I have started exercising again. I did a 2 mi run/walk on Sat. I walked a couple miles on Monday, and went for a couple more tonight. I had not been exercising for a very specific reason. I was pregnant, and with my history of miscarriage(3) at the time, I did not feel it was safe to put any extra stress on my body. I have started exercising again, because last week when I was home for my father-in-laws funeral, I suffered my fourth miscarriage. I feel I must back up a little and share the story.
Steve approached me in Nov. saying he was feeling a call on his heart that maybe we should have another child. I of course laughed at him, and told him NO. He sweetly asked me if I would pray about it, and I said yes. The first two weeks of my prayer consisted of me saying "I'm praying about it God, but I am not going to do it." I'm a little stubborn if you have not picked up on that by now. Anyway, without going into all of the details the next month was littered with signs pointing in the direction of us having another child. Through prayer and clues about as big as a 2x4 hitting me upside the head, my heart also became convicted that we should have another child. Having used Natural Family Planning throughout our entire marriage, I of course had no worries of not becoming pregnant. I often joke that if Steve looks at me the wrong way, I will get pregnant. January and Feb, passed with negative pregnancy tests, and I'll be honest, I was a little confused. The beauty of NFP is that I know exactly when I am fertile. We've never had to "try" before to get pregnant. However, at the beginning of March we got a positive pregnancy test. I was thrilled. I went to the Dr. right away. They put me on progesterone, due to my history of miscarriage. I was actually feeling pretty calm about the possibility of miscarriage. Of course it is in the back of my mind, but I really felt everything was going to be okay.
Fast forward a couple weeks, sitting here having lost the baby, and mourning the loss of my Father-in-law, I am confused, sad, and a little bit numb. I was truly heartbroken when I started having the miscarriage, I was helping plan a funeral, and was busy trying to be there for my husband and his family. I didn't feel I could fall apart and truly grieve the baby though, because my mission was to honor my father-in-law, be there for my husband and his family, and say good-bye to a man I loved dearly. Don't get me wrong, I had my moments, and during the wake, when I know the baby passed from my body, I got quite sick. Luckily for me my husbands uncle is an OB/Gyn and was able to calm me and help me through it.
I swing from sadness to anger at times. There are times that it seems my whole body feels the loss of my child so deeply. I feel like part of me is missing. I feel empty at times, and at others I feel peace. As hard as this loss is, I have the peace of knowing I will be OK. I have the peace of knowing I have a God who loves me, and is carrying me now, even as my heart breaks. My faith is keeping me tethered in this storm. I know in my heart that this baby was a little boy, and I named him Gabriel Martin Castle. I find comfort in knowing that Gabriel will never know any pain, he will only know the fullness of God's perfect love. I find comfort in the thought that Gabriel and his papa are walking hand in hand into the kingdom of God. I find comfort in knowing that even though the anguish I feel now is heart wrenching, it will be eclipsed a hundred fold by the joy and beauty that I will experience when I am hopefully reunited with Gabriel in heaven one day.
I am sure many are surprised that I am sharing something so painful and personal on such a public blog, at one time in my own life, I would have never thought I could do it. However, I feel called to share. I want people to know that miscarriage is truly the loss of a child. Sometimes in the culture of death that we live in people tend to minimize the loss of a child so young in the womb. I was 6 weeks pregnant, and I have had people tell me "well at least it happened early". I want other women who may have experienced miscarriage to know that it is okay to grieve the loss of your baby. Don't listen to the people who don't understand that even though it was early, it does not take away the fact that you lost a child. I have had people tell me "well at least you have four beautiful healthy children", and even though I thank God every day for those kids, It does not take away the loss I feel of my sweet little Gabriel.
If you know a woman who is experiencing or has gone through miscarriage, please reach out to her. There are never any words that we can say that will comfort someone when they've lost someone they have loved, but your love can be a soothing balm to a wounded soul. So I will keep moving forward one foot in front of the other, soaking up the prayers of my friends and the Love, mercy and forgivness of my Father in heaven. "So as for me I will press on in running the race, with my eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects my faith. I will fight the good fight with all my heart and soul, until the day that I am with Jesus the day I'm finally home, the day that I have won the crown." From the song press on.