is the greatest burden. Yet this current suffering is very real and very raw for us right now.
It’s a great blessing when the Lord closes doors in the life of a non-believer or a brand new-believer so that he must encounter God head on and engage rather than chase after life’s pleasures whether they be good or bad pleasures. Most Christians in America never really choose to be a disciple of Christ’s (in most cases because they have no on shepherding them along the Way) and so they live in this no man’s land of having etermal salvation (I think), but never really know the Life of Christ. This next part doesn’t apply to them as it gets into the deeper things.
But what about when you are trying to live your life as a son of God, putting His glory above your own, surely God wants only good for His beloved sons?
Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26“If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:25-27)
Have we really hated our lives? To be quite honest, Kara and I haven’t really suffered before. We can list plenty of bad things that have happened, but they weren’t this final. What does it mean that we have to carry our own cross and follow after the suffering of Christ to be His disciple?
Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. 25The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
27“Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. 28Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:23-28)
Jesus didn’t turn away from the suffering that was His cup because He knew that in His suffering life would be birthed in me and you. Shall Kara and I turn away from ours? We beg Him daily to be made more like Him. We beg to be brought up as sons of God, not as the babies we are who get to enjoy the playpen of His mansion, but as heirs given the duty and responsibility to conduct the affairs of His estate. We beg for this, but do we understand the cost?
“In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” (Hebrews 2:10-11)
So Jesus was made perfect through suffering, and we want to be His brother. Are we ready for this? Probably not. Do we understand all of what this means? Probably not. Even though we have a taste now of true suffering and hating our own lives to follow Him, are we now willing? Yes, and Amen! We give you our lives Lord. Make of us what you will. Do with us what you will. Yours is wisdom and understanding. It is for us to submit and obey. We are yours. We trust in your perfect love for us and will live according to your perfect plan for us.
“FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.”
7It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9Furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us, and we respected them; shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they disciplined us for a short time as seemed best to them, but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. 11All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.” (Hebrews 12:6-11)
Just as Job and Peter were sifted, our hearts are being sifted. We know that they were filled with too much pride. We have experienced the pride of the flesh in knowing that we were able to produce a baby very quickly upon trying. We wouldn’t hold onto this too long before acknowledging that we actually had no power to produce a baby, and that it was indeed God who blessed us with our baby. But then immediately pride would creep in that we walked with an exceptional grace because of the life we were living with God. This pride must be purged.
We do pray that this severe pain does relent. But we also pray that this awesome understanding of God’s sovereignty and our wretched smallness, sticks with us. That our total dependence on God increases each and every day. That we remember this incredible pain, suffering, and helplessness each day of our lives that we might represent Christ not just as ones who are blessed (as we most certainly are), but as ones who have carried heavy burdens and known terrible pain and loss.
We know that it is our nature to forget these things, but we pray that this will not be. That we are forever changed by this loss of our little Glory, into more of the likeness of the One who bore every possible burden and suffered beyond measure to bring everlasting life to the brokenhearted.
3) Were we crazy to tell so many people about our baby during the first trimester? We’ve definitely talked about this. Being totally transparent, we really didn’t believe this would happen to us. Yet, we also knew intellectually that it was somewhat common to miscarry in the first trimester and understood there was a risk. We had friends who warned not to tell anyone because of this. We also had a friend tell us how lonely it was to miscarry without telling anyone because there was no one to share the pain with. We also had friends explain that they wanted their friends praying for their little baby no matter what happened.
This made sense to us for our lives. But we’re also now realizing the full consequences of this decision. I imagine that we’ll be running into friends for many months who know about the pregnancy, but not the death of little Glory. We can’t fully judge the effects of that until we’ve lived it, but we do imagine it will be hard….again and again.
So we have devised a new plan for how we will handle our next pregnancy if and when the Lord blesses us with that. We do still want as many people as possible praying for our little one to come. But it seems good at the moment, to have a better way to communicate quickly with this prayer team. For instance, although we had told many on Facebook about the pregnancy, it didn’t seem quite right to blast to everyone that we were concerned about spotting.
So if you made a comment on the original Facebook link, and you have your FB set up to email you comments made after yours, then you know we messaged that group and asked for prayers. If not, you probably didn’t have a clue this was going on.
So we want to invite you to be on a prayer team for our next child which we pray the Lord will bless us with. We’ll put together an email list and blast any news to the list as we have it. This will include news of conception, and any difficult times along the way that we need prayer for. This list is open to anyone. All we ask is that you pray for us as the Lord leads. It’s not meant to be an exclusive list, but it is meant to be a list where we can communicate quickly to everyone who knows about the pregnancy and is praying to be sure that you are equipped to do so. If you would like to be on this list, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for your prayers!
Wes and Kara