It was the perfect cycle. I was full of doubt, though, because of the three and a half years of loss and infertility before it. However, it was still the perfect cycle – so perfect that I even had a positive pregnancy test. Yet, years of infertility and miscarriage robbed me from the joy of this positive pregnancy test. Anxiety, panic, and hysterical crying immediately consumed me as I stood in the bathroom waiting for the result of the second test. But I knew that my body was in a much healthier place than it used to be – I couldn’t really lose another baby, could I? Eventually history repeated itself and I began to suspect another miscarriage. Soon after that, we faced more complications.
We learned that I was having an ectopic pregnancy. This picture-perfect cycle. This two and a half year wait since our last loss would now be ending in a traumatic ectopic pregnancy. I could process, emotionally, the loss of another baby, but I was not ready to process a loss that would occur through a complicated and life-threatening ectopic pregnancy. We were away from home and told to stay in town. I was told not to eat or drink anything until I heard from the surgery scheduler. I was given a list of symptoms to watch for and to go to the emergency room immediately if needed. On top of the danger of an ectopic pregnancy and the grief of such a traumatic loss, I was also facing the very real possibility of losing my last functioning fallopian tube. I walked out of the office in tears that afternoon, not only for the devastating loss, but for the significant possibility that I would no longer be fertile by the time this was all over.
I could not believe God was allowing this in my life. I had already lost one baby. I was now in the process of losing a second baby. I had already faced a total of three and a half years of infertility. Was God really going to allow me to be definitively infertile after everything I had already gone through? Prior to this pregnancy, my husband and I were considering closing the chapter of pursing biological children. We wanted to give it one more chance. Now, we learned that this “chance” we took now may result in permanent infertility. It was one thing to decide as a couple to no longer try to conceive, but it was completely different to have that option taken away from us in an operating room.
The next 24 hours were filled with many emotions. I was angry at God for allowing this. I was angry at myself for doing or not doing more. I was fearful of the risks and dangers of an ectopic pregnancy. In between all the anger and fear, there were also flickers of relief. Even though I knew we could decide to stop trying to conceive at any point, this surgery might make the decision for me. Would this battle of trying to have a baby finally be over? Would I finally have a “good reason” to stop? I was crying as they wheeled me back to surgery. I knew getting on that operating table was going to change everything.
When I woke up from surgery, my husband shared with me that the operation had yielded neither the worst-case nor the best-case scenario. The doctor did not remove my fallopian tube; however, a future surgery would be needed to repair it. We would have to wait months merely to find out if I would be a candidate for surgery. Even now, we know that this surgery is not simple nor a guarantee. The repair could also leave me open to a much higher risk of future ectopic pregnancies. There are many decisions that have yet to be made.
At this point in our loss and infertility journey, I have more questions and doubts than I have words of faith and encouragement. I can recall Scripture and characteristics of God that I know to be true. However, my faith has been shaken beyond what I can sometimes handle. Anger at God, fear, grief, and devastation consume me at times. I have questioned why God hates me so much that He would allow years of infertility and loss to result in the loss of my fallopian tubes. I have stated that God must know that I would be such a terrible mother that He allowed these losses. I have stood in church, week after week, unable to sing and worship, because I was truly doubting the words on the screen. I have felt hopeless, empty, and unable to pray and to focus on what I know to be true.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26.
I have heard this verse many times throughout my life. However, until I was facing the deep grief of losing all the children we had ever conceived, with little hope of ever conceiving more, I did not spend much time dwelling on this truth. In the past six months it has seemed almost impossible to pray. It is as if I cannot even form the words or thoughts. As the verse states, I often do not even know what to pray for. My children are gone. In my current condition, I am unable to conceive any more children. My longings for the family I dreamed about have been shattered. When I desire to bring this heartache, loss, and devastation before God I have absolutely no idea what to say. Since I am in deep in grief and loss, I do not always read this verse and immediately find comfort. I doubt. I wonder if God has forgotten me. I ask if He is intentionally causing me pain. Yet, I know that these thoughts are untrue. What is true is that the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
When I am burdened by my grief, filled with doubts about God’s character, and unable to pray, I can be confident that the Spirit is interceding on my behalf. I can be thankful that the truths of Scripture do not depend on my faithfulness. These past four years have completely broken me. However, I know that God is here through all the brokenness. Even when it feels like my faith is barely hanging on, I can trust that God is carrying me through this, and the Spirit is interceding when I cannot.
This blog post was written by an anonymous contributor.