On January 5th, I finally took a pregnancy test after putting it off for a while. I was in disbelief when I saw the double lines!! Stephen had already left for Officer Development School in Rhode Island and I was staying with my sister-in-law, Rachel, in Maryland. I casually told her that I took the test and there were two lines but the second line didn't seem "dark enough" for it to be true. :) Is that ridiculous, or what? So, she went in to take a look at it and came out with bright eyes and a smile from ear to ear. Rachel convinced me that it really was positive and we hugged, laughed, cried, and praised God together for the rest of the night. She even gave me a couple more pregnancy test to try the next morning to settle my mind. God was so gracious in allowing me to experience that moment with my dear sister-in-law when Stephen was so far away without ready access to telephones.
I thought of many different ways to present the good news to Stephen as soon as possible. I knew that he still had access to his email so I took a picture of the positives pregnancy test(s) and wrote in the subject line, "Seeing Double Lines?" And of course, my salutation in the email was, "DEAR DADDY!" :) I went on to tell him that I was scared to get too excited about this pregnancy as we just had a miscarriage a little over a year ago. At the same time, I knew that this baby was a gift from God and an answer to prayers and should be treated that way. I promised the Lord that night that I would praise Him for however long He allowed me to have this second precious little life. The song, "He gives and takes away...my heart will choose to say...Lord, blessed be your name", came to my heart.
Stephen was talking with his roommate at school about children and sharing with him a little bit about our past experience. Immediately after that, he checked his email and saw my message!! :) He was so excited that he had to tell his roommate right away because he could not believe how coincidental that was. He was then able to call me and we were crying, laughing, and praising God some more together.
I decided to wait to publicly announce the great news until I had gotten through the first trimester without any complications. I had a fun time feeling nauseous everyday (all day), reading every pregnancy book my sister-in-law had, learning what to eat and what not to eat, taking pictures of my bloated belly and sending them to Stephen, staying up late thinking about and praying for the little one growing inside me, wondering how painful the delivery will be :), having to get up all throughout the night and feel my way to the potty without tripping over anything, and finding ways to keep my pants unbuttoned without falling off!
When I finally was able to see Stephen again I was about 9 weeks along, and he couldn't wait to rub my belly and talk to our son (he was convinced it was a boy). It was so precious! We were finally together again... all 2.5 of us. When I was about to come up on 3 months, we decided to tell all the family the good news! However, I started spotting and knew exactly what that meant. I didn't want to believe that this was happening again. But I quietly was reminded of, "He gives and takes away...blessed be His name." Early in the morning I started having intense contractions and they were just getting worse. Thankfully, Stephen was able to leave school and take me to the emergency room. After two ultrasounds and seven grueling hours later, they concluded that the baby had lost it's heart beat. We were devastated but did not have much time to process all that was happening. A D&C was scheduled and the Doctor that performed the surgery told us that his wife also had two miscarriages and then had four children. That was comforting and encouraging to hear!
The surgery went smoothly and then the hospital Chaplain came to pray for us and let us know that the hospital has a cemetery where they bury these tiny babies! I had never heard of that before and thought it was so special! A week later, Stephen and I met with the Chaplain and had a little funeral and moments of silence to say "good bye". There were lots of tears but we know that when we get to heaven we'll have two tiny tad-pole babies swimmin around up there! :) My father-in-law quoted the verse of encouragement to us, "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth, there is laid up for me..."-2 Tim:6b-8a I thought it was interesting to think of these little ones as "treasures" or "crowns" that we'll meet one day.
In Memory of Both Our Children in Heaven
"An Angel in the Book of Life,
wrote down our baby's birth,
and whispered as she closed the book,
"Too beautiful for earth."
God brought so many wonderful strangers to come to us in our dark hour to be his "hands and feet". There was a lady who gave me directions to a different emergency room and stopped to take my hand to pray for me with tears running down her face, Chaplains here in training that sent words of encouragement and flowers, a sweet nurse in the surgery prep-room who had so much compassion on me...and of course our dear family and friends lifted us up as well! We were so blessed and I want to remember to be available to love and comfort others like so many did for me.
Thank you Lord for your faithfulness, everlasting love, and mercy that is new every morning...
I love you!