Monday, April 21, 2008

A Letter to a Pregnant Friend (Among Many :) )

**Warning: if you are hyper-sensitive, you may not want to read this. Just wanted to warn you.**

Hey girl...

Please do not let what I'm about to share discourage you from sharing your pregnancy with me. I am excited for you and somewhat invested (you'll see why) in this little wonder you are carrying. The grieving of our loss does not mean we cannot delight in your gain!

The past four and a half weeks have been tumultuous. On March 20th, I found out (a little earlier than expected) that we would be expecting our third child. Well, fourth really, because of the miscarriage I had in November. We were excited but cautiously so. The following week I had some bleeding. I thought for sure that I was miscarrying. I saw the doctor and she was concerned but said she would check my hormone levels to see if the pregnancy was still progressing. We saw a small sac on the ultrasound but the baby was too small to see.

I had my hormone levels checked and they were not doubling every 48 hours like they were supposed to. The doctor told me that I might still lose the baby. I had some spirit-filled women praying for me during that time (and probably still :) ). It was awesome to have peace guarding my heart and mind through it all. Since my bleeding had stopped, my doctor wanted to see me again. She did an ultrasound and saw that the sac had grown (baby was still too small to see) and the blood clot that had been hovering over baby had dramatically decreased in size. We were hopeful. They checked my levels one more time just to make sure.

I got a call from the doctor's office saying that my levels still hadn't doubled and that they did not considered this a viable pregnancy. I was heart broken. However, I still believed that the Lord could do whatever He wanted with this baby. I even had dreams about him...yes, him. The name Elijah settled in my heart for him. I had a dream of a single flame burning in my womb...however, I think the flame had two meanings. One, that this baby was fiery and two, that this journey would be a refining fire for me.

I went back for another ultrasound. As I stepped off the elevator, I glanced at a woman walking down the hall. Her shirt said, "expect miracles." I felt hopeful and peaceful. We saw and heard the heartbeat that day. Such a beautiful sight and sound!

A whole week went by and another ultrasound showing a growing baby with a strong heart beat. I was still told I wasn't out of the woods yet...that this was still a threatened pregnancy. Three days after the last sonogram, I started bleeding again. This time, I felt like, was it. I waited to call the doctor. Only after the urging of my friend did I call her. She saw me immediately. The ultrasound showed, yet again, a growing baby with even a stronger heart beat. I was hopeful and even joyful but still perplexed. Why was I bleeding?

The bleeding did not stop. I miscarried last Friday. Matt and I were able to pray over the little baby (barely over 1 cm) before we let it go. It was truly a healing time. There has been a text that resonates with me so much lately...

2 Samuel 12:22 - 23..."While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live?' But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."

It sounds sad, but it's so hopeful...to be reunited with our little Elijah...to know that David grieved as we grieve and hoped as we hope. Through all of this, the Lord has still shown Himself to be good and do good. He has been gracious to rescue this child from a life of pain and heartache to be with Him in glory. How merciful is our God?

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16 - 18

My due date was officially December 2nd...but the internet said November 29th. I was pulling for November 29th :) I would have been 8 weeks around today. I am praying that you have a completely uneventful and healthy pregnancy with a sweet baby to hold in December. I love you, sweet friend. I hope I haven't shared too much. Unfortunately, you asked me how I am and I'm not one to say "fine."

Love you,
Lauren

60 comments:

courtney said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Lauren. I am so sorry for your loss. And praying that the fire is absolutely refining.

Jenny said...

Holly, mentioned this to me yesterday. I hope you don't mind. Know that I'm praying for you and Matt. You are so strong and God will heal.

Chris & Lindsey Wheeler said...

....I am praying for you this morning! I can't imagine the pain. Thanks for being so real and vulnerable!

debra said...

lifting you up Lauren.

The Engelhardt 4 said...

I miss seeing you and your strength on a weekly basis at R@V. You have always been an inspiration to me with your authenticity. I love you and miss you. I pray for peace during this time.
Blessings.

Stacy said...

thanks for being so honest and for sharing. the hope and joy that you have is such a testimony in itself. i also think of Romans 8:18
I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

The Milfords: said...

Wow.
Matt and Lauren we are so sorry to hear about your loss. We will keep praying for you guys.

Erin said...

There are many of us at The Village who love you and Matt even though we've never spoken face to face. My prayers are with you and that God's peace will continue to transcend all understanding.

Fun With Five said...

I am so very sorry for your loss.

Robin said...

Lauren, thank you for sharing. You teach 'hope' to me and so many women through your letter!

The Lewis' said...

I am covering you in prayer. Thank you for posting!

Anonymous said...

