Saturday, December 15, 2007

News

I've been waiting for a few weeks now to post some family 'news'.

I've decided that tonight is the night that I am going to share it; however, the events of this past week have drastically changed that very news. (Disclaimer: you are in for a lengthy post here.)

I am going to give the most condensed, blog-appropriate version I can tonight, which will leave many details out. But you will still get the main part of what has happened.

Shane and I found out at the end of October that we were expecting baby #4. We--well, I for sure--had some very mixed emotions, as I am sure many women do with most pregnancies: I was scared, overwhelmed, incredulous (simply because of the measures that we were taking to prevent this very thing from happening); yet, once I had a few days to take in and process all the information, very happy and excited at the thought of another addition to our household. I didn't believe for one minute that I was really ready, but talked myself into the fact that the baby wouldn't be here for at least seven months, and by then, I would be fine and a new baby would be a welcome and wonderful gift!

We told Shane's family at Thanksgiving--both of Shane's brother's wives are also expecting (Aimee is due in three days, and Karie is due in March) with their second babies, so we took a picture, all three of us 'expectant mommies-to-be', and had great fun envisioning what next Thanksgiving was going to be like, with not FIVE babies, but EIGHT!!

We told my family, and our church family....everyone was so excited for us, of course. Our excitement was really building as well. Everyone kept saying, "maybe this will be your girl!" I, personally, could care less the sex of this child--it really did not matter to me one way or the other....but I just couldn't wait to find out!

We were scheduled to go for my first appointment and sono this past Thursday, and I had all these plans--I was going to put the sono pictures up on the blog as my big announcement!

It is amazing how fast life changes. How your big plans sometimes are not God's big plans. And how, for some reason or another, that is always for our ultimately greater good and His glory, He has to gently (and sometimes, not so gently) pull those plans away from you.

On Tuesday night, I began bleeding. After three pregnancies, I obviously knew this was not a good sign. This continued off and on thru the night, and increased on Wednesday morning. We called my doctor and they were able to get me in right away for a sono. I went thru the morning with two thoughts--1. Everything is going to be fine! After all, I know lots of women who have had spotting and bleeding and went on to have perfectly fine pregnancies! and 2. Everything is going to be fine, right? I mean, nothing will really happen, right? Shane said to me on the way over, "Are we just at this point hoping for a heartbeat?" To which I replied, "Pretty much." But I thought, there is no way....nothing could be wrong, really.

With many sonograms under my belt, I knew as soon as I saw the screen--there was no flashing. Which meant, no heartbeat. I immediately got choked up, and said to the sono tech (which, if you have ever had a sono before, you know that they are never supposed to discuss anything with you about what they see--they are required to let the doctor do that), "I don't see anything flashing. There's no heartbeat is there?" He looked at me, and said, "I'm really not supposed to say (this was, by the way, the kindest man, and the best sono tech I have ever had). I started crying, and looked at him, and said thru my tears, "It's okay. I've seen enough of these to know what I am looking at. You can tell me. There's no heartbeat, is there?"

To which, he looked at me and said quietly, "No, I am sorry, there is not."

I will spare you the details of the last several days. There have been many, many tears, lots of hurting (both emotionally and physically, as the 'labor' and passing of the baby was most of the day Thursday), and lots of questioning.

Questioning myself: Did I do something wrong? Did I cause this? Did God take this baby away from me because I was so unsure of this pregnancy, and scared at first, and not as excited as I was supposed to be? Like, maybe from my reaction, that God thought I didn't want this baby, and therefore, I didn't deserve this baby?

Questioning my own 'untouchableness' (for an absolute lack of a better word that fits): I can't believe that this happened to me. This happens to other women. I have had three normal, completely healthy pregnancies. This wasn't supposed to happen. I mean, I thought--you get pregnant, you have a baby. That's just the way it works. As any woman that hasn't had this happen to them probably always does think. What is sad, to me though, is the fact that I have had MANY friends and family members touched by this very same situation--and that reality still didn't really ever make it through to me. Unfortunately, I know now from personal experience that that is NOT the way it always works.

Questioning God: Why would He ever even allow me to get pregnant, and go through all of the emotions and everything that I did, and come full circle to actually being excited at being a household of six, only to take this child away? I mean, if He didn't want me to have this baby, why allow the pregnancy in the first place?

After several days of searching, I think I know the answers to many of those questions. I didn't do anything to cause this. The reason why will probably never, ever be known this side of heaven. God didn't do this out of spite--like, "Well, you just weren't as elated as you are supposed to be, so.....ZAP, baby's gone. Better be happier next time." He just does NOT work like that.

However, I comprehend, more than I ever have, the things that I have always said--the making of a child, from start to finish, is an absolute miracle. There are so many things that have to happen, it is nothing short of a miracle, and I believe it only happens because the Creator of the whole world is watching every minute, making sure everything does go just the right way.

