I am honored to have my dear friend, Jen Rottier, share her heart with y'all today in our first ever guest-post in recognition of National Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month. Jen & I met in Canada in June 2012 when our husbands were playing football together for the Edmonton Eskimos (Go Esks!). We clicked right away, became close quickly & our families have built a friendship that I know will last a lifetime. Jen & her family have been wonderful friends to us over the past few years, especially throughout our journey with infertility & adoption. Our friendship has been such a blessing to me - a precious gift from the Lord. I am so grateful for you, Jen!
When praying about how to recognize & speak to women who have faced miscarriage & infant loss here on the blog this month, the Lord keep nudging me to ask Jen to share her story. As you will read below, Jen has faced a lot of loss & heartbreak over the past year and a half. Her testimony of hope & faith through hardship is powerful. I am so encouraged by the way my beautiful friend has chosen to trust in the Lord, even in the midst of deep grief & painful loss.
My prayer is that Jen's beautiful, vulnerable & brave words would touch the heart of everyone who reads them, especially those women who have suffered the loss of a child.
Alright, it's now time for me to turn the blog over to Jen...
1in4 is me… It’s actually me…twice.
1in4 woman experience miscarriage, still birth or infancy loss…that’s a lot of woman. We need each other, our stories are not shameful, and we are not alone.
October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month and my dear friend Tyler asked if i would be comfortable sharing my story with y’all (I added southern drawl for you Ty) and I'm honored to do so. I first want to acknowledge that although many of us have gone through a miscarriage..or two, still birth or infancy loss, everyones' journey is different and unique. Maybe you are fortunate to have not had a loss but chances are you know someone who has.
There are many factors that affect how we manage the loss in our own ways, I want to be vulnerable with you and share MY story. I want to recognize this season in my life, as trying as it has been, as well as remember my precious babies. Let’s begin…
The life it drains
the pulse is gone
I sit numbly waiting
scared to move on
The pain is dull
blood not yet red
I morn this small babe
as I lay curled up in bed
The wait burns hard
the impending doom
the screen will flicker
my empty womb
The thrill, excitement
was all at it’s peak
and in a flash
it’s gone in weeks
The first time was hard
but I pressed for hope
the second time’s worse
and it’s so hard to cope
“What to do now Lord?”
try not to ask “Why?”
Try to be strong
When I just want to cry
I trust in my God
and I know of His worth
but it’s hard not to miss
our two littles on earth
My body will heal
and we’ll try to push on
but our heads and our hearts
will remember they’re gone
One day we’ll meet them
and give them a name
But for now our world
will not be the same
We will reach for Your comfort
and I’ll rest as I should
We trust and we know
You’ll work all things for good.
(Written the day of my second miscarriage, June 19, 2015)
You never forget their due dates….April 6th, 2015 and Feb 3rd, 2016. Those dates will forever be in my heart, the time when I was to finally see those tiny feet that kicked from within, those little fingers as they curl around mine and those sparkling eyes of my precious baby boy or girl.
I am blessed to know and to have experienced that feeling after having my two boys. Looking them over in amazement and wonder at how they are perfectly and wonderfully made. What miracles they are…I knew that then but I know that even more now.
I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome) and was initially told that I would not be able to conceive. I did not buy that for a second and switched doctors and went to work researching how to fight my odds of starting a family.
With my health at the forefront, my supportive friends and family and my faith in knowing God had a plan, I felt peace.
After over a year or trying and experimenting with different fertility drugs we conceived my now 4yr old son Townes Christopher. What a tall, smiley, rambunctious, loud and outgoing gift.
Two years later with the same combination of drugs we conceived our second son, now 2yrs old, Rushton Elijah. <3 Our big, sweet, coy, cuddly and very determined guy.
It was almost a year later when to our SURPRISE we found out again…..we were pregnant! (without the use of fertility drugs!) Besides being slightly overwhelmed at having my children so close together, my husband and I were over the moon excited and at 7 weeks we shared with our closest friends and family. All my best friends (all 6 of them) just happened to be pregnant at the same time and I was so
excited to join them!
I was nervous though as women with PCOS have an even higher chance of miscarrying…up to 50%. In my previous pregnancies I had taken Metformin until the end of my first trimester to help prevent miscarriage and obviously I felt confident in its work as I had two handsome boys.
I was not taking Metformin this time….I was more aware that this push to the 12 week mark was really going to be on my mind and heart. Maybe He was already whispering to my Mama heart…I just felt uneasy.
It was 5:30am, for one of those annoying early morning bathroom trips, that I found I was bleeding. I knew….I just knew. I was 8.5 weeks pregnant when we lost him/her.
Lots of crying, cuddling, praying and being loved on by others occurred in those next days and weeks. As hard as it was to have just shared our glorious news I was so glad I had as now we had an army surrounding us in love, prayers and support….it acknowledged that this little one was celebrated and loved…and was now missed.
Fast forward to February of 2015. We were praying about trying for another and decided to give it a go…we still felt the loss and wanted a third baby. I got back on the fertility drugs and 3 months later conceived in May. We were so excited…our boys were so excited! They were the ones to deliver the positive test stick to Daddy as he arrived home from work!
Once again we shared our exciting news with close friends and family and asked for prayers to cover this baby. I asked my Dr. to get my progesterone checked as I was unsure if that had anything to do with our last loss…all came back fine! I was on the Metformin and kept pushing that fear of loss out of my mind…I did NOT want fear to follow me in this pregnancy.
It was early in the morning when God literally woke me up from sleep and whispered “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6) It was so weird but as I fell back asleep it repeated over and over, like He was trying to engrave it into my heart.
Unfortunately around 2pm that afternoon I started to spot….this time I didn’t ‘just know’. It started, it stopped…brown….a bit red? I was holding onto hope, that verse was on repeat. I was again…exactly 8.5weeks. I got in to see my doctor who got me an urgent ultrasound…..blank screen, empty womb, no baby.
This turned out NOT to be a textbook miscarriage….this was ectopic…..but we didn't find that out until 3 weeks later. My HCG levels kept rising after that initial bleed…more ultrasounds, more spotting, so many more blood tests, feeling pregnant that whole time and finally the methotrexate shot that would end it all. It was a long, painful, drawn out process…..But that verse kept me going..as He knew it would.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…”
He was with me, I was not to understand ….but to trust. I felt peace in-between the hard places…He would always bring me back.
Again supported and loved by our army….and by our God.
Townes asks about his siblings in heaven every now and again….we’ve talked about life not being fair, that we don’t always get what we want, that God gives and takes away…talking him through it was healing for me as I listened to His truth come out of my mouth as I tried share in a simple way a 4yr old could understand.
I often think about who our little ones were or would have been…boy or girl, hair color, eyes….personality…what the world is missing without them. I believe one day I will meet them…and what a glorious homecoming it will be.
We’re considering trying again…and again I will not let fear be a reason we won’t. His words still pressed upon my heart..I trust Him…through it all….I hope my dear friends you can too. Because He loves you, He is with you and He holds us and our little ones in His hands….and
that is the best seat in the house.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. I would be so grateful if you could pray for our future family, against fear and most of all that our journey could bring love and healing and hearts to Jesus.
Thank you Tyler for this opportunity and for your beautiful heart and friendship.
My heart goes out to every woman who is grieving & remembering the loss of a baby this month… I am praying that the Lord would meet you in your pain & bring comfort to your aching heart. Hope my friend's story touched your heart as much as it's touched mine.
Jen, thank you for bravely sharing your heart. I am so encouraged by your perseverance & challenged by your faith. I am lifting your precious family up in prayer today. Thank you for being an incredible friend to me & a light for Christ to the world.