Take courage, my heart
Stay steadfast, my soul
He’s in the waiting
Hold onto your hope
Watch your triumph unfolds
He’s never failing
And You who hold the stars
Who call them each by name
Will surely keep Your promise to me
That I will rise in Your victory
Kristene DiMarco, Take Courage
It’s the last day of the most wonderful and emotional year of our lives. We wanted to give an update here as we realize we left things quiet for quite a while (sorry!) and a lot has changed since February.
When we found out we were pregnant, we were completely ecstatic. We were full of hope and joy and wonder at the miracle taking place inside my womb. And then we were told we were having twins, and we were in awe of God’s goodness and abundance all over again. Thrilled to be welcoming two miracle babies at once, Arundel and I had no hesitation that we were going to love becoming parents. Of course, we knew there would be a lot of sleepless nights ahead, and that our lives were forever going to change, but it was all worth it. We had been waiting over 5 years for this news, and God was finally doing it. Our hearts were so full, and so trusting.
What came next blindsided us, and once again, we were given the choice of what we were going to believe about our God. At our 10-week checkup at the end of March, our doctor could only find one heartbeat in one sac. As the ultrasound machine glided over my barely-bloated belly, searching for our beloved baby B’s heartbeat, there was no doubt in my mind that God would fix this. He had brought us this far. He had carried us through years of heartbreak of all different kinds. We had waited patiently, and now we were walking in the miracle. This couldn’t be our reality. They wanted us to go to another room with another ultrasound machine to take a closer look. As Arundel and I waited in the lobby for our next appointment, my heart was so scared at the loss we were facing, but my spirit would not accept that we had lost one of our twins.
Unfortunately, it got even harder when they looked again for baby B. In the second sac, they found not only baby B with no heartbeat, but baby C as well. Identical twins in the second sac. For the past 10 weeks, I had been carrying triplets, unknowingly. In the very moment that they showed us the three babies in my womb, they also told us to say goodbye to two of them. They had stopped growing just a couple days prior.
Through tears, we set up a follow up appointment just over two weeks later to check on how baby A was doing. For the next two weeks, we prayed and believed for a miracle. We had all our closest friends and family praying, believing that our babies would make it. We bought outfits — 3 of them — to take our babies home from the hospital in. We declared life and health and resurrection over those babies, and I had full confidence that God, the God of miracles, who “gives life to the dead and calls into existence that which does not exist” (Rom 4:17), would save our babies. These triplets would live and not die. This was to be our story. This would be our testimony.
There was another worry as well, that if the identical twins did pass while I was still carrying baby A, that it would be put at risk of miscarriage as well. We continued to pray.
For the past five and a half years, we had been training for this. God had taught us over and over again how to trust Him in our tragedy. How to run to Him with our broken hearts, and how to fall into His arms in our weakness.
When we went back in for our checkup, the doctor confirmed our worst fears and greatest joy all in one breath. Baby A, and only baby A, was doing great.
Grief is so complex, especially when it is accompanied by joy. I have never been so torn, so at odds with my own emotions, as those next few weeks. How do you mourn the loss of two babies at the same time as you celebrate the life of one who is a miracle? Every moment of every day, every thought and every breath was consumed with processing this reality.
I was struck with the thought that we were experiencing a glimpse of what Father God experienced when His Son died. Grief at the pain, suffering and humiliation Jesus was going through, and a the same time, joy that all of us, His children, would now have access to Heaven through Jesus. I knew that God created us in His image, and He created us to be able to be both full of hope and joy as well as mourning and agony. I held onto this truth, but to be honest, it wasn’t very comforting. I don’t think anything is when you lose a baby.
To anyone out there who has suffered a miscarriage, you are not forgotten, and your baby or babies aren’t either. Each and every child, no matter how microscopic and seemingly insignificant, is worthy of celebration and love. They are worthy of our feelings, and they are worthy of remembering.
