When MW was about ten months old, T and I found out we were pregnant. I'll always remember the expression on his face when he learned we were expecting. We hugged and giggled and laughed and cried. We pulled out the video camera and made a short video telling baby how happy and excited we were, how we couldn't wait to meet him...it was an exciting and overwhelming time.
My due date: December 25th.
Roughly a week later, I was out of town with a friend and I miscarried. It was traumatic. T had gotten "gassed up" at work and was in seclusion until the gas dissipated, which meant I was unable to communicate with him for several hours. I remember sitting on a sofa in the middle of this huge building, cramping terribly, and dialing his number again and again and again.
We went to the doctor the next day and sure enough, blood work and an ultrasound confirmed that I had lost the baby...on my baby sister's 16th birthday.
Dr. G assured me there was nothing I did or did not do that caused the miscarriage. He gently encouraged us and reminded us of God's faithfulness. Friends poured through our doors. The phone rang off the hook. Our fridge and pantry were stocked with homemade meals and treats. The mail box was full of sweet notes and letters. T's parents called to say they were praying for us. Mama came and spent a few days with us. The body of Christ supported and encouraged us in amazing ways.
The Sunday following our miscarriage we sang Blessed Be Your Name. T and I held hands and sang, and tears ran down my cheeks. That was a defining moment for me.
We pleaded with God for another baby. That fall we learned we were pregnant again. We were thrilled! There was a smile on my face I absolutely could not hide. I began a journal for baby, telling him how thrilled we were and writing about how God was knitting him together and was perfectly fashioning him, about how we'd prayed and prayed for this precious gift.
A week or so later I experienced some dizziness and felt light headed. My back hurt and I was cramping. Something wasn't right. I went to the doctor. For about two weeks I was in every other day for blood work. My HCG levels were all over the place. Mama came into town to be with me. On the last day I was due for blood work, my symptoms seemed to have left. I was certain they would tell me it was just a fluke thing and all was well.
I was called back, (and Mama was with me) but sent to the Doctors personal office, rather than the lab. This is where I was kicking myself for insisting T return to work. I was so sure everything was fine, and obviously, it was not. In the most gentle and tender way, Dr. C told me he was certain I had an ectopic pregnancy.
From those words on, everything went in slow motion.
He explained there are two options, but all I heard was "you can wait it out and risk your own death, or you can go ahead and kill your baby."
I immediately called T, who again, I had trouble reaching, and after lengthy prayer and discussion over the phone, we opted for an injection of methotrexate, which would "stop the pregnancy" as the doctor put it.
A precious friend met me and Mama in the waiting room and took me in her arms and prayed. Mama was so sweet and offered to go drop off the prescription while I waited there with my friend for T. Turns out the injection wouldn't be ready until 3 that afternoon, so we all went home. Again, God's sovereignty. That bought us time.
I was terrified. What if they were wrong? What if there's a chance all is well and the blood work was wrong? What if, what if, what if? I cried out to God for wisdom and peace.
Around 2 we spoke with Dr. G (who had seen us through the miscarriage) and who we knew was a believer. Do you know that busy doctor took 20 minutes out of his afternoon to talk with us and pray for us??? He assured us we were making the right decision.
I remember pulling up to the pharmacy to pick "it" up. I felt like I was marching a death march. I put my hand on my abdomen and knew the baby was still alive. His little heart was still beating, at that moment. He was safe. But, I was about to bring that to an end. Was this the right thing to do? That was one of those times when I had to trust and rest in my husband's wisdom.
I felt numb as we entered the hospital. We were ushered into some weird area where three nurses were laughing and joking. One of them took the pharmacy bag and lead us into a small room. As she administered the injection the hymn To God Be The Glory played in my heart and God gave me peace.
The following week was terribly depressing. MW had gone to stay with grandparents and the house was quiet. As my body responded to the injection, my mind and heart kept returning to what was happening. Horrible thoughts rolled through my head. Nearly a week later, I wasn't feeling well at all. The doc on call said everything I was experiencing was normal. By early evening I was in a great deal of pain. A friend of mine knew T was working late. (He'd offered to stay home, but again, I insisted he go on.) She came over and despite my protests, said she was staying with me until T returned home. Again, God's sovereignty.
By 11 that night I was in so much pain I began vomiting. We called T and headed to the ER. I thought I was going to die. Thankfully she had connections and I was seen immediately. This is when you know you have a true friend. L not only cleaned up my vomit, but helped me change into a gown and took care of intensely personal things for me without batting an eye. It was incredibly humbling and she blessed me greatly. She held my hand and stayed right beside me, praying with and for me, until T arrived. Seeing him and holding his hand brought such comfort and peace to my heart. It was like my spirit relaxed and regardless of the outcome, I had looked into his eyes and his hand was in mine and I knew everything would be okay.
Based on the ultrasound it was determined my tube had ruptured and I went into emergency surgery.
Turns out the injection had not worked and my tube was literally seconds from rupturing. I remember waking the following morning with another friend at my side and learning of several other friends who had stayed up most of the night in the waiting room praying for me.
I pleaded with the doctor to let me go home. I just wanted to go home. Reluctantly, he agreed and I was allowed to leave. I'll never forget being wheeled out with empty arms. It was the same exit I'd been wheeled out of with little MW bundled in my arms a year and a half earlier. Other mama's were leaving with their babies and their carts full of flowers and balloons. That was a hard time.
Did I mention all this happened the week of my mother's birthday? Or that this baby was due on my grandparents' anniversary? (Which is now also shared by my sister and brother-in-law?)
I am so thankful the methotrexate did not work. I am so thankful to know our baby had implanted in my tube. That brought such peace to my soul and is a gift from God. I will never have to wonder. Thank you, Lord.
Because of the surgery and scaring to my tube, the doctor said there was a good chance it wouldn't function, cutting pregnancy chances in half.
During the time following the ectopic several friends announced they were expecting. Each time the news ripped my heart out. God showed me one way to deal with the hurt and bitterness and anger was to pray with them for their babies as soon as I learned of their news. I know some of my friends thought I was crazy, dragging them here or there to pray for them RIGHT THEN. But, it was the only way to keep my heart from dying.
One sweet friend took me to lunch one Sunday afternoon and prayed for me. She knew my heart was aching and she encouraged me and spoke truth into my soul.
Other women who had walked those paths before poured into my life.
Nine months of trying later, God blessed us with the news that we were expecting...nine months later, I gave birth to my little man. I cannot fathom life without him, or any of my children, for that matter. I am so thankful for God's sovereignty and His perfect timing.
There are a hundred other things I could share with you about God's sovereignty in all of this, and stories of true friendship. Friends and family loved us well during that time. Mama and my MIL came and helped out. People gave and gave. We were blessed.
As the anniversaries come and go, I remember. T remembers. He is always so precious to whisper words of encouragement to me. And it's funny, I hated the scars that surgery left me with, and then there was a time when they were fading and I felt angry...like once they disappeared, I'd forget. I won't ever forget.
It was a hard journey. Given the opportunity to rewrite what happened, I would not. God is faithful and sovereign. God loves me so much that He gave His Son's life, for mine. He is good and His will is good. Those times of intense pain drew me ever closer to Him and for that, I am grateful.