It is, also, an amazing gift. Not something we do ourselves, but something God gives us. If you know Shane or I very well, you have probably heard us joke about how fertile we are--"we just breathe on each other, and we are pregnant!" That, up to this point, has been the absolute truth. But it may not always be. We don't know if that may have been our last child, or if from now on, we aren't able to have any more. It sure changes the way your outlook is. It's not so much of, "well, if we want another one, we can always have one!" but, "I pray that if we decide we do want another child someday, God is gracious enough to grant us that gift."

Ultimately, I know that this is somehow, absolutely for my greater good. For my family's greater good. I can't fathom that--don't understand HOW that could be--but I don't have to. I just am choosing to accept it as truth, because I know that it is. Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that in all things, God works for the GOOD of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose." (NIV)

It doesn't make the hurt go away, though. Doesn't make me forget this loss, this giant hole I feel inside of me right now.

May I be so selfish as to ask for your prayers for me, and Shane as well? I sure would appreciate that. Even for little Colin, who was so excited to meet this baby "when it got warm outside." We have explained the truth to him, that Jesus took this baby to heaven to live with Him--but that is a hard truth for a 4-year-old to grasp. He doesn't mean to upset me, but it is hard to hear him ask things like, "When is Jesus going to bring the baby back?" He is so loving, and gentle--praying for Jesus to help me to feel better, and not be sick anymore; and bringing me a Kleenex when I am crying, and saying, "Mommy, I love you. Have my tissue to make you feel better. There is a little bit of snot on it from me though." :-) He can make me cry and smile, all at the same time. I am sooooo blessed. Shane also has been wonderful through all of this, and is doing his best to understand all of my emotions, but I know it is hard for him, too.

I am not sure really how to get through all of this, but time, as they say, helps. I know that each day that goes by, I will feel a little better, a little less sad.

But there will always be a giant part of me that is missing. I will never forget.

Baby Merritt, 12-12-07

15 comments:

Manda said...

Devin...I know I have never commented on your blog before, but I am a reader and I felt like this time I just couldn't not say anything. I just wanted to say I'll be praying for you & your family. I have never experienced this myself, but I do know the pain of not being able to get pregnant. I know it's not the same, but I just wanted you to know I am truly sorry for your loss and will pray for a quick recovery for you physically & emotionally. Your blog was beautiful and really touched me! Thanks for sharing your personal thoughts & for being an encouragement even during your sadness! Amanda

Rog & Aimee said...

Dev, always hoping that you or Karie never had to go through such a loss but I know that this will only make you stronger and you will be amazed at how this will be a help to you with someone else in the future! It has given me many opportunities with people I never even knew! It's so amazing how much a tiny little being that you never even met can have such a big effect on a person. It is always a comfort to me though knowing that even though this child wasn't born it is still with the Lord!
I am still praying for you, shane and the boys!
love ya!

Steph said...

It is funny what things in life make you change your perspective and realize that we are "touchable". Mom's cancer was that for me. I have to tell you that my first reaction (after this realization) was to live in a world of fear. Begging God to keep my family and loved ones safe and hoping that I was being "good enough" to keep God happy enough to do that for me. Years of bondage! But God has used events in my life to make me realize that He loves me and does all things for my good. I say all that to say that you sound like you are already on the path to wise thinking. GOOD, PURE, GODLY thinking - and that is what will definitely heal your heart. I know this is a hard time. Trusting in Him and not leaning on your own understanding... doesn't that verse get so much harder in adult life? But thankfully, we both know that God is so very good. I am sorry for your heartbreak and will be praying for you (and hubby and boys). But I am already encouraged at how you are choosing to view this. That in itself is a wonderful testimony to those reading it! If you need anything - a meal or phone call or whatever - I am in the phonebook!

Karie said...

I feel too that my first reaction would be, God, why did you allow me to get pregnant in the first place only to take the baby home with you?, but for some reason this does happen and I don't know the pain of it, I can only try to understand. Even when Aim was going through this I feel like I didn't know what to say, just that God IS, and you can count on that, going to use this for good! Maybe just to teach the boys to lean on Him for everything, all those things that you can't control, just to give to God, that is all we can do, we don't understand it, but we can't even begin to understand God's plan. We love you guys, and will be praying for you guys through this.

Lori said...

Devin, I am so sorry to hear about your loss, but God is and always will be there to help you through it, to make you a stronger witness to his unconditional love. You will one day be reunited with this baby and even though it is hard to understand, ours is not to ask, just to have faith that God knows what is best. You, Shane and the boys are in my prayers. I hope that you know that I am only a phone call away if you need anything! Luv ya and miss ya! Lori

Paul Fuller said...

I am so encouraged by your embracing of God through this trial, Devin and Shane, relying on His sovereign control over your life. Audrea and I will definitely pray for you this week. We will pray specifically that in the middle of all the joy around you at this season, that you would be comforted by God Himself through His Spirit knowing that your child rests in His arms, knowing that in your pain of loss He is drawing you unto Himself out of His very deep love for you and desire to make you more like Himself, and knowing that God Himself knows your griefs and sorrows--He bore them on the tree for both of you. I pray that His grace will carry you through this season and all the seasons to follow with a deep and profound understanding of the Gospel applied to your hearts. Finally, this is not the way it's supposed to be. This life is not the way it's supposed to be. The pain, the suffering, the tears, the anger, the questions, the confusion, the agony. Our hearts echo with creation the deep longing for redemption and restoration. Remember this--cling to it, long for it: "Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:3-4)

Aunt Pat said...

