One week. 7 days. 168 Hours. 10,080 minutes.
That is how long it’s been since I found out that the precious baby inside of me had stopped growing. There was no heartbeat. There was nothing but silence. The tears fell from my eyes as my heart was breaking. I stared at the ultrasound monitor and quickly tried to memorize every detail of the outline on the screen. As the ultrasound technician left to room to go get my doctor, I whispered to that sweet baby how desperately I had wanted him, or her; how much I loved him; how much daddy love him; how excited his sisters were to hold him; how precious he was. And then I told my baby goodbye.
Our journey started on September 13th. It was the day after Madeline’s 2nd birthday party. There had been a few things that just seemed “off,” so I decided to take a pregnancy test. I knew it would be negative because Brant and I had decided months before that we were happy with two children, so we were preventing “things” from happening. We thought we were good with two, and if God had different plans then He would have to work a miracle. So you can imagine my shock when I took that pregnancy test and saw that God had decided to do just that – work a miracle.
I was in complete disbelief and went straight to Brant. His smile was priceless. I remember saying to him “But this wasn’t the plan.” And his response: “You’re right, this wasn’t our plan. But I am so happy.”
From that moment on excitement filled our home. The thought of a new baby in my arms was euphoric. We waited some time before telling the girls, but as the days and weeks passed I began to experience the morning sickness, and nausea, and fatigue, and food aversions – all the “fun” first trimester brings. So we explained to them that there was a baby in mommy's belly and they were going to have a little brother or sister.
Our first sonogram was on October 7th. I was 8 weeks and 5 day into my pregnancy. I was prepared to see a growing baby and strong heartbeat. But what we saw was a very small baby. Mother’s instinct kicked in and I knew God had a different plan than what we had hoped for. But I tried to remain positive. We heard a beautiful strong heartbeat of 134 beats/min. As the ultrasound was coming to a close, I asked the technician if I could hear that heartbeat one more time. Something in me knew those final beats would be the last that I heard and I savored every moment of them. Based on the size of the baby’s growth, my due date was moved back 16 days, but I assured my doctor I knew my dates – and the “new” due date was wrong. He told me to focus on the positive – there was a heartbeat.
The new few days I cried often simply because I knew something was going to happen. I told Brant my fears, and he tried to calm them in every way he knew how. I begged God for a different outcome, but promised that I would praise His name no matter what.
Finally on October 21st, at 10 weeks, I knew in my innermost being that my baby no longer had a heartbeat. I can’t explain how or why I knew – I just did. I called my doctor’s office and told them that I needed them to see me. And they did. I told the ultrasound technician exactly what I thought the ultrasound would show. She had such compassion and tenderness as she confirmed my fears. That was one week ago today.
It has been a hard week. Explaining to the girls was hard, but we promised them that we will see our baby again in heaven – Jesus is just going to hold our baby until we get there. Emmalee has often prayed and asked Jesus to “take good care of our baby.” It brings tears to my eyes every time. But through it all I will still praise His name. He is the God who breathes life into the lifeless, and HE gives hope to the hopeless. He gives and He takes away. He is my strength, and my comforter, and my strong tower. He has held us in the palm of His victorious hand and showered us with peace.
Days like today are hard. I keep thinking about the “what ifs.” But Heaven is the only home my sweet baby will ever know, and in that I WILL REJOICE! What better arms to hold my child than the arms of Christ the King?