Even though we had learned how to trust God in our valleys before, this time was the hardest. It was the deepest valley we had walked through. Arundel and I processed the loss differently, but both of us were fighting for our faith when it seemed to be crumbling. We had to wrestle with God, and had to be honest with Him as we came to him with broken hearts. We didn’t do it perfectly. We got angry. We asked why. We questioned His goodness. We were human, and these responses to our heartbreak shone light on why we needed Jesus in that pain so badly. He gently, sweetly and graciously gave us mercy and grace in our pain. He gave peace to our questioning hearts and stirred the small seeds of hope that we were barely hanging onto. He comforted us as we mourned and put people around us who cried with us. He continued to reveal His great love for us in the way that He brought us through that pain. He continued to be good even when we were not.
As our pregnancy went on, we never forgot those two babies we lost. They were still a part of us. And at the same time, we chose to celebrate the little fighter babe who held on, our baby A. We gave our hearts fully to that baby, knowing first hand how easily they could be shattered again. In May, we were once again blessed and excited when we found out we were having a little girl. God’s goodness shone through once again.
Throughout the summer, we had the pleasure of spending hours dreaming of who this little girl would be. We would feel her moving around in my womb, and would constantly be talking about how much we loved her already. We chose to focus and enjoy the time of pregnancy, knowing it would be over so quickly. We stayed off of all social media and other things that would distract us from being in the moment to enjoy the miracle growing in our family. We took lots of pictures, sang to our baby, and read her stories in the womb. We reveled in the baby bump and shared our joy with family and friends. We were constantly blessed with prayers, encouragement and gifts along the way to help us celebrate. There was so much love poured out for us and our baby girl, and we were incredibly blessed.
We waited patiently (mostly!) as the weeks went by, eagerly awaiting the day that we would meet our beautiful daughter. My due date came and went, and she still hadn’t made her appearance. At 41 weeks, Arundel’s parents came into town from the UK and we went on a beautiful Autumnal walk by the lake the day that they arrived, enjoying the sunshine and talking about baby girl. That evening, we had a big family dinner with my parents, siblings and nephews, and Arundel’s parents. It was a peaceful and happy day, although it was getting harder and harder to wait for baby girl. The next morning, at 41 weeks and 1 day, I woke up at 5:15am to my water breaking. Our sweet daughter was ready to meet us. The next 14 hours were somewhat of a blur, but all I was focusing on was that we were ready to meet our girl. I was in a lot of pain, but was able to have an all-natural delivery. Arundel was a great support and I know I couldn’t have done it without him. He was strong and steady, willing me on and reminding me how long we had waited and fought for this moment.
At 7:22pm, our miracle Beatrice was born and our hearts and lives were changed forever. Her Daddy caught her as she came into the world. She was a big, healthy girl at 9lbs, 6oz. She stole our hearts from the moment we saw her.
God had done it. All the tears, all the heartache, all the unknown and the waiting was worth it. All the pain and the frustration was worth it. All the money, the hard work, and the sacrifice was worth it. All the perseverance, all the hope deferred —it was all worth it.
The greatest gift we had ever been given was finally in our arms and all I could say in those first few moments was, “I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.”
And we’ve been saying it with every breath since then.
Our miracle girl is so beautiful. She is the embodiment of joy (her name in full, means ‘bringer of joy to a hard and rocky land’) that has transformed our family. She is full of life, has the most amazing head of hair, and cheeks for days. She has gotten about a million kisses in the first two months of her life. She is so loved and so cherished. She is chosen by God and her very existence is the proof of her being loved, wanted and fought for for many years. She is beyond our wildest dreams and more than we could have ever imagined.
We feel like we have been living our dream the last two months. We are wildly in love. We have experienced the fullness of promises fulfilled and are in awe at not only what God has done, but who He has been to us throughout the last six years. We know that this is not the end of our journey completely, but the beginning of another one.
Thank you to each one of you who has loved, supported, and prayed for us every step of the way. We have seen and experienced the love of God through you and have been given hope and encouragement and strength to keep going. No matter how big or small a part you have played, we are thankful that God allowed us to walk this hard road with an amazing community of support. We have never been alone in this journey of infertility, and that in and of itself is a miracle.
We are so grateful.