One Miracle by Jennifer Long

A few months after my husband and I married, we decided we were ready for a baby. Very soon I was pregnant.  I had a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby boy.

When our son was fifteen months old, we decided to try for baby number two.  Just like the first time, very soon I was pregnant.  At eight weeks we heard our baby’s heartbeat and called our parents from the parking lot of the doctor’s office to tell them the news.  My husband and I talked about how our life would change with the addition of a second child.  We planned the rest of the year around my pregnancy.  I started saving my vacation time for maternity leave.  We talked about who could care for our son when I gave birth to his baby sibling.  I looked at nursery bedding.

At eleven weeks I had some concerning symptoms.  After a nervous drive to the doctor’s office, a sonogram revealed that I had miscarried.

A couple of weeks later a friend asked “what are you doing this summer?”  All I could answer was “I don’t know.”  Because all of our plans had just changed in a moment.

I watched my friends who had gotten pregnant around the same time announce their pregnancies, reveal the gender, and have baby showers.

As I grieved, I took comfort in knowing that we could still have another baby.  So we tried again.  I soon announced to my husband that we’d be trading in our single stroller for a double stroller.  A few days later, I experienced my second miscarriage.

Not ready to give up, we tried yet again.  It took longer this time, but I eventually had another positive pregnancy test.  After some concerning test results at the doctor’s office, my sonogram was postponed to give the baby more time to develop.  Time passed slowly as I tried not to worry and waited for the day I could hear my baby’s heartbeat.  I never got that chance.  At seven weeks pregnant, I miscarried.

In some ways, my third miscarriage was the most difficult.  Because I knew at that point that God’s plan for our family did not include any more pregnancies.  I had to ignore the irrational thoughts in my head.  “What if God thinks I cannot be a good mom to two children?  What if God knows something that I don’t know…like I’m going to die young and leave my husband to raise our children?”  Knowing we would not have any more babies of our own, I stopped taking prenatal vitamins and gave away my maternity clothes.

A couple of months later, I went to a women’s retreat with inspirational speakers.  One woman told her story of infertility.  And of adopting a beautiful baby girl…who later had to be returned to her birth mother.  But then a miracle happened.  She was pregnant.  As she told her story, a picture flashed on the screen…a photo of the speaker with her husband and their four children.

During the months that followed, I continued to hear heartbreaking stories of women who had a miscarriage or a stillbirth or a child who died as an infant.  But then there was a miracle.  A healthy baby.  A blessing after the trial of their faith.

I wondered “why didn’t I get my miracle?”  I will never know the answer to that question.

I’ve learned to focus on what I have, rather than what I don’t have.  Most of all, a loving husband and an amazing son.  I appreciate having a vehicle that isn’t a minivan.  And a spare bedroom for guests.  And being able to take our preschooler on a fun vacation.  And getting uninterrupted sleep.  I would give up all of those silly things for a baby.  But in the absence of a baby, I try to see the upside of the life that I have.

I finally started giving away our baby things.  My son helps me and we are amazed at how tiny his newborn clothes are and we talk about how excited the other mommies will be to get bottles and blankets and clothes for their babies.

I did get a miracle.  My miracle is my son.  The one who made me a mother.  He is my joy.