WWY~ Finding Hope and Healing With or Without a Rainbow

For the final WWY post in this segment, we will share our experiences with longing for another baby to fill our empty arms. Some experienced a subsequent pregnancy after loss. Some may be fearful of embarking on that journey again. Some may not be able to have another child, whether due to infertility or other reasons. Some may have found that having another baby, however precious a gift, was not the key to healing the grief. Can you experience hope and healing…even if there is no rainbow after the storm? Lori  will be guest posting on this blog and I will share some thoughts as well. We hope many of you will also join in, linking your own posts.

Written By Lori 

It is never, ever easy to lose a baby.

Ever.

 

And though as we discussed last week that we wished we didn’t compare our situations, or ourselves the reality is that we do.

So I’ll just be honest and say that when I lost Matthew, I felt like there was something even more especially cruel in his loss.

 

We’d tried to become parents for over a decade.

 

That’s over ten years, folks.  Treatments that didn’t work, diagnoses that didn’t seem to make sense, adoption situations that didn’t come to fruition…
One that broke our hearts because we were so.close.  The closest we’d really ever been…a nursery full of things for a little girl I’d been told in my heart was born and waiting for us.

 

A little girl I’ll never meet.

 

When we finally turned to IVF ten years after first beginning to build our family, I was skeptical.

 

And utterly surprised when it worked.  FINALLY!  The hard part was over!  I was pregnant and the child I knew God had promised me (we’d had many discussions, He and I) was only months away.
So, when Matthew died…in a very dramatic, very unexpected and very rare way, I felt that his loss was especially cruel.  I’d suffered all that infertility, had a perfectly healthy, full-term and beautiful baby boy…and he died the day after he was born due to what is essentially a little-seen fluke.

Cruel.   Just cruel.

I remember the day I dared God to heal my heart.  If I am honest, I was nearly blasphemous.  After Matthew died, we transferred our remaining embryo and it was not a successful transfer.

Yet again, another empty nursery and empty arms.
So, there I sat one Sunday morning, listening to how God heals and makes all things new.  I dared Him.  I told Him there was nothing He could do, short of pulling a Lazarus, and bringing Matthew back.

Knowing that just wasn’t going to happen.
Obviously, it didn’t.

But, in a way that only God can do, I was shown a redemptive and restorative healing I never believed was possible.

After completing our second IVF cycle, we were given our sweet little Luke.

I learned the truth in God making beauty of ashes.  Luke was a balm for our hearts, and one only given by the Great Healer Himself.

I’ll be very, very honest.

I don’t know what I would have done without Luke’s pregnancy and subsequent healthy birth.  It was tough– grieving so heavily the loss of one precious relationship while building so tentatively but expectantly another one.  It seemed like a blessing and a curse, at times, and it was difficult.

But I don’t know what I would have done without the hope in bringing another child into my arms.
In this online community of what we call our Babyloss Friends, I came across so many women who were struggling (and many still are) with trying to bring another child into their world…a living child they can hold and raise.

My heart aches for them because I know first-hand how a Rainbow Baby can bring a healing like nothing else can.  I can think of fewer things that show how God can make all things new.  Even a bereaved mother’s heart.

So, last year, when we lost our third child, another son we named Trey, I took it hard.

Hard because again, dreams I’d dreamed and hopes I’d hoped were stolen.  Trey’s loss triggered memories of Matthew’s loss, and I found myself terrified.

Terrified because I knew how much Luke’s birth and his life give healing to my heart.

Terrified because the odds were that I would not have that same healing after losing Trey.
Years of infertility left me at an age that just exacerbated my infertility.

We tried several more cycles, but none worked, and we decided that we were done trying to conceive any more children.

Done trying to adopt any more children.
Done with having any more children.
No Rainbow.  No more restoration and redemption of my heartache in the sweet snuggles of a new little brother or sister.

And here I am.

It’s not like having Luke made losing Matthew better.  Impossible.

But Matthew’s death left my arms empty.  Luke’s life gives them new meaning.

Losing Trey left me aching again.

Knowing there are no more children for our family has left me asking God how He’s going to help me heal this time.
With no ‘balm’ like we were given with Luke, I find myself wondering how on earth my heart is going to be rescued this time.

 

God rescued my heart when He gave me Luke.

I honestly don’t see how He can rescue it again.

 

But that’s just how God is, isn’t He?  He laughed at me the first time I dared Him…said, “Oh, yeah????  Watch THIS!” and then came Luke.

 

And though I know it won’t be in the form of another baby boy or girl, I know He is good.
He is unchanging.

He rescues our hearts.

I’m holding on.

 

Psalm 130:5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word, I put my hope.”

