After our third miscarriage, I made a sweeping declaration that there was no way we’d be trying to get pregnant anytime soon. It was too hard and I couldn’t do it. But, God had another plan for us. I heard Him telling me to try again; I felt Him changing my heart and my mind, opening me up to the possibility of being pregnant again. And on August 8, 2018, that possibility became the reality when we saw our fourth positive pregnancy test.
The weeks that followed were hard. Not only did I have terrible morning sickness that included full blown dry heaving episodes that had me lying on the floor sweating bullets, but I was so scared that we would lose this baby, just as we’d lost our babies that came before. But in those moments when the fear started to take over, I’d find comfort in the fact that God had called us to try again. And since we were obedient to His call, surely we would be rewarded with a healthy rainbow baby.
Because my husband was gone for a month starting when I was about six weeks pregnant, we didn’t have our first ultrasound until about 11.5 weeks. After so many devastating ultrasound appointments, I refused to go to one without my husband again. So on October 2nd, we went in for our ultrasound, scared but full of hope.
I think we both knew as soon as we saw our baby on the screen. She was too small for how far along I was supposed to be. And instead of enveloping her nice and close, the amniotic sac was huge in comparison to her tiny body. The ultrasound tech never asked if I had any bleeding or cramping; she never told us there wasn’t a heartbeat. She knew we’d been here before. I just said, “it’s not okay, is it?” and she replied, “no, it’s not okay.”⠀⠀
When attempting to work through my fears about this ultrasound appointment in the weeks leading up to it I had imagined this scenario. But that didn’t stop the tears from falling. With tears rolling down his cheeks as well, my husband held me tight as we tried to take in the news that we wouldn’t get to meet our baby in April. But there was one thing that imagining this outcome beforehand did help with and that was that I already knew how I wanted to move forward with the miscarriage process: a D&C. ⠀
It’s not that I wanted to avoid the physical pain of labor, or that I didn’t want to hold our baby’s tiny body in my hand after delivery. I just couldn’t handle having more time with her still in my womb knowing she was already gone. I couldn’t move through the days (or weeks) that would follow never knowing exactly when her body would leave mine. I couldn’t bear all that again. ⠀
So we went with a D&C, hoping it would be easier both physically and emotionally because at least we could start to move forward sooner, and also hoping we could get some answers as to why we lost her through karyotype testing. On October 4, 2018 at around 3:30pm, I went into the OR, and when I came out our baby was no longer a physical part of me.
During my pregnancy, I just knew in my heart our fourth baby was a little girl. A couple weeks after my D&C, we found out that I was right. Our baby was in fact a girl. Our baby was also 100% healthy in every way they could test. She had the right number of chromosomes in all the right places, which just means we still don’t have any answers as to why we keep losing babies. But knowing our baby was a girl meant that we could name her. And so we did. We named her Faith.
Her name came to me one day after my D&C, but before we’d gotten the results back from the testing. The word “faith” popped into my head and in that moment I knew that if we found out our fourth baby was a girl, that was her name. It wasn’t a name we had on our list of baby names, or even one we ever considered. But my best friend said it best when she told me that Faith wasn’t my name for our baby, it was God’s name for her. ⠀
Faith embodies our whole journey to parenthood thus far. We stepped out in faith when we obeyed God’s call to try again and conceived Faith. We held onto faith during those hard few months of pregnancy when we were so afraid we would lose another baby. And because of our faith, we were still able to declare God’s goodness when we did lose her. It’s the word on my necklace that same friend gifted me soon after we lost Ellis. It’s what we’ve questioned in the moments of intense pain and longing, but ultimately what we’ve held tight to in order to make it through. It has grown far more than I ever could have imagined in this season where it would have been so easy for it to be completely shattered. ⠀
And so it only makes sense that God’s name for our last baby is Faith. As we enter a season of no longer trying to have a biological child, we need faith even more – faith that God will provide, and faith that He will be enough for us while we wait for His promises for our family to be fulfilled. ⠀
On October 4, 2018 we lost Faith, but we never lost faith. Baby Faith will forever be a reminder of our faith in God’s goodness and grace. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1