My husband Dave and I married young. We dreamed of having a family some day and settled on having three children. We celebrated our third anniversary and one month later welcomed our first son into our home. Within three years we had two more sons. With such a full house we thought we were through having babies. Nine years later I discovered that I was pregnant. I was shocked and elated at the same time. Dave was not overjoyed but grew to accept the idea. At ten weeks I went for a routine visit and no heartbeat could be heard. Not really concerned, the doctor asked me to come back in two weeks. I wasnít concerned either, since everything seemed to be fine. At twelve weeks I went back and still no heartbeat could be detected. An ultrasound revealed that there was no baby in my uterus. A mass resembling a cluster of grapes was all that could be seen. Numb with disbelief, I went into the hospital for a DNC that very afternoon. I later learned that I had experienced a molar pregnancy.
As the weeks went by I recovered and tried to accept what had happened so mysteriously to me. The whole experience only intensified my desire to be a mother again. I prayed that God would allow me to conceive again or take away this strong desire to have another baby. We werenít intentional about trying to conceive. But exactly one year after we lost our baby, I became pregnant again.
Scared beyond measure, I prayed for a healthy child. At nine weeks an ultrasound was performed just to be sure and we were delighted to see a normal baby with a beating heart! At 13 weeks a heartbeat was heard in the exam room. We were thrilled. As my belly grew and I began to feel movement my fear subsided somewhat. At 18 weeks, no heartbeat could be heard during another routine visit. An ultrasound revealed a perfect baby in a perfect sac with no heartbeat. The doctor said our son had just died. Because the sac was so normal and the fluid levels were good the doctor gave me a few hours to see if the machine could be wrong. He laid his hands on my belly and prayed for life. If I have ever prayed believing God would answer, it was on that day. I knew that machine could not be right.
Later, we returned to see a drastically different sac with almost no fluid. The doctors admitted me to the hospital the next morning and induced labor. After nine hours our son, Benjamin Paul, was born. It was the worst moment of my life. How could God have allowed our son to die? We learned later that there was a problem with the cord, which was the cause of death. I believed that God was in control of all things and this alone kept me going through the terrible months that followed.
When Gwen asked me to help write this Bible Study I knew that this would be the instrument for my healing. From our exhaustive search of the Scripture we found the help we needed and the reassurance that God is always there. And maybe most importantly, that we would see our babies again. I was able to see how He can use even the awful things in our walk with Him to bring us closer to Him and to give Him glory. Our prayer is that this study will help you to find healing and to find God in and through your loss.
Hope is my middle name. It has influenced in my life in many ways, often giving me perseverance when I was in need of it. Perhaps because of this, Romans 5:3-5 has been my favorite scripture since I was fourteen, promising, "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us."
When my husband and I found out we were expecting, we wanted to give our first child a name that signified the joining of our lives. For a girl, we chose my middle name along with his, Hope Broadbent.
My pregnancy was exciting and my check-ups normal until my seventh month. I had been experiencing some mild contractions and an ultrasound was performed. Iíll never forget how hot and panicky I felt as I watched the face of the ultrasound technician. Something was wrong with my baby. At the time, they believed that it was a diaphragmatic hernia, which is life threatening, but could possibly be repaired immediately after birth. Further testing revealed, however, that it was much more serious. My baby had a "fatal" genetic disorder called Trisomy 18. I was told there would be numerous birth defects, that there was little chance she would be born alive, and absolutely no chance that she could live outside my womb.
I remember feeling her kick, and being amazed that anyone could call her formation, "incompatible with life." My training and occupation had been as a counselor and director for a crisis pregnancy center. This knowledge helped immensely, for I knew that God had formed her in my womb and that the only option I had was to trust Him. At the same time, it was painful to remember the numerous women I had counseled who hadnít wanted their babies, when I wanted to keep mine so very badly. One night in the shower I cried out to God, "Why?" and I felt a quiet answer in my heart, "You were chosen because I knew you would love her anyway."
On October 11, 1994, Hope was born into the world. Not only was she alive, but there were no visible defects and she looked just like her sweet father. He held me as I held her and prayed, "Lord, may her life be used for your glory." I feel that at that moment she went straight from my arms into the arms of our Father.
The impact of her life continues to amaze me. Donations given in her memory were used to start a pregnancy care center in my hometown . Door of Hope opened its doors less than a year after her death and continues to help hundreds of women facing crisis pregnancies. I served as director there for two years, until retiring to dedicate myself solely to my job as a wife and mother because God has now blessed me with two more precious little girls, Hannah Lauren and Abby Elisabeth, and a son Jett Isaac.
Unable to find a Bible study written about pregnancy loss, Teale and I have spent the last year and a half in tears and prayer building the study you hold in your hand. May God once again use the lives of our little ones for His good, blessing you and offering you His true hope.Copyright © 1999 by Teale Fackler and Gwen Kik