Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Understanding Hannah

I now know why Sarah laughed, Rachel was envious, and Hannah wept. They had experienced infertility and the pain thereof. For Sarah, she spent her entire fertile years waiting for the month that her menses would not appear. For Rachel, the constant reminder that it was her ‘fault’- for Jacob had gotten Leah and the maids pregnant already. For Hannah, the constant provoking of the other wife was a daily reminder as well.

‘Secondary infertility’ and ‘multiple miscarriages’ are two phrases I thought would never apply to us. We have been blessed with a healthy, strong son, who continues to amaze us daily with his antics. This past year we have experienced three m/c’s. At first, we thought, “Well, 20-25% end in the first trimester. Bad luck.” The second time, we almost announced the pregnancy since everything was looking good. We tried once again because we naively thought, “this could never happen three times in a row to a woman who had carried full term.” Boy, were we wrong.

This past month, my 43 year-old aunt announced her second pregnancy (yeah!) that will be due in January of 2008. Then, this past weekend, I saw a girl (yes, a girl) no older than 15 years old, probably 7-8 months pregnant with her child dive-bombing into the pool. Hmm. She’ll be a mother before she can drive a car.

We are so happy for our many friends who are expecting their babies in the next few months (or hours/days, as Alysun’s case may be!!). I would not have believed anyone if they told us one year ago that we would be swimming these waters but looking back, I would have earnestly gone through this just to know that one or all of my friends wouldn’t have to. Never again will I be critical of a married Christian couple without children (or just one child) because now I know that behind the smiling faces could be pain of disappointment and loss.

We initially had only told a few people, mostly because we (I) didn’t want looks of pity or sadness but as time has progressed, our story has come out in one way or another. If you are reading this and are wondering, “Why didn’t they say something?” please don’t be hurt. It’s not something we like to bring up in a phone conversation or in playgroups or on Sunday morning when we are together praising God. I originally never thought I’d post this part of our story but after talking with Amber (see side link) and her struggles, she has given me the strength to open up about this. Together, we have concluded that whether you have one child or none, the pain of losing a pregnancy is the same.

I’ve looked for books discussing miscarriage, and in the Christian world, there is little/none. Most books talk about preventing m/c’s: yes, I don’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. Great advice.

In two weeks, I’ll have some blood work done to start looking for answers. My doctor is a wonderful man and I’d hug him if I could. He has practiced for 26 years and his calmness and reassuring spirit is a blessing.

All that to be said, we are truly blessed in our marriage with each other and the friendship and love we have. Dan is my best friend. Russell is the joy of our lives. Our church family is a gift from God. And we love where we live. It is a honor to celebrate with our friends as they anticipate the arrivals of their little ones, and to bless them with goodies from CraigsList!

Thank-you, each and everyone of you who stop by our page- whether regularly or on occasion. We love you and thank you for welcoming us into your lives.


Cass said...

Wow, Hillary. It's amazing what you don't know about other people - what you take for granted as 'everythings ok' from those around you. I never would have guessed, even from our limited interaction in these last years.

3 miscarriages... that must be/have been extremely painful, frustrating, and heartbreaking. And I am so sorry. Though in a great way I do indeed understand. Today is actually the 21 month mark of us trying to conceive and to no avail so far. Not even an almost. Heartache, yes, I understand heartache. But your loss, I can only imagine.

So I will think of you as I struggle along as well. All I know, it will be even an even greater joy when there is that great news to share!

Kevin, Jennifer & Hana Norman said...

Hillary, you are so brave to share. I have been praying for you and your family since you told me.

alr said...

Thank you for opening up and sharing your life.

Alysun said...

I am glad you had the courage to share your pain. As a friend, I hate to see you go through such sorrow and disapointment. God's plan isn't easy to see. You continue to be in our prayers.

Anonymous said...

Hillary, we are praying for you guys. Thank you for your courage to share. Glenn and Jenn

melissa said...

I'm sorry Hillary. I wish I had known and been able to be a shoulder for you.
I know you're a strong person and is very solid in your faith with Jesus.
You will find the strength, even more strength, to be brave through this disappointing time.
Thanks for your honesty.

Polly Gamwich said...

As you know, I'm praying for you ... but I wanted you to know that I'm so proud of you. Sharing this information is not easy ... but I pray that the Lord will bless your transparancy - may He minister to so many other women that struggle with this. May He use you to touch the lives of other hurting women.

Thank you for sharing this!

april said...

I love you! And I'm so glad that you shared your story with your friends. I can't wait to see you in the big S.D.!

The Atkins Family said...

Hilary & Dan - I'm so thankful you shared your story. Russell is a blessing!! It will be encouraging to see how God uses this to his glory. You're wonderful parents!