God and Pregnancy Disappointments

Stunned might be the best word to describe my husband Ted’s reaction when those two pink lines appeared. The ones that screamed, “Your wife is pregnant!”

We’d only been married eight months. Home pregnancy tests weren’t something we anticipated on our grocery list quite yet. The truth is, we weren’t entirely confident pregnancy would happen for us at all.

You see, Ted came to me with a history. A medical one, that is. Five years earlier, he’d been diagnosed with testicular cancer. Thankfully, it was caught early. The result was surgery and years of follow-up CT scans, blood tests, and chest X-rays. We were still strangers when he walked through the initial uncertainties of cancer, however I entered his life just in time to accompany him to his final CT-scan. I shared his joy when it came back clear, bringing that season of his life to a close.

While the CT scans were done, Ted’s worries weren’t.

The procedure had been straightforward, leaving what Ted referred to as “spare parts,” but he still wasn’t sure what that meant for us and biological children. Would he be able to father any? He was concerned that somehow his odds had been reduced too much.

It wasn’t a concern he fully voiced to me until after we’d been married a few months. I still remember the emotionally-charged conversation we had in the galley-style kitchen of the first condo we shared.

“So, you know it’s a possibility we might not be able to have kids, right?” Ted said.

“Wait … what?” I responded.

I’d just assumed that even though our odds were down, they weren’t non-existent. His fears caught me off-guard. While adoption was something we’d be up for, as a kid, I had just assumed that I’d grow up to have a biological child or two. And now, I was coming to grips with the real possibility that it might not happen.

Yet, here we were, three months later, greeted by these two pink lines.

One of us stunned. The other, merely semi-incredulous.

That doesn’t mean having kids has been easy. At times it’s been heartbreaking. Every day I walk past a picture in our house that reminds me that Jesus was the first to embrace one of my babies, not me. Nope, bringing life into this world hasn’t been as simple as I once thought it would be.

Perhaps it hasn’t been for you either. Maybe you’re in a place of struggling to understand God’s plan when it comes to having children. Whether it’s a much-desired pregnancy that isn’t happening, an adoption whose process is slogged down by bureaucratic red tape, or the death of a child.

Of course, I don’t have any easy answers for you. There aren’t any. But what I can offer is the truth that sustained me through our miscarriage five years ago and still carries me through difficulties today.

It’s this: God is good. No matter what. Amid betrayal. Amid trial. Amid darkness. Amid the death of a child. He remains good.

For weeks leading up to the death of our pre-born baby, every day I felt compelled to read Psalm 34. One of the verses that stood out to me was verse 8, “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”

At one point, I remember asking the Lord, “Okay, is something bad going to happen? Why are you prompting me to read this over and over again?” Looking back, I can see that He was planting this truth so firmly in my heart that when the bad did hit, I wouldn’t waver in my belief that He was indeed good … no matter what. Even in many, many moments throughout the grief process when it would have been easy to feel that He’s not.

And that is my hope for you. That in the waiting and the pain, that you too remember His goodness. That no matter what you’re facing when it comes to having kids, that you too can trust that the Writer of your story is good, even in those times your narrative doesn’t develop as you hope. Through the suffering of betrayal, trial, darkness, the excruciating loss of a child … He remains good.

Even then.

About Ashleigh Slater

Ashleigh Slater is the author of the book, Team Us: Marriage Together (Moody Publishers). As the founder and editor of Ungrind Webzine and a regular contributor at several popular blogs and websites, she loves to combine the power of a good story with biblical […]

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Comments

  1. I understand what it is to loose a loved one. My husband died with a heart attack 4 years ago and we took in a 3 day old baby. i said Lord what am i going to do , how will I raise this child by myself. I remembered the scripture Trust in the Lord with all your heart lean not unto your own understand in all thy ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your path. She is now 8 year old, I have never seen us forsaken nor His seed begging bread. My own words. I stand on His promises. I enjoy reading your post. Be Blessed.

  2. Carolyn, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for taking the time to share your story with me.

  3. Jasmine Solano says:

    I do know of loss I have lost two babies. In 2010 I last my daughter at 19wks and a son in 2014 at 21wks. It is never easy and you do have a hard time understanding God's plan. But he has given me strength through his word, my family and friends. He always shows his love and compassion. Even though we don't understand it doesn't mean what we are waiting is for not going to happen. We always have to keep the faith in the Lord he knows best.

