On Valentine's Day, Steve and I found out that we were expecting our third sweet baby. We had been trying for six months, and the positive pregnancy test felt like the prize at the end of the race. We held onto our precious secret, and we started to dream and envision our lives with a new baby in October.
With each pregnancy, we've been aware of the possibility of miscarriage. We've waited on the edge of our seats for that first ultrasound--to see that there indeed is a healthy baby in there with a steady heartbeat. This time was no different, yet after two near-perfect pregnancies, we didn't have much reason to doubt that this one would be fine, too.
But on Sunday evening the 28th, I started bleeding, and by early Monday morning, I knew that our precious little baby wasn't going to make it. I felt like the rug was pulled out from under me. All of the joy that I had experienced in the past couple of weeks was gone in just a matter of a few moments. And in its place was a grief like I'd never felt before.
On Tuesday afternoon (March 1st), as I held the tiniest baby in the palm of my hand, I felt a sense of peace to be able to see him and know that he had been real. He was only about an inch long, but he was undeniably a baby, and we marveled at God's design of him. (Obviously, we didn't know he was a boy, but it's easier for me to think so.)
And then came all of the questions. . . Was it something I did? Was I too stressed? Did I drink too much coffee? Did the baby have the wrong mix of chromosomes? Could I have prevented this? What if this happens again? And somehow I have to let all of those questions go because I will never get the explanation that I am looking for.
I cry when I think about how I would be 8 weeks along right now if he had lived. And I ache when I think that the tiny baby who is supposed to be inside of me is deep in the ground instead.
Every day gets a little easier, and I credit that to the special people who have been praying for us in the last week. I am lucky to have two little boys who distract me and keep me from dwelling on my sadness. And I am extra blessed to have a husband who makes me laugh, and who holds me while we watch comedies on TV at night to keep our minds off of it.
A few years ago, my Uncle John, a pastor in Omaha told me, "Shit happens. And then God goes to work to redeem it."
I believe that. God didn't want this to happen to our little baby. What breaks my heart also breaks His heart. Steve and I can't see the future right now. He has big, GOOD plans for us. He will redeem this. And someday, we will look back and see His hand at work. We will see that He was with us in our sadness. And He will be with us in our joy. I have hope that this is not the end of our baby story.
One of the songs that I've been listening to is Jars of Clay's "The Valley Song":
"When death, like a gypsy, comes to steal what I love,
I will still look to the heavens. I will still seek Your face.
But I fear You aren't listening because there are no words,
Just the stillness and the hunger for a faith that assures.
I will sing of Your mercy that leads me through valleys of sorrow
to rivers of joy. . .
Though the pain is an ocean tossing us around, around, around,
You have calmed greater waters,
Higher mountains have come down."