Praying for you to see how God will use this for His glory...praying for Him to bless you and Matt with a healthy pregnancy and baby...and for peace and confidence in God's goodness when the good is hard to see during such painful times.

BonkLand
www.morebonkiesplease.blogspot.com

Beth said...

I'm just sitting here crying, Lauren. Yes, I love those verses from David's hurting heart, too, and totally get how they are both healing and hope to you at this time. That little Elijah-flame will be burning bright when you see him one day. He didn't just ride Home in a chariot of fire. He WAS the fire. May your God show you wonders from this heartache that last a life time. You are a cherished, chosen servant of His.

Love,
Beth Moore

Amanda said...

Lauren, my heart breaks for you guys. I'm so sorry. I will be praying for you, sweet friend.

Faith said...

You are courageous for sharing such a an emotional journey these past few weeks. Know you are loved and prayed for.

Stephanie (Ocean Mommy) said...

Lauren,

I've walked this same road...praying for you and Matt..

Anticipating Him
stephanie

The Venables said...

Lauren,
Thank you for sharing your heart. My heart breaks for you and yet I know God is with you. My prayers are with you.
much love,
addie

Summer said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful email.

melissa said...

thanks for sharing lauren - you and matt will be in my prayers as well.
so often what you write is exactly what i need to hear. although it's not the same situation, i'm dealing with loss as well and the hope you give is encouraging. well, more than encouraging, but i don't have the right words.
thanks.

The Nadwodnys said...

We've been here before as well...so hard...our family will continue to lift yours up in prayer.

coneandmo said...

Lauren, thank you so much for sharing. We have been in the same place, twice now too and my heart breaks for you and Matt. I thought that something might be up because I haven't seen a post in a while and was reading between the lines of your past posts. It is such an emotional roller coaster and we all deal with loss in different ways. Thank you for your words of encouragement and being so transparent. Your words will help others. Even through this God is good. Just know that we will pray for you during this time and time to come.
Take care sweet friend!
Love- M&M Cone

The Andujar's said...

Lauren- my heart goes out to you. I praise God though for His strength in you during this time, and for the power of your testimony. I will be praying for you and your family.

Karli said...

Tears falling too - keep thinking of Psalm 56, tears in a bottle. So much truth in the words of David and Paul that you shared - little Elijah Chandler may be gone from us, but only for a moment, for truly he now lives face to face with His Creator in glory. Thank you for your vulnerability and the power of your testimony to point our hearts to the reality of Eternity. May the Lord be ever present with you in this time...there are not words, only hope that will not disappoint.

Amy said...

Wow, so beautiful. Even in the pain, your honest words reveal a beautiful hope and faith in God's goodness. What a testimony. Thanks for sharing.

~Amy7634

Jennifer-Colley said...

Lauren- I know that you don't really know who I am. I met you several years ago in Lubbock when Matt came to speak at a d-now. I read your blog often and have wept reading your posts. I had a miscarriage last February after seeing a strong heartbeat only to go back at 12 weeks to a baby only measuring 9 weeks with no heartbeart. I then had another miscarriage in September. My husband and I are currently pregnant now after many long months of prayer, frustration, cries out to the Lord, and doubts. Please know that I can feel what you are going through and will be praying for you tonight! It is not easy, but the Lord is so faithful to bring us hope! Something I had a hard time finding!
Thanks for sharing this email to your friends!
Jennifer Colley

Colored With Memories said...

My heart breaks to read this. I know the Lord will use these experiences to encourage others as they walk through similar situations. Thank you for making this loss public so we can pray for your precious family.

Monte said...

What would life be like without a loving, caring God? What a compassionate Friend He is. "You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book." Psalm 56:8. He even sends friends to stand beside you. Know that Betty and I are standing with you and Matt in prayer that through these days and in these times you will experience quiet strength and deep joy.

Richardsons of HV said...

All I could think about on Sunday morning, as Matt preached, was "How in the WORLD is he up there preaching?". I then remembered, Our God can do anything! And I witnessed God work through someone (Matt) supernaturally! Wow! I stand in awe of our Lord! That same God who supernaturally worked through your husband on Sunday morning will do the same to carry you through these days (and the ones to come) of mourning. We are continuing to pray and mourn for/with you! We love you guys!

Regina said...

Isaiah 58:11

"The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden like a spring whose waters never fail. Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins and will raise up the age-old fountains; you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls, Restorer of Streets with Dwellings."

Amen

Bex said...

Thanks for sharing your sorrow and hope with us. I love how the Lord gave you the dream and name Elijah. So beautiful and so Him. Even though I'm not a mom, I know that I'll keep this post tucked away and can use everything you said in my life even now.

Love you and am praying for you and your precious family.

Jaime said...

