Sunday, March 7, 2010

Joy Cometh in the Morning

Psalm 30:5b "...weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

While I sit here waiting for my "morning" to come, I have found it helpful to write down the events of this last week.  I suppose some people will wonder why and to be honest, I am not entirely sure I can answer that.  Some part of me needs to see it in black and white in order to help me process it all.  Yet another part of me wants to be sure that others know that God is real and He's good and He helps His children through the bad times as well as the good.  For whatever reason, here's my story.

WHY?  that is a word that has run through my mind often these past few days.  Days?  It feels like an eternity but yes, as I sit her typing, it has only been five days since this nightmare began.  I have asked "why" more times than I can count.  "Why God, would you allow us to pray ~our children to pray~ for years for another child, only to miraculously give one and then take it away?"  Why?  My questioning hasn't been with an attitude of charging God foolishly but rather of, "Lord, my heart is breaking.  Please help me to understand."

I anticipate this being a very long entry so let me cut to the chase for those who choose not to read the entire thing.  In only a few short days, I have come to realize that I don't have to know why. This has become a lesson in faith.  Do I really trust God?  Do I really believe God loves me and wants what is best for me?  Do I really believe that God is good, all the time?  Oh, let me say a resounding, "YES!"  Yes, I do.  I trust Jesus with my entire life. I trusted Him to save my soul from hell.  With my whole being, I trust my Savior.  

There are people in my life that do not understand how I could have peace at such a time as this.  May I say to you with much love and compassion,  that the reason you don't understand is one of two things. Either you don't know my Jesus in a personal way or you have never had to walk this road so the grace to get through it is not yours.  If you belong to the Lord, the grace will be there when you need it and not one second before.  

♫  There will be grace, grace to make it through this trial;
There will be strength, strength to walk another mile;
There will be hope, when I've done all I can;
It's good to know, it's in the Savior's hand.  ♫
 
Knowing Jesus Christ is about having a personal walk with Him. It's not about your religion or whether you know the right "words" to say or how good of a person you are.  I am nothing outside of Jesus.  Please, if you aren't sure of your relationship with God, read my testimony and ask yourself, "Do I really know Him?"  It's too important of a question not to consider.  
  Above all, I want my God to get glory out of this trial.  I want others to know there is a peace available that the world cannot offer, but can only be found through Jesus and knowing Him.  I want God to make this trial a blessing and I want Him to one day look at me and say, "well done.".

For those willing to journey with me through this valley, please bare with me.  I'm writing this for myself - out of my own grief - for my heart first - because I need to, but I do  hope that something that is said would be an encouragement or help to others.     
  

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We have prayed as a family for another baby for at least 5 years now.  Our twins are now 7.5 and they are the youngest. Given my long history of infertility, we were utterly shocked to see a + pregnancy test in January.  As a family, we praised the Lord for our miracle baby and asked Him for His watch-care over it. 
  This past Wednesday night (3/3), I went to the restroom to get ready for church.  I noticed I was bleeding and immediately assumed the worst.  I ran upstairs and made a frantic phone call to the midwife I had yet to meet in person.  She was such a God-send.   N. asked me a couple of questions and then told me to go lay down and drink lots of fluids; that it could be any number of things.   

Of course, the children had seen me come running up the stairs, tears streaming down my face and knew something was wrong.  I had to explain to them that I thought Jesus might be taking the baby to heaven but that we wouldn't know anything for sure for a while.  Looking back, I wish I could have spared them for a few more hours but given the circumstances, I don't see another way around telling them.  They were crushed. The looks of agony on their faces was far worse to me than anything else.    I asked 2G7 if she wanted to go to church or stay home with me. She sighed and said, "I'll go.  Not because I want to but because I need to."  That blessed my heart.  I asked each of the girls if they'd rather go or stay and each one said they'd go. I was so proud of them - they are learning to have their own walk with the Lord!

Throughout the evening, the bleeding tapered off and by morning was completely gone.  Oh!  I was almost embarrassed for upsetting everyone so!  I called my midwife and she said that we could wait a few more days or go have an ultrasound to see what was going on.  I definitely didn't want to wait so she set me up with an u/s that afternoon.  

When we arrived at the hospital, the u/s tech (a father of 7 himself) asked if it'd be ok for another lady to be present during the scan.  She appeared to be a student and looked to be about 4 months pregnant herself.  I told him I didn't mind at all.

