This Storm


Storms come into all of our lives. Sometimes, like radar, we see them ominously approaching. Other times they can appear as quickly as the sudden summer shower that causes us to haphazardly throw all our crap in the beach bag and scurry for the hotel.

When these storms come, for me, it’s difficult to know if and when I should share my grief with others. If I make known the details of my hardship too soon, I feel that people will interpret it as me wanting pity or attention. If I don’t share it at all, I somehow feel cheated–not from people’s pity–but from the missed prayers and encouragement that I could have received.

And I truly believe that prayer and encouragement make the most powerful umbrella for weathering storms.

I just decided moments earlier to publically disclose my latest storm- while I’m in the very midst of the downpour- and I’m certainly not doing it for pity.

For I’m learning there is really no pity to be gained from this storm.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that my husband and I have been trying to conceive for a very long time now. Yes, we have two absolutely beautiful, precious children, who we love unconditionally. But I cannot deny the strong urge within me to have another child. I have to believe that the overwhelming desire to have a third baby was placed within me by Almighty God. And I know that He will grant my family the desires of our hearts.

When I stared down at the faint positive sign on the pregnancy test last week, I was ecstatic, to say the least. I eagerly told my husband and children, in the form of a short poem that I had written months ago for the very occasion. We rejoiced and then I rushed out and spent enough money on pregnancy tests to buy a fully-loaded Kia. I bought them because I wanted added confirmation that I was, indeed, pregnant.

But each time I took a test over the weekend, the positive line became fainter. I did what any worry-wart does and frantically searched Google for reassurance, although I know that Google is rarely comforting. As I read message boards on Baby Center, I was disheartened. So many women had posted similar questions about positive pregnancy test lines growing dim. I became crippled with fear as the majority of them later updated that they had miscarried.

I rushed to see my doctor the following Monday for blood tests. The nurse called later that afternoon to inform me that my HCG level was only at 34, which was extremely low for someone who was supposedly 5w3d pregnant.

I tried to keep my panic under control until I went back to the doctor 48 hours later to have my blood drawn again. Afterwards, I sat in the waiting room at my daughter’s orthodontist, praying that the nurse would call to tell me that my level had miraculously risen. Instead, she said it had dropped to 33. I knew I was losing the baby.

I was told there was nothing else to do but wait to bleed. I cried on my husband’s shoulder at the loss of the child who we so desperately wanted. And I was left feeling like I’d come in 2nd place. I was so close to victory—so close to reaching my goal—the finish line was in sight—but I came up short.

Two more days passed and I had yet to start bleeding, which left me hoping that somehow this was all a mistake. I still felt pregnant. I was tired and bloated and nauseated, yet craving chili cheese tots and peanut butter cups.

I began cramping, so I went back to see my doctor, still hopeful that everything might turn out okay, yet terrified that it was possibly an ectopic pregnancy. I was relieved when the ultrasound showed that my tubes were clear. And then my doctor told me that my HCG level had risen from 33 to 91.

Once I’d quit crying happy tears and wiping snot from my nostrils, he said that the increase in HCG didn’t necessarily mean I was not miscarrying. But, it was reason to be hopeful. I was told to come back after the weekend to have my blood checked again, and I left the office optimistic. I called my husband and my mother, and joy rose in all of our voices. Everything just might be okay.

This child could be a miracle.

On my way home from the doctor, I decided to stop by the grocery store to buy more pregnancy tests. I wanted to see if the line got darker over the weekend just so I could be prepared for the upcoming blood test on Monday. I knew that it would get darker. I could feel it. I could feel the HCG level rising in my blood the way Nutella sends my glucose through the roof.

As I entered the grocery and headed for the family planning section, my phone rang and my OB was on the line. He’d called to personally and regretfully tell me that my blood work had been confused with someone else’s. My HCG had not risen to 91. It had dropped to 21.