——————————-

Ok…this is Kelly popping back in. I love how honestly Lori shared her heart here…and the honest struggle with trusting God in the giving and the taking away. He is faithful in both. I just wanted to share a tidbit of my own journey.

We had our son Timothy. We lost Faith and Grace….and Thomas was our rainbow. We lost him, too.

I remember the years of struggle to trust God anyway, to  learn to hope and heal, the wrestling with bitterness…and, I remember the day I surrendered to much of it, weeping in the arms of our heavenly Father. His whisper that gratefulness would unlock the key to healing the bitterness sprouting in my heart. (Please note that this was more than a year into our grief for Thomas.) I also remember the realization that God could restore our family and our joy….even without another child.

I can’t explain what the Holy Spirit did in my heart that day, but I felt the surrender. I felt some of the heaviness lift.

And, God did begin to restore our joy…right there. We laughed. We lived. We started to accept the gifts of every moment we had with those we loved. Our little family.

Then God sent James. And, he came to stay.

But, whenever I share our story, He tugs at my heart, reminding that He could’ve restored our family as we were, without another baby. James was an unspeakable gift, a beautiful surprise. And, he has added great joy to our family, of course. But, it’s important to remember that God lifted some of the sorrow before his birth…He wanted that surrender from me…even before that precious added blessing came into our lives.

And, as excruciating as it was to come to that place of surrender, it was a sweet surrender indeed.

I just want you to know…that our God and His love are so big that He can restore and heal you…even if there is no rainbow after the storm. Even if…

It has been such a blessing to walk with all of you. Thank you for allowing us into the sacred places of your hearts. 



Comments

  1. Just beautiful, Lori and Kelly. Thank you for writing this. I needed to read it. Thank you for not “prettying” it up, for laying your heart vulnerably bare to us (me). Thank you…I am so glad I know you. <3

  2. Lori, reading your story of the missing of Matthew and Trey, along with knowing that you will never try again for another child… absolutely breaks my heart. I know that there are endless amounts of mother’s, that become bereaved daily, but I feel like I know you, and yet I have never had the pleasure to put my arms around you, or enjoy our friendship over a simple lunch…

    I have been blessed to walk with you for a very long time. You sharing your heart helps people you may not even know, who have been silently stopping by your blog, and reading your heart. In that moment, each one of you become a group of women, sitting at the feet of Jesus, waiting for their miracle… or the healing of a shattered heart, and broken dreams.

    You give your heart to many… and precious children to fill the arms of God… Not that you or I wanted it that way, but how beautiful and precious it must be to God, watching you wait on His faithfulness…

  3. Kelly, I love how you shared the healing that took place before James… trusting God… and in the end, He graced your lives with a precious son to keep here on earth. You have been through an immense loss of more children than seems justifiable in our eyes… but let me tell you Kelly… You carry a beauty so deep within your soul, that it radiates on every word you write… you continually live out the faith that you believe, being a great leader in this babyloss community… and shining through the fog, when we can’t see the next step in front of us.

    <3

  4. Christine Johnson says:

    I love how each story is about God and how He directs our lives. We are all different women with this common thread of motherhood. God is the only one who can give what our hearts desire and who can bring joy after such a great loss. I am thankful for the way He has brought us together to share our stories and to encourage one another through the grieving process. Thank you all for sharing your hurts and fears and joys, I have learned so much from you all.

  5. Thank you Lori and Kelly for sharing!! One thing is so true- “our God and His love are so big that He can restore and heal you…even if there is no rainbow after the storm”. I do believe this! Although I admit it would have taken longer for my heart to heal in the way it has with having my rainbow babies if they weren’t here.

  6. Lori & Kelly,

    Both of your stories are so beautiful! I am so happy to know that God can and will heal you, even if there is no rainbow after the storm. Eventually we will all get a rainbow. It may not be on earth, but our final destination in Heaven is so much better than anything that can be offered to us here on earth. Thank you both so much for sharing! I have thoroughly enjoyed this walk and sharing my story with you all and reading everybody’s stories! Thanks again!

  7. Lori – Your words are so inspiring and so heartwrenchingly honest. I am so very sorry for both of your losses and for your struggles with infertility and failed adoption. I can’t imagine that level of frustration and pain. I am SO happy you were blessed with Luke and I pray that God will find new ways to bless and heal you. Right now I feel the need for a rainbow baby… like nothing else will suffice. But I pray often that God will heal me through many channels, not just the one I want most. Thank you for sharing this week. I’ll be keeping your in my prayers <3

    Kelly – I am so grateful for SGM and so glad that you put together this beautiful series for others. I have come to learn and grow so much throughout these past few weeks. I look forward to returning next year. Love to you!!

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