9: The Child Who Never Came

9: The Child Who Never Came

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Tough Times

The Child Who Never Came

By Susan M. Heim

My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

~Psalm 119:50

After just two months of “trying,” I got great news: I was pregnant! I was absolutely thrilled. But because I knew that the first three months of pregnancy could be delicate, I told only my closest family members and my boss. I experienced a little morning sickness, but it stopped around seven weeks. I was so lucky! Everything was going beautifully. At the end of my twelfth week, I decided it was time to share the news at work. We were having a staff meeting, so I chose that time to make the announcement. Everyone was delighted for me. After I left the meeting, I went into the ladies’ room. There I discovered a heartbreaking sight: blood. I was losing the baby.

An ultrasound revealed that the baby had only developed to seven weeks — the very same time when my morning sickness went away. I was devastated. Not surprisingly, I struggled with the reasons for my miscarriage. I hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol or caffeine. I’d taken my prenatal vitamins and avoided pesticides and harsh cleaning products. I’d taken such good care of myself and my baby. But the child wasn’t meant to be, and I couldn’t understand why God had let this happen.

Meanwhile, my co-workers gathered around me. I discovered that four out of the five women with whom I worked directly had miscarried at one point. All four had gone on to have successful pregnancies. The fifth woman struggled with infertility but later happily adopted. These women understood the pain I felt at losing my child, and were able to comfort me during the times when I just wanted to curl up under the covers and not face the world.

I will never know why my first baby died, but I thank God for surrounding me with friends who knew exactly how I was feeling. With no family around, my co-workers became a safe port during a very rocky time in my life. I felt God’s presence through their kind words and actions. They carried my burden when I feared I could no longer do so. And I will be forever grateful for the strength of their arms, which could only have come from our Father.

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