I knew the bright red blood shouldn't be there. The day before, I'd discovered for certain I was six weeks pregnant. Now, as I stared at the widening stain of blood that soaked my pajamas, my stomach tightened and my neck burned.
No, God! I want to be a mother!
In a matter of seconds, I sprang from the bathroom, woke my husband, James, and dialed my physician. The diagnosis: spontaneous miscarriage.
"Is there anything we can do?" I squeaked.
"Unfortunately, no," my ob/gyn replied. "I'm sorry."
The date was March 9, 2003. I'd awoken, pregnant, at 6 A.M. I'd thanked God for answering my prayers, wondered whether the baby was a boy or a girl, and dreamed about what my child would look like at his or her birth in October.
When I hung up the phone, the clock read 7:30 A.M.
And my baby was dead.
When God Says "No"
My body recovered almost immediately. However, my spirit writhed during the months that followed. I'd always pictured God as the religious equivalent of a fairy godfather, a granter of wishes who gives us the important things for which we pray. For six hopeful months, I'd begged him to let us have a baby. Now I brooded over the fact he'd responded with a "no." It was more than God taking his time with our baby's conception; our baby actually had died. How much more obvious could a "no" be?
While I never thought God caused my miscarriage, I despaired over realizing the same God who said, "Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you" (Matthew 7:7) had allowed it to happen. I wondered if perhaps I'd prayed wrongly when I asked him for a baby, or if I hadn't prayed enough. Did God even care that I'd prayed? With the world so full of trouble, perhaps my prayers were too insignificant for God's attention.
Or maybe, I thought as tears flowed day after day, God didn't want me to have a baby at all.
I found little solace in the world around me. Though relatively common, miscarriage is a topic whispered around obstetricians' offices and rarely discussed in a society that regards the unborn—especially at the earliest stages of pregnancy—as disposable nonentities. Many people undermined my feelings with platitudes such as "You can always get pregnant again" or "These things just happen." But I believe life begins at conception; my unborn child was a person with a soul. The loss of that unique person left an enormous void in my life, leaving me physically and emotionally empty, lonelier than I'd ever been before. All I could do about it was cry.