  4. Hi Ashleigh, In 1999 to my surprise I was pregnant with my third child and at 12 weeks we lost our baby. I remember being devastation but God was with me through it all. By the end of 2001wehad had three miscarriages altogether, but God through His word reminded me of His promises, and I did not lose hope. In 2002 I got pregnant again but this time it was different I did not operate in doubt, unbelief, or fear but only trusted that an incredible God could do the impossible. In October of 2002 I gave birth to a healthy baby girl. Every time I look at her I am reminded that there is nothing and I do mean nothing impossible for God, but all thing are done in His timing. God Bless

  5. Paula, thanks for sharing about your babies with me and how God sustained you through the losses. Many blessings to you and your girl!

  6. Paula, thanks for sharing about your babies with me and how God sustained you through the losses. Many blessings to you and your girl!

  7. Jasmine, I'm so sorry for your losses. I think it's one of the hardest things we can go through as moms. Thanks for sharing your story with me. Many blessings to you!

  8. Jasmine, I'm so sorry for your losses. I think it's one of the hardest things we can go through as moms. Thanks for sharing your story with me. Many blessings to you!

  9. Eileen Mallory says:

    Hi Ashleigh, I am a blessed Mother of 4. Our fourth baby was born on February 26, 2015 at 20 weeks gestation, his name is Levi Benjamin Mallory. Th doctor had found no heartbeat at our 20-21 week doctor appointment. God has been our strength through it all. It's funny how you mention how God kept impressing on your heart to read Psalm 34 over and over before you lost sweet Noah because in my case as I was getting ready that morning for our doctor appointment I randomly started singing Great Is Thy Faithfulness. I remember thinking and wondering if something was coming.. God is faithful through all of life's ups and downs. He carries us into victory every time. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 🙂

  10. I had a miscarriage in 2010 after trying for 6 months and doing 3 rounds of firtility drugs. 1 year after our miscarriage we found out we were expecting again and in December of 2011 our beautiful daughter was born. I would have made it with out Christ and his love. In March of 2014 my husband had a stroke following brain surgery (we almost lost him twice). He spent 3 months on the hospital and in patient rehab (1 hour from our house). With out Christ I don't think we would have made it. He is doing well know and we are expecting baby #2 in March 2016. We are beyond thankful for Gods wonderful grace in our lives.

  11. God is good! THank you for sharing your story!! We had 2 losses and 5 years of Fertility treatments before we got the news that we were expecting our daughter! Our journey was not a smooth one…first we found out that she had a twin that stopped growing and there was a small fibroid that they were not concerned about but wanted to keep an eye on so he blessed us with a few extra ultrasounds we didn't think we would get. Then we got bad news on top of bad news! First we were told our daughter had a 1:8 chance of having Downs…God calmed our fears with a 4D ultrasound which confirmed she did not but we got a wonderful education on God's miracle of a growing baby! Then that tiny fibroid grew very large and pushed up on my stomach and shut it off. We went week to week praying to keep the baby safe until she would have the best chance of survival….and He was so good! And our final scare was when she stopped growing between 34 and 35 weeks…The team was sent into action and God literally surounded us with everyone we needed "Just in case" (at one point my mom counted 18 in the room)…God was good yet again and calmed our fears and provided us a wonderful birth experience to a very small yet perfect baby!!

    6 months later I had surgery to remove the Fibroid and was cleared to have another child! a little over a year after our daughter we experienced yet another loss and our fertility specialist did genetic testing and found out that I have a rare abnormality which results in a less than 10% pregnancy rate and most of those pregnancies end in miscarriages. He then informed us that our daughter, with all the complications she survived, was medically considered literally 1:1 million! He knew our journey would be hard but with our Faith in God and the fact that we had our daughter we had a good chance of having another baby so we pressed on allowing God to guide our specialist in what we needed to do. 5 more years later and several losses later I am again expecting another baby in November!! He shares something special with his sister…He also had a twin that stopped growing. I don't understand why God has allowed me to take this journey but there is one thing for sure…He has always been there…good or bad!! I can't wait to meet my little ones that are with him in Heaven!! He has given me one beautiful miracle that has Jesus in her heart and is not afraid to tell anyone!! I can't wait to see what this little one is like!

