Friday, January 13, 2012

He Gives & He Takes & He is Good


We've had some heavy, hard stuff these last few days. Some really heavy, hard stuff. Above you see our Christmas card from this past December. On it we wrote of the big changes coming..."the addition of a long prayed for baby and a big move" thanks to The Engineer's job change. We also wrote of standing in "awe of God's mercies and tenderness. That He has shown His faithfulness again and again. That He is faithful and He is good. Always & in all things."

And He is faithful.

And He is good.

Always.

In all things.

Y'all, I'm about to spill my heart. And this post is very long. And probably not very eloquent. And I am praying that God will guide my words. I want to be honest. I want to be transparent.

Tuesday afternoon at 4:05 I went be-bopping into my OB's office for a routine check up. I was a little over 17 weeks. I knew I'd be in and out. I checked in and was greeted with smiles and "how ya feeling?" I stepped into the lab and said "hi" to the lab technician. She asked about the children. We talked about our Christmases. I plopped down in the waiting room and noticed I was the only patient there. Turns out I was the last patient of the day. That was God's providence. The nurse came and got me almost immediately...again, asking how I was feeling while she got my weight and blood pressure. I laid back on the exam table and she started checking for baby's heartbeat...she couldn't find it. I felt a little anxious and asked if she was concerned. She said she could hear the placenta and "good stuff." She thought she'd picked up the heartbeat, but couldn't keep it, so we stepped over to ultrasound. I wasn't too concerned. This had happened with Little Bit and ultrasound picked up her heartbeat immediately.

So I lay on the table and my sweet friend began the ultrasound. I was running my mouth about not wanting to even know if she could tell the sex of the baby. And while I was talking, I was staring at the screen and I kept wondering why she had taken a picture of the baby and was studying it so intently. Everything was still, eerily still and quiet. I mean, I was there to look for the heartbeat. And then as I stared at the baby, I thought things looked really, really odd. My friend wasn't talking. I stopped talking and stared. She turned on a view that shows blood flow. Normally it fills the screen with color. There was hardly any color on the screen. And I looked at her and she said, "I know you've noticed I'm being really quiet. I've got to be honest with you. I can't get a heartbeat. This doesn't look good. I'm going to try from a few other angles." And then she said, "Sweetheart, I am so sorry. Your baby is gone."

And I wept. And the nurse came back in and brought another nurse with her and they held my hands and let me lean into them and I sobbed and the only thing I could think...what kept going through my mind...was that I had killed my baby. And I turned to the nurses and I told them I'd been under so much stress recently - with homeschool and preparing to move and getting the house ready to go on the market and mama's sickness and so much more. I told them I'd been doing house projects and I asked, because I had to know, "Did I kill my baby?"

And they immediately assured me I had not. And they held my hand and led me into another room. And I wept. And I had peace in my heart. And big, huge pain, but also a deep peace.

They tried The Engineer at home and couldn't get him. And God graciously provided. Our neighbor was home and went to the house immediately and told The Engineer he needed to meet me at the doctor's office and our neighbor took our children back to his house.

And my precious, precious doctor came in and he hugged me and just held me while I wept. And then he never let go of my hand while he talked to me about our baby. He spoke of how rare miscarriage is this far into pregnancy. He assured me there was nothing I could have done or not done to prevent what happened. He said this was God's sovereignty. He told me after looking at the ultrasound, based on baby's measurements, he thought the baby had died roughly three weeks earlier. I asked how that was possible. I'd still been so nauseated, I'd even thrown up recently. He explained that my body was still acting like I was pregnant...that my hcg levels were still high, thus the nausea. He went on to tell me that 99% of the time when a baby dies in the second trimester, it's due to some type of genetic abnormality. He said our baby's neck was very large - swollen, if you will. Which explained why things looked so odd to me on the ultrasound. He also told me he thinks the baby had died about three weeks earlier...which crushed me. I'd been carrying my baby, deceased, for three weeks, all the while glowing with hope and eager expectation. We'd just been at a wedding last weekend and we'd beamed as we shared our joy again and again. Who knew?

About that time The Engineer came running in, not knowing...and I barely got the words out, "There's no heartbeat." And I collapsed into him.

And he held me tight and he kissed me and he told me he loved me and I wept.

My doctor came back in and talked with The Engineer about all we'd already discussed. He assured us the genetic abnormality was there when sperm met egg. There wasn't anything we could have done.

And we asked, "What happens next?" He explained that I wasn't quite far enough along to deliver...I needed to be 20 weeks. We asked about all our options and agreed that a D&C or D&E was the best choice. And I was crushed. I mean, I know the baby isn't alive, his or her soul had departed, but all I could think about was that a D&C is one of the methods used in abortion and my precious baby - I didn't want that for my child. And my doctor also told us because of how far along I was, there was a much greater risk of damage to organs and of massive blood loss with the possibility of a blood transfusion.

He was so gentle with us. I asked when we would need to schedule that and he told us he didn't want to rush us. That we were in shock and should take some time to grieve. We could act Thursday morning (yesterday) or we could wait until some time next week.

He held our hands and he prayed with us and for us. He thanked God for our baby. He thanked God for us. He prayed for peace for us. Tears ran down my face. I bit my lip - nearly gnawed it off.

We walked out of the back office, hand in hand. The receptionists were still there and they were teary and they assured us they were already and would continue to pray for us.

We walked out the front door and The Engineer held me in the front yard of the office and I wept. Finally we pulled apart, the office was dark. The parking lot empty. The staff had left. The Engineer wanted to drive me home, but I couldn't bare the thought of him having to leave me later that night to pick up his truck. I assured him I was okay to drive and we left.

I started my car and remembered the Sunday after our miscarriage, nearly six years ago, and I remembered holding The Engineer's hand and weeping as we sang with the congregation Blessed Be Your Name. I remembered singing that song again after our ectopic pregnancy. I remembered singing it when mama and daddy divorced. It's always helped my heart - to remind me of truth. To speak truth. And I knew I had to sing it now. I had to choose to force myself to utter the words...

