Her Story Continues…
Kristin Jaggers could have crumbled. In fact, nobody would have blamed her if she had. Three miscarriages and a cancer diagnosis in less than a year would be a lot for anybody. While her story is still being written, Kristin instead has a sense of peace that she knows comes only from her walk with God.
“Looking at God’s plan and in the grand scheme of things, it’s just amazing to see how He’s played a role in my entire life and how I can see it where I’m at now in my journey,” she said.
Kristin’s journey over the past year hasn’t been an easy one. After she and her longtime boyfriend Matt married in 2020, they returned to the Louisville area after having moved to the Pacific Northwest because of their jobs. Believing the timing was right, they decided to start a family.
“Last year around this time, we had learned that we were pregnant for the first time,” Kristin said. Their excitement, however, quickly turned to disappointment. “Our first appointment, we did hear a heartbeat, but we were told that it was a very weak heartbeat and that I was probably undergoing a miscarriage at that point.”
After losing the baby around the 7-week mark of her pregnancy, Kristin, who was 38 at the time and knew her age could be an issue, began working with a nutritionist to learn why she miscarried and if there were things she could do to help prevent it from happening again. The nutritionist discovered that Kristin had a thyroid condition and recommended she see her doctor.
“About that same time, I started to have what I thought was a sore throat,” she said, noting the pain wasn’t severe, just irritating. “I didn’t know exactly what was going on. I thought maybe I was getting sick, but the sore throat was lasting for about a month.”
A thyroid ultrasound discovered suspicious nodules that a biopsy then revealed were cancerous. Looking back, Kristin can see how God used the tragedy of her lost pregnancy for good.
“In my opinion, I don’t think I would have found out that I had the thyroid cancer or knew about any of that if I didn’t have the pregnancy, because in pregnancy your thyroid is enlarged,” she said. “I don’t think I would have noticed, because, according to doctors, the cancerous spot on my thyroid was so small that, if it wasn’t for that irritation that I was feeling, I would have had no idea that I had cancer at that point.”
Although Kristin didn’t need radiation since her cancer was caught so early, her doctor scheduled her for a partial thyroidectomy this past October. To her surprise, at the pre-op visit just a few days before the surgery, Kristin learned that she was pregnant again.
“At that point I was just kind of at a loss. I had no idea what was going on,” she said, explaining that she and Matt hadn’t been trying to get pregnant. “So, in my head I’m thinking, ‘Maybe I’m not supposed to get my thyroid removed.’”
Kristin, unfortunately, again lost the pregnancy as the baby didn’t have a heartbeat, but this time, in addition to processing the emotional pain of a miscarriage, she also had to delay her thyroid surgery to early January.
During her pre-op visit, the unimaginable happened. Kristin again learned that she was pregnant and the baby, just like before, didn’t have a heartbeat. The miscarriage meant another delay to her surgery, but this time just a couple of weeks. However, instead of being able to focus on her recovery following the surgery, Kristin was forced to relive the emotional heartache of just a few weeks earlier.
“About two weeks after the surgery, my husband had to take me to the emergency room because I was just in horrible pain,” she said, explaining she was experiencing complications from the miscarriage and needed to undergo another medical procedure.
“These last couple of months have just kind of been healing and recovery from all of that,” Kristin said.
While those months have been filled with occasional tears, Kristin knows that God has always been with her. However, it wasn’t until the past few years that her relationship with Him moved beyond just a casual acquaintance into something deeper. She now knows that he was preparing her for what was to come.
“I think the biggest thing I’m thankful for is having that strong foundation going into this, because if I didn’t have that, I think I would be a mess right now. I wouldn’t be where I’m at now,” she said. “People come to me and they tell me, ‘Kristin, I don’t understand how you’re so strong.’ It’s not me that’s strong, it’s my faith in God and God getting me through all this.”
That’s not to say it’s always easy, because it’s not, Kristin said. “There are days I know I should pray and turn to Him, but no words come out, there’s nothing there, and I kind of feel lost.”
Kristin is thankful for the people God has surrounded her with who have helped her find her way during those particularly tough times. That includes not only her close friends but her husband, Matt, who has been so loving and supportive despite grieving himself.
“While I know it’s taking a lot of energy from him to support me—and he wants to do that—I know he’s also suffering, too, through this whole journey,” she said. “A lot of prayer for him and alone time with God for him has definitely helped. I truly am thankful for how supportive he is through this journey with me.”
Kristin and Matt remain hopeful that journey will include starting a family.
“We plan on trying again this Summer,” she said. “I’ve worked a lot on my health and to get myself healthy. Obviously, getting the cancer out of my body hopefully was a big step in that…and keeping my stress low.”
Whatever happens, including potentially another miscarriage, Kristin knows that God will continue to be with them.
“If we lose a baby again, I will be okay with it. In the grand scheme of things, I know God has a plan for me, and I trust that plan. While I may be sad and unhappy at that point, I will continually look forward to where He’s wanting me to be,” Kristin said, adding that she and Matt are open to adopting.
Knowing how helpful it was to share her struggles with her friends, Kristin wants to support others walking through miscarriage loss or infertility. She feels God calling her to start an in-person support group so other women also have a safe space to share their stories.
“It’s not easy to talk about it, but once you start talking about it, it does make it easier to kind of deal with everything,” she said.
The past year has been a difficult one, but Kristin is thankful that God continues to be with her every step of the way while also giving her a desire to help others experiencing the same heartaches.
“The trials in my life have brought me closer to God. I firmly believe that going through difficult times has brought me so much more wisdom in life,” she said. “The story for me is not over yet, but I feel the calling to help others already.”