*Warning: If you're tender-hearted and don't like gut-wrenching stories, don't read this. I'm bearing my grief in my own way.
If you were looking for my update yesterday about my weight loss, there's a good excuse for why I didn't update. Shoot, I didn't even keep up with the diet for a very good reason.
On Wednesday, I found out that I was expecting. It was quite the surprise! We have two children--12 and 7, and we weren't planning to have another. I just felt odd that day, and we went out and I bought a pregnancy test. The boys had no idea what I'd bought, because I didn't see a need to tell them if it was negative, and I strongly suspected it was. So, I came home, did my thing, and straightened the bathroom while I was waiting. A minute later, there was a definite line. I was surprised--no, SHOCKED!--and worried at the same time. Where were we going to put this child? We live in a 3-bedroom trailer where all the bedrooms are in use. Our contract here where we live states that we cannot have more than four individuals living in the home. That meant we'd have to move. What about pregnancy complications? I'd had pre-eclampsia with my first child. Since I'm already overweight, I worried about what complications that might cause. And I worried about how achy I would be, since I'll turn 35 this year.
But I was happy. I went out to the living room where the boys were sitting. I pointed at one and said, "You're a big brother." Then I pointed at the other and said, "You're a big brother." They looked at me strangely, and they both realized that the younger brother couldn't be a big brother. So I crooked my finger at them and told them to follow me where I showed them the pregnancy test and told them what it meant.
The babying began. Especially from Jacob--every few minutes he'd ask if I needed more water or if I wanted something to eat. He even took a walk with me around the neighborhood and we talked about how neat it would be for him to be a big brother.
That afternoon, Jacob had a baseball practice, and so I prepared some special t-shirts for their dad to see.
Of course, the news snowballed. The boys wore their t-shirts to church, and no one figured it out until we were leaving.
We called both of our parents that night, and told them the news. It was my dad's birthday, and I knew that it was news he'd never forget.
However, that was the happy day. Things began to go a little south after that.
While everyone was having their own little thoughts about our news ("Where are you going to live?", "Mom, I'm so excited you're having a baby!", "Babe, I'm already tired, and we don't even HAVE the baby yet," "We just worry about you".....), I was cramping. Not anything drastic, but it just felt different. It hurt to sit down on the baseball bleachers--I knew that wasn't normal. My back was cramping a good bit. Even as early as Wednesday evening, I was feeling a sixth sense that something wasn't right.
I didn't announce anything on Facebook, and I didn't tell many people. Brad and Jacob were doing that for me. *grin* I just felt like it was too early to tell anyone, especially with what I had going on, so I just didn't do it.
On Friday, I had some light brown discharge along with the cramping and just about freaked. I spent most of the day researching my symptoms online, trying to comfort myself that everything was ok. I'd already made an appointment to see the OB, but I wouldn't be getting in to see someone until June 5--a whole month away.
On Saturday, I only had a little bit of cramping, but that whole day I felt like I was in Twilight Zone, because I felt almost normal. It scared me. My body almost felt normal again--I wasn't feeling that little hint of nausea I'd felt since Tuesday. I tried not to worry, but in my mind that gut feeling was playing again. It felt like a broken record--"something's wrong, something's wrong, something's wrong". I didn't say much to anyone, because I was trying to convince myself that this feeling I was having was wrong. I wasn't bleeding, right? That's the telltale sign, and I didn't have that.
Sunday morning, Brad announced the baby to our Sunday School class. Again, I heard that broken record, but I put on my little smile and forged ahead. After Sunday School was when it began. I had Brad take me home, and we left the boys in the hands of a friend of ours and headed home. It was Mother's Day. I should be celebrating being a new mom, but I was sitting on the toilet knowing that something was definitely not right. I was watching things fall into the toilet that should not be there. I was realizing that my gut feeling was not wrong. I cried and I cried and I cried. Brad and I sobbed and held each other. Brad asked if it was ok for him to call his parents, and I said yes. I knew that I couldn't call mine--I could barely hold it together to talk to my husband, so I knew that making a phone call wasn't going to happen.
I talked to my mother-in-law and she suggested I go to the emergency room. By that time, we had the boys back, and so off we went. Blood drawn, urine sample, transvaginal ultrasound that was horrifically painful, and a pelvic examination. All while bleeding heavily. I knew. They didn't have to tell me. My beta (hCG) level was 36. After finding out that I was pregnant on Wednesday, the level should be in the thousands by now. The news wasn't devastating, because I already knew. I knew on Wednesday that something wasn't right.
But as much as I was prepared all week for this simple bit of confirmation, I was not prepared to give up my child. All week, I'd been clinging to the hope that everything would be ok. I was hoping against my gut feeling that the pregnancy would go to term. I would do whatever it would take--bed rest all nine months, drink some kind of ghastly medicine every day, stand on my head while saying the alphabet backwards! I would do whatever it took to make this happen. But it wasn't going to happen.
We came home and cried some more. I've never cried so hard in my life, I have never seen Brad cry so hard in his life. We both look like we've been hit in the eyes. My eyes are bloodshot, the skin around my eyes are so swollen I look like I have had an allergic response to something.
Brad said yesterday that we need to come up with a name for the baby--something to help us find closure. And we need to put the boys' t-shirts and the pregnancy tests in a memory box just like we put our boys' baby things in a memory box. Because, this is not just a failed pregnancy. This is our child. Just because I was only 4 weeks pregnant doesn't mean that it was any less a baby. What it DOES mean is that we've got a little one waiting on us in heaven. It means that we've got three grandmothers in heaven to chit-chat with our baby, to tell it all about us while we can't. It means that the first face our little one saw was Jesus. It means that it won't be here to suffer.
Even though we are so heartbroken, we're still trucking along, because we put our faith in One who knows the beginning from the ending, the whys and the reasons for all things. God knows our grief and our sorrow, and we rest knowing that He knows what's best. And that's all I need.
To my sweet baby,
I mourn the fact that I won't get to hold you here, see who you look like, or smell your sweet baby breath. I won't get to hear the sweet baby sounds that you'd make or rock you to sleep. But you'll be loved for as long as I live, and I will never forget what it meant to me to realize that I was having you.
Your big brother Jacob knows that he's still a big brother, even though you won't be here. And he's taken back his title of Cuddle Monkey in your place, because he knows that my lap is going to be lonely.
Your dad was looking forward to having you. He was already making plans for how we would rearrange our home. Our home will be always empty without you.
And while I'll miss you for always, I'll carry you forever. You'll always have a place in my heart, my thoughts, and my life. The days right now are full of grief and tears, but one day your memory will be easier to bear, and I'll look forward to meeting you up There where I'll get to spend eternity knowing your personality, your laughter, and your smile.
Daddy, Daniel, Jacob and I will miss you. We'll always remember the day you should have been born. And we'll always call you our Victory, because you have the victory now. It's been won, and no doubt there's a Celebration going on over your entry into the Kingdom. You deserve it, and we look forward to the day where we'll get to celebrate with you.
We love you, Victory Celebration.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal
shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying
that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 1 Corinthians 15:54
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. I Corinthians 15:57
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:4