Two years ago today, I woke up early. I had had a sneaking suspicion for a couple of days that I might be pregnant, and this was the day I was going to take the test, just to make sure that I wasn’t before we left for vacation two days later. I didn’t tell my husband, of course. My husband loves surprises, and if it was positive, I would get to give him the ultimate surprise!

I placed the test face down on the bathroom counter and waited the prescribed amount of time before looking at the result. The minutes felt like hours, but when I finally looked at the result, I was elated to see an unmistakable blue plus sign! In anticipation of that day, I had purchased a mug that said “dad” and a pair of baby shoes. I quietly sneaked around the house gathering my surprises and placed them on the kitchen table at my husband’s place, along with the positive pregnancy test.

When my husband woke up, we went to the kitchen together, and he immediately saw his surprise. He was just as elated as I had been! We sat down on the couch together and prayed for this little baby God had given us that He would use their life for His glory.

That was the day I became a mother. I was a typically cautious mother, watching what I ate and taking my prenatal vitamins religiously. My husband and I carried around our happy little secret for a few weeks, sharing our good news with our family and close friends. We took a cute little pregnancy announcement photo with the same pair of baby shoes I had used to tell my husband about our expected baby.

Twenty-seven long days later, we went to the doctor for the first time and got to hear our precious baby’s heartbeat. Five days after that, we posted our happy announcement on social media. We had passed the much anticipated eight week mark, believing nothing bad could happen now. I got to enjoy being pregnant for twelve more days, and then I started having complications. We went back to the doctor, and our little baby no longer had a heartbeat.

We named our first baby Gwenivere Faith. And even though I only knew of her existence for forty-four days, even though I never got to hold her in my arms, even though her little feet never filled the shoes I had bought for her, she made me a mother. And she changed everything about the way I do motherhood. She changed me from a typically cautious mother to an overly cautious mother. She taught me to not take anything for granted. And she left a little hole in my heart that nothing can fill.

God gave us another baby after Gwenivere, and that little girl will turn one on Sunday. I love her with all my heart, and I wouldn’t trade her for anything in the world. Some may think she made me a mother, but I’ll always know the truth. Gwenivere was the one who made me a mother, two years ago today.

I’m writing this because I know miscarriage is more common than anyone would like to believe. After hearing so many stories from my friends, I feel like it has to be more than “one in four.” But I also know that when you’re the one going through it, it feels like you’re the only one. I don’t know who you are, but as I’ve thought about Gwenivere throughout this day, I’ve had you on my mind today too. And I want you to know that you are not alone. And I want you to know that you are a mother, whether or not God ever gives you a baby to hold in your arms. The moment you saw that positive pregnancy test, you became a mother, for better or for worse. And that’s a gift. Sometimes it’s a painful gift. But it’s still a gift.

More than anything, I want you to know there is hope. My Gwenivere is in heaven. I have hope I’ll see her again someday. If you’ve trusted Jesus, you can have that hope too. That doesn’t mean you won’t grieve or imagine all the “what ifs.” But you can have confidence that there’s a beautiful reunion coming one day. What a day that will be!