I'm not going to say I wasn't concerned, after all, at almost forty-four years old, and with blood that wants to kill me, I have reason to be apprehensive. But, my heart was encouraged, there was a baby growing in my womb and I was seeing his beautiful heart beating on the sonographers screen. At first, I could not look. It was only one year ago, I stared at that same screen and saw my sweet angel, curled up in the safety of his mothers body, having been called home to the Lord before His birth. I saw the motionless center of his chest where his heartbeat should have been. I know the pain of loss, four children gone to the Lord before I had a chance to see their faces. And here I lay, again. The sonographer was gracious. He allowed me to look away this time, and once he saw that little heart beating, he asked me to turn my head and see. There it was. My heart wanted to rejoice, but my mind gripped it's release. This baby, although alive, had a low heart rate and was eight days smaller than expected. The doctor assured me that there was hope, that many babies do this and to not let my mama's heart grow weary.
The next appointment was set for two weeks later, when another sonogram would be performed, and we would know definitively if our baby was going to be OK. It was a frightening time. My hormones were all over the map, and I had to apologize, more times than I care to mention, for my not controlling my emotions. My abdomen was bloated, giving the appearance of a pregnancy I was not ready to share with the world. I was keenly aware of just how much I am at the mercy of God. My dependence upon my Lord deepened as I walked this lonely road of uncertainty.
A week later, I noticed a change. Something was not right. I hesitated to call my doctor, as not to be seen as "that" lady, calling again. But, I knew with my bleeding/clotting disorder, it was important to report any problems. The doctor agreed and asked me to come in right away. There, I lay, yet again. This time I looked. I wanted to see for myself what my heart somehow knew. The sonographer remained eerily silent, as he tried feverishly to record a measurable heart beat. But this baby's heart was skipping beats, so much so, that it could no longer be quantified. The baby had only grown two days out of the eight it had been since my last sonogram - my baby was dying.
"He is fighting for his life", my doctor said. A fight he cannot win. And I am faced with the fact that I am losing my fifth child before he breathes his first breath. I left the doctors office, broken. I am carrying a child who is struggling to live and enduring a pregnancy that will result in a deceased child, through no fault of my own. Multiple times a day I check to see if he has lost his fight, if he has gone home to the Lord. Nothing yet, though it is only a matter of time. I grieve the fact I will never physically hold this precious one, though in my mind I have held him so many times. I have smelled his sweet baby smell, heard his gentle infant cry, and enjoyed many years in a moment with him. I am comforted in knowing that this child will only ever know a perfect parent, our Lord Jesus. He will only know joy, and He will spend His whole life at the feet of His Creator. I labor in prayer that the Lord will spare his life, but in the end, I will rise and eat as David did (2 Samuel 12:16-23).
We do not grieve as the world grieves, Saints. We grieve as those who have hope. Hope of an eternity spent in worship to the One who is the Giver of life. My sadness is only for a time, but my joy will come in the morning (Psalm 30:5b), when I see His face and sing aloud "Holy, Holy, Holy" with my precious children by my side. As the Lord leads you, please pray for me, for this mama's heart, as I wait for the moment I usher this child into the bosom of our King. There are risks to my health and the next few weeks remain uncertain, still. I will have to endure much monitoring, twice daily injections of a massive dose of blood thinner to keep me alive, and many trips to the doctor to check for signs of clotting. Though the end is near for this dear angel, the fight has just begun for me. I am comforted by your notes of encouragement, your prayers for healing, and your offers to serve. The Lord is merciful to me. I give thanks to the Lord for my family, friends and readers who have/will offer their support. Life truly is but a vapor (James 4:14). Let us redeem the time, while it is ours to redeem (Ephesians 5:16)….
"Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep…" Romans 12:15