"I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "plans to give you a hope and a future."

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Here We Go

People tell me it's helpful and healing to write about the things have happened.  Why?  Is it healing because it makes me cry or because it gets all those thoughts out on paper?  Who knows!

So here we go....

Thursday, January 20th, started out as a typical day.  I woke up pregnant hungry.  If you have ever been pregnant you know what I mean.  You feel like you haven't eaten in at least 3 years and if you don't eat soon you just might not make it!  I'd been very tired for the past few weeks so it wasn't easy to get up early and get ready to take Nathan to his social group in Norristown.

Emma had been up all night coughing and she wasn't feeling good at all.  Chris and I decided it would be best if she stayed home and I just took Nathan with me.  I dropped Nathan off at school.  He was excited to tell his teachers about the baby. 

Normally Emma is with me and I just hang out with her but this day I was alone.  I was wearing a purple shirt and maternity jeans that were still too big for me.  My other pants were tight and uncomfortable so I just gave in and switched to my maternity jeans for comfort.  I had a belly band that helped to hold them up.  I went to Aldi's to get some groceries.  I talked to my mom and my dad on the phone.  I complained how tired I felt.  I looked around the quiet grocery store wondering where all the other shoppers were.  A man was there buying massive amounts of everything.  I briefly wondered if people thought I looked pregnant or just like I was wearing clothes that were too big.

Next stop was Giant.  I picked up my groceries there and decided to head back to Nathan's school and wait in the parent waiting room.  I thought it would be nice to relax for the next forty minutes until Nathan was done.  Before I went to the waiting room I stopped in the bathroom.  My heart dropped.  Something was wrong.  I rushed back out of the school and to the van.  I sent my mom and Chris a frantic message.  I called my doctor.  It was 10:15.  They said, "Get here by 11:15 before the doctor leaves."

I dreaded pulling Nathan out of his class.  I was trying not to cry and I didn't want to scare him.  I thought it was going to be a royal battle getting him to leave with me.  Amidst tears that were looming in my eyes I told Nathan we had to go.  "Why?  We haven't had our snack time yet."

"Something is wrong with the baby."  That got him moving.  He never questioned me but left right away with me.  He wanted to go with me to see the baby and make sure the baby was all right.  I dropped him off at home with Chris and sped away.  Chris called his mom so he could come with me.  I didn't think he needed to because everything was going to be o.k.  Thank goodness Chris did come with me.

I begged God to keep my baby safe.  I told Him I wasn't strong enough to handle a loss like that.  I wrote about this previously. 

I sat in that waiting room with my heart pounding  I cried because I was afraid.  Chris came just as I was getting into a room.  We talked about the what if's?  But Chris assured me that everything would be fine.  It was probably normal.  The doctor came in.  She also talked about the what if's and that scared me.  I wanted her to just laugh it off and say, "What are you a first time mom?  You know this is o.k."  But she didn't say that.  She did an exam and said, "You might have a torn placenta.  It will heal.  Let's do an ultrasound to be safe.  If things don't look good we will talk after this."

During the ultrasound I kept whispering to Chris and asking him if he saw the baby.  He kept shaking his had no.  I thought it was weird.  I was 11 weeks so he should be able to clearly make out a baby.  Maybe we would even get a picture of our baby to take home.  That would be nice.  But the ultrasound tech was unreadable.  She finally stopped and looked at us.  "I'm sorry.  I don't have good news for you."

I started to cry but I also had hope.  Miracles could happen.  Maybe she meant my baby had down syndrome or something.  But no.  She asked me if I wanted to see the screen and I said yes.  I wish I said no.  I cried and nearly jumped off the table.  I was angry.  I got dressed and they took us back to the waiting room.  Chris held me and I cried harder.  This wasn't happening.  I felt so angry.  The doctor came in and she was so nice.  She said she was sorry but there was probably something seriously wrong with the baby and it hadn't made it.  It had stopped developing weeks ago.  She said many other things but I don't remember much.  I wanted to go home. 

Before we got back we pulled to the side of the road.  "What are we going to tell the kids?"  We discussed it and decided to be honest.  "The baby had died and gone to be with Jesus in heaven."

It's hard to change your way of thinking.  I still felt pregnant.  I still had my pregnancy symptoms.  Just the previous night I couldn't eat pork chops because they made me feel sick.  We had plans for the baby.  Where would the baby sleep?  What would the baby's name be?  It would be good to go to Florida for Christmas because the baby would be four months old and everyone could meet the baby.  We thought about how to pay for having the baby.  Because of the due date and our crazy insurance we would have to pay our deductible TWICE!  A staggering amount.  Chris said he had already begun to think of us as a family of five and not four.  We wondered if we would make it to family camp at Greenwood Hills because it would be so close to my due date.  Our well laid plans were not God's plans.

I have to say looking back I was amazed at the peace both Chris and I felt.  Trust me we were devastated.  But even in our grief and amidst our tears there was peace.  Maybe some will not understand that.  If you don't understand ask me how you can have that peace too.  But a lot of people were praying for us.  People who knew us and loved us and people who did not know us were lifting us up to an Almighty God.  So maybe the peace came from so many praying.  Evidence that prayer does work.  Maybe the peace came because we knew God did have a plan even if it didn't match the ones we had made.  I don't know. 

Our little one will never knows the suffering of earth.  Our little one will never cry or feel hunger or pain.  Our little one went from the womb and straight into the arms of Jesus.  Maybe the peace comes from knowing and having full assurance that we will one day meet our baby for the first time.....

So like I said here we go....we face a future that is unknown to us but fully known to God.  He knows our steps we will take and the heartache and joy awaiting us.

I have been very grateful for family and friends this past week.  My parents came up the day after they found out.  They got on a plane and our friend Keith Keyser picked them up.  Naomi brought us a wonderful meal.  Rose had come over and watched the kids.  Allison came and brought flowers and a card from Nana and herself.  My sister Rachel and Ben took the kids to dinner.  My mom has been helping me cook and clean and take care of the kids.  My dad has been cooking dinner pretty much every night for us.  Chris has been beyond supportive and understanding and he wants to talk about it and acknowledge what happens and the grief we feel. 

The outpouring of love, support, kind words, and prayer has been overwhelming.  We appreciate it more than we could ever say.  Each one of you who has sent a nice note or private message or written on my FB will now be forever written into a part of our story....your kind words have been printed out and will be put in my box of mementos I am making. 

So that's it.  We have to face each new day.  I am starting to feel physically a little better.  Heartache has a way of adding exhaustion on top of an already weakened body.  I am crying's not that we miss the baby less but the grief is not as raw.  We will heal.  We will move on.  But we won't forget.  Our little one was loved from the moment we found out we were pregnant.  And we will still love our baby until the day we finally meet face to the presence of our Savior.   

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