Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories

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Over 8 years ago, God brought five women, one of them being me, into a Bible study that would become a sacred space, the start of a journey that none of us ever could have expected or imagined.  Infertility.  Miscarriages.  Loss.  A sisterhood of strength for that season and many to come.  A bond that, over 8 years later with physical barriers separating us, is still connected by our stories, our pain, our miracles, and our Maker.

We waited a combined 29 years.
We experienced 16 losses.
We delivered 8 babies.
We give all glory to God. 
The One Gracious God.

Here are our stories, told by these incredible warrior women that I am blessed enough to call friends. 

Tiffany, 7-year journey:  4 pregnancies.  2 miscarriages, 2 angels in heaven.  2 miracle children, Gabriela and Elena.  One Gracious God.

My husband and I have been married for 14 years.  We went off the pill in 2009 and got pregnant.  Unfortunately, we lost that child and had a miscarriage.  We so desperately wanted a family but weren’t able to get pregnant.  We felt the Lord leading us to adoption.  We told our family so they could pray for us.  Through that, the Lord led us to take in and raise our then 9-year-old nephew, Eli, in 2011.  Before Eli moved in we found out we were pregnant again but unfortunately, we lost that child to a miscarriage as well.  We tried to get pregnant for 7 years.  We felt the Lord leading us to adopt again.  We chose an agency, got approved, did all of the house studies and background checks.  3 days after we submitted our first check, in January of 2016, we found out we were pregnant again.  We were blessed with Gabriela in September 2016 and another daughter, Elena, in December 2018!  We still feel led to adopt/foster more children one day.  God is so good and His plan is oh so perfect!

Meet baby Elena, Tiffany, and Gabriela 🙂

Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog

 

Katie, 5-year journey:  4 years barren.  2 IVF cycles.  1 ectopic pregnancy, 1 angel in heaven.  1 miracle child, Jane.  One Gracious God.

Of our 5 year journey, Mike and I experienced “unexplained infertility” for 4 of those years.  The tests and doctors couldn’t find a reason why we weren’t conceiving.  I wasn’t getting pregnant and miscarrying.  I couldn’t even get pregnant.  We did 6 IUIs, then I took 2 personal leaves from being a schoolteacher to take some time to focus on health and trying to have a family.  I knew with my chronic migraines that I wouldn’t be able to teach and be on those heavy dosage IVF drugs.  Even though I loved teaching and it was hard, I knew I would never regret taking the time off if it meant the difference between having a family and not.  I focused on nutrition, exercise, spiritual growth (being involved in 2 small groups), acupuncture and Chinese herbs.  We proceeded with IVF that first year of my personal leave and it failed.  My fertility doctor sent us to a fertility specialist who finally diagnosed me with low blood flow to my uterus.  I scored 0 blood flow on a 0-5 blood scale, 5 being the best.  I spent the next several months leading up to the 2nd IVF taking several new drugs, acupuncture, doing lots of restorative yoga, eating lots of food good for blood flow, and sticking to a gluten and sugar-free diet.  The day before the transfer of my 2nd IVF, we checked the blood ultrasound again.  After all that “work,” it was still zero.  Mike asked if we should cancel.  These were our last eggs and we had agreed we would be done.  I felt the Holy Spirit whisper.  Disappointed but confidently I said if it doesn’t work (which was highly likely) then we know adoption is our next step, but if it does, boy, we will be sure that this was a gift from God and a miracle because nothing we’ve been doing has worked up to this point.  (And isn’t that how God is–salvation is about his grace, not our works.)  Everything was still pointing to failure.  So if we got pregnant, we will know this is God in his graciousness and we will know that he meant to take us on this journey to grow our spirits and our faith, which did happen in spades.  Well, a week after the transfer, we found out we were pregnant and we have our sweet Jane today.  She is 4 ½ and pure delight!  We hope God has more for our family of 3 (and 2 doggies) but our story would only be expanded through adoption or fostering as I had a rare hemorrhage after Jane’s birth that required a hysterectomy.  It was disappointing but we know God fashions families in all kinds of ways and our hearts are so open to His will and plan!

Meet sweet girl Jane!

Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog

 

Lisa, 8-year journey:  2 IUIs. 4 IVF cycles. 6 miscarriages. 7 angels in heaven.  1 miracle child, Easton.  One Gracious God.

Joe and I were married in 2006, 12 years ago.  We always knew we wanted a family.  We wanted to wait a few years or so before we started “trying” so that I could finish my medical residency and we could enjoy each other a bit.  So, on NYE 2010 when I was 29 years old we made a New Years resolution to start the fun part of trying!  🙂  Many months later, in Dec 2011 (Christmas day!) we found out we were pregnant.  I only knew I was pregnant for a week and then I miscarried on New Year’s Eve 2011 at around 5.5 weeks.  I was so upset because I was so excited to be pregnant!  But my medical mind knew how common miscarriages were the first time around so I grieved and eventually we ended up getting pregnant again spontaneously in April 2012 (age 31).  This time I went in for an early ultrasound at 6 weeks because I was so nervous.  Everything looked great and I was scheduled to come back at 9 weeks.  Unfortunately, when I returned at 9 weeks there was no heartbeat and I had miscarried again (what we call a “silent miscarriage”).  Fast forward, over the course of 9 years, I had medical workups galore, IUIs, more miscarriages, heartbreak, IVF, more loss, the pursuit of surrogacy, and an amazing friend who offered to be the surrogate.  This was our last hope for a baby.

