Conclusions & Beginnings
In the last few months of my blogging absence, Daniel and I have experienced mixture of hardship, confusion, waiting, pain, grieving, surprise, joy, fear, and just general busyness that the holidays always seem to bring. We announced a few weeks ago that we are expecting baby #2 and we did this with joy but also with hesitation. I thought I’d share our journey from the last few months and how the Lord has been with us through each step.
In early/mid October we found out we were pregnant with our second baby. This was news that both excited and terrified us. We didn’t think this pregnancy would happen quite so quickly, but that little shock soon wore off as we imagined becoming a family of 4. Jump ahead a week later, I called Daniel in a panic b/c I had lightly spotted and wasn’t sure at all what this meant. After calls to the doctor, a blood draw, and an inconclusive sonogram we were basically told that we would just have to wait and see, but that spotting early on in pregnancy is very common. I was comforted by this news, yet still a bit fearful.
The next week my mother and I had planned to visit my sister in Denver. Despite being a bit nervous b/c of the spotting (which only happened that one day), we decided to move forward with the trip. Upon being in Denver for several hours, grabbing lunch, and heading out to an antique mall, we found ourselves all split up and wandering around this warehouse of vintage treasures. To my utter terror, I suddenly knew something was very wrong and began crying out for my mom. We quickly found one another and she rushed me to the bathroom followed by my sis. In a stinky dusty antique mall bathroom I began what I thought was the start of a miscarriage. Blood dripping from my body, we all cried and I just couldn’t believe this was really happening. I started to think about the phone call I would have to make to my husband to tell him we were losing the baby. I couldn’t fathom the thought of flushing our baby down this dirty old toilet in the middle of a city I’ve never been to. All the while strangers were ushering in and out of this public restroom, no doubt curious about what was happening in the stall we were all crammed in. That moment in time stood still. How could I even get up from this spot…let alone move forward…let alone complete this awful event that was taking place? I was scared and more sad and heartbroken than I’d ever felt.
With the help of my mother and sister, we got in the car and drove 45 minutes back to my sister’s apartment where I continued to bleed and cry. Daniel was notified and the next few hours were spent between trips to the bathroom and laying down.
In the past, when I have faced a hurt or a trial, I can’t say I’ve always responded well initially. The shock and pain of it all sort of overcomes me and I have traditionally fallen to pieces for a while. But this time was different. Maybe the experience of the c-section and how the Lord has grown my faith since then had changed my heart. Because truly my only response in this time of disorder was to run to Jesus. I imagined myself in His arms, we were crying together, and He just held me. I felt no explanation for what was happening, but a sense that He was altogether in control. He had created this life and even though, to me, it seemed far too early to take it away, that was what He allowed to happen. Though I couldn’t understand Him, I trusted Him. I didn’t feel angry at God, but an overwhelming sense of trust. He has always provided and always been for the good of His people (thank you BSF for teaching me this). And I am one of His people, His daughter. I can tell you that when my own daughter falls and gets hurt, no matter how monumental or how tiny the scrape, I hold her and I tell her I love her and I just try to be there with her in her moment of pain. That’s what God did for me, He was there with me in my moment of pain.
My mom and I stayed in Denver one more day. The tone of the girl’s trip completely changed, but we tried to enjoy each other’s company as I thought I would continue to miscarry. But the next day I didn’t bleed at all. On our drive home on Sunday…no more blood. I was still convinced I was/had miscarried, yet I was a tad confused based on all I had read about the topic vs. what my body was doing. First thing Monday morning I went to my doctor’s office and they drew blood. I waited anxiously by my phone all day for them to tell me about my HGC levels and if they had decreased (a sign the pregnancy was ending). I never heard from them that day and in fact didn’t hear the results until Tuesday afternoon.
On Tuesday afternoon I received a call where they told me news I was not expecting one bit…my HCG levels had, ‘appropriately increased’ which could be a very hopeful thing. Yet they told me not to get my hopes up b/c it didn’t confirm anything fully. I had to go in for another sonogram that Friday to see for sure.
