Those two lines change EVERYthing.
If you’ve seen several days worth of negative tests (or months or even years of negative tests!) prior to the positive test, you know that you can hardly believe your eyes. You wonder if you’re seeing things. You probably even take another test (or two or six) just for confirmation.
So you’re pregnant. Whether you “got it” on the first try or you’ve been trying for years, one of the first questions you have to grapple with is, “Who do I tell and when??”
I can’t tell you what to do, it’s part of the story God is knitting together in your life. I can tell you is what I did and why.
***updated with our newest pregnancy news! Take note of the last paragraph 🙂 ***
I’ve been pregnant three times. ***now four
Pregnancy #1: In March 2005, I got pregnant on about the third try and knew by 13 days post-ovulation. We told everyone as soon as we got a positive pregnancy test. I assumed everything would be perfectly fine with the pregnancy and it was. I went to almost 41 weeks and delivered a perfectly healthy baby boy.
Pregnancy #2: In the spring of 2008, we started “trying” for a second baby and got pregnant on the first try. We told everyone right away and assumed that everything would be perfectly fine but it wasn’t. Just shy of seven weeks along, on Mother’s Day weekend, I suffered a miscarriage. I had been due on December 28th and had already filled in my pregnancy journal. It was a crushing blow and was definitely one of the defining moments of my life thus far.
Pregnancy #3: In August of 2008, we started “trying” again and again, got pregnant on the first try. We found out on September 2 and told everyone as soon as we knew, having great faith that everything would be fine and it was. I again went to almost 41 weeks and delivered another perfectly healthy baby boy.
***Pregnancy #4: Completely out of the blue, after four years of trying, I took a cheapy pregnancy test on January 8th, 2017 on a whim and it was POSITIVE. I told my parents within half an hour and my husband and sons that night, along with several close friends and family members that had been praying for us. We told the rest of our friends and family the next day and announced on social media a few days later, right around 5 weeks.
Two beautiful sons, perfect in every way, born three-and-a-half years apart, and right between the two, I had a miscarriage.
Do I wish I hadn’t told anyone that time around? I think back and realize that
if I had said, “I don’t want to tell anyone this early, ‘just in case,'” I would have been saying that I didn’t trust God with the outcome of my pregnancy. (we’ll get back to this thought later…)
It would have also meant that no one would have known what I was going through. After it happened, other women who had experienced miscarriages came out of the woodwork and we got a chance to talk about it and encourage each other. Some women actually needed to tell ME their story. I have spoken openly about what I went through and it has given me the opportunity to minister to many, many women.
Now, almost three years later, I’m launching a new ministry (starting with a God Knits event at my church) to help women who have experienced “bumps in the road on the journey of motherhood” and I honestly don’t think I’d be at this point if I’d have kept my pregnancy and the subsequent miscarriage a secret.
Talking about it from the very beginning actually helped me work through it faster.
Yes, it was hard to tell people we lost the baby. Mother’s Day Sunday, a friend that hadn’t heard approached me and said, “It’s so sweet to be pregnant on Mother’s Day!” She felt worse about it than I did. A month later, my sister-in-law’s ex-boyfriend saw me at church and patted my belly and said, “You’re glowing!” I wanted to smack him. I put that shirt way in the back of my closet when I got home.
One thing the miscarriage experience taught me, in fact, was how very delicate and miraculous those early days of pregnancy are, especially the two weeks or so before we know we’re pregnant. I had taken it for granted with my first pregnancy. So after my cycles returned to normal following the miscarriage, we actually asked people to pray for us before we started “trying” again. Yes, it’s a little awkward to say to people, “Pray that we make a healthy baby when we have sex this month, ok?” But why NOT have people praying for you and the baby, when it matters most? We call Ethan our “Redemption Baby” and I know those prayers made a difference.
Now back to the trust in God’s plan issue. “You assumed everything would be OK every time but one time, it wasn’t OK.” Yes, there were some dark moments as my story unfolded but my trust is in a God that cares and is ever-faithful.
When I depend on an all-knowing, all-seeing SOVEREIGN God who works ALL things together for good, nothing is ever amiss.
It took me a while to see it that way, of course, which is just a part of my journey. But if I’d have expressed my lack of trust by saying, “I don’t want to get my hopes up, just in case something happens,” or I’d dwelled on all the “what ifs,” it wouldn’t have changed anything one way or the other. In fact, believing that God would ultimately lead me to something wonderful just meant I was on the look-out, ready and willing, for a miracle.
When I miscarried, God didn’t disappoint me, He just took me on a detour. A detour that eventually led to this:
Ethan Ryan (his name means Strong King) came home from the hospital a year to the day after I miscarried. As says in Psalm 30:13, “And You turned my mourning into dancing…and clothed me in gladness!” That is redemption.
I can’t question that.
And if and when we try for another baby, you can bet I’ll have people praying for our baby before he or she is conceived and I’ll be spreading my pregnancy news immediately. If anything, my faith in God and His plan for my life has only gotten stronger, which means that I will continue to trust that He will ultimately give me the miracle I need.