It has been 33 years ago on this date.
October 5th never passes without me reliving the heartbreak of that day, often without speaking about it to anyone. But since it is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss month, I wanted to share our story.
It was my third pregnancy. I had a positive pregnancy test, but my doctor was out of town for a couple weeks and the women at the office told me it was ok to wait to see him since I worked everyday with OB-GYNs, "in case something happened." My other pregnancies had gone so well, I thought the chances of that "something" actually happening were quite remote.
Then one night at work I started bleeding. Just a little, but enough to be concerning. I spoke to one of the female residents (who would later become my OB-GYN) and she advised me to go to the office after work and be evaluated.
Glen went with me and we were both quiet on the way. I kept telling myself it was not serious and everything would be okay. That was until I looked up at the ultrasound screen. I had seen enough fetal ultrasounds to know it was definitely NOT going to be ok.
The pregnancy was over.
Driving away from the office, I glanced through my tears at Glen and saw tears running down his face as well. His heart was broken just as much as mine. He offered to take me to see my Daddy, who was often a source of comfort for me, but I remember saying, "No, I want to see my Momma."
Once I reached my mother's office, she knew by my face there was a problem. When I told her, she took me in her arms and hugged me for a long time and for a moment I felt like a child again.
But I had my own children to care for and I was concerned about how they were going to respond to the news. But actually, at eight and six, they were more distraught over their pet goldfish, Henry, dying the same day, than the loss of a baby they had never seen. They were sympathetic, though.
One day I was sitting on the couch, I think feeling more tired than sad at that moment, and our son Noah came up to me and asked, "Momma, are you sad about the baby?" That tells you everything to know about his tender heart.
All I have to remind me of that baby, which we were sure would have been a boy, are some congratulation cards we received, and then the subsequent cards of condolences, a picture Noah had drawn of the baby inside of me, and the pain in our hearts.
But as I wrote in the post about our precious beagle Sparrow's death (which you can read here), God "healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." (Psalm 147:3.)
If that pregnancy would have continued, we would have loved the child with all our hearts. As I frequently say, babies bring their own love with them. He would have been as special to us as Marie and Noah. But he would have been the last. We never planned to have more than three and there definitely would not have been a fourth.
|Emmie as a toddler|
Born three years after our miscarriage, Emmie was a joy to all four of us. Her siblings were incredibly involved during the pregnancy and adored their baby sister after she arrived. Noah was so enthralled with her that on the day of her birth, he refused to leave the room. Even food could not tempt him away. He was going to stay with his baby sister.
Emmie did not replace our other baby, but his loss made us appreciate her even more. In bringing Emmie into our lives, the Lord did a marvelous work of redemption, of restoration and of healing.
We often don't understand how God works in our lives, how or why He allows some things to happen and other things to not happen. I suspect there are some things we will never fully understand. But there is one thing we can know for certain, "as for God, His way is perfect." (Psalm 18:30.) I could have never predicted the pain and misery of October 15, 1988 could have been turned to such joy on July 26, 1991, but it was.
"And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."
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