After the longest week of waiting, we went in for the sono that Friday. I was so afraid of it. What would we see? Would I have to get a DNC if my body wasn’t completing a miscarriage? Would we see a baby but with abnormalities? I held my breath as the tech laid me down and began the ultrasound. She quickly found the yoke sack which had a little dot-like thing inside. We waited a minute for her to say something but she didn’t. Was she seeing something good or bad? I had never had a sono this early with Flora so I didn’t know what we were looking at. Finally I asked, ‘Is that a baby?’ to which she replied, ‘Yes! And see that flicker…that’s the heartbeat!’. Instantly I burst out in tears, this was unbelievable news. In my heart of hearts I had wanted to hope for this, but another part of me had already started to grieve this little life. It was all so confusing yet joyous, yet surprising. She continued to take pictures and I noticed something on the screen. There was a dark area around the sack that seemed strange to me. I inquired, but she didn’t know what it was and told me it was most likely a subchorionic hemorrhage. What in the world was that?! She explained it’s an internal bleed that normally go away on their own, but she would have to have the doctor call me. My joy instantly converted to a mixture of fear. Was this a big deal? Would I bleed again? Does it put the baby in danger? I knew nothing and the sono tech couldn’t answer my questions.
So now, we had a baby when we thought we had lost it, but there was also this added issue we knew nothing about. After much reading and a phone call from the nurse we learned a lot more about these hemorrhages and I took it very easy for a while. They told me it was nothing to worry about and they see them from time-to-time. I tried to keep that mindset, but given what had already happened, I was honestly a bit terrified.
Several weeks later, we had another sonogram scheduled. I decided to start praying and asking big things from the Lord. I prayed for a completely healthy baby with a strong heart beat. I prayed that the hemorrhaged area would be completely gone. I prayed that I could have a long talk with my OB and ask all the questions on my heart (specifically about the risks and possibility of a vbac). It seemed like a long laundry list of prayers, but I had already seen God work and knew He could tackle each one of these desires. And to praise and glory of my God, He answered EACH one. I’m not always the best at praying specifically for things like this, but I’m going to start doing it. To see how God answered each of these prayers was almost more that my heart could handle. We walked away from that appointment with the image of our squirmy baby engrained in our minds. My OB said I had a great chance for a vbac. The hemorrhage was gone as far as we could see. I was walking on cloud nine, praising my savior and kissing my husband with joy overflowing. To go from thinking you lost your baby, to this…it was a lot to take in.
It’s been over a month now since all of this and I’ve thought about it all a lot. I know so many woman who have lost babies and, for several days, I thought I had joined the ranks of these women. It was a dreadful place to be. You feel like ‘just another number’ b/c miscarriages happen every day. But when it’s you and your child, you feel anything but common. The precious baby you were carrying is lost. You will never get to feed them, hold them, see them grow…it was the most devastating feeling. Even though you know there is nothing you could have done, you feel like a failure. You wonder if you will ever really move forward.
I have shed tear after tear wondering why the Lord allows me to keep this baby. Of course I am so grateful and I want this life so badly. But I also want the lives of all those other lost babies out there. I wish my friends who have lost babies didn’t have to know this feeling. I have, in moments, felt guilty to share the news of this pregnancy, when others don’t get to do that.
To you mamas out there who have lost, who are longing for a child, I just want you to know that my heart aches with you. B/c of this experience I have a little more of an understanding of the pain and questions that occur in that time of sorrow and loss. Each and every life deserves to be celebrated, no matter if that life lasted only a few short weeks in the womb or that person lived to 100. I see more than ever how incredibly precious life is and how it is truly an incredible miracle from the Lord. I also see more clearly that this world is not our final dwelling place, that we are so incomplete on this earth. Over the last few months I have found much comfort in the words of Rev 21:3-5a
‘And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Praise God He is making all things new. Even in the midst of sorrow, He is there. And in the end, there will be no more tears, no more death, no more loss. It will just be those who are God’s children standing in the comfort and completeness of His presence.
As we start this new year, I just wanted to share this. It is now a part of my story, a part of my marriage, a part of my family, and a part of this new baby’s life. I will tell them how I thought they were lost, but how the Lord has saved them, not just from an earthly death, but from an eternal one.
Lastly I wanted to share this poem I wrote while I was in Denver. I wrote this a few hours after my bleed, believing then that we had lost our little one…
I stand in the center and the world spins round.
With veiled vision I see the commotion
Life moves forward but not for you
You have passed into realms of beauty
You see what I have not, the light and pureness of being whole
Too quickly we parted, but as I stay and shed my tears
You look down already knowing much more
You see beauty most lovely
Feel a warmth so close
Hear the sounds of heaven
Taste the delight of His presence
You are surrounded by hosts and saints
And one day I will join you
Will you meet me there at the pearly gates, my child, so we can meet?
For the first time I will hold you in my arms and tell you of your mother’s love
You will tell me of your years spent with the King and how radiant you will be
Bright shining as the sun, you will show me how it’s done
Hand in hand we will march forward, never to be parted.
Until we meet, my baby.