The Garden Gathering Livestream
In the last month, I’ve watched three brave and beautiful mamas bring their rainbow babies home. Three mamas who have a babe in Heaven. Three mamas who chose to let Jesus work all things out for His glory and their good, despite the hurt and heartache caused by the enemy.
“The spirit of the Lord is upon me, to comfort all who mourn, to grant those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful crown instead of ashes, a garment of praise instead of a faint spirit, that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.” Isaiah 61: 3
Giving thanks and all the praise for Charlestyn, Samuel, & Saylor!”
A year ago today I went to a routine OB appointment alone expecting to have a completely normal 11-week appointment. It was the appointment before my 12-week scan and the one before we planned to tell our families the great news. When the Doppler failed to find the heartbeat the Nurse practitioner said sometimes this happened and she would just check with a bedside ultrasound. When I saw the ultrasound I knew I couldn’t see the flickering of a heartbeat but thought maybe she would. She didn’t. There was no heartbeat. A doctor came in to confirm. I laid on the table sobbing. Alone. But in the stillness of that empty room, I looked up and said, “I trust You.”
In the darkness of that day, of the days to come surrounding my d&c, the months waiting for the bleeding to stop and my cycle to begin I felt like I was living in a terrible nightmare.
In October we found out we were pregnant again! I still found myself holding my breath due to a subchorionic hemorrhage and partial placenta previa. So many people prayed for this rainbow baby. (Including The Garden!
A year ago today I heard the words “No Heartbeat” and today we are celebrating one month with our precious son, Beau! It was a long road from this time last year to today. So many prayers were sent up for this little life! Praise God for this miracle and this group. Have hope today! He can turn your dire situation around just as He did ours! He is faithful.
“Be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead!”
1 Peter 1:6
I went to a service that was held by The Garden. At that meeting, Jessica spoke about the children of Israel before they got to the promise land and how they were in a valley that was dead. God gave them exactly what they needed to make the dead place they were in into springs of joy and thankfulness.
After I heard that sermon, God starting speaking to me in my quiet times with him. I felt led to “prepare” our nursery for our little one he was going to bring us. That first month, I didn’t. Then the second month came and I was worshipping in my car like I do every morning on the way to work, God kept saying “May” over and over again. I wondered why that word or time was so important. Later that month, I came across an article which brought me to tears.
It was another woman who felt like a Noah and no one understood why she was preparing a nursery for a child she wasn’t blessed with yet. I felt that way. My mother in law, my husbands aunts and uncles, my mom… the list goes on – They all thought I was crazy for what I was about to do. So I ordered a crib and started preparing.
As we were waiting, I felt an unexplainable peace in my life and decisions I had made. On May 1st, we officially became pregnant and I know that this is all because of God and a mustard seed of faith. I know that I’ll get to hold this child because God lined up everything so perfectly. And it was because I stopped asking “Why me” and started asking “Where do you want me, God?” I’m so thankful for The Garden ministry and your powerful message. I’m so thankful that God places us exactly where we need to be in order for her plan to unfold.
Our sweet girl was born while holding onto my placenta. When my husband and I heard her first cry, it was a very intimate moment for us because after 3 losses, God was there in that moment of healing. I prayed for a safe delivery and God to be present in that room where she
was born. I prayed to feel his peace and presence with us. Because of decisions I made in the moment, my dr said that our little girl was alive. If I wasn’t led to have a c section and keep trying- she would have died. If it wasn’t a second later for them getting me back in the OR- she would have died.
She is our miracle and I’m so thankful for a father who loves us that much. I wanted to say thank you to you and the garden as well because God placed you in my season of hurt and doubt just when I needed to hear encouraging words to keep going. I couldn’t begin to explain how thankful I am.
I have been coming to The Garden since last September and it has just been the best experience for me. Jessica invited me to the group just a couple of days after my third miscarriage. Being able to meet all of you and just share our experiences was such a weight lifted from my heart. Before The Garden, I knew that infertility and miscarriages was not isolated just to me, but it really did feel that way. Being around others that knew the heartache and the month to month struggle has been such a blessing! I desperately needed to hear Jessica’s teachings on overcoming the lies that go along with this ‘scarlet letter’ that I feel infertility has branded me with. To hear over and over that our God did NOT do this to me, He only wants good things for me and that it is the enemy that comes to steal, kill, and destroy has really helped to put things into the correct perspective for me.
