‘In a Waffle House bathroom, I wiped. Bright red blood. Stunned, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening again.’: Couple suffers 5 miscarriages to finally welcome surprise rainbow baby, ‘All 9 of my children are and were a gift from God’

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“I became a mother extremely young. You know the old saying ‘babies taking care of babies?’ Well that was me. At 18 years old, I set out on my journey of motherhood. It was an easy pregnancy, no complications, an easy delivery of a perfect baby boy! I had no idea of the struggles other people spoke of.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

Fast forward 6 years through a wedding, real jobs, and some growing up, I happily became pregnant again! This time a baby girl! And 18 months later, bam! I gave birth to another baby girl. I just thought, ‘Wow, this is great! I’ve always wanted big family. I’ll just keep this up.’ Miscarriage or trouble getting pregnant literally never occurred to me. I never thought it would happen to me. Miscarriages happen to other people and it’s sad, but it’s not going to happen to me.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin
Courtesy of Christina Tumlin
Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

Right on par from my last experience, I became pregnant again around 11 months postpartum. We were overjoyed! I didn’t think anything about it. Since this was no longer new to me, I waited until I should have been 14 weeks to even go to the doctor. I mean, nothing had ever been wrong before, why go early?

Right after Christmas we made our way to the doctor with our three other kids in tow, so excited to see our new baby. If you have miscarried, you know that dead silence during your ultrasound, where the tech is trying to act like nothing is wrong. That slow realization that something isn’t right sinks in. The tech leaves making some excuse to get the doctor. The minutes slow down to seconds, panic starts to set in. The doctor arrives, you hold your breath praying in your head, ‘let everything be ok,’ staring at them willing them in your mind to just spit out the truth. Then the moment comes, ‘I’m so sorry, there is no heartbeat.’ I remember just bursting out crying, I couldn’t believe it. I thought something wasn’t normal, but no heartbeat?! That’s not me, that doesn’t happen to me. But it was me, it was my reality. In fact, the baby had been gone for weeks. The doctor was trying to talk to me about a D&C but I couldn’t even hear her.

We had already made our pregnancy announcement.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

A few weeks later after a second opinion at another OBGYN office with a new doctor, everything was confirmed. My husband broke the news to our friends and family. I had a D&C and tried to move on. My doctor and all my research concluded that this was my 1 in 4 miscarriage. She said, ‘most women have one, it’s just nature.’ From this first miscarriage, I learned, ‘Don’t think it won’t happen to you, treasure each pregnancy.’ We moved on as a family, and a few months later… you probably guessed it, two pink lines! This time I went to my doctor, (the new one I had seen last time) promptly at 8 weeks. A heartbeat! We were thrilled, and moved right along confident this one was ok. On our way to vacation, in a Waffle House bathroom I wiped, and on the tissue was what every pregnant women fears – bright red blood. Stunned, shocked, I thought, ‘Oh my God, this can’t be happening again.’ Why do some of the worst things happen in the most undignified places? I called the doctor’s office. ‘It should be ok , sometimes people spot. Just come in when you’re back.’ Though the bright red spotting didn’t stop our entire beach trip, but I prayed and prayed. I think, ‘There is a chance it will all be ok.’ We get home, get to the doctors, get in the same ultrasound room as our last baby. I stare at the same ugly ceiling, I look at the same vagina poster, I pick up the same 3D uterus model and try to figure out how they fit the IUD in and take it out. I yearn for baby to be ok like the babies pictured in the hideous Sears-looking newborn photos on the wall. It was not ok. The words came once again. ‘I’m sorry, but there is no heartbeat.’ Silence again.

We’d announced this second miscarriage baby announcement, too.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

This time we opted to go with the medicine that makes you miscarry instead of the D&C. That was one of the worst nights of my life as I laid alone in the middle of the night, in a cold empty bathtub because I was too week and dizzy to continue sitting on the toilet. I bled down the drain most of the night. I bled so much that I couldn’t even stand, my husband had to hold me up to give me shower and carry me into the hospital. I received two bags of blood, and the deed was done. I was no longer pregnant.

