Using your cross to help others
When I talked with Kate, she was quick to tell me that she was sharing her infertility and miscarriage story not to seek empathy but as an opportunity to help others. Her story, as well as another family’s, both came to me during the month of October which is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. That wasn’t planned – it was all God! In the spirit of trying to help others who walk a similar journey, I will be sharing both of these stories in the coming weeks.
Twelve years ago, Kate entered into a dark time where she and her husband experienced the painful cross of infertility and miscarriage.
Kate shared on a recent Facebook post, “On this day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness, I am a part of a club that I never, ever would wish upon anyone. While we are blessed to now have 2 children, we lost our first FIVE babies. Yes 5. It was the most empty and alone we/I have ever felt, mourning terrible losses in silence because most didn’t know we were pregnant to begin with.”
During this time, Kate and her husband turned to God in prayer.
“I kept praying that my will would align with God’s will. I knew God wasn’t doing this. But, I was still so angry. I spent a lot of time in prayer. One verse that was and continues to be my ‘go-to’ verse is Jeremiah 29:11.”
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
After Kate suffered her third miscarriage, they sought help at a fertility clinic where they conducted a variety of tests. The tests didn’t show anything conclusive as to what was causing the miscarriages. They continued to seek help. Eventually, through Kate’s sister and some of her connections, they were able to meet with a head infertility specialist at the University of Iowa. Kate definitely felt God’s hand in bringing them to this doctor and was so grateful when he called them personally.
He found that Kate suffered from Antiphospholipid syndrome, a blood clotting disorder. When she became pregnant with their sixth baby, it was recommended she take a daily blood thinner as well as progesterone to help support the pregnancy. She went on to welcome their healthy baby boy, Everett.
“We were so grateful. Everett was our little miracle. The years in pain seemed to vanish because of our rainbow baby. He was definitely worth the wait,” said Kate.
A few years later, Kate was pregnant again and they followed the same regimen. They were blessed with a healthy baby girl, Reilly Rose.
During that dark time, Kate shared how she felt so alone and even lost friendships. She explained how hard it was when her friends would get pregnant and she was invited to baby showers. Kate felt God’s hand in bringing her one friendship that was a life saver. She was a part of Silent Grief, an online support community for people who have experienced the loss of a child. It was through this online group, that Kate met Katie. They shared the same story.
“She was the only person who could truly understand. It wasn’t at all like a misery of company. We could understand how we felt and we were able to support each other. We would text each other everyday and became really good friends.”
Kate said when she became pregnant with Everett, she worried how that would affect her friendship with Katie. What a blessing it was to find that Katie became pregnant a month later. They both experienced their pregnancies together and both went on to celebrate the births of their children.
Kate explains that today she shares her story not to gain empathy but in hopes it can help someone else. She feels that when God gives us a cross, we can learn from it and try to bring good from it by helping others.
“I feel infertility and miscarriage are such a taboo subject. I know I didn’t want to talk about it and I suffered in silence. I want to let others know they are not alone.”
Kate said when they were going through the darkness of her miscarriages, her sister who also had a miscarriage gave her a coaster stone with a meaningful message that provided her some hope. She shared this with a good friend who went through a similar situation. Kate says that stone has now been passed along to 6 other families. It was meant to give others hope and encouragement to remain faithful.
“It is reaching out, praying and sharing our love that we can walk with others carrying the cross of infertility and miscarriage,” said Kate.
1. Who has been by your side during challenging times? How did they provide you comfort?
2. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Sit with this verse. How has the Lord prospered you in the past? What is God blessing you with right now? How can you be more open to God’s plans in your life?