Blessed Be Your NameIn the land that is plentifulWhere Your streams of abundance flowBlessed be Your name 

Blessed Be Your nameWhen I'm found in the desert placeThough I walk through the wildernessBlessed Be Your name
 

Every blessing You pour outI'll turn back to praiseWhen the darkness closes in, LordStill I will say
Blessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your nameBlessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your glorious name
 

Blessed be Your nameWhen the sun's shining down on meWhen the world's 'all as it should be'Blessed be Your name
 

Blessed be Your nameOn the road marked with sufferingThough there's pain in the offeringBlessed be Your name
 

Every blessing You pour outI'll turn back to praiseWhen the darkness closes in, LordStill I will say
Blessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your nameBlessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your glorious name
 

Blessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your nameBlessed be the name of the LordBlessed be Your glorious name
You give and take awayYou give and take awayMy heart will choose to sayLord, blessed be Your name


And so I turned it on and I don't think my voice has ever sounded so horrid. I was sobbing and moaning and I sang every word of that song, as a prayer to God. Because I knew in my flesh there was no way I could praise Him. No way my heart could choose that. And I knew I had to sing it as a prayer, pleading for the Holy Spirit to work and move in my heart - to enable me to thank God in this horrible time. I don't want to be bitter and I know God is good. I know He is sovereign. I know He works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose. I know this baby was intentionally knit together by an almighty loving God. This wasn't a mistake. This genetic abnormality was part of God's perfect plan. And that's what hurt so so much.

I kept touching my belly - because I'm showing. Heck, I'd worn a maternity shirt to my appointment. And though there was peace in my heart, deep down, I felt really angry. And so, so hurt. I threw my hands up at God...why? "WHY? If this was Your plan, WHY did I have to endure four months of nausea??? WHY??? WHY???"

And I remembered Job questioning God.

And I remembered the story in John about the man born blind and the disciples asked Jesus who sinned? The man or his parents? And Jesus told them neither the man nor his parents had sinned, but the man was born blind that God might be glorified.

And I put my hands back on the steering wheel and told God I didn't get it, but I could trust Him, that He is was bigger than me and He sees fully and I was kind of mad about the nausea, but I could trust Him. (And I know that sounds lame, but it's where my heart was.)

And we got home and I went straight to that stack. That stack tied with a red ribbon, of all my journaling, all the cards and letters of love and encouragement from the two babies we'd already lost and I found it. Two pages of scripture a dear, dear friend had sent me, all truth. And my heart needed truth. I poured over the pages and wept and thanked God and The Engineer read some, too and we prayed and talked about how best to tell the children...and my heart broke all over again. I love my children and the older two are old enough to grasp what has happened, especially Sister. And she'd prayed faithfully for two years for this baby and everyday since we told her we were pregnant she's prayed for a healthy baby. I knew she would be crushed. And I prayed God would use the pain to make her more like Him, that He would guard her heart and keep her tender.

Turns out Little Bit was still next door and the older two had gone with our neighbor's son to Boy Scouts and then out to dinner. Which was perfect. We took Little Bit home and I've never been so happy to hold that child. To smell her. To kiss her. To breathe her in. To take her to the potty, even!

And we began the long and painful process of calling family. As we shared, I was seeing God's magnificent grace in my being the last patient and the only patient in the office...that the ultrasound tech had stayed, though there was no other appointment scheduled...that our neighbor had taken our children and so fast...that The Engineer got there so quickly...and our families wept with us and for us. And while we talked and wept, Little Bit sang and danced and I was so thankful for her innocence, for her happy contentment just to be with us. She reminded me of God's goodness and blessings.

We prayed about how best to tell Sister and Little Man and we prayed for their hearts, pleading with God. We want them to know that God is good. To see His faithfulness.

They got home a little later and were still nibbling on what was left of their dinner. The Engineer read to them about God being sovereign over all the earth, from the beginning and forever. That He rules and His throne is established. He read to them from Isaiah about going through fire and the flames not consuming us - about God's faithfulness. And he spoke of how even in the hard times, when life hurts so much, when there is pain and we grieve and things aren't the way we want them and nothing seems good, that God is still sovereign and good, even though the pain feels unbearable.

Sister knew. She kept interrupting and he gently quieted her so he could finish and then he told them. And Sister collapsed in tears, gut wrenching, body shaking sobs. I went to her and held her. Little Man sat there stunned. And as a family, we mourned.

A few minutes later, Sister pushed away and punched the air with her fist and shouted, "He's taken THREE! Why has He taken THREE? Why would He do that!!!???" And then she collapsed in sobs again.

It was a long night. A hard night. When we lost our second baby to miscarriage and then our third to an ectopic pregnancy it was hard, but grieving with children who comprehend what's happened is a whole different ball game. It wasn't just my hopes and The Engineer's that were dying, it was our children's, too. And they spoke of their desires for the baby, of their hopes and plans. Of the things they'd wanted to teach the baby...of wanting to hold the baby...of the games they'd wanted to play with baby.

It was heart wrenching. We talked about it being okay to be angry...that God does love us and He will sustain us. He is faithful. He will and is carrying us through these flames.

Eventually we tucked two exhausted and heart broken, teary children into bed. I went in Sister's room to kiss her goodnight and she'd spread pictures of her own birth and first days home with us all over her room...and it was all I could do to thank God for her and not think about all we'd be missing come June 16. She cried more and kept asking why and I kept telling her I didn't know. That God's ways aren't our ways. That I want to know why, too, but that we can trust and rest in Jesus.

I made my way over to Little Man's room where he, too, wanted to know why. And then he said, "Mama, if the baby was a boy, I am really really sad he died. And if the baby was a girl, I am still really, really sad she died. I wanted the baby to come out and sleep right there (and he pointed to the space beside his bed, where we'd told him baby would sleep, should baby be a brother)." And then he said, "Mama, I know we aren't supposed to look at privates, but when the doctor does your surgery, will you ask him, if he doesn't mind, if he would look at the baby's privates and tell me if the baby was a boy or girl." I assured him if we could find out, we would. And in tears, I tucked him into bed and crept out of his room, aching and grieving, but so thankful for his precious life.

I fell into bed, exhausted and aching with grief. My eyes were so swollen from crying I felt like I was looking through slits and despite two advil, my head throbbed from the tears. The Engineer brought me the salad I hadn't eaten earlier and a beer. And we sat on the bed and ate and drank and talked. We talked about how sad we were. About the dreams we had for this baby and the dreams for our family of six. We talked about how hard it is to bury those dreams. We talked about having wanted and tried and pleaded with God for this little one for a year and a half...of how He had brought us to a place of contentment, of not knowing how not having a fourth child could be better than having one, but that we really wanted His will, even if it meant no fourth child...and we talked about how God brought us to that place and then threw open His floodgates and overwhelmed us with a baby. We remembered our joy, our happiness, Sister's tears of joy when we told her. Our families had cried with joy. What a sweet and precious time of rejoicing we had had.