Hopelessness began to set in as I laid my hands on my empty stomach. I began searching to try and fix me. I began to question God, why have you allowed this? The question I feel like every mom wanting a baby came in like a flood, ‘God why do you allow drug addicts to have babies and not me?’ I had prayed and prayed. A well-meaning friend had given me a book before I was pregnant with this baby basically saying if you tithe and pray enough you will not miscarry. Well I’m telling you I prayed, and I prayed hard, and I tithed faithfully. For a moment my faith was shaken. Then like the wonderful father he is, God sent me a quote straight from the supermom herself, Michelle Duggar. Side note, I LOVE THE DUGGERS. It said, ‘If I knew God’s whole plan, I wouldn’t try to change any of it.’ You may need to reread that. Our Lord works in ways we can’t understand, and a lot of our questions will never be answered here on earth. But momma, if I can tell you one thing, God knows your prayers, we just don’t know His whole plan.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

My OBGYN is one of the good ones, the kind who sees you and cares for you specifically. She did a full blood work up, and guess what turned up that stupid moth** effer – MTHFR gene mutation. I had all the symptoms of it and now it all made sense. I changed immediately over to methyl folate instead of folic acid and dove deep into research to fix myself. My wonderful OB put me on baby aspirin and off we went to make another baby! A few months later, those wonderful pink lines! The story here goes a – lot the same. The same terrible ultrasound room with the hideous pictures of beautiful healthy babies, and the same, ‘sorry there is not heartbeat’ at our 12-week ultra sound. Silence and emptiness filled me. I doubted God more, I felt like God could hear everyone else and not me. The best thing I ever did was not shut God out. I gave up on him hearing but I just kept opening my bible, turning on the worship music, and lifting up prayers. I learned it’s ok to doubt, it’s ok to not know everything. It’s ok that the plan is no longer the plan. I was rolled back for yet another D&C and I remember just crying those big fat tears that just roll down your cheeks, and saying out loud, ‘I just want my baby, I just want my baby.’ I awoke again empty, longer pregnant.

Miscarriage number four came soon after, baby didn’t even have a heartbeat at my first ultrasound. The plan for this pregnancy was to start on Lovenox (a blood thinner given by injection into the stomach on a daily basis) but we lost the baby too soon. God showed me on this pregnancy that I would be ok, that it didn’t matter what storm I was in as long as I was looking towards God I would still be ok. And I was ok. I came to terms with not having more babies, I was one blessed woman with what God had given me.

Although, we had still been very excited for this child.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

This took me a long time, but man was it worth it. I’m so much stronger now, I know my Savior so much more intensely. I know how to have joy in the mist of sadness.

Miscarriage number five was just two bright pink lines, then days later, blood on toilet paper. God was still good, and my life was still beautiful. We just kept moving forward.

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

Some things that were not helpful that people told me 1. At least you have other kids. 2. Maybe you need to pray harder, have you read this book?… blah blah blah 3. At least it was early… in a woman’s mind the second there’s two lines, it’s a person. A whole timeline, an entire life planed and dreamed. For most men it’s not this way so try to sympathize, husbands. 4. ‘I just know you’re going to have another baby.’ No, you don’t know. I don’t even know. Only God knows, so unless you’ve had God send an angel to speak directly to you, you don’t know.

Fast forward almost four years from our first miscarriage, we surprisingly had our Rainbow. As soon as I had a positive pregnancy test, my amazing OBGYN had me on Lovenox the next day and it WORKED!

Courtesy of Christina Tumlin
Courtesy of Christina Tumlin
Courtesy of Christina Tumlin

We feel overwhelmed and overjoyed, also peaceful because I had made peace with God to be happy no matter his plans for me. All 9 of my children are and were a gift from God.”

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Tayla Lowe Photography
Tayla Lowe Photography
Tayla Lowe Photography

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Christina Tumlin. You can follow her journey on Instagram and learn about her Rainbow quilts on Etsy. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear 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.

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‘David and I have been pregnant 8 times. ‘I just took a pregnancy test. It’s positive.’ I sat on the toilet staring at the positive test until my legs went numb. This was not a part of our plan.’

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