I was able to meet Emma at the Lift Event I co-hosted a couple weeks ago. She shared her heart and I just felt this strength radiate from her as she did so. She is an amazing woman, doing amazing things. I admire her perseverance in having children, despite so many miscarriages, and following through on the promptings she received.
Emma is a wife of almost 20 years, and mother to six miracle children. She lives in Riverton, UT. She started a blog, Awaiting Rainbows, one-year ago. She started this blog to help remind herself and her readers of the good that happens along the way, especially during challenges. She shares guest stories about the miracles found in the midst of trials, recipes she loves, and her love of service through helping Hearts Knit Together, a non- profit organization. She’s on a mission to remind all that blessings come even through the darkest days.
Having children has been harder than I ever, ever could have imagined. I would never wish the sorrow I have felt month after month and day after day at times when we would lose another baby, and then all the months waiting to get pregnant and then lose the baby again. Yet somehow, through 16 pregnancies, 6 angels made it. And I am eternally grateful for this gift. For those reading my story who are still waiting with empty arms and hearts, I hope you know I pray for you. Some may never have successful pregnancies, and my heart aches for you. I firmly believe in a beautiful life after this one where sorrow is no more. And where my arms are so full of squishy, cuddly babies. I hope my story will give you the courage to Keep Trying. Keep Believing. Keep Trusting in God’s plan for you.
I want to share the string of miscarriages that happened after my fifth child, Jared. When this child was almost 3, I found a lump in my breast, I was 35. Over the next two years, there were mammograms every 6 months to make sure nothing had changed. Finally, I was cleared. Everything stayed the same and was my “normal”.
I was feeling happy about my five kids. But before I had my fifth child, I felt so strongly there was a daughter that needed to come. When we found out he was a boy, I felt a little confused. So after all this mammogram stuff was done, I went to the temple and prayed. “Is there one more? I have no kids in diapers, it’s nice. Vacations are easier, everyone can get themselves a snack.” More powerful than anything I’ve ever felt, was a strong impression that yes there was another girl. She needs to come. Everyone in the temple around me was in tears because the Spirit was so strong.
So I tried to tell my husband about this experience. He really struggled to believe me. But like the kind supportive man he is, he said ok even though he had a lot of doubts. I thought for sure since that impression was so powerful, that I wouldn’t have to lose any more babies (at this point I had lost 8). I got pregnant a couple months after we started trying. I scheduled my early ultrasound. While waiting in the waiting room (they were running behind-never good when you have a full bladder), I began to have severe pain in my back. I asked to relieve my bladder a little. That seemed only to make it worse. I told the lady at the desk that I thought something was wrong. They let me lie down. After only 5 minutes, I was in such pain I wanted to jump out of my skin. They quickly got me to the ultrasound. Couldn’t find the baby. I went to the bathroom. I could barely lie still enough for the ultrasound because of the pain. They found the baby. Once again the words, “I’m sorry. There’s no heartbeat.” They then said they thought I was passing a kidney stone and could I make it on my own down to the ER. My husband had our 4-year-old at work because I thought it would be a quick appointment. I called him, he said he would find someone to get Jared, and he would be there as soon as he could. Then I called my dad. He couldn’t even understand me through my tears except that I said I was going to the ER at IMC hospital. It was confirmed I had blood in my urine…kidney stone likely. I was already starting to feel better though after the several times going to the bathroom-drinking all that water was a mixed blessing of sorts. And they confirmed my “missed abortion.” Why do they call it that? I hate that name.
We went home. We told the kids that mom was sick and needed to rest. I started bleeding the next day. I switched doctors after this. I wanted a smaller office where I wasn’t one of 400 people seen that day. I needed a doctor that I felt like he cared and had all the time in the world for me. My neighbors came through and recommended my current doctor. I have the greatest doctor! So we met him, told him my story, and he wanted me to start on my progesterone earlier than my previous doctor. I soon became pregnant. I felt so sure this would be successful, I didn’t insist on a 6-week ultrasound. So when 12 weeks came along, I was so excited to see this baby. My husband was with me and the doctor began looking for a heartbeat. The jovialness in our conversation immediately went quiet. I knew. I knew what he was going to say. “Emma, I’m so sorry. But there is no heartbeat.” Baby made it 8 weeks and 5 days. And he handed me a picture of my tiny baby. And we cried. And cried. And cried. And then the doctor told us that because of how much tissue there was, I needed to have a D&C to make sure I didn’t hemorrhage. He would send the nurse back in in a few minutes to see when we wanted to schedule that, but to take all the time we needed to cry. Twenty minutes later, I rushed out of that office trying to grasp what my reality was.
How could this happen? I KNEW there was another baby. Why couldn’t I keep any of our babies? Telling our kids was so hard. Mommy needed to go to the hospital. The baby that was in mommy’s tummy went back to heaven. The baby is ok. Mommy will be ok. And you know what? I did KNOW. I knew I would be ok. But it was still hard. The next day was hard. I was scared. My first D&C was horrible. I passed the egg sack right when I got home. The surgery hadn’t been done properly. I told my new doctor my fears. He looked at me straight in the eyes and said, “That will not happen.” He put me at ease. The anesthesiologist actually asked me what I wanted, which was the lowest dose of ibuprofen, he told me he too would take great care that all would go well. And it did.
But here’s where it got hard. My husband and many others began to doubt what I felt in the temple. They would say things like, well, maybe that was the girl and you lost her. Maybe you don’t need to try again. You’ve lost so many. I know they were trying to be helpful, but it was very hurtful. I prayed that night after I found out I had lost the baby. I prayed for a glimpse of that baby. “Please, could I just know a little bit about this baby that I would never hold in this life?” I was blessed with a vision of that beautiful baby and details about his personality. How strong he is. Just like his dad. That gave me much-needed comfort. So when those times and days of tears came, I could use that to help me try to move on.
Well, our miracle baby was born. She is now 19 months old. And my husband tells me every.single.day that he is so happy we have her. She is the apple of his eye. And she knows it too! She can get him to take her on 4 walks a day sometimes.
What I want to impart through this very long story, is that through all this sorrow, I had to still be a mom. I had to still be a wife. I had to still serve in church (two callings, in particular, were given days after a miscarriage). How do we keep going in the midst of sorrow that sometimes is beyond overwhelming? We take it one step at a time. We take it one minute at a time on some days. We put our trust in God because no one else can help us. Jesus Christ is our companion in trials. He carried me through much of my childbearing years. We can do this life. We can be molded into a compassionate, faithful person. We just have to keep going. Because someday, all the tears will be wiped away.
These things were keys to me making it through all those years.
2. Scripture study/Reading the Conference talks
3. Going to the temple
4. Serving others
5. Taking life in chunks-I can do this for 5 minutes, etc
I love you all. If praying is hard, try serving. When we look to the needs of others, somehow our burdens seem less heavy to bear. Pick one thing and just try to do it a little more. These experiences allowed me to offer words of true empathy as I have been able to visit with friends, family, and neighbors who have gone through the loss of a baby too. When we use our challenges to bless others, we also are lifted. We become stronger than we thought we were.
This quote by Brook P. Hales is so wonderful.
“Sometimes, our prayers are not answered in the way we hope, yet with time we learn that God had greater blessings prepared for us than we initially anticipated.”
And my blessings are indeed very great.