The Engineer and I curled up together and he held me and I wept...quiet tears and then body wrenching sobs. I made our bed a couch of tears. All night long.

Around 3:30 I got up. I couldn't sleep, couldn't quit crying...I got my Bible and my journal and those pages of scripture and I read through them again and I prayed through them. Y'all, it's hard to say, "God, You are good" when He took my baby. I mean, I know these truths in my heart, in the depths of my soul. I can reflect on times when His goodness didn't make any sense and I can see how He was working those things for my good...but oh the reality, to flesh it out in the midst of such pain and searing loss - it's something that simply cannot be done in the flesh. Scripture speaks of peace from God being a peace that passes understanding. As I spent the next three hours reading and praying and journaling and writing my prayers to God - of confessing my unbelief, of trying to trace Him, of trying to make sense - I kept a hand on my belly and I cried and I ached. It was and is so, so hard. And I wondered what I'd been doing when my baby's soul left his or her earthly little body. I thought back over the last few weeks...where had I been? What had I been doing? Had I been acting lovingly or speaking harshly?

Did my baby know how very much we loved and wanted him or her? Did he or she know there were ten hands and arms and five hearts and lips longing to hold and love and kiss him or her?

And what about my hopes for baby? My dreams? Coming to grips with knowing I'd never meet this little one this side of eternity has crushed me. I thought about all the joys of my babies growing in my womb, of the kicks and hiccups, of the birth process and the delight when baby finally appeared and The Engineer would call it - "It's a boy! or It's a girl!" And he would cut the cord and how we would both cry happy tears. I thought of the sleepless nights, of soothing the baby at my breast. Of the pitter patter of his or her feet that we would miss. I was so happy to have four children - FOUR. I'd already planned how to place car seats...that chair at our table would still be empty. That box I'd already packed, planning to have the movers place it in the nursery in our new home...not only had our baby died, but so many of my hopes and dreams had as well. Gone.

Three hours of aching and grieving, of crying out to God, of praying through scripture, of preaching the Gospel to myself, of pleading with God to sustain us, to be strong in our weakness, to fill us, to carry us...I climbed back into bed and slept until 8. I called the doctor to schedule surgery for Thursday morning...and when the receptionist got on the phone I couldn't speak. I was so choked up. And she got teary, too, and told me she'd prayed for us all night long and she spoke truth, gently and lovingly. She helped me get through the call. Registration, blood work, and surgery prep would all take place that afternoon. We were to be at the hospital at 5:15 Thursday morning with surgery scheduled sometime around 7.

That day (Wednesday) was a blur. I told The Engineer I felt like everything was out of control, including our house. There was a bathtub in the living room and tools everywhere and stuff everywhere - we'd still not finished moving belongings back into our bedroom, the life size manger from Christmas was still out and filled with paperwork...and together, we set about straightening and putting away. Mama and JJ (The Engineer's mom) arrived and jumped right in...hugging and loving and dusting and sweeping, mending and ironing. Oh they blessed me. And still, my heart was heavy with grief and tears sprang forth often, but working, having something to keep my hands busy was a blessing.

By that afternoon I think I'd cried every tear in my body. There were no more. They wouldn't come. Friends came and called and texted and we felt the love of God and we were ministered to. The body of Christ is a beautiful thing. Many prayed with us and even more prayed for us.

And I was afraid. So afraid. I knew God was in control. I knew He would do His will. It's just that, His will so often isn't mine. And so often His will is just plain hard and it hurts. And I don't like it. At. All. And I kept thinking, "what if His perfect will is for my uterus to be damaged during surgery...for us to never be able to have another baby? What if that is His plan?" And I told Him...I told Him I was scared. I told Him that's not what I wanted and I begged and pleaded with Him to preserve me, that in the future He might bless us with more children. And y'all - I knew what I had to do before surgery - and by the grace of God I had to do it, with the help of the Spirit...I had to determine, to purpose in my heart that should the good and perfect will of God be for permanent damage to occur, that my heart would choose to say, blessed be Your name. That my heart would choose to give thanks, in all circumstances for this is the will of Christ Jesus for me. That is not something I can do on my own. I am so weak, but really, I am seeing it, in my weakness He is strong.

I took my time reading to the children and kissing them goodnight. I memorized their beautiful faces. I smelled their hair and I kissed their little lips. I prayed with them and for them. And I made them promise me they would always remember that God loves them and that no matter what He is good and He is sovereign.

I didn't fall asleep until close to 1. All night I had been cramping and my back aching. There were other signs my body was preparing for labor. At 4:40 in the morning Warrior started barking. I was furious, until The Engineer realized our alarm hadn't gone off and it was a blessing the dog had barked. Stinkin' dog.

I showered and dressed and knelt beside my bed and prayed. I begged God to give me strength. I begged Him to sustain us, to carry us. I pleaded with Him to protect my body through this procedure. We prayed most of the way to the hospital.

And then I was a jerk and fussed at The Engineer for being so far past due on an oil change for his truck. I knew in my heart I was wrong. I knew I wasn't really frustrated about that, that it was fear and hurt and pain, but I let him have it just the same. I'm a jerk. And he was gracious and loving and gentle. He was Jesus to me - turning the other cheek and loving perfectly when I was so unlovable.

We checked in. I determined not to cry. My nurse shared with me she'd lost two babies. She was sweet and kind and gentle. I could tell she loved her job. And she loved us well. She stuck me for my IV and it didn't take. She promised not to stick me again, said we'd wait for anesthesia to do it. She left the room and I cried. It had hurt so bad and I felt angry at God. I mean, not only were we going through all this, not only had He taken our baby, not only had The Engineer's "check engine light" come on the day before, not only had the heat pump quit working the night before, not only, not only, not only, but now I'd had to go through the pain of being stuck with an IV that wouldn't take. WHY??? "What for, God? This is just one more thing! And for what purpose?"

The Engineer and I held hands and we prayed some more and the call came. They were ready for me. I made a quick trip to the bathroom and there were more signs of labor and I was so thankful to be heading into surgery, though my heart ached. I was thankful for more signs that it was time, that though baby's body was still in mine, his or her soul had long departed. The Engineer kissed me and my nurse reminded me that Jesus loves me.

A big black man pushed my bed down the halls and he was kind and he was gentle. He pointed out what a beautiful day it was. And I agreed. The sun was shining and the skies were blue and I would walk out of that hospital with empty arms and an empty womb.