The lights were dimmed and the tech started looking around my abdomen.  It seemed like an eternity.  I tried to read his face to my right but it wasn't telling me anything.  Neither was the lady's at the foot of the bed or my husband's to my left.  I finally broke the silence and asked if he'd found the baby.  "Yes."  So, I asked if he'd found a heartbeat and he answered, "that's what I'm looking for."

I still didn't feel the need to panic.  When we had seen the baby's heartbeat two weeks earlier, it was extremely hard to view.  Apparently I have a lot of scarring from my previous c-sections, and that made it difficult. So I assumed he was having the same trouble.  

Within moments, he turned the screen towards me and there was my baby...clear as could be.  He was beautiful.  tiny little arms and legs.  What a pretty sight.  I remember thinking what a fantastically clear image it was!  Still nothing was registering as "wrong" in my mind.

The tech was fantastic.  He helped me to process things on my own without just announcing the worst.  He said he had the doppler on the baby and that it would light up red where there was blood flow.  {and a few more seconds passed}  He explained that normally there would be red flashing in the center of the baby...I could clearly see there was not.   He also pointed out there wasn't any "fetal movement".  That hadn't occurred to me just yet.  The baby was just floating; I can't get the image from my mind.  It was then that it sunk in....my baby is gone. 

I glanced at the woman at the foot of the bed and she was wiping tears from her eyes.  I looked at my husband, whose color had left his face.  The tech excused himself to call N. (my midwife) and he and the woman left the room.

Left to ourselves, neither of us spoke.  I think we were both shocked; we had fully expected everything to be fine since the bleeding had stopped. There were no words.

The tech came back in and handed me the phone and then left again.  N. was on the other end telling me how sorry she was.  I asked her what was next and she explained my options. I thanked her and hung up.  Suddenly the room felt like it was closing in on me and I told my husband that we needed to get out of there - now!  About that time, the tech came back in and told us how sorry he was and walked us out. I remember feeling his hand on my shoulder as I left.  I so appreciate the degree of compassion he showed towards us.

All I could think about was getting to our vehicle so I could cry in private.  I don't know how many people I passed in the corridor as my head was fixed on the ground, the tears already flowing.  As soon as we got to the car, the floodgates opened.  "Why? Why God, did you allow this?? Why?"   I didn't get an answer to "why"; actually, the only thing I could think of was this chorus:


♪  God wants to hear you sing
When the waves are crashing ’round you
When the fiery darts surround you
When despair is all you see
God wants to hear your voice
When the wisest man has spoken
And says, “Your circumstance is as hopeless as can be”
That’s when God wants to hear you sing  ♪
 
"Sing, Lord?  Really? You want me to praise you? Now?"  I didn't feel like it, that is for certain.  But then the peace that only God Himself can give flooded my soul.  "THANK YOU GOD for allowing me to get pregnant.  THANK YOU GOD for the ten weeks I got to spend with this child in my womb.  THANK YOU GOD for allowing me the privilege of conceiving naturally.  THANK YOU that Heaven just got a little sweeter.  THANK YOU  that you've brought our family closer through this.  THANK YOU that others will see your glory in this."  
 
The more I praised, the sweeter the peace. Still, the tears kept flowing.

It was a long silent ride home.  We weren't in the door five minutes and I started bleeding again.  I started asking those around me to pray that the process would start quickly.  N. told me it could take 2 days to a week for the miscarriage to start.  I knew I didn't want a d&c (for so many reasons!) but I also couldn't bare the thought of not knowing when it was going to happen.  I very much feared the process.

Late Thursday night, I got out of bed to go have myself a good cry.  I hadn't really had a chance to let the anguish in my heart out because every time I'd cry, my children would look so hurt and helpless. I felt guilty for inflicting so much pain on them.  My husband was carrying his own grief; I couldn't bear the helpless look on his face when he'd see me cry.  So, in the dark of the night, I sat there, calling out to the Lord.  I poured my heart out to Him.  It's one thing to sing "even in the valley, God is good." but it is quite another to experience it first hand.

(I want to add here that while I've been completely tactful in how I write about the m/c process, I also want to forewarn you that I am going to write about it...)
 
 By Friday morning, the bleeding once again had stopped.  I called N. and asked if there were something we could do to get things going.  She had my husband go pick up some blue and black cohosh and prescribed a dosage to be taken once an hour for up to five hours.  An hour after the first dose, the cramping picked up and after the second, I was actively in the process of miscarrying.
  I mentioned earlier that I had been very afraid of the process.  I've never had a miscarriage and although I was told what to expect, I still didn't know first hand what to expect.  I feared the unknown.  

