{Warning: This post is long and sad. I'm making up for it by adding pictures.}

This month our little Hagen family became a real family. We are parents.

We also lost our first child this month.

This blog is where we tell our story and I guess this is part of our story. So I guess I can share it. Sometimes stories are exciting adventures and sometimes they're comedies. This month our story is a tragedy.

My counselor encouraged me to blog about this experience, saying that it could be a good part of the healing process. So here I am.

James and I have always trusted God with the timing for our family. I used to pray that he would cancel out my birth control pills if he wanted us to have a family, but then I realized that wasn't really trust. That was more like asking him to not count the calories when I ate more than I should have.

Then we agreed we were both okay with it if I stopped taking birth control. That was two and a half years ago. We had just gotten back from Namibia and had fallen in love with the two kids we stayed with while we were there (Anne and Christian). We thought we were ready to start our family and we would have been happy to have a child then, but trusted that God knew the right timing.

My planned social media announcement...

After two and half years I really believed there was something wrong. But I still trusted. If there was something preventing us from getting pregnant, God knew about it and had control over it. Worrying wouldn't fix it.

I was so surprised when my cycle was late last month. I couldn't contain my excitement, I took the test right away. I was already four days late when I realized I was pregnant.

It was the week after my 28th birthday...

James had treated me like a princess for my birthday and we'd taken a four day weekend. But the whole weekend I just kept saying, "I want to try to catch up on sleep. I don't know why I'm so tired!" So he let me rest. --We eventually figured out why I was so tired. My body was working hard making a child, but I had no idea then.-- We played with Penny and went to sit on the grass in a park and watch the clouds and read a book. It was all I wanted for my birthday. Quiet, peace, and being with James and Penny.

The night of my birthday we went to our favorite San Diego beach: Moonlight.

We played bocce ball--yes, in the sand--until the sun set and then roasted marshmallows over the fire pit. Most of our friends came and made me feel so special.

Then a week later, I somehow contained my news all night Saturday and asked James if we could walk to our nearest coffee shop and talk before church.

When we got there I told him I had an idea for our future plans and handed him this little box:

Then he opened it and stared for a long time:

Baby shoes and a baby bowtie.

It's hard to explain what happens when you find out you're having a child for the first time, but life kicks into high gear. And he was so happy. I'd never seen him cry tears of joy until that day. The next three weeks felt like a lifetime. We planned everything we could think to plan and called each family member individually to tell them our news--we have 15 immediate family members. And we prayed harder than ever before. We were terrified and overjoyed.

Our First Family Photo. All three of us together. We went as Max and Roxanne to our friend's Halloween Party.

Celebrating our big news with dear friends

Then I had a pretty rough day at work last Wednesday and when James came to pick me up I told him something seemed... off. My stomach was hurting like I was PMSing and I was scared.

We lost the baby that night. Tears of joy had, in less than three weeks, turned to tears of grief, heartbreak, agony.

I hardly remember anything that night outside of pain, both physical and emotional. I remember holding and being held by James. We called out of work Thursday. It seemed pointless to call out; what could it help? But I did it anyway. I wanted an adventure. We talked and walked the beach in Newport. We ate pancakes and watched a movie. And the pain stayed. We cried intermittently all day long. Thursday night the dam broke.

Penny mourning with us at Balboa Island. Or she's just a hound and she always looks like this.

But I think she felt our loss, too.

I know there are others who have faced worse. Those whose grown child died, whose baby was stillborn, whose baby was further along in the pregnancy. But I beg to say that the pain is similar. In every way it feels like a death.

It wasn't a matter of whether we trusted God that day, I can say we certainly trusted Him and relied on Him. I still trust Him with the right timing for our family. I'm not disappointed in Him and I don't think He let me down. If I did think or feel these things, I think He would tell me if He were in my shoes He would feel those things, too. If you're feeling disappointed and let down, God is the first one who will understand, even if He is the one who seems to be letting you down. Tell him. He won't reject you.

He has been my comfort through this tragedy. And even though I trusted Him with the first, I still trust. I will trust Him with the next and the next. And even though I will always trust Him, the pain in my heart is staggering.

I discovered that to miscarry is to give birth. My body went through a short labor, but labor nonetheless. I birthed and lost my first child.

I hope to know the emotional pain will lessen as the physical pain already has since I lost the baby last week.

Where does this leave you? From you, I ask for grace in this time. My heart feels broken and I know I'm not as patient as I should be. I know there will be an "other side". But right now, we are both grieving. Please allow us to see this process through for the sake of our future children.

I want to love my other children as I loved this one and not live in fear of loving and losing again.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
— 2 Timothy 1:7

We also need and appreciate your love.

We still trust God for the right timing and this was not it, but it doesn't make the pain any less.

Being silly in Newport to try to remember we have our lives to live.

 

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