He took me to the holding room. The nurse was gruff. I started crying. She asked what I was afraid of. I told her I wasn't afraid. I was sad. The anesthesiologist stood beside my bed. She gave me kleenex and she asked me how far along I was. She patted me and was kind and told me how sorry she was for our loss.

The nurse came back, much gentler. She got my iv in, and this time I barely felt the pain. They started me on something to take the edge off...and then our pastor and The Engineer appeared. And they stood beside my bed and prayed for me. I kissed The Engineer once more and he left.

And then another nurse came in and she smiled at me with the most sympathetic and precious smile. She told me her name and that she was a patient of my doctor's and I knew from her gentle spirit that she was a believer. She told me she'd be with me from that point on. She and the other nurse talked...I heard them talking about having blood ready...

As the nurse pushed my bed down the hall I placed my hand over my abdomen, over my baby, and I left it there. I asked if I'd get to see my doctor before surgery. We rounded the corner and there he was and he leaned down over my bed and hugged me and he held my hand and he walked with me through the halls and corridors, never letting go of my hand. He helped me onto the operating table. One nurse stood at my head and rubbed my shoulders and wiped my tears. Another nurse stood at my feet and rubbed them. My doctor sat to my right and held my hand and talked to me, he leaned close to my face, he spoke words of encouragement and truth to me. The anesthesiologist was to my left and he was so kind and so gentle.

And I realized, had that first IV taken, I'd have missed all of that. All of God's precious grace. Because I would have been too medicated. Oh the sweetness of God working all things together for my good.

I woke to the same nurses in the same places, stroking my head and rubbing my shoulders and feet and tears streamed down my face. Waking to the horrid reality that it was finished. My baby was gone. My womb was empty. A third nurse stood to my left and held my hand. She leaned over me and asked if she could pray for me. I nodded and thanked her and those three nurses prayed for me. Oh how they ministered to my aching heart. I asked if there were any complications and they told me everything had gone perfectly and more tears came - tears of joy mixed with grief and pain and hope. And then, they were so precious, they kept me right there in the OR and let me recover in their care, rather than sending me to "recovery." And I was so, so thankful. God's mercies were so obvious, pouring out over me like a soothing balm.

Shortly thereafter I was back in outpatient surgery and The Engineer came in first and he hugged me and kissed me and mama and JJ came in and loved on me. And the nurse was kind and precious. And we headed home...with empty arms. And I was thankful I didn't have to leave through the same exit I'd left through with my babies in my arms.

We pulled up to the house and there was no lamb with a big pink or blue bow to welcome us. No baby carrier to unload. No nursery and glider in which to nurture baby. There was a peace lily on the front porch and our empty arms. A friend pulled up. She'd been through this. She'd tread this path. She knew our grief. She held me on our sidewalk and cried with me and for me. And she gave me a book that had been dear to her heart...From Grief to Glory. As I scanned the cover and realized the great men of faith who'd been through the same sort of thing my heart filled with hope...Spurgeon, Charles Wesley, Luther, Calvin...they had been here.

I climbed into our bed, that mama had made so sweetly for us. Our bedroom was clean and neat. I asked The Engineer to raise all the blinds and let the sun stream in. He brought me my Bible and journal. I prayed and read. I thanked God for guiding the doctor's hands, for protecting my organs. And I began reading From Grief to Glory. I pulled out my friend's vegetarian chili recipe from within the pages of the book...she had read this very book and now had passed it on to me. And God spoke through the words in that book, through the shared experiences of other believers who knew God to be good and sovereign and faithful, to have a plan better than anything we could ask or imagine...and I read of their grief and their pain.

30 pages in I closed the book and I lifted my arms up and I prayed. I poured out my heart before the Lord and He comforted me. And He spoke to my heart. I remembered Sister asking why He would take another baby. I had felt the same way...like He'd taken what was mine. Ever so gently, He reminded me that He is the creator of life. That our baby had never been ours. The baby was His. He knit that baby together and He gave us the hope of baby's life, the privilege of carrying life...He didn't take something from us that wasn't already His. Our baby always belonged to God and was His to take and to do with as He pleased. And He reminded me that all of our children are but a gift, that we are to hold them with an open hand because they belong to the Lord. He has entrusted us with them, but they are not ours, they are His. And He loves them more than we are capable of loving.

I'm not sure how to express the depth of grief we feel and are experiencing and the pain...the brokenness...the crushed hope...the death of our baby and so much more. And yet, I can say that God is good. He is faithful. He is real. The Gospel is real. He is in control of everything. Everything. I can thank Him, in tears, for this dear child. I've even smiled and laughed. Our grief is deep. Our sorrows are deep. There are wounds, cuts that are deep. We are broken. And He is the restorer. He gives joy and hope and peace. He binds up the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

We are so, so very weak and He is strong in us. We have talked and prayed - we don't want to waste a second of pain, not a moment of the hurt. Teach us, oh Father, shape and mold us. Change us. Be glorified through this and in this. Make our family more like Jesus. Show your goodness and faithfulness through this and in this. Make much of yourself, sweet Jesus. Be honored, be glorified.

I know the days and weeks and months ahead will be hard. Sister asked if I was done crying, I told her I was only just beginning. I know from the other two babies we lost that the pain and grief hit, often at unexpected times. I don't know that I'll be able to look on a growing belly and not tear up. I don't think I can look at my friends who are carrying and not weep. And I pray they will bare with me. I love them and I am happy for them and it hurts, too. And I am raw. I don't want to be that girl who can't stop crying...who is hard to be around because she makes you feel weird. I don't want to be like that...and yet I know, I know these days are going to be so hard, so hard.

Coming home to the...noise is what I thought at first, and then I decided it's not noise, it's a symphony of life. The clatter and the banging, the playing, the running, the barking, and the messes - they are indicative of life and this life God has given me, us, is beautiful. Through the tears and in the pain, there is beauty.

I love my baby. I love my baby so much. And I am so sad, crushed. And God has shown His goodness, His faithfulness. Always. In all things. I am so thankful that I am His and He is mine.

I am thankful for others who have gone before us. Who have endured. Who have tread this road. I am thankful to know of God's faithfulness to them. There will still be an empty chair at our kitchen table. And another piece of my heart is gone. And my belly doesn't look so pregnant any more. My heart is raw and at the same time, it is filled with love for God, with peace. It's an unexplainable paradox...the joy in the midst of deep, deep grief.

