"Though the mountains be shaken
and the hills be removed,
my steadfast love will not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace will not be removed,"
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
2 months ago we found out we were going to have another baby. We were shocked- this one was a surprise and it took several days (maybe weeks for Jay) before we could embrace the idea. The three precious ones we already have are busy and can be overwhelming, so adding in a fourth seemed a little crazy. We went at 7 weeks and saw that sweet baby kidney bean with the strongest little heartbeat and I was in love. The details would work themselves out. I was feeling pretty tired and definitely pregnant, but it wasn't the worst of my 4 pregnancys at all. We went back at 9 weeks and saw baby again. This time I could see the little arms and legs and that little hearbeat just flickering away. My pregnancy was so similar to when I was pregnant with Abby- I began hoping for a little girl. We started talking some details, and sleeping arrangements, and counting our way to the 12 week mark. One more appointment and we would tell the kids. I found the cutest big brother/big sister t-shirts to give them when we told them. By 10 weeks I wasn't feeling that bad anymore, just a little tired. It was getting harder and harder to hide my growing tummy and Abby kept asking me why I wasn't doing my exercise video anymore! Last Tuesday, March 23 I was 12 weeks. On Thursday, the 25th, I had my 12 week appointment. They were having trouble finding a heartbeat with the handhelp dopplar so they brought in the ultrasound machine. The baby had died. I will never forget the picture on that screen- my sweet little baby with no heartbeat. I was by myself and totally unprepared. I kept thinking about the verse in Job that I had been claiming and praying throughout the pregnancy "You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews. You have granted me life and steadfast love, and your care has preserved my spirit." Job 10:11-12 I know in my head that God is the Giver and Sustainer of life, and for some reason He has chosen for this baby not to live on this earth, but to wrap my heart and mind around it is nearly impossible. This is a sadness I have never experienced the depth of. Losing a child- knowing that there was baby and now there is not.
My doctor took me into his office and told me to call Jay and have him come, but I knew by the time he got there we would be finished. I called Jay and told him- I could barely talk I was crying so hard. Dr. Radbill came back in and hugged me and prayed with me and spoke lots of truth to me. He walked me to a lady who scheduled a D&C for the next day and then she walked me out through the back door. They were so kind and caring and the first reflection of His compassion for me. Before I even got home, one of my friends had taken my boys to lunch so that Jay and I could have some time together at home. We laid on our bed and cried and prayed. I don't think I have ever been so sad and heartbroken. We told our kids that mommy had gone to the doctor and that there was a boo-boo in my tummy and that I was going to have surgery to fix it. We told them I would be fine, just a little tired. We have prayed for them that His peace would guard their hearts and minds and that it would pass all their understanding as well.
Another friend had meals lined up for me for the next five days. She sent me a text to tell me that dinner was coming for the night and I stood in my kitchen and cried again. In the midst of such heartache, we are not alone. The Body of Christ is standing with us and praying for us. It would take me pages to type out all the specific ways He has answered prayers and shown compassion to us through this loss. He tells us in His Word that in Him we may have peace- in this world we will have trouble, but to take heart- he has overcome the world (John 16:32-33). Our sweet friends have helped us to take heart- they have called and written, cooked and prayed and told us lots and lots of truth.
I had a D&C on Friday and it was a long, miserable day. Thankfully, I don't remember most of it. But once again, my Heavenly Father was showing me reflections of Himself all along the way. Jay's boss came and sat with him at the hospital so he wouldn't have to be there alone. I actually knew my nurse- (Sara Foust) she is a dear friend of one of my friends and she loved on me and prayed with me until I went into surgery. Abby got to go home with one of her favorite friends and spend the afternoon and my mom was able to come and take care of the boys. We had another dinner and these sweet friends fixed some of our favorite foods and desserts, just as an extra measure of kindness. So many little things that show how much He cares for His children.
It has been hard to get out of bed- I have struggled for the first time ever with not wanting to see people and having to force myself to go out in public where I might see friends. I am not a pretty crier and I have cried in front of more people the past few days than I can even count. And mostly, they have cried with me and prayed with me and it has brought joy to my heart. It is His peace that is enabling me to go through the motions- packing lunches, giving baths, fixing hair. I do not understand why I had to lose this baby- why He gave me a surprise in a child and His plan was this, BUT I know that He loves me and that He is good and that His peace can transcend all understanding. And I know that He knows what it is like to lose a child and His word tells me repeatedly that He has compassion on me.
It is good for me to not have it all together (though I definitley would prefer not to learn through this- and as a side note I did not originally intend to publish this, I was journaling mostly for my own health- this is also a knew level of vulnerablility). I am humbled- I cannot control this and there is nothing I can do to change or fix it. He alone is God- He is Holy and His ways are not my ways. For now, I am choosing minute by minute to walk in what I know and to remind myself of what is true. It is a difficult balance for me- being so deeply sad, but believing that He will work this for good. My emotions come in waves and some are stronger than others. Please pray for us if you think about it. Pray that I would be able to live in today and not overwhelm myself with the questions of tomorrow. Pray that I would be faithful in my response to Him and that my children would see Him while their mommy is a mess.