Generation Cedar

Hand rests on soft, round belly-mound; gentle knocks from within–tiny little feet, separated from my hand only by an inch or so of flesh…impossible to ponder.
Yesterday it seemed I didn’t feel the baby move for a long time. I’m not really gripped with fear as some who have experienced miscarriage, because I’ve been blessed to have never lost a child.
But the uncomfortable thought occurred…what if?
And then, would others understand my grief? Not that they don’t understand losing a baby, though some think it easier to lose a child you have never met….I don’t know.
But would they understand how I could be so deeply lost without this eighth child? “You have so many”…they wouldn’t say it, but would they think it?
And I marvel myself, at the anxiety that I wrongly allowed. One would think it might be less, having a house full of precious children already. And yet, it seems that the Lord gives me a deeper love, a stronger anticipation with each new child I carry!
It is the revelation of the mother-gift…the gift of the ability to bear children, for such a short time. “Teach us to number our days, O, Lord“…and our child-bearing days.
I have been given this brief time to usher new life into the world, to impact it for Him, to pass on a legacy of eternal glory, to imprint another human being and in some way, continue speaking to the world after I am gone. This is a gift–a gift so many take for granted. A gift I take for granted. A gift that will shortly be revoked.

We scorn the very gift given us by the Creator every time we speak of anything but blessing of a child; every time we think *we* are in control.
I know a couple who was infertile for years. After agony of emotion and expensive procedures, they became pregnant with twins. Those around rejoiced at this miracle. But the real miracle occurred when, after the doctors told her she would not be able to conceive without medical intervention, she became pregnant on her own. The twins were a few months old.
Now people were horrified. Another baby so soon! How could this be! What was so fragile and so coveted just a few months before had been given freely now as a gift; and the gift was scorned.
I just hope to encourage women to not only see children as a blessing, but their ability to bear them as one. It is not an entitlement or a given. It is a privilege not every woman gets to share, and we would do well to recognize that our ability to bring life into the world is not a function we decided to possess. I would think our flippancy of this gift is an insult to those who do not hold it.
Sacred, holy–miraculous. Do we treat it that way?

34 Responses

  1. I really appreciate this post, Kelly. Particularly your point about how precious and short this time to have the blessing and privelege of bearing children truly is. Sometimes (I admit it), I look ahead with some concern and worry over what my life will look like–how many children am I going to have, with 2 already at age 24? But, truly, the time is brief, and every one of the children that the Lord might choose to bless us with is a gift.

  2. You mentioned that people feel it is easier to lose a child they’ve never met. When I go tot he local abortion mill to participate in sidewalk counseling, I heard something like this so many times from. When I engaged some women, and could tell they love children and really didn’t want to do this, they most often pointed to finances, then went on to say they could not bear to have the child only to give it away for adoption. Iwas always blown away by this. They knew they were carring a precious child, so precious that they didn’t want to give them away, but they were all set to destroy it????

  3. I am in the process of losing our 9th child (miscarriage). I’m sure there are some who might think I’m crazy to grieve this baby that I will never hold when I have so many others. But I am grieving. I am sad. And I am praying for God to open my womb again. What a blessing….what a privilege.

    I understand what you’re saying~
    Kelly in AR

  4. Excellent post! I am carrying our 9th much-desired blessing and am wondering “will this be the last?” I love the baby foot picture, is that a real image or a photoshopped one, I wonder? As a completely off topic subject, I’m giving away fresh-from-the-farm maple syrup on my Pastoral Symphony blog. Come check us out!

  5. Great post, Kelly. If we truly see babies and children the way the Lord does, it doesn’t matter if they are the first or the fourteenth. Children are always a blessing. It is our thoughts and opinions that have been subjected to worldly influence that compromise what we should know to be true! God’s Word is always true! Praise the Lord for His gifts!

  6. Kelly in AR, my heart goes out to you.

    Anonymous, my heart also goes out to you. I am sorry that you did not have loving and kind counsel in your time of need.

    Regina, you are very brave and kind to reach out to these women and girls. Thank you for your boldness and compassion on behalf of the precious babies.