  12. I have only been pregnant one time in 2005 12 1/2 weeks I lost the baby because it was in my tube and I also had a cyst that burst. I was told the baby had a strong heart beat but they didn't think it would survive the operation. So they took the baby. I have not gotten pregnant since. But I sooooooo want to have atleast one child. I pray someday. Because I know God is good. And he loves me like no other.

  13. Thank you so much for this. My husband and I just miscarried our first baby together a couple of days ago. I was 11wks pregnant. God has always been faithful and good to us. We may not understand why this happened but we are fully trusting Him.

  14. I am reading this article on what is my 21fst wedding anniversary – we have no children. All through my infertility trials I prayed & prayed when it didn't happen for us it really tested my faith. Why would god not give us children? All these years later I know what his plan was, if I was a mother I would not be the great Aunt I am now, my husband & I probably would not have been able to help the other children we foster. God had a plan for us it was just a different one than I had. My path & the road we are on is us, together & it is very perfect to me always trust in him he will never let you down even if at the time I could not see it.

  15. I have never been able to get pregnant with my husband due to his infertility problems and it's been 6 years. We went through IVF and lost our embryos. All that time spent, money spent, emotions spent and prayer…for nothing to happen. I struggle with wondering what God is planning for our lives and why he allows some people to easily have a baby, 5 babies, parents who neglect babies, abort babies, but to those who want them- can't. I am angry and sad. To those who trust God, I wish I felt what you felt because I feel alone and that God does not hear or care about me. Years of hope, prayer, waiting…and nothing. I am lost.

  16. You are immensely loved by a God who knows you and sees your pain. You may not always feel Him but He is not gone from you. Bring all your fears and doubts to Him – He is listening.

  17. Malia,
    I have had 7 miscarriages. I have done everything, eat right, exercise, everything including standing on my head. I know the darkness where youay go in thoughts.
    I struggled, prayed, and cried. But I believe God has a plan. We as humans live so much through our emotions. We need to be careful. When those dark places come that's the devil. He wants to bring us down deep in that dark place and say where is your God now.
    That's when you stand up and say "You know what devil he runs through my veins, in my soul, in my heart, and all around me. That is where my God is and he is weeping right beside me". God does not want is in pain. He loves you. He loves all of us. When these dark places come up, what helps me is just talking to God. Lord please take these negative thoughts. It will not help me to be depressed. Lord, be in my thoughts, my word, my behaviors, and my body.
    Anyway this is how I get through my sadness on having children. I leave it to him.

  18. I'm right there with you. My husband and I tried for 9 exhausting years and that was 5 years ago. I am barren, I have accepted that I will never be a mom. But I have to watch everyone around me have babies, including my little sister who was diagnosed with the same disease that prevents me from getting pregnant. Everyone says a baby is a gift from God or a blessing from God. And I keep asking, why won't God bless me?

  19. I have had 2 losses after 6 healthy pregnancies/babies and then another baby and another loss after that…no matter if you have had children before, the loss is still significant. After the 2 losses–one almost immediately after finding out we were pregnant and one at 25 weeks–I was questioning our fertility before the Lord…I had to continually lay down my desires for children before Him (we are trusting our family size to the Lord)..questioning if this was going to be the way it will be for the rest of our fertile years…the Lord brought great comfort–not in the children He already gave, but in Him…that He is good and that His plans are for His glory and our good…He is love and He is Sovereign…there is the the added factor that the babies who have not made it are with Him…the best place for them to be! I am pregnant now and not totally at rest with whether or not this baby will be born full term and healthy…but each day is a step of fatih and trust in God. I do not share this to mnimize the pain of those who have not had children or struggled just to have one…rather, I share this for those who may have a few but struggle with having more…the pain in just as real and the questions will come…being steadfast in His Word and in fellowship with the Lord has been my bedrock for fatih and trust in Him and His ways. Thanks for letting me share.

