Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dear Little One, We Miss You

I can vividly remember as a little girl the day we gathered as a family to honor and remember the unborn life my mother had recently lost through miscarriage. I was young so this type of pain was unfathomable and not as real to me as it surely was for my parents. Even though my knowledge of pain was very limited and naive, what was very real to me was seeing and feeling their pain and sadness. As mysterious as this life event was to me, at the time I knew to some degree it’s seriousness and true sadness because it was the first time I can remember seeing my dad cry. I hurt because two of the people I loved most in the world were hurting.

As of a little more then a two weeks ago Chris & I know much more personally my parent’s pain and loss as our unborn little one is now with Jesus and the sibling I never knew on this earth. We are comforted in knowing our unborn child never left our Heavenly Father’s everlasting arms of love!

Heaven Bound

A little more than three weeks ago Chris & I were encouraged to hear that it appeared my sub-chorionic hematoma was emptying itself out. We continued to pray that God would protect our little one as we knew very well that in the process of it emptying out it could very well cause a miscarriage. We finally got an appointment to see the specialist, Dr. K, on a Monday afternoon. That morning I felt fine, but by the early afternoon my bleeding had become very heavy and I was experiencing some cramping. I was pretty much falling apart emotionally by the time we saw Dr. K late that afternoon. I was worried and didn’t feel like everything was right. Dr. K tried to do an ultrasound but was unsuccessful in detecting a heartbeat because of all the fluid (bleeding) from the hematoma. I felt frantic for answers. I remember praying over and over “God, please help her to find something, anything. Please be with us.” When she finally gave up on her little ultrasound machine she told us she’d schedule us for an ultrasound at the hospital for the next day. We left her office feeling very frustrated that once again we left another doctor’s appointment with no real answers. During the night my bleeding subsided and the cramping went away. By the next afternoon when we went to the hospital for the ultrasound I wasn’t bleeding at all. This gave us hope that the hematoma was emptied out and that everything just might be okay. The ultrasound tech was very nice and allowed Chris to come in with me while he performed the ultrasound. He was very quiet as he moved the wand around on my belly, stopping briefly to freeze the frame and save it to memory. I broke the silence and asked him if there was a heartbeat. He said he wasn’t allowed to say. I turned my head to look at the screen and could make out our sweet little one’s tiny head and body; there was no fluttering light in its chest as there had been before. I stared at the screen, willing there to be some sign of life as my heart began to sink lower and lower inside me. I tried to hold back my tears, still clinging to a small strand of hope. The tech asked me what my doctor had instructed me to do after the ultrasound. I told him she didn’t tell me anything, we’d made an appointment with her for three days from now. He then started saying something about taking us down to the ER... I stopped listening after that. I knew he wouldn’t be taking us down there if there had been a heartbeat and everything was alright. Chris & I followed quietly and obediently as the tech escorted us through the hospital to the ER. Once we were checked in we were instructed to wait in the ER waiting room. Once we found the two most private seats in the waiting area our hearts began to fully comprehend our loss and the tears began to run freely. We didn’t care about the curious stares from the other waiting patients, we had lost our baby and that was all we could think about. All of a sudden I felt so very tired and desperately wanted to go home. I was afraid of how long we’d have to wait and afraid of having a DNC. There was a phone in the waiting room, every now and then I’d overhear someone calling for a ride to come pick them up or explaining to a loved one where they were and why. I knew I should call my parents and let them know, I’d promised to phone the minute we got home from the ultrasound. But I couldn’t bring myself to call, not when my only option was a public phone in a not so private waiting room. I also didn’t want to speak out loud the painful reality that was already settling in my heart. Chris & I waited in tearful silence until we were admitted and seen by the ER doctor about two hours later. The doctor told us officially what we already knew, there was no fetal heartbeat. He told us he’d give me a prescription for some pain meds and send me home in hopes my body would miscarry on its own. This method of treatment concerned us so after questioning him on this he said he’d check to see who the obstetrician was on call and see if they could come down and speak with us. It just so happened that the OB on call was Dr. K, the very same specialist we’d seen the day before. She was very prompt and came down within twenty minutes. She was very sympathetic and sad to see us there under the circumstances. After talking with us for a while she suggested she give me some meds to help my body prepare for the miscarriage as she was certain there was no need for a DNC at that point. We felt we could trust Dr. K and were relieved and thankful God had worked things out for us to see her. Going home and calling my family was so very painful that night... I knew they’d feel the pain and loss deeply. They were all so excited to become grandparents, aunts and uncles.

Must We Move On?