  7. Not only is bearing children a blessing, birthing them is, too! I always think, “What if this is my last labor? What if I never get to feel these sensations again ever?” So no matter how overwhelming they become I want to feel them all. Besides, each labor is so different, I want to be completely aware of it all.

  8. Our 8th little blessing is 4 months old. It does seem that the joy in each new baby is a little deeper. Maybe it is because we gain more of an appreciation of how fleeting this thing called childhood is and how honored we are to be called mommy and daddy.

  9. At twenty, I was lost and wondering in the wilderness. I became pregnant and did not even consider the life inside me, when I had the abortion. I was so selfish back then and all I thought was (I’m not ready yet).

    My heart aches everyday for that child missing in this life. It has been twelve years and I have two precious children, but my heart longs to know my other child. That child would have been the big brother or sister. Who would this child be like? A deep thinking compassioate boy like my son or a lively silly thing like my baby girl. One day, I know that I will see this person when I get to heaven. That will be a blessed day.

    I believe that God has forgiven me and I am forever at work trying to forgive myself. But I will never forget what I have done and this is my deepest regret.

    BB in FL, mother of 3 (one at the feet of the savior)

  10. Kelly,

    I know how you feel. I have a history of miscarriage (3 in a row). And people don’t just think “But, at least you have several other children, right?”. They actually say it. I was also ridiculed by a family member for continuing to get pregnant. And no one, not even a husband, can truly understand the grief of a mother who’s lost her unborn baby, unless they are a mother who’s experienced that same loss.

    Yesterday, I found out that we are expecting our fourth baby (three children living, and three up in heaven). One thing I have started doing is praying as soon as we find out we are expecting. I commit the baby’s fragile little life (or death) into His hands- His will. Then, whatever happens, I have peace. And truly, the Lord is close to the brokenhearted.

    I hope my son will always remember when we buried one of our small babies who was miscarried. The baby was so small he/she was still floating in the yolk sac which looked like a jewel to me. We placed the baby in a exquisitely decorated velvet lined jewelry box that my husband had given to me as a gift years ago. Then we buried our baby on the edge of our small town’s cemetery. My husband, son, and I knelt and prayed and cried over the loss of this precious life that was definitely small enough to have been been aborted. But, this was our tiny baby/brother/sister. precious. We talked about the sanctity life, the sovereignty of God, and even abortion.

    I could have made things easier for our young son by not telling him about the pregnancy since I was likely to miscarry anyways. But, I was carrying his brother/sister and the loss was his as well as mine. Sometimes important lessons, like the value of even a tiny life, are painful.

    Thank you for this post. I will pray for God to give you peace. May your baby grow healthy and strong.

  11. Kelly: This was such a beautiful post and I loved all the comment until I got to the nasty one by anonymous and her “no regrets” abortion. I really liked when you did not allow anonymous comments because it definitely changed the tone of your blog. It kept out senseless debating and comments like the aformentioned. Is it possible to do go back to that format?

    Jess in Peru

  12. Amen Word Warrior!
    For Anonymous, since you are so “proud” of your decision 20 years ago then why don’t you have the “guts” now to sign your name now? No matter, our Savior knows and we will pray for you.
    Keep up the great work Word Warrior!

  13. Phamilyof6..

    Thank you for helping me to decide whether to delete that comment or not.

    It’s so tricky…a lot of people (for whatever reason) don’t want to set up an account?? (Can anyone explain why?) and they can only comment anonymously. But I am thinking of changing the settings again.

  14. Sheena,

    Thank you for sharing those tender memories…I, too, will pray for your peace over this little one’s life…congratulations!

  15. Dear Kelly, thank you, thank you for this post. Our daughter was born a month and a half ago (our firstborn), and everyone keep telling me I “must” go on birth control now. I became pregnant with Shira 3 weeks from our wedding day, and people around me just assume I will become pregnant soon and easily again, and will have 18 children. But this is NOT to be taken for granted!!

  16. Dearest Anna,

    I feel for you and the pressure you face as a newlywed…it is “unthinkable” in our culture that couples would want children right away, even though it’s written in our very bodies!

