My gynecologist's certainty gave me confidence: In a booming voice, incongruously deep for his small stature, he assured me that my baby was well, and I needn't be worried over an earlier miscarriage. So my husband, Clay, and I joyfully celebrated the three-month milestone marking the pregnancy as safe.
It seemed life was unfolding just as we'd hoped: We'd married, Clay had completed seminary, and soon after his graduation, he was offered an associate pastorate. With a baby on the way, we once again had reason to celebrate.
A week after that prenatal visit, we headed to a beach-front hotel for a church staff conference. After a laughter-filled dinner full of excited chatter and congratulations over expecting our first child, I excused myself and sleepily returned to the hotel room. There, sitting in a stark white bathroom, I stared in shock at a bright red streak.
No, no—this couldn't be happening.
The unfamiliar room, with its too perfectly arranged furniture and jarringly cheerful seascapes, amplified my disbelief. Mechanically, I crawled into the strange bed. I tugged at the cold sheet and foreign blanket, desperate for any bit of comfort, then pulled my Bible near.
"God, you know I've begged you to protect this baby," I prayed. "God, please! I can't cope with another miscarriage. Please heal my body and stop the bleeding. Please, don't let me lose my baby."
A couple hours later, Clay came in. He saw the anxiety in my expression and wrapped me in warm arms.1