And I am thankful for each of you. I am so thankful. Knowing that we are moving in four months, knowing that baby would have arrived shortly after our arrival - I'll be new in a new town with an open wound in my heart few will be aware of and there is comfort in friends who know and love and weep with you when you weep. I am so thankful to take you with me. I know there will be many days of weeping and sadness ahead. I pray God will continue to carry us, that the waves will not consume us, that the fires will not burn us...that He will be strong in our weakness...that He will guard our hearts and keep us, make us tender before Him. I pray He will keep us from bitterness, that He will be glorified. That He will make us satisfied, delighted in Him...that He will wipe our tears. I have great hope that in God's sovereignty, our baby is with Him.

We ache. Deeply. And God is good. This chapter is sad and heavy and hard and yet, in His mercies and tenderness He is writing a beautiful story. To Him be the glory. Hold us close Father. Comfort us. Be our peace. And please Lord, be glorified.

Friends, I love you. We covet your prayers. It is wonderful to know we are loved and are prayed for. Please weep with us and ache with us and love us. We are setting our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of our faith, pray He will keep our eyes and hearts on Himself.

To God be the glory.

63 comments:

  1. I have never commented before and we don't know each other, but I just read this and wept with you. I cannot imagine the heartache and depth of the pain you are going through. I honor you for bringing the glory back to God and for the way you handled talking to your children about your loss.

    I am praying that you will see God's perfectly apportioned grace over you as it is written in Ephesians 4:7.

    I am in a situation unlike yours, but where I have found myself being angry at the timing and the plan that is unfolding for our family. This post did a number on my heart as I was able to see through your story that God is working through a bigger picture, and to trust in him during the hard times too. Thank you for sharing and know that this stranger is praying for you today.

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  2. this is so beautifully written from your heart. I LOVE, I admire, how you look to God through it all. Tears and prayers, bloggy friend. That is what I have for you right now.... And a big (virtual) hug sent your way. Keep looking to Jesus as your comforter--I can sense you KNOW He'll never fail you.
    <3 <3 <3

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  3. J!! My heart goes out to you and your family! I know too many women who have faced this and it makes my heart heavy. I have had 2 losses and they are never easy!
    Praying for you as you go through this season of grief and change. Thanks for sharing something so hard so beautiful!

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  4. Your words,your heart sharing are a blessing, and so is the beloved baby you carried-- a blessing, making a mark on the world. Every life a blessing, every life counts, your baby, this baby, a fulfillment.
    I am sorry for your loss, so much is lost, prayers will be said for all of you.

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  5. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing, and in such detail. I first found your blog through the beautiful house tour you did, which is funny because just last night I was asking God for help not focusing my life on earthly things. I felt him encourage me to continue assessing life by eternal consequence because he is "building a soul in me."

    This was such a great reminder that he is constantly working the eternal in us.

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  6. Oh, Jennifer. I am weeping for you and with you. I am so heartbroken for you and your sweet, precious family. God has each of you in the palm of His hand and loves you more than you can ever know. I am so, so sorry. Sending my love to all of you!

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  7. i am just so so sorry sweet girl.
    your precious tender heart...i'm so sorry.

    i lost two early early 2nd trimester prior to having my caroline & felt i grieved so much over them and i wasn't even 'showing'...i can only imagine...

    i'm so sorry
    &
    i'm praying

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  8. Oh sweet friend, I am so sorry. I am so sad for you and my heart aches for your loss. I don't even know what to say except I'm thinking of you and your family and very word you said is so true. Blessings and so much love, you are such a faithful one and have such a sweet heart.

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  9. I was so saddened to hear this news via the church prayer chain. I immediately began praying for you and the whole family and will continue to do so. I always love and appreciate your transparency and I know God will use this {and you}, even in your darkest hours. Blessed be the name.

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  10. Oh, Jenn, I ache for you all. My prayers are for you and your husband, but especially for your two oldest children. You can be assured that they are being lifted up, that this would not drive them away from God but draw them toward Him. I'm so, so deeply sorry for this terrible loss. God has given you much to bear, but know that you do not bear it alone.

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  11. Sweet, sweet friend. My heart is heavily grieved for you and has been. Your words are a testimony to the faithfulness and goodness of our Savior and I am so thankful for your powerful testimony in the middle of 'the desert place'. I am praying for all of y'all, I love you and I am lifting you up through many tears. xoxo

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  12. I also have never commented before, but your words have always flowed directly from your page straight to my heart. God has used you in many ways as a balm to my heart. I wept as I read this and just fervently ask God to bless you in the brokenness. I am praying that he whispers sweet promises to you as your family heals.

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  13. J - thank you so much for writing this through your tears. I am brokenhearted for you, and thank you for being so vulnerable. We love you.
    I needed this - I had a crying moment yesterday while talking to Turner about Heath's mom. We talked about her being with Jesus, and I wept while realizing that while we were so sad, it hurt because it was His plan and I couldn't understand.
    It just hurts, and I am sorry!

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  14. My heart just aches. Thank you for sharing your heart. I have thought about y'all so much this week. What a powerful testimony of your love of the Lord and your trust in Him. Praying, praying, praying. Love to y'all.

    Kristen

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  15. J-I just read your blog and cried through the whole thing. I am so sad and I hurt for you and your family to have to go through this again. I am always amazed at your realness and honestly and I think that is part of your healing. I am praying for you for peace, comfort, and healing. I thought of Hebrews 4:16 "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." You are doing just that, bringing God your every thought and feeling and he will do the rest, supplying you with exactly what you need. We love yall!

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  16. I am so very, very sorry.
    You and your entire family will be in my prayers.
    May God give you His peace as you grieve your precious child.

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  17. My friend just sent me the link to your blog knowing what I'm going through. I lost an 8 week ectopic baby on December 8th this year. I had a first trimester natural miscarriage 5 years ago before our first child. We have a 3 and 2 year old boy now. Most what spoke to me today, was when you wrote that coming home and kissing Little Bit, holding her, smelling her hair, was heavenly. I have learned to thank God all the more for the two precious blessings we do have. And I join you in the grief and loss of babies. 17 weeks, I can not fathom. I only know you as a sister in Christ and yet I will hold you so near and dear in prayer. May he draw you close and comfort you sweetly.
    Love,
    Sarah

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  18. I am weeping with you sweet sister in Christ. How perfectly you describe what it is like to be a believer going through a time of anguish. I am praying...I don't even really know what to pray...yes, I do...I'm going to pray blessed be His name just like you. I am shaking my fist just like sister. I am mad and sad. I just love and adore you, Jen. We've never met, but I feel like we know each other. Please know that others (including me) are praying when you feel like you can't. Jesus loves you and he adores you. You are His BELOVED!!! Praying, praying, grieving, and praying. Sending you the biggest virtual hug I have!!

