I am truly honored to be able to share the beautiful testimony of my sister-in-Christ, Lovely, and the story of her sweet “rainbow baby”, Isabel. A “rainbow baby” is a baby that is born following a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss. No matter how long we hold our children in our wombs or arms, the painful path of child loss is a hard road traveled by many mothers. Around 1 in 4 mothers have experienced a miscarriage, but it is often something that mothers struggle to talk about or share with others. Sometimes we feel alone, and that no one really understands our pain. If we have lost a child early in pregnancy, we worry that some people might not see our loss as a “real” loss and we feel ashamed to grieve or mourn the loss of our child publicly. The truth is, after the miscarriage of my first baby at 9 weeks, I was shocked at how many other mothers came to me and said that they too had suffered a miscarriage. It helped me to know that I was not alone in my grief, and was encouraged by the stories that most of them went on to have many more children!
If you have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth, neonatal death or infant loss, know that you are not alone. Another International Doulas of Munich doula, Carolyn Hecken, posted a helpful article on her Butterfly Beginnings blog titled, “Navigating Early Pregnancy Loss in Munich- What to Expect” as a support to English-speaking mothers here in Munich who are experiencing or have experienced a miscarriage. If you feel in need of counseling through the grieving process, there is a clinic here in Munich that offers counseling to English-speaking women called Häberlstrasse 17. I can offer a hug, long chat or prayer, cup of tea or coffee and LOTS of chocolate for anyone out there who just needs the support of someone who has had a miscarriage and can understand the hurt and grieve with you. As a Christian who grieved the loss of my baby, I found this song, this song, and this article very helpful and encouraging.
Lovely’s Testimony of Faith Through Loss: Trusting God even in hard times
I want to share with you, my experiences about preterm birth and death of my beloved children and how God blessed my family with a healthy baby girl after two time losses. In March 2013, I was so happy to find out I was pregnant again, seven months after the birth of my first Son, being a new Mom, my heart was filled with joy. Eight weeks into my pregnancy we found out, I’m having twins, at 13th weeks, we knew they would both be boys. We were so excited and we started to prepare things for the arrival of the boys. When it was 19th weeks, I had an appointment with my doctor. That day the doctor told me to go to the hospital immediately, she said my cervix is beginning to open (Cervical Incompetence). At the hospital, I had series of check ups and the doctors told me that I would need a cervical cerclage but the possibility of a successful surgery can’t be assured. I was left to make a choice, either I go on to have the surgery or go on strictly bed rest until the chance of the kids surviving after birth is high. I was so confused, I didn’t know what to do, I called on God, I was always crying, praying, reading the Bible. All this time, I was in the hospital on strictly bed rest, I was not allowed to stand or sit. I made the decision for bed rest instead of having the surgery. I was in the hospital for two more weeks and some days. 2nd August 2013, my pregnancy was 21 weeks + 3days. On that evening I started having contractions and I went into preterm labour and had my boys. Elijah was born 02.08.13 few minutes before midnight and Elisha was born 03.08.13 some minutes after Elijah, both boys were alive, they were so thin and were less than 500g. Doctors told me and my husband, that the would not make it because they were far too small. We were able to spend one hour with them before they finally died. We felt really bad, deep inside we were broken. We wept bitterly but in all that happened, we gave God the glory. I said to myself, that if it was God’s will for my boys to live, they would have. I held on to James:1 vs 17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change”. January 2014, I became pregnant again, this time, I was extremely careful with my activities. I had a lot of rest. I prayed to God to keep this pregnancy but down in my heart, I sometimes feared, when I think of the loss of the twins. 12th week into the pregnancy, I began to bleed heavily, I went to the doctor, he examined me and said that everything was fine, baby is doing well. The bleeding continued, I went to the hospital, I was told same thing, that everything was okay but my question was, why I’m I bleeding? I never got an answer to that. At 19th week, the bleeding stopped, I was so happy. At 20th week, that was in April 2014. One afternoon, I made lunch for my family and we ate, then at 3pm I went with my husband and son for my doctor’s visit, while we were in the doctor’s office, as the doctor was about to examine me, I stood up and immediately I felt a gush of water running down my legs, I was so shocked, I have never experienced something like that. I screamed Oh God!! Then my fear was confirmed, it was the amniotic fluid that just came out. I was rushed to the hospital by my husband. At the hospital, I was examined and the doctors said everything was fine, it’s not cervical incompetence this time. Cervix was firmly closed and normal. I was again on strictly bed rest, even while lying down, I still felt the fluid coming out, I always had a pad on. It continued this way, I was always checked once a week to measure the water level if it’s enough for my baby, sometimes it’s high other times low. Baby was doing well, I could feel my baby moving and my tummy growing. I held on to prayers. My Church also joined in prayers. I was praying for God to keep the baby.
