When I married my husband, Stephen, I was age 34 and my biological
clock had been ticking loudly for a few years. I was never one of those
women who wanted to be pregnant at age 40. So, even though he was already
"Dad" to two teenage boys, he married me knowing that God willing, he would
be a father again.
We hoped for a nice sentimental story -- pregnant on the honeymoon,
and our first child within a year. We were living with Stephen's boys at
the time anyway, so it wasn't like a child of our own would wreck the
romantic atmosphere of our peaceful home. We had two rowdy teenage boys
banging around the house and keeping us from any meaningful privacy.
God delivered. I was pregnant before we returned from the honeymoon,
according to the home pregnancy test I took a couple of weeks later. We
were elated. It felt like an affirmation of our love for one another, the
rightness of our union, and a dream come true.
I was sick as a dog for the first two months of the pregnancy,
throwing up every day, often several times a day, and losing almost ten
pounds. Stephen marveled at my ability to wake up, throw up, and then get
on with my day, as if it was no big deal. It wasn't fun, but I was so
grateful to be pregnant, I took it in stride.
One evening, about ten weeks into the pregnancy, I lay in bed feeling
particularly miserable. My stomach hurt worse than usual, more like
menstrual cramping than nausea. I rose to go to the bathroom and was
horrified to discover, I was bleeding. We contacted our midwife and she
gave me instructions. It wasn't long before the truth was revealed -- I
Any woman who has ever experienced this fate, and so many of us have,
knows the grief that passes over you at this moment. I was losing not only
a life growing inside of me, but also a dream. I was terrified -- did this
mean that I would have difficulty conceiving, or carrying a baby to term?
I mourned for the little girl, or boy, whom we had lost.
Sarah Jaffe, sweet Sarah, our oldest daughter, almost age six, was
conceived a couple of months later. If I had known at the time that God
had such an incredible gift in store for us, I would have accepted the
miscarriage with greater ease when it happened.
Every mother loves her daughter. Every mother will tell you that her
daughter is one of the finest human beings ever to be born.
But really, Sarah is.
The daycare staff labeled her "easy money" because she was always such
a joy to be around. She wakes up happy, she giggles throughout the day,
and she spends many of her waking moments trying to figure out how to be
kind to others. She is so stunningly beautiful that complete strangers
walk up to me in a store and tell me that I better watch out when she
becomes a teenager. She is the child who will give up her favorite blanky
to keep someone warm and will come up to her tired Mama and say, "Mama, you
work too hard. Is there anything I can do for you today?"
One of my favorite memories of Sarah goes back to my second pregnancy
with her sister, Elana, when then too, I was so ill, I was parked on the
couch, waiting for waves of nausea to dissipate. Sarah was concerned and
so she lay down next to me and extended her sucking thumb, saying, "Suck
this, Mama, it always makes me feel better, and it will make you feel
Sarah announces every single day to me, "Mama, I love you bigger than
God." I never get tired of hearing it. I could not possibly feel more
love for a human being than I feel for my daughter, Sarah.
I never forget that Sarah was born only because I miscarried. In
God's great plan, not mine, the baby before Sarah was not meant to be in
our family. Sarah definitely was. Sarah reminds me every day that God's
plan is usually better than my own.
When life isn't going the way I had planned, I think of my sweet
Sarah, and I await the blessings that God has in store for me instead.
[ Azriela Jaffe (Azriela@mindspring.com) -- from 'Heartwarmers' ]
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