April 11, 2015

At the church my husband and I attend, there is a common belief that because God is a good God, He only gives good gifts to His children. Sometimes, though, God’s version of “good” is more in line with our eventual benefit rather than our present happiness. Chase and I are learning this hard truth right now.

On April 11, 2015, Chase and I found out I was pregnant. Five (ha) pregnancy tests confirmed it! At that moment, I felt like I became a mom. I started dreaming about creating a nursery, and all of the mom-type things I was looking forward to. We told a few friends and immediate family and allowed them to be excited with us. I began having super crazy dreams (hormones), drank way less coffee, and began resting more purposely. As soon as I knew of the baby, my body was no longer mine and I did everything I knew and read to do to provide a safe home for our baby.

Even though I had our baby inside me, Chase quickly became the emotional and physical support for our little threesome. He took a second job to provide extra income while I did my best to rest and be healthy. I had nothing to offer except the excitement and expectant hope of a safe place for our baby to grow.

Our baby did grow.

And then it didn’t.

Several weeks later, we found out we weren’t going to see our child in this life.

We had a miscarriage. Our baby died.

It took two weeks before we knew for sure. Those two weeks were filled with doctor’s appointments, painful ultrasounds, bleeding and giving of blood, and so much waiting.

After the miscarriage, I didn’t know where I fit anymore. I felt like a wall had been built on either side of me. Mothers with living children were on one side and newly married brides without the scar of child loss were on the other side. I was stuck, in the middle, unsure of what category I belonged in. I had no physical proof that I was a mother. The question of what am I? nestled deep in my heart, surrounded by the scars of not being able to hold my child in my arms.

Sometimes, I experienced the pain of being reminded that I wasn’t yet a mother by people who would consider themselves “pro-life.” They would call the fetus a “baby” but then encourage me that one day I would become a “mother.” Isn’t it assumed that a baby has parents? Wasn’t I already a mother?

Mothers make sacrifices for their children. Although opportunities were fleeting, I made whatever sacrifices I needed to. I gave up caffeine, endured sleepless nights (all the while teaching), walked, took it easy, and ate more healthfully. Then, during the complications, I had to miss work, I lost a lot of blood, I gave a lot of blood, I took medicine, I got a shot, I got poked and prodded in places that had never been poked and prodded until I was aching, not just from the actual miscarriage, but from the tests and emotional turmoil of not knowing for sure if my baby was living, and then knowing for sure that it no longer was.

And, all I had to show for it was a sore belly and a broken heart. And, the reminder that I wasn’t like “normal” moms and that my baby was gone.

I regret not sharing the news of my pregnancy right away. I regret that so many of my friends and relatives are hearing about Chase’s and my baby for the first time today. I regret that I didn’t allow my child to be known, for however long the Lord allowed. I regret that I listened to the world’s standard of when to announce pregnancy. Now that I am announcing a miscarriage, it all seems bizarre and terribly ironic.

Friends and family, there is a little Culbertson. I wish it was here on earth, but it isn’t. Our baby is in the arms of Jesus, of whom I am so incredibly jealous. My heart misses our little one and the absolute JOY we had in its life instead of the absolute despair we now feel in its absence.

I wish I could say that I have accepted this trial with grace. I haven’t. I have doubted God and his love for me. I have wondered if it was punishment for previous sin. I have wrestled with the fear of trying to conceive again — what if we lose another baby? Through it all, my husband, my faithful and strong best friend, has been so patient and loving. Together, we are trying to accept that this has happened and trying to trust that God has good things for us as His children. But, guys, it is hard. It is really hard, and sometimes I am not good at trusting. However, I know that God will carry us through this new “normal” stage of life and through our new “normal” days.

The day my custodian found out, she gave me a big hug, with tears. Her only words were “that baby was just too special for God to give up quite yet. But, he sure does love to make up to us the heartache we have to go through. Just you wait, he’s gonna give you such a sweet blessing some day. Maybe even two!” It’s words like these, however sappy, that bring comfort. To know that it wasn’t a punishment or that it wasn’t because I did something wrong, but because God, somehow, allowed it. But, also, that he won’t allow it be in vain. That our story will be used and that our precious baby’s life isn’t wasted.

