The past 3 days have brought some of the most difficult trials of our lives, and yet have brought us closer to God and each other in only a way that suffering and strife can.
We have been on a new journey towards parenthood. We became pregnant before we ever expected it, and now that we had reached the half-way mark, we were very excited about having a child. Then late on Wednesday night, that all seemed to come into question. I suddenly had some leaking, and during our 20 week ultrasound the next morning learned that there was little amniotic fluid remaining around the baby. This was a serious problem, because unless it re-filled, the baby would not continue to develop. My OB sent us for some tests, and confirmed that there was a tear in the amniotic membrane. There was a slight chance it would heal and the fluid would replenish, but the more likely scenario would be that I would go into labor. It was a waiting game– a time at the hospital filled with prayers, phone calls and a few visits from friends. We tried to avoid letting our minds work through scenarios of 20 weeks of bed rest or a pre-term delivery. It was clear to us, that we had no control in the situation– no ability to tell my body our preferred outcome.
Late Thursday evening, I started having contractions, and it was clear that the unfortunate, but likely, outcome was indeed starting. I was in labor. The contractions quickly intensified, and though they were painful, I didn’t have any other signs of labor, and so the medical staff gave me some morphine & Ambien to encouraged me sleep. I naively thought I could attempt sleeping, but as soon as the pain lead to vomiting, I knew there would be no rest.
I have been told that the women in my family generally have short labors, and that seemed to be true for me, as just 3 hours after my first contraction, I started delivering my baby and knew it was time we should call the nurse in. By the time she arrived, our baby had as well.
When our child was born, her heart was still beating, but she lacked the lung function to live more than a few minutes after birth. We named her Elizabeth Anne & were able to spend some good time with her, mourning that we would never be able to know our daughter. Though only 12 ounces, our baby girl was pretty well developed, which made us realize just what had been taken from us.
The path to healing before us seems long and difficult, but not impossible. We are absolutely blessed by the prayers and caring words of the friends and family in our lives. Above all, we feel God has not abandoned us in this, and find comfort in our Heavenly Father.
” This I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in him.'” -Lamentations 3:21-24