Lauren, I'm sitting here wondering if our little ones are enjoying a heavenly play date right now. My due date would have been November 27th (I also found out on March 20th). We also lost a pregnancy around the time of your other miscarriage in Nov/December.

I so get it. You are not alone. May God heal our hearts, make us brave, and fill us with hope and love. He really is our strength. I am grieving with you and thankful for your ministry.

Much love,

Jaime

Anonymous said...

My the lord bless and keep you through these upcoming days... thank you for sharing so that others may lift you and your family up!

Jacob Vanhorn said...

As best we can from afar, we join you in grieving and pray for God's refining in your and Matt's life. May He be more than gracious right now.

windyday said...

Thanks for sharing. I have a similar story. 2 healthy boys and then 2 miscarriages. I loved the scripture from 2 Samuel.

Rocks in my Dryer had a great post back on April 3rd. Titled Remembering... I REALLY appreciated her words I hope you continue to rest in His peace!!!

Andrea "The H family" said...

Hey honey, my heart is tugged your way. I love that scripture so much. How merciful He is. Thank you for sharing..so humbling.
Much love babe--The H fam.

B-HO said...

SWEET LAUREN!!KNOW THAT YOU ARE LOVED AND ARE BEING COVERED BY PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD!!Thank You for your transparency!

Amanda said...

I'm extraordinarily sorry for both of your losses. I'm quite familiar with that particular pain and frustration, as well as the residual complications of relating to those for whom childbearing always comes easy. God is faithful (as you well know), and will carry you through even the darkest moments. Praying for you both...

Amanda said...

Elijah has already touched so many people Lauren. Thank you for sharing him with us, even when you could have kept him all to your sweet family. Blessings friend!

The Kaufmann Krew said...

Grieving with you. Praying for your peace and that God will use your story for His glory.

The Faris Fam said...

Lauren...I'm not really sure where to begin. I'll just be vulnerable and tell you I'm a little fearful of telling you I understand what you are going through. I know you know my story, and the scariest person to talk to about it is the woman who miscarried. Because you did not choose this. 11 years ago I had absolutely no idea the choice I made, but now I do, and I have grieved (and still do at times) my choice and the loss of my child, my little Daniel. All these years a boy resinated in my heart and the Lord gave me "Daniel" as his name as I finally faced everything. I just wanted to tell you I understand your pain...and your peace. I am so sorry for your loss.

Brittani's Holding Little Hands said...

Lauren,
I am so sorry you are having to go through this, but I know that your willingness to be open and vulnerable is going to help bring so many in your position hope and healing. God's refinement in your life is evident and I pray that His tender mercy sustains you during this season. I am thankful that though you grieve for Elijah, you and Matt do not grieve like those without hope.

Emmers said...

I am praying for you and your family. Thank you so much for sharing openly what is happening in your life so that we who love the Chandlers can pray for and support you. You are all so very loved.

Kacy said...

Lauren,
My sister found out about a month she was pregnant. Last week a child in her first grade class came to school with fifths disease (very dangerous to a fetus). We spent five days not knowing the results from the doctor as to whether or not she was immune from it and would be fine. It was such a timid time for me. I began to think the baby wouldn't come. We found out yesterday that she is immune and she and baby are fine. Her due date is late november/early december. I don't know why I shared that, thanks for sharing your heart. i am praying for you.

Gayla said...

Lauren and Matt, I'm so very sorry for your loss. I have been there, myself, so I completely know the grief you are experiencing.

Your testimony, Lauren, is most compelling and profound. Thank you for sharing.

May God bless you and keep you.

djhofmann said...

It's amazing to see how much comfort God has given to not only you through all of this, but to Matt as well, giving him the strength and courage to stand up in front of everyone and preach this past weekend. You two are such an encouragement to Courtney and I, and we are honored to be under yall's leadership at TVC.

Craig and Angela said...

I so admire your honesty and transparency. Thank you for your willingness to share, not only your joys, but also your pain. We love you guys and are praying for your whole family.

The Stubblefields said...

Bless you Lauren.... Words cannot express how sorry I am for you guys. During our dark nights, the Lord comforted and sustained me with the 2 Corinthians 4 passage. It brought so much hope and peace to my broken heart. I pray that it will continue to do that for you.
Blessings,
Andi
"But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head." Psalm 3:3

Krissy Blogger said...

I have no idea what you're going through but I am praying and am so grateful that Jesus has given us the ability to heal.

Liz said...

lauren and matt,
your family is in our prayers.
we are so sorry to hear this.
we grieve with you, but look expectantly to the good God is going to bring to your family who faithfully love and serve Him.
May He heal your body, mend your hearts and give you hope.
we love you
liz and robbie

Suzy almost-a-Sypert said...

I know that you don't know me, but I want to thank you for the strength it took to share your experience.

