By HANNA BROOME
Claiming God’s promises after a miscarriage
A tiny foot. That is what I remember most about the day I found out our baby girl’s heart was no longer beating.
Just a few weeks earlier, we’d had a strong fetal heartbeat at my 12-week checkup. About 10 days later, we’d gotten the call with results from the prenatal blood test: low risk for all the tested genetic disorders; a healthy girl! We held the gender reveal on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the next few weeks, I was in full “nesting” mode. During week 15, we moved the furniture into the nursery and hung Muppet artwork on the walls and curtains over the windows. The room transformed into the symbol of a hopeful future: the birth of our third child.
I went alone to my 16-week checkup, due to pandemic-related restrictions. After about 10 minutes in the waiting room, a nurse took my vitals and escorted me to an exam room for the sonogram. Two nurses attempted to find a heartbeat — and failed. I headed to the ultrasound technician next. I was starting to get a bit uncomfortable, but still thought maybe the baby was in a weird position, or some other simple explanation.
I recognized the ultrasound technician from my first visit. She was kind and relaxed as she started her assessment. She quickly found images of Rachel in the womb. I saw her tiny foot, and I said, “Oh, I see her foot!” The technician was quietly taking pictures and measurements. After taking about five pictures, she put her hand on my thigh and gently said, “I am not seeing a heartbeat.”
It didn’t register at first. Thoughts raced through my mind: “Is this common? Is it a machine malfunction?” The technician left the room to get my doctor. I lay in the dark alone and looking up at pictures of my sweet baby. The first thought in my mind at this point was, “LORD!” I spoke to Him aloud, something I rarely do. I said, “Lord, I could really use a miracle right now … but, I trust in Your will completely.” It was a simple prayer, and it ended with my eyes filling with tears. It was starting to sink in. My sweet baby girl was no longer with me. She was back in the loving arms of Jesus.
Scenes I had imagined of her first days in this world — holding her in my arms, changing those first diapers — were replaced with visions of her sweet spirit in the loving arms of the Most High God. A God who loves her more that I could fathom. A God who understands the loss of a child — because He sent his only Son to be crucified to pay the sin debt for all mankind (John 3:16).
My doctor was kind and patient as she explained what had happened: a missed miscarriage. She left the room to schedule the D&C procedure, and I pulled out my phone and read through Psalm 139: “My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (v. 15-16). I texted my husband; if I had called him, I would have struggled to speak through sobs. I typed the details and ended the text with, “I know God has a plan and I trust Him.” He responded, “He does.”
By the time I arrived home that afternoon, the tears had abated. I focused on the blessings I had at home: a loving and supportive husband and two healthy boys. I was not angry with God; I felt I had no right to be. I counted my blessings — one of which is the fact that God DOES have a plan, and it is greater than any I could imagine.
I will always remember seeing my daughter’s tiny foot at that last prenatal visit. While it marks one of the most painful experiences of my life, it is evidence of Psalm 139. That little foot shows that God is THE miracle worker; I also know He is a promise maker and promise keeper.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Hanna Broome lives in Madison with her husband, Jonathan, and their two boys, Aiden (6) and Logan (4). They are active members at Twin Lakes Baptist Church.