On March 25th, we went into to see our Midwife for a normal check up. I was just over 16 weeks pregnant. She couldn't find the baby's heartbeat. I have been through this before. Both Ryan and I were able to stay calm. We left the birth center in a state of shock, but we both still felt peace. There was a possibility that my placenta had grown in front and was blocking their ability to hear baby's heartbeat. That gave us hope and something to lean on.
Last time when we experienced this, I found myself in a tug-of-war. Do I stand in faith and pray for God to resurrect my baby or do I embrace that he is no longer living and let go? It was torture- and I rode the fence the entire time. I was determined to follow my peace this time, and not be so concerned about what I "should" do.
That night, I decided to go to a friend's house to help her out with something. On my way over, this song came on in my car: One Thing Remains. I broke down. I had to pull over because I was crying so hard. I am a worship leader and have lead this song countless times. It was like hearing it for the first time. It expressed so beautifully what I knew to be true within my heart.
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me
And then I heard the words:
In death, in life, I am confident and covered by the power of Your great love. My debt is paid, there's nothing that can separate my heart from Your great love.
I felt completely stripped down, but I knew that this truth was seeded deeply in my heart. It was a choice, it wasn't a determination, it was a reality that I lived by.
After that moment, I had so much peace. It didn't matter what I was facing, I knew at the core of my being that Jesus loves me, and loves my baby.
I led worship that Sunday at our church. I decided to go ahead and play that same song again. Something happened and shifted. We sang it in the middle of our set, and suddenly there was this response that came from the audience like never before. We've played this song tons of times, but it was as if everyone was behind me cheering me on saying: YES! It went deeper within my spirit and again I felt the peace of God.
Monday, March 28th, we had a sonogram. It was confirmed that our sweet baby was no longer living and was about the size of a 14 week old. I was nearly 17 weeks now. Immediately Ryan and I switched into "how is this happening to us again" mode. There were no answers, and we may never have any. We talked through what was "next" for us. I knew that I did not want a DNC this time. When I had one before, I felt completely robbed. I was pregnant one day, and the next I wasn't. It gave me a taste of what women must go through when they choose to have an abortion. It felt like someone stole my baby from me. I shut down for an entire year- and hardly remember anything from that year. I knew I did not want that to happen again. I wanted to birth this baby. My Midwife prayed with us, and we gave my body permission to "let go".
Your Love never fails, Never gives up, Never runs out on me.
When Ryan and I got in the car after the sonogram, we both started to process a bit and sort through our emotions. After we both had had a good cry, Ryan said, I think we need to take some time to worship. What a defining moment that was for both of us. It centered us both back into what we knew to be true- He loves us, and we love Him. This is what she sang:
I came home and cried with my parents. I was grieved and couldn't believe that we were here again, but the peace was still there. I was concerned mostly for my four year old and how she would take it. God went before us, and she understood it beautifully and is still processing through it all. She still tells people that "Mommy's baby died in her tummy", and I'm glad. I'm glad she is not afraid.
Almost immediately, my body started going through the process of letting go. I started to lose my mucus plug and started having some contractions off and on. By the next day, I had some pretty intense contractions that I had to focus through. I had no idea I would experience a type of labor. Every time I went to the bathroom, I blessed my body to "let go". Words are powerful. With each time, it seemed that I would progress more. I still had no idea how long it would last for. I couldn't sleep at night because I was too uncomfortable. I was in a lot of pain and had a lot of pressure.
In death, in life, I am confident and covered by the power of your great love.
By the time I made it Wednesday morning, I was exhausted and feeling terrible. I had so much pressure and felt terribly uncomfortable. I had an epidural with both my children for other reasons, so I really didn't know what to look for or expect because I had never fully gone through a labor and "felt" what it was like. I was nauseous the whole day and hardly ate anything.
By the time dinner rolled around, I went the bathroom and something "burst" out of me. Immediately I called my midwife. She thought that maybe I had just miscarried, but I didn't see anything of substance that came out. I realized later that that was my water breaking. She prayed for me over the phone and asked the Lord to release the baby the next time I went to the bathroom. I felt such a strong urge to go to the bathroom that I got back on the toilet right at the end of her prayer. I had never experienced the "urge to push" before, and I bore down like crazy not knowing that I was going to push my baby out. It was a sudden rush, and I nearly caught the baby with my hands. It was such a shock- I don't know what I expected but I never thought I'd see an actual baby. I will never forget what he looked like. He was a perfectly formed child. It was overwhelming. I called Ryan on my phone immediately. He came in and called our Midwife immediately. The baby was out, still attached to the umbilical chord which was still attached to the placenta. At this point, I didn't have any more contractions. I started pushing with all my might, and we couldn't get the placenta to come out. We needed to be sure that the placenta hadn't come out, so we had to get our baby out of the toilet to be sure that there wasn't part of a placenta in there too. It was hard for both of us to see our baby this close up, but I am so grateful that we did.
It was March 30th-exactly 40 months after I had my DNC.
I started to hemorrhage. I knew one of the signs of something going wrong was dizziness. It happened fast. I was dizzy, then felt hot, and then I felt I was going to pass out. My Midwife had Ryan call Emergency right away. Hats off to the EMT's in North Richland Hills. I think they made it to my house in 60 seconds. At this point, my parents had no idea what was going on. We were in a back bathroom- THANKFULLY at their house. They had the EMT's burst through their front door, and they immediately got our kids out of the house into the backyard. I can't imagine what must have gone through their minds. I'm just so grateful that my kids didn't have to experience the trauma of the situation.
I have never had to concentrate so hard in my life. I wanted so badly to "give in" and just pass out. I was too afraid. Too afraid of the unknown and what would happen. All I could do was talk constantly and think about my children and my husband and ask God to keep me. Just as they stood me up, the placenta came out. They took me to the hospital and I was shaking horribly due to the rush of fluids they were putting in my body. I hate that feeling. You have no control over your body- and you're just convulsing. I was in such a flurry of emotions. It all happened so fast. Hadn't I just found out 2 days before that my child was no longer living?
Your love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me.
I still felt so much peace. I tend to panic in intense situations and freak out. I never felt like I was out of control, I just had this peace with me. The EMT's had brought our baby with us. I'll never forget when the Doctor came in and asked us if we knew the sex of the baby. At this point, we didn't. She then announced that it was a boy. This was yet another gift to me. We never found out what we had last time- although I knew within my heart that that baby was boy. But now we knew for sure that this one was a boy as well. Yet anther piece of closure given to us.
Losing a child no matter how "early" or how "late" is never an easy thing. I learned a lot from our previous loss. I knew I didn't want to isolate myself from the world again. I couldn't spend a year in depression. I need to be present. I have invited the comments and the interactions and the retelling of this beautiful story. Thus the reason for me writing this on a blog. I'm not in a hurry to heal. I'm not in a hurry to put this behind me. I'm not in a hurry to have another child either. I want to heal completely and embrace every bit of heartache and anguish and walk through it until I reach that banqueting table.
"I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate me from the love of God".
Born on March 30th, 2011
This is the story of your sweet life
You will always be my "beloved"