By Elizabeth Allen

I had often dreamed of having a baby, and after a couple of years of marriage, my dreams were coming trueI was pregnant and consumed with so much happiness that I began planning the next eight monthsAt nine weeks along, my husband Nathan and I visited our families for Christmas and gave them gifts containing a picture of our little oneOnly a week after getting back home, I went through one of the toughest times in my life: a miscarriageIt was heartbreaking to think how I got to carry my baby for several weeks but I would never see or hold him in my armsAs I grieved, I drew closer to God and held on to the hope that He would bless me with another child.

Only four months later, I found out I was pregnant again! This time I was happy but fearfulWe asked our families to pray, and I began doing everything I could to take care of this baby by eating and drinking healthy, taking my vitamins, avoiding stress, and resting when neededI was so nervous that Nathan went with me to the first ultrasound, only to find out that we were not having one baby but two! I was so elated that I remember thanking God and thinking that He was giving us a double blessing for trusting Him through the trial of losing our firstI counted down every day, nervous that I would cramp or see blood, but after the thirteenth week, I relaxed a little and started telling everyone. At fourteen weeks, I was overwhelmed to see that I had the extraordinary privilege of carrying identical twins. As I grew, I thought several times a day about how God was forming my babies inside of me and anticipated the day I would feel one of them kick for the first time.

Halfway through the pregnancy, Nathan and I went to our big ultrasound, anxious to see the babies and find out their gender. The next thirty minutes are hard to explain. With no warning signs, we were told that both of our little girls had died. I have never been so devastated. I held my belly and cried uncontrollably for a while. I am ashamed to say that over the next couple of days, I questioned how God could allow this to happen, especially after I had praised Him so much for the twins. I overanalyzed everything, thinking I had done something wrong or something was wrong with me.

Though I was angry with God, He kept showing me He loved me and He was still in control. He kept reminding me of Psalm 139:13-16 and verses about how wonderful Heaven is. Songs like “I Have Been Blessed” and “Lord, I Need You” took on a whole different meaning in my life, and I heard them everywhere I went. While in college, I was challenged to choose something I rarely saw as a way for God to show me He loved me. I chose a butterfly. The day I went to get my “D and C” was a painfully sad day, but in the room was something I had not seen since I was a child. A mobile above me was full of butterflies! I broke down crying because no matter how hurt I was, God kept telling me that everything was going to be okay.

God has since allowed us to know the joy of having children, and He has blessed us with two precious little girls. May I share a few lessons I learned from my trial?

• GRIEF IS A PROCESS. Everyone goes through it differently and for different lengths of time. Don’t be ashamed to tell God how you feel and take the time needed to heal.

• HELP SOMEONE ELSE. I have been encouraged by helping others as they are going through their grief.

• IT IS NOTHING YOU DID OR DIDN’T DO. God in control and has a perfect plan for you.

• YOU ARE NOT ALONE. After other ladies heard of my miscarriages, I was amazed at how many of them told me that they had also miscarried.

• DON’T LOSE HOPE. Don’t let the Devil make you fearful to love. Most people I have met that have miscarried have since had a child. God’s ways and timing are not always ours.

• HEAVEN IS REAL. When I think of what I have lost, I remind myself that three of my children will never know the pain and struggles of this life because they are being taken care of in Heaven by God. I anticipate going to Heaven.