Inspired by my childhood memory of honoring and remembering my unborn sibling, Chris & I wanted to honor and remember our little life that was, in a special way. We hoped and prayed in doing so it would help bring some closure in our grieving process. All day I dreaded what I knew I had to do. I was torn between wanting to do it but then again wanting to avoid it with all my might. I gathered up the items Chris & I had carefully planned to bury. Chris reminded me that these items weren’t to make us forget we’d ever been pregnant but rather to remember we had carried a gift from God for ten short weeks. I wrote a letter to my baby, telling her/him all my thoughts, dreams and wishes I’d had while she/he was inside me. It was hard to write but freeing in a way. I found a small black box in my gift wrap supplies and lined it with the very same yellow tissue paper I’d wrapped the little giraffe in the night I’d told Chris he was going to be a dad. Inside the box I placed the following items: the positive pregnancy test, a card my sister Tiffany had sent congratulating us and sharing her excitement on becoming an aunt, a picture of Chris & I the night we knew of our little one’s existence, a bookmark with our life’s verse: Jer. 29:11-13, and a letter to the baby from each of us. We drove out to Chris’ parent’s farm and walked to the very back of their tree lined acreage behind their house. As Chris shovelled the dirt I watched in silence as I held the little black box in my lap. I cried silently not wanting to say goodbye but knowing I needed to. I didn’t feel like moving on, but knew I had to and that this little memorial would help somewhere down the road. Once Chris put the shovel down he kneeled beside me, we both sat in silence for a while. I offered to read my letter first. Reading and saying the words I’d written out loud in God’s presence really helped me in a way I can’t put into words. After Chris read his letter we lingered for a while before laying the box in the earth and saying our final “We’ll see you soon!”.

During the ups and downs of the last few weeks we stand firm in knowing our God hasn’t changed! He is still faithful, true and loving as He was before! We are so thankful to Him for allowing us to know His loving arms around us through it all, for reassuring us of His plans for us (Jer. 29:11-13), and for hurting with us when we hurt , crying with us when we cry. We are comforted in knowing our little one is with Jesus and we anticipate the glorious day we’re reunited with our sweet baby! Until then we miss her/him more then we can say. There is a certain emptiness we feel, as if we’re not complete. Praise God we know the healer of broken and hurting hearts, we so desperately need His touch and presence each day! He is our hope!

Thank You

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your many thoughts and prayers on our behalf. We know God has and is using your prayers to help us take one step at a time. We’re touched beyond words at your showers of generosity and in knowing you’re standing beside us, hand in hand, sharing in our pain and loss. Thank you for reminding us that we’re never alone. God has richly blessed us with your friendship. Our hearts overflow with thankfulness upon every thought of you! May God richly bless you!

Glory Baby

Glory baby you slipped away as fast as we could say baby…baby..
You were growing, what happened dear?
You disappeared on us baby…baby..
Heaven will hold you before we do
Heaven will keep you safe until we’re home with you…
Until we’re home with you…

Miss you everyday
Miss you in every way
But we know there’s a
day when we will hold you
We will hold you
You’ll kiss our tears away
When we’re home to stay
Can’t wait for the day when we will see you
We will see you
But baby let sweet Jesus hold you
‘till mom and dad can hold you…
You’ll just have heaven before we do
You’ll just have heaven before we do

Sweet little babies, it’s hard to
understand it ‘cause we’re hurting
We are hurting
But there is healing
And we know we’re stronger people through the growing
And in knowing-
That all things work together for our good
And God works His purposes just like He said He would…
Just like He said He would…

I can’t imagine heaven’s lullabies
and what they must sound like
But I will rest in knowing, heaven is your home
And it’s all you’ll ever know…all you’ll ever know…

Glory Baby is the title of a song written and sung by Watermark, aka Nathan & Christy Nockels.

Friday, October 2, 2009

He's Always Been Faithful To Me

My dear friend and sister, Beth, sent me the words to this song a few weeks ago, I can't tell you how many times I've played this song each day since. It has been such an encouragement to me that I just wanted to pass it along to you. What an awesome reminder of His wonderful faithfulness!

He's Always Been Faithful

------Sara Groves

Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
Morning by morning I wake up to find
The power and comfort of God’s hand in mine
Season by season I watch Him, amazed
In awe of the mystery of His perfect ways
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

I can’t remember a trial or a pain
He did not recycle to bring me gain
I can’t remember one single regret
In serving God only, and trusting His hand
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful to me.

This is my anthem, this is my song
The theme of the stories I’ve heard for so long
God has been faithful, He will be again
His loving compassion, it knows no end
All I have need of, His hand will provide
He’s always been faithful, He’s always been faithful
He’s always been faithful to me.