  17. I lost my first baby when I was 25 weeks pregnant. The Dr. had no idea what went wrong. I had to go through labor and delivery knowing that the baby I would deliver would never cry or look into my eyes. They allowed me to hold him and we were able to take pictures. Two days later we had his funeral. I guess I was able to, in a sense, meet him. At least I saw the tiny shell that held his short life for a while.

    Last month both my sister and sister-in-law had miscarriages. Both of them cried to me afterward that they had no idea how hard it was to loose a baby and asked me to forgive them for not being more understanding when I lost mine.

    Many people just don’t understand how bad it hurts to lose a child, until they have experienced the same pain. Kelly, I pray that you will never have to feel that pain. God Bless you and your new little one.

  18. Kelly, great post and I do know exactly how you feel….I found out we were expecting our 8th right when you announced yours…I had already had 3 miscariiages last year…and we also lost this one. I miss every one and have struggled with that lost for months. I have heard from many well-wishing christian friends, oh but you have 7 healthy living children….and yes praise God I do but my heart still breaks at the thought of those I’ve lost and wondering if I will ever hold another infant of my own again….

    I do love reading your blog…so encouraging to find another like minded woman!!

    God bless you and your family!!


  19. Why would people think that the 5th, 6th or 20th would be any less of a blessing than the 1st or 2nd? I know the answer to my questions but it still just boggles my mind. They are precious children and even if we never hold them they still will forever hold our hearts.

  20. I love to read or hear about families that struggled with infertility and were blessed with an adoption or child through IVF, then find themselves pregnant naturally. It’s amazing!

  21. What a wonderful post, Kelly. Yes, childbearing should never be taken for granted, nor should ongoing fertility ever be assumed. I used to calculate how many babies I could have by menopause (with much speculating on the timing of that, even!), and God has thus far had other plans. We have five precious children, and then lost two to miscarriage just last year. I’m only 38, and would so love to carry another baby. But, when I surrendered my womb to Him, I had to be willing to give up my “right” to continue to bear children. That’s been much harder than anticipating an endless number of children! 🙂
    Anyway, many blessings to you!

  22. I’ve always wondered what it would feel like emotionally to miscarry. Well, a couple weeks ago, I thought I found out. My husband and I went out to supper with some family and friends to celebrate Valentines Day. I was feeling just fine, 12 weeks into my pregnancy. I went to use the restroom and had quite an experience.

    Without getting to graphic lets just say, I thought I lost the whole pregnancy right into the toilet…several clots the size of my hand. I told my husband I needed to go home and I made it as far as the car before bursting into tears…actually sobs that racked my body all the way home.

    I had purchased a fetal heart monitor a few weeks ago so I ran straight for it when I walked in the door. I had little hope of hearing that sound but I had to know.

    It was there strong as ever. I still didn’t know if the miscarriage was still to come or if something else could possibly be happening to me.

    To make a long story short- it was a subchorionic hemorrhage and the baby and I are fine. My doctor is not at all concerned about it and I am now in my 16 week.

    BUT for one evening I experienced true and unadulterated sorrow and loss for someone I have never met.

    I sympathize and understand the grief so many expectant mothers have faced with miscarriage.

    What a privelege and a blessing to be given this opportunity. It is truly an unfathomable mystery and gift.

  23. Your blog was introduced to me a couple of weeks ago by a friend. It has been such a blessing to read and be encouraged by the truth that you are speaking about.

    I don’t know much about blogging but I started a post to share our journey of discovery God’s truths for our family. My husband just recently had a vasectomy reversal and we are excited to welcome any more children God wants to bless us with.

    My only regret is I did not understand these truths years ago. It is so sad that our church does not value homeschooling, large families and fathers as the priets of the family. It is hard to stand up for these truths when we feel alone even in our church family!

    Thank you again for your encouragement. Bearing Children truly is a gift!!!

  24. Bethany, I had one child at 24, and have five now, the youngest at age 38. I think you are going perfectly I’m sure.

    I have five children, and I think the 9th would be the same as any other.

    I was overdue with my fifth and grieved the pregnancy end.

