We met in 2013 and were married in 2014. The first two years of our marriage were spent finishing our bachelor degrees while also working full time. Needless to say, we were both very busy and whenever people would ask when we were planning to have kids, we had the go-to answer of being preoccupied with school. After we graduated, we weren’t sure if we were ready for kids, but we wanted to go ahead and try.
Needless to say, we were quite surprised when the pregnancy test came back positive the following month. We scheduled an appointment with the doctor and she confirmed that I was roughly 6 weeks pregnant. We set up another appointment for an ultrasound at week 11.
We showed up for our ultrasound appointment at 8 o’clock on a Thursday morning. We were so excited to have pictures for our pregnancy announcement and, the whole way there, we talked about how we would tell each of our families.
We knew something was wrong when the technician remained silent through the entire appointment. She ended up leaving the room and coming back with a nurse. The nurse told us that our baby did not have a heartbeat and we were devastated. We hadn’t told anyone we were pregnant and now we had lost our baby.
After over a year of more challenges and disappointments, we finally took a positive pregnancy test on November 25, 2018. This time, we knew we didn’t want to wait to tell people. We knew how hard it was to lose a baby in silence and, if we lost this one too, we wanted to have a group of family and friends to support us in our grief.
On March 4, 2019 (19 weeks), we found out we were having a sweet baby girl and we named her Miriam Lois. Miriam was so active. We got to feel her kick all the time and we really bonded a lot with her while we were pregnant.
Around week 34, we found out that Miriam had a blockage in her intestines that prevented her from swallowing fluid properly. The doctors informed us that she would have to have surgery immediately after she was born to remove the blockage. Obviously we were really nervous about everything but we just wanted to do what was best for our daughter so we started researching pediatric surgeons and the most ideal hospitals for us to give birth.
In the meantime, we had weekly appointments to check in on Miriam and continue discussing our birth options. We had finally settled on our ideal birth plan when we went in for our 37 week appointment. We met with the doctor and agreed on inducing labor the following week. We started toward the front desk to schedule our next appointment but, before we left, the doctor wanted to check Miriam’s heart rate again. He put the monitor against my belly...he was having a hard time finding the heartbeat but, one of the symptoms of Miriam’s condition was that it created a lot of extra amniotic fluid so he wasn’t too concerned about the fact that it was hard to find initially.
We started getting really nervous when he said we needed to go downstairs for an ultrasound. All the feelings from losing our first baby were rushing back and we just couldn’t imagine what would happen if they told us we had lost Miriam too. The technician had barely even started but we both knew right away. We knew where the heartbeat should have been and it wasn’t there.
After we found out, we were in a dark, dark place. Suddenly it was like there was no future beyond the room we were in and we weren’t sure if we were going to be able to climb out of this hole.
The next few hours were excruciating. We had to make decisions we never could have anticipated. But, over the next 24 hours, God sent so many people our way. People who encouraged us, people who cried with us, people who prayed for us. We were surrounded by people who constantly reminded us of God’s goodness and His ability to use Miriam’s life to make an impact on this world. And that was our constant hope—the only thing that kept us going.
God blessed us with a quick and smooth birth. We got to spend the next 7 hours with our girl. It was the most peaceful time we have ever experienced. Saying goodbye to her was absolutely impossible but we are so thankful to know that she is in the arms of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
The biggest blessing that came from this experience was witnessing the juxtaposition of our nature versus God’s nature. We were completely broken with no ability to continue on yet we felt a supernatural strength to persevere and remain steadfast in our faith.
On October 1, we received more unexpected news. After a doctor’s appointment, we discovered we were pregnant for a third time. We had a few brief hours of excitement mixed with hesitation before we found out that we were once again going to lose our baby.
There is no happy ending to our story (at least not yet). God didn’t bring Miriam back. He didn’t save our first child or our third child. But the truth of the Bible says that “In this world, you will have trouble…” but that is exactly when God steps in. Through our loss, we have been able to experience God on a level we had never experienced him before. And in this season, we have come to realize that God is WAY bigger than we could have ever imagined. It’s true that the Bible tells us, “In this world, you will have trouble…” but the last part of that verse says, “Take Heart! [Jesus] has overcome the world.”
Just one month after we lost Miriam, we learned about Bridget’s Cradles. We found so much support in the community that Bridget’s Cradles has created and we are so thankful that we are now part of the Creative Media Team. We want to do everything we can to honor our sweet babies in Heaven and we are blessed to serve on this team.
Written by Grace Gibson, Mommy to Miriam and two more babies in Heaven