April 15, 2011

Pressing On Part 1

Over the last few years we have had the pleasure of getting to know Julie Leonard and her family. Julie and her husband Josh have been a wonderful testimony to us as we have seen them walk a road of sorrow & loss and as they have faithfully trusted in the Lord through this time in their lives. Today Julie will be sharing the first part of her story. We'll post the 2nd and 3rd part of her story each Friday of the next two weeks.


Our story began around Christmas, 2008. 

I was 5 ½ weeks pregnant and Christmas was quickly approaching.  Our daughter, Lydia, was 3 and our son, Isaac was 15 months old. This pregnancy was a bit more of a surprise than the first two, but we were learning to prepare for another baby.  We always liked to share our good news with family in a creative way.  But this time, Josh and I were having a difficult time coming up with something fun.  We finally decided to include an extra photo matte and frame with a Christmas gift, thinking we would surprise his family on Christmas day.  How interesting that when the time came for the gift to be opened, neither of us said anything about the pregnancy.  Instead, we played it off like it was “just an extra one in case you need it someday.”  Within minutes of that gift being opened, I was in the bathroom and noticed some red spotting.  I tried not to panic, but knew I had to share this information with Josh, without making a big deal of it in front of all the family members who didn’t even know I was pregnant!  I was able to sneak out for a little while and call my doctor-who told me to take it easy for the next few days.  I felt relieved with that, and went back to finish celebrating Christmas that afternoon.

The next day, I was feeling okay and the spotting had almost stopped, so I figured everything would be fine.  We drove out of state that afternoon to celebrate Christmas with my family.  We still didn’t make any announcements, and now felt like we really needed to wait a little longer.  In the middle of the night, I awoke with heavy bleeding and spent the next 2 hours in the bathroom, convinced that this miscarriage was for a reason and that God had known it would happen, even down to the timing.  I don’t remember all the thoughts that went through my head, but one that I do remember was how common early trimester miscarriages occur.  About 25% of pregnancies end within the first trimester, especially in the first 6 weeks.  I have always thought that it was God’s way of taking care of a child that would not have survived anyway.  Looking back, I see that for us, it was really a precursor of things to come in our lives. 

I had assumed that I completely miscarried that night, only to return home and find out two days later at my doctor’s appointment, that the baby was still in my womb.  What I had thought was a normal occurrence among women, now became a bigger issue.  Over the next five days, I would wait for the baby to come out on its own, only to find that it wouldn’t.  One of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do, was call my family and tell them that I had just lost a baby, when I had never first had the joy of telling them that there was one.  Through those phone calls and tears, God was showing me what His compassion looks like through people.  My family and friends cried with me.  They felt the sadness almost as much as we did.  I never realized how much a miscarriage can affect many more people besides the mother.  I learned very quickly that I was not alone in my plight.  So many friends, people I knew, came out with their stories of miscarriages.  As they shared their stories, I found myself comforted by their common experience, and realized there was a whole group of people praying for us.  Eight days after Christmas, I had a D & C to remove the remains of the baby.  God’s comfort and the people around us, carried us through that experience.  


Read part 2 here. Read part 3 here.

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