What an emotional rollercoaster that was. To be elated, if only for 20 minutes, that this pregnancy just might be viable. And then to be told, as I stood in the grocery store aisle while The Bee Gees played softly, that I was going to lose this baby.

I was visited that afternoon by wonderful friends and family who comforted me. I cried on so many shoulders that I was nearly out of tears by the time darkness fell. And once I was in my bed that evening, exhausted at the emotion of it all, I began to bleed.

I welcomed the bleeding. I welcomed passing this pregnancy naturally in my own home, without the help of medicine or a D&C. I welcomed the finality and the closure.

As I sat in silence that evening, engulfed by the rain, an ever-present peace and clarity came upon me and drowned out the thundering confusion.

“All in God’s timing,” they’ve said to me countless times over the last 18 months. And I’ve nodded at the words. I’ve believed them. But I never fully grasped how important or true that bit of encouragement was.

Or how simple.

For over a year, I’ve religiously charted my cycle. My calendars are scribbled with more colors than a bag of Skittles. I’ve tried to plan every aspect of this pregnancy– down to the very month that the child would be born so it can wear my other children’s baby clothes. (With this pregnancy, I would have had a July baby, which was perfect for my plan.) I tried to do all of this in my time. A summer baby. Before I’m 35. Sex on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. OPK tests. Thermometers. Plan. Control. Plan. Plan. Plan.

And yet, it has nothing to do with my plan.

“Hey, Susannah, this is in My time. Slow down and let Me take control. Put away the pens and the calendars and take yourself out of it, because it has nothing to do with you. I’m the Creator of the life that you so covet. And I will plant the perfect seed within you when I so desire. In my time. My calendar. Not yours.”

Was this pain, this storm, necessary for me to realize that I’m not the one in control? Was it necessary for me to lift my eyes and my hands to Him and say, “Okay, God, I give it to You.”

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

***

I’ve not fully miscarried, and yet I’m already sharing my story with strangers. Why? For what gain? Pity? Attention? Because I’m a writer and have the annoyingly incessant need to release my emotion through words?

It’s not for pity or attention. Maybe it is because I’m a writer, but I could have easily written this and saved it on my hard drive to never be seen by another soul.

I write this post for the same reasons I write anything.

To help myself and to help others.

Writing this particular post is an emotional release for me. It is cathartic. And it’s a request for your umbrella of encouragement and prayer.

I also write this for whoever needs to be reminded of the most important, yet simplest, lesson to be learned. It’s a prayer for you to be faithfully content in His will. Not just in terms of family planning- but in all aspects of life. His timing. His plan. His calendar.

I’m sharing this for a third reason, as well. I have close family members and friends who would never announce their miscarriages to many people, especially not in a blog post, and I highly respect that. But I firmly believe that life starts at conception, and I don’t want this child’s life, albeit so incredibly short, to be a secret. This child wasn’t conceived in vain. This child was conceived as a reminder to me, to you, of Who is really in control.

And it certainly ain’t me.

Praise the God Who Gives and takes away.

I will praise Him in this storm.

***

Why, my Lord—dare I ask why? It will not hear the whisper of the wind or see the beauty of its parents’ face—it will not see the beauty of Your creation or the flame of a sunrise. Why, my Lord?

“Why, My child—do you ask ‘why’? Well, I will tell you why.

You see, the child lives. Instead of the wind he hears the sound of angels singing before My throne. Instead of the beauty that passes he sees everlasting Beauty—he sees My face. He was created and lived a short time so the image of his parents imprinted on his face may stand before Me as their personal intercessor. He knows secrets of heaven unknown to men on earth. He laughs with a special joy that only the innocent possess. My ways are not the ways of man. I create for My Kingdom and each creature fills a place in that Kingdom that could not be filled by another. He was created for My joy and his parents’ merits. He has never seen pain or sin. He has never felt hunger or pain. I breathed a soul into a seed, made it grow and called it forth.”

I am humbled before you, my Lord, for questioning Your wisdom, goodness, and love. I speak as a fool—forgive me. I acknowledge Your sovereign rights over life and death.

