Empty Cradles, Hurting Hearts, Finding Hope

Join us for our first Conference on the 8th of October  themed ‘Empty  Cradles, Hurting Hearts, Finding Hope. The event will bring together women and men who have experienced baby loss, are trying to conceive or trying again for a baby.

We believe it is a journey no one should walk alone. Our coming together will be a great opportunity to connect with others in a similar position and support each other through this process. Together we are stronger!

It will be an interactive afternoon of sharing stories, discussions, presentations from organisations addressing these issues, Q and A session chaired by ferility experts and consultants.

There is also a time for worship and prayer.

Our aim is the event will be a place for you to connect with others who have walked in your shoes, share what’s on your mind, get advice, support and encouragement. Above all, our goal is you will leave the event filled with hope for your journey inspite of your circumstances.

Come along, tell others who have been there or are there and let us walk this road together!

Doors open at 11.15am.

The baby conference starts at 12 noon and ends at 4pm.

Light lunch will be provided and a gift box to keep your hope alive.

We look forward to see you on the 8th of October.

WHEN: Saturday, October 8 from 12:00 – 16:00

WHERE: All Saints Church, Inmans Row, Woodford Green, IG8 0NH

Register now at http://www.thebabyconference.eventbrite.co.uk

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A moment like this

No words can describe what I felt as I held my third baby who was born alive and full term. That moment was priceless. This is one moment I had looked forward to with great expectation, faith and longing the first and second time. But on both occasions I returned home to an empty cradle. Having experienced both sides twice (2 babies that are no more and 2 that survived) I am very grateful and feel privileged to have both boys in my life.

The journey from losing two babies to having another two more was an interesting one. The main thing that kept me going was hope. Hope that believed, relied and trusted in God. Hope that God would not let me down and I could count on him. Hope that my expectation would be a reality. Hope that there would be light at the end of this ‘dark’ tunnel. Hope that my desire and dream of having my family would materialise. Hope that my story would take a different turn. Because I had hope, I kept going month after month, I persevered when my medical prognosis seemed bleak and I chose to try again after two ‘unsuccessful’ attempts.

In my situation because I lost two babies in a row, hope did not occur automatically. It was a daily battle which I conquered by taking my eyes off what had happened to me and what I was told. Instead I chose to focus on God’s take on my situation and have faith in him so that my hope for ‘living’ babies would actually happen in the near future.

Miracles still occur, as you look ahead don’t give up hope.

Peace in my storm

Even as a child I always dealt with my own problems partly due to my secretive inclination and having a friend in Jesus who totally understands my issues. So when my challenge started with conception and baby losses it was only natural to stay put and trust God. Every time I was asked what was going on, I just reassured the person that all was well and very soon the baby (babies) would become a reality. But when I was on my own I had to deal with my frustration, doubts and get myself back on the track of faith and the vision that I am a mummy.

For anyone that has been in this position or is currently in this place, it is definitely not an easy place to be. From my observations generally in this area and other areas individuals’ are trusting God for a miracle some people run from place to place, church to church and still with no peace. I totally believe counsel (godly, appropriate and timely) is necessary, useful and liberating. But after the counsel we just need to wait till there is a physical manifestation of the baby in this case.

Personally for me, I wanted to get first hand information from my saviour, teacher, counsellor, redeemer and ‘friend’ what was going on, what I should do and what the future holds. So the advice from others (family, doctors, pastors and friends) was a bonus if deemed applicable. When going through such a challenge everyone would have an opinion, some are bold enough to tell you theirs. But it is not everything I heard I took on board. I learnt to sift counsel through the sieve of God’s word.

God spoke in time past and he still speaks today. He is interested in my affairs and he surely wants to guide and lead me through whatever tunnel, storm and trials of life I encounter. The key if you are still waiting to conceive or believing God for a safe pregnancy and childbirth is to ‘hear’ from God yourself. Perhaps you have prayed and you are still waiting to hear, do be patient till you hear. Sometimes he already has spoken but we are totally unaware. Also if we expect him to speak in a certain way and he does not, we miss what he has to say. From experience after I have heard God, it is much easier to have faith in God and relax because God who said it is more than able to bring his word to pass in my life. However it is in his own time which in hindsight I have come to accept is the best time.

How I hear from God (if you are wondering)

  • Through reading my bible (the word of God) certain scriptures stand out and I know he is drawing my attention to them
  • Sometimes I hear God speak to me (still voice and audible voice) and he drops a scripture in my mind, sometimes it comes across as a thought i.e. Isaiah 41 verse 10 is one scripture I got through this means
  • Through people, nature, events, my experiences and others’ experiences and circumstance

A previous post (‘while you are waiting’) highlights some practical steps you can implement before your bundle of joy arrives.

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid (John 14:27).

Why are you afraid?

