Six Weeks

If you were going to have company for an extended period of time, there would be much preparation, right?  You would do a lot of cleaning, organizing, and planning.  What if that company just showed up on your door one day unexpectedly and you had no idea how long they would stay?

I was challenged recently to re-examine the way I describe my family.  Everyone who sees us can tell that I have a husband and two children, a boy and a girl.  However, there is something about us that not everyone knows, and part of this challenge involves this part of our family life:  there are two other children.

There are two children whom we never touched, never heard, never smelled, never felt breathe.  They came as unexpected guests in my womb, growing side by side, for six weeks.  Though we waited anxiously, we never heard their hearts beat, either.  Some may discount their classification as “our children”, having had no heartbeats and staying within me for such a brief time.  For anyone who has ever been pregnant, and perhaps for some fathers walking alongside their beloved women, there is a sense of life within a pregnant body that is unique and powerful.  These tiny lives matter, they count, they become a part of us even after they are gone.

While those little twins were visiting us–and I love to think of it as just that, a God-ordained, purposeful, wonderful visit–I think of how many people we told as soon as we knew.  What a blessing it turned out to be that we told so many family and friends early on, so that in our sadness, they understood and walked alongside us in comfort and prayer.  Once those little lives had gone back to Jesus, I was amazed at how many of those family and friends shared their own pregnancy losses with me–there were so many, many more than I would have guessed!

All of this has gotten me thinking about how we shy away from talking about these kinds of losses with those around us:  we don’t want to make others feel sad, awkward, guilty, afraid, unsure…the emotions go on.  There are many reasons we hold back, and yet I’m realizing more and more that those six weeks were some of the most meaningful in my life.  If I can bless others by sharing my experience, then I will be more bold, more open to sharing that part of my life.  I can share the initial shock (“twins??”), the hope, the fear, the hours of humble praying, the sadness, the confusion, the loss, and the grace, joy, and love that flooded our lives in the following months.

We never named them, and we don’t often talk about them.  I think we held back so much of ourselves each time we didn’t hear those hearts beating, as if we knew from the start that we probably wouldn’t see them face to face.  I still think about them, though, especially when I see my toddler.  She was born almost exactly a year after we found out I was carrying the twins.  If they had not gone back to be with God, my little Anna would not have come; it would have been physically impossible for her to be who and where she is now.  God gives, God takes away, but blessed be His Name.  Through all of the peaks and valleys, I am confident of His faithfulness to me, and sure of His great love.

I am not fishing for sympathy, but I am processing and re-examining the way I think about and talk about this part of my life.  Just six short weeks, but for anyone else who has walked that path of uncertainty that led to grief, it’s more than “just six short weeks”.  I am hoping that more women will feel open to sharing these valleys in their lives with others, to bring about more encouragement, healing, celebration, and hope.

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10 comments

  1. Alison, you are such a beauty. I love you. Well done, friend. Well done. Your babies bring the Lord so much glory with their lives when you allow Him to use them like this – to sho Him to everyone around you. And what else can we want for our children, really? They are, like everyone in your family, such achievers. xoxo

    1. Thank you for such kind words, Esty. I think it is amazing how God can use these tiny embryos, with no heartbeats, to speak His love, His mercy, His grace. That is something only He could do. I hope that everything God has led us through as a family, we can give back to Him to use in the lives of others. Love to your beautiful family!

  2. Alison,
    What a heartfelt post!
    Sorry that you miscarried twins. It does give grieving parents a sense of peace knowing that our little ones we lost are with Jesus though, doesn’t it?
    We miscarried a baby at 20 weeks, 5 days so I know the devastation you feel.
    On a happy note, am so glad that you have started a blog! Can’t wait to read other posts! Always love what you put up on FB.
    So now, will get to see a glimpse of things thru your blog too.
    You have been busy with poetry contests, and pretend coffee shop play…here, we are getting back in the groove from getting back to normal after months back and forth to Mayo.
    We should try to plan a play date sometime this summer. Cannot believe it has been so long since we met up with you at Chik Fil A.
    Best wishes with blogging and let’s seriously try to plan something fun this summer.
    Also want to touch base with you on grade skipping. Since we homeschool, it has not been an issue, but wanted to touch base with you about the process.
    Have a happy week!
    🙂 Colleen

    1. Thanks, Colleen! Thank you also for sharing your loss, too. A friend posted a link to a site recently that I’ve been following with great interest, empathy, and blessing–it’s a Facebook page called stillbirthday.com. It’s a safe place for women (and men) to share their pregnancy loss stories.

      I’d love to talk with you about grade skipping–shout out any questions you may have. We were so blessed to have such a smooth, uncomplicated process. Kudos to Luke’s school!

      Maybe there is somewhere we can meet in the middle during the summer, just let me know. We have a trip up north in early June, and then Luke is doing a few day camps in July, but we definitely still have lots of free days. We were sad we didn’t get to connect with any friends up in Tampa last week while we travelled for the poetry competition, but there just ended up being no free time!

      Thanks again for the encouraging words!

  3. Asa Schrader · · Reply

    Go Alison! You know I’m already a fan of yours! So excited to read more of your blogs!

    1. Thanks for the support and for the reminder to get going this morning! I think I can include a post about just trying to set this thing up. Phew! Technology and I are not the best of friends.

  4. Beautiful heartfelt words, love the picture of a visit. You know the best part is yet to come, where we enter Paradise for all eternity and hear those shouts of “MOMMY! MOMMY!” Have you read Heaven is For Real? I cried sad and happy tears, and it brought such hope to my hurting soul. God bless you, I am so thankful you came to my blog today.
    Hugs, T

    1. I’ve read that book and it was fabulous. I haven’t lost a child but was very ill myself at the time and found it very comforting. I would also recommend it!

  5. […] In the years since this loss in our lives, I have come to realize just how many friends and family have also gone through some form of pregnancy loss.  My heart aches with you, and I pray that there is peace covering those wounds.  They don’t heal quickly.  I have found one website to be very helpful that you also might want to check out:  www.stillbirthday.com  –Its help and services come from a Christian perspective, but no matter what your faith background, it is a safe place to grieve, connect, and converse with others going through similar trials.  My very first blog post here was also about the twins we didn’t get to meet: Six Weeks […]

  6. I always appreciate your posts and it’s really helpful to hear about other people’s experiences in such a personal way so we can all be more compassionate. xx Rowena

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