Last night I cried for hours….until about 3 or 4 this morning. I honestly didn’t think the pain would stop, or the sobs. God finally granted me rest. Jeremiah 31:25 “For I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish.”
See, today is the day we lost our baby, 6 years ago. Six years and it feels like yesterday. This post is for her. This is her story.
(Revelation 21:4 “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”)
Sam and I were married on July 12, 2010. We already knew we wanted more kids (we had 2 boys). On July 7, I woke up starving at 5 am. I never woke up early, and was hardly ever a breakfast person. I knew something was up. Later that evening, I went to the store and purchased a home pregnancy test. I came home, waited on Sam to get home from work, and cooked supper. When he came home, I peed on the little stick and waited. You’re supposed to wait 3-5 minutes, but let’s face it-when it’s positive, it’s positive. So I waited and watched, and almost instantly those 2 little pink lines popped up. We were having a baby! A honeymoon baby! To say we were excited, would belittle the feelings we had. We were over the moon.
The next day I called my OBGYN to make an appointment and get checked out. I figured I was around 3 weeks, so they scheduled me for 8 weeks to do an ultrasound and all the other wonderful tests that are routine with pregnancy. I won’t lie: the morning sickness was ridiculous! I have never been so sick. But it was worth it. At 8 weeks, I went in and had my ultrasound done first. The sound of a baby’s heartbeat is incomparable to just about anything else. Once I heard the heartbeat, I was relieved. Everything looked great, My doctor was pleased with everything and scheduled me back for 4 weeks later. At 8 weeks, I was still technically not “out of the woods,” so I figured we would just tell our parents and tell others after the 12 week’s “safety” mark. Everyone was excited for us. Dad came down to check out what would be the new baby’s room and see what needed to be fixed, painted, etc. Sam and I discussed names for boys and girls. We had it all together.
My twelve week appointment came quickly, and I was a little nervous. I was showing pretty good by then, and it was becoming harder to hide. I went in to see my doctor, and she couldn’t find the heartbeat with the Doppler. No worries though, “we will just have an ultrasound done, that way you don’t have to worry.” Our ultrasound tech was super nice and assured me everything would be fine. I climbed onto the table, covered with paper, and lifted my shirt so she could squirt the lovely, cold gel onto my abdomen. And sure enough, there was the little heartbeat again. Strong as ever, and music to my ears. We all laughed and joked about how stubborn this little one was going to be! My doctor told me, now, we were out of the first trimester. She scheduled me back for 4 weeks later. Everything was fine. “You can tell everyone now!” And honestly, how could I not? I was showing! When Sam got home that night, we told the boys. Mitchell was 5, and Andrew was almost 4. Both were excited about being big brothers. Mitchell wanted a sister, and Andrew wanted a brother. The didn’t keep quiet either. They told everyone we came in contact with! That was perfectly okay with me, as my protruding stomach continued to grow, and people began to question us.
The next few weeks were exciting. I began to feel the baby move. My morning sickness decreased, and I was able to be up doing more. The boys and I went to the park, went out to eat, met Sam for lunch, etc. We were still picking out names, but had essentially settled on SJ (Samuel James Jr.) for a boy and Katherine Elizabeth or Mackenzie Katherine for a girl. We had picked out bedding-camo or camo with lace 🙂 We were getting ready. I was showing a lot more now. As small as I was before, the bump showed faster and larger. We nicknamed our little one “Bump,” due to this fact. Bump continued to move and kick and grow, to our delight.
Our next appointment came, and I decided to go alone. I woke up, put on my purple maternity shirt with my maternity blue jeans and looked in the mirror. Something was off. I called my mom and told her. She reassured me that everything was fine, and I was just nervous about the appointment, as usual. I figured she was right, so I went ahead and set off to see my doctor. And again, she couldn’t find the heart beat with the Doppler. We both laughed about how stubborn this little one was! He or she would be trouble for sure, growing up! My doctor told me she would do another ultrasound to ease my mind, and hey, we might even find out the gender. I called my mom and told her what was going on while I waited. She said she would be praying, but knew everything would be fine just like last time. I called Sam and told him. He said the same thing. I wasn’t really worried anymore. This had happened at every appointment so far. As I climbed back onto the table covered in paper again, the technician joked about how often we saw each other. I was pretty much a regular at this point. She assured me that Bump was just hiding again. So, on went the cold, sticky gel and up came the picture. (John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives you do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”)
“Go get her,” the technician told her nurse who was in the room with us. Immediately, my mommy radar went off. I asked what was wrong, and she said she just needed to check somethings. I reminded her this was my third baby, not my first, and I needed to know what was going on. She was stalling. She was waiting on the doctor, who wasn’t getting to the room fast enough. Looking back, I feel bad for her. It wasn’t her place. Nevertheless, she said those 5 words we all dread hearing: “I can’t find a heartbeat.” No, that’s not right. We are past that point, I kept thinking. My doctor busted through the door with a horrific look on her face, “I’m so sorry, Joni!” I screamed. I cried. I made them look 100 different ways. My doctor checked for herself, ran tons of tests to see if there was anything that could be done. There wasn’t. She was gone. (Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”)
I can’t describe those next few hours or days. They are personal and a blur. It’s been 6 years today. The pain is still excruciating. I wanted to hold my daughter. I wanted to watch her grow up with the love of all of our family. I wanted to watch Sam walk her down the aisle to get married. We won’t ever have that. Please don’t feel sorry for us. We had the most precious baby girl for 16 weeks. I felt her kick and grow. I knew her stubborn streak, which was justly inherited. And I know she is sitting with Jesus until we can all meet again.
Today is hard. Tomorrow will be better. Today is for her.
Matthew 19:14 “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of Heaven.”
Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”