i wrote this in the first part of November, as this unfolded - but i'm gonna post it now as part of my pregnancy journey with this tiny one who was designed and knit together with a purpose and a plan.
It's 3pm and i haven't been able to form a clear thought all day.
It's Monday now - and this story started last Wednesday... and i don't know how to tell it - because really... mostly people would think it's a story of over active worry and then relief.. (& that's ok!) but it's more than that to me.
So i will post it here for my littles to read even though i don't know what to think myself.
i have been really sick with this little baby - like - wake up in the night sick, roll over waves of nausea 24/7 from week 4 of my pregnancy. Early on - like - at 7 weeks, feeling a fullness in my pelvis, i reached down with my hands and felt the tiny ridge of my fundus peeking up. i thought this was miraculously early since the only time i felt it early was with baby hope and the doctor had suggested that maybe that was an indication that there was something wrong... and that's why i lost baby before the end of my first trimester... (with all my other children, it was around 11-12 weeks).
Every night, i would try to get comfortable in my bed - waking up several times in the night to fight with nausea and discomfort - until last Wednesday... At the end of the day, i started to feel better. i hadn't felt ok for almost a month, and i noticed it right away. i felt quiet and worried and i went and layed in bed - my fingers probed my stomach - but it was perfectly flat - no tiny peeking fundus to be found. No bloat. No nausea.
"Oh, Papa..." i pleaded, "i can't do this again... please don't take this baby too..."
i woke up in the morning, having slept all night - the scale told me that the couple of pounds of early pregnancy bloat were gone and my belly was as flat as a pancake. i showered and dressed and ate - with no nausea, no pregnancy symptoms... nothing.
i wrote to friends who didn't even know i was pregnant - as i had been guarding my treasured secret:
"I'm around 8 weeks pregnant. Suddenly my horrible morning sickness disappeared and all pregnancy symptoms are gone. I feel certain I've lost the baby. The timing is exquisite in its painful obvious extension of 40 days, (finding out I'm pregnant at the start, finding out I'm losing baby at the end)... We have our closing celebration on Sunday and I can't stop crying. I don't know how I will help sing - or speak. My heart is broken... Will you pray that my Papa will meet with me and make straight my path as I finish this 40 days with my wee one still tucked inside?
I'm afraid too because my miscarriage with hope (who was 9-10 weeks) was my hardest one physically. It was really scary, I lost a lot of blood, passed out and needed a d&c months after because I retained a piece of placenta and got infected. Neil has a trip planned to Chicago & I'm afraid that it will happen while he's gone...
There's also a part of me praying for a miracle, 'cause God raised Lazarus, why not my child?
But if not..."
Yes... i prayed for a miracle, but mostly i cried - sobbed at my piano and shrank into Neil's arms. i wish i could explain to you how certain i was. It was the mirror image of my miscarriage with Hope - right down to the disappearing fundus. With Hope, i had gone to the doctor for confirmation - the ultrasound the next day confirmed what my mama heart knew already and 2 weeks later, my body finally managed to let go and i miscarried that much longed for child...
i was afraid.
i went to the doctor on Friday and described my symptoms - and again, was referred for an ultrasound... which they couldn't book until Monday morning.
i didn't care.
i knew what the results would be... and despite my desperate cries to Neil, hiding in his office sobbing that i couldn't wait and do another natural miscarriage - i knew i would try...
In the middle of it all, i wrote this blog post:
The end before the beginning
It's not supposed to go that way... to see the end before the beginning... to be unable to bring your child into the world... to say goodbye before you even got to say hello...
Do i ever know that.
i feel such incredible shame having 2 miscarriages in the period of 4 months... What a dangerous place, my womb... Yes, i brought seven safely into the world, but four were lost.
And it's probably a dumb time to start blogging again - in the middle of this horrifying pain, but the thing is...
i know He's gonna show up.
And so i'll start here because one day i'll look back at where He met me, and point to this despair and be comforted that He didn't leave me here...
But He's not here yet... At least... i don't see Him, feel Him or even hear Him... But maybe He is - watching me from the corner, eyes on my broken heart, whispering love to my wounded spirit...
i've been crying out to Him - begging Him for life, telling Him it's not too late, the bleeding hasn't started yet - i know that the One who called Lazarus out of the tomb has the ability to breathe life into my little one whose form is still nestled deep in the secret place.