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  19. Dear Jenn,

    First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart aches for you and I am crying with you. I am praying for you and for your family. I am praying for healing, for comfort, and for our heavenly Lord to hold you and carry you through this time. I always read your blog, but I have never commented. You always touch me with your honest words and encourage me on my walk with the Lord, so thank you. I have lost two dear, sweet babies and I am desperately praying for my first child. My heart understands. I will continue to pray daily for you.

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  20. I have never commented before but just wanted to tell you how truly sorry I am for this devastating loss. I am heartbroken for y'all, but your faith is inspirational. I'll be praying for your family as you grieve your precious baby.

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  21. Jennifer, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart hurts for you and your family. I am praying for y'all. My prayer is that you will continue to experience in a very real way that "the eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms."- Dt.33:27- Thank you for allowing us to see God in you,
    Anna (Poythress) Beall

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  22. Jennifer (Hart) WendorfJanuary 13, 2012 at 9:57 PM

    Oh Jenn, I am so very sorry! My heart breaks for you, and I was brought to tears reading this. I had taken a very long break from blog-reading, and it was only recently that I caught up on the past several months of posts. I was overjoyed to hear the news that you were expecting and of all that seemed to be at work in your life. While I cannot directly relate to what you are going through, I can only imagine the devastating blow that this is for y'all. Please know that I am praying for all of you. I pray that you will feel the comforting arms of Christ surrounding you. That you would be allowed a place to grieve, and that in that place you would see His grace. That you would experience a peace that could only come from Him. And that time will heal, even if you never understand. Hugs!

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  23. Praying for you. My heart is so broken because I have walked this road, too. I read every word you typed and felt too, so intensely, those exact emotions. If it is any comfort, and it might not be at this time, it will be such a springboard for your faith in the years to come to remember how His grace TRULY was sufficient for you, even in your darkest hour. So beautiful to see how He is already at work revealing in small ways how much He loves you. Isn't it amazing that there is so much humility and hope, even if sometimes only a glimmer, when you know and love Jesus? Even in death, there is hope! I am so very sorry for your loss. When I went through the same experience at a routine check up and then the d&c, I had to remind myself the truth that He most certainly will comfort and heal. Some days it feels so dark and hopeless. He promises to "comfort those who mourn" and that "weeping comes for a night, but JOY comes in the morning." "Your heart and flesh may fail. But God is the strength of your heart, and your portion forever." Those promises are for you, sweet friend. Much, much love to you! Our baby, too, died at 14 weeks gestation with the fatty folds on the back of her neck presenting a genetic abnormality. My oldest son was 6 and took it very hard as well. He turned is back away from us and cried and questioned God, too. It was heart wrenching. Praying that the Enemy will not be successful in His attempts to overcome you with fear and despair. Praying that God will use all His means of grace to fill your heart to overflowing with assurance and peace and hope as your body and heart are healing. And looking forward to how God will bless you, whether with another baby, or with a renewed and deepened joy in raising your three darling ones. You are such a precious, godly sister in Christ. Thank you for sharing your heart!!

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  24. I remember rejoicing with you after you announced that after such anticipation you were pregnant with the child your family had been longing for. And tonight I am weeping with you for your pain and grief. We will hold you and your family up in our prayers. God's ways are not our own and He works them out for our good. I pray that you will continue to preach the gospel to yourself and your family. That God is sovereign. That He is faithful. That He is good. My heart especially aches for you since I am pregnant with our first baby. I find it hard not to fear sometimes. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding me that children are a gift and blessing from God, but are never truly ours. That I need to hold my baby with an open hand. This terrifies me. But I find such strength and truth in your story. Thank you for sharing. I read every word.

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  25. I have no adequate words. Just many tears, much love, and frequent fervent prayer.

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  26. Dear Jenn, I have read your blog from time to time but have never commented before. Reading this post made me cry. I always love hearing about people announcing their pregnancies, especially when they've been looking forward so much. I felt dread in my stomach when I read the heading of your blog tonight and then started crying when I started reading. I am so sorry for your loss. I don't know what to say other than I'll pray for you. I am so sorry for the loss of your dear little baby. I am sure they knew just how much they were loved. Some things are just too precious for this world. God gives and God takes away. I will be thinking of you. Please do not be too hard on yourself, there is nothing you could have done. I am so sorry for your loss. With much love and a big hug, Stella xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
    God bless youxxxxxxxxxxx

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  27. Your words are so beautiful even in the story of great loss. Thinking of you and your entire family.

    Please take care.

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  28. You are precious. I love you my friend. The LORD shines through you. HE is Faithful. I will be praying for you. MUCH MUCH Love to you all!

    Camille XOXO

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  29. I know your sister, but do not know your personally but enjoy your blog and your openness...your realness. I appreciate your transparency. I just read every single word and wept with you. Know God is using you to his glory. Praying for you and your family.

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  30. {{{{hugs}}} I too have walked that path. All miscarriages are hard, but late ones when you have older children who grieve as well, well that's *really* hard. Praying, praying that He will be strong on your behalf and comfort you and your sweet family as only He can.

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  31. Oh the tears are flowing, my prayers are with you now. I know your pain, we also have lost 3 babies and the 2nd was also in the 2nd trimester and it is so hard. Know that your words are true, scripture is true and our gracious God is already using you for his glory. We through all of our losses and 7 yrs of infertility before we had any babies now have 5children. Through it all God is good and everyday will be a little brighter. You are a wonderful inspiration!

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  32. I read this and cried, my heart breaks for you. I told my husband how terribly sad I am for you, how I feel like we've been friends for some time yet I've never even met you. I prayed faithfully for God to allow you to have another baby and I rejoiced when you announced this blessing in your life months ago. As I started this post my heart sank as I feared what I was about to read next.
    I cannot imagine your pain and all the feelings you experiencing with SO many things going on outside of this devastating loss of a tiny, precious baby.
    I know that you are clinging to Christ and His Word and I pray that time and time again He will speak to your heart healing and comfort continually. He is your source and He will not let you be overtaken, He will see you through, He will be glorified in all of this and is being glorified in your beautiful, humble honesty and dependence on Him.
    I will continue to faithfully pray for your hurting, broken heart and I also stand with you and believe that God will bless you again with another healthy pregnancy.
    Words cannot describe my heart for you. Hold fast and lean heavy, our Father is good and He is compassionate to you.