Our prayers are with you and your family at this time. A verse that has helped me to get through things that I truly do not always understand is II Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
May the power of Christ, his mercy, grace and strength be yours at this time. We love you guys! Mrs. M

Anonymous said...

Hello,

I am friends of Paul and Audrea and saw a link to your blog. My husband and I experienced this very same thing a couple of years ago...pregnant with our 4th child, at first scared and not very excited about being pregnant...then 3 months later losing the baby. I remember wondering why as well...I remember feeling the sweetness of God's fellowship at that very hard time of emotional and physical pain. A couple months later we started thinking about trying again for our 4th child. This led to us deciding to adopt. One year later we have a bouncing baby boy in our home. Our family all has blonde hair and big blue eyes, but God planned for our new son to have almond shaped black eyes and black hair. He was abandoned in China at 2 days old...the same week we lost our 4th baby. I often look in his crib and am amazed at how God brought this precious little baby into our family. It is amazing to be on the other side of God's providence and see His work amidst our pain. You will be there too soon. I will br praying for His perfect peace while you wait.

~Kim

Jessica, Myron and Rylie said...

you are so brave. I commend you for your strength and courage at posting your story.Our prayers are with you.

jillybean said...

Devin,
I haven't been on the computer much lately, and I just read your blog for the first time tonight. Like the others who commented, I too was challenged and encouraged by what you shared. Though I've never experienced this kind of loss, I could relate with several of your questions and feelings. Your message was such a powerful reminder to me. I will be thinking and praying for you and Shane over these next few days.
Jillia

Gretchen said...

Hey, Devin,

Just read this post today, and I wanted to tell you how precious your words were. I am sharing in your sorrow, but rejoicing in Christ -- for HE overcomes all things, gives grace for all things, gives and takes away. . . BLESSED BE HIS NAME.

I cannot tell you how glad I am to see you say "blessed be His name" in the midst of your sorrow. He DOES bring these things for our good and His glory! May He be the lifter of your heavy load.

How precious to see with new eyes how God wants us to see the giving and taking of life. It is true, we so easily think we're the ones in control, but really HE gives and HE takes away. All in His hands -- the darkness and the light.

What Paul said "I am so encouraged by your embracing of God through this trial, Devin and Shane, relying on His sovereign control over your life" -- I completely and wholeheartedly agree. YOU have encouraged us, the body, by calling our minds to dwell on the Great Giver of all Good things! WOW!

I'll be praying for you!

Kenzie Stanfield said...

Devin-

Thank you so much for posting on our blog... What I've come to realize from our own experience these past 15 weeks is that somehow, some way, the Lord is totally in control. We both have so many things to be thankful for and although we might never understand His plans, this side of Heaven, we DO know that for some reason He saw us fit to handle our journey. I can't speak personally to miscarriage, but I can speak to the fear and aprehension of losing a child~ through that we will always be connected. Thank you for your sweet words and know that I will be praying for healing for you guys as you walk through this time.

Love and prayers,
Kenzie
www.thestanfieldjourney.blogspot.com

Emily said...

Good morning.

I found your blog through Kenzie Stanfields and want you to know that I am praying for you. Each loss is unique, as is the pain that comes with it. I praise God to read happy words of healing and laughter that have come in the days since this post, but if anyone knows that pain and brokenness linger beneath smiles it is me. Our baby girl, born seven months ago, lived five days and then went home to be with Jesus. I am confident that she knows your little one. Like you, I have no answers as to why her stay on this earth was brief. All I know, and know with all my heart, is that the words of Psalm 139:13-16 are true an the the Lord created her inmost being and she was never hidden from him, that every day ordained for her was written before even one of them came to be. I hope you'll find hope in those words, too. My girls would have been four, almost three, and seven months now so seeing the picture of your three boys together makes me smile. I know the joy and exhaustion that comes with never having a dull moment! ;) Be blessed today and know your God is walking with you... every step of the way.

stephanie garcia said...

I visited tonight for the first time (from Kenzie Stanfield's blog) and just wanted to share that my children, too, experienced the loss of a sibling through miscarriage and a would-be sibling through a failed adoption. It was incredibly heartbreaking and yet the sincerity of children (like your son) is so genuine at a time like this ... I believe they become more compassionate individuals because of it ... May God continue to comfort and strengthen you during the moments of loneliness and missing your child in Heaven.

AmandaHoyt said...

Devin,
I found your blog through MckMama's and immediately felt a connection to you once I read this post. I lost my second child on March 26, 2008 at 9.5 weeks. I have a 4.5 year old daughter who still, to this day, talks about baby Noah and wants him to come back. She knows he's in heaven but...
My heart breaks for you and what you had to experience. I just wanted to let you know that I'm praying for you.
Hugs and prayers,
Amanda