I will be praying with confidence for you and Matt.

May the Lord do what seems good to Him and may we understand that it flows from His steadfast love and mercy for us.

Dawntoya and Adam said...

You are SO LOVED LAUREN!! Look at this! You are such an example for me. Though there have been hard times lately I am so glad that we have been connected these last few months. You guys are ALWAYS inour prayers.

The Barnyard's said...

I just didn't know what to say when I first read this....I'm just so sad for you. I have been praying hard for you guys. Know that you are loved and so is little Elijah... the one whose fire is burning with great love for Jesus right now! Bless you and may your body be healed quickly.

ToniKakes said...

Oh Lauren,
I am so sad for you....
I know that Elijah's song is a spark that will never blow out.
...you are in my prayers...

The Schroyers said...

Dear Lauren - My heart is sad for you today as I read your post. I pray for healing and comfort from the One who can only provide it, truly, during this time.

With much love,

Sheila

Candy said...

My sweet sweet Lauren. I am so saddened to hear about you guys' loss again. You are always in my thoughts, and now in my prayers. I miss you more than you know. Love you!

The Crawford Family said...

Lauren, you will never know how God used this post to minister to me. Adam and I found out in December that we were pregnant, and then miscarred twins in February. Such a difficult time, but our God is a good and faithful God. He has taught us so much and drawn us close to himself through this tragedy. And we, like you, look forward to the day that we will meet those two little babies. Thank you for sharing. We love you and I will continue to pray for you, as I know this is a pain that does not go away quickly. You are a blessing.

jamie b said...

praying for you and your family. I've enjoyed your blog for a long time now, but am finally delurking to tell you how sorry I am.

Lexie said...

Sweet Lauren,

My simple words cannot express how my heart aches for you and your husband. A year ago April I miscarried our baby that was due December 2nd. It was our second miscarriage that year and our 4th total. Even this afternoon I thought about all those little ones (what a family reunion it will be one day). With each miscarriage came a different experience; like you and Matt, with our 2nd miscarriage we were able to hold the little one and pray over him/her. With the 3rd one, though I had people praying for me, I was so hurt and bitter, that the cramping got worse the more upset I got, but when I would calm down and cry without anger, the cramps were easier to handle. The last one was the most amazing experience. This time I was in a different place with my relationship with God. I had over 100 people praying for us and though my heart wanted that baby more than anything, we all were praying to accept God's will for my life and that His decision would be quick. That night the cramping was minimal, and before I knew it the baby left my body. I went upstairs to be alone and cry as I sat on our bathroom floor. You see, we have a skylight in there and it happened to be raining that night. Ever since I was a child, the rain has brought such a sense comfort to me. So, as I sat there and cried, I could hear the pounding of the rain and the thunder roll, and to me it was like Heaven was crying with me. God was hurting just as much as I was as He watched me hurting. I know He, like any parent, wanted so much to take away my pain away and I know He would have loved to have blessed me with that little one, but He knew what was ahead. He knew the plans He had instore, where He needed my heart and focus to be. Knowing God has a better plan doesn't always bring comfort to my hurting heart, but knowing that He has never left me alone to go through my trials brings a sense of peace. When I step back and see the ways He has used others to be His hands and feet in my life I am humbled. I heard you share some of your story at the women's retreat and wanted to give you a hug then. I'm praying for you and for Matt. I pray that God grant you the peace only He can provide during life's journeys. Hugs to you.

Lexie

BrooksFamily said...

I read this when you first posted it...crying for your loss and holding my sweet little girl that much tighter.

I searched all your old posts for this entry two weeks ago....when we lost our precious Baby Hope. I was 7 weeks prego when I miscarried. I didn't have the words to express how I felt but remembered your letter....it was perfect! Thank you so much for being so open about your loss. It has been a true comfort the last few weeks. I have several friends who are prego and due within a week or two of when my precious Hope would have been in my arms.....it's hard.

Thank you for sharing your story.

schwalka said...

Lauren,
I read this again today. I remembered when you posted it and found it again today. I know its been a long time, but i wanted to thank you for writing it and sharing it. Last month Joseph and I miscarried our baby at 9 weeks. We are doing really well. The Lord has been so sweet. So, so sweet. Dreams, words and encouragement all at just the right time. And the Lord's peace has been such a wonderful protector. But yesterday i was having a rare day of "a little sad, a lot of longing". THEN, on FB i saw that precious picture of Norah that you named "a picture day miracle". I was thinking how she is kind of an "after" picture for you to all of this (on this side of heaven anyway). It truly blessed me and soothed my soul to see her sweet face as i wait for my after picture. So, thanks again. Sweet Norah, a minister already. :)
Crista Bailey