The 18 August 2009 is the day that life changed for Mike and I.

It was the day that we saw our baby on the sonar screen for the first time, but instead of tears of joy, tears of indescribable sadness flowed as we saw our quiet, lifeless baby on the screen with no heartbeat. At home that evening Mike and I sat very quiet on the couch, staring at the tv feeling completely numb. 2 days later I was in hospital to have the baby removed. I tried SO hard to be strong but as I was wheeled into theatre I looked back and saw Mike in his mothers arms in tears, my heart broke.

6 Months later I was pregnant again. It was a new year with new beginnings. After 1 successful ultrasound we were reassured that things were looking good. However, 2 weeks later at a routine ultrasound appointment the doctor once again had the awful job of telling us that she ‘was sorry’ but there was no heartbeat! I lay there thinking no, no, no, not again – this really cant be happening again? She wanted me to try miscarry naturally as during the first procedure my uterus was perforated and she wanted to limit as much trauma to my uterus as possible. But after a week I had to go back to theatre to have the baby removed. What pained me most was signing a paper that stated that I gave them permission to “burn all contents of my uterus”. Is that it all was? The “contents of my uterus” was a little boy!

We were then referred to a specialist at a fertility clinic who did tests and discovered that I had a septum in my uterus which could “possibly” have been the cause for the previous miscarriages. So, once again, I was wheeled into theatre to have the septum removed. Mike, again, my constant supporter and encourager!

10 Months later I was pregnant again. To find out on Christmas day that we were expecting was the most amazing feeling ever! This had to be it? The weeks leading up to this occasion had been incredibly stressful as it involved scans and blood tests to assess my ovaries so that I could start taking extra hormones at exactly the right time. Unfortunately, our world came crashing down again. This pregnancy was very short lived and once again we said goodbye too early.

Very soon after that I fell pregnant again! This HAD to be it? People were praying, my uterus was healthy, I was taking the right amount of hormones – everything was perfect? After 3 fantastic ultrasounds, our baby boy was growing so well. Good strong heartbeat, growing perfectly. Until the 9 March 2011, when our world collapsed again. Routine ultrasound showed out baby’s heart had stopped beating. My doctor just held me and we both sobbed. 2 days later I was back in theatre having yet another operation. 7 weeks later after being referred to yet another fertility specialist, I ended up back in theatre as there was still placental tissue that hadn’t been removed from my uterus and was causing problems. This was all we could handle – enough was enough!

It has been a journey that Mike and I NEVER thought we would go on. It was not something we had discussed before we got married – “what if we struggled to have kids?” It just seemed like a given – like a package deal when you get married – you have kids too.

We have been through some very low patches emotionally, spiritually and financially. It took months to get through a church service without sobbing and it took a year since the last loss to pay off our medical bills. We held a special memorial service in June last year with close family and friends. That was a turning point in our journey. To be able to openly share our pain with those who love us the most was so special! The grief we feel is definitely for the little souls we have lost, but also for the uncertainty of what lies ahead. Will we be parents? Are we willing to put ourselves through another pregnancy which might or might not work? This journey has caused us to drift from certain friends and get closer to others. The lessons we have learnt along this journey are invaluable. The things we have discovered about each other are just so special. We have definitely grown closer through this process and have a much greater appreciation for one another. It bothers me when people say “oh, look how blessed you are because you are pregnant or have kids”. Where does that put the couple who have lost kids or are struggling with infertility? It makes us feel like we have done something wrong to not be blessed? I have learnt that I mustn’t measure how blessed I am by what I have or don’t have. We are all blessed because of the fact that Jesus died on the cross – not because of what we have or don’t have.

I don’t know what our future looks like? It doesn’t have the fairytale ending that we had hoped. We still have baby clothes but no baby, so much baby love to give but no baby. But one thing I am SURE of is that we serve a faithful God who loves and cares for us beyond what we could think possible. Through all our hard times we have KNOWN God’s peace and healing in our lives. We came to a point where we thought that we actually can’t go on, but here we are. Sharing our story with others in the hopes that it encourages others to keep going.

I can’t wait to get to heaven one day, meet my babies and for God to say to me “Well done, My good and faithful servant!”

Blog: http://www.sandalsgilmour.blogspot.com

[Sandi and Mike Gilmour]

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