    Congratulations sheena.

    Mrs. Anna T in Australia around 6 weeks is when they advice people about it maybe it is a routine. If it is not medical people, I am sorry.

  25. I am so new to this that I put in the wrong address for my blog with my name. So here is a correction. (I am not even sure if it is important to do so but here goes)

  26. Love your blog… I have been where many of these women have been. I have three precious children here on earth with me. My third pregnancy was a molar pregnancy. I started hearing the comments then that I had two healthy children and a boy and girl no less! Four months after the moral pregnancy I found out I was pregnant with Samuel. I was almost 6 months pregnant when we discovered he had died. It was a very painful time for us to deliver and lay our son to rest. Even before we had the funeral I was hearing things like please don’t’ have more etc. Well, I was pregnant again within a few months with our sweet little Jocelyn. It was by far my hardest pregnancy with everything from diabetes, bladder infections, bed rest etc. BUT it was worth it! However, my husband and I gave into the pressure and I was sterilized. I regret this decision everyday! Children are precious!

  27. I am fairly sure I have had very early miscarriages. I don’t even know how many. One? Two? Seven? I had one with a positive pregnancy test, and everything else I base on strange periods and intuition. It is a little different now that I have Hannah–but I still love and miss my other children, still pray about them. The difference is at that time they were all I had.

    To this day very few people in my real life know about my other babies. I did mention at a women’s retreat when I was pregnant that I wanted prayer because she was “not my first.” I could count the people who know it happened more than once on one hand. I don’t want to tell people because I am afraid of what they will say. I don’t want to hear anything that starts with “at least.” I think I finally did mention it occasionally when people asked the standard questions (“How many kids do you have?”) because I couldn’t stand to deny them. And when someone suggested the name Isaiah when I was pregnant with Hannah (the name I gave one of my children I lost early). No one on my side of the family (mostly not Christians) knows a thing.

    And I’d rather keep it that way than listen to people say stupid things.

  28. yes, yes, yes! so nice to hear a woman blessed with fertility to state it in such a beautiful way. I have suffered 10 years of infertility, with one angel baby, and cringe when my blessed friends make negative comments about their pregnancy (at least knowing my struggles go complain to someone else). I even had my dearest friend of 16 years, who knows my heartache, complain about how tired she was and her homeschooling was behind etc…she said “well at least you don’t have to worry about such things, you get to do what ever you want. I pray you never have to know the heartache of motherhood.” Can you believe it!?! Children are a blessing and whether you have 1 or 20, each is a gift to be treasured. I love the shirt I saw once on a woman with 9 children, it read: “It’s not my hands that are full but my heart”

  29. Kelly, I’m weeping as I read your blog. I feel so blessed to have stumbled acrossed it. I just miscarried my 10th child, yesterday. I have 9 living. It wasn’t horribly traumatic, as it was only 3 days past AF, yet, you can see I’m still a little emotional. This was the first time this has happened to me, yet it wasn’t a huge surprise, as I’ve been so blessed w/9 prior successful pregnancies.
    I am grateful for finding this post, because I have many asking me “what is your reason for wanting more children?!!”..mostly family members. I stumble to find the right words, as I wasn’t really sure what the complete reason was. As I read your words, my heart and mind are saying “that is EXACTLY it!” We have this beautiful, miraculous gift that we have for such a short time. It feels so wrong to “lean on my own understanding” of the ways of the world, etc. and choose to end the use of the gift with so many years left. Now if Heavenly Father chooses to say my gift is used up, that’s one thing, and I understand that there is a certain age where there is such huge risk, and I don’t know if it’s wise to go much beyond that (I feel about 40), but I truly want to experience the blessing of that gift one more time.
    Thank you for your words.

  30. Kelly,

    By God’s grace, I have just completed my testimony of a recent miscarriage. It is actually the first time I have been able to really verbalize after a loss and I am praying that God will put my testimony into the hands of the women and families that need it the most. Please feel free to repost the link or share the testimony in any way you see fit.

    May God continue to use you to help families stand for truth.

    Sharing Hope for Christmas:

    Love in Christ,

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