On the 18th May 2014. I became sick while in the hospital, I had fever and I was vomiting. My pregnancy was 23weeks + 5days. That day, the doctors had to do an emergency C Section for me to bring out the baby because I started having contractions, coping with the fact of being sick. Our baby Samuel was born that day, he was 635g, he was so cute and little. The doctors try all their best to keep him but his lungs were not properly developed. He only lived for two hours. I grieved. I still trusted in God. Sometimes, I feel like. Why am I going through all these. I held on to Psalms:91 vs 15. “He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him”. It makes understand that being a Christian doesn’t mean, we would not encounter difficulties but we should always know that God is with us. So no matter what you’re going through at the moment, never feel that God has forsaken you. He is with you. I moved on with my life and I kept my hope for having more kids in Christ. I waited for 21 months and I prayed with my husband together with a man of God for the blessing of a child. God answered us. In Feb 2016, I became pregnant. This pregnancy was so unique, I didn’t have those pregnancy symptoms. I visited the doctor after 3 months into my pregnancy for the first time. She referred me to the hospital due to my previous losses. I went to the hospital and doctors said things were normal and okay. My doctor insisted that I get the cervical cerclage this time around. The first hospital she referred me to refused to perform the surgery reason was that, they don’t want to disturb my pregnancy because they can’t see any risk of me having a preterm birth this time. My pregnancy went on to the 19th week, I went to the hospital to get the cervix measured, it was 3.3cm long, it drop from 3.6cm long within 10 days. Doctors were still not convinced that I need a cerclage but my Gynaecologist was determined I have the surgery this time, so she referred me to another hospital, getting to the hospital, upon examination. I was told that my cervix is now 1.5cm. I prayed to God but a surprising thing this time around was that I was not afraid of losing the child and my prayers was not for God to keep the baby but my prayers was Lord let your will be done. I never put my situation first, when praying because I was assured that God knows my situation, this was when I understood the meaning of “FAITH” that it is trusting and believing God for whatever outcome your situation brings and also when you have faith, you have this peace inside of you. That you’re not worried about anything, not even your situation. That was what I experienced this time. When my Church members asked me if they could pray with me, I always asked them to pray to God to give me peace. I wasn’t allowed to leave the hospital, until the surgery was done at the 20th week. To God be the glory, the surgery went well and after the surgery. My cervix grew to 4.5cm long and never went below 4.0cm till the end of my pregnancy. I was allowed to go home after surgery, I went back to my normal duties. I was not afraid of losing the child and I had peace like I never had during my last two pregnancy, I could sleep well and this pregnancy was stress- free. I carried my daughter to term. Doctors thought, I would go into labour on the 37th weeks, when the stitches were removed but that was not the case this time, I had my precious daughter Isabel Obehi Lovely on the 41st week of pregnancy. My labour with her was easy and it lasted for 5 to 6 hours. God turned our sorrows into joy. We are proud parent of two healthy kids today. We give God praise. If you’re going through this type of situation, don’t give up, the God who did this for us, is ever faithful to his Children and he can do more things. Trust in God. Thanks for reading my testimony.
God bless you. Lovely Oamen
I so enjoyed taking some photos of Lovely and her family last week, and know that her story will be an encouragement and cause of hope in many mothers who have lost children. Thank you to Lovely for her bravery in sharing her heart and story.