Trying for a baby indeed is a time most women (like myself) become ‘afraid.’ I would like to share three areas that gave rise to fear and address them.

My expectations

Prior to getting married, I had envisaged myself having three kids before I hit thirty. So when I had a delay for over a year, then lost two babies in a row, I was much shaken and quite concerned. Especially when there was no good reason for our babies’ demise.

Looking at the natural

I discovered I had Preeclampsia after delivering ‘Isaac’ (our first son) which developed into high blood pressure. I was told different things by medics. Some said I can never have Preeclampsia again others said there was a greater likelihood of reoccurrence in future pregnancies. In addition, I was told the high blood pressure was here to stay. But that did not deter me from trusting God that all would be well the second time. 23 weeks into my second pregnancy I went into premature labour and delivered our daughter ‘Faith’.  Although we were shocked that this labour was premature we were totally confident she would make it. But after a ten hour battle she was gone. All I said to my husband a few hours later was I can’t do this anymore. What was the point of trying for babies only to lose them?  At that point I was hesitant to give it another go in the near future.

Comparison

Although I got married a few years before many of my friends, a number of them had one or two children before me. Just thinking about it increased my anxiety levels and I could not wait to have, hold and keep my own babies.

What I did

  • Gave over my desires to God and decided to let Him make all things beautiful in His time
  • There was this particular day I was so discouraged about the whole issue. My husband then pointed out to me that my faith level was low. Just like cars need refuelling, likewise our faith needs refilling through meditating on the word of God. So I decided to write down bible verses that relate to conception, safe pregnancy and childbirth and reflect on them on a continuous basis.
  • I came to the realisation that although some of my friends had children, some were not even married and I should be thankful despite my situation. At the end of the day I too would get there even though it is later than planned.

Perhaps, maybe other things are giving rise to fear in your situation, you do not have to tolerate fear. Fear brings pain, distress and torment. Rest in God’s love for you and that He would not withhold anything good from you (which include babies).

Don’t give up in this difficult time, build your strength up in God’s word and expect your miracle.

While waiting

I got married in my early twenties and being the planner I am, I had the next couple of years all mapped out. Step one was to finish my post graduate course then start a family. As my course was about coming to an end, we started trying for a baby. Initially I was not worried when nothing happened for the first two months. As the months went by I became a little bit apprehensive. Month after month I dreaded that time of the month.

Then I thought, this is it, I have finally conceived and was about to perform the test, only to see the unwelcome guest later that day. We just had to keep going (because no effort, no result) but it was not easy. We began to consider going to see the doctor. I just kept hoping and praying I would not need to resort to that option. To my dismay this saga continued unfailingly for sixteen months.

There was this particular day I was just so moody. Nothing seemed to cheer me up. That evening we attended a naming ceremony. As the custom is they usually pray for anyone trusting God for a similar blessing. The pastor actually asked anyone in that category to signify. Of course I did not indicate but muttered along as he prayed. When we got home my husband and I sat on the stairs in our front garden and chatted. Out of the blues my husband pointed out I could be pregnant. It never dawned on me. As my period was late by a few days we decided to do a pregnancy test. It was positive. I just stared at the test kit for a long time in shock. At long last, I was pregnant. I was over the moon. But being the secretive person I am, I thought it best to at least wait for three months before I told anyone.

In hind sight I am grateful I did not have to wait that long. But waiting for sixteen months seemed like a very long time. I am aware of other women who have experienced delay for five, ten and even as long as twenty years.

Here are 5 P’s to consider while you wait

1. Praise
Miracles happen in an atmosphere of praise. Fear and doubt have no chance. Praise also inspires your hope and faith in God.

2. Pray
It helps you get direction and brings about peace in the midst of your storm

3. Prepare
Sometimes we are so focussed on the blessings that we have no clue what to do with the blessing when it arrives. Some areas you may need to consider preparing for are; how to care for a baby, appropriate childcare after maternity leave, work- life balance, parenting skills and discipline/setting boundaries (they do grow up so fast).

4. Ponder
The word of God is what would keep you going. Meditating on God’s word is very powerful. I would suggest getting a journal to write down relevant scriptures in this area. Read, speak, study, and reflect on the scriptures till you believe it 100%.

5. Pour your life into others/yourself/His kingdom
Try to take your mind off your issues. Make others happy. Give of your time to offer practical help to others especially those with children (what you sow is what you would reap). Invest in yourself, enjoy yourself and make God happy by doing what He called you to do (your assignment on earth). Once the children arrive, time just does not seem to be enough.

In conclusion

However long you have been waiting, please do not give up. I hear testimonies day after day of women who finally have their own babies. God is still in the business of miracles.

For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfilment (Luke 1: 37).

Celebrate in anticipation! You too would be called ‘Mummy’ sooner than you expect.