“Tick-tock, tick-tock. I glanced down, anxious and nervous, just waiting to see if those two pink lines would appear on the stick in front of me. This would be our third pregnancy and third baby, if so! Ahh, I could hardly stand the excitement — we’d had such smooth (surprise) pregnancies with our other two kids and always joked about how I got pregnant if my husband even looked at me! I was so excited it might’ve happened so easily again.
Riiiing! My timer went off and I held my breath as I checked the test — YES! Two pink lines. I was pregnant! We celebrated and called our families, feeling beyond excited we were going to add to our little crew. 2018 was going to be our year! I just knew it. Now, with my other pregnancies, I would take a new test every couple of days, just to make sure the line was getting darker, and to help relieve some of my anxiety. I figured I’d do the same for this one! But when I took that second test the next day, the line was the same. I remember thinking it was weird, but sometimes it can take the pregnancy hormones 48 hours to rise… so I figured I just took it too early.
‘Oh well,’ I said to myself. ‘I’ll just do another one tomorrow.’
The following morning, I took another test. The line was even fainter than before — my stomach dropped and I knew almost immediately it was not viable and was most likely a chemical pregnancy. I met with my doctor, who confirmed that, yes, it was a chemical pregnancy, it happens, it’s common, and ‘better luck next time!’, essentially. I remember being so sad and confused — I mean, it had been so easy the last two times! Why was this different? Losing a pregnancy, at any stage, is gut-wrenching. I held onto the hope it was most likely a fluke thing and we would get back on track to a third baby quickly.
That was in January of 2018. And sadly, shockingly, we would go on to lose four other pregnancies throughout the year — FIVE babies total. January, May, August, September, and November. We had five miscarriages, back to back to back. Those losses triggered an avalanche of doctors and specialist visits and yet, as time would show, no one could find any answers for us. There was no apparent reason as to why we kept miscarrying.
I’ll be honest, it was probably the most isolating, dark, brutal year I’ve ever walked through. The grief came in waves. My body was confused, to be pregnant and then not, that many times in a row. My mental health suffered. I agonized over every pregnancy announcement, every baby being born. I’ve never felt pain like that before in my life — the kind where you almost can’t breathe, it’s so thick. I truly wondered if I would die from the grief I was drowning in.
Just a couple months later, in January of 2019, our church’s annual fast rolled around. If you aren’t familiar with fasting, it’s basically giving something up for a set amount of time (food, social media, etc.) and instead spending that time focusing on Jesus; on what He’s speaking and doing in our own hearts and as a community. Anyways, the Sunday of our fast (January 13-15th), I woke up and felt God say to ask people to pray for us each night of the 3-day fast.
It felt super vulnerable for me to ask for such a specific, bold request, given our history, and I didn’t think I could do it. But at church that morning, our pastor’s sermon was about the persistent widow and how we should ask and keep asking, seek and keep seeking, and not give up. It seemed like confirmation about what I felt earlier that morning so I decided to go ahead and ask people to pray each night.
So they did! And honestly, it wasn’t anything spectacular. There was no huge moment that I walked away from and thought, ‘YES! Boom! God is gonna do it!’ I was actually a little discouraged, since I was hoping for some kind of big sign or something. But what WAS amazing, is during the time of the fast, I had several different people come up to me and say they saw a picture of me holding a newborn, and the words, ‘Where there is no way, you make a way’. I just want to add, these were people who didn’t even really know each other, so it’s not like they were exchanging notes. It was so encouraging! I wasn’t sure when it would happen, but at that moment, I just felt peace that someday we WOULD have another baby.
About a week and a half after the fast, I got the shock of ALL shocks — another positive pregnancy test. I’m not even sure what prompted me to take the test, since I think it was still a few days early, but I took it and came back a few minutes later to find the FAINTEST hint of a line. Like, I’m not sure anyone else could’ve seen the line but me — it was seriously SOOOO faint. I called my specialist anyways and once again, started the entire process of bloodwork and checking my numbers all over again. I’m not even sure I can put my emotions from that time into words… nervous, hopeful, absolutely terrified, at peace.
But I do know, for the first time, I didn’t take 20 other tests and compare them. I didn’t obsess. I didn’t check if the lines were darkening every 48 hours. I literally just took it day by day, blood test by blood test. The first one finally came back. I was definitely pregnant.
The doctor immediately started me on progesterone suppositories and baby aspirin, as a precaution. We did another draw two days later… got the call, numbers were rising. Two days later, another draw… numbers still rising! At that point, they told me to come in to talk to the specialist about the pregnancy, since it appeared viable by all test results.
I sat in that doctor’s office, a doctor who had no idea about our church fast or how hard we had prayed for this baby, as he looked at everything and calculated all the dates in front of me. He rustled a few papers around and then told me, ‘Well… it looks like you got pregnant sometime between January 13-15th.’
January 13-15th. The EXACT DAYS of the fast.
The exact days our friends prayed over and over again for God to move and for us to have another baby.
I just gave birth to that precious rainbow baby on October 1st, 2019, and our lives will never be the same. After walking through one of the darkest years we’ve ever walked, he is our bright light… our forever reminder that miracles can and do happen.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Brenae Bradley. You can follow her journey on Instagram. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear about your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more powerful stories like this:
‘We only want 3 kids so that’s perfect.’ That’s me being naive again. ‘Okay, maybe it won’t happen like we had hoped.’: Couple suffers 4 miscarriages in 4 years, ’You never know how strong you are until you have to be’
‘The tech printed the ultrasound photos. I IMMEDIATELY saw a second form. A little guardian angel was over our rainbow baby, giving him a kiss!’: Couple in tears after ‘guardian angel’ shows up on ultrasound in wake of miscarriage
‘She is healthy and finally in my arms, thank God.’ I’d be lying if I said I was ‘okay’ at that moment. I wasn’t.’: Mom of rainbow baby kept pregnancy a secret as long as she could, feared losing pregnancy after miscarriage, ‘I doubted everything’
Do you know someone who could benefit from this story? Please SHARE on Facebook to let them know a community of support is available.