“Whatever may come and whatever may pass, we have faith that our God will bring us to it and through it.”

That’s what I wrote in a post after we announced our third pregnancy. It was the first pregnancy we went public with, but it was the third time we had two positive lines on a pregnancy test.

You see, we had miscarriage after miscarriage after miscarriage.

We went from surprised optimism to guarded yearning and finally stolen joy.
The first baby was nothing more than a what-if before that test. It was a surprise to two people who loved one another and confidently held on to this little person’s future. That baby will forever be our 6-week-old child frozen in time.

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The second baby was with us for a bit longer than the other. After the first positive, I knew something was wrong. I knew this would be short-lived, and I knew I should guard my heart. In that doctor’s office, I wanted her to find a heartbeat. I wanted her to find anything on that screen, but there was no sign of life.

That baby will forever be our 11-week-old child frozen in time.

The third baby–the one we decided to announce during our first trimester–was our glimmer of hope. This was going to be it. All of the hours in doctors’ offices and needles in veins while I made small talk about the weather were going to be worth it. The nights of allowing the hot shower water to wash my tears away only to ball the towel up around my face and scream into it were going to be distant memories. The heartbreak was going to be worth it.

The baby was going to finally have a name. The baby was going to finally be home with us. The baby was what made us smile again. That baby will forever be our 9-week-old child frozen in time.

When you tell someone you have had a miscarriage, you get a look of pity. When you tell someone you have had two miscarriages, you get a hug.

When you tell someone you have had three miscarriages, you don’t get anything.

The person looks away and struggles to find a phrase to console you. I hate when others are at a loss, so what did I do? I told them I was OK. I placed a slight smile on my face and turned my back. I carried on.

Then, I went home and was sadsimply sad. Sometimes my sadness turned to anger, and I threw a glass at the door when rage peeked its head out during what I thought was a good day. Sometimes the sadness suffocated me, and it felt better to bottle it up and rip me from the joy I once had. But, it’s all just sad. And, it’s not OK.

After three miscarriages, you would think it would be easy to let go of the wish to be a mom. To tuck those three babies into the corner of your mind and force yourself to let them go.

It wasn’t. We tried, and we had negative after negative. Then, finally, it happened.

A faint positive.

A quick phone call.

An empty cup.

A cold room.

A blank screen.

A sonogram image.

A heartbeat.

This baby was different. This baby caused me to be sicker than ever before. This baby kept me up at night and became my show-watching binge partner. This baby listened to my karaoke sessions during rush hour. 

This baby became our firstborn.

I rocked this baby to sleep for all of her naps. Those moments were fleeting, and I wanted to engrain them in my memory. I battled postpartum anxiety and depression while caressing her little face and fighting tears. I’m grateful for a little pill and the grace from above (and my husband) that allowed me to accept that temporary weakness while moving forward.

RELATED: A Rainbow Baby Brings Hope, But Doesn’t Erase the Pain of Miscarriage

I sang lullabies and worship songs to her. I wanted her to one day remember “my mama sang to me.” I took her for runs and her contagious giggles filled our neighborhood streets. I wanted the world to know what joy looked like even in the most ordinary situations.

I am now years away from our last miscarriage with an extra baby on my hip and something still happens . . . I think about those three other babies. I think about the what-ifs and why-nots and those three babies frozen in time. My breathing slows and I let out a sigh as I remind myself, “Whatever may come and whatever may pass, we have faith that our God will bring us to it and through it.”

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Ashley I. Arinez

Ashley and her husband, Matthew are raising their two daughters near Atlanta, Georgia. After three previous losses and a journey with postpartum depression after having each of her daughters, Ashley shares her journey to and through motherhood in an encouraging and honest way.

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