April 11, 2015 will be a day I always remember. It holds the moment when I first knew of our baby. It is a day my baby was living. It’s when Chase’s and my perspective on life changed.

I do believe God will give Chase and me living children. Since our wedding day, we have witnessed more rainbows and double rainbows than I have seen in my lifetime. In only 9 months, God seems to be showing out by giving us rainbows on our honeymoon, vacations, and random days throughout the year. God’s promise for provision and safety is shown through a rainbow. I believe that our next baby is our rainbow baby – our promise from God that he will provide and that He is here and that, though there may be storms, something beautiful will break through.

I just wanted you to know. We just wanted our baby to be known.

If you have struggled with miscarriage, please know that you are not alone. If you need encouragement and support we are more than happy to be that friend for you.

For more information, encouragement, and perspective on miscarriage, these have great insight:

http://thecarolinafarmhouse.com/2014/09/02/why-i-regret-keeping-my-pregnancy-a-secret/

http://www.messymiddle.com/2012/05/10/an-open-letter-to-pastors-a-non-mom-speaks-about-mothers-day/

Rebekah and Chase

12 thoughts on “April 11, 2015

  1. Your little baby is known. Imagining Baby Culbertson with Jesus is such a heartbreaking and encouraging image. I know that He is a good God, but feeling that is so completely different. I appreciate your vulnerability so much. I can see God working in the very words on the screen. God is still God, God is still good, to God be the glory. Love you guys so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My prayers are with you guys. I know the pain and have watched my brother and sister-in-law go through the pain of holidays, especially Mother’s Day for the past several years as parents, but with no children at home. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  3. I do not know you but this came up on my newsfeed and I couldn’t help but read it. I have been pregnant 3 times and only have 1 child on this earth with me. I lost my first son at 21 weeks and my third child at 6 weeks. I know the pain you feel and your words were more honest and touching than anyone else’s that I have ever heard. I have been there and still feel that emptiness everyday. You will always feel that piece missing from You, unfortunately. My living son is truly a miracle being born 14 weeks early and still he is absolutely perfect. When I lost my other babies it hurt so much but now I can look back and say that I know God didn’t put me through anything that I couldn’t handle. It made me who I am and I know that I am a better mom because of it. My kids are what made me, ME! I pray that you find some comfort. Please know you aren’t alone. My heart hurts so much for you and your family. Sorry if I said too much or mispoke. Such a touching read, I felt I needed to say something.

    Like

  4. Rebekah you and Chase are so strong. I know that this has been the hardest time for you, but your faith in our Lord is so encouraging. I can’t imagine what it feels like to lose a child, but I believe we serve a big God who will someday give and and Chase the baby you so desire. That being said I also know you will never forget or quit loving this one. You are an amazing woman and I am so proud to call you my friend. I am here if you ever need anything.

    Like

  5. I am so glad you wrote this. I just went through the same thing. I found out in March that I was pregnant, 2 weeks later started having complications, found out there was an early twin lost, then things still weren’t normal, and finally miscarried last week. It was crushing. My situation is a little different in that I have 2 children already, and although I am very sad about the 2 babies I lost, I do think it would be much harder if this were my first pregnancy. But I am with you that I want everyone to know about these babies. I’m only glad I didn’t tell people because in the midst of the miscarriage I hated the looks and tone of voice of sympathy, the “How ARE you?” with sad eyes. But now I want people to know, not for sympathy, I want everyone to know about their lives. That’s a weird and unexpected feeling to me. But since I read this post this morning, I told someone who didn’t know about the pregnancy. And I already feel better, like more acceptance and validation. I look forward to meeting my babies in heaven. Thanks for sharing your story. I’ll pray for you and your family.

    Like

  6. Love and prayers to you. I work with Angie and please know that I’m praying for you and have been. 🙂 My hubby and I are praying and seeking children, too, and know that with God, He will provide and we are in His pasture = that beautiful safe place where we find refuge and safety and provision. Your story brought me to tears, but also gives me this incredible hope of God’s love and perfect timing. And yes, you are a momma. You will one day hold your precious baby in your arms, and I am so glad Jesus is there to hold that baby now. I also love your illustration of the rainbows, and yes, I love how God sends us those to give us comfort and peace and promise. God bless you both! Your friends in Christ, Kelley and Randall

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s