  20. My husband and I went throught 6 years of infertility We never tried IVF due to the expense. During the last year I went through a deep depression. I was so angry at everyone including God. (I am no long angry) why did you put this desire in my heart since I can remember if you aren't going to make me a mom. That was my continual question. I was also alone in the fact that I knew no one else who had gone through this. Finally at the end of that last year. (on meds and seeing a cousnelor) I said to my husband I am done. I apologized over and over again for not giving him children. But it was my body and I couldn't take it anymore. A few months after this decision I said to my husband I think God wants us to be foster parents and possibly adopt. He said o.k. We made a few calls went through a couple of months of training. Long story short we got our license in the mail one day and got a call the next day not for 1 not for 2 but for 3 siblings! We adopted 2 and keep in contact w/ their sister who is w/ her bio dad and his wife who adopted her. When we brought the kids home a few months later I came to this realization that I had to go through all of that stuff, because God wasn't ready because our kids weren't born yet. They are the best thing that has ever happened to us. I had to have a full hysterectomy a few years ago. Sometimes I get sad because I didn't get to experience what it's like to have a baby, but I wouldn't change what I have now for the world. I hope everyone can find peace and love through God. We don't know our outcome God has for us until he's ready for us to know. That doesn't always make it easier, but he does love us more than anything.

  21. I feel with you. I've been there. But can I tell you something? The moment you say that there is not hope, that you are angry, sad … or that you are "barren" – you have accepted the lies of the Enemy. God can't move in faithlessness. You have to believe the promises of God. You have to take Him to His words, and say: "God, you promised beauty for my ashes". You need to think about Phillipians 4:13, that says you need to not worry, but pray about everything. And thank Him for his answers. It is absolutely certain. You WILL see breakthrough if you stay in faith, stay with God and rejoice in what he DOES give you. The bible says the fervent prayer of the righteous are powerful. Do you believe that? Then you WILL be blessed.

  22. Jennifer is it pcos you have? There are fertility meds to help you get pregnant.. have you been to a reproductive endocrinologist they have more knowledge with pcos and infertility.. i was diagnosed with pcos in 2008 when i started trying to have a baby.. ive had 2 losses both due to the fact of low progesterone.. i suggest you see a RE they can help 🙂

  23. My husband and I have had 2 miscarriages in the past 3 years and are currently not pregnant. My career is with children and our ministry is to children. I love children but it's painful. This past week I have been in the deepest, darkest place I have ever been. Being with children all day everyday during the week and on the weekends has really taken a toll on me emotionally, so much so that I'm in a place that I need to seek counseling and quit my job. It's so hard to see the good that is going to come of this one day and the light at the end of the tunnel of this journey. Thank you for posting this. It has encouraged me to keep going because I know that I am not alone.

  24. Malia I hear your pain. You are certainly not alone. My husband and I have been together for 15 years. We were told that we would have to go even further than IVF. I know that it is hard to share about it becasue people don't understand what it's like if they have not been though it. They say sugar coated things to try and make you feel better, but that just makes it worse. If I have one more person tell me about their infertile friend who finally adopted and the suddenly got pregnant I could scream. That doesn't make me feel better! It totally ignores my pain and struggle and it totally ignores the pain and struggle that children in need of adoption have been though.
    I think that the pain of infertility is greatly ignored. And those who have gone though it have been kept silent for far too long. The fact that treatment for infertility isn't covered by insurance but contraception and preganacy/child birth is, says a lot I think. Being infertile does affect more than just our emotions. It affects our health as well.

  25. Mikkel Michelsen I hear what you are saying, but if it's not God's plan for someone to have children they won't no matter much they pray and believe. Remember Paul's thorn. He prayed for healing, but God told him no.

  26. My mom's cousin had 7 miscarriages, and began the process of adoption. 12 months later she had a 3 month old adopted son and a newborn biological son. God has a plan for everything, for everyone. Your unwaivering faith will always get you through. God bless ❤️

  27. Our gracious Poppa G-D is indeed good! On those mountain tops where we smile and enjoy life and in those deep, dark shadow filled valleys of life when we wonder how we will ever smile again…thankfully He IS our joy, in all the ups and downs and not only shares in everyone of our tears, He saves them….redeems our pain too, just as completely as He redeems our sin.

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