This post is not an easy one to write. As I sit in my little boys' room typing this post, I can honestly say at one point in my life I never thought this day, the day that I would actually HAVE children, would ever come. I prayed for it, I urned for it, I begged God for it, but in my darkest days I never thought that it would come. Pregnancy loss is not something that a lot of people talk about. It can be uncomfortable, emotional, and just plain HARD.
When Matt Bitter and I got married 7 years ago, I knew exactly what I wanted to do--be a mom. But it wasn't that easy. The first 5 years of our marriage were hard. Not only was I struggling with horrible Crohn's Disease flares....I was also struggling with multiple miscarriages. My family knew, my friends knew...in fact I even blogged about it to help me cope. And it helped--but it didn't take away the pain, the wonder, the constant 'WHY?' in the back of my mind.
I remember moving into our new town-home and being SO excited to set up a nursery in our 3-bedroom home! I was 5 weeks pregnant at the time. I was already looking at cribs and bedding for the new room. But the nursery never got to be set up. Instead the rooms got filled with school books and craft projects to take my mind off of the pain, and the miscarriages continued. My friends continued to have babies, I put my head down and worked, got my teaching degree, and tried to figure out how to live life as a married woman without kids.
As I struggled and fought to find out how to 'fix' myself, I became very introverted, depressed, self-conscious...I didn't like the person I was. I felt broken and unlovable. Seeing moms with their children was unbearable. I was happy for those I loved having children, but deep down wanted it so badly to be me. I couldn't figure out why God would take this blessing away from me.
Fast forward to today....I haven't talked to many about my experiences with pregnancy loss in a long time. A lot of people think 'oh she has kids now, so she must be OK', or 'she has kids so she must not struggle with pregnancy loss'.
Yes, I do have 2 beautiful boys now and I am so incredibly grateful for them!! I treasure every day that I get to spend with them. But that doesn't mean that my losses are erased from my mind.
In total I have had 7 miscarriages. Not one of them was easy and I still remember all of the pain and hurt from each of them.
But, I have also found HEALING and HOPE through my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that the Lord doesn't give us anything that we can't handle. I have went through these struggles for a reason. I am better for them. And ultimately they have taught me to TRUST in my Savior and in His plan for me.
Because I became so down and self-concious during those years of my life- I now get to find myself again and become a stronger, better individual. I get to use my story to share HOPE and HEALING with others and I get to use it as a REASON every day to be grateful and loving towards all those around me.
The one thing I have leaned through my struggles is to never be quick to assume or judge about anyone's situation. There is always to much more to everyone's story than we will ever know. Be kind to all those you meet- be loving- be supportive- love others as the Lord loves YOU!
I have the privilege of knowing amazing women who struggle with fertility, with miscarriages, who have lost precious babies....I love these women dearly and they have made me a better person. I cherish my relationship with each of these individuals and feel a bond like no other to them. I LOVE EACH OF YOU SO MUCH and I think of you and your stories OFTEN!
October 15th Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Day
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