One major thing that I have learned throughout this process is that my timing is most certainly not God’s timing. I have had to learn to set aside my ‘control freak’ nature and to submit to His will and His plan. This was one of the hardest things I have ever struggled with (and there were many many days where I failed miserably). I am ashamed to say that I lost faith there for a long time. I was bitter and angry towards those around me, furious with God for letting me have to go through infertility and the loss of three babies I was not even able to meet. Angry with my husband for not understanding how it all made me feel, disgusted with myself for not being able to do this one thing that seems to come so easily for everyone else. Worried that I just would not be a good mother and that this was all happening because of something that I did. The thoughts and feelings that are pushed on us by the enemy are strong and so so so easy to give in to. I am so thankful for a God that keeps chasing after me, even when I turn my back on Him. He never abandoned me.
I’m not going to go into all of the details, infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss is just part of my story and I am SO thankful that that isn’t the end! So, short version – I was diagnosed with PCOS when I was 15. My husband and I dealt with infertility for right at 6 years. I was later diagnosed with a very low ovarian reserve, hormonal issues, ovulation issues, and a blood clotting disorder. Throughout that time, we underwent many rounds of fertility treatments and sadly we suffered three devastating miscarriages. I spent many many hours in tears on the bathroom floor. I felt like giving up every single month. But every cycle I convinced myself that ‘this was the one’ and it would start all over!
Something was said in The Garden just really struck a place last December. I don’t remember exactly how the message went, but we were talking about God’s promise to us for good and how He always restores what the enemy has taken from us. I just knew that our baby was coming. I didn’t know when or how, but I felt that we needed to go ahead and start preparing. So, we bought a crib and painted the nursery. We turned the guest room that I could barely even walk into (I kept the door shut most of the time) from something that reminded me of the emptiness and what all we had lost into a symbol of hope for what we had to look forward to. Honestly, I believe it was one of the best, most healing experience for me and the best Christmas present we could have given ourselves.
We made the decision to do three more IUIs and if they didn’t work, we would stop. I wasn’t sure what was next for us, but I just knew that I couldn’t keep going like that. January of this year, I was in the bathtub the night before our scheduled IUI, sobbing. I had poured my heart out to Father and just begged Him for an answer on what to do. As I sat there crying, I heard ‘stop’. It was the clearest answer I feel I have ever gotten, even if it wasn’t really what I wanted to hear. I went and told my husband what happened and he agreed that it would be our last treatment.
Fast forward to the next day, we went in for the IUI, they did the ultrasound to make sure everything was ready and the doctor / nurses said that my eggs were just too small and that it wouldn’t even be worth trying that month. Needless to say, I was very upset. But God said stop and I guess He meant it! I just started praying for answers as to what was next. I needed a direction but didn’t feel like I was getting an answer. Two weeks later, I got my answer in the form of a positive pregnancy test! Our God is greater than infertility. He is bigger than our bodies, than treatments, than doctors. He doesn’t need any of that. Again, all in HIS timing, not ours. I am beyond thrilled to say that our little boy is doing very well. I am currently 21 weeks pregnant, due in October. I know that we still have a way to go, but I cannot even describe the sense of peace that has been over me the past five months.
I don’t know the reason our story has started out the way that it did. Maybe one day I will have some answers. Until then, if my story can help someone else in the midst of their struggle, it was worth it. He has performed SO many incredible miracles in this group so far and I know He isn’t done yet. Thank you guys so much for reading my story. I am praying for miracles for each and every one of you. Do it again, Papa!
Jessica is on a journey finding Jesus in the pain of infertility, and the joys of adoption (and life’s other journeys). Her blog provides a place for women looking for Him to be beautiful in their hard, for grace in their waiting, community through adoption, or just an honest account of how hard it can be sometimes to be a waiting mama, or a mama to children who come from hard places. Jessica founded The Garden as a place to connect women on the broken road to motherhood, to healing and wholeness. She also hosts A Cup Full of Hope podcast with Caroline from In Due Time.
Caroline has a passion of bringing hope and encouragement to those who are waiting. She has written her first book, In Due Time: Hope and Encouragement in the Waiting. She also founded Moms In The Making, a non-profit, faith-based infertility support group and hosts A Cup Full of Hope podcast along with Jessica from Grace While We Wait.
I AM FRUITFUL was created to inspire hope in those trying to conceive, dealing with infertility, and suffering through loss and miscarriage.
PS I Love You Ministries serves and supports the needs of foster children in Spartanburg County so no child is left behind.
Ebie is passionate about cultivating healthy family, adoption, speaking identity and truth into women, and throwing away the masks and being honest with where she is at. Ebie is the CEO and Chief Dreamer at Fearless Co, an organization that cultivates a movement of women unhindered by fear.
Sara Hagerty is a lover of God, a wife to Nate, and a mother of seven–four adopted from Africa and three through miracle pregnancies. She’s also a bestselling author and speaker. Sara’s words offer God’s hope to readers facing unexpected life circumstances.
Foster the Family exists to support and encourage foster and adoptive families, mobilize and equip the community and church for foster care and adoption, and advocate for vulnerable children.