I thank You for the life that began for so short a time to enjoy so long an Eternity.

Mother M. Angelica

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About Susannah

I'm a freelance writer, blogger, aspiring best-selling author, wife of one and stay-at-home mother of two. I was chosen for the Top 13 in Blogger Idol and contribute pieces to The Huffington Post and Hahas for Hoohas. My work has also been featured in several humorous e-books, "Southern Writers’ Magazine", "The Humor Daily", "The Funny Times" and on the Erma Bombeck website. When I'm not putting pen to paper, bandaging boo-boos or spraying Shout on unidentifiable stains, I enjoy reading, playing the piano and teaching my children all about Southern charm. God has blessed me beyond measure and to Him be the glory forever.


40 thoughts on “This Storm

  • Roseann Crouch

    Dear, dearest sister in Christ,

    I’ve giggled and snickered over so many of your posts, finding joy in sharing those pieces of life that you have a special gift for pointing out the humor in, those things common to parents and women, angled so the frustrating or mundane are seen in humor. My heart breaks and I cry with you as I read this, holding you up to our eternal and loving father, praying for continued courage and strength and ultimately I pray, for the fulfillment of yor hopes. Hugs, Roseann

    • Susannah Post author

      Roseann, thank you for taking the time to reach out to me today. I’m incredibly thankful for it. God bless YOU.

  • Charity Cornett

    Susannah,
    Thank you for this message. My husband and I desperately wanted a third child. We didn’t suffer the contraception issues that you struggle with; no, we have a Special Needs child and faced the fear of being able to juggle a baby with our perpetual baby. For about two years, I have praised God, cursed God, you name it! One day I would be so content and sure I could do it, and then my special girl wouldn’t sleep more than a couple of hours in three days, throw aggressive tantrums, and confine me to the house (for fear of the uncontrollable outbursts she’d have in public). I still have days where I yearn for the chance to be a mom again, but to make a long story short, I’ve had to release control and accept that God has a plan! I appreciate your honesty and applaud your faith in God. As a counselor, I encorage writing as a means to release so many emotions, and I love that you use your gift as a means to help yourself and others. Whatever his plan is for you, I know it’ll be great!

    • Susannah Post author

      Charity, I’m so thankful for your comment. I pray God blesses you and your family for sharing His light with me today. I have no doubt that you’ve braved incredible storms. Thank YOU.

  • Gary J. PeprmanMo

    Although I can never feel the pain a woman feels at the loss of a child, I do know the loss of a child and it’s pain.
    I am a faithful follower of your antics, views and comments on life. I laugh and side with you on things I can understand.
    I understand pain and the feeling of helplessness. I will try to understand yours and pray for a healing resolution to it.
    At least the exercise of success in this matter is fun……;>l

  • chris carter

    I am sitting in the car at my daughter’s swim meet reading this post on my phone and crying. God bless your faithful heart amidst this storm! May he speak through you and shine His light of everlasting love on those who suffer without Him and His hope. I love you dear sister so very much. And I will continue to pray for you and for His peace to dwell in you always…

  • Crystal

    13 Susie Q. I’ve been thru 13 miscarriages and the last one almost killed name due to a blood clot. In all the time I grieved,and cried, and hurt I never thought of it ur way. It really gave me a sense of peace about what happened with my reproductive shenanigans. Glen and I tried for almost 2 years to have Gage. He is my blessing. If it were not for a fantastic doctor that wouldn’t give up on us, a lot of praying, and little pill I don’t know what I would have done. So don’t give up! Your absolutely right it will happen in his time.

    • Susannah Post author

      I’m so sorry about your multiple losses. Thanks for sharing with me. God bless you.

  • Gail Grooms

    Great story I too went through not being able to get pregnant. I can relate with all your different emotions. I too wanted to do this in my time not God’s time. We were blessed to adopt a beautiful baby girl and no longer were obsessed with trying to get pregnant. Five years later out of nowhere I was pregnant with twins. Such a shock but it was God’s plan. Only on his time. I am divorced and long to find someone to share my life with but I’ve learned only in God’s time and if it is his will.