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  33. Dear Jen,
    I wept as I read your post. At the same time, I agree, God is good. He is faithful and knows what He is doing. I will be praying for you and your family.
    We don't know each other, but we know the same God. He is loving and may His peace be with you.
    In God's Grace,
    Sandy

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  34. We were so sad to hear this news. We love your family, and prayed for each of you - by name - last night. We will continue to do so. Love you friend! Wish I could hug you and hold your hand! -Denise

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  35. Oh Jenn. I'm so sorry. The same thing happened to me. I was sick, I was growing and the baby had been gone for over a month. I felt tricked. It was very, very hard.

    I will be praying for you. I love your heart. I know you are clinging to God, because that is just who you are and what you do. I know you are going to be OK only because of His mercy and love. He is compassionate and He is "The God Who Sees".

    I love you so much and again I'm so sorry.

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  36. Prayers for you are continually being lifted up! I'm so sad and sorry to hear of your loss. Your heart and faith are a testimony to so many. I'm thinking about you during this incredibly hard time!

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  37. Oh Jenn. I am so deeply sorry and grieved for your family - heartbroken. I will praying for each of you.

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  38. I've been reading your blog for a while and I don't think I've ever commented.

    I couldn't hardly breath reading this entire post. My heart aches for you and your loss.

    My first son was born with a chromosome abnormality and we were afraid to have another but my heart longed for a baby terribly. We had a surprise pregnancy last fall and every doctors visit painfully intense. So having that experience and thinking it was beyond dreadful, I couldn't imagine how painful your visit was.

    I can tell by reading your blog posts that you really know our LORD, so I know He will be with you for this time period.

    I will keep you, your husband, and those precious children in my prayers.

    Thank you for being transparent~
    In Christ,
    Angel

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  39. Sweet Jennifer. Thanks for sharing your heart. I've been wanting to call, or come by...and also afraid to. You all are heavy on our hearts...we'll keep praying. I'm thankful that you are God's...that he will take good care of you. I love you, dear friend, and I'm so, so sorry.

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  40. I am so sorry guys. I cry with you at this time that I know is so hard. Love you all. You will be in our prayers.

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  41. Jen,
    I first started reading your blog when you commented on my sister's blog. Have always enjoyed reading about your family, looking at pictures of your beautiful home...and was excited to read about your pregnancy. I am so so sorry for the loss of your baby. I have not experienced that pain...but like every mother, have feared it during my pregnancies. I could not stop crying as I read your post. All I can say is I am sorry...so very sorry. I will be praying that our Father in heaven comforts you and surrounds you with his love during this time. Thank you for your honesty and thank you for continuing to give Him the glory during this painful time.

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  42. On my knees at His throne tonight, on your behalf. So heartbroken for you, and yet so thankful that you and The Engineer have each other. Wish I could bear more of this burden for you.

    Love,
    Erin, Cookeville, TN

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  43. I am so sorry for your loss.

    It is a blessing that you were surrounded with such loving caregivers, when your suffering was so great.

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  44. Jen, when I first read this I didn't even have a response. I am so very sorry - there aren't any words for such heartbreaking news. We love you, and I am praying each and every day for new mercies from our great and gracious God. You are so admirable in the way you have handled this - thank you for such honesty and truth. Much love!

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  45. Jen,
    Crying with you and praying for you.
    Continue to draw your strength from the One whose strength never runs out.
    -Rebekah W.

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  46. Jen, I am so so deeply sad and sorry for the loss of your precious baby. Thanks for your faith even while walking through the valley. Knowing that each of our tears is recorded in His book is such a comfort (Ps. 56:8). Not one goes unnoticed or unaccounted. Love you, friend.

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  47. Jenn, Thomas gave me this to read and I sat in his office and wept. Been there too. I will continue to pray for you guys.

    becky givens
    Lake Crest Pres

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  48. Sweet Jennifer, I am soooo very sorry. When i found out my heart hurt for you all. PLEASE know that i have thought about you often this week and have prayed for you all. I can not imagine what you all must be going through. Your post was amazing and truly shows your hope in the Lord. What a powerful example you are even through your pain. Rest at His feet!
    love,
    lindsay nicholls

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  49. Jenn, I don't know if I've ever commented but I read often. You are so encouraging to us readers and your faith and hope in the Lord is refreshing. When I read you were expecting I wept out of joy for you (what an amazing gift!) and out of sadness for myself. I miscarried early on (was due June 9) so around the time you announced I was having my much dreaded D&C.

    When I clicked over to your blog yesterday I wept as I read and praised the Lord for his blessings, alongside you. Words escaped me. I wanted to comment but I sat empty. I thought of you all night and I prayed long and hard for you and your sweet family. Your words resonated with me. The feeling of losing my baby is still fresh with me and I wept last night as I prayed for you (someone I don't know in real life!!) but I also praised God bc He is good and He is sovereign.

    You are an amazing woman of God and I pray you can find peace. His mercies are new every morning!

    "Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:21-23

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  50. Sweet Jenn, You don't know me but I so enjoy your blog (which I found through ModObject). I have never lost a child so I cannot begin to imagine the depth of pain and loss you are feeling. Last night as I was driving, the song "Held" came on the radio and as she sang, I thought of you and your sweet family and prayed for God's peace and healing. Hugs
    Jen

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  51. I've never commented but I have been following your blog for a while now and I just wanted to say how sorry I am to hear about your loss. I cried through your whole post just aching for you and your family. My parents lost a baby boy at 6 days old when I was 11 and as a sibling trying to understand the "why's" at such a young age was and still is a struggle. I will continue to pray for you and your family as you endure this time of grieving.

    - May the Lord bless you and keep you.
    May the Lord make his face to shine upon you,
    and be gracious to you.
    May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
    and give you peace.

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  52. I'm so so so sorry for you and your sweet family. My family has also seen the loss of several little lives. And the only thing I can tell you is that I believe with everything in me that you will see those babies again. You will be reunited with them on the other side of this life. And the joy will be unmeasurable. I know thats not much but I kept thinking about this one promise.
    Maybe this move will even help. You have no idea the blessings God has waiting for you. I pray that in everyway possible you will be comforted. I'm so sorry.

    I have to also say that you have no idea how many people you are touching with your raw and honest writing. Its truly beautiful and I have been blessed by it and I don't even know you. I love your blog and I love your family. Thank you so much.