Oh, Father - please don't put this road in front of me again.
i read THIS post this morning... and it made me cry in frustration and desperation... even though at my very core, i agree with what she wrote.
And maybe that's all i'll write today... as i try to grasp the truth that this is my Father's world...
This is my Father's world. O let me ne'er forget
that though the wrong seems oft so strong God is the ruler yet.
This is my Father's world: why should my heart be sad?
The Lord is King; let the heavens ring! God reigns; let the earth be glad!
That afternoon, i created a sign to take to the vigil. It was my testimony of God's faithfulness during my first pregnancy at 19, and it read, "i was scared too, she was worth it."
Still, i was panicked about our 40 Days for Life closing celebration... i was going to lead two songs of worship - and i didn't think that i would be able to voice my praise without breaking down.
The couple friends that i told, prayed. They sent comfort and love - and they couldn't suppress the idea of hope that refused to take root in my grief stricken heart... until Saturday night... That's when i woke up at 2am... and i remembered that God didn't say, "no".
The next day, i wrote my friend:
"booked an ultrasound for Monday morning. Will you pray with me till then? For life - for a miracle? Last time i lost a baby at this stage - i prayed immediately for God to give that little life back - for Him to breathe life into that little one & i felt certain in that moment that God said 'no'...
i did the same thing this time - because even though i have never seen the dead given life back - the bible talks about it... and i know He is able...
i woke up in the middle of the night last night & realized that God didn't say, "no" - specifically, He has said nothing - i have heard nothing from Him, felt nothing, seen nothing... i have been reading in Hosea and praying and crying out to Him & nothing...
So maybe... He will say yes..
My ultrasound is booked for Monday morning... i feel certain that even though i haven't heard from Him... i want to continue to pray for life until then. The past 2 days, i have been praying a bit... but mostly just grieving and crying. Today i feel different... like i want to pray with faith, believing that God can do what i'm asking Him to..."
And this is the part i don't understand. Because i don't believe that i didn't pray with faith (nice double negative there? *smile* - bear with me) when i lost baby hope - i did. But once again - even though i thought i already knew the outcome, i began to pray.
And i was prayed for.
And that night i knew that i was going to be o.k. at the closing celebration - regardless the outcome for the little one i carried. i woke up in the morning hungry - and not feeling quite myself. After several days of energy and health... i wondered if it was only wishful thinking that made me feel nausea and exhaustion.
i shushed hope.
i got ready and went to church... i felt distracted and thoughtful. Our day was full and busy - and i was grateful i had little time to think about the ultrasound that was waiting for me in the morning.
At the closing celebration, we shared stories of God's LOVE and faithfulness. We sang of His Holiness, and we celebrated what was accomplished in the past 40 days... both seen and unseen. At the vigil, i spilled my confusion to my friend Fawne - and she cocked her eye at me and said thoughtfully, "i'm curious what we will see tomorrow..."
Monday morning - this morning, i guzzled my lemon water. Neil - who hadn't decided if he could come with me or not, blew through the door in time to take me - and my appointment - on time - was suddenly upon us.
i went in by myself, but the lady who ushered me to the change room said, "i'll go get your husband. He can come in with you..." So Neil came in and slouched his large frame in the tiny back corner of that darkened room. His hazel eyes met my wide blue ones and he winked at me, like, 'we'll be ok'... i closed my eyes and turned away.
A kindly man put a jellied wand to my belly and after a moment said, "There's the fetus... nice heartbeat... 176 beats per minute..."
Neil, slowly stood up in the corner, "So... there *is* a heartbeat?"
"Yep. See here? Look at it, just going like crazy... Your baby measures 9 weeks 2 days."
We looked... and there was our baby - our tiny bean- with furiously beating heart. Living.
i couldn't speak.
The kindly ultrasound tech was finished in less than 5 minutes - and Neil expressed our thanks since i was still silent...
And we came home.
And i know... i know... that this is one of those stories that seems like a lot of words for a short message. And sure, maybe i experienced a glitch of morning sickness - and an undeserved, unexpected reprieve in first trimester pregnancy symptoms. Maybe my baby was fine all along - and my worry was misplaced and my reactions to it over the top. Maybe in my eleventh pregnancy it has been made obvious that i sure don't know everything... or much about anything...
i got to see a miracle.