Some of my sisters in Christ joined me in praying that it would all happen quickly and that God would give me the grace I needed for the process. After the cramping started,  I tried to rest in bed. I wasn't in the bed more than 15 minutes when I felt something 'pop'.  It felt much like when my water broke with 1g12, only not nearly as forceful.  Indeed, I found that is exactly what happened. While I had been full of fear, God suddenly  brought a calm acceptance to my soul.  He is so merciful!

I spent eight and a half hours actively miscarrying this little one.  I never knew it could hurt so badly. The prescription pain medication that I took didn't even dull the pain.  As I sat in the restroom, I kept thinking of the verse in Isaiah 26:3:   Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee   I began to make a conscious effort to keep my mind on the Lord.  I thanked Him again for the baby.  I thanked Him for allowing my body to process this miscarriage naturally.  I thanked Him for His loving presence.  How do people get through trials without Jesus?  I just don't know. 

By 1am on Saturday, the pains were coming about every half hour or so and I was able to get some much welcomed rest.  By Saturday morning, the worst was over.

God has seen us through the most difficult days our family has ever experienced.  I never dreamed this would be a path I would walk but if I can help one person by having done so, it won't be for nothing.   I have seen my Savior's heart.  I know He loves me and that His heart is touched with my grief.  Could God have prevented this?  Of course, but for whatever reason, He chose not to.  

I trust that my Heavenly Father knows what is best for me and will work it all out for my good.  God is good!  In the happy times and the sad.  He is worthy to be praised - whether we get what we want in this life or not.  God is good...period.  His goodness is not dependent on my feelings or my circumstances.

♫ God is too wise to be mistaken,
God is too good to be unkind;
so when you don't understand,
when you can see His plan,
when you can't trace His hand,
trust His heart.  ♫

There is nothing more that I can do but to continue to trust my Savior's heart in the days ahead. I know they will not be easy, but I just as assuredly know He'll be there to hold my hand.  I continue to ask for prayer for my family, especially for my children.  2G7 lay down beside me last night and started rubbing my belly, as she often does.  I was trying to think of what to say to her when she looked at me and said, "oops, I forgot." and gave me a big hug.  Yes, this is going to be an adjustment for everyone.  Keep us in your prayers and thank you for reading our story.

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart;...  Ps. 34:18a


At the time this post was written, this blog was hosted elsewhere.  I want to carry some of the comments over to this blog because they meant so much to me:

*I am so sorry that you have had to suffer this terrible trial but I am thankful that God is strengthening you in His Word and His Peace. It is a wonderful testimony when we can praise God at times like this. Your list of praises is so special. You are right that we always have reasons to praise God. I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers! I appreciate you sharing this. 

*God bless you. I've never been through this particular trial, so I cannot imagine what you've been through. But, I do know about God's amazing grace! We serve a truly wonderful God.I have an older brother in Heaven that also died in my mother's womb. Heaven is full of these precious little ones. Can you imagine living forever with Christ not ever having to know the anguish of sin or sadness? How wonderful for these babies. Remember that Heaven is not bound by time and your little one already knows his Momma. I will be praying for you and your family as you learn to live without him. Julie from http://lovelessmomof3.blogspot.com/


 *I've wanted to get over here for days, and thank you for your comment. You have been so on my heart since March 3. Life has been crazy busy at my house, with my daughter moving, and we had to take her chickens, modify an outbuilding into a chicken coop, babysit tons, etc.I am so sorry for what you went through. I had the exact same experience about 4 years ago. I learned about it a little differently than you. I had rented one of those home dopplers, and the day it came I excitedly tried to find the baby's heartbeat. Couldn't find it. It was still not occuring me that perhaps there wasn't a heartbeat. I just couldn't find it. I kept getting online to read about home dopplers, and yes, I certainly should be able to find a heartbeat. So I'd go, and try again. I tried and tried. Suddenly it hit me. I called my Dr., and got right in. I was alone, just me and the ultrasound tech. I saw this baby so perfectly, just like you did. So still. No movement.It's a heartwrenching thing to go through. The children were heartbroken, we were heartbroken. Who can understand? But we leave it with God. And He does bring grace and lead us through the dark places  .Praying for you …Because He lives,Deb Turner, (Pattycake) 

*Still praying fervently for you! "Oops, I forgot"- Oh, what a sweetie! I felt so bad for my children during/after our latest miscarriage, they are so sweet and young and tender…In Him- Ali





© Adorning Grace 2010

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