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5 years later…

September 14, 2011

September 14, 2006. One of my worst days ever. I will never forget the feeling that washed over me as I went in by myself to the dressing room to change into my hospital gown. With tears flowing, all I could think about was that I was supposed to be coming to the hospital 6 months later to have a baby, not to have surgery to dispose of that baby today.

The months leading up to that day seem like a lifetime ago. We had just returned from our first Hawaii trip and found out we were pregnant and due April 7, 2007. We had made pink and blue t-shirts that said “I ♥ Baby Clemens” and wore them to tell Trey’s family. We had surprised my parents by putting a picture of us in those t-shirts at the end of our Hawaii scrapbook, so when they turned to the last page it said “and now, onto the next chapter of our lives!”. Everyone was so excited. Not knowing anything was wrong and a miscarriage being the furthest thing from my mind, we quickly told our friends, extended family, and even my students at school that I was having a baby. Looking back, I thought I was in complete control. My life was going exactly as planned and Baby Clemens was just the next step in that plan.

When I was nine weeks along, Krista and I went to Canton Trade Days. We had so much fun looking at all of the baby stuff, and I remember just getting so excited about finding out what we were having in a few more weeks. On the drive home, I told Krista that I had really felt like the Lord was preparing me for something. I just remember being very diligent in my quiet times during those weeks, and I remember the Lord telling me that He was going to be there for me, no matter what.

I left school early on a Friday afternoon to have my 10 week “heartbeat” appointment. Trey was meeting me there {thank you Jesus that he was with me} and we were so excited to finally hear the life inside me!

After a few minutes of trying, my doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat. So, she led Trey and me across the hall to the sonogram room. Within minutes I was watching on that black and white screen, hoping and praying that the heartbeat would be there. Instead of hearing that news, my doctor said the pregnancy had not progressed since around 6 weeks along. Since I was supposed to be 10 weeks, she was fairly certain that I had a “missed miscarriage” where the baby stopped growing but the rest of my body hadn’t realized it yet. I looked at Trey, said “no” and just sobbed. She wanted to be sure that was the case, so she ordered another sonogram for Monday so she could compare the results and make sure the baby had not grown. But, I had no hope leaving that office- I knew for sure that it was over.

My mom and dad were in Dallas by that evening. I am so thankful they were able to be with Trey and me every step of the way. Friends also poured out support and love. There were treats left on our doorstep, flowers sent, dinner brought, cards mailed. It was amazing to see the outpouring of love by everyone. I will always remember how much those things meant that week, and in the weeks and months to come.

I know women go through this every. single. day. That didn’t make it any easier for me. It was tough enough losing the pregnancy, but then I had to deal with all the other stuff. Telling friends and family. The disappointment of all the plans that were now all of a sudden gone. No baby was coming in April. It was a really hard time.

The following Thursday, September 14, I had the surgery. It was so draining, both physically and emotionally. I remember questioning God’s love for me. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.

We were able to start trying again a few months later, and now, things were different. Before the miscarriage, I had an “it will happen when it’s supposed to happen” kind of attitude. Now, it was “Lord, please let it be this time” followed by disappointment when I wasn’t pregnant month after month.

I found out I was pregnant again in March 2007, but within a few days of finding out, I miscarried {again}. At this point many more questions arose. Will I ever have a baby of my own? Why doesn’t God just let it happen to us, when we want it so bad? Why is she pregnant and I’m not? My heart was ugly and God was chiseling the bad stuff away, little by little.

Then, because of the stage of life we were in, everyone around us was pregnant. My sister and my best friend were both expecting their firsts.  Another good friend was due within weeks of my first due date. She and I were supposed to have been pregnant together. So many emotions, I can’t even begin to explain. I was truly happy for my sister and friends, yet I wondered why God wasn’t allowing us to have a baby of our own.

I had to go through a lot of tests at that point. I had countless vials of blood drawn. I had an MRI that was really not fun. I had many more sonograms. In the end, the only thing my doctor could find that was wrong was my progesterone levels were low. So, I was put on a pill in hopes it would help a pregnancy stay viable.

Then, one morning in the early summer of 2007 I read this during my quiet time, and it impacted me so much. It was God speaking to me again, and this time I listened. I look back at this day as a turning point in my life, and in my relationship with Christ.

Quote taken from My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers:

“If you are going through a solitary way, read John 17, it will explain exactly why you are where you are- Jesus has prayed that you may be one with the Father as He is. Are you helping God to answer that prayer, or have you some other end for your life? Since you became a disciple you cannot be as independent as you used to be.

The purpose of God is not to answer our prayers, but by our prayers we come to discern the mind of God, and this is revealed in John 17. There is one prayer God must answer, and that is the prayer of Jesus- “that they may be one, even as We are One.” Are we as close to Jesus Christ as that?

God is not concerned about our plans. He does not say- Do you want to go through this bereavement; this upset? He allows these things for His own purpose. The things we are going through are either making us sweeter, better, nobler men and women or they are making us more captious and fault-finding, more insistent upon our own way. The things that happen either make us fiends, or they make us saints; it depends entirely upon the relationship we are in to God. If we say – “Thy will be done,” we get the consolation of John 17, the consolation of knowing that our Father is working according to His own wisdom. When we understand what God is after we will not get mean and cynical. Jesus has prayed nothing less for us than absolute oneness with Himself as He was one with the Father. Some of us are far off it, and yet God will not leave us alone until we are one with Him, because Jesus has prayed that we may be.”

