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  • 'I Lost a Child Twice. Now I Have to Figure Out How to Feel Alive in the Present'

    A mom shares how she found hope and faith after losing the eight-week-old baby in her womb.
    by Via Katrina G. Portera .
  • Parenting can be a lonely job. What helps is having a community who cheers and listens without judgment. And that's what our "Real Parenting" section is for: a space where parents can share the joys, pain and the mess that is parenthood.
    PHOTO BY iStock

    I believe that nothing strengthens a woman’s mettle more than the painful experiences that befall her. And what experience is more harrowing for any woman, or any person for that matter, than the loss of a child?

    Back in 2013, I experienced my first loss. My husband and I were bright-eyed newly-weds, eager to start a family when we were thrown a curveball in the form of an ectopic pregnancy. After the numbing shock of being rushed into surgery on the same day I found out I was pregnant, panic and fury then barreled into my life and rented space for the next few months.


    I was enmeshed in my grief. But it wasn’t so much grief for the child that never was but the slow unraveling of the life I had so painstakingly planned out. I did grieve my lost child but it was the loss of control that hurt me more. I was told that if blockages were to be detected anywhere in my reproductive area, natural conception would be out of the question. For someone who had limited resources, artificial methods of conception, such as IVF, were beyond my reach.

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    I felt so hopeless then. It was the first time in my life when I felt I was at a complete dead-end. There were no alternatives, no other options but this one path that could have led me to the nine levels of hell for all I knew. And then I finally did a Carrie Underwood and said: “Jesus, take the wheel.” At that point, I had cried enough tears and hurled enough obscenities at God (for which I apologized!) to finally realize it was time to move forward.


    Seven months later, on my 1st wedding anniversary, I found out I was pregnant with my now four-year-old son. A little heathen whom I love more than life itself. That experience was my first lesson in faith and the wonders it can do once we surrender to it.

    Now, four years on, I am dealt with another loss. This time, it isn’t an ectopic pregnancy but a miscarriage at almost eight weeks.

    This time, I knew of the child before the loss.

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    I suppose I am still nestled in a “haze of neutrality.” It’s that strange place where I am neither sad nor happy. But who knows what will happen once this “haze” dissipates? Maybe I will descend into misery like I did the first time I lost a child. Or maybe I won’t and healing will be a much faster and easier route. If anything, I think this is another master class in faith. This is God admonishing me to hand over my whole life to Him.


    See, faith is not something I have imbibed well in the years since my first loss. In fact, I have spent and continue to spend a great deal of my time and energy trying to outwit life. But anyone with a brain knows that is a futile exercise.

    Who knows why one loss wasn’t enough and I had to experience another?

    For such a long time, I tried desperately to seize absolute control over my life and I have nothing to show for it. Do you want to know why? Because life is too complex — it’s a rich, sweeping masterpiece that cannot be understood and tinkered with by mere minds. You put in the hard work, try your best, and do what those cheesy motivational posters tell you to do. But, the truth is, just when you think the stars are aligning and the Feng Shui is working, the Great Author in the Sky decides to throw in a plot twist so mind-boggling you’re left there like some bumbling idiot who doesn’t know left from right.

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    Who knows why God granted me the pregnancy I prayed for only to have it “recalled” so abruptly? Who knows why one loss wasn’t enough and I had to experience another? All I know is that on the very day my miscarriage started, I told God I was surrendering to His will and asked Him to do what’s best for my whole family. Perhaps, God heeded my prayer, just not in the way I hoped He would.

    Much like the first time, I have only my faith in God’s storytelling prowess to carry me through the awkward and slippery slope to recovery. When things stop making sense to the human mind that’s when you know God’s busy cooking up something. And it’s never our job to decrypt His ways but to trust that He knows what He’s doing. After all, how can we not trust the guy who gave us the sun and the stars? Why would I harbor doubts about my ability to navigate this life when I’ve got the guy who created it teaching me how?


    On especially hard days, I only hope that God’s resolute love allows me to forge ahead with quiet grace and steely determination. May this loss be a reminder that this life is not meant to be held down and restrained by our need to be in charge. May this loss not leave a gaping hole but instead create a space for me to be present, to be alive on the only time that matters: now. May this experience finally propel me into the reverie of faith where “not knowing” is an avenue for growth rather than a harbinger of doom.

    On days that are especially hard and I am asking the heavens “Why me?” I hope God is looking down on me and saying, “Because you’re a superstar, baby.”

    Want to get something off your chest? Or share a slice of your parenting journey with fellow moms? Send it to our Facebook Messenger or email at smartparenting2013@gmail.com with the subject "Real Parenting." Join us at the Smart Parenting Village here.

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