We scheduled the transfer with our surrogate and low and behold, a miracle spontaneous pregnancy (48 hours prior to our surrogate starting hormones). But then at 6w4d which is when we have always lost our little ones, I started bleeding… then the ultrasound shows that the baby likely isn’t viable.  There were lots of tears and anger BUT THEN a feeling of peace and the Holy Spirit whispers HOPE and then a MIRACLE.  And now Easton is here, born on December 20, 2018.  And he is perfect and healthy and God is going to use Him and this story for His glory!

Meet the miracle himself, baby Easton and beautiful momma, Lisa! 

Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog
Photo credit: Stephanie Anne Photography

 

Christina, 5-year journey: 1 stillborn.  1 miscarriage.  2 angels in heaven.  3 miracle children, John Michael, Jade, and Bryn Rose.  One Gracious God.

We got pregnant right away with our 1st child, Adrien, but he was stillborn at 34 weeks.  After our loss, I was desperately trying to get pregnant again right away to heal my heart.  It didn’t happen.  My cycles were irregular and when I did get pregnant a year later, I suffered a miscarriage.  I finally got pregnant with John Michael and he was born almost 2 years exactly to the day we lost Adrien.  I had Jade about 2 years later and my family was complete- so I thought.  In fact, one of the last conversations I had with my father in law, who died in Feb 2017, he told me he was sure he’d have 1 more grandchild.  I pretty much laughed in his face and said it wasn’t going to be me.  Sure enough, in Jan. 2018, I discovered I was 9 weeks pregnant with my 3rd (living child).  I was on the pill and 41 years old.  We welcomed Bryn Rose on July 31, 2018, our 8th wedding anniversary.

Meet sweet John Michael, baby Bryn Rose, and Jade!

Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog

 

Ann, 4-year journey:  4 miscarriages.  4 angels in heaven.  1 miracle child, Zoey.  One Gracious God.

We decided to start trying to have a baby a year after we married.  One year after that, we got pregnant.  At our 8 week appointment, the ultrasound technician looked at us and said, “I am sorry, there is no heartbeat.”  Unbeknownst to us we would go on for the next 3 years and suffer from 3 more miscarriages.  Unexplained miscarriages, after dozens and dozens of doctor’s appointments, blood draws, reports and conversations with medical staff.  While I did have my raw moments with the Lord, He covered me with His grace throughout our entire journey.  In a distinct moment overlooking the ocean on vacation, my husband and I decided to move from Chicago to Miami for his job, surrendering the life we planned and submitting to the life we felt God had for us.  One week after signing the offer letter and sharing the news at work and with friends and family, I got pregnant for the 5thtime.  Not knowing if this pregnancy would make it to full-term, we continued our journey to move states and our life and leave everything behind.  7 months after we arrived in Miami, sweet Zoey Ai entered the world by the grace of God!  We named her Zoey not knowing her name means life.  Life.  She is a daily reminder that God is life-giving.  Amidst the darkest pain.  He’s not invisible.  His fingerprints are all over everything.  All the time.

Meet sweet Zoey – her name means life! –  and momma Ann 🙂

Miscarriages, Loss and Hope: 5 Brave Women Tell Their Stories Ann Ueno Contributor Miami Moms Blog

We had each other.
We prayed constantly.
We pointed to the Lord.
We cried rivers of tears.
We rejoiced when one of us – often not ourselves – became pregnant. 
We celebrated births.
We mourned deaths.
And God was gracious through it all. 

Today, it is nothing short of modern-day miracles when I continue to watch God unfold new lives in this group of women.  Through years of pain and nights of suffering, God used it all to build our faith.  A faith that now we carry like torches, hopefully lighting the way and giving glimmers of hope for other women. 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.  –Romans 12:12

 

Editor’s Note: The loss of a baby is a difficult and emotional journey, and those of us here at Miami Moms Blog never want you to walk that journey alone.  Our Forever Loved Wall exists to honor the little lives that will be in a mother’s heart forever, and the names on the wall will be on our blog in perpetuity as an opportunity to honor and cherish these precious lives.  If you would like to add your child to our Forever Loved Wall, please contact us using the form below with the name and date you would like us to add.  Every effort is made to get submissions listed to the wall within 24 hours, and these names will stay on our site indefinitely.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a beautiful tribute to all of these moms and their little ones, Ann. The mystery and sadness of recurrent losses is so hard to explain, but this is a brave message of hope! As I continue to pray for another baby, I’m reminded again that I’m not alone. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Absolutely beautiful and inspiring. God is so faithful and loving. Thank You, Heavenly Father for healing and blessing these beautiful Women. Who have become wonderful Mothers to their children. I can only imagine how Sarah and Abraham must have felt. When they were blessed with their child. Thank you for sharing

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