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  53. Jennifer,
    My sister just e-mailed me a link to your blog. I cannot believe how much our stories are the same. I went two weeks ago to my ob at a 17 week check-up and my baby had also died. I had no signs before this. We were absolutely devasted. The nurse tried to find the heartbeat and then we went to get an ultrasound. They think it was about 2-3 weeks prior that the baby had passed....around Christmas. Like you, we had sent out Christmas cards with our news of our baby due in June and our move to Texas in late Jan. I also just started to wear maternity clothes. This baby would have been our 4th as well. We have 3 beautiful children ages 9,7 and 5. This was our wondeful little "surprise" baby that has brought us so much joy from the first day we found out. We are also moving....actually in less than 2 weeks to Texas from North Carolina for my husband's job (he is also an engineer). Your story is almost an exact mirror of my own. I also had to go through a D&E procedure last week which was so very hard...emotionally. The finality and the procedure itself was one of the hardest things I have ever been through. I recovered physically very quickly, but it hurt so badly to walk out of the hospital with an empty womb and hole in my heart. I never would have imagined the depth of the grief until I walked this road myself; however, the Lord has been so faithful to sustain and comfort us through it all. It is so hard to say goodbye to our precious baby and to our dear friends here in NC. My heart is so heavy with sadness; yet, I know that Jesus goes before us and will provide all we need.
    I do not know you, but you are my sister in Christ. i will be lifting you up in prayer as you walk this very same road this year. Thank you for sharing your story. God is good. One of the biggest comforts is knowing that I will get to meet my little baby one day in heaven. And you will too.
    Blessings,
    Kristen

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  54. sweet sister, i have finally found the emotional strength to read what you've written. and while you said to me all of these words, just the same as you wrote them, it is still like hearing it for the first time. my heart is deeply pierced. i am so deeply sad. and i am so deeply grateful for the life that fills both of our homes, straight from the hand that gives AND takes. I love you and you know I weep with you. xoxo, K

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  55. I cannot fathom the pain you and your family are going through during this time, but I wanted to thank you for sharing your story. I am an operating nurse and these cases always leave me feeling empty and inadequate. I hope I can be a better sister in Christ to my patients who have to go through this. Thank you for being so honest and strong and prayers are being fervently sent up for you and your family.

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  56. Hi J, I am OleMissMom's cousin & have been following your blog for several years now. Your sister, K, helped out with my ballet class at Steeple Arts & I also keep up with her blog as well. I don't think I've ever commented though. I keep coming back to your blog because I am always so encouraged by your honesty and your journey through motherhood. It's so obvious that you KNOW your children & you are truly investing in their precious lives. We do not have any children yet, but reading your blog has given me just a little bit more excitement about loving the little people God may choose to give us one day and having the opportunity to invest in their lives. I was so excited to read that you were pregnant & am so sad that you & your husband & your children are going through this. Thank you for continuing to live out your faith and truth in our loving Savior. I pray that you & the children would really experience & know His goodness even in this valley. Lifting you up!

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  57. So sorry Jen,your all in our prayers

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  58. Oh, Jenn. I'm so, so sad for you. You have Ken's and my prayers. My heart breaks over your children too. I will definitely be praying for their hearts and minds to be guarded by their Big Brother Jesus.

    I look forward to Glory where we will all gather around Jesus, and He names our wounds, touching them and healing them, drying all the tears we've ever cried from our eyes. I look forward to meeting your children, all of them, in the place where all things sad become untrue and like a distant dream. So thankful for a God willing to break His heart over us, so that He could one day mend and heal our brokenness.

    Love you, dear one,
    Abby

    P.S. If you think of it, would you mind e-mailing me your address sometime? I

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  59. We do not know each other, but I have been reading your blog for sometime. I found your blog through Elizabeth Sullivan Snodgrass. My heart aches for you and your raw honesty touches me. I had a D&C back in December at 11 weeks, which is nowhere close to being as far along as you were. I just cannot imagine finding out any days or weeks later. As you, I was so surprised because I was still feeling so nauseous and having all the pregnancy signs. I went into the doctor's appointment so happy and carefree, and left in complete shock when the ultrasound revealed the heart had stop beating, possibly the day before my appointment. The d&c was scheduled for a few days later, and it was just a surreal, terrible feeling knowing that this life inside of me was no longer alive, and I was still feeling all the pregnancy symptoms which just made me angrier. The night before the d&c I started feeling signs that my body was ready for the procedure, and just as you said, I felt thankful for signs that it was time, but my heart also ached even more. The nurses I had were also so sweet to me, and though they didn't straight up tell me that they had been through this loss before, I could just feel it from their words and compassion. At that time, I had only known of one person who had a D&C, and I found that out after I had shared my story with someone. I felt alone in that I wanted to talk to someone who had also been through it. It was hard to talk about it to others, especially since very, very few people knew what was going on. Reading your words has really helped me. Thank you for sharing your story. God IS faithful, as you know, and I know there are many blessings in store for your precious family.

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  60. Jenn- I have been away for awhile, and checking in just now a couple of weeks after you have posted this, and I am sitting at the Y, just weeping for you. I am so sorry. So so sorry. I know your disappointment. I know your heartbreak. And there is nothing to say except that He is good, and His love endures forever. Praying for you.

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  61. Jenn-I am clearly behind. I was checking in to see how you are, and I found this post. Words can't describe how sorry I am. My own biggest struggle right now, is the big question of WHY? I am guilty of questioning God a lot. I just cried through this post...and you gave me some major perspective. I can already see God working through you and your beautiful words. I am so very sorry-my heart aches with you. You're all in my prayers.

    Ashley

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  62. I cannot retrace the links I followed to find your blog - then to hang around just to learn where you and your beautiful family will be moving. Oh, the tears I shed as I read of your lost littlest one. My heart aches for you. I am overwhelmed and awed and not just a tiny bit humbled by your love, your humility, and your faith. I will pray for you and your precious family. Your faith and the honest, trusting way you pray is truly a blessing for you, but also a wonderful lesson for the many of us who struggle to find God and trust Him in all things.

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  63. Just found your blog the other day and bookmarked it, then came back today to read farther back and came across this post. I'm sitting here crying, for you, for myself, having gone through almost the exact experience several years ago, also at 17 weeks. Currently, other hard issues have come up in our lives, and I've been reminding myself that God loves us through the good and bad. Your post, even in it's sadness, has been a blessing to me today.

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