  • Jamie Jarrett

    Susannah
    Thank you for sharing EVERY aspect of your personal life. We know from Ecclesiastes 3, there is a time for everything. Many, many days your blogs have encouraged me and lifted my spirits. I pray that God comforts you and gives you peace..2 Timothy 2:7.
    Jamie

    • Susannah Post author

      Sweet Jamie, I appreciate this so much. I’m so glad to have been able to encourage you. Thank you for encouraging me with this comment today. God bless you girl.

  • Texsheva

    Your post brought back a flood of memories. I’m now 62 and have 3 beautiful grown children I never thought i’d have. I also have one in my heart and memories that I lost between the first two. That child I never knew is in my heart & thoughts so very often. I look forward to meeting him one day. I don’t know for positive that it was a male, but in my heart I feel it was…Micah. I know why you share your story….some of us have a compulsion to write. It’s through our writing that we express ourselves the best and it makes it, real. You’re so right to forget the calendars and pens and “let go and let God”. In His time…Hugs to you.

  • Tamara

    Dear Susanna, I am very sorry about your loss. I remember your FB post about your cravings and thought that were was going to be a happy end. Take care!

  • Alison Chrun

    I had no idea. I must have missed this yesterday. I commend you for sharing. Myself, also a writer understands you completely in this being a cathartic release. I hope your pain passes and you’re able to look back and know exactly why things had to happen this way. I am so sorry. Write till your fingers ache and cry until you feel a little less heavy. I’ll be here to read and give encouragement when you need it. We all need it from time to time.
    Take care of yourself.
    Alison

  • Julie Moore

    I am also so sorry for your loss. My husband and struggled for many, many years to conceive and went through disappointment after disappointment. We finally decided to start the adoption process this past May and brought our son home 4 months ago. I, too, was reminded that we are NOT in control. I was obsessively planning everything as well. Now, after meeting my son, I understand His timing. He had chosen our son a long time ago, we just didn’t know it. Praying that you find peace during this storm and that you can look forward to the rainbows and clear skies ahead!

  • Mona

    Everything in His time. I found your blog through a Facebook post and completely certain it was His time that I found it. I just went through this last week. I have told no one except my husband who held my hand through the painful cramps. I felt a little overwhelmed and didn’t know how to put it in words. You’ve written my feelings perfectly. God bless you and want you to know you are in my prayers.

    • Susannah Post author

      I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m also so thankful that you found my post at just the right time. May God richly bless you, and you are certainly in my prayers as well. Thanks so much. 🙂

  • Marsha Hodges

    I came about another blog you had in The Huffington Post, and I was led to “click” onto your page. My husband and I have a 4 year old son, Malachi, and 14 month old daughter, Grace Mackenzie. We got married a little over two years ago, and on our honeymoon I became pregnant….December 4, 2014 will mark the 2nd year I lost our precious baby. It is amazing what our faith in God can do, because there were many around me who had experienced the same, going through the same, or later on would (my sister in law). All in HIS time is correct! Before I even knew I was pregnant again, every day for 4 days, God kept whispering the word “Grace” in my ears….:)….I pray for you and your family! Whatever trial or tribulation you ate going through, God wI’ll lead you through it.

  • Jessica Brown Montgomery

    The storm.. my prayers are with you as you go thru this hard time. I gave birth to my son at 23 weeks gestation. He never got to breathe his first breath of air. I questioned God as to why he would take my child. Then I came to the realization if not me then someone else. 6 months later I was prego again and ended up with a beautiful healthy baby girl! To God be the glory!! Hang in there sister in due time!

  • Hillary

    Wow, Susannah. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. It made me cry, so beautifully written for His glory. May we all say with Job when we need to, as you said, “Praise The God Who Gives and takes away.” I will pray for your family.

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