I finally realized that His will for my life and His ways were better than mine. Sounds like an easy lesson to learn, but it took this girl a while to figure it out.  He was allowing all of the hurt and sadness because He was making me better. Refining me. Looking back, I am so thankful for this trial. It brought me closer to Him. It brought me closer to Trey. And, it brought me my Chloe. And my Jack.

My cousin had a miscarriage a few years before me, and when she called to talk me through what I was dealing with, she said something that would forever stick. She said that if she had the baby that she miscarried, she wouldn’t have the babies she has now. I didn’t understand it until Chloe was born. Now I see that if Baby Clemens was born in April 2007, Chloe would not have arrived in February 2008. It made me realize that Chloe, and now Jack, were the babies that we were supposed to have. I can’t imagine my life without these two! Do I still wonder about our first two babies? What they would have looked like? Did they have Trey’s hair and fair skin like Chloe and Jack? Of course, but I now have a complete peace that God knew all along His will for our little family.

A month after that quiet time with the Lord, I found out I was pregnant with Chloe.

And now, five years later I just tucked in bed the two most precious gifts God has ever given me apart from His salvation and Trey. If I knew five years ago what I know now, maybe the trial wouldn’t have been so tough.

But, I kinda think that was the point. I needed that trial. It brought me into a new, sweeter place with the Lord where I depended on Him for everything. It is in that place that I realized His plan is much, much better than my own.

We sang a song in church the other day that just describes perfectly how God never left me alone, even in one of the darkest times of my life. Through the tears, I was singing this song with pure joy that He is faithful, no matter what.

I know many of you struggled or are now going through the trials of miscarriage and infertility and I just want you to know you are not alone. So many of us have been through it and can look back and see that God has a perfect plan for our families. He is faithful!

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. September 14, 2011 7:58 am

    oh sherry, thank you so much for sharing. miscarriage is seldom spoken of, which can make you feel so alone when it happens to you, even though they are so common for all women. we had a very similar experience. and i will never forget crying in the car after that awful dr. appointment and making chris call our parents, because i could not utter the words. it takes such a toll on your body and heart…but i did find comfort in my doctor telling me that more than likely, if the miscarriage didn’t happen then, it would’ve happened later in the pregnancy or something even worse, after birth. and you are so right, if it wasn’t for the loss of that baby, i would not have my snuggly little crosby. thank you so much for sharing your story. your words will surely comfort others!!

    • September 14, 2011 7:59 pm

      Cortney- thanks for sharing. I knew you had a miscarriage but wasn’t sure when it was. Little Crosby= adorable. So thankful he is here and healthy! God is good!

  2. Allison B permalink
    September 14, 2011 8:43 am

    This is Allison (I am one of Krista and Tommy’s friends from Bham). I am so sorry that you had to go through this – I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and am in constant fear that something bad is going to happen – I have NO reason to suspect that anything is wrong – Satan just loves to prey on insecurity, I guess. This post really helped me this morning; regardless of the outcome, regardless of whether this baby takes a breath on earth or not, the Lord is faithful and his plans are perfect. Thank you for sharing your story and opening your heart. It made a difference for me!

    • September 14, 2011 8:02 pm

      Allison- thanks so much for your sweet comment. I’m so glad it helped you! 37 weeks- you’re almost there!! So exciting. I pray that you continue to feel the Lord’s peace through these last few weeks and after your little one is here!

  3. September 14, 2011 9:42 am

    As I read your blog posts, I often am amazed at how much we have in common. I also had two miscarriages and went through everything you have described–from the extreme hurt to the joy in knowing that God was just preparing His best for us. It’s a blessing to me to have that kinship. Thanks for sharing your heart.

    • September 14, 2011 8:06 pm

      Hey Mandi! I didn’t realize you had two miscarriages. Like you said, hard time for sure but God had a plan. I am thankful we can be encouraged by one another!! If only we lived in the same town…we would have to hang out!!! Maybe someday we’ll be in the same place at the same time like we were at A&M. Ahhhh makes me miss those college days for sure!!

  4. Mary Lawrence permalink
    September 14, 2011 5:43 pm

    I lost 2 babies between Kaitlyn and Lexi, Riley at 2 months and Christian James at 5 mths. We have 2 angel Christmas ornaments with their names on them that we put on our tree each year. I had to be induced with Christian, the nurses were amazing. When we left the hospital, they handed us a box and told us there was a disposable camera with pictures of Christian on it and that when we were ready to have them developed. In the box, there are his handprints and footprints along with a sweet poem, his miniture hat and hospital bracelet and the tape measure they used to mark his length and sweet things like that. I truly cherish our “Christian box” .

    The other day, Lexi brought a paper home from school that she had filled out about herself. I asked her why she said she has 2 sisters and 2 brothers instead of one of each. She answered, “I asked my teacher if it counts if they are dead and she said yes. We don’t know if Riley is a girl or boy yet, so I put a Riley as a sister.” That answer just makes my heart smile, yes, our unborn babies DO count and we will see them again.

    • September 14, 2011 8:25 pm

      Mary, thank you so much for sharing your story. I am in tears. I had no idea. How hard it must have been to loose Christian that far along. So thankful the Lord sent you Lexi- what an angel!! I really appreciate all you said. I had another friend that did the same thing with the Christmas ornaments. I love that idea and want to do it this year. thanks again for sharing your heart! Miss you and your girls!!!

  5. September 15, 2011 3:50 pm

    I love you sweet friend and I am so thankful to have you to walk through life with!

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  1. 2011: A year in review. « Crazy Blessed

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