Years ago you began life’s journey with your husband. Hand in hand.
Just the two of you.
You were young and somewhat naive to hard times. Your youth and health seemed to make you invincible and made trials seem foreign in your eyes – things that happened to other people.
As your days of marital bliss slipped by one by one, difficulties did occur at times and you clung as one before your Maker. It was a test of your marriage, your love for one another, and your faith in God. It was a wake-up call as a newly married couple to the harsh realities of a world gone wrong. It was another gentle reminder of not only your own humanity and frailty but also of your need of a Savior.
Life has its ups and downs, its joys and sorrows, its days of happiness and days of sadness. We all have them, do we not?
We experienced one of those ups, one of those days of happiness, on December 6, 2011, when we found out that Baby #5 was on the way. Yes, it was another surprise baby, but we were happy. Babies are blessings from the Lord. Hubs handled it very well, since I followed his previous advice to share the good news in a card rather than a 5am whispered message in his sleeping ear– ha! (You live and learn.)
All was going well. I was feeling really well. I was growing. I was thankful for bulky, winter sweaters to hide my sweet, little baby bump. It was a precious secret known only by the two of us. (We usually are quick to share with just family, even during those early weeks. This time we didn’t.)
Four weeks passed. Eight weeks. Twelve weeks. Hubs snapped this picture of me and I’m so glad that he did. It’s the only one that we have.
I was even beginning to feel the bump with bending over to help the kids or squatting to pick up toys. We had briefly begun to discuss names and was mentally working out the logistics with homeschooling, our mini-van and sleeping arrangements to welcome this new little one into our family. I was not worried, but into my twelfth week I was starting to have some discomfort. I never said anything to Hubs.
By the end of the week, I really felt off, but then again so did my husband. Stomach bug? Yeah, that’s what it was. It was flu season after all.
It was my brother’s birthday. And I forgot to call him.
We went to bed. I woke up on Saturday morning and tried to resume my normal household duties and responsibilities. You know, all the cleaning that I neglected yesterday while I laid on the couch with my tummy hurting. It was the flu…or so I told myself.
Then I began spotting. No worries that happens- sometimes.
But I was worried. It wasn’t near the beginning of my pregnancy. I was nearly thirteen weeks. I spent the rest of the day on the couch. And the next day. It was one of the blessings of having small children- they always have little colds (and they did!), so no one gives your absence from church a second thought.
It was better by Sunday night. Whew!
Monday morning found me trying to get up and be a wife and mother. The house was tumbling down around my ears.
The bleeding began again. Please no. But it didn’t stop. I reluctantly made the phone call to my doctor who told me to come in.
I didn’t want to go. Going to the doctor meant recognizing that this nightmare really was happening. I made several more painful telephone calls to family, a babysitter for my children and another babysitter to pick up Bunny from school. This was not how we’d envisioned sharing our little secret.
The one known only to us.
It was such a sad hour in my life.
We checked in at my doctor’s office and mercifully, they took me back promptly for an ultrasound. It confirmed what I knew in my heart already.
Our baby was gone. Known only by us, now known only to God.
We opted to complete the miscarriage on our own. We desired to finish what nature had already started. After we made a follow-up appointment for Thursday, we went home.
As much as I had been staying off of my feet earlier, I was now up and moving as much as possible. I wanted it over. I needed closure.
I stayed close to Hubs’ side. I needed him. I went to work with him some and did odd jobs at church. He would check on me often. After working in AWANA on Wednesday evening, we came home and went to bed. I awakened really sick during the night and woke up Hubs. He sat with me until it was over. It was February 2, 2012. It was dark night – literally.
I took Tylenol and we went back to bed, weary and heartbroken.
We rose in the morning, waited for our babysitter, and then left for our follow-up appointment.
It was there determined that it was incomplete miscarriage. I was devasted. I couldn’t even miscarry properly. We were again approached with our options and then given a moment of privacy to decide.
They closed the door and we both wept. Do you know how heart-wrenching it is to see a grown man cry? I can count on one hand the times that I’ve seen Hubs weep. This was one of them.
I lost it.
As we left for the hospital, I glanced down at my admittance papers for my D and C. It stated the reason for my D and C as an “incomplete abortion”.
And I lost it again.
I realized that it was merely a medical term but the connotation to me rubbed my fraught nerves the wrong way. It was salt in an already very painful wound. I wanted a new paper. In the end, I was simply an emotional bundle of fear that was about to chalk up a new experience in my life.
The doctor-on-call was my favorite one at the practice. He was and is so kind. He’s originally from Slatington, PA and knows where Bowmanstown is, of all places!
Because of having had something to drink/eat, we had to wait a bit for my procedure. Once again, it was God orchestrating the events, even in this trial, to reassure me that He cared. It gave Hubs and I the chance to talk and also the opportunity to calm our hearts. As they wheeled me down the hall, away from Hubs, I knew no fear. My heart was at peace. God was there.
A half hour later I was rolled into the operating room where I quietly counted to ten as I drifted off to sleep.
One, two, three,……
And it was over.
It was time for the healing to begin.
I wish that I could say how strong that I was through it all, that my faith in God was utterly remarkable. I can’t. The old age question lingered on my lips. Why me? At times, the kitchen sink contained more of my tears than it did dish water.
I think that I cried a river during the days and weeks to follow.
Looking back today, I can see the hand of God helping me in so many ways. People that He placed in my path, cards in the mail from people that knew nothing about my need, an email from my prayer partner letting me know that she was praying for me, flowers and the list of His goodness and love could go on and on.
As I mentioned in my letter yesterday, it was a journey that I never thought that I’d have to take. It was a baby step of personal growth and faith that I didn’t foresee. It was one of those downs, one of those days of sadness.
Now six months later, I’m still on that road of life with Hub’s hand held tightly in mine, maybe a little tighter now. And by the grace of God, we have five little ones walking that earthly journey with us. We’re a family. The only difference is that one has merely ran ahead.
Just out of sight. Just beyond the hill.
Finished with life’s race and waiting for us.
Thanks for all of the sweet notes and emails yesterday. I was deeply touched by how many read and responded to Letter to Heaven. August 8, 2012 will forever be etched on my heart. I still can’t read the post myself without crying, but as I determined in my Word for 2012 post so many months ago, I would look for a gift in all things and